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Topic: Which Sound Card

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  1. #1

    Which Sound Card

    So, based on my shopping around, I have come down to these three sound cards and I'm now asking for advice/input. I do not play a lot of games and use my PC generally for surfing and composing via Finale (although I am trying Reaper out now and may use it to "tweak" my Finale work) with the Garritan Personal Orchestra. I currently have an X-Fi Extreme Audio and the only reason I am looking at a new card is for ASIO support.

    M-Audio Audiophile 2496 ($100): It's a Pro-Audio card designed as a solid entry-level card for musicians. I've heard a lot of good things about it.

    Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium ($100): Although I watched Sound Blaster get blasted (hehehe... no pun intended) on many forums, I've never had an issue with their cards.

    E-MU 1212M PCIe Audio Interface ($169): The stats on this card look awesome, made by Creative, but it's a bit more expensive. I also am not sure why it needs to PCIe slots (Scotty's line from Star Trek III comes to mind: "The more they overthink the plumbing, the easier it is to stop up the drain.")

    Anyone know anything about these cards, or does anyone have any other cards you think I should look at (entry-level only, please... I cannot afford a $600 card)?

  2. #2

    Re: Which Sound Card

    I used M-Audio Sound Cards for years until they stopped supporting my (then) OS - Windows XP Media Center. I used one of their hardware MIDI interfaces until the last few years or so because they were, uncharacteristically, one of the first to offer compatibility with Windows 7.

    It always rankled with me that their decision not to support an OS was more of a philosophical decision than a technical decision. Once I was able to get out from under them I was happier. Additionally they are now distributed by AVID which, IMHO, doesn't have the greatest customer service.

    When I ordered a new system (i7 x980 Windows 7 Pro) I had them install Sound Blaster Titanium X-Fi. I had used SoundBlaster in the past and the results were pretty dismal. Lots of noise and generally crappy results. HOWEVER at the Titanium level of soundcards I have had NO NOISE and very good performance. I am extremely happy with this sound card.

    I do not use a SoundBlaster MIDI interface however. My controller keyboard (Roland-A800 Pro) has a built in USB MIDI interface which works great. My previous USB MIDI interface experience with another M-Audio product, the Oxygen 8 keyboard, had terrible latency - another strike IMHO against M-Audio. I had one of the earliest units so maybe that has been fixed.

    Anyway - don't be afraid of the Titanium Sound card. It works great and supports ASIO.

    Hope that helped. Good luck!

    EDIT: My recent posts (sketches for At the Mountains of Madness and Band Trip) in the Listening Room were all produced with the SoundBlaster Titanium X-Fi card.
    In theory there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is.

    http://reberclark.blogspot.com http://reberclark.bandcamp.com http://www.youtube.com/reberclark

  3. #3

    Re: Which Sound Card

    Quote Originally Posted by FossMaNo1 View Post
    So, based on my shopping around, I have come down to these three sound cards and I'm now asking for advice/input. I do not play a lot of games and use my PC generally for surfing and composing via Finale (although I am trying Reaper out now and may use it to "tweak" my Finale work) with the Garritan Personal Orchestra. I currently have an X-Fi Extreme Audio and the only reason I am looking at a new card is for ASIO support.

    M-Audio Audiophile 2496 ($100): It's a Pro-Audio card designed as a solid entry-level card for musicians. I've heard a lot of good things about it.

    Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium ($100): Although I watched Sound Blaster get blasted (hehehe... no pun intended) on many forums, I've never had an issue with their cards.

    E-MU 1212M PCIe Audio Interface ($169): The stats on this card look awesome, made by Creative, but it's a bit more expensive. I also am not sure why it needs to PCIe slots (Scotty's line from Star Trek III comes to mind: "The more they overthink the plumbing, the easier it is to stop up the drain.")

    Anyone know anything about these cards, or does anyone have any other cards you think I should look at (entry-level only, please... I cannot afford a $600 card)?
    Have you tryed ASIO4ALL with your card?
    Marcelo Colina

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