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using two sound cards

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using two sound cards

Postby Paul's8s » Mon Feb 18, 2013 8:15 pm

Hi there! Ive read about a lots of stuff here and else, maybe i wasn't careful enough to recognize that someone has asked something similar but the paper that holds the forum has released articles about using several sound cards for the same recording installation, so as the number of inputs would be increased, and it is able to use two sound cards' features at the same time. It is said that you have to sync your cards (by S/PDIF) and that you have to do something in BIOS with the IQR... So the situation is that i have a tascam US800 which is great, but i'd like to use it in the same manner i mentioned, with another soundcard , i'd buy as soon as i know which one should i get:). And i still don't exactly know how to do the detup... Can anyone help?
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Re: using two sound cards

Postby johnny h » Mon Feb 18, 2013 10:16 pm

Paul's8s wrote:Hi there! Ive read about a lots of stuff here and else, maybe i wasn't careful enough to recognize that someone has asked something similar but the paper that holds the forum has released articles about using several sound cards for the same recording installation, so as the number of inputs would be increased, and it is able to use two sound cards' features at the same time. It is said that you have to sync your cards (by S/PDIF) and that you have to do something in BIOS with the IQR... So the situation is that i have a tascam US800 which is great, but i'd like to use it in the same manner i mentioned, with another soundcard , i'd buy as soon as i know which one should i get:). And i still don't exactly know how to do the detup... Can anyone help?

Don't do it, far more trouble than its worth.
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Re: using two sound cards

Postby The Elf » Mon Feb 18, 2013 10:46 pm

johnny h wrote:Don't do it, far more trouble than its worth.
+1

just get an audio interface that supports the I/O you need.
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Re: using two sound cards

Postby Martin Walker » Tue Feb 19, 2013 12:04 am

I agree with the others, but if you want a more detailed analysis then have a read of my February 2006 feature entitled 'Using Multiple Audio Interfaces Together':

www.soundonsound.com/sos/feb06/articles/pcmusician.htm

This explains all the ins and outs (ho ho! ), and quite honestly I think there are only really two situations when you can easily add more ins and outs to an existing audio interface:

a) When it's from the same manufacturer and can use multi-device drivers so that it appears to Windows as a single larger device.

b) When you can connect a further eight analogue inputs or outputs via a spare ADAT connection on your existing interface so it still appears to Windows as the same single device as before but with more analogue I/O.

Hope this helps!


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Re: using two sound cards

Postby ken long » Tue Feb 19, 2013 12:14 am

I'm not quite sure what you would run in BIOS other than enbaling the port for another soundcard but the US800 is a separate device correct?

S/PDIF will only give you another 2 channels though you should be able to route the intputs to the S/PDIF buss and submix. Not elegant and restrictive and you need to be able to confirm that the software allows for this kind of aggregated set up. A quick skim of the manual mentioned nothing about it.

I'm with the previous posters. You seem to need more inputs and in the price range of that US800, you could get a MOTU second hand and still use the S/PDIF on the Tascam. Though I'd try and stretch to two 8 or 16 channel devices and use ADAT sync depending on the I/O need.
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Re: using two sound cards

Postby ken long » Tue Feb 19, 2013 12:15 am

^^ Good post Martin.
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Re: using two sound cards

Postby Scramble » Tue Feb 19, 2013 8:47 am

Have tried it. Don't do it. Disaster area.

Unfortunately your current audio interface has neither ADAT Out nor ADAT In, which would have made things easier. The problem with buying an interface without ADAT is that it limits your expandability.

So I'd get another audio interface with more channels. Or an interface with ADAT In and another interface with ADAT Out.
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Re: using two sound cards

Postby Paul's8s » Tue Feb 19, 2013 11:04 pm

I'm replying to everyone. Thank you very much for all your help i've decided not to do the thing i wanted to:). I will later (since i'm starting to get really really low on budget) sell the tascam, and buy a bigger interface. 'till that could any of you, please, recommend any lowbudget solution to connect a stereo audio signal to the s/pdif in of the interface, maybe some kinda gear i could expand later?:) Thanks in advance and for the article too, not to mention taking care of my little, silly, dreamy head...

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Re: using two sound cards

Postby Paul's8s » Tue Feb 19, 2013 11:09 pm

Oh, I forgot this one. Ive read that you need to set the IRQs of the ports, so that the use of the processor would go right for each device. And it was said it stands for external devices, too. I can't get it out clearer right now, either i could have been wrong and/or misunderstood on this.
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Re: using two sound cards

Postby Paul's8s » Tue Feb 19, 2013 11:10 pm

The ADAT thing though sounds great, i will give it a try later, when i will have money again
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Re: using two sound cards

Postby ken long » Tue Feb 19, 2013 11:52 pm

Paul's8s wrote: recommend any lowbudget solution to connect a stereo audio signal to the s/pdif in of the interface, maybe some kinda gear i could expand later?:) Thanks in advance and for the article too, not to mention taking care of my little, silly, dreamy head...

Save up for ADAT. Get one good master device then you can expand your I/O count with a couple [clears throat] Behringer ADA8000.
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Re: using two sound cards

Postby hollowsun » Wed Feb 20, 2013 12:16 am

Paul's8s wrote:could any of you, please, recommend any lowbudget solution to connect a stereo audio signal to the s/pdif in of the interface
Not the SPDIF but if you want a cheap and easy and quick way of getting stereo audio into your 'puter, THIS is good and dead handy. Audio > USB cable.

Just plug it into a spare USB socket, connect whatever you want and presto. Sells here in the UK for between £19 and £25. No drivers, no arsing about - it just works (well... it does here at HS Towers). Useful thing to have lying around for no-fuss audio capture.

I used to work with Alesis designing products and when I was shown this, my thoughts were "Bugger - I wish I'd thought of that".
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Re: using two sound cards

Postby chris... » Wed Feb 20, 2013 2:38 am

hollowsun wrote: Audio > USB cable
Of course, that's really an audio interface aka "sound card" - albeit a rather dinky one!

As such, it wouldn't work alongside the existing audio interface.

( except of course under OSX, where it is possible to use multiple interfaces... )
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Re: using two sound cards

Postby ef37a » Wed Feb 20, 2013 6:30 am

chris... wrote:
hollowsun wrote: Audio > USB cable
Of course, that's really an audio interface aka "sound card" - albeit a rather dinky one!

As such, it wouldn't work alongside the existing audio interface.

( except of course under OSX, where it is possible to use multiple interfaces... )
Actually you CAN run multiple interfaces on a PC if you have the right DAW. I have used my 2496 card with a Fast track pro and a Behringer UCA202 to get 6 tracks in Samplitude SE8. The problem is they are not synced together but for a 3-5min take they are close enough but you cannot use ASIO drivers.
Paul. For a cheap S/PDIF converter look for a second hand M-Audio Fast track pro. It is one of the very few usb AIs that will run "stand alone" just needs 9volts DC up its jaxy.

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Re: using two sound cards

Postby Scramble » Wed Feb 20, 2013 8:45 am

ASIO-4-All will allow you to run two sound cards together, but when I tried it years ago it was a flaky experience and not recommended unless you like lots of computer crashes.
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Re: using two sound cards

Postby The Elf » Wed Feb 20, 2013 9:18 am

Paul's8s wrote:'till that could any of you, please, recommend any lowbudget solution to connect a stereo audio signal to the s/pdif in of the interface

A device with analogue in/SPDIF out may be all you need. I've used my old Alesis Midiverb 4 this way, for instance. They go for stupidly low prices on accasion, and are a damned good effects processor into the bargain.

I picked up an old CD recorder at a boot sale last year for 10 quid that passes its analogue input to its SPDIF output when its set in record/pause. Anything similar might be worth a shot.
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Re: using two sound cards

Postby James Perrett » Wed Feb 20, 2013 10:20 am

As Dave says, if you use the standard Windows drivers you can use a bunch of different soundcards. It is only Steinberg's short sightedness with the ASIO driver model that causes problems. However, you still need to find some way of synchronising the digital audio clocks on the different soundcards or use suitably large buffer sizes to get over the variations in clock frequency between different cards.

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Re: using two sound cards

Postby johnny h » Wed Feb 20, 2013 11:25 am

Budget or no budget, you are going down a very bad path here. Sell your interface on ebay and buy another one that fits your needs.
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