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Viewing topic "Newbie Need Sound Card Help ? ?"

Posted on: April 11, 2009 @ 05:05 PM
Total Posts:  8
Joined  03-09-2009
status: Newcomer

For most of you this is very basic, but I have never recorded before on this level, I have an XS7, AI4 and considering Cubase 5 Studio or 4 Essentials.  I have an Home made computer with dual xeon processors and a very basic sound card with a 5.1 sound system connected to it.  My question is this:  When i read in the various tutorial reference a “sound card”, are they referencing the sound card in my computer? If yes how do you connect so many devices/input using this single basic sound card? The mention software seems to accomodate several inputs for different samples etc.

Thanks hap

  [ Ignore ]  

Posted on: April 12, 2009 @ 05:37 PM
Total Posts:  36648
Joined  07-30-2002
status: Moderator

No… they are not referencing the soundcard that comes with your computer. In general those are for people who are only interested in PLAYING BACK music… If you PLAY MUSIC (actually are a musician) you will be intereseted in getting a professional external soundcard system.

The ones that come with computers are basically all about enjoying the playback of music. If you are ready to record your own music you will want to get a system that can offer you low latency. Latency is delay (built-in to computer-based recording setups) once it goes beyond a certain point it becomes impossible to listen to and play along with music. Which is something you are going to be doing.

On a basic built-in soundcard there may be a 1/2 a second to 3/4 of second delay between the time you press play and the music starts. Not even noticed by the PLAYBACK customer.

If you are musician imagine pressing a key on your keyboard and having it come back to you as sound 1/2 to 3/4 of second later… YOU SIMPLY CANNOT PLAY under those circumstances.

So the music industry (and you can go to your local store and see that there are tons of recording options you can add to your computer to make it into a professional recording device.

Among your options is adding a mLAN16E2 to your Motif XS7. This will turn your XS into your computer’s soundcard. This means that the XS will be your way to send audio into and back out of your computer. You will connect your speakers to the audio outputs of the Motif XS bypassing your computer sound system entirely.

You will be able to play and record with extremely low latency. Plus you will be able to plug in items like microphone, mixers, guitars, basses, etc and record those as well.

mLAN16e2 information

  [ Ignore ]  

Posted on: April 12, 2009 @ 07:10 PM
Total Posts:  8
Joined  03-09-2009
status: Newcomer

Thank you for your help, I have a better understanding concerning live instrument recording etc. I hope I say the following understandable, is this process(mLAN16e2 hardward) still true to record variou samples in software like AI4, or Reason wired into Cubase x.x . . etc. My intoduction to sampleing is from software like REason, Fruity Loops, et. to make mixes and several channels ins Cubase i need a hardward card ? ? . . . .  and thanks again for explaing about the direct connect with real instruments. . . I’m still confuse on software generated samples.

Light bulb - you reference “PLAY BACK” music, that would be music made by software and not live insturments ? ? ? (I’m trying :-)


  [ Ignore ]  

Posted on: April 17, 2009 @ 03:38 AM
Total Posts:  11
Joined  04-13-2009
status: Regular

As he said, you need a good external “sound card”.  The term “sound card” is not really descriptive here.  For example, I use a MOTU 896HD “sound card”.  It’s a 2 rack-space metal box with 8 ins and outs, multiple audio meters, and real volume knobs.  It hooks up via Firewire.  I’m not trying to brag or anything.  Lots of people have ‘em.  I’m just trying to show you that it’s an outboard system.  A “card” is something like an old Sound Blaster (PCI or otherwise) that goes inside your computer.  The MOTU is extremely low latency because all of the DAC/ADC conversion takes place inside the MOTU, instead of your Xeon processors having to do it.

Several companies make quality units: MOTU, Lexicon, Apogee, Focusrite, Presonus, TC Electronic, and more… Some are better than others.  Some are more affordable than others.  Maybe you don’t need 8 inputs at once.  Find one that meets your needs.

As Bad Mister mentioned, you could get an mLan card for your XS, and it might work beautifully.  I’ve never attempted to use my XS as a sound card as I don’t have the mLan.  Thus I do not claim to be an expert on the XS’s ability to act as a sound card.  I will defer to Bad Mister on that one.  He is a respected voice and I’d trust him on that.

An EXTERNAL card would also allow you to record things from the real world (like your voice) as well as stuff from your XS, WITHOUT having to go thru the keyboard.  Say you wanted to leave your keyboard at rehearsal overnight… You wouldn’t have a “sound card” until you brought it back.

Should you go the external route, you should try to get a “sound card” that supports ASIO.  This is a newer, more advanced way for your DAW to control your “sound card”.  The mLan also supports it.  The older way was WDM.  I won’t get into the differences.  Suffice it to say ASIO is newer and more flexible, and most modern DAWs support and prefer it.  Just a tip.

Here’s another tip: Don’t cheap out on your purchase.  I know money is tight in tough times, and musicians are “broke” by definition.  However, the long term frustration of buying cheap gear, far outlasts the sweet taste of a low price.  Remember, cheap gear only has to work long enough to get off the showroom floor.  Beyond that, most cheap gear is designed to last roughly 1 day beyond the warranty.  Stick with good gear (like your XS!!).

Good luck with your decision.

  [ Ignore ]  


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