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Old 8th February 2011, 02:22 PM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Default Recommendations on an Audio Interface

Hello everyone, long time reader, first time poster here.

I am looking for an audio interface (PCI, USB, or FireWire) that can synchronously output to 4 channels from my PC out to 4 different speakers. The 4 channels can be separate wave files or a single multi-channel wave file spread across the audio interface's output.

The most important requirement is it needs to have a clean, unaltered output up to 48 kHz signals (not samples). Ideally I'd like to output up to 96kHz signals, but it seems that's hard to come by. Frequencies OUT of audible range must remain unaltered. What I mean by unaltered is no anti-alias filters up through 40 kHz, no audio FX, no surround sound application. Just pure clean signal.

Secondly, all the channels must be synchronized at the output down to the sample.

Ideally, I'd like to have a mic input that can record while the wave files are playing as well.

I've tried a few devices with little luck:
1) Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround Sound Card: Plays 96 kHz output, but for some reason, even with surround sound off, it distorts the output waveform a bit (hooked up to an oscilloscope)

2) Edirol FA-101 Audio Interface: While an EXCELLENT device, the 8 channels come up as four separate two-channel sound cards on the PC. I had troubles having synchronous output across these "sound cards" when using Audio software.


Some devices I've considered:
- Edirol UA-101 (maybe the newer USB version comes with more ease?)
- M-Audio Delta 66
- M-Audio Fast Track Ultra

Any recommendations? Or am I just not using the FA-101 properly and with the right software, I can output simutaneously across its sound cards? (I was using freeware KRYSTAL for output).

Thanks!
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Old 8th February 2011, 04:08 PM   #2
nac134 is offline nac134  Canada
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Im using an E-MU dual slot card that I picked up for less than 200 bucks, the 1212m. Because it takes up two slots, it has many ins/outs. There are two quarter inch ins, which Im currently using for bass/electric guitars. It also has two or three optical outs, which would make it easy for you two get two bit perfect synched stereo outs at 48k. Im also 99% sure they can do 96k, but not alot of gear will do 96k in from optical. Im using it right now in 96k mode, but through the AES out.
The optical channels are also capable of outputting 8 independant channels each. The card also comes with a pretty good software suite thats easy to figure out.
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