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An alternative to X-Fi?

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  • #11
    A quick question: I have onboard realtek sound. Is it worth getting ANY soundcard at all if I want better sound quality and an easier time converting my PC to an audio workstation doing recording and sequencing jobs ?

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    • #12
      I might build a new system and I'd probably want a sound card rather than rely on only onboard sound (probably would be realtek but I think there are some others that have oboard sound, VIA?).

      Anyway, I like that people are debating the X-Fi v.s. other cards since I was considering Creative X-Fi when it was reported there is support in Linux soon (newer kernel, 2.6.30 or 2.6.31?). But, I'm still wary.

      That's why I am looking at Auzentech cards and the HT Omega series such as the Striker. What about those? There is a lot of comparison but it would be good, imho, if the actual card name could be mentioned and maybe approx. price? I'm leaning towards the HT Omega Striker and although it's a bit more than I'd like to spend on a sound card, it seems to get good reviews and I think it's compatible in Linux?

      Oh yeah, I looked at the ALSA compatibility page and not all cards (from a manufacturer is listed) so I have spent some time researching the chipset. However, I find it confusing as each page states you need to complie this or that. I didn't think many of them needed compiling. I am guessing that the (C-Media) CMI chipset is good and maybe some others?

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      • #13
        If you care about quality, the Xonar DS is a very good choice.

        @MetalheadGautham:*if you care about recording multichannel analog audio, get a pro or semi-pro sound card. External cards often offer better quality than internal ones.

        If you care about playback, get a good quality sound card and a good stereo speaker setup. You can also use onboard, as long as you use an external digital decoder/amplifier with no loss in quality.

        If you care about mixing sequenced audio with live performance (e.g. record yourself while playing back a sequenced track), you'll also need low latency (10ms is the largest acceptable). The lowest latency I*have ever seen came from the SoundStorm chip on Nforce 2 motherboards (Athlon*XP*era) - with ASIO drivers, they could reach down to 2ms of latency!

        X-Fi will bring nothing but troubles if you try to use it for recording on Linux with its current drivers (maybe in a couple of years things will be better).

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        • #14
          Asus Xonar DS? What's that?

          I have found Xonar DX (Low Profile PCI version), Xonar D1 (Low profile PCI-e version) and Xonar D2X. I found that a DS exists but not available in my area anywhere.

          Is the DX a higher rated version?

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          • #15
            Originally posted by Panix View Post
            Asus Xonar DS? What's that?

            I have found Xonar DX (Low Profile PCI version), Xonar D1 (Low profile PCI-e version) and Xonar D2X. I found that a DS exists but not available in my area anywhere.

            Is the DX a higher rated version?
            Yes the DX is the higher end card.

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            • #16
              X-Fi is now supported in Kernel v2.6.31 or later.

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              • #17
                Originally posted by BlackStar View Post
                If you care about quality, the Xonar DS is a very good choice.

                @MetalheadGautham:*if you care about recording multichannel analog audio, get a pro or semi-pro sound card. External cards often offer better quality than internal ones.

                If you care about playback, get a good quality sound card and a good stereo speaker setup. You can also use onboard, as long as you use an external digital decoder/amplifier with no loss in quality.

                If you care about mixing sequenced audio with live performance (e.g. record yourself while playing back a sequenced track), you'll also need low latency (10ms is the largest acceptable). The lowest latency I*have ever seen came from the SoundStorm chip on Nforce 2 motherboards (Athlon*XP*era) - with ASIO drivers, they could reach down to 2ms of latency!

                X-Fi will bring nothing but troubles if you try to use it for recording on Linux with its current drivers (maybe in a couple of years things will be better).
                I guess ALL my work would involve using JACK apps like JackRack, Hydrogen, Ardour2, etc.

                I hope to record multiple tracks with my band at the same time (a couple of mics at the drums, a mic for the vocals, 4 line-in points for the keyboards, the bass and two guitars and two extra mics).

                But I guess I can forgo that part and instead just concentrate on recording ONE track at a time and then use audacity/ardour2 to put 'em together.

                And I most certainly need to do work involving mixing sequenced audio with live performance. How would the latency be if I used JackAudio with a X-Fi card ?

                Would either a Xonar DS or a X-Fi do my job ?

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                • #18
                  Originally posted by MetalheadGautham View Post
                  A quick question: I have onboard realtek sound. Is it worth getting ANY soundcard at all if I want better sound quality and an easier time converting my PC to an audio workstation doing recording and sequencing jobs ?
                  I didn't notice a difference between integrated vs audigy 2. Im no sound editor tho.

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