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Topic: High end soundcard

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  1. #1

    High end soundcard

    I am purchasing a laptop "Alienware Area-51m 7700" in a month or so, and want to get the best soundcard, (external and externally powered) that I can get for my budget, between $1500 and $2k.
    I need two analoge inputs (would accept one) and four + outputs, Midi in / out as my minimum. Open to any suggestions, and very grateful for any assistance.

    Bryan H

  2. #2

    Re: High end soundcard

    do you mind bulk?

    Is 1U size fine? Or smaller?


    For the money you have I'd go for the Metric Halo stuf or RME fireface.

  3. #3

    Re: High end soundcard

    I'd go for the Metric Halo stuf or RME fireface
    Hi Marty,
    Thanks for your thoughts, I have looked at the Metric Halo, looks the right size, (it appears to be smaller than 19") but unless I missed something it doesn't appear to have MIDI i/o, otherwise it seems well endowered.
    The Fireface looks good too but as with Metric, I would rather have a half rack size box. That brings the Multiface into focus. Have you any comment on that?, and do you know if there is any advantage between the brands regarding the A to D converters? I want to get the best quality of sound that I can for the money.
    Look forward to your comment
    BH

  4. #4

    Re: High end soundcard

    Multiface is PCMCIA adapter so that will take up that port on your laptop.

    How many dedicated firewire ports do you have? USB 2...how many?

    Also will you have extra external HDs for doing samples?

  5. #5

    Re: High end soundcard

    ok,
    IEEE 1394: Two mini IEEE 1934a (4-pin) ports
    USB: 4 Hi-speed USB 2.0 ports
    At this time I have no plans for external drives as I will have internally 1x 80 gig 7,200 rpm and 1 x 120 gig 7,200 rpm for samples, which is enough for my use.
    Bryan H

  6. #6

    Re: High end soundcard

    Quote Originally Posted by Bryan H
    ok,
    IEEE 1394: Two mini IEEE 1934a (4-pin) ports
    USB: 4 Hi-speed USB 2.0 ports
    At this time I have no plans for external drives as I will have internally 1x 80 gig 7,200 rpm and 1 x 120 gig 7,200 rpm for samples, which is enough for my use.
    Bryan H

    HOLY SMOKE! That's a smokin' laptop! With 2 x 72000 drives in that little chassis I would guess there will be lots of heat. Which may translate into lots of fan noise.

    Anyway, another issue altogether.

    With what you got, I personally wouldn't mind going the PCMCIA route. WIth the multiface you'd have the quality of converters and the breakout box is a nice and compact.

    So i guess now the issue would be for me is the Fireface overkill for your needs (which it may be). And then the Multiface would be the winner.

    Other really small nice A/D would be Apogee mini series but if I remember right there is no midi I/O.

  7. #7

    Re: High end soundcard

    Yeah ...... I read a review of the laptop, where the fan noise was an issue, and they took it back and replaced the offending units which apparently dropped the noise to an acceptable level for the reviewer. Also the standard XP tweaks for music optimisation suggested in the review are now completed before delivery. I am now looking more closely at the fireface 800, because my local and somewhat house trained dealer has sharped his pencil, and I guess you never know when an extra few channels will come in handy.
    Regarding the Apogee mini series, you are right in that there is no MIDI, which I needed because of working in a live situation, with need to control mic channels off/on and effects etc.,. If not for that the Metric would have been a reasonable choice.
    Thanks for your helpful comments Marty, they have focused my reseach
    ,and hopefully now I will make an informed purchase.
    Bryan H

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