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Old 7th May 2012, 03:13 PM   #1
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Question Is there a cheap Sound Card i can use as DSP for testing ?

Is there a cheap Sound Card i can use as DSP for testing ? 3 ways would be enough , 4 if possible. If not , how much do i have to spend ? Im a bit suspicious about PC sound quality as a DSP...
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Old 7th May 2012, 03:35 PM   #2
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Quality is fine as long as it stays in the PC (digital) - much better than standalone solutions.

But when you say "multichannel soundcard" you mean drivers, PCI chipset, four DACs, one-two ADCs and appropriate output/input stages for them. Such amount of hardware couldn't be cheap and good quality at the same time, especially when it is inside PC case.

Wanna good cheap soundcard? Look for Envy24/Envy24HT cards such as M-Audio Revolution 7.1, Aureon Space and some others.
These are out-of-production old cards, so are cheap if bought used, but pretty okay for introductory job. They have tappable I2S lines, so in case you'd like to upgrade to external full blown DACs - it will be easier to do so.
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Old 7th May 2012, 03:53 PM   #3
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this would do ?

M-AUDIO - Delta 1010LT - 10-In/10-Out PCI Virtual Studio

i would need at least one digital input
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Last edited by lduarte1973; 7th May 2012 at 03:57 PM.
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Old 7th May 2012, 04:41 PM   #4
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Yes, but too much $$$.

Any card with enough outputs will do

This one looks sweet:
Auzen X-Meridian 7.1 2G
X-Meridian 7.1 2G from Auzentech, Inc. : World First soundcards for Music, HTPC, and Gaming.

Check out this thread:
Choosing a 7.1 Soundcard for Active Crossovers
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Old 9th May 2012, 02:13 PM   #5
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For pennies you can get a used Creative Audigy 2 ZS and install the open source Kx driver Official kX Project Site -- News. This provides a GUI-based system for controlling the Audigy's on-board DSP, routing etc., although you could get by with the default configuration of course.

I'm using it for 3-way active crossover experiments. The audio quality is, reputedly, only adequate (although I wouldn't bet that I could tell the difference!), and I intend to upgrade to a used Creative X-Fi, which will set me back a cool 10 or so, but unfortunately there is no Kx driver or equivalent for it. The Audigy is fine for experiments.
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Old 9th May 2012, 02:19 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s3tup View Post
Any card with enough outputs will do
@s3tup

Do you ever find that two outputs are, effectively, wasted because your source is internally routed to two of the outputs by default? I don't know whether this is true of CD, line or SPDIF sources, but the 'Wave' source often seems to feed the output without the option to turn it off when using it as the 'record' source. There are separate sliders for Wave record and playback in the Windows mixer, but the record slider seems to be fed from the output of the playback slider. This prevents you from interposing your own software crossover filtering for those two outputs. The Kx project allows you to clear this internal routing, but I don't how you'd do it otherwise.
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Old 9th May 2012, 02:52 PM   #7
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Yes there should be the issue if you are going with the scheme of record - manipulate - output.

But i've never tried and seen such approach... I've used the kX in the past with quite open and pleasant DSP routing which overcame the issue.
I've switched to E-MU 0404PCI - so i've got PatchMIX do do the same thing in clunky way - still, you get full control on I/Os.

When you use a DSP which is inbuilt into player, then player's output is already multichannel with processed channels - so no issue here - foobar + foo_dsp_xover is an example of such setup.

But if you use the foobar + xover thing, then other applications could output the sound directly to 1,2 channels - you'll need to assign them to more frequency-tolerant drivers - woofers of some sort in case something goes wrong.

By the way, kX could be used on older E-MU cards, in 44100 bitperfect mode, but with some bugs (at the moment i've tried it). You'll need to config it in console every time you wish to change the samplerate.
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Old 9th May 2012, 03:13 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by s3tup View Post
Yes there should be the issue if you are going with the scheme of record - manipulate - output.
Do you know why they configure the routing the way they do? At first glance, in the Windows mixer, everything looks as it should: separate faders for record and playback for each source. And the PC can write directly to the ouputs via ASIO etc. without going via the mixer.

It's only when you try it, that you realise the record fader for Wave is fed from the output of the playback fader, thus preventing you from 'recording' Wave without it also appearing at the output directly. Is this some sort of throwback to the early Soundblasters and the way they worked? Or is there some logical reason for it that I haven't worked out?
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Old 9th May 2012, 03:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lduarte1973 View Post
i can get this one used for 90 , but i have my doubts if a pc solution will beat the minidsp
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