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Sound card with RCA jacks?

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March 29, 2006 3:40:01 PM

I'm wanting to build a box that will be used for a variety of things including some audio editing.

The audio editing I plan to do is to rip a some of my old LPs and maybe even plug a decent quality microphone in and record myself playing some instruments.

I'm leaning towards getting a sound card with RCA jacks and a 1/4 inch input jack, perhaps the CreativeLabs Sound Blaster X-Fi Platinum

I'm not sure I like the idea of the RCA and 1/4" jacks being in a drive bay on the front of the box. But then again I guess it would be a pain to have to move the computer to plug and unplug things.

Any comments on this card? Any others out there I should consider in this price range? ($199)

More about : sound card rca jacks

March 29, 2006 4:08:27 PM

I have the Fatal1ity, I actually like them being in front. You should be happy with the Platinum.
March 29, 2006 4:17:20 PM

If you wana record with a decent quality mic, you might just wana get a 'proper' recording card with a better mic preamp. For ripping old LPs you want to preserve as much quality as possible - I don't rate Creative cards for anything other than playing back from my experience, but I haven't tried the new X-Fi cards.

...of course you could just get a Mac :wink:
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March 29, 2006 4:21:54 PM

Hard to rate without using one. I use mine for both recording and playback, works better than I expected. I'm quite happy with it. I do agree with the best of recording devices, a crappy mic will sound crappy. Make sure you use a quality mic and get the mic designed for the type of recording you want.
March 29, 2006 4:25:10 PM

Quote:
Hard to rate without using one


I agree, I was just saying that I've tried loads of Creative gear and none of it has sounded that great for recording.

A Shure SM57 is the best mic I've found (for the money). What Mic/Software do you use with your XFi, KWH?
March 29, 2006 4:29:50 PM

Quote:
I'm wanting to build a box that will be used for a variety of things including some audio editing.

The audio editing I plan to do is to rip a some of my old LPs and maybe even plug a decent quality microphone in and record myself playing some instruments.

I'm leaning towards getting a sound card with RCA jacks and a 1/4 inch input jack, perhaps the CreativeLabs Sound Blaster X-Fi Platinum

I'm not sure I like the idea of the RCA and 1/4" jacks being in a drive bay on the front of the box. But then again I guess it would be a pain to have to move the computer to plug and unplug things.

Any comments on this card? Any others out there I should consider in this price range? ($199)



I'd look at m-audio's line of cards. Not sure what their current line up is, but the audiofile 24-96 use to sell for around $100.00. It has RCAs on the back, handles digital and analog and it's much quieter than the SB Live (or someting like that) that I bought around the same time. M-audio was quieter on the digital side, so I suspect it's analog section is even worse.

I wouldn't buy a game card unless gaming is your priority.
March 29, 2006 4:40:24 PM

I know what ya mean, why I don't comment on M-Audio line, never had em nor know of anyone that have had this brand.
I use Flexi-music for recording, editing. I have Altec Lansing boom headset, it works ok but I'm not overly fond of it. I want Heils but they're expensive and you get what you pay for.
March 29, 2006 5:42:20 PM

Thanks for the comments, all.

MesaRectifier:

Do you have suggestions for a 'proper' recording card? My assumption would be that a professional level card would probably be out of my price range.

I won't be doing any serious recording (ie, nothing I'm trying to sell) but will just be experimenting with some multi-track work in the old basement for my own entertainment.

Nilepez:

I don't plan to do any gaming on this box. Do you consider the Sound Blaster X-Fi Platinum to be a gaming card and you're recommending m-audio cards as they're NOT gaming cards?
March 29, 2006 5:51:56 PM

I can't comment on those cards, never had one. I make promos and do sound bites with my X-fi and get compliments on how good they sound. Of course, a good mic will make a world of difference. I don't think you'll be disappointed with an X-fi. Playback is excellent as well.
I may just have to pick up an Maudio card just to test it.
March 29, 2006 5:52:36 PM

By 'proper' recording card I really just meant a FireWire interface. I've got a 10 in/10 out for my PowerBook which I use with Logic, but that's for recording 'release-quality'. I'm not sure what pricing is like in the states, but for specific recording cards you usually pay £150+ in the UK - about $200/250?

If its just casual then I wouldn't bother, but if you want great results a recording card is a must. What are you actually recording?
March 29, 2006 6:16:49 PM

Dude, me and my bud are DJ's... Onboard audio is pretty limited in the Quality of the recording. I recommend X-Fi, not only for fidelity (which will be benificial to your LP recording :wink: ), but also for the front side inputs. You will notice a difference. If you are NOT that serious about your recordings then by all means buy a 1/4" cable to Female RCA and use your gear through that interface. Best of luck.

HKP
March 29, 2006 6:50:09 PM

Quote:
Thanks for the comments, all.

Nilepez:

I don't plan to do any gaming on this box. Do you consider the Sound Blaster X-Fi Platinum to be a gaming card and you're recommending m-audio cards as they're NOT gaming cards?


The X-Fi is a gaming card. It may or may not have a good analog section, but given that it's primary use is for games, I would think that that is a very low priority.

The X-Fi cards I've seen do not have RCA Jacks on the card itself. Though X-Fi platinum and above come with the break out box you mentioned.

I'd post the question on rec.audio.pro. Explain your goals and your budget. My guess is that they'll suggest an M-Audio product, because they're fairly good and very inexpensive for an audio card (not to be confused with a game card), but at least you'll get an informed opinion from people who know sound (and I'm not talking about "audiophiles").
March 29, 2006 9:46:36 PM

Firewire is all well and good on a Mac but I seem to remember in XP firewire is severely crippled. I even remember seeing software being sold to fix it. Maybe it was because of SP2? I can't remember.
March 29, 2006 11:42:30 PM

Quote:
Firewire is all well and good on a Mac but I seem to remember in XP firewire is severely crippled. I even remember seeing software being sold to fix it. Maybe it was because of SP2? I can't remember.


I've only used it for my scanner, but never had any problems. However, unless, perhaps, you're doing live multitrack recordings, I'm not sure why you'd need firewire. Surely digital coax or even optical would be just as good, so long as you have a quality card.

Certainly it's not necessary for what engwar described.
March 30, 2006 2:08:33 AM

nilepez
I'll browse on over to rec.audio.pro and ask about the cards. My guess is either of them would probably be just fine for what I'm planning. I guess my main goal is just to have use any kind of adaptor to get audio in to my PC. Maybe I'm fooling myself but I'm guessing that there's at least *some* loss in quality with any adaptor you add.

MesaRectifier
I play mandolin, fiddle and guitar and am interested in laying some tracks down accompanying myself. With a two year old I can't get out and jam with friends that often. Just doing it for the heck of it.

Thanks again all.
March 30, 2006 3:04:32 AM

Quote:
nilepez
I'll browse on over to rec.audio.pro and ask about the cards. My guess is either of them would probably be just fine for what I'm planning. I guess my main goal is just to have use any kind of adaptor to get audio in to my PC. Maybe I'm fooling myself but I'm guessing that there's at least *some* loss in quality with any adaptor you add.

MesaRectifier
I play mandolin, fiddle and guitar and am interested in laying some tracks down accompanying myself. With a two year old I can't get out and jam with friends that often. Just doing it for the heck of it.

Thanks again all.


With analog in, yes probably. In the strictly digital domain, there's no loss, AFAIK, on good cards.
March 30, 2006 6:44:15 AM

That question was purely just out of curiosity. I'm a big fan of all I've gotta say!

I'm assuming we're not talking Electro-Acousitc Mando? Or do you have a pickup. Same for the guitar and fiddle, do you have pickups, because if you do you could always just get a D.I. Box and do some frequency chopping on SoundForge or equiv.

Quote:
Firewire is all well and good on a Mac but I seem to remember in XP firewire is severely crippled. I even remember seeing software being sold to fix it. Maybe it was because of SP2? I can't remember.


I've mostly got/had AMD PCs so I've not any experience of FireWire for PC. What are the problems with it on WXP?[/quote]
March 30, 2006 8:14:30 PM

Quote:
That question was purely just out of curiosity. I'm a big fan of all I've gotta say!

I'm assuming we're not talking Electro-Acousitc Mando? Or do you have a pickup. Same for the guitar and fiddle, do you have pickups, because if you do you could always just get a D.I. Box and do some frequency chopping on SoundForge or equiv.

Firewire is all well and good on a Mac but I seem to remember in XP firewire is severely crippled. I even remember seeing software being sold to fix it. Maybe it was because of SP2? I can't remember.


I've mostly got/had AMD PCs so I've not any experience of FireWire for PC. What are the problems with it on WXP?[/quote]

http://www.rme-audio.com/english/techinfo/fw800sp2.htm
March 30, 2006 9:23:31 PM

Cheers for the info. Just another wonderful job by MS, I guess.
March 30, 2006 9:56:50 PM

Yep, on a PC you want USB 2.0. Firewire is much lower bandwidth.
March 30, 2006 10:13:56 PM

Quote:
Yep, on a PC you want USB 2.0. Firewire is much lower bandwidth.

Well, with XP, yes, unless you reinstall the SP1 drivers.
March 31, 2006 7:17:50 AM

USB 2 is just more practical for a PC, seeing as it looks like MS can't sort stuff out with FireWire. Of course, FW800 is nearly twice as fast, but if I read that article correctly (I scanned it) WXPSP2 limits it to 100mbit?

I don't know how fast FW800 is (don't have it because my PowerBook is too small!!) but FW400 'feels' faster than USB2.0 to me.
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