Sound Card Reviews

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Irish
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Re: Sound Card Reviews

Post by Irish » Mon Dec 13, 2010 3:29 pm

Thanks for the tip about Dolphin; I'll keep them in mind for future purchases.
In the event, it would have made little difference to the price, as their Euro price today is €94.27 plus €12.29 shipping.

Yes, I can edit the first post.

POL
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Green Lantern
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Re: Sound Card Reviews

Post by Green Lantern » Mon Feb 28, 2011 10:27 pm

Greetings

As promised I am posting my experiences using the Edirol UA-5 with Audacity and Windows 64 bit Professional. The great advantage for me was that I could use the sensitivity to lower the incoming signal and so control the distortion I was getting previously using only the internal sound card. The recordings are quite nice and I used LAME when they were done to produce a quite acceptable MP3 file that was a tenth the size of the original .wav. I had to fiddle a bit with the settings. What worked for me was cranking up the volume of the cassette player (my source) and then using the sensitivity setting left and right on the Edirol to control the levels.

Good luck to all. :D

GL

kozikowski
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Re: Sound Card Reviews

Post by kozikowski » Fri Apr 01, 2011 10:07 pm

Review: StarTech ICUSBAUDIO.

http://us.startech.com/product/ICUSBAUD ... io-Adapter

We use these little machines on all three computer platforms, so it's pretty universal. Nobody is going to give Technical Academy Awards out, but for headphone monitoring or microphone amplification and conversion, it's remarkably useful. It's doing all its tricks 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 will supply 5v computer battery to a "computer microphone" to run it. If you don't need the battery, as I don't since my microphone has its own battery, the plug just goes around it.

I was using a Radio Shack 33-3013 Tie-Tack microphone, so the entire, single-channel sound system comes in around $49 USD. 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.

The first clip is the raw capture. The second clip is gentle noise reduction in Audacity 1.3.12. It could be argued that this system was made for noise reduction. A slightly noisy performance made very nearly perfect.

http://www.kozco.com/tech/audacity/clips/3013Test2.wav
http://www.kozco.com/tech/audacity/clips/3013Test3.wav

There is a down side. The microphone system is slightly noisy, although I point out in a separate posting that you could use it as-is if you weren't too particular (and anybody with a $40 budget can't be too particular).

The headphone volume is all you can do with a 5V battery -- which will not make your ears bleed.

The most serious problem is the creation of a DC offset in the sound. Most of them do it. I happen to own one that doesn't, but I also have two other ones that do. When you get finished with your recording, you may find that there is a downward going DC level at about -38 dB or so reading from the dB ranges. You can easily get rid of it with the Normalize Too, but if you don't know to do that, you will have a voice track which will pop or click when you edit.

Koz

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Re: Sound Card Reviews

Post by larpal » Mon Sep 12, 2011 7:53 pm

Alesis iO|2

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.

Inputs:

2 x MIC XLR (with optional +48 V), 2 x Guitar/Line, S/PDIF IN, MIDI IN

Outputs:

MAIN L/R 1/4", Phones 1/4" stereo/mono, S/PDIF OUT, MIDI OUT

Pros:

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.

waxcylinder
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Re: Sound Card Reviews

Post by waxcylinder » Tue Sep 13, 2011 1:56 pm

Thanks for that review larpal - I have added it to the initial post in this thread.

WC
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Gale Andrews
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Re: Sound Card Reviews

Post by Gale Andrews » Tue Sep 13, 2011 5:41 pm

waxcylinder wrote:Thanks for that review larpal - I have added it to the initial post in this thread.
Should you add StarTech ICUSBAUDIO above to the front page of this thread?

And add (only) ARTCessories USB Phono Plus V.2 to:
http://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/Recom ... nd_devices ?

Thanks

Gale
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waxcylinder
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Re: Sound Card Reviews

Post by waxcylinder » Wed Sep 14, 2011 11:10 am

Gale Andrews wrote:Should you add StarTech ICUSBAUDIO above to the front page of this thread?
Done - I editied Koz' posting into the requesite pro-forma layout.
Gale Andrews wrote:And add (only) ARTCessories USB Phono Plus V.2 to: http://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/Recom ... nd_devices ?
And done (I used Irish's summary that he made for the front page of this thread - with some edits).

But why aren't we adding Koz' cute little StarTech device to the Wiki too? Is there a reason for excluding it there?

Peter.
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waxcylinder
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Re: Sound Card Reviews

Post by waxcylinder » Wed Sep 14, 2011 11:35 am

In the first post of this thread I also added links to the manufacturers' websites for each of the devices that are still available - and updated the pro forma with a Manufacturer's Website: field.

Peter.
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Gale Andrews
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Re: Sound Card Reviews

Post by Gale Andrews » Fri Sep 16, 2011 5:39 pm

waxcylinder wrote:
Gale Andrews wrote:Should you add StarTech ICUSBAUDIO above to the front page of this thread?
Done - I editied Koz' posting into the requesite pro-forma layout.
waxcylinder wrote:
Gale Andrews wrote:And add (only) ARTCessories USB Phono Plus V.2 to: http://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/Recom ... nd_devices ?
And done (I used Irish's summary that he made for the front page of this thread - with some edits).
Thanks, Peter. I reordered the front page so the devices are in alphabetical order.
waxcylinder wrote: But why aren't we adding Koz' cute little StarTech device to the Wiki too? Is there a reason for excluding it there?
Not really except that the description isn't clear enough because it says it has a headphone input - does it have one headphone out and one mic in so that basically it's an iMic competitor?

iMic is on the Wiki page already though not on the front page of this thread. Is StarTech recommended above iMic because of less general noise, in spite of the DC offset issue? In the UK you can get iMic as cheaply as StarTech e.g. on Amazon.


Gale
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kozikowski
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Re: Sound Card Reviews

Post by kozikowski » Sun Sep 18, 2011 12:16 am

We're using the StarTech mostly for the audio output -- to drive headphones or, in one case a small sound system. Size was an attraction.

The sound system in and out (both line level and stereo) jobs are being taken by the UCA-202. Nobody on the sixth floor could keep the built-in sound cards running reliably in the linux machines. The Behringer works very nicely and even I can install one with my Systems Learner's Permit.

And yes, the iMic would be something of a direct competitor. Someone needs to see if the iMic has DC offset issues. I never looked because it didn't last long enough in service because of other issues. Does the iMic still have a Line-Mic switch?

Koz

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