[PlanetCCRMA] Requesting help choosing audio card

Mark Knecht Mark Knecht <markknecht@gmail.com>
Fri Apr 15 09:15:01 2005

> 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.

That's plenty of power for audio work. I have Ardour running on a more
modest Athlon XP 1600+ using 3 external 1394 hard drives for audio. I
can run something around 50 tracks doing recording and playback
without pushing the processor very much.

On the other hand you can never have too much CPU power for soft
synths, reverb, compressors, etc. They suck it up pretty quickly.

None the less you'll be fine (I think) WRT your machine.

As for 1394 vs. USB the 1394 support right now is quite new and
therefore may have bugs, etc. USB is more mature, probably less buggy,
and maybe suited just as well for some sort of 6-in, 6-out solution
you might be looking for. 1394 devices also tend to cost a bit more
(or a lot more) since they do not sell in as large volume as USB

You also probably have a cardbus slot on that laptop so don't
completely discount it. Unfortunately the one cardbus solution I know
of for Linux (RME HDSP) is a bit pricey but very well supported. It's
more I/O's than you are probably looking for and might be overkill,
but if you've got the money it could be a great solution if you're in
this for the long haul. More resale value also.

Those are just some thoughts. Not to take any of it too seriously.