This new card narrows the gap between Roland's VS-series machines and computer recording systems by allowing the use of third-party plug-ins within the multitracker environment. We test the card, its bundled plug-ins, and the first of the brand-name offerings from Universal Audio.
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The simple idea of providing high-quality stereo I/O with well-written drivers helped M-Audio sell bucketloads of their original Audiophile soundcard. Its successor ups the ante in every respect, providing better sound quality, balanced I/O, dedicated monitor outputs and 192kHz support.
Launched under their Audiotrak badge, ESI's Prodigy 192 audio card provides support for 24-bit and 192kHz audio plus optional digital and MIDI I/O. But the really good news for software-based musicians is that it also provides a low-cost route to the company's EWDM drivers and Direct Wire technology.
Despite the obvious attractions of portable recording systems based around laptop computers, high-quality compatible audio hardware is scarce. That looks set to change, however, now that Echo Audio have adapted their popular Mona and Layla 24 interfaces for laptop use.