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Topic: Please help me choose a soundcard

  1. #1

    Please help me choose a soundcard

    I am currently building a pc to be used as an audio computer. It will be intended to run GigaStudio and Cubase, it will also need to record acoustic guitar. I do not have any other studio gear.

    Based on this information people suggest I get a RME Multiface. Now my question to you all is, is this card overkill? I do want very high quality recording. But is there really any difference between a Multiface and say an echo MIA?

    Please help! Thank you.

  2. #2

    Re: Please help me choose a soundcard

    If you are going to record analog you will certainly need a card with decent AD/DA converters and I would suggest getting a decent pre-amp.

    RME cards are certainly decent enough for the job. The Echo cards also do a good job. I think from memory the MIA is 24 bit /96kHz.

    Cheers, Scott.

  3. #3

    Re: Please help me choose a soundcard

    That part I understand. I would need either a preamp or a mixer to connect the mic to record the guitar. So I guess my question is would it really matter which of the two soundcards I get? The more I look into soundcards the more confused I get. [img]images/icons/tongue.gif[/img] Thanks for the reply and any further assitance.

  4. #4

    Re: Please help me choose a soundcard

    Regarding sound quality, you generally get a better result if the card in the PC has a digital connection (preferably optical) to a rack or breakout box. It keeps the electronic noise in the PC and out of your audio. That said, I have the MIA, and I find the sound quality to be quite good.

    Regarding functionality, how many inputs are you going to mic at one time? If it\'s just a mic or two on an acoustic guitar, the MIA is fine. If you wan\'t more mics, a pickup and voice at the same time, you need more I/O.

    A couple of nice things about the MIA: It has balanced inputs and outputs, so it\'s a bit cleaner than the Audiophile 2496, and it will interface nicely with a mixing board or preamp. I just use the preamps in my Mackie mixer, but you can go with a trendy, stand-alone preamp, if you prefer. The other nice thing about the MIA is that it has four stereo \"virtual\" outputs. That means that you can run multiple audio apps at one time, and use the mixer built into the MIA. It doesn\'t allow separate outputs into outboard effects units, but that may be more than you plan to do.

    So, the bottom line: How much I/O do you need? And, do you want to spend the extra dosh on something with an optical link to a breakout box for that last smidgen of sound quality? If two in and two out are fine, and you\'re content with the 24-bit, 96 Hz quality of on-card A/D converters, the MIA is a great choice.

  5. #5

    Re: Please help me choose a soundcard

    These are the responses I was looking for. Like many people here this will be my first big purchase, so I don\'t want to make a mistake. In the mean time, I\'m going to drive y\'all crazy with these simple, yet seemingly complex questions.

    I don\'t know how many I/O I will need, or how much is needed by gigastudio, etc. For now one mic will do. But I\'m not sure how many outputs I\'ll need? In the future I definitely plan on adding at least a preamp to this equation, possibly a mixer as well and an effects unit for reverb.

    Does anyone have any experience with Multiface and Mia and could determine if the sound quality is worth it or not?

    Thanks for any help. Scott and Jon, 5 star ratings headed your way. [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

  6. #6

    Re: Please help me choose a soundcard

    hiya vash I was asking a similar question the other day on my posting regarding midi port audio cards and guitar plug ins cards, and I was referred to the Tascam Us-122 here. maybe this is an option for you US-122


  7. #7

    Re: Please help me choose a soundcard

    WaMi Rack 192X or 192L from ESI Pro. The included software changes GSIF drivers into ASIO drivers [img]images/icons/shocked.gif[/img] , so that you can run Gigastudio through your favorite sequencer and through your favorite VST effects. Oh yeah, 4 XLR mic inputs(switchable), 4 line inputs, 10 outputs and it\'s 192kHz too(192X).

    Alex Cremers

  8. #8

    Re: Please help me choose a soundcard

    The WamiRack sounds extremely interesting. So the only difference between the two models are the khz rate, nothing else?

    What if I wanted to have two headphone connections to this, how would that be handled? Do I need an external mixer to connect a headphone amp to it. Would I have any problems upgrading, if I wanted to use another preamp in the future?

    And finally any suggestions for best place to buy soundcards?

  9. #9

    Re: Please help me choose a soundcard

    When in Google type \"SOS WaMi Rack\". The first result should bring you to the review by Martin Walker from Sound on Sound magazine. There is a lot of info there. Please note that I don\'t have it myself but if I was looking for a soundcard today then this is the one!

    Alex Cremers

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Chandler, Arizona

    Re: Please help me choose a soundcard

    I\'m using an ESI WaveTerminal 192M. The breakout box has 4 inputs (2 can be mic inputs but have 1/4 inch jacks), 8 outputs and 2 headphone jacks. Bought mine for under $200. They also have another model that has digital ins/outs that is about $50 more. It\'s been working fine.

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