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Agharta



Joined: 30/10/04
Posts: 508
What’s a good entry level internal interface? new
      #792794 - 02/12/09 12:26 AM
I’m looking for a PCI or PCIe interface that supports basic stereo I/O including a microphone input that also supports ASIO 2, Windows Standby S3 and has Windows 7 drivers; a MIDI interface is a bonus. Any ideas?

The Asus Xonar DS 7.1 is one option (no MIDI) but I’m looking for others under £75.


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gnarl



Joined: 13/09/04
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Loc: Northern England
Re: What’s a good entry level internal interface? [Re: Agharta]
      #792822 - 02/12/09 08:08 AM
The M-Audio Audiophile 2496 fits your bill. I'm running it successfully on Win7

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Agharta



Joined: 30/10/04
Posts: 508
Re: What’s a good entry level internal interface? new [Re: gnarl]
      #792875 - 02/12/09 10:59 AM
Quote gnarl:

The M-Audio Audiophile 2496 fits your bill. I'm running it successfully on Win7



Thanks. Does it support Standby mode under Windows 7 as the drivers for XP 2 years ago certainly didn’t. I emailed M-Audio and they confirmed that they hadn’t bothered implementing that feature! Are you using the 32 or 64 bit version of Win7?


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The_BPP
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Re: What’s a good entry level internal interface? new [Re: Agharta]
      #792946 - 02/12/09 02:15 PM
Don't think the M-Audio Audiophile 2496 has any mic inputs.

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Agharta



Joined: 30/10/04
Posts: 508
Re: What’s a good entry level internal interface? new [Re: The_BPP]
      #793052 - 02/12/09 07:56 PM
Quote The_Big_Piano_Player:

Don't think the M-Audio Audiophile 2496 has any mic inputs.



Spot on.


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Agharta



Joined: 30/10/04
Posts: 508
Re: What’s a good entry level internal interface? new [Re: Agharta]
      #793390 - 03/12/09 09:01 PM
So can no one recommend a basic stereo In/Out soundcard that has a mic input and decent ASIO drivers?

I was looking at the Asus Xonar DS out of desperation but a few forum threads pointed to the ASIO drivers being useless as when you set the latency to a reasonable level the sound output becomes distorted! So you either have useless latency or useless sound quality i.e. useless bloody full stop. Maybe I’ll do some more research to see if they addressed that with later drivers.

The only other consumer card that I’ve seen with ASIO drivers is the X-Fi XtremeMusic but I fear I may get banned from the forums for even mentioning a product of C******* L***. Oops I’ve said it now.
I don’t expect it to be of the highest quality but do the ASIO drivers actually work okay?


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daposti
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Re: What’s a good entry level internal interface? new [Re: Agharta]
      #793421 - 04/12/09 02:25 AM
Look just buy an Audiophile and a budget mixer. I had good results with A Audiophile and a Beringher Xenyx. If you're using a decent Mic i.e a Condensor you'll need the Phantom power of a mixer anyhow. My system has a slow cpu and i still manage a few tracks with an maudio soundcard.


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bscully



Joined: 13/11/08
Posts: 67
Re: What’s a good entry level internal interface? new [Re: Agharta]
      #793513 - 04/12/09 12:43 PM
ESI MAYA 44 PCI

It's a blast from the past but one we've been installing with great results on a lot of our schools system, when they need an all in one sollution.

HOpe that helps. It's a good price and you can plug a mic into it!

No phantom power, but it didn't seem like you were asking for the moon on a stick.

edit

It even has phantom power, but it only has 1/4 inch jacks so not sure how well that will work (noise floor etc)

It's also 4 pounds over your budget! I hope you can justify that, as this seems like the card from you and a 2496 plus a dog awful beringher mixer will work out more than this card on it's own. good luck!

--------------------
Day in the life of Synergy Music PC technician. Ask any questions http://twitter.com/fourteenwinters

Edited by bscully (04/12/09 12:48 PM)


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Agharta



Joined: 30/10/04
Posts: 508
Re: What’s a good entry level internal interface? new [Re: daposti]
      #793609 - 04/12/09 05:46 PM
Quote daposti:

Look just buy an Audiophile and a budget mixer. I had good results with A Audiophile and a Beringher Xenyx. If you're using a decent Mic i.e a Condensor you'll need the Phantom power of a mixer anyhow.



M-Audio have a terrible reputation for not supporting Standby mode in their drivers so I won’t consider their products.
I don’t require phantom power as I only need a basic mic input for voice recognition.


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Agharta



Joined: 30/10/04
Posts: 508
Re: What’s a good entry level internal interface? new [Re: bscully]
      #793613 - 04/12/09 05:48 PM
Quote bscully:

ESI MAYA 44 PCI
It's a blast from the past but one we've been installing with great results on a lot of our schools system, when they need an all in one solution.
It's also 4 pounds over your budget! I hope you can justify that, as this seems like the card from you and a 2496 plus a dog awful beringher mixer will work out more than this card on it's own. good luck!



Thanks, I’ll look into it and also see if there are Windows 7 drivers.


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Aliweasel



Joined: 31/03/06
Posts: 680
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Re: What’s a good entry level internal interface? new [Re: Agharta]
      #793615 - 04/12/09 05:54 PM
Why do you need it to work in Windows standby mode?

You'll find a lot of us disable it as it interferes with the 'background services' that are our DAWs and should do yours to. This is the reason soundcards aren't usually designed to work in standby mode.

--------------------
www.allyle.co.uk


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Agharta



Joined: 30/10/04
Posts: 508
Re: What’s a good entry level internal interface? new [Re: Aliweasel]
      #793622 - 04/12/09 06:09 PM
Quote Aliweasel:

Why do you need it to work in Windows standby mode?



It’s a general purpose PC not a standalone DAW so standby is essential.

Quote Aliweasel:

You'll find a lot of us disable it as it interferes with the 'background services' that are our DAWs and should do yours to.



What background services are you referring to? They should support standby also along with all the dozens of others services on a PC which do.

Quote Aliweasel:

This is the reason soundcards aren't usually designed to work in standby mode.



Soundcards usually support standby as it’s a basic feature of Windows and has been for years.
Or do you mean that ‘professional’ audio interfaces don’t support standby? I had an E-MU 0404 and that supported standby and that’s in the same entry level class as the M-Audio Audiophile.
Entry level audio interfaces often end up in PCs that are multi-purpose so should support standby I feel. For high end cards I can see that it’s less of an issue. I see M-Audio as being slackers basically.


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Aliweasel



Joined: 31/03/06
Posts: 680
Loc: London
Re: What’s a good entry level internal interface? new [Re: Agharta]
      #793630 - 04/12/09 06:36 PM
I'm going to put my green hat on...

<greenhat>

Why are you still using standby mode when the world's energy resources are dwindling? If you're not going to use the computer for a while, turn it off. A well maintained PC shouldn't take longer than a minute to boot up.

I fail to see the need for standby mode for modern conscientious computer users.

</greenhat>

The background services I refer to are the software processes that music production software runs as. A common tweak in XP (and set as default in Win7) is to set system priority to background services which can help to stabilise a computer used for music.

You must remember the M-Audio 2496 is about 3 years older than the EMU 0404, which is a long time in computer hardware and software development. It's no surprise, then, that the 0404 officially supports standby and the 2496 doesn't. The 2496 is nearly a decade old! A veteran in binary terms.

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www.allyle.co.uk


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Agharta



Joined: 30/10/04
Posts: 508
Re: What’s a good entry level internal interface? new [Re: Aliweasel]
      #793651 - 04/12/09 07:32 PM
Quote Aliweasel:

Why are you still using standby mode when the world's energy resources are dwindling? If you're not going to use the computer for a while, turn it off.



Standby is a green feature. The difference between standby and off is typically about 1W unless you physically disconnect a PC from the mains completely.
I work from home and if I leave the study for 15 minutes I will put the PC into standby which I will do a half a dozen times or more per day.

Quote Aliweasel:

A well maintained PC shouldn't take longer than a minute to boot up.



The issue is more the time taken to load applications and documents and to arrange their windows to your convenience which takes a lot longer than a minute.
It’s not practical to do that when I leave the study for 15 minutes especially when the power consumption difference is around 1W.

Quote Aliweasel:

I fail to see the need for standby mode for modern conscientious computer users.



Hopefully you do now.

To be green you should disconnect the PC from the mains power when not in use.
On top of that you need to look at the power consumption of individual components which I do. I use a very basic Radeon HD 2350 64MB which works fine with aero in Win7 even though the minimum spec is for 128MB; it doesn’t use system RAM.
I research power consumption before buying components and will happily under-volt a CPU to reduce power consumption as one example and use a lower speed HDD to reduce noise and power as I don’t need the fastest so will happily trade for other benefits.

Quote Aliweasel:

The background services I refer to are the software processes that music production software runs as.



I know what services are but was wondering which applications that use services are unstable when using standby? I prefer to avoid badly written software so would be grateful for any info on this.

Quote Aliweasel:

A common tweak in XP (and set as default in Win7) is to set system priority to background services which can help to stabilise a computer used for music.



That should affect performance and not stability! If an application relies on that for stability it is very badly written.

Quote Aliweasel:

You must remember the M-Audio 2496 is about 3 years older than the EMU 0404, which is a long time in computer hardware and software development. It's no surprise, then, that the 0404 officially supports standby and the 2496 doesn't. The 2496 is nearly a decade old!



Well good on M-Audio for producing Win7 drivers for such old hardware. I assumed they were lazy bastards in the software department but it seems as if they are instead lazy bastards in the hardware department. Either way I shall avoid them.


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Martin WalkerModerator
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Re: What’s a good entry level internal interface? new [Re: Agharta]
      #793675 - 04/12/09 08:50 PM
I'm with Agharta here!

I did some tests on my PC for this PC Notes column in SOS November 2008 with the theme 'How green is your studio?':

www.soundonsound.com/sos/nov08/articles/pcnotes_1108.htm

Most modern PCs running Windows XP or more recent O/Ses can be persuaded to enter the S3 standby mode that drops power consumption to just a couple of Watts, by turning off all components in your PC except for the RAM. If all the fans in your PC stop spinning when you enter standby, you're already configured for S3 mode.

I force mine to Standby/Sleep mode before I go for lunch and turn it off at the end of each working day (which in reality sends it into a 'Soft Off' mode with a similar power consumption of a couple of Watts). I also physically unplug my PC from the mains supply during bad weather and when away from home, to avoid possible damage during thunderstorms (which can fry electrical gear in an instant).


Martin

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Aliweasel



Joined: 31/03/06
Posts: 680
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Re: What’s a good entry level internal interface? new [Re: Martin Walker]
      #793691 - 04/12/09 10:11 PM
I stand corrected.

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www.allyle.co.uk


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paulears



Joined: 09/02/05
Posts: 16
Loc: Lowestoft
Re: What’s a good entry level internal interface? new [Re: Agharta]
      #793766 - 05/12/09 12:07 PM
I'm away from base until February, and every day my network monitor reminds me I have left 5 computers turned on. Still, probably doing great service as heaters - as I did remember to turn the heating off!

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Stuart Churchill



Joined: 30/10/03
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Re: What’s a good entry level internal interface? new [Re: paulears]
      #793816 - 05/12/09 03:25 PM
Quote paulears:

I'm away from base until February, and every day my network monitor reminds me I have left 5 computers turned on. Still, probably doing great service as heaters - as I did remember to turn the heating off!



I would suggest you turn your computers (and the heating) off and leave your plasma TV on instead. They're better than radiators!

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Birthday Song 4 U. Personalised Birthday Songs


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