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-   -   help finding a professional quality sound card for linux (

cephlon 12-26-2003 12:18 AM

help finding a professional quality sound card for linux
I have a Santa Cruz sound card from Turtle Beach. It delays and freezes really bad in Linux and I thought this was just a Linux problem, but after using it in windows I noticed it does it too, just not as much.

My sound card never used to do this until upgraded from my 800 mhz athlon to a 2.0 XP. I am thinking it is a motherboard problem now (soyo dragon 4).

But my main question is, does anyone have advice for a decent quality sound card I can use in Linux to record music? I love Linux for programming, but I would also like to use it for my part-time hobby, developing a home studio. I don't want to be locked into windows programs for recording any more and would like to migrate to linux based recording.

If anyone uses Linux for home recording I would love to hear your set-up and advice for a quality sound card. Preferably with Suse, but also others.

TheOneKEA 12-26-2003 03:37 AM

I've personally used a Diamond DT-688, which is based on the C-Media CMI8378 chipset. It has about six million different inputs and sounds great with a decent speaker setup. Best thing is that it comes really cheap, so you can get multiple cards and do wacky things too! ;)

cephlon 12-27-2003 01:19 PM

Thanks for the response.
I think the Diamond DT-688 would not have the recording quality that I need for professional sounding home recording.
I am looking at products from Maudio, who are known for high quality home recording equipment. Does anyone have experience with Maudio products, such as their external USB sound cards?

TheOneKEA 12-27-2003 03:44 PM

Well, the M-Audio stuff uses the VIA Envy24 chipset, and the drivers are OSS drivers but they aren't GPL'd - you have to buy them. Blech.

cephlon 12-28-2003 11:14 AM

It looks like ALSA supports most of Maudio's products. But I would be willing to pay for the right drivers. For the free software available on Linux compared with $600 programs on windows, its still a big savings. After all, I did pay for Linux, or the distro I guess. I really want the audiophile USB, but even though ALSA has drivers for it, I wonder how well they work. I have big problems with the ALSA drivers for my Santa Cruz.

TheOneKEA 12-28-2003 04:01 PM

If you are willing to pay for the drivers, go ahead and do so - it just seems unnecessary from my POV; perhaps that's because I'm not an audiophile. A CMI8378 5.1 card would do just fine for me, when paired with a good set of speakers and a fast CPU.

hw-tph 12-28-2003 05:22 PM

I would look into the Hoontech / STAudio DSP24 series cards. It's an 8 channel card, and if you get the DSP2000 C-Port package you get a reliable breakout box with 8 inputs (of which the first two are balanced and have phantom gain - not a big issue since if you're even halfway serious you already have a good mixer with preamps on all channels), 8 outputs (two balanced) and also a separate output for speakers. The card itself also has a simple AC97-based sound device on it to provide system sounds, etc. You also get SPDIF connectivity and excellent means of expanding - you can pop four cards in a standard PC and get a whopping 40 channel system for a very good price. Other features include coaxial and optical & AES/EBU I/O connections as standard, 24/96 full duplex recording and basically zero latency (lowest I have ever seen anyway).

And no, I don't sell 'em. :)

I should add that although these fine cards are supported by Alsa I have never used them. I use only Windows 2000 in my studio. Ardour simply can't compete with Logic (yet).


dizzy_vee 03-16-2004 01:13 PM

I use an M-Audio Audiophile 2496 and really like the card's sound quality. As the name implies, 24bit, 96khz, no hiss. Has SPDIF i/o, and 2 analog ins, 2 analog outs, and a midi port. I have the PCI version. Not sure about USB, though I'd be skeptical about USB's ability to handle multiple audio signals at once.. maybe it can, but I'd rather stick with what works. I picked it up for $150 CDN on Ebay... great price!! Not to mention a Pod Pro rack mount for $500!!!!!! It was only a few days old, and has served me well!

As far as Linux audio is concerned, I have to concur with the previous post... Ardour doesn't come close to Sonar or Logic, but hopefully it will someday. I really like the way Linux has set it up with the JACK connection as the backbone to all the apps so that they're all compatible together. If you're fairly competent in Linux, you can probably get it set up properly with a limited amount of headaches. And it seems ALSA supports this card (I DO NOT know about the USB version... USB is getting much better in LInux, but check beforehand).

Anyway, this card has given me top notch quality sound... though it surely helps that I have condenser mics, professional rackmount gear and a 16 channel mixer.. remember, crap in crap out. :)

Dizzy V.

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