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Topic: PC and what Soundcard?

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  1. #1

    PC and what Soundcard?

    Being a Mac user for most of my musical endeavors, I am beginning to realize that maybe I may need a PC if I want to use GPO. For those of you that have switched computers in mid stream, I am not looking forward to it, but I want GPO to work for me.

    First, am I correct in assuming that a good, fast PC with 1+ Gig of RAM, GPO, SONAR 3 (Producer) and a SOUNDCARD will be the equipment I will need to get into the GPO arena whereby I can start using it without a lot of problems?

    If so, what are some of the BEST soundcards that interface with PC computers? I have never had any contact with PC music colleagues so I have never seen any setups, just Mac environments.

    Did I miss anything in my initial equipment requirements?

    I've got to make a decision soon if I want to be on board for the competition.

    John Cannon

  2. #2

    Re: PC and what Soundcard?

    Quote Originally Posted by JMCannon
    First, am I correct in assuming that a good, fast PC with 1+ Gig of RAM, GPO, SONAR 3 (Producer) and a SOUNDCARD will be the equipment I will need to get into the GPO arena whereby I can start using it without a lot of problems?

    If so, what are some of the BEST soundcards that interface with PC computers?
    The setup you describe is exactly what I use, and it runs GPO flawlessly, but I know we have G4 & G5 users enjoying GPO, as well.

    You'll get diverse recommendations on soundcards, as there are many good ones available and everyone has their favorite. Without being specific, I would recommend one that has good ASIO drivers and 24-bit/96 kHz AD/DA converters. Though Sonar 3 PE supports both WDM and ASIO, I've had better results (lower latency & better stability) with ASIO. Good cards are made by M-Audio, Edirol, Terratec and Hammerfall. You'll find PCI slot and USB port varieties, I prefer a PCI soundcard, myself. Which one you get will likely be a compromise between how much you want to spend and what your Audio Input/Output channel requirements are.

    Lastly, if your present setup doesn't include a midi keyboard with a mod wheel, I'd guess everyone here would recommend that as a piece of gear you'd want. Again, M-Audio, Edirol make a nice variety and here's where you could use a USB device if your soundcard isn't equipped with dedicated Midi Input/Output jacks.

  3. #3

    Re: PC and what Soundcard?

    Hi,
    I'll recommend two cards to you. This is the one I own: http://www.zzounds.com/item--EMU1212M
    It's a great card, but it's still fairly new on the market, so it's not as tried and tested. But I can guarantee it works with GPO because I use it myself.
    Not quite as high on the spec end, but a good solid, standard card:
    http://www.zzounds.com/item--MDOAP2496

    Mark

  4. #4
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    Re: PC and what Soundcard?

    John, if you're going into the competition then I'm afraid I won't be able to help you for a couple of months! We're not all Saints you know!

    Seriously I have looked into this in some depth for some time but I was looking at the lower end. After narrowing it down to the Echo MidiMia (There are issues with GS apparently), Terratex DMX 6fire, Creative 1212M, and a couple of ESI pro 'Wavetreminal' cards I opted for the ESI Waveterminal 192L with the MIDI option a month or so ago....available in a great deal at around £110 for the bundle.

    It has the much applauded 'Direct Wire' drivers and the famous Francesco and Haydn (of Beethoven fifth and others fame), and maybe Houston too, both use the next model up with more ins and outs called the Waveterminal 192M. If it's good enough for them then it's good enough for me! As usual I waited until both NAAM and Frankfurt were over before committing.

    I would have gone for the Creative1212M although it's early days yet. It's a great card with top notch converters and hardware reverb of decent quality. There is the option to purchase the EMU software too. Why didn't I buy it then? Well they don't do GS drivers and I wanted to keep that particular door open because it was the lust for GS that led me on the path to GPO /Kontakt ! The Creative support people said they had no intention, at the moment, to produce GS drivers.

    It is a minefield and I wish you luck.


    Frank

  5. #5

    Re: PC and what Soundcard?

    Glen:

    Thanks for your recommendations. Yes, I have a MIDI keyboard; in fact, I have 4: The Peavey C8p (88keys), M-Audio Oxygen 8 (25 keys), Edirol SK-500 (49 keys), and an older Ensoniq (66 keys). So, I guess I have those bases covered.

    What I forgot to mention, which I think is the most consideration for the PC setup, is that I want a soundcard to go with a LAPTOP, not a desktop.

    Will your cards still apply, or are we in a different ball park?

    Regards, John

  6. #6

    Re: PC and what Soundcard?

    Well then you're limited to either firewire/usb cards of which I have no experience or the Echo Indigo cards which I believe there are a few people using on this forum. Gary has one I know. I'm thinking about picking one up for my laptop since the on board soundcard is crummy.

  7. #7
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    Re: PC and what Soundcard?

    Quote Originally Posted by JMCannon
    Glen:

    Thanks for your recommendations. Yes, I have a MIDI keyboard; in fact, I have 4: The Peavey C8p (88keys), M-Audio Oxygen 8 (25 keys), Edirol SK-500 (49 keys), and an older Ensoniq (66 keys). So, I guess I have those bases covered.

    What I forgot to mention, which I think is the most consideration for the PC setup, is that I want a soundcard to go with a LAPTOP, not a desktop.

    Will your cards still apply, or are we in a different ball park?

    Regards, John
    God am it, I just wasted my time.....now you tell me!! If you search Gary's posts he was giving a lot of info on a popular laptop card within the last few weeks I think. I just can't think of it's name at the moment....Yes I can...I think it was the Echo Indigo.

    Damn it again, I just saw the post above saying this too!

    You should also look at USB boxes like Tascam US 122 which has had excellent reviews.

    Frank

  8. #8

    Re: PC and what Soundcard?

    Mark:

    As I mentioned to Glen above, I wanted a recommendation for a soundcard but for a LAPTOP not a desktop configuration.

    Will your cards still apply? And, thanks for your help.

    John

  9. #9

    Re: PC and what Soundcard?

    One thing that I will add to the great advice from the others is get a sound card that is compatible with PC and Mac, this will help protect your investment and allow for more hardware options. I like M-Audio and Edirol myself (I use both).

    As for what my next audio/midi interface will be I am looking (lusting?) at the new Edirol FA-101.
    http://www.edirol.com/products/info/fa101.html


    Aaron
    Aaron Clark, C/C++, J2EE, Flash, Perl and PHP programming.
    Logic Pro 7.0.1, G5 1800x2, 3 Gig ram, GPO and GOS lite.
    My site: http://www.clarkaudio.com
    Where I work now: http://www.blinex.com/

  10. #10

    Re: PC and what Soundcard?

    Hi all,

    I'm using a Tascam US-122. Not in a Laptop setup, but it doesn't matter, it is perfect for that. Some issues have been written about this card in several reviews, but I must say it's working fine in my system (Athlon 2400, Motherboard with VIA chipset, and Windows XP Professional).

    This is a USB card. 1 stereo input/output. 24 bit / 48KHz converters. 2 Phantom powered mic preamps. Rugged construction.

    Its sound is crystal clear. And, despite some initial problems, which I solved by updating to the last drivers and XP versions, it installs smoothly. You get ASIO, WDM and GSIF drivers as well.

    I'm not trying to throw propaganda to the thread . I thought this info. would be useful.

    Anton

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