This topic concerns mono/stereo sound cards and recording devices. Multi-channel recording devices are listed here: viewtopic.php?f=27&t=38626
How well does your sound card work with Audacity?
Audacity will work with the vast majority of sound cards, however some sound cards are known to have issues, while others are known to work flawlessly. Given that many Audacity users will at some point want to replace/upgrade their sound card, and the huge range of products available, it will be useful to have a list of sound cards that Audacity users actually use.Post a review of your sound card.!!! NO LINKS TO SALES WEB SITES !!!
This is NOT an advertising forum, it is a help forum. While it is useful to have a link to the manufacturers web site, this is NOT an invitation for promoting specific retail outlets. Any links to sales sites in this thread will be deleted immediately and the poster may be banned from the forum. Spam will not be tolerated.
Please include in your review the pros and cons of your sound card - please mention the type of inputs and outputs that it has (line-level/microphone/phono) and any special features. Also mention any features that do not work with Audacity.
It is not necessary to mention that Audacity does not work with ASIO drivers, as this is a known issue for all sound cards. http://audacityteam.org/wiki/index.php? ... _Interface
ONLY POST A REVIEW OF A SOUND CARD THAT YOU HAVE PERSONALLY USED WITH AUDACITY
Moderators will transfer a summary of your review into the list below.
________________________________________________________ THE SOUND CARD LIST
USB 2-channel audio interface with 24 bit 48 kHz max recording capability that really works nicely both on windows and in Linux without any big troubles or glitches so far. Powered by USB connection.Manufacturer's website:http://www.alesis.com/io2Ins and outs:Inputs:
2 x MIC XLR (with optional +48 V), 2 x Guitar/Line, S/PDIF IN, MIDI INOutputs:
MAIN L/R 1/4", Phones 1/4" stereo/mono, S/PDIF OUT, MIDI OUTPros:
Robust case, controls and switches feels pretty reliable. Very easy and straightforward to use and Audacity has no problems handling it. It's possible to mix the monitor feed anywhere between direct and USB sound. It works with Linux!Cons:
The meter LEDs are not that finely graded so it's a bit difficult to set the levels exactly. At very high gain levels it of course gets a bit noisy. There's a tendency to introduce DC offset with the recordings.
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________ART USB Phono Plus Project Series
Preamp with one stereo input switchable between Phono and Line-in, with input gain control, line-out and headphone-out connections.Manufacturer's website:http://artproaudio.com/artcessories/turntable_preamps/product/usb_phono_plus-ps/On-line Manual:http://artproaudio.com/files/owners_manuals/om_usbphonoplusps.pdfIns and outs:
RCA input, switchable between phono and Line-in, with input gain trim.
TOSLINK Digital Audio input
RCA S/PDIF input
1/8" headphone output with volume control
TOSLINK Digital Audio output
16-bit 44.1kHz or 48kHz, USB 1.2 compliantPros:
Excellent build quality, anodised aluminium case. Low noise (-50dB when bus-powered, -70dB when mains-powered). Input gain control and headphone output volume control. Worked "out of the box" on Windows.Cons:
Significantly more expensive in Europe than in US.
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________ART USB Dual Pre Project Series
Dual-mic preamp which can be used as external usb soundcard too.Ins and outs:
Inputs: 2x XLR / 1/4-inch TRS Combi jack balanced/unbalanced
Outputs: 2x 1/4-inch TRS; 1x 1/8-inch TRS headphonePros:
- no drivers needed, works out-of-the-box in Linux (Debian, running kernel 2.6.32), Windows (XP Pro) and MacOS-X (Snow Leopard)
- can be powered from usb, external power supply or 9V battery (or a combination of all these)
- rather small size compared to what it has to offer
- headphones monitor output can be used to play sound from the computer through USB.
- very low noise for the price tag
- can provide phantom power to the micsCons:
Some people complain about the size of the 9V battery pocket, I haven't tried it so can't complain about it...)
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________Behringer UCA 202
No frills 16 bit stereo line level USB sound card. Manufacturer's website:http://www.behringer.com/EN/Products/UCA202.aspxIns and outs:
2x line level inputs, 2x line level outputs (RCA connectors), 1x headphone outputPros:
Works well with Audacity. Inexpensive upgrade for PC laptop computer.Cons:
Plastic case. Label peels off eventually. No ability to adjust input level on Windows or Mac with the plug ' n' play driver it comes with (not tested with Behringer's optional drivers for Windows). On Ubuntu 10.10 the input level can be changed using the system slider, but this does not change the "gain" in the UCA itself, just scale the signal it sends. So whatever the operating system, always check the level of the input being sent to UCA 202.
Basically a UCA-202 with the input switchable between line and phono, plus a phono ground lug.Manufacturer's website:http://www.behringer.com/EN/Products/UFO202.aspxIns and outs:
switchable stereo RCA line/phono inputs
phono ground lug
stereo RCA line outputs
stereo mini-jack headphone output with volume controlComputer connection:
32, 44.1 and 48 kHzPros
Initial listening tests comparing transcribed LPs to their CD versions suggest that the phono pre-amp is accurate.
No apparent power supply noise although the unit uses the power supplied by the USB port.Cons
Self-noise is higher than a stand-alone analog phono pre-amp, but still below typical vinyl surface noise.
No input volume control (on Mac, possibly on other platforms too), but volume is low enough on the phono inputs that clipping is unlikely to occur - in Audacity (again, on Mac) level is typically -10 dB. Input level on line input not tested.
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________Creative SoundBlaster Live! Value
Inexpensive version of the SoundBlaster Live" series (without digital I/O)Ins and outs:
Mini-jack inputs and outputs
Inputs: Line / Mic
Outputs: Front / Rear / Headphone / SubPros:
On board hardware digital signal processing.
Reasonable sound quality (16 bit 48 kHz).
Upgraded pro quality drivers available for Windows.
Sound Font support.
Lots of nice features normally only found on much more expensive sound cards.Cons:
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi HDManufacturer's website:http://uk.creative.com/p/sound-blaster/sound-blaster-digital-music-premium-hd
User review at http://forum.audacityteam.org/viewtopic.php?p=254585#p254585
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________Edirol UA-1EX - Superseded by the Edirol Cakewalk UA-1G - in turn superseded bt the Roland Duo Capture
24-bit/48 or 44.1kHz External USB soundcard.
RCA, S/PDIF and an electret condenser microphone input.
Headphone output with volume controlManufacturer's website:http://www.roland.co.uk/products/productdetails.aspx?p=1155Ins and outs:
LINE IN jack (Stereo miniature phone type),
MIC/GUITAR jack (1/4-inch phone type),
PHONES jack (Stereo 1/4-inch phone type)
PHONES (LINE OUT) jack (Stereo miniature phone type)
USB connector (USB Type B)Pros:
Input volume control (controls signal level sent to computer/Audacity)
Audio I/O signal indicators
Zero latency, direct monitoring (using the headphone output - NOT from Audacity)
Good manual available online - and helpful helpline for trouble-shootingCons:
More expensive than the Behringer UCA-202 (but has more features)Update 3Feb12: Roland UK confirms that the UA-1G is in its turn now superseded by the Rolad Duo Capture also known as the Roland UA-11. They tell me that the UA-11 has broadly the same functionality as the older UA-1EX but with some increased functionality - the S/PDIF digital input appears to have been dropped from this updated model..
If anybody has experience of using the UA-11 with Audacity we would love to hear feedback from you.
User bartjy reports that he cannot get the UA-1G to work in Advanced mode on Windows-7. The device records fine in Standard mode. See: viewtopic.php?f=16&t=52918
This USB to Stereo Audio Adapter Converter lets you add headsets and microphones to your computer without the need to unplug other devices.Manufacturer's website:http://www.startech.com/Cards-Adapters/ ... ICUSBAUDIOIns and outs:
Inputs: 1 x 3.5mm mini-jack MIC socket
Outputs: 1 x 3.5mm mini-jack headphone socketComputer connection:
USB (USB 1.0 and 2.0 compliant)Pros:
Works well on all three major platforms (Windows, Mac, Linux)
It will supply 5v computer battery to a "computer microphone" to run it. If your microphone has its own battery the plug just works around the 5v battery.
If your built-in sound card isn't up to the job or you have a Mac, this will adapt your simple, single, microphone for recording.
Compact and easily portable
The most serious problem is the creation of a DC offset in the sound; most of them do it, but not all. You may find that there is a downward going DC level at about -38 dB or so. However, post capture you can easily get rid of it with the Normalize effect.
The microphone system is slightly noisy.
It works with the 5v USB battery, so if you have a noisy or unstable computer, this battery system will be noisy and make your sound noisy too.
It could be argued that this system was made for noise reduction. A slightly noisy performance can be made very nearly perfect.
The headphone volume is all you can achieve with a 5V battery -- which will not make your ears bleed.
Note to Moderators: Please leave this pro forma in place.model
summaryManufacturer's website:Ins and outs:
Outputs:Computer connection: Pros:Cons: