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Sound Blaster Audigy Platinum EX

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by xerogh, Nov 28, 2002.

  1. xerogh

    xerogh Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2002
    Pennsylvania, USA
    Need opinions...

    CompUSA has the Sound Blaster Audigy Platinum EX sound card on sale for $99.00. This thing has a external MIDI interface and all kinds of recording and loop processing software along with a big Sound Font library.

    I have seen people bash the Audigy sound card. Is this is a bad card? What is wrong with it?

    I figure for $99.00 it's a steal. I'm just learning how to do home recording, so if I could use this card along with its software bundle to learn.

    Let me know what you think.


  2. It doesn't do true 24bit 96kHz recording as some pro-audio cards do, and some people find the SB cards to be a bit noisy. It also doesn't have any good ASIO or WDM drivers in order to get super-low latency in Cubase and Cakewalk (respectively). 24/96 gives more "headroom" when recording - you get fuller frequency response.

    However, as a beginners card (and at that price) it's worth looking into. It's just that you may want to upgrade in the future to something a little more "professional".

    As an alternative, have you considered the Terratec DMX 6 Fire 24/96? It is a very similar soundcard but with the 24/96 recording facility and slightly better driver support. There's also the M Audio Audiophile 24/96 which again has better driver support than the Soundblaster. All of these should be in roughly the same price bracket.

    All the best!
  3. xerogh

    xerogh Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2002
    Pennsylvania, USA
    Thanks MKS, you have helped me in the past and I appreciate your input!

    The reason I thought that this was a steal is because of what comes with the sound card. You get a MIDI Interface and a software bundle that includes: Unibrain S.A.'s FireNet, Creative PlayCenter, Creative Oozic™ Reactor, Creative Vienna SoundFont Studio 2.3, Steinberg's Audio Suite (Cubasis VST CE), Ulead VideoStudio 4.0, MixMeister Technologies' MixMeister, Beatnik's Mixman Studio Remixer, Sonic Foundry's ACID DJ 2.0, and Image Line Bvba's FruityLoops. I can use these in tandem with the full-blown version of Fruity Loop’s I own.

    Albeit these are not "Professional quality”, they could prove good enough for a beginner like me. The MIDI interface will enable me to use my POD, and BassPOD to put down bass and guitar tracks.

    But,… this card is not 24bit, so if that is important (remember I'm a beginner so I don't know the audio difference between 16 and 24bit), and if Creative cards are "noisy", I may want to steer away from this.

    I'm not trying to go cheap, I just thought the card, interface, and software bundle was a good way to get me started. I don't want to get in over my head with complicated equipment and software, which with end up getting me frustrated.


  4. I haven't had a single good experience with my Audigy Platinum card yet. First I installed it on my 500MHz PIII with win98. It worked fine while playing mp3's and other sound files but when trying it out with Logic Audio Silver (all versions between 4.0 and 4.8) it was really akward.
    At first it never played the MIDI sounds I wanted, it kept reseting them as soon as I pressed "stop", and when trying to record or play back audio files the computer either crashed or rebooted.
    As I said, I tried all versions of Logic Audio Silver 4 but with no luck at all. I also updated every driver I could but still no luck, so I went back to my old trusty SB Live instead.
    The Audigy card is now collecting dust on a shelf...:rolleyes:
  5. Brooks


    Apr 4, 2000
    Middle East
    I use mine with Sonar on XP Pro and find it quite good, considering the price. Never had any crashes or driver problems.
  6. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Bash reasons:

    - Bad drivers and support, the drivers are so bad for recording that people started to develop their own drivers - http://kxproject.spb.ru/index.php?skip=1

    - ASIO works only at 48 kHz

    - Bad AD/DA converters -> bad sound

    - noisy mic preamp

    Do yourself a favour and fork out (less than) 200$ for a M-Audio/Midiman Audiophile.

    Great sounding card with true 24bit/96kHz, ASIO drivers for Cubase, EASI drivers for Logic and GSIF drivers for Gigastudio/sampler.
    The support and drivers are great.
  7. I wish I had listened to you when I bought mine...:rolleyes:
  8. Tsal


    Jan 28, 2000
    Finland, EU
    I've seen couple tests where the 6Fire was rated far higher than the Audigy. I think Audigy doesen't even have flat frequency response but one with very odd peaks considering it should be a recording card.
  9. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    Ditto, the Audiophile rocks. M-Audio is known for excellent driver support.
  10. TRU


    Apr 12, 2002
    Northern Europe
    Any experience with USB audiophile? It looks great for laptop use, but how is the latency?
  11. zombywoof5050


    Dec 20, 2001

    How do you figure?
    You should double check what the MIDI ports on your PODs are for. ;)
  12. xerogh

    xerogh Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2002
    Pennsylvania, USA
    Zombywoof, that is a good point. I think I'm way off base about what I can do with the equipment I have.

    I'm new to all of this Home PC Recording and I was under the impression that I could hook the POD's right up to the MIDI interface and record directly to my PC.

    Do I have my terminology screwed up here? Should I be thinking AUDIO rather than MIDI? Would it be better to just get a little 4 or 8 track recorder to dump Bass and Guitar onto my PC for mixing?

    Ultimately, this is what I want to do:

    Record real Guitar and Bass tracks (using POD’s), and mix them together with Drum and Synth loops created with Fruity Loops.

    Nothing extravagant,… just little demos.

    I think I've lost sight of what I really need....


    x = :confused:
  13. Johnalex


    Jul 20, 2001
    South Carolina
    DO not buy an Audigy Platinum EX. I bought one when they were $200, and it was the worst judgment I have ever made. Just spend a little more money and get the Audiophile.
  14. xerogh

    xerogh Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2002
    Pennsylvania, USA
    After much thinking, I'm going to bypass the whole sound card situation and go with a M-Audio Audiosport Quattro. I don't think I can go wrong with one of these.

    I've also decided to go with Cubase SL as my recording software.

    Now all I have to do is figure out how to use all of this stuff!

  15. Xerogh - recording your bass and guitar through a POD will *NOT* convert it to MIDI. That takes a Audio-MIDI converter pickup fitted to the bass or guitar. What MIDI will do for your POD will allow you to control what patches, effects, amp settings are in effect on your POD. It's more about your computer controlling the POD than the other way around.

    I think what you want *IS* some kind of audio card which will allow you to record the audio output from the POD into the PC.

    The Audigy card is really aimed at a very wide audience from gamers to people wanting to watch surround sound DVD's to musicians. It doesn't really meet the needs of musicians terribly well. With all the caveats above, you may be persuaded not to go this route already, but as you mention it is cheap, comes with a pile of software and will do the most basic of stuff without much fuss.

    Check out this page from Computer Music magazine on the real basics (you may have passed this point already, but here it is for reference anyway)http://www.computermusic.co.uk/basics/basics.asp

    EDIT: CD quality is 16bit, 44kHz. 24bit, 96kHz gives you more frequency response and a higher sampling rate which allows you to get a better defined signal. In effect it gives you more "headroom" when recording. Note though that you will still need to mix down to 16/44 before you burn a CD though. The advantage is though that you can optimise this process the way *you* want when you mix down rather than recording at 16/44 in the first place. It's a fairly esoteric point, but 24/96 is now the "industry standard" recording rate.
  16. xerogh

    xerogh Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2002
    Pennsylvania, USA

    Yes, I did have my terminology all screwed up (MIDI/Audio).

    If you look at the update before your last it says that I decided against the Audigy. I'm going with an M-Audio Audiosport Quattro.

  17. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    I'd get the audiophile instead, unless you REALLY want that breakout box.
    USB can still be shaky and latency will be higher than with a PCI card.
    Pros are the mobility and you can hotplug it into a PC or Mac.
  18. xerogh

    xerogh Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2002
    Pennsylvania, USA
    JMX, thanks!

    Everyone has been so helpful here. I need the guidance, I've been away from music for a while and I cannot believe how everything passed me by so quickly!

    The Audiophile card.... I wasn't sure about that because I didn't see where you could hook up an instrument (1/4" jack). Do I need a 1/4" to 1/8" Converter?

    Also, I liked the Quattro because I can put it near the connections. With a PCI Card I'd have to run a wire behind the PC (Which is hidden under a desk and difficult to get behind). I also wanted to keep my SB Live card in there to do the everyday audio stuff. Is it possible to split this up? The M-Audio for Recording, SB Live for everything else?

    Let me know your thoughts, if there is a big difference in latency I may go with the Audiophile. Plus, it's cheaper than the Quattro!


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