sound cards

Charles Baker baker at
Sat Mar 7 03:59:38 CET 1998

charlie at wrote:

> Hi Everyone,
> This isn't a pd question, but I thought I'd poll your experience because
> someone here has probably had to make this decision.  I am looking for a
> 'recording studio quality' sound card for a PC.
> Here are the basic specs I'm looking for:
> 1) Full-duplex stereo audio IO at 44.1 kHz / 16-bit.  Read as: record
> and playback audio at the same time, both at cd-quality.  The key phrase
> here is 'same time'.  At the moment I have a Sound Blaster AWE 64 Value
> Card; this card seems to be capable of recording at cd-quality OR doing
> playback at cd-quality, but not both simultaneously.  At least I haven't
> been successful in getting this to work.
> 2) Has DirectX 5 drivers.
> 3) Works under 95 and NT.
> Optional (this would be ideal):
> 4) Has Midi IO ports built-in
> Help is appreciated and apologies in advance if anyone is upset that this is
> off-topic,
> Charlie

  I am currently concerned with getting full duplex running with my Turtle
Beach Malibu cardunder I linux...full duplex works quite well  under NT.  Ido
not know what the AWE64 situation is, but the chipset in the Malibu can do
full-duplex...It happens regularly on wintel platforms, include (shudder of
shame) my (small!) NT partition.
But I think much better quality can be had . The Malibu (& even more the
SB64!!!) have the raw,
harse sound of inferior conversion and filtering...It really tires me out to do
a lot of listening to the
Malibu card...but I have to: the driver for the  Fiji is not available under
Linux...and I hate Windows with a passion. Period. My Fiji card (also Turtle
Beach product) has a *much* finer sound.  Subjectively, you can hear the
difference as an "openness"  and "smoothness"to the well-converted signal,
contrasted with a kind of "harseness"  and "edginess"  on the high frequencies
of the poorly converted signal.

With a tendancy towards extreme volume levels , many cannot hear these
differences, but they  are
very real. I think that people wonder why someone would spend  from 4 to 100
times what the purchaser of a "high-end soundcard" 'normally' spends (Guessing
your AWE64 & my Malibu both run aproximately $100...).... well , ask a
professional if they would use a sound blaster card for mastering, and they
will say no way. You shouldn't either.and the Fiji is only the low end of
quality conversion....actually fairly good for the $470 some-odd dollars they
charge. There *are* much better conversion hardware, much more expensive. But
withthe Fiji you can also *digitally transfer* the sounds both ways using
SP/DIF-AES/EBU *that* is what you want: let the consumer's
converters (in the cd, etc.) be the limiting  factor in sound quality.

Well, the bottom line is that certain chip sets support full duplex, others
don't . the Crystal set in
the malibu does support full duplex...if the software is written correctly ! I
've heard the PAS card
is full duplex...I'm sure there are others....look around on the up
on these cards before purchasing!!!

Good luck.


More information about the Pd-list mailing list