Options to replace M-Audio Audiophile 24/96 SoundCard - For PC DAW Midi2Wave Render

Discussion in 'Home Theater PCs' started by Gary Looney, Feb 10, 2018.

  1. Gary Looney

    Gary Looney Junior Member

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    Options to replace M-Audio Audiophile 24/96 Sound Card.

    I use the soundcard to:
    1/ Render high quality wave from individual composed Midi Tracks.
    2/ Record high quality vocal from a single mic and preamp.
    3/ Mix down wave in Cubase and save as player compatible wave.

    As above, I do use the highest quality/resolution settings of Sound Card on song tracks,
    before a final mix rendered with playable settings.

    I have only ever used the old Sound Card for the purposes described,
    no requirement or intention of changing this basic use.

    --
    The Audiophile 24/96 is/was my only sound card purchase to date.
    Because it fitted my budget with a publicly known performance and quality.

    I live in remote area, I don't get to see products on shelf's.
    Basically, I am not up to date on suitable products.
    Could do with a little guidance on the quality or suitability of other Sound Cards or USB type systems.

    The death of old sound card, ended up costing me a new computer.
    Long story, but the short of it is a lot less money for replacement,

    What can you tell me?

    Regards,
    Gary (AU)
     
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  3. Gary Looney

    Gary Looney Junior Member

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    M-Audio Audiophile 24/96 Sound Card physical connections:
    1/ Mic/Preamp (rca output) connected to card (rca in).
    2/ Pioneer Amp (rca input) connected to card (rca output).
    ( When recording vocals through 'rca in', I connect head phone to 'rca out' for vocal sync with music)

    It is a very basic use compared to the requirement of live multi channel studio.
    Hoping someone who knows the available products can chime in with ideas.

    The fear is I don't understand product workings and get the wrong type.
    Like how is a USB connected Sound Device used by Cubase or KonTakt?

    Cheers
     
    #2 Gary Looney, Feb 10, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2018
  4. dave_the_nerd

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    Get your D/A converter out of your noisy PC and into an breakout box where it belongs.

    https://us.focusrite.com/usb-audio-interfaces/scarlett-2i4

    2i2 if you don't need MIDI.

    Chances are pretty good that the mic pre-amps are better than whatever you're using now, too.

    USB Audio devices show up to Cubase/KonTakt just like any other audio interface. You might have slightly higher latency, but should otherwise be seamless.
     
  5. Fallen Kell

    Fallen Kell Diamond Member

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    Another vote for the Focusrite 2i4. I bought a 2nd generation last November/December for recording guitar/bass. It isn't the best thing out there, but for the price it most certainly is (you will have to spend 2-5x more to get something that is actually better).

    I chose the 2i4 because it had MIDI, which multiple pedals on my pedalboard use (a Boss ES-8 switch, and two Eventide H9's). I mainly use the MIDI to edit, backup, and update the ES-8.
     
  6. Gary Looney

    Gary Looney Junior Member

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    What is the difference between Focusrite "Scarlett 2i2" and "Scarlett Solo" (2nd Gen) USB Audio Interface.

    I need to play music to headphone for sink while recording the vocal track.
    The DAW should still work the same through "Scarlett Solo"

    With M-Audio 2496 there was no noticeable latency between the played sink track and 2nd laid recording!
    Are we talking latency that would need track adjustment to compensate?


    Have Axiom 25 Keyboard connected by USB.
    Yamaha XG MU10 Tone Generator is connected by midi cable to the back of keyboard.
    So I should not need Midi.

    I do need stereo input for the MU10 Tone Generators output?
    2nd instrument seems to be mono on the "Scarlett Solo"?

    Apart from Tone Generator output being in mono, the "Scarlett Solo" could work.

    Might be able to compromise by recording MU10 tracks individual through Scarlet Solo.
    Have I missed anything?

    ------------------

    I am in Australia, is their any product discount promotion.
    Not interested in software, just the hardware.

    Thanks,
    Gary

     
  7. dave_the_nerd

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    As far as I know, it's just the number and types of inputs/outputs.

    It should.


    I really doubt it. But the complaint I've always heard about USB devices (and the corresponding incentive for going with PCI cards) has always been audio latency. You'll not likely notice a millisecond or two. It's largely depending on how fast your computer is, and computers these days are blindingly fast compared to the rigs the old crust audio engineers had when they were deciding how to order their universes.

    This is a good read. https://support.focusrite.com/hc/en-gb/articles/207546885-Latency-Issues-with-Interfaces

    Yes, if you want to do stereo inputs, you'll need an interface with two inputs, not one. However, unless the tone generator is doing some kind of stereo effects (panning or something) you can always bring it in mono and duplicate/split the track later to get your stereo.


    I don't think so, no.

    No clue. I'm not in Australia and am not associated with Focusrite in any capacity. I've never seen their stuff go on sale, though.
     
  8. Gary Looney

    Gary Looney Junior Member

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    Thanks for your help, I will try the Scarlett Solo.

    Looks like 120 + US, about 160 AUD through Amazon plus gift-card to make purchase.
    Just jammed in the plug for any affiliates in the forum.
    As you say, no sales online.
    Plenty of higher prices for same product or bundled crap.

    Do you know if the Latency of focusrite USB is greater with USB version 2 compared to 3?
    I have Acer Veriton S680G with USB2

    cheers
     
    #7 Gary Looney, Mar 17, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2018
  9. dave_the_nerd

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    There shouldn't be a useful latency difference between USB2 and USB3. The only thing I would say is that if your computer has some USB ports that are run from the chipset, and more that are run with an add-on card or secondary controller, you want to use the ones directly off the chipset, and plug the interface directly into the computer (not through a hub.) Chipset ports are almost always lower-latency, even if they're of a "slower" USB2 variety.

    Ideally, make sure it's the only device on its controller. (Use a program like USBlyzer to view your USB chain/tree, and move your devices around until the FocusRite is isolated on its own bus.)

    http://www.usblyzer.com/download.htm
     
  10. Gary Looney

    Gary Looney Junior Member

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    I see what you are getting at.
    So Latency and Bit rate are not related, except where data transfer rate is exceeded?

    I have a good ear for subtle errors in music such as tone or Latency.
    Not sure that I will worry about Latency so much given a shifted sink is still sinkable without any added artifacts.

    In such case the question for PCI-e 10Gbps USB is, are there any other issues for use with Audio Interface?
    The Focusrite device is USB2, so it would be operating in backward compatible mode, no bps gain!

    On the lines you were explaining separating USB devices!
    The cards are not very expensive, and could be used for all USB requirements other then Audio Interface!

    Thanks for the USBlyzer link, good for the tool kit
     
    #9 Gary Looney, Mar 17, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2018
  11. dave_the_nerd

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    They're not even related then. ;)

    No issues other than the really cheap USB controllers are probably going to be higher-latency than what's built into the motherboard.

    That's probably be ok. Ideally, you want one USB device per channel, since they share bandwidth. Realistically, most devices share just fine, but if you're worried about it, it's not difficult to isolate your audio interface on its own channel just to be sure.
     
  12. Gary Looney

    Gary Looney Junior Member

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    Most times devices do share fine, but devices do clash a lot with mixed audio and midi.
    Swapped things around many times over the years to find a stable arrangement.

    I have a USB3 to sata connector, so the PCI-e USB3 addition seems like the way to kill a couple of birds.
    Will also put Axiom USB keyboard on PCI-e USB3 to keep Midi and Audio separate.

    Might be a bit of trial and error to see.
    --

    Communication architecture differences
    USB 2.0 employs a communication architecture where the data transaction must be initiated by the host. The host will frequently poll the device and ask for data, and the device may only transmit data once it has been requested by the host. The high polling frequency not only increases power consumption, it increases transmission latency because the data can only be transmitted when the device is polled by the host. USB 3.0 improves upon this communication model and reduces transmission latency by minimizing polling and also allowing devices to transmit data as soon as it is ready.

    Source: https://www.embedded.com/design/con...quick-reference-summary-for-the-busy-engineer
    --

    What is the real-world speed (stream, latency) of USB3 and USB2 over SATA?

    On an ASUS Z87 motherboard with an intel i7-4770K with gobs of memory and ubuntu 14.10, the rough performance comparison of a first-gen Intel 80gb SSD drive (X25-M), using the ioping utility on an ext4 filesystem, the following is a rough estimate of read-performance:

    SPEC: 250MB/sec,
    SATA: 240MB/sec, 1000 iops, 1ms latency
    USB3: 190MB/sec, 750 iops, 1.3ms latency
    USB2: 43MB/sec, 200 iops, 6ms latency

    Of course, this will be different for different setups. The point of this table was to add some latency and iops stats in a non-theoretical comparison. The rest below are merely details on the above.

    Source: https://serverfault.com/questions/6...eed-stream-latency-of-usb3-and-usb2-over-sata
    --
     
    #11 Gary Looney, Mar 17, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2018