[PlanetCCRMA] hardware query

Ken Smith kens@kensnet.org
Tue Mar 21 23:40:01 2006

Chris Howard wrote:

>running there now.  We do mixing from the mixer and
>just feed this thing a stream to record and burn onto
>I am looking at the Dell E510n.  My question is,
>will the onboard soundcard be appropriate for this purpose?
>Or do I need to look for an upgrade of some sort?
Hi Chris, The answer is it depends. It depends on how good a result you 
want. Internal sound cards can be fairly good but with their A/D 
converters inside the PC case they do tend to pick up some electrical 
interference from all the digital 'goings on' in the PC. To record the 
preaching it is probably adequate. It might not be good enough for the 
worship - but that also depends on how good the mix is from the Church 
PA desk anyway. You can get round the internal A/D converter if the desk 
has an S/PDIF (or AES) output and the PC has a corresponding input. That 
could work quite well.

If the output from the desk is ballanced (which it most likely is) and 
used to feed other things, such as the main amps, then make sure that 
you convert it to unbalanced for the PC input to make sure you don't 
introduce any hum and noise. If you are taking a sound feed from an AUX 
output that is not used for anything else then you could simply ground 
the cold and take the hot to the PC input. Or even ignore the cold and 
take the hot and ground to the PC. The desk signal tends to be a bit 
high for a PC input so you might need an attenuator.

We do the same at my church and the set up there could do with a slow 
release compressor  to catch any peaks in sound level to stop them going 
over level. Also the level of the worship tends to be quite a bit higher 
than the preaching and a slow acting compressor could deal with that. 
But I'm drifting OT here....

Good luck