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Topic: How to Determine the quality of a DSP

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  1. #1

    How to Determine the quality of a DSP

    So, I thought I'd finally settled on purchasing the E-MU 1212M sound card when I ran across a forum that mentioned the 1212M's DSP is meant for gaming (since it's a Creative card) and so is crap for musicians.

    Ah, great, back to the drawing board!

    So, then I start looking at DSPs on various sound cards and there are never any stats on them (at least none I understand). So, what makes a good DSP?

    All I want to do is run Finale and/or REAPER through ASIO and have a decent recording session with GPO. I do not care a whit about live recording.

  2. #2

    Re: How to Determine the quality of a DSP

    Quote Originally Posted by FossMaNo1 View Post
    So, I thought I'd finally settled on purchasing the E-MU 1212M sound card when I ran across a forum that mentioned the 1212M's DSP is meant for gaming (since it's a Creative card) and so is crap for musicians.
    Not true. E.g. the 1212M uses the same converters as the Pro Tools HD interface.
    Emu is selling professional and home audio equipment, not gaming stuff.
    The quality of DSP is actually the speed of the electronics and the quality of the programming.
    There are dozens of effects programmed in the 1212M's DSP. You might or might not like them (reverb etc.).
    You'd better try to find some samples to listen.

  3. #3

    Re: How to Determine the quality of a DSP

    I used to think that about Creative as well, but I now use a Creative Titanium X-Fi which is essentially noiseless and a great card (I'm sure some audio gurus will disagree but, hell man, I'm a musician not an audio techie!). My latest posts in the Listening Room were produced on this card.

    I used to love M-Audio cards until they stropped supporting my OS (Windows XP Media Center).

    I now use Windows 7 Pro. No complaints on the Titanium X-Fi.
    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

  4. #4
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    Re: How to Determine the quality of a DSP

    G’day FossMaNo1,

    I recommend that you read my earlier post addressed to you:

    http://www.northernsounds.com/forum/showthread.php/73949-PCI-PCIe-vs-USB-Audio-Interfaces

    Devices of a computer system carry out specific functions. Not all devices relate to music production and the quality of the sound your DAW produces, provided that you use your computer in a regular way.

    An audio interface (sound card) does not in any way enhance or degrade the quality of your music production, assuming that you do not record to your computer, as you say. The audio interface is only used for monitoring your music. It translates digital audio to analog audio. All processing in your computer is done digitally without the involvement of the audio interface. The audio interface does not play any part in writing notation, midi editing or using effects. All of the operations of the DAW are carried out by the microprocessor manipulating digital files.

    Even when you burn a CD, the audio interface is not involved. The track you write to a CD is
    digital. The end user of your CD will have a DA converter in his or her CD player to produce the audio. This is not likely to be under your control.

    An audio interface that contains a mixer and various input connections can be convenient, but will not have any influence on the quality of the music you produce.

    You said:

    So, then I start looking at DSPs on various sound cards and there are never any stats on them”

    This is mostly true.

    From what I have said so far, you can see that you just do not need a very special audio interface. If you are only concerned with the audio quality of your sound mix, your onboard audio with an ASIO driver should do. As I said, a more elaborate audio interface can be more convenient but it will not raise the sound quality of the music, your DAW produces.


    Herbert
    GPO, JABB, CMB, GWI, GOFRILLER, HALION PLAYER, ACCORDIONS by E Tarilonte
    Cubase 6, Notation Composer, VSTHost, GoldWave audio editor.

    Interests:
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    Electronics, Software Development, Physics – Plant Physiology, Creative Horticulture –
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  5. #5

    Re: How to Determine the quality of a DSP

    So, if I'm only concerned with creating audio files from the samples provided by GPO, then I really won't get anything more from a Pro Audio card vs my X-Fi Extreme sound blaster?

    It sounds like Pro Audio cards are really only meant for recording from an external source.

  6. #6

    Re: How to Determine the quality of a DSP

    Quote Originally Posted by FossMaNo1 View Post
    So, if I'm only concerned with creating audio files from the samples provided by GPO, then I really won't get anything more from a Pro Audio card vs my X-Fi Extreme sound blaster?

    It sounds like Pro Audio cards are really only meant for recording from an external source.
    No, definitely not. Creating audio files from GPO is just some calculation made by your computer.
    You need a good sound card only if you want to record something or play live.

  7. #7

    Re: How to Determine the quality of a DSP

    A good sound card also helps in monitoring, i.e. listening to what you are doing. I've got a Mac laptop with a rather lousy internal sound card. So I'm using a fairly cheap Tascam connected via USB (which I cannot recommend to Mac users, by the way; the drivers much worse than under Windows), and the sound is much better. However, going much further than a $150 audio interface (*) is not worth it unless you happen to have a very good set of studio monitors and a treated room. Plus golden ears.

    So, if you think your computer's sound card is holding you back, by all means get yourself a decent entry-level audio interface. Check some reviews. The EMU 1212M seems to be overkill for your goals. You could try their 0202 instead.

    (*) Of course, some sound cards are more expensive because they do more than just recording and playing. I'm talking just about base functionality.
    Theo

  8. #8

    Re: How to Determine the quality of a DSP

    I have been using an Emu 1212M card exclusively for several years. It's very reliable and the quality is high.
    Larry G. Alexander
    www.alexandermusic.com

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