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Topic: Sound card suggestion

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  1. #1

    Question Sound card suggestion

    I have a quick question regarding a sound card and GPO. I have been planning to buy GPO to use on my laptop, but I know I will need a new sound system (the built-in SigmaTel card most likely won't work too well). The cheapest sound system I have found that will work with my laptop is the M-Audio Transit USB card. I was wondering if anyone here knows if the Transit would work well with GPO, or if USB sound cards in general work well. I have heard a lot about buggy drivers and such with USB audio cards, but it has been a while since I heard this and the technology might have improved.

    The Transit seems to support ASIO 2 and I know M-Audio is a reputable company, but I would like some opinions from some GPO users.

    Here is a link to the Tranit on the M-Audio site.

    Obviously, I could go with an Indigo card, but the cheapest Indigo cards I have seen run about $130 (compared to the $80 Transit), and they don't have an audio output like the Transit does.

    So, what does everyone here think? Would the Transit work okay for GPO, or are USB cards all they are cracked up to be?

    Jarrell Waggoner

  2. #2
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    Re: Sound card suggestion

    Hi,

    I don't know the Transit very well but I can tell you that the Echo PCMCIA card sounds great. I had a few hick-ups at first but after updating the display drivers (the card seems to have issues with some display stuff in XP) it worked fine.

    I'm sure alot of people would recommend it starting with Gary who's been using one for a while.

    Since you are working on a laptop (like me) you might want to free your USB ports for other things. I only have 2 and currently use 1 for my optical mouse and 1 for my M-Audio keyboard. The downside of using an Echo Indigo PCMCIA card is that it blocks the access to the 2nd PCM slot because of the built in headphone amp but that's no big deal for me, I don't use that 2nd port.

    Hope this helps !

    NDEE

  3. #3

    Re: Sound card suggestion

    Quote Originally Posted by NDEE
    Hi,

    I don't know the Transit very well but I can tell you that the Echo PCMCIA card sounds great. I had a few hick-ups at first but after updating the display drivers (the card seems to have issues with some display stuff in XP) it worked fine.
    Ndee, what kinda hiccups did you have?

    Quote Originally Posted by NDEE
    I'm sure alot of people would recommend it starting with Gary who's been using one for a while.
    I bought an Indigo IO on Gary's recommendation. Sounds great. NDEE, do you have an IO or the regular Indigo?

    Quote Originally Posted by NDEE
    Since you are working on a laptop (like me) you might want to free your USB ports for other things. I only have 2 and currently use 1 for my optical mouse and 1 for my M-Audio keyboard. The downside of using an Echo Indigo PCMCIA card is that it blocks the access to the 2nd PCM slot because of the built in headphone amp but that's no big deal for me, I don't use that 2nd port.
    You'd think somebody woulda dealt with that issue by making a "slot extender" or some such--'bout every PCMCIA card I have blocks the other slot.

    Thanx...Jim
    Jim Williams
    Professor of Capitalism
    N9EJR
    Indianapolis Brass Choir
    All Your Bass Sus&Short Are Belong to Us.

  4. #4

    Re: Sound card suggestion

    Quote Originally Posted by NDEE
    Since you are working on a laptop (like me) you might want to free your USB ports for other things. I only have 2 and currently use 1 for my optical mouse and 1 for my M-Audio keyboard. The downside of using an Echo Indigo PCMCIA card is that it blocks the access to the 2nd PCM slot because of the built in headphone amp but that's no big deal for me, I don't use that 2nd port.
    NDEE
    Well, my USB ports are not much of a concern for me (I have 4). My big concern is price, and the Transit is, without a doubt, much cheaper than the Indigo cards... I just hesitate when I think about the USB connection.

    Anyone else have any experience or idea how a USB sound card would work with GPO?

  5. #5
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    Re: Sound card suggestion

    Quote Originally Posted by snorlax
    Ndee, what kinda hiccups did you have?
    BSODs (Blue Screens of Death!!!) I never had such major crash before I installed the Indigo but like I wrote, once I updated the display drivers (or something like that, it was a Windows update I did) it never happened again.


    Quote Originally Posted by snorlax
    I bought an Indigo IO on Gary's recommendation. Sounds great. NDEE, do you have an IO or the regular Indigo?
    I have the IO, I like the full duplex capability/stereo input of the card.

    One more thing I like about it is the virtual mixer that comes with it, very usefull for me. I don't know if the USB Transit has that feature though?


    Quote Originally Posted by snorlax
    You'd think somebody woulda dealt with that issue by making a "slot extender" or some such--'bout every PCMCIA card I have blocks the other slot.
    ...A slot extender, hummm, maybe you can make millions with that idea !!!

    NDEE

  6. #6

    Re: Sound card suggestion

    Quote Originally Posted by NDEE
    I'm sure alot of people would recommend it starting with Gary who's been using one for a while

    NDEE
    NDEE, one last question. What kind of mic do you use for recording? I needed to record some simple voice things and plugged a real basic "sound card"-type mic in, but it wouldn't record. Also, when I look at the control panel in XP pro, I have no options (volume, mixer, etc.) available when I set the default recording device to the IO.

    Any advice??

    Thanx...Jim
    Jim Williams
    Professor of Capitalism
    N9EJR
    Indianapolis Brass Choir
    All Your Bass Sus&Short Are Belong to Us.

  7. #7
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    Re: Sound card suggestion

    Quote Originally Posted by snorlax
    NDEE, one last question. What kind of mic do you use for recording?
    I haven't used a mic yet, most of the stuff I usually record goes direct (electric bass, electric guitar, drum machine and keyboard).


    Quote Originally Posted by snorlax
    I needed to record some simple voice things and plugged a real basic "sound card"-type mic in, but it wouldn't record.
    You need a preamp for the mic, it won't work properly if you plug it directly in the IO because the input of the IO is a LINE level, not a mic level.

    Quote Originally Posted by snorlax
    Also, when I look at the control panel in XP pro, I have no options (volume, mixer, etc.) available when I set the default recording device to the IO.

    Any advice??
    Have you opened the IO's Virtual Mixer?

    There you will find the faders for the input of the IO.

    Also check the MUTE buttons and make sure they are not activated. Sometimes when I shuffle things around from one sound program to another the mutes sometimes get activated for no reason and it cuts the input signal. I don't know why it does that...

    NDEE

  8. #8

    Re: Sound card suggestion

    Quote Originally Posted by malloc
    I have a quick question regarding a sound card and GPO. I have been planning to buy GPO to use on my laptop, but I know I will need a new sound system (the built-in SigmaTel card most likely won't work too well).
    Don't be so quick to dismiss the SigmaTel. Granted, some of their chips DO reek, but I'm using the internal SigmaTel in my Inspiron 5150 notebook quite successfully. I wouldn't use it for full-fledged production, but it's perfectly servicible for a lot of applications. If you're on a budget, the sigmatel with ASIO4ALL is a very workable combo.

    D.
    "He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds"
    --Psalm 147:3

  9. #9

    Re: Sound card suggestion

    Quote Originally Posted by dancase
    Don't be so quick to dismiss the SigmaTel. Granted, some of their chips DO reek, but I'm using the internal SigmaTel in my Inspiron 5150 notebook quite successfully. I wouldn't use it for full-fledged production, but it's perfectly servicible for a lot of applications. If you're on a budget, the sigmatel with ASIO4ALL is a very workable combo.
    That's very helpful to know. I was afraid I might be stuck using the SigmaTel for a short time while I decided upon another sound card -- I didn't realize it was a (somewhat) viable alternative. I think I will at least try my SigmaTel + ASIO4ALL just to see if it works well for me. Thanks again for the advice.

    Jarrell Waggoner

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