suggested soundcard

running win7 - generic pc. onboard sound card

do you all have a suggestion as to the best sound card to use for use with audacity?


One that provides the features that you need, is within your budget, and does not require ASIO.

What are you going to be recording?

For playback (including editing and monitoring) your regular soundcard is probably good enough unless you are hearing background noise… If you are not hearing noise, your soundcard is probably better than human hearing in every way.

running win7 - generic pc. onboard sound card

Is it a desktop/tower computer (with line-in, mic-in and line-out) or is it a laptop (with only mic-in and headphone-out)?

the best sound card…

The “best soundcard” may be some kind of [u]external audio interface[/u], depending on your needs.

There’s a LOT of choice.
In addition to DVDdoug’s link, here some of the other options from just one more (of many) retailers:
USB Audio Interfaces (281 products)
Firewire Audio Interfaces (32 products)
PCI Audio Interfaces (7 products)
PCI Express Interfaces (18 products)
Thunderbolt Interfaces (43 products)
and prices ranging from less than 25 Euro to more than 5,000 Euro.

ASUS Xonar DGX PCI-E GX2.5 Audio Engine Sound Card
ASUS PCI-Express x1 7.1 Channel Sound Card XONAR_DX/XD/A/90-YAA060-1UAN00Z
ASUS Xonar HDAV1.3 Slim 24-bit Stereo PCI Low Profile Sound Card w/HDMI v1.3a & HDCP Support -True Blu-ray Audio for PC!
ASUS Sound Card Essence STX II

Depends on what you want to do. If you want good quality, buy an external usb audio interface, one that has its own power supply, or provides independently created regulated power from the usb 5vdc supply. Lot’s of suggestions above. You’ll need some mics though. Just make sure you do some research. The mics and the audio interface preamps need to work together to provide a decent signal to audacity. Passive dynamic mics usually need a lot more gain than phantom powered condenser mics for example. Learn how to read the specs.

I’ve read through a lot of ‘help me’ questions on these forums and a significant number deal with ‘not loud enough’ recording. The forum moderators spend a lot of time educating people on subjects that are easily researched on the net.

Google ‘microphone sensitivity’ to start the process.