Help me choosing a beginner sound card

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
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gianis6
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Help me choosing a beginner sound card

Post by gianis6 » Wed May 19, 2010 6:40 pm

Hi all,

as the title says I'm new to music production and I've begun to learn and use Ableton Live.
Now I' d like to buy a good sound card for production as well as djing with this software. I need something cheap (max. 100€/130$) suitable for both activities with a good headphones output and possibly with input lines.

Any suggestions??

Thank to all.

beats me
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Re: Help me choosing a beginner sound card

Post by beats me » Wed May 19, 2010 6:51 pm

NI Audio Kontrol 1 should work good for you.

gianis6
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Re: Help me choosing a beginner sound card

Post by gianis6 » Wed May 19, 2010 7:33 pm

thanks for the advice, but I can't afford the Audio Kontrol, it's too expensive. I need something cheaper (100€/130$), I'm just a beginner and don't want to spend a fortune on a soundcard at the moment.

Bagle
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Re: Help me choosing a beginner sound card

Post by Bagle » Wed May 19, 2010 8:50 pm

no offence but a little extra sent now will save you upgrading sooner, saving you in the long run..
Anything at my disposal..
http://soundcloud.com/jagle

mihai
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Re: Help me choosing a beginner sound card

Post by mihai » Wed May 19, 2010 9:49 pm

look around and see if you can find a used firebox (the new one being "firestudio"). they're definitely worth the cash. there's also the presonus audiobox ($150) but i'm not sure how consistent usb will be for you.

edit: perhaps check out local music shops to see if they have anymore fireboxes in stock as well.

H20nly
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Re: Help me choosing a beginner sound card

Post by H20nly » Wed May 19, 2010 9:51 pm

Bagle wrote:no offence but a little extra sent now will save you upgrading sooner, saving you in the long run..
+1
LoopStationZebra wrote:it's like a hipster commie pinko manifesto. Rambling. Angry. Nearly divorced from all reality; yet strangely compelling with a ring of truth.

beats me
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Re: Help me choosing a beginner sound card

Post by beats me » Wed May 19, 2010 10:07 pm

Even though you are just a beginner and it sounds like you don't have a lot of money, $250 isn't really considered a fortune by any means. If you're looking to only spend about $130 I doubt you're going to find anything praiseworthy or much better than your internal sound card in which case you just wasted $130 of the money you are already low on.

tha_metman
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Re: Help me choosing a beginner sound card

Post by tha_metman » Thu May 20, 2010 10:11 pm

Native instruments Audio 2 DJ.

Tamar UK
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Re: Help me choosing a beginner sound card

Post by Tamar UK » Fri May 21, 2010 9:18 am

tha_metman wrote:Native instruments Audio 2 DJ.
+1 if you dont need inputs, amazing value for money and small too.

tw1nstates
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Re: Help me choosing a beginner sound card

Post by tw1nstates » Fri May 21, 2010 9:54 am

ShelLuser wrote:"Soundcard for production". What exactly do you mean by that? Better put: what is your goal with Live ?

Do you mean that you're trying to get a soundcard which sounds well enough to perform on stage or do you have radical other plans for this stuff?

Because quite frankly: I don't believe in "expensive cards make better sound". Nor do I believe in ""high end"" stuff gives the best results". <side remark>DUH, this is digital we're talking about.</side remark>

The card some people mentioned above which goes for approx. E 280,- has an input/output sampling rate of 192kHz (an important factor). A bit resolution (idem) of 24bits. Common input/output levels. All in all my El-cheapo usb card of E 30,- (edit:) doesn't (/) have the same specs (edit:) yet is still well suited for cd or dvd production (/). The very basic of digital is: no loss of quality during transfer, aka; one on one reproduction.

Sorry if the following gets to technical, I'll do my best not to, but...

Cool; you have a "high end" sound card which can sample up to 19200Hz; 19.200 individual samples per second. And where are those samples stored? On your hard drive. And what kind of stuff is that? None of us KNOWS. Don't be fooled.. Sure; high end stuff is nice, but when the back end of your hardware isn't fit to even handle the (possibly) massive data streams then at the end all good this new shiney stuff will do is impress possible girlfriends: "Look at my E300,- card".

Come on here you guys...

</end of rant>

Really: what are your intentions here and what stuff do you have?

If you're trying to produce stuff (for example; using soft synths to create sounds and use all of that stuff to create a (cd) track) then your aim can be a whole lot lower than when your goal is to perform on stage.

Sorry; it amazes me how easily people push stuff forward without even asking what the whole intent is...

Edits: Ok. I spoke before confirming but these threads can get under my skin at times. My card goes to 48kHz, not 19.2Mhz. But honestly; say the OP's goal (which NONE of us knows at this time) is to create cd's or dvd's then 19.2Mhz will go WAY above his head. In fact: having experienced this myself (without realizing this at first) I dare say it would give him worse results than a cheap-ass sound card would give him. "Good luck "folding back" 96kHz into 22.05 (assuming we're talking cd's here)".
Dude, there is all kinds of wrongness in your post.

It's not the sample rate, it's how good he converters are, therfore how accurate the playback is (jitter, stereo image, fidelity) plus, if he's recording then what kind of a signal it records.

if you are just using soft synths then recording fidelity isn't important however playback fidelity is. I remember going from a soundblaster card back in the day to (IIRC a Korg 2020) the difference was like night and day. The cheapo cards at the time also imparted strange artifacts onto whatever you recorded.

Anyway, to the op, if you can buy a second hand card, you will get more for your money that way. Mackie Onyx sattellitte's should go for around that. They are good, have decent converters and premaps and the sattellite bit pops out o you can take it to gigs without the main body. They dont make em anymore but you can probably find one second hand.

Dodgy wiring on a computer harddrive blew mine but I got some good use out of it.

Alternatively there is stuff like the Apogee one card, Emu cards if they are still around. Do some research then come back with some options for the money.

You budget is a litte low but you can still knock out beats on your internal sound card.

Also, what you are monitoring on makes a difference as well.

It's fine saying spend more on the card but if you are using hi fi speakers then your best upgrading those and using your internal sound card. If you are on mac the internal card these days isnt too bad, I heard stg a friend did a few years back which was done on the s/c of a macbook pro and it sounded good. . .
I slipped into a daze, whilst I was there I heard the most startling music, it was at once familiar and alien, reassuring and unsettling.
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mikemc
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Re: Help me choosing a beginner sound card

Post by mikemc » Fri May 21, 2010 2:41 pm

You say "for production", so you may or may not need audio/midi inputs.

To maybe condense some of the points made in the eariler posts:

1) Do you need audio inputs, to record, or just outputs?
2) Do you need midi inputs?
3) If (1) was yes, do you need more than two audio inputs?

If No, No, No then the simple output only DJ interfaces suggested would be Ok for you.

If Yes, No, No, then there are some options just below or just over your price range.

If Yes, Yes, No, then you may be able to get something used in your price range.

If more than two "Yes", then your price range is much too low.

If "I don't know" to any of them, you need to do some more research.

If there are any music/gear shop people reading this, if your website had this simple questionnaire, and your audio interface inventory records had tags indicating (has audio inputs, has midi input, more than 2 audio inputs) then we could simply link to that every time someone asks this question and you may become much richer.

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