I wasn't sure where to put this, so I decided on this thread... sorry if it's wrong

I'm looking to upgrade my sound card, from my on-board Realtek HD audio (integrated) to something better for recording

my limit is $100, because I'm a jobless high school student working off chore money :|

So right now, I have two I'm looking at



what do you think, and if you have any, what audio card would you reccomend
Yes what 20 said.

TS, the soundcards you mentioned only improve the sound quality of ur music. They won't deal with latency and recording quality.

The "Re-incarnation of Plato" Award 2009
(most intelligent)
The "Good Samaritan" Award 2009 (most helpful)

[font="Palatino Linotype
Who's Andy Timmons??
alright thanks I've tried looking it up before but couldn't really find anything...

will these improve sound quality? idc if they don't, but it'd be a nice bonus

EDIT: I'm looking at the cards 20 posted, and I'm looking more toward the audiophile (less external cords)

is it vista compatible? I don't see it under requirements...
Last edited by kylepianoman at Jan 6, 2009,
I believe so M Audio are pretty big on the PC audio scene so they will have Vista drivers. Google them and visit the website to be sure.

Think about what kind of in outs you will need.

You need to think about What you will be plugging into your soundcard? Will you be recording Midi? (if so then you need to make sure your soundcard has midi in.
Do you have a line out on your amp that you will be plugging into your soundcard? (You will need to make sure the soundcard has a 1/4" jack or other connection that will let you do this, I'm pretty sure with the right cable you can use RCA ins)
Will you be recording through a mic or mic preamp? (you might need a mic cable)
How many in/outs do you need? Will you be recording a number of different sources at the same time? If you want to use it to record several inputs simultaneously you need to do your homework a bit more and be sure you choose the right soundcard. You may even need to wait and save up some more dough).

As for sound quality there are a number of things that affect that. In fact everything in the chain. Sloppy playing, poor settings on guitar/amp. If you're playing is up to par and your settings sound good live then poor sound could be from cable crossing, poor quality cables, poor connections, or maybe your signal is too low and you need to boost too much in the post conversion area thereby raising the floor and bringing in some hiss. It could be your software or it could be your soundcard.

M-Audio usually have decent converters that is they are pretty reliable at converting an analog signal to a digital signal and back again. You should always try to send in as strong a signal as possible.

Each of these are capable of 24/96 sound quality which is CD quality sound. However if your signal is weak then it will have to be boosted so much that you also raise the floor to an audible level and get constant hiss, poor dynamics, and consequently a really poor sound quality.

Both these soundcards I listed are specifically made with the home recording /project musician in mind. The Creative is more geared towards a mass market for gamers etc and people just looking to get a little more clarity out of their pc sounds.

I haven't used either of these cards. I have used an M-Audio brand card before from the Audiophile range too. It was really good and crystal clear - provided I sent a good signal.

Let us know how you're using your soundcard at the moment. There could be a better way to improve quality so that you can save up a little more and buy an even better audio interface that you won't outgrow.