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Where have all the entry level synth cards gone?

Last response: in Home Audio
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January 9, 2005 5:44:25 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

I've been looking to replace my sound card and it's very difficult to
find a good all-purpose sound card these days.

About four years ago I purchased a Creative Sound Blaster PCI512, for
years this served me as a good all-purpose sound card. I use a single
desktop to play games, surf the web, do work and as a hobby do MIDI
sequencing. I found the PCI512 to be a good all around card that didn't
cost too much (around $99 MSRP). One of my favorite features of this
card was it's ability to support SoundFonts and I use SoundFonts will
Cakewalk (and more recently Sonar) to do synth and sequencing.

Then Windows XP Service Pack 2 came and this the PCI512 does not get
along well the SP2. I contacted Creative support and they basicly told
me I'm out of luck as no other drivers are planed for this "legacy"
card. I refuse to remove SP2 and would rather go ahead and update my
hardware. So I went shoping and...

I found few sound cards that even have MIDI port on board. Creative has
a stripped the game/MIDI adapter port off all their consumer and
"prosumer" SB line. What's more, the SoundFont compatibility seems to
be non-existant on the new cards.

So I ended up paying $150 and buying the E-MU ProteuxX package (E-MU
404 card with EmulatorX (soft synth) lite edition). It's been a very
painful three days trying to go through all the documentation and
configure this card properly, what's more for a "entry level" proaudio
card it's very unuser friendly. I have dozens of parameters I can tweak
on each virtual instrument and I have a really solid GM set (and about
a gig or so more virtual instruments) that sound great, but I'm not
overall happy with the 404 soundcard. It's not idea for an all-purpose
sound card, it has no synth capabilities at all, it has more ports than
I'll ever need. ProtuesX (the name they've given to EmulatorX lite) is
more than I will ever need. I do like the hardware effects processor on
the 404, but overall I want something much simpler that just sound
good. I'd like a solid GM bank, I'd like Yamaha XG support, I'd like a
high level of compatibility the Cakewalks Sonar (I'm running version 2)
and I really want the ability to extend the synth capabilities through
SoundFonts or some similar technology (the E-MU card uses VSTs, which
is fine although they aren't natively supported in Sonar 2)
All ideas welcome!

-Jeremy
Anonymous
January 9, 2005 9:40:15 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Hi Jeremy,

sometimes in life we have to "let go" of things. without getting in
your business too much, i believe you have an unhealthy attachment to
out-dated beginner soundset/soundcard stuff.... just let it go... be
free! :-)

take a look at the m-audio audiophile 24-96. $99 at
musiciansfriend.com it is a great all around card to beat on and do
audio and midi. it does Direct-X and VST and Gigasampler confidently.

"general midi" "soundfont" "Yamaha XG"... I'd let go of any attachment
to this stuff. a physician sometimes has to cut to heal. let it go
man, let it go...

just get your Sonar thang going, and then add some features to that
nucleus as your time, energies and interests allow.
Anonymous
January 9, 2005 10:40:34 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

EmulatorX is not a beginners product, It is a pretty advanced sampler.
I would return it and get for 150 bucks one of the audigy cards instead
they have midi etc.. the 404 card is more complicated since it has one
of those routable mixers etc.
January 10, 2005 6:33:30 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

genericaudioperson@hotmail.com wrote:
> Hi Jeremy,
>
> sometimes in life we have to "let go" of things. without getting in
> your business too much, i believe you have an unhealthy attachment to
> out-dated beginner soundset/soundcard stuff.... just let it go... be
> free! :-)
>
> take a look at the m-audio audiophile 24-96. $99 at
> musiciansfriend.com it is a great all around card to beat on and do
> audio and midi. it does Direct-X and VST and Gigasampler confidently.
>
> "general midi" "soundfont" "Yamaha XG"... I'd let go of any attachment
> to this stuff. a physician sometimes has to cut to heal. let it go
> man, let it go...
>
> just get your Sonar thang going, and then add some features to that
> nucleus as your time, energies and interests allow.
>
And if you REALLY still need soundfonts, you can get a free soundfont
player like sfz from FXPansion. The Audiophile 24/96 is a good card
from a good company that makes good drivers. The same cannot be said
about the "other" cards...
!