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Recommend me a sound card that I can get for cheap

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by marantz10, May 5, 2010.


  1. marantz10

    marantz10 Master Bass Playa

    Oct 21, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    Okay so here's my quick story. I just got my desktop PC working with intentions of doing sound recording and music playback. I have studio monitors to plug in (building a passive preamp at the moment for connectivity to the computer and other sources). I also have a Sansamp BDDI to use as a DI/preamp when connecting to the computer. My Sound Blaster Live 5.1 is pretty weak for sound playback, it has a bit of buzzing from the monitors, so I can assume it won't do that well with recording my bass.

    I have done lots of searching on here and other forums about which cards to use. Some people say the Creative cards aren't known for recording although I find anybody bashing the X-Fi Xtreme Music card for recording purposes. It's an older card with good specs and I can find it for around $30-$40 used.

    I have also pondered the idea of getting a sound card with external box for connections. Because a card like that has features such as a built in preamp for connecting a guitar directly, I don't see that being useful since my Sansamp BDDI already acts as a preamp.

    At this point in time, I'm thinking of running a 1/4" mono to 1/8" mono cable from the BDDI to the sound card's line in, which means a standard PCI sound card and not a fancy external box.

    Specs to match my needs:
    1/8" line in
    PCI interface
    Gold connectors are nice :p but not a huge priority
    Compatible with Windows XP and Windows 7, perhaps Ubuntu Linux if I get around to recording with it
    Does not need to have a preamp built in
    Can be had for $50 or less

    Cards I have considered: M-Audio Revolution, Audigy 2 ZS, X-Fi Xtreme Music, Audigy 2 Platinum EX

    LMK what you use, or have heard, and also what to stay away from

    Thanks!
     
  2. uhdinator

    uhdinator

    Apr 20, 2010
    Maine
    Get a recording interface .............WAY better than internal sound card and does the same thing, does not require a bunch of adapters, has pre amps.
     
  3. Zombbg4

    Zombbg4

    Jul 15, 2008
    Olympia,Wa
    I'm going to jump in on this as its something I've been wondering. So with a recording interface it takes your internal sound card out of the equation? I was thinking about getting a nice sound card but I've been meaning to get an interface, obviously I wont by the sound card if the interface is enough by itself.
     
  4. An audio interface IS a soundcard and vice versa. There is nothing wrong with an internal soundcard, but most 3rd party devices these days are external and connect via firewire/usb.

    A quality interface is just that, whether its internal or external makes no real difference!
     
  5. joebingo

    joebingo

    Aug 23, 2006
    London, UK
    What you've heard about Creative is true. They're terrible cards for any serious recording (although their boxes have a pretty good layout). The converters are just not up to scratch, which in the case of creative, means that your input signal will be muddy and seriously lack in any high end definition and you won't be able to hear the problems because your output is going through a lot of processing and then through a poor quality digital to analog converter, making it nigh on impossible for you to monitor accurately. (voice of experience).

    At your budget, it'll be hard to find something ideal and up to date, but I've had a quick ganders at ebay and there's a few up there (I'm presuming that you have a little leniency on the cost)

    http://cgi.ebay.com/M-Audio-Fire-Wi...tem&pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4cef37375b

    http://cgi.ebay.com/M-AUDIO-FASTTRA...tem&pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item35a90ddb7f

    http://cgi.ebay.com/M-Audio-TRANSIT...tem&pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item20adc276a7

    http://cgi.ebay.com/M-Audio-MobileP...tem&pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2a06b0fd36

    http://cgi.ebay.com/M-Audio-FireWir...tem&pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item335ccf31bf

    If you can stretch a little more, something like this will be good as it includes recording software (you've not said if you already have any)

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Digidesign-MBox...tem&pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4cef26262e

    Any of those should be ok, though you'll have to check before bidding to see if there are working Win 7 drivers available.

    Hope this helps :bassist:
     

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