DO I really need to BUY a soundcard?

Hi,
I have an onboard soundcard with my P4 celeron 2.6. It uses the AC '97 driver.

My question is…do I really need to buy a reaking $100 Sound Blaster for my computer? I want to record my LP collection and write the Wave files onto DVD> IS a new PCI soundcard like soundblaster really going ot help at all with the quality, or is it a waste of money?

Thanks,
-Alex

when i got my Asus A7V133, it had an on-board sound card, i was happy with it a couple of years, then i got a SoundBlaster 4.1 Digital, it’s good.

but now, nearly all motherboards includes AC’97 sound systems with 5.1, 6.1 or 7.1 outputs, i think they are good, and no need to another sound card, UNLESS you need the great performance and sound quality of the add-on cards…

About the only reason I can see for buying a Soundblaster is for the EAX gaming extensions, it really depends on if you play lots of First Person Shooters where you need positional audio cues.

i have 1 of these http://www.soundblaster.com/products/Audigy2ZS_platinum_pro/ not sure if i can get my Digital Klipsch to sound like they do now with onboard sound. I listen to alotta MP3’s on my PC. You my not. You do not need a good sound card to make LP to WAV files just try www.musicmatch.com i think the free version will do it.

If you are going to do vinyl restoration I would suggest atleast a Soundblaster Audigy or preferably a Terratec, but it is not neccisary. If you are not that all concerned with sound quality, just use your built in sound. :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

Other than the obvious increase in sound quality it will take some load from the CPU, and lets face it them celerys need all the help they can get! just kidding the new celerons are pretty good, tbh unless your running your pc through some serious audio equipment you arent going to see much difference, even in high end games you wont see much of a difference, unless ofcourse your some sort of audiophile who sits for hours scrutinising each note, 100$ for a soundcard? id put that money towards a 6800GT tbqfh!

EDIT - unless this vinyl is really rare stuff how about just going and downloading the tracks in mp3 format? if you own the ‘original’ track then i cant see any problems with it, the cd version ripped to mp3 at 192kbps+ will run rings round vinyl

Hate to disagree, but a mp3 at any bitrate will have nowhere near the sonic quality of a properly recorded vinyl track given that the person doing the recording is using good equipment. Also if the track is rare the chances of finding a good quality mp3 is limited. They have to come from somewhere. Crap in = crap out you know. :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

Hmm…there are a lot of replies, which are nice. But they all seem kind of…er… give different advice.

I do care about sound quality, but I am sure if buying a sound card will make any noticable difference when recording from vinyl. BTW, all my LPs are classical, so the sound quality does make a difference.

Still not sure what to do…anyone ever been through what I’m doing?

Maybe this can get you started…

Vinyl is analogue = real time recording amplitude which is combination of all frequencies.
CD is digitally sampled -> meaning limited resolution, and only discrete values.

So a cd signal is only a close approximation of a reconstructed waveform of the original recording. Whereas the vinyl is a much more accurate approximation of the original recording, well much closer than approximation.

Hate to disagree, but a mp3 at any bitrate will have nowhere near the sonic quality of a properly recorded vinyl track given that the person doing the recording is using good equipment. Also if the track is rare the chances of finding a good quality mp3 is limited. They have to come from somewhere. Crap in = crap out you know.

I have to disagree because what format do you think he will be saving it to? perhaps WAV or another lossless format, well the best audiophiles in the world did a test and none of them could detect the difference between MP3 at 256kbps and CD, CD being losless, his vinyl track cant magically keep its extra frequencies (that cd doesnt have but undetectable by the human ear) just because the original was vinyl, as soon as he saves it to WAV format or whatever it will be just as CD is, so basically what im saying is the best audiophiles in the world cant tell CD from 256kbps MP3, so neither can you

So a cd signal is only a close approximation of a reconstructed waveform of the original recording. Whereas the vinyl is a much more accurate approximation of the original recording, well much closer than approximation

Yes your right, but its how the human ear interprits the sound that matters not the scientific babble, just because vinyl looks better on paper doesnt mean its better quality in real life performance

[QUOTE=alexliszt]Hmm…there are a lot of replies, which are nice. But they all seem kind of…er… give different advice.

I do care about sound quality, but I am sure if buying a sound card will make any noticable difference when recording from vinyl. BTW, all my LPs are classical, so the sound quality does make a difference.

I have done hundreds of restorations and regardless of what mr brownstone says mp3 will not sound as good as an original recording from vinyl.
The process of recording is once the analog source enters the pc it is recorded as wav files. Once you convert to mp3 you will lose quality, there is no way around it. I don’t no what audiofiles he is speaking of and what “test”
he is speaking of but anyone that has experience in audio restoration would not archive their valuable tracks as mp3s, the time involved in restoring a vinyl record is valuable to me and I would never convert from wav to an mp3 format. If mp3s are so good why are people always changing and coming up with ny mp3 formats claiming theirs is better than the rest. Just as debro says cd is digital sampling and you can hear the difference.

I don’t no what audiofiles he is speaking of and what “test”
he is speaking of

http://www.geocities.com/altbinariessoundsmusicclassical/mp3test.html

and

http://www.mp3-tech.org/tests/gb/

but anyone that has experience in audio restoration would not archive their valuable tracks as mp3s

I dont mean this as an insult but if they are all as closed minded as you then no they wont.

If mp3s are so good why are people always changing and coming up with ny mp3 formats claiming theirs is better than the rest.

All the new Mp3pro/WMA formats and the rest are designed to give higher compression rates and keep audible quality, this is aimed at people who download at 128kbps and below to give smaller file sizes not better sound quality, not people who listen to MP3 at 192kbps+

Just as debro says cd is digital sampling and you can hear the difference.

Correct i can hear a difference, all the background noise with vinyl is gone and the sound quality far surpasses anything vinyl can do, as i said just because vinyl looks better on paper doesnt mean the ear thinks it is, i agree vinyl does have its special qualitys, but for pure musical perfection ‘according to the human ear’ it cant beat digital.

Unless the onboard has a high noise floor (higher than the noise floor of the source) or other discernible imperfections, I’d go with the onboard.

The Onboard drawbacks are that the can have a higher noise floor, since they are close to noisy digital stuff, and they do have a higher CPU usage (though that normally concerns gamers).

Unless there is a problem with the onboard, a normal priced soundcard might not be that much of an improvement - bizarrely, at the PCAVtech site, a generic Crystal CS4232 chipset card gets some really excellent results - up with cards that probably cost ten times as much

No, what you were basically saying is that he should download the files which are rare and hopefully find the files at a bit rate of 192+ not 256+. Granted most people could not hear a difference of a wave file and a mp3 recorded in certain types of mp3 formats at high a bit rate. The problem arises when you try and take that mp3 file and convert it back to wav and burn it.
As for recording a vinyl track to harddrive if you knew anything about the capabilities of the software available you would not of made the comments about sound quality of restored vinyl.
http://www.tracertek.com/newway.htm
some reading if you are interested.
Back to alexliszt question, if you are interested is just recording you vinyl it is a simple process. that can be done with your on board sound card, a turntable, and sometype of preamp to bring the signal to line level, with good results. If you would like a copy of a treasured album that rivals the best digitally remastered SACDs get a good card, Terratec, or a card from tracertek. I thoroughly enjoy spending time working on a album that you just can’t find, restoring, and listening to the end result. :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile: