Soundcards

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Soundcards

Postby bushymo » Wed Apr 14, 2004 8:55 am

I presently have an Audigy 2 Soundcard (internal) - the basic verson, and find that the sound performance is rather disappointing.

Last year when I bought it, I was sure that I would be able to record my midi soundfiles that I had done in Cakewalk directly into my Pioneer CD Audio Recorder, that is equipped with the optical in connection, but after studying both the manuals of the Pioneer Audio CD recorder deck, only to find that the digital output on the back of the Audigy 2 soundcard is only for digital speakers like the Creative Inspire, not for recording from the computer soundcard.

I also run Auran Trainz, a train simulator, but I am experiencing far less than satisfactory performance from the Audigy 2, and when doing a callibration test in the software for the Audigy 2, and using the soundcanvas function where the little music note floats around the listener, some of the rear speakers either don't work, are stuttered (bvreaks in the music in regular pattern - like the dashes on a road.

I then check the test figures to find that some of the channels are registering a minus figure in the db. level while others are at the correct level of '0db' when using the surround sound modes in the Audigy.

I have come to the conclusion that the Audigy 2 is either faulty, or incorrectly installed, and when I bought the computer I bought it in good faith that I would have one superb sound card

I know the old SB Lives (particularly the better ones had the optical SP/DIF connections for recording work from ones computer to an audio recording device like an MD walkman, deck or CD Audio recorder equipped with the Optical In, but unless one goes all out for the Audigy 2 Platinum or Extigy soundcards, or makes a later purchase of the External Extigy Box, they only get the digital speaker output on the base Audigy 2

There are other brands of soundcard that I have been recommended, one being the Santa Cruz by Turtle Beack, but whatever soundcard I buy to replace the rather disappointing Audigy 2, It will not only need to perform well with Cakewalk and other music software but also with memory heavy simulators like Auran Trainz etc.

Even when Using cakewalk Home Studio recently, I have experienced minute little interuptions to the smooth flow of music/Audio flowing from the soundcard to the external recording device, and have as a result, found myself re-recording the midi file or audio source that I have initially recorded

In trainz, I find that when panning the train from side to side, the transition is cut and stuttered - not smooth as a panning move should be when it come to hearing sound.

After downloading the update for the Audigy 2 from the Creative Site, I rebooted my computer, there was no sound at all, and I had to re-install the Audigy 2 software that came with the soundcard - when that didn't work, I found that I could only get the sound back by clicking on default in the speaker callibration window.

I cannot help but suspect that the Audigy 2 I have is faulty, and all sympoms I am noticing indicate that I have bought a 'lemon'

My present preferred alternatives at the moment are the Extigy or Audigy 2 Platinum, or the Santa Cruz card.

I live in an isolated part of South Australia, where most computer stores offer you two alternatives - Creative.... or Creative.... silly as that may sound but when there is no competition in the local market and you have all local computer stores supporting only Creative.

You are usually told by the computer stores that "If we get this other card in for you and install it, and you are not happy with it, something goes wrong or it is not compatible with your computer, we cannot take it back or back you up, and so one feels almost bound to buy a Creative soundcard or the much lesser AC 97 - the on board card that comes with most of those cheap budget computers.

I paid nearly $4000 for the computer I have now, but the Audigy 2 soundcard I believed would be the best that I could get within that budget is pathetic.

In my old computer I had an AWE 64, and while the sound quality was not that good, I never had one ince of trouble with it, and I don't even remember if I ever had to re-install the software.

I have a Pentium 2.8, 512 Mbyt Ram, Asus P4C800 Motherboard, AT0 Radeon 9600 Pro Video Card 8 AGP, 80 Gig HDD.

Quite often when closing down from Trainz, I get an EAX error syntax, which is yet another reason for me suspecting that all is not well in the Audigy 2
bushymo
 

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Postby andychap » Wed Apr 14, 2004 9:27 am

Creative cards are notorious for troublesome operation.

A quick and cheap solution for you recording to CD recorder via an optical connection would be to use something like the Creative MP3+ USB audio interface. I used one for over a year and the Optical digital ins and out are crystal clear. They cost £35 in the UK (don't know about Aus) but at least your shops should stock them.

The best all round solution might be the Terratec DMX 6 Fire. Plenty of ins and outs on that one, including Optical, mic pre amps and midi. It comes with a drive bay breakout box so no need to fiddle around the back of the PC. Good for games and well up to standard for audio production. About £160 in the UK.
andychap
 
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