10-channel 96/192kHz Digital Audio Interface [Mac & PC]
Price barriers continue to tumble in the soundcard market, as ESI Pro introduce an interface offering four analogue inputs and eight outputs, plus digital I/O, two mic preamps and 192kHz playback, for under £200.
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.
No expense has been spared in the design of Lynx Studio Technology's latest soundcard, which adds 192kHz capability to remarkable sound quality, bringing it into real competition with high-end, stand-alone converter boxes.
A new wave of dedicated DSP cards is helping computer musicians boost their plug-in power. The latest to appear is Universal Audio's UAD1, which offers recreations of vintage compressors as well as a high-quality reverb.
As with any recording system, the first goal of recording on a PC is to preserve as faithful a copy of the source sound as possible. Achieving this, however can be a complicated business. Martin Walker goes back to basics.
Many musicians with computer-based studios don't need lots of inputs and outputs, but that doesn't mean they're happy to put up with poor audio quality and design compromises of consumer soundcards. However a new type of affordable, high-quality soundcard is now emerging to meet this need. Martin Walker puts two or the leading candidates to the test.
A new selection of soundcards from Germany promises excellent audio quality at extremely competitive prices, with a selection of I/O options to suit most buyers. Martin Walker tries out the first model in the Marian range.