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Do I need a good sound card for cubase?

 
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Sean_Collier

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Sean_Collier
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1 Posted on 06/02/2005 at 13:59:37
This may sound like a silly question but I'm gonna go ahead and ask it anyways - Why do I need a high end sound card to use cubase? How is a sound card used exactly when producing a track. There is no input/output required to produce a track and then do a mixdown for it.

KitC

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KitC
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2 Posted on 06/02/2005 at 19:12:53

Quote: Why do I need a high end sound card to use cubase? How is a sound card used exactly when producing a track. There is no input/output required to produce a track and then do a mixdown for it.



You soundcard is your input/output medium for sound. If you record any kind of instrument or vocals, you will definitely need a good soundcard to capture that. Onboard sound is not good enough to capture the nuances of a live instrument or performance and onboard soundcards usually have compromised specs (i.e., noisy, fixed sampling rate, etc.). If you're using virtual instruments, you CAN use the onboard sound, but you may not be hearing the full sonic spectrum. Bear in mind that most onboard soundcards and lower end soundcards (including the Audigy) were created with the gamer in mind - not exactly flat frequency response and limited i/o.

hth,

Sean_Collier

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3 Posted on 06/02/2005 at 20:37:02
Oh I see - so its more important if i want to use keyboards and stuff. I have an Echo Indigo DJ soundcard, but I guess it doesnt matter what kind of card I use until I start using a keyboard or external devices.

On my desktop I use an audiophile 2496

KitC

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4 Posted on 06/03/2005 at 00:31:25
Well, it DOES matter... most consumer cards like the earlier soundblasters had a rather high noisefloor. Mixing down multiple tracks thru the same noisy inputs would drastically increase the noise levels especially if you add compression to the mix.

Really good cards like the Indigo and the Audiophile have very low noise floors allowing for a much higher head room when mixing. Even if you don't use keyboards and other instruments, you may want to track vocals at one time and that's where you will realize the importance of a very low noise floor.

Also, the quality of the cards converters determine how good a recording will sound. Having very good to excelent converters in the A/D section is the holy grail of digital recording because poor converters often sound brittle. Conversely, when mixing down, the cards D/A converters come into play because you will then need to hear each and every instrument in a mix and be able to place it in an imaginary 3d space, so to speak. Poor D/A converters will often sound muddy, brittle or lack clarity and depth.

hth,

Sean_Collier

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5 Posted on 06/03/2005 at 04:02:23
thanks for the useful info.
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