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Soundcard For Recording???

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August 29, 2007 8:20:12 AM

PLEASE, IF YOU KNOW A LOT CONCERNING SOUND CARDS, READ ON!

Okay... I really need advices... :( 

So far I looked at pretty much everything that is a soundcard, but I can't seem to find what I'm looking for. :sweat: 

I have bought a microphone and want to plug it via a 1/4 to 1/8 jack and a DI box. No pre-amp. Never used a mic before, I'm thinking of using a software's amplitude. I will also buy a nice pair of earphones.

Right now, I have a SoundBlaster Live! and I would like a better card for nice playback and recording without resampling.

X-PLOSION from Auzentech seems like a good card, DOES IT RESAMPLE? It's X-Fi after all, no?

M-Audio Revolution 5.1, even though it offers surround sound which I don't need, seems like a good choice?

Emu 0404 is not available here in Canada. And I don't think it could compete with other soundcards performance-wise.

Does EAX 5.1 stands for 5.1 speakers???

What do you suggest? Are there better choices? Maybe a sound card with a 1/4 mic in if possible... and can you explain to me if it's worth it to have a "budget" card with 192kHz recording bitrate? It seems as if it's best avoided because of the noise it generates... please help :pt1cable:  ;) 

Thank you : )

More about : soundcard recording

August 29, 2007 11:14:20 AM

Oh my....You sure are a new at recording arn't ya?

First things first....

How serious are you about recording?

What is your budget?

What are you ultimate goals (i.e. to record guitar, Vocals, full band, etc)?

Answer those questions and I can help you out.

Regards

Chad

August 29, 2007 11:42:27 AM

Lol, I am indeed super mega new at recording :p 

Well, I am serious about recording good music (less about gear), I have a multi-purpose dynamic microphone and I wish to record everything with it ;) 

My budget is quite low hehe :na: 

By the way, thank you for your help! :) 

The thing is, I know cheap pre-amps by M-Audio are good solutions for starters like me, but I would like to have a new internal soundcard as well... so I was wondering if it was somewhat possible to have a good performance soundcard and something good to record with, but I guess you can't have both; Creative for gamers and E-MU for music or something. I am of course excluding the expensive cards out there that would allow both and much more (too much) like the X-Fi Elite Pro/Prelude.

But if you have some experience with recording, do you think the solution of taking the mic, plug it in a DI Unit (I think it's the term, not sure, it's like a little thing that makes sure no quality is loss) and then in a 1/4 jack is good? I have a software which acts like an amp. Which basically means, no studio-quality condenser recordings in a studio with a $1000 pre-amp :)  The easy way out :kaola: 

But I can't decide which card to get... basically, it's not "really" about recording :??:  It's more about getting good quality audio (higher sample rate) AND performance; performance-wise, it seems as if the SoundBlaster X-Fi serie and the Auzentech X serie win, but apparently X-Fi resample things and that's bad... and then there is M-Audio which doesn't resample but isn't as good for performance (in gaming).

So I'm kinda lost at what to get :(  Will my mic recordings sound good on those cards anyway? It certainly can't sound worse than my comp mic :D  But without a pre-amp, I wonder how it sounds... and if it'll work with the amplitude effect...

And is EAX 5 useless if I have stereo only??? Is it "5" like in "5" speakers???

Basically, should I get a cheap pre-amp AND a new soundcard or get a new soundcard and 'simulate' the amplitude via a software (or does it sounds that bad when recording with a soundcard). I hope you understand me lol...

And just like that, do you think it could work recording on my SoundBlaster Live! or it would be atrocious?
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August 29, 2007 12:00:24 PM

Well again considering you did not post a budget it is kind of hard to recommend stuff. Here are a few things to consider...

1) The reasoning for a pre-amp is to amplify a signal. You can in "theory" daisy chain your mic down to a 1/4th - 1/8th and record a signal. But in reality you more then likely will not be happy with the results.

2)There is what is called a noise floor to all equipment. This is the level in which the noise inherinatly produced by the equipment starts to become audible. When recording a weak signal (which would be the case with out a Pre), the actual recording will not reach far enough past that noise floor for it not to affect the overall quality of the recording. Trust me every person who first gets into digital recording always thinks "This won't matter". It does matter so take that as a warning.

3) I forgot to ask how many tracks (sources) at once do you plan on recording?

4) "Insert any insturmant"-emulations are just that "emulations". They will never ever sound as good as a raw source. Thats not to say they don't serve there purpose. You can do demo work quit effectively with them. Also if you are not overaly serious about recording and are doing this as a hobby for your own listening pleasures then it might be a viable choice. Again, be warned it will sound AMAZING the first time you mess around with it but as time roles by you will quickly realize it actually sounds like a polished terd.

Answer number 3 and ask any question and I will try to answer it for you. Also, give me some kind of budget so I can recommend some stuff for ya.
August 29, 2007 12:24:10 PM

I gotta thank you once more for helping me :) 

1) That's what I thought too, so I asked the guy at the store if there was something to do with it, and he presented me with that (DI box) I'm not sure it's that, but he said if I plugged the mic into a 1/4 to 1/8, I would lose 25% of the quality. And then he said that 'thing' (DI box?) plus the 1/8 to 1/4 jack wouldn't allow quality loss, so I assume it must be like... a good signal, but not amplified? So then I figured, hey! I could amplify it with that software I have! :na:  So I thought it would work :??:  But then again, it's recorded by the soundcard, so I thought; yeah well... now I need a good quality soundcard too... so that's where I am :kaola:  I hope you understand lol!

2) Ah... so the amplification is produced in real time before it hits that "noise floor"? I thought the noise came during the process of amplification... :sweat: 

3) One lol :p  Then I'll edit and mix :)  I only have one mic too ;) 

4) Yeah, good point!

Approximately less than $175, that's for sure :p  I know there's that M-Audio DMP3 lying around that store, but... if I buy that it means no upgraded soundcard ;)  But it's okay, just tell me the brutal truth :na:  I know expensive equipment is not what I need though, I will be satisfied, I just know it lol. But I want something that sounds good, of course ;) 

Thank you again :)  :)  :) 
August 29, 2007 12:50:11 PM

1) DI stand for "Direct Injection". It typically (for good reason) is not used for anything that is "miced". They are most often used for Bass, and Keyboard Synths (they are now being used for Guitar for the purpose of re-amping but that is a whole other story). I would not recommend buying one unless you had the intentions of using it for something like I mentioned above.

"So then I figured, hey! I could amplify it with that software I have!". You could do this but you are also amplifying the noise floor and all the **** you don't want to hear.

2) Yes the noise floor is a part of all electrical equipment.

3) This will help your budjet

So....175. I will try and get you as close as I can so you have a few options. I would first and for most recommend M-Audio. They make the best budjet equipment hands down. I actually started of with a few of there products way back when. Anyways...

Option A) Buy a M-Audio Delta 1010. It actually is a little overkill in the sense you can record 10 tracks (sources) at once but it is a very good all in one package. It gives you a good card with two decent built in pres. http://www.m-audio.com/products/en_us/Delta1010LT-main.... This cost 200 flat.

Option B) M-audio Audiophile 2496. This gives you two inputs but no pres. http://www.m-audio.com/products/en_us/Audiophile2496-ma... This cost 99.99.

From hear you need a pre. I highly recommend the DMP3. If you do some research this is the "go to budget pre". It also is two channels which would match up perfectly to the card above and give you phantom power in hte case you ever wanted to use a condensor mic. Problem is that it cost 155 roughly. This would put you over your budget by 75-80 dollars but in my opinon is the best way to go.

If you really really really want to stick to that budget you can also look in to the M-Audio Audio Buddy http://www.m-audio.com/products/en_us/AudioBuddy-main.h....
August 29, 2007 1:14:38 PM

:) 

1) Okay... then I was definitely wrong lol :sweat:  It's really... another thing then...

Yeah... I kinda knew you were going to recommend the DMP3 lol...

Well, I'll see what I can do... it's just that I would like to "hear" the difference with the 1) setup I explained and the pre-amp + nice soundcard... I didn't even hear the difference between a mic with no pre-amp and a mic with a pre-amp... :??:  It's easy to be confused in that case, you know :D 

I wish someone would have made samples to demonstrate the difference... :( 
August 29, 2007 1:48:17 PM

All I can say is you will learn in time. Every single person starting out recording says the same thing you are saying. After some time they all end hitting themselves in the head because they wasted money by not doing it right the first time.

Good Luck,

Chad
August 29, 2007 5:30:08 PM

Yeah... I know, I'm predictable... lol :lol: 

There doesn't seem to be any easy way out, it's either that or it sounds bad apparently :p 

"After some time they all end hitting themselves in the head because they wasted money by not doing it right the first time."

Well, I'll be careful then... I'll ask the guy at the store many questions now that I know quite a bit more about this... but I'll remember your advice :) 

I guess we all make mistakes anyway :sweat:  It reminds us we're not perfect, lol :kaola: 

Thank you very much for your help and advices :)  Have a good day! :D 
August 30, 2007 10:49:49 AM

Honest...the best advice I can give someone in your situation is this. The recording industry is a very weird and strange thing. Everyone is for the most part is very stubborn in their beliefs. Take everything everyone tells you with a grain of salt (including me ). Then gather as much knowledge as you can and make your own choice based of that knowledge. Check this forum out…it is a great place for beginners.

http://homerecording.org/bbs/
August 30, 2007 5:34:01 PM

Dynamic mics for recording? Ewww... :p 
August 31, 2007 10:38:22 AM

dj_taboo said:
Dynamic mics for recording? Ewww... :p 


Ummmmm....are you serious? Dynamic mics are used just as much as Condensor if not more. In fact the one mic that that has been used on recordings just about more then any other mic (Shure SM57) is a dynamic.
July 21, 2008 9:25:10 AM

To get a decent quality recording you need a condenser mic and a sound card with balanced xlr inputs, ans ideally a compressor/pre amp on the input of that sound card.
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