Can you have 2 sound cards in 1 PC?

I'm currently building a PC to be used primarily for music recording, but I'd also like to use it for gaming as well.

The problem is the professional sound cards are not great for gaming, mainly because they don't support 5.1, THX, all that fun stuff gaming cards have.

I'm looking at getting an <b><A HREF="" target="_new">M-Audio 1010lt</A></b> for my pro soundcard, then I'd like to get an additional <b><A HREF="" target="_new">Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS Gamer</A></b> card. I just don't know if this can even be done, or if it can be done if it's easy. I'm hoping there are some others out there that can help me, because I'd really love to be able to set something up like this so I can keep my gamer setup separate from my recording setup since both really need to be separated to get the best of both worlds.

Any advice would be appreciated!

Enter Sig "Here"
18 answers Last reply
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  1. 2 soundcards in 1 computer= NO!!!

    All you need is <A HREF="" target="_new">This</A>

    You don't need the Gamer Card the ZS will do everything you need!

    <A HREF="" target="_new">My Rig</A>
  2. If you think the ZS is the be all and end all it's pretty clear you haven't done any professional sound work. Or at least not kind of work I've done.

    To answer original question, you can put two cards in, at times, depending on the cards, but it ranges from difficult to impossible to make it work. Or such was the case a few years back. With XP, and proper IRQ steering, should be possible in theory with most any card, but sound cards tend to be expansion cards most prone to problems with IRQ steering, etc, so I won't swear to it.
  3. Quote:
    If you think the ZS is the be all and end all it's pretty clear you haven't done any professional sound work. Or at least not kind of work I've done.

    That is one ASSuming statement on your part, where the Hell did I say it was the(be all and end all) of soundcards, I said it would do everything he needed it to do, and it will. You don't know me, and you sure as hell don't know what I've done in my life, to make a statement like that!

    Once again 2 soundcards in the same computer will not work!

    <A HREF="" target="_new">My Rig</A>
  4. Quote:
    You don't know me, and you sure as hell don't know what I've done in my life

    Wow you should be on Jerry Springer.
  5. Actually, you're the one making assumptions, deciding that the ZS will do everything he needs, when all the information he's given is that he wants to play games and do "pro sound"/"recording" work. Considering I dont' know anyone who does that work who would consider the ZS to fill all their needs, your statement made me laugh.
  6. Have you actually used an Audigy 2 ZS soundcard yourself?

    I see bashing and jeers from you but no suggestions for what he should use at all.

    Creative has released some pure junk in the past, we all know that, but the ZS soundcard is worth the money and its stronger on the music side than the gaming side, but definitely adequate on the Gaming side, thats why they released the ZS Gamer, for those that lean more towards the Gaming side.

    So I ask you again, <b>Have you actually used the Audigy 2 ZS soundcard yourself?</b>

    Probably the <A HREF="" target="_new">Audigy 2 ZS Platinum Pro</A> is more of what he would need, it will give him a lot more inputs, for sound recording and still cover the Gaming aspects too.

    The <A HREF="" target="_new">M-Audio Revolution 7.1</A>is M-Audio's answer to bridging the gap of Audio and Gaming but the compromise seriously limits the card.

    The M-Audio 1010LT without a doubt is one of the Top of the line Pro recording soundcards, the main point I was trying to make is 2 soundcards in one computer will not work, maybe for the Audio recording he's after he should consider 2 computers, one dedicated to Audio recording, and the other dedicated to gaming. I've ran similar setups in the past myself, one dedicated to Gaming and the other dedicated to Video editing, that would cost him more money, but solve all his problems. Money wise anyway, he's looking at investing $500.00 US in soundcards anyway, so why not add a little more and completely solve his problem. Because if he wants it all in one computer he's going to have to compromise somewhere.

    <A HREF="" target="_new">My Rig</A>

    <P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by 4ryan6 on 04/15/04 09:18 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
  7. LOL :smile:

    <A HREF="" target="_new">My Rig</A>
  8. Actually I have used the ZS, and while it's a great card, it's definitely not what I'd suggest for anyone doing pro recording.

    My personal preference, is if you have to do both on one system, buy a card towards the pro audio side, and make do with the sound in games. He seemed to want both though. You can run tow cards at once, i've done it before on several systems with various cards, it just tends to make for lots of headaches, and often invovles not being able to use particular features of particular cards. He wasn't specific about what particualr Pro audio work he's done, so stuck with the broadest range of work I've done, and only a few of the jobs would the ZS or the Revolution cut it, without significant other hardware, for simple fact of lack of inputs. 8 analog I/O, plus digital IO, and even more important, for most, but not all of work i've done, the XLR tht doesn't require a seperate preamp, makes the 1010 about 100 times more useful in most anything I've ever done soundwise, from recording, to live reinforcement, etc. The only jobs I've done where the revolution or Audigy would really cut it would be a few jobs where I was dealing with only 1-2 sources and then editing later in spare time.
  9. I just thought, why doesn't this guy get the M-Audio solution for music and recording and for a couple of games have an external USB soundcard like Audigy 2 NX. it is possible for an external soundcard to exist alongside an internal solution but two internal cards running concurrently or at all is simply not possible due to IRQ conflicts. The only downside is that USB soundcards are a higher drain on the processor's resources.

    Myself I use Audigy 2 coupled with an Inspire 6700 6.1 system. Remote control is playing up a lot though - the sound fades to silent if its on 3 or lower.

    PC Spec: AMD Athlon XP 2000+ running at 1.25ghz, ECS K7S5A Motherboard, 768MB SDRAM PC133, Sparkle nVidia Riva TNT2 M64 32MB AGP Graphics Card, Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 2 6.1, Windows Me
  10. I'd suggest asking in a pro audio forum, because I don't think anyone really knows here.

    Personally I don't see why it couldn't be done, but I've never tried it personally. I do know that people have used two creative labs cards in the same system at the same time, but I don't know about using two cards from seperate vendors.

    *Dual PIII-800 @900 i440BX and Tualeron 1.2 @1.7 i815*
  11. Just tried something on my roommates computer: Both the onboard sound and his A2 ZS work fine together. In the control panel -> sound -> audio tab you just pick the default/prefered device for playback/recording/MIDI/etc. You can override it in some applications in the sound setup (ie: Winamp: preferences -> output -> configure -> device -> pick between default/A2 ZS/onboard).

    I'm not guaranteeing it'll work with your two cards, but at least it shows it is possible.

    *Dual PIII-800 @900 i440BX and Tualeron 1.2 @1.7 i815*
  12. Yes, you CAN have two soundcards in one PC... (Helps if running WinXP though...).

    I've always had an Edirol DA2496 card in my DAW, and have had both the onboard-audio (Asus P4B533) and an SB Live - (haven't tried an Audigy yet, but shouldn't be a problem at all...) - working in it without any problems... the only time I use the Edirol is with Cubase... Every other (i.e. in windoze) I use the other card, (without any problems at all....). Using a Pro-soundcard and a gaming-soundcard in one system shouldn't be a problem...

    'Stupidity is an often fatal disease' - R. A. Heinlein
  13. I don't see why you shouldn't be able to given enough PCI ports. Simply select the necessary audio device in control panel (as was already stated) and you're good to go. That's why it's there!

    SEX is like math. Add the bed, subtract the clothes, divide the legs, and hope you dont multiply
  14. 4ryan - no offense but if you think the M-Audio 1010lt is top of the line for sound recording, you don't know anything about sound cards....but hey neither do I really or I wouldn't have made this thread!

    I know the ZS cards are rated great, but the problem is they are rated great for GAMING, not sound recording. I've been looking around at a lot of soundrecording forums such as <b><A HREF="" target="_new"></A></b>, and one thing that seems to be known throughout the whole low budget sound recording world is this, the creative lab sounds cards are good for gaming, but HORRIBLE for doing serious sound recording.

    Anyway, thanks for all your responses, I made an identical thread in that audio forum as well and it sounds like I can have 2 sound cards at once, I think I'd just have to manually turn one of them off and the other on whenever I go to switch between the two.

    I do plan on having Windows XP, just not sure if I should go pro, or save some money for home...don't plan on doing much networking....but hey I'll save that for another thread.

    But yea, M-Audio 1010lt is NOT top of the line, many higher quality cards go for well over $400, some even in the $1000s!! The Creative Labs sound card is aimed at guys like me that don't know much about sound cards, but wants to use one for sound recording. Glad I did my homework because it seems a lot of people have weird popping and clicking noises when they use it....and I guess Creative Labs lied about some of it's recording specs as well. The M-Audio card is $279, so it's still relatively cheap for a pro card.

    Anyway, I know this thread was kinda off this sites topic, but thanks anyway!

    Enter Sig "Here"
  15. You can have teo soundcards in one PC, but not both working at the same task at the same time. I haven't tried with XP, but in W2K you can just switch between the cards so you should be able to do it in XP as well.
    I must admit I laugh when I see some of the statements here. Neither Audigy or the Delta series soundcards are top of the line music cards. The Deltas, however, are very nice and I wish I had one. Good Luck with your music making!

    My new years resolution is 1280 x 1024
  16. xboxizdope, you should have no problem running two sound cards in WinXP. I will agree that it is a headache on older systems, but I have been able to do it on Win2K without problem. You should not have to manually turn one off either. Alot of applications will give you the option to choose which card you want to use, and some can use both. This is the case I see with two of my PCs (using built-in sound and a MOTU 828).


  17. onboard sound + sound card is different from 2 sound cards

    wont two sound cards have conflicting IRQs?

    RIP Block Heater....HELLO P4~~~~~
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  18. I have a music PC with an M-Audio and a Vortex2 card running w2k. I got the M-audio card for free since the input jack was broken, so I just put the Vortex in to record. Not the best solution, but it works.
    Anyways, I think its because of w2k's automatic IRQ that it works, but soundcards don't have to use port 5.

    My new years resolution is 1280 x 1024
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