Recommend sound card for recording my mixing


Im looking for a sound card to record whilst mixing on my cdj2000’s/Djm800. So I can upload my mixes to soundcloud etc.

Im looking at running Audacity on my desktop which is plenty powerful enough: overclocked quaudcore@3.4ghz per core, 32bit, win7 etc.
I dont currently have a dedicated sound card and would love it if you could recommend one, I dont want to spend lots on one but would like to get best bang-for-buck so to speak.

I know my djm800 is 24bit so would like to be recording at that quality.

Any advise is greatfully received.


Your mixer already has the A/D converter, so all you need is something that can receive the S/PDIF signal (Sony Philips Digital Interface).

This is a good thread that talks about this.

I don’t have any hands-on with S/PDIF, so I’ll leave it up to the other elves. You can use one of the analog outputs of the mixer, but that’s likely to be far inferior to the digital output.


I run an Edirol UA-1EX (now superseded by the Cakewalk UA-1G - see )

Both of these has an optical S/PDIF input (via 3.5mm optical jack) I used that port when I was transferring my MiniDiscs into Audacity/WAV and it worked well.

You would be wasting a lot of the UA though as it’s main use is as an external soundcard (ADC/DAC) via its RCA inputs and you would be bypassing the part of the kit going direct digital-digital. So while this should work for you there may be simpler, cheaper interface options.


Thanks for the replys guys, im still reading up on stuff but theres a lot to choose from.

Couldnt I just use a good soundcard inside my pc? say a soundblaster or something


If you can do it on the digital level why going to analog?

Have you checked if your built-in soundcard on the computer has a s/pdif input? You might not need to buy anything…

If you want to use the analog output of the mixer and convert it to digital in another device you can get the one waxcylinder mentioned, or if you want a cheaper option you have the Behringer uca-202 which is regarded among many users of this forum as being a very good deal for the price.

If you really want to get a dedicated internal soundcard, your choice will probably depend on what else you will use the card for…

Soundblasters might be good for games audio, specially ones which make intensive use of EAX and the like, but if you’re not a gamer, or if that’s not your main use it might not be the best option for the buck.

If you like to listen to music from computer using high-end headphones and you don’t need more than 2 channels (normal stereo) I would highly recommend the Asus Xonar Essence STX. If you want 5.1 channels or more you should look for other models.

I boughy my Xonar Essence some time ago, so there might be newer and better models, but I’d still recommend this one. I haven’t tested its line-in thoroughly but from the brief tests I did it seemed to perform pretty well. But I use it mostly for listening to stereo audio on high-end headphones.

Yes you could, but you will probably get best quality if you choose one that has SPDIF input.

There are conversion errors. Every time you go from digital to analog or back there are little mistakes, and some of the mistakes are audible. Plus, while the show is in one or the other, it picks up mistakes that are built-in to the format. When you switch, you pick up the errors of both formats.

Plus, Sound cards inside a computer pick up computer noise. They warn you when you put a new sound card in your machine not to put it too close to the video card. The video card generates electrical noise and it can get into the sound card – but generally only if you’re analog. Not digital.

If the signal is already digital, it’s far better to keep it that way as long as possible.


Project: copy vinyl on laptop with at least 24/96 quality

currently using soundblaster x-fi HD to input signal from my stereo system

can anyone recommend a better quality USB external sound card/device?

“24/96” meaning 24 bit, 96000 Hz sample rate.
These numbers are not synonymous with “high quality sound”.

24 bit PCM format provides a dynamic range of around -144dB. Sadly there are no sound cards this good - not even professional sound cards costing thousands of dollars. Fortunately it does not matter.

96000 Hz sample rate can theoretically reproduce frequencies up to 48000 Hz. Young humans with perfect hearing can not hear above 20000 Hz.
44100 Hz sample rate can theoretically reproduce frequencies up to 22050 Hz, and in practice up to about 20000 Hz.

Price comes into this a great deal.
Benchmark DAC1 Pre - close to perfection ~ $1600
Behringer UCA-202 - great value, very good sound ~ $30