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Thread: SB Live! + Opinions

  1. #1
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    I'm wondering what people's opinions are on the SBLive! cards for composing and producing. I currently own an older version (not platinum 5.1) SBLive! and have been feeling the sound limitations of the card/soundbanks.

    Click here to hear one of my songs using this setup:

    -SBLive! w/48meg soundbank
    -PIII450Mhz w/256mb RAM
    -Cakewalk PA 8
    -a mouse

    As you will hear, the sounds can sometimes be muddy and clouded with the SBLive! since reverb affects the global environment, even though I specifically adjust reverb levels per MIDI track.

    Does anyone else out there compose using a SBLive! What do you think of the card?

    or does anyone know of a $200 - $750 soundcard that has quality instrument banks, or can interface well with a keyboard like the Kurzweil 2600XS? So many questions....

    Thanks for any help! I'm looking to rework my studio setup so that I actually have one. The music I want to do is Trance ala "Trouser Enthusiasts"....

    <sigh> one day....

  2. #2
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    instruments

    Ah, I should probably clarify here...

    I like the SBLive because it allows me to use soundfonts or soundbanks so I can create my own instruments and use up to half of my system RAM as instrument bank memory.

    Assuming I spend $500+, or for those of you who own professional grade soundcards,... do those cards come with or allow creation of instruments banks? Or, do they use existing banks via a keyboard, and just sent MIDI data back and forth. I know that some of the nicer cards have multiple I/O ports, but what I am really interested in is instrument quality. If you know of a card that has exceptional instrument sound (mostly strings, piano and choral), you have to let me know or Mr. 'Endo' sponge man from lethal weapon will be paying you a visit.... :eek:

  3. #3
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    SB Live

    I used a sblive for years and the card is a great cheap option to get into hard disk recording.I dont use sound fonts and never have.Instead i use a mix of Fruity loops and mostly Reason 2.5
    At some point your going to have to let go of soundfonts unless you continue using a creative card.Which brings me to my main point.Creative cards are for multimedia and there is little point buying even a top range Creative card for music as it isnt the leap from the Sblive that Creative say it is.Sure if your watching DVD or playing games these are without a doubt the best cards on the market and if your more serious about multimedia than Audio then get one.


    Last week we upgraded to the Delta 1010 with a Mackie 1202 vlz pro mixer for the mics.
    There has been many teething problems and sometimes i wished i had my SBlive back.
    We thankfully have the delta 1010 working properly now and are already pushing it to the limits.
    PC Setup
    p 4 2Ghz
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    Maxtor 40gb 5200rpm (windows drive)
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    Delta 1010
    Last edited by Gamblor; 08-28-2003 at 11:28 AM.

  4. #4
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    i used to have an SBLive! and it was a real nightmare for recording audio, there was always a gap at the beginning of the recordings, so i had to move the wave back to put it in time. I wasn't able to play softsynths because of the midi latency, and when i used more than 4 audio channels + few vsts it started crackling and the sound suddenly diappeared. One day i was fed up and got a m-audio audiophile 2496 and man what a difference!! speed, no latency, quality, a good cocktail
    <) i n f e c t e d (>

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  5. #5
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    I used to have SB Live! 1024!!!!!! have to admit that I had to tweak the hell out of it to get a sound that wouldn't disort....
    it really wasn't too good to make music with that...
    I had to record with minimum voice (I mean the voice in my external synth) and the background buzz is... well...
    anyway the midi worked fine!

  6. #6
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    nandaiyo, have you tried the KXProject drivers with the SBLive? I'm in the process of trying them out as I'm in the same position. I've already come across the latency that hatembr mentioned, that's why I'm trying these drivers as it's supposed to cure this.

    The only strange thing I've come across is that I wanted to use the Line In for my microphone as these tend to be better quality than the actual mic in socket but my (cheap) mike would only work in the mic in! Why is this?

  7. #7
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    For just messing around, an SB Live is fine. But if you at all long to step up the quality of your music, then it's a must to ditch SB Live's. Soundfonts in general are a joke, if you like that style of sound then just get a plug-in sampler(Gigasampler or Sampletank) or a real sampler and buy professional instrument sample CD's.

    I would recommend getting Reason if you just like to make midi compositions as a creative thing. The sound quality will blow away midi stuff you are doing now and it will have a lot more flexibility because you can output sounds and tweak them elsewhere, etc. (Also if you are savvy on this whole internet thing, it shouldn't be too hard for you to find Reason for free)

    If you plan on using external sources then it's a must to upgrade your sound card. The Live! in's are really bad and you will never get rid of the horrible buzz that affects everything that goes through the Line-In. So if you say already have a keyboard, get a midi interface(Maybe you have that too), one of the mid-range Motu products and something like Logic. Once you have those you will have a basic studio setup and could probably start writing some pretty good stuff, you can then invest in gear related to the genre you are interested in. If you start buying more synths you will need a mixer though.

    And as far as other sound cards go, there are no real pro sound cards with built in synth banks, because they are primarily used just for the recording/playback aspect. Using Synth plug-ins is where having a good PC will come in handy, and your soundcard won't really affect that at all.
    . .a

  8. #8
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    I wouldnt be making music today if it wasnt for my first purchase of a SB Live Platinum.

    But saying that, and its late 2003, the card is near garbage for any semi serious artist.

    The driver support from creative for this card is horrible, as ive never gotten it to install properly with win 2000, no matter how much i tried.

    The Audigy 2 is far better and is in the same price range, also check out terratec and audiophile for good reasonably priced sound cards.

  9. #9
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    The audigy 2 is terrible, and the driver support is still the same as the sb.Really ,you can pay 200 for the ex and its no better than a sblive for audio recording
    If your serious about music rather than multimedia buy the audiophile,Mia,Maudio Delta or similar card.Avoid Creative cards at all costs for audio recording.(unless you cant afford a better card than a sblive)The Audigy 2 isnt even a true 96khz 24 bit card when it comes to audio recording and the asio support is a joke.
    Information is not knowledge. Knowledge is not wisdom. Wisdom is not truth. Truth is not beauty. Beauty is not love. Love is not music. Music is best
    -Frank Zappa

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