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Looking for advice on sound cards/computer recording

Discussion in 'Home Recording Studio' started by Johnny Danger, Mar 7, 2018.

  1. TheDuck

    TheDuck Most Honored Senior Member

    Age:
    52
    Jan 12, 2016
    Lil' Rhody
    I really wish I had something I could say to make myself look like less of an idiot.

    :thumbd:
     
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  2. pazman6

    pazman6 Strat-O-Master

    My live room rig is a Dell Vostro low end Pentium Pro running XP (maybe 2008 vintage). Installed a firewire card and a solid state drive to record to. I use 2 Audiofire 12 interfaces. I can record 24 tracks real time at 24 bit 48khz with absolutely no drop outs or problems. Because we are recording live the latency isn't an issue if it did exist. I overdub vocals and things on a newer PC and USB 2 interface that has low latency when I need to listen to the master and record additional tracks. I also mix down on the more powerful computer and use it for plug ins. My plan is to try to start mixing in Analog by going 24 tracks back to the board (just use the pc as a hard disk recorder) and use all outboard gear and then take that output back into the computer for the stereo master. I just haven't had time to route and connect the 60+ cables for the in/out/inserts.

    I use a Tascam interface on my better PC and it is really hit or miss on latency. When I use midi drums into the PC for use with Addictive Drums 2 it works for a while and then suddenly glitches and gets several hundred milliseconds of latency. Impossible to play along with a track on the PC. I have fewer issues using a single mic for overdubbing vocals. I honestly had the best recording sessions with my old USB 1.0 Lexicon Omega 4 channel interface - never had latency issues. I use Sonar Platinum (and X1, X2, X3 - 32 and 64 bit) for my DAW. I have a bunch on 32 bit plugins that don't work on my newer 64bit Platinum, but it also has a 32 bit install on my pc than can use them. I have way too many choices and not enough time..........
     
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  3. unionjack515

    unionjack515 Senior Stratmaster

    Apr 3, 2011
    Batavia, Illinois
    Perhaps not so coincidentally, I’d echo almost exactly these comments. Mixcraft is a great piece of software for cheap. I also use an Asus sound card—the Xonar Essence STX. It is PCIe capable—helps to reduce latency greatly. USB generally doesn’t cut it for me. I take the line out from the sound card and connect it to a simple 4 channel mixer, a line out from my mic pre-amp to the same mixer and monitor that way via headphones while I track. I’ve got a quality dedicated mic pre, and two or three quality mics. It’s amazing what you can produce from a set-up this simple. Honestly, I wasn’t ever looking to produce studio quality stuff but I get great results for a decent price, plus I get the practice of fine tuning my recording skills.
     
    CalicoSkies likes this.

  4. Dadocaster

    Dadocaster Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

    In your position I would put up my hair in a man bun, mingle with the young cats at UNT, sneak in to the music department and record there. Probably could put a band together too.
     

  5. Duotone

    Duotone Senior Stratmaster

    Feb 12, 2016
    Norway
    Used RME babyface, RME has the most stable driver system in the world. You can still use their hamerfall series from the early 2000s on modern computers, that's almost 20 years of support! Unique in the field of audio interfaces. Driver support won't dissapear after a few OS upgrades...

    On the cheaper side, anything USB class compliant, with a good reputation.

    Great latency/monitor handling.
     

  6. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    59
    May 21, 2010
    Sheffield, UK
    For the price of those things, it would have to cook me diner every night and wash the dishes after...
     

  7. Cerb

    Cerb Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    38
    Jan 22, 2016
    Sweden
    Yes. The M-track bundled with Ableton Live is excellent value for $£¥€...
     
    Thrup'ny Bit likes this.

  8. GuitarPix

    GuitarPix Senior Stratmaster

    Oct 21, 2013
    Calgary
    As for your computer - make sure the RAM is at the max for your OS version, ideally put the OS on a solid state drive and use a second drive for recording to - internals are easy for most PC’s.
     

  9. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    59
    May 21, 2010
    Sheffield, UK
    Maximum RAM is more often dictated by the motherboard than the OS. SSD is nice, but not strictly necessary.
     

  10. CalicoSkies

    CalicoSkies Senior Stratmaster

    Jun 10, 2013
    Hillsboro, OR, USA
    I like using a sound card for the low latency as well. But I've seen a lot of USB audio interfaces on the market for doing music recording.. I've always wondered if USB had low enough latency for music recording, but from the number of USB audio interfaces available, I suppose USB might be good enough..?

    Even when using a sound card's microphone interface, if I go to the Windows Sound control panel applet and enable the option to listen to the mic input, there is often a noticeable delay from when I say something to when I hear it. So I wonder how it is that music recording works well on a PC.
     

  11. GuitarPix

    GuitarPix Senior Stratmaster

    Oct 21, 2013
    Calgary
    Not a PC person here, so didn’t realize it was the motherboard - just remember people were limited with certain versions of windows (and Mac) - but whatever the case putting as much RAM as the computer can use and you can afford is a good idea.

    And yes non SSD works fine as long as they’re 7200 rpm not 5400. However I’m impatient so now I find waiting for a non-ssd computer to fire up is maddening.
     

  12. TheDuck

    TheDuck Most Honored Senior Member

    Age:
    52
    Jan 12, 2016
    Lil' Rhody
    Max RAM is limited by both the motherboard and the OS.

    As far as 5400 vs 7200 RPM drives, the difference is negligible in 99% of applications.
     

  13. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    59
    May 21, 2010
    Sheffield, UK
    When I had to boot the computer and then load up the OS from floppy disk and I had memory measured in Kilobytes, I worried about such things.
     

  14. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    59
    May 21, 2010
    Sheffield, UK
    Only if you're using a 32 bit computer from around the turn of the century.
     

  15. TheDuck

    TheDuck Most Honored Senior Member

    Age:
    52
    Jan 12, 2016
    Lil' Rhody
    How do you figure? 64bit systems are still limited.
     
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  16. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    59
    May 21, 2010
    Sheffield, UK
    To how much memory are they limited?
     

  17. TheDuck

    TheDuck Most Honored Senior Member

    Age:
    52
    Jan 12, 2016
    Lil' Rhody
    I believe its 128GB, or there about, for the latest OS X and Win 10 versions.
     

  18. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    59
    May 21, 2010
    Sheffield, UK
    Only on Windows 10 Home edition. 512GB on Pro. It starts getting very expensive after 16GB though. I know nothing about macs, except that the memory is now soldered in.
     
    TheDuck likes this.

  19. TheDuck

    TheDuck Most Honored Senior Member

    Age:
    52
    Jan 12, 2016
    Lil' Rhody
    For all logical purposes, no one would need to max their RAM on a modern system. So in a way, you're right, OS RAM is (virtually) limitless, and the bottleneck is the mobo.

    Mac has been soldering parts to their motherboards for a while now, and they charge a Kings ransom for upgrades that must be placed when ordering.
    $400 for a 16GB RAM upgrade is beyond laughable. But thats for another thread. :D
     
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  20. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    59
    May 21, 2010
    Sheffield, UK
    My current computer didn't cost £400 when it was new. It's quite happy running on 8GB, which is it's maximum. But I don't do much recording or use many tracks or plugins. :rolleyes:

    Why are you looking at me like that? :p
     
    TheDuck likes this.