Can Anyone Suggest A Good, Not Too Expensive USB Soundcard?

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Hypomixolydian
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Can Anyone Suggest A Good, Not Too Expensive USB Soundcard?

Post by Hypomixolydian » Fri Feb 23, 2007 12:44 pm

Hello,

Can anyone recommend a good, not too expensive external USB soundcard. For example anything along the lines of Emu 0202, Tascam US-144 etc......... It's really for an old knockabout desktop PC.

By the way, it has to be powered via the USB port. No external power supplies.

Thanks

leisuremuffin
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Post by leisuremuffin » Fri Feb 23, 2007 8:20 pm

don't do it!


usb for audio is just not good. Well, at least in my experience with it. I think you'd be better off going for the cheapest FW interface you can get.




.lm.
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Tone Deft
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Post by Tone Deft » Fri Feb 23, 2007 8:34 pm

USB has been fine for me.

What about a PCI card? That should have inherently lower latency.

How many ins/outs do you need? Does it need midi?
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kennerb
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Post by kennerb » Fri Feb 23, 2007 8:35 pm

I think USB powered interfaces are fine for audio in most situations.

I think it is when you are doing multiple input recording that it becomes a problem. If you just have one or two tracks then it is well within USB standards to be able to handle this.

I agree that firewire is a much better option for anything else.

I have had decent experiences with the MOTU and Edirol cards but it has been a long time since I have used them.
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mbenigni
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Post by mbenigni » Fri Feb 23, 2007 8:36 pm

Personally, I've had pretty good experience with some USB 2.0 interfaces, most recently the NI Audio Kontrol 1. However, if "it's really for an old knockabout desktop PC", you shouldn't rule out PCI either. If going mobile isn't a concern, an internal PCI card is still your best performer at any given price point. eg. A used Delta 44 is a good bang for the buck.

Hypomixolydian
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Post by Hypomixolydian » Sat Feb 24, 2007 12:38 am

leisuremuffin wrote:don't do it!


usb for audio is just not good. Well, at least in my experience with it. I think you'd be better off going for the cheapest FW interface you can get.


.lm.

I had the loan of a Tascam US-122 ages ago, which was USB and it was fine.


Tone Deft wrote:USB has been fine for me.

What about a PCI card? That should have inherently lower latency.

How many ins/outs do you need? Does it need midi?

Well, it's not for "serious" recording because it's for an old PC lying about. As Long as it has Hi Z input for my guitar and stereo line in it will do. MIDI isn't a necessity, but would be handy. My only fear of a PCI card is that it might change (though dunno for sure) my Windows authorisation scheme. I mean that Windows might detect it as a hardware change and want me to reauthorise.

Thanks for the replies so far.

Tone Deft
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Post by Tone Deft » Sat Feb 24, 2007 12:46 am

For tasty guitar fun, the STEALTH PLUG is outstanding. It's a sound card built into a guitar lead, $100 and it comes with Amplitube. Just plug it in, set it as your sound card, put headphones into the little box in the lead and you're jamming. I have one, it's a great little device!!

Image

http://www.stealthplug.com/Main.php?prod-SP.php


Doesn't help with the stereo in though, hmmm... With ASIO4ALL you can run Stealthplug and another device. my $0.02.
Last edited by Tone Deft on Sat Feb 24, 2007 1:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
"Obsession is a great substitute for talent." - Steve Martin on learning the banjo

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Shoma
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Post by Shoma » Sat Feb 24, 2007 12:55 am

You can go with the cheapest Firewire interface: Behringer F-CONTROL AUDIO FCA202

Image

Hypomixolydian
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Post by Hypomixolydian » Sat Feb 24, 2007 2:56 am

Tone Deft wrote:For tasty guitar fun, the STEALTH PLUG is outstanding. It's a sound card built into a guitar lead, $100 and it comes with Amplitube. Just plug it in, set it as your sound card, put headphones into the little box in the lead and you're jamming. I have one, it's a great little device!!

Image

http://www.stealthplug.com/Main.php?prod-SP.php


Doesn't help with the stereo in though, hmmm... With ASIO4ALL you can run Stealthplug and another device. my $0.02.

Looks interesting. I have read a few reviews and they all seem very positive. Though how sturdy is it? Will the cable break after long use, or is it replaceable? Does it serve as a standard soundcard? What I mean is, can the output signal bypass the effects so that I will hear a clean tone. For example if I have recorded a keyboard or vocal track, does that mean that it will have guitar amp/effects running through it (which I don't want-except for guitar that is)? Also, is it the full version of Traktion 2 or a lite version? If it is the full, then that seems like great value for money. More imporatntly though, will it stand up to loads of use?

Thanks again for the replies.

TerryR
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Post by TerryR » Sat Feb 24, 2007 3:26 am

As much as I hate to admit it, I'm using a StealthPlug as my soundcard with Live 6 (16 bit/48000KHz) Works fine. Comes with full Tracktion 2.1 (but not all the normal plugins) and a "lite" version of Amplitube 2 (Live). Plus TRacks EQ and SampleTank SE (?).
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leedsquietman
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Post by leedsquietman » Sat Feb 24, 2007 4:22 am

USB 2.0 decvices have generally been rated as higher latency than PCI, PCMCIA, Firewire interfaces. But the new EMU 0404 USB 2.0 interface got a great review in SoundOnSound recently.

http://www.emu.com/products/product.asp ... duct=15185

It allows direct monitoring too, which negates the issue somewhat of latency while playing guitars, etc just as long as you don't need to hear effects processed in your DAW while while recording. Don't know how the emu 0202 stacks up although it doesn't have some features of the 0404 and less inputs.

There are many firewire alternatives though that are cheaper than the EMU0404 worth considering too.

Hypomixolydian
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Post by Hypomixolydian » Sat Feb 24, 2007 1:24 pm

TerryR wrote:As much as I hate to admit it, I'm using a StealthPlug as my soundcard with Live 6 (16 bit/48000KHz) Works fine. Comes with full Tracktion 2.1 (but not all the normal plugins) and a "lite" version of Amplitube 2 (Live). Plus TRacks EQ and SampleTank SE (?).
Would you say it is sturdy and be able to handle long use? For example my guitar cables after a while start to get twisted and after a while (quite a while mind you-say two years) they are no good anymore.

RiotNrrd
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Post by RiotNrrd » Sat Feb 24, 2007 6:59 pm

i hate to say it, but I've been using a cheap Creative Soundblaster Extigy for years now. It's not even USB 2 (I don't think). With ASIO4ALL, my latency is in the 5 ms range.

Now, I'm not recording INTO the soundcard, so there is that. But for regular MIDI into my software, it works just fine, and was godawful cheap.

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