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Topic: Need Advice About A Top-Quality Soundcard for Garritan Orchestra

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  1. #1

    Need Advice About A Top-Quality Soundcard for Garritan Orchestra

    All:

    Years ago I was a semi-contented user/owner of Gigastudio 160. I ran it through a gorgeous-sounding Aardvark 20-20+ soundcard. I used Finale in my laptop, Gigastudio 160 in a desktop, used a Midi 4x4 box to connect the two, and ran RCA analog sound from the Aardvark to my mixer or straight to my stereo system. It was a sensitive, moody setup, but when it worked, the sound could be gorgeous. It was a key factor in enabling me to compose and orchestrate an award-winning concerto for horn and orchestra. A joyful and rewarding experience, but one that carried some heavy price tags.

    That was nearly a decade ago. During the years that followed I stepped away from composing until only a few months ago. Upon my return, I've discovered that Gigastudio is gone, Aardvark is gone, and nearly everything I once used to help me compose music--and hear it in my office or my studio--is obselete or broken or simply gone, too.

    Yesterday I purchased the latest version of Finale and the best Garritan orchestra. I need serious advice and counsel about what soundcard to run with this system, which I plan to operate out of my nearly new Sony VAIO laptop, which uses Windows 7. I can install everything in a new (and very powerful) desktop computer if need be. My objective is to have extremely low latency, extremely high polyphony, ease of use, and fabulous sound, all in one reasonably priced soundcard.

    Please advise. I will attempt to return the favor in some way.

    T.W. Davidson

  2. #2
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    Re: Need Advice About A Top-Quality Soundcard for Garritan Orchestra

    The best audio interface to use with a laptop would be the RME Fireface UC which is a USB interface. This is the lowest latency interface on the market. The only drawback is the price which is around $1,299! There are many other USB interfaces on the market that will do a good job but the latency won't be nearly as low as with the RME unit.

    Jim

  3. #3

    Re: Need Advice About A Top-Quality Soundcard for Garritan Orchestra

    Quote Originally Posted by T.W. Davidson View Post
    All:

    Years ago I was a semi-contented user/owner of Gigastudio 160. I ran it through a gorgeous-sounding Aardvark 20-20+ soundcard. I used Finale in my laptop, Gigastudio 160 in a desktop, used a Midi 4x4 box to connect the two, and ran RCA analog sound from the Aardvark to my mixer or straight to my stereo system. It was a sensitive, moody setup, but when it worked, the sound could be gorgeous. It was a key factor in enabling me to compose and orchestrate an award-winning concerto for horn and orchestra. A joyful and rewarding experience, but one that carried some heavy price tags.

    That was nearly a decade ago. During the years that followed I stepped away from composing until only a few months ago. Upon my return, I've discovered that Gigastudio is gone, Aardvark is gone, and nearly everything I once used to help me compose music--and hear it in my office or my studio--is obselete or broken or simply gone, too.

    Yesterday I purchased the latest version of Finale and the best Garritan orchestra. I need serious advice and counsel about what soundcard to run with this system, which I plan to operate out of my nearly new Sony VAIO laptop, which uses Windows 7. I can install everything in a new (and very powerful) desktop computer if need be. My objective is to have extremely low latency, extremely high polyphony, ease of use, and fabulous sound, all in one reasonably priced soundcard.

    Please advise. I will attempt to return the favor in some way.

    T.W. Davidson
    If you need to go the desktop route, you may want to look at the E-MU 0404 PCIe card or their 1212M PCIe. The difference between the two is that the 0404 has breakout cables. You can find it here for $71.99. If the breakout cables would be a problem, then the 1212M will be a better choice, although a bit more expensive. You can find it here for $101.99.

    When I purchased a new computer 5 months ago, I went with a Turtle Beach Montego DDL. Came to find out that TB got out of the pro audio card game shortly after the Santa Cruz I got for my previous computer about 6 years ago. A big mistake not doing my homework there, so last night I placed my order for a 1212M PCIe. The specs look really promising, plus E-MU has a solid reputation in the music biz, so I think it'll turn out to be an excellent choice. By the way, when I checked on the price at Amazon last week, they were selling the 1212M at the list price of $169.99, so waiting a little bit paid off.

    Steve
    If you'd like to hear a couple of pieces I might actually finish someday, please visit my virtual concert hall.

  4. #4
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    Join Date
    Jun 2000
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    Re: Need Advice About A Top-Quality Soundcard for Garritan Orchestra

    I would recommend using a desktop over a laptop for music unless you need a portable solution. Make the desktop dedicated for music without other software installed.

    Jim

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