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Thread: Soundcard

  1. #1
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    Soundcard

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    I have an AC 97 chip intergrated basic 16bits soundcard that came with my computer. I've been doing rap music for about 2years now and that's the soundcard I'm currently using. I'm recording samples from my turntables and vocals with that card. So I was wondering, would it make a big difference in sound quality if I bought a new expensive soundcard? Now I've been trying to figure it out what the big hazzle about expensive soundcards is? Does the bitrate matter? Cd quality is 16bits anyways. Could someone enlighten me once and for all. I've read a lot of posts that It makes a big difference but nobody has really said WHY?...Later

  2. #2
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    The difference between 16bit 44kHz and 24bit 96kHz is inaudible.. You can argue that, but only in case you have some top high quality monitors
    Also i assume your microphone is also a plastic $5 one (or equivalent) since you plug it into 1/8" jack. So even if you bought a sound card, you wount feel the difference.

    If it works for you - alright. Don't fix it if it aint broke.
    To me, i need a powerful card for low latency to play keyboard and playback songs in Fruity..

  3. #3
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    I currently use my behringers preamp, and I don't have a plastic 5$ mic...I use a Shure Sm 58,..and the mic is connected through my Behringer and everything else comes from my mixer,...So would my audio get better with a better soundcard?

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    Oh god.. Behringer / Shure going into the headphone jack of on-board sound card is DISRESPECTFUL!
    I'm kidding.. Yeah the sound will be better, since headphone connectors weren't exactly designed for audio quality.. but for portability (walkman). However just how much better, and if you can feel the difference is up to you.
    But theoretically, better audio connectors + better audio circuit = better sound.

  5. #5
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    if it works, well fine. but if you want a better quality sound then you will need to upgrade. i find those onboard sound cards are fine until you start paying attention to the sound. they have a lot of noise going on in the background. which is bad. im using a soundblaster live which is old and not very good, but i couldnt possibly afford a new soundcard at the moment.

    check out www.thomann.de.

    i dont recommend anything by creative.

    what exactly would you use this card for? this is important. do you need midi I/O's ? do you ever record in multiple instruments/vocals at the same time?

    also, if you are ever wanting to find out about a soundcard type the name of the soundcard into google and follow it with 'sospubs'
    this should bring up any review of the soundcard that has been done by sound on sound. they are very very good and concise.

    any questions please ask. i perversely enjoy explaining this nerd stuff as much as i can.

    the web is brilliant. search around. there are all sorts of sites with advice on sound cards and mics etc.

    insomnia, though fascinating & poss. good for music production, ultimately leads to poor health & irritability.

    check the results: www.ebauche.net - all music free to download

  6. #6
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    I don't have time to read all these posts... but I saw one thing I wanted to clarify a bit.

    You'll most likely see an improvement from working at 24 bit dynamic resolution -- but I recommend against working at 96 kHz -- unless you're outputting to a 96 kHz format.

    The reason (without getting into details) is that the conversion from one bit depth to another does not degrade the sound any more than it would have been if you had started with the lower rez. And if you're performing any manipulations in the higher bit depth (EQ, mixing, compression, other dynamics) at all, you'll probably see an improvement in the final product over performing the same manips at lower bit depth.

    (Every added bit of storage capacity added to a stored number increases the possible stored values by double. A 1 bit number can store 2 values, a 2 bit number can store 4 values, a 3 bit number can store 8 values, and so on, to where an 8 bit number can store 256 values, a 16 bit number can store around 65,000, and a 24 bit number can store around 17 million values.)

    Now, by contrast, doubling your sample rate gives you double the values (say from 44.1 to 88.2) which, if you then perform a bunch of manipulations might help some before converting back -- but a non-even multiple causes the whole wave to be remapped ... if you've ever resized bitmap graphics you've probably noticed that resizing by exactly double (or half when you're dealing with even numbers of pixels) produces a cleaner picture than resizing by, say, 201% or 49%. Sound works the same way.

    Working at 96 kHz and then doing an uneven resample down to 44.1 kHz can actually leave you with worse sound than if you stayed at 44.1 kHz to perform a given set of manipulations.

    Not only that, adding bit depth gives an exponential increase in dynamic resolution (a 20 bit number can store 16 times the values of a 16 bit number -- but only adds 25% to the overall storage requirement. They used to call that stuff "mathmagics"... ) -- while doubling (or more) the sampling rate doubles (or more) the storage requirement for a given sound.

    Now, 44.1 kHz can provide (as the Nyquist theorem states) usable frequency resolution up to about 20 kHz... but if the dynamic resolution is less than adquate you'll still end up with hashy, harsh sound. (If you've ever heard 8 bit sound, you know what I mean.) Since high frequency soujnds in normal sound usually take up a tiny part of the dynamic resolution [high freqs are the tiny little bumps that ride the big [more bassy] waves in a mix, for instance, and give detail and sheen] adding resolution -- even without increasing sample rate -- can provide a much more accurate representation of those high freqs.
    Last edited by theblue1; 02-28-2003 at 11:05 AM.

  7. #7
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    Ok,..so I'm assuming that when I have used my AC97 card to record every sample that I don't have to record them again,..for better quality?...Good thing is that I don't have any vocals ready for my new project yet so, If I record them with a new much better soundcard I can get at much better final mix?,...
    Last edited by scaleo1; 03-01-2003 at 08:58 AM.

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