[PlanetCCRMA] Requesting help choosing audio card

Frode Petersen fropeter@online.no
Fri Apr 15 08:42:00 2005

Mark Knecht wrote:
> On 4/15/05, Frode Petersen <fropeter@online.no> wrote:
>>Mark Knecht wrote:
>>>   I think it will be hard to tell you what's 'best'. How many
>>>channels do you need? (Input, output at the same time) Do you have
>>>loads of external equipment or a single mic? There's a lot to think
>>>about when you start gettign into this.
>>More newbie ponderings regarding this:
>>One thing that is a bit unclear to me regarding needs, is what exactly
>>outputs are used for. If you want to use different softsynths through
>>,say Rosegarden, and maybe some audio tracks simultaneously, but only
>>need to produce a stereo mix, or even create a CD directly, do you need
>>more than a pair of outputs? What would the benefits of added outputs be?
>>Best regards,
> Hiya,
>    Outputs are only of use going out to other pieces of audio
> hardware. For instance, let's say you want reverb added to your mix
> and you have an external reverb unit. You would use a pain of outputs
> (sends in the lingo) to go to that reverb and a pair of inputs
> (returns in the lingo) to receive the reverb mix back and mix it in
> with the dry signal. (Watch out in the future for 'inserts' -
> tip-ring-sleave - TRS - connections that do both send AND receive. Not
> likely a problem on sound cards but good to know about...)
>    Another use of outputs could be to go between computers. Maybe you
> want to run some reverb program on another PC. (What I do mostly) In
> this case the send on one PC goes to the input on another and vise
> versa to get the signal back again to the first PC.
>    As for soft synths you should not need to use sends and returns for
> that as they are inside, not outside, or your machine. As long as they
> are Jack enabled then you'll jsut connect them with qjackctl or at the
> command line.
>    The most obvious use for outputs is certainly to go to your
> monitors. Whether you need more outputs or inputs depends on your
> setup.
> Have fun,
> Mark
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Thanks for the answers, Mark an Keith!

Then I guess it would be wise to have at least 6 outs for future 
expansion, though the scenario I described would only need 2. It seems 
clear now that all internal synths are mixed before they reach the outputs.

But what about computing power compared to many things happening at once 
(audio tracks, midi tracks+softsynths, effects)? I have a P4M2GHz,512MB 
RAM Thinkpad. I would have to choose between USB and Firewire.