Originally Posted by Daniel Joseph
Thanks for the response. This definitely looks like the way to go for me .
One last question...
What are good trs to trs cables for hooking up the dmp3 to the 1212m? I want the least amount of noise possible, do the length of the cables affect the sound?
also what DAW's can i run with the 1212m pcie?
I'm not aware of any specific issues between the EMU 1212M and any particular DAW... however, if you have a few in mind, you'd be very wise to Google up the answers for yourself. As for cables... DISCLAIMER
: The following is not based on my experience, but rather based upon my distillation of countless threads here on GS into what I deem to be the key information for me...
Most people here will say the best cables are the ones that you build yourself. 5 minutes of you tube video, a soldering iron, and a quick search of this forum should give you all the links, info, and confidence you need to tackle this project. And after you've built two "good" cables, you'll be money ahead. I have not personally built any cables, but I have repaired ones that have broken. Cables are genuinely an easy thing to build/repair, there's really not much that can go wrong. If you can solder or ever wanted to learn how, cables are a great place to start and you can build top of the line cables for less than $15 a piece. Mogami and Canare are two highly-regarded manufacturers of the raw cable. Neutrik is among the best for connectors, though there are other good ones as well. And, with DIY, I like the idea of being able to use Neutrik's multi-colored connector rings or different colored cables (yes, there's lots of colors besides black!) that make it easy to spot the right connector or cable amidst a mess of wires.
But if DIY is not your thing, just get what you can afford. For the lengths we're talking about in the typical home studio, I don't believe that "good cables" are a wise investment from a sound-quality standpoint (with the possible exception of quad-core cables, discussed below). On our budget, we can probably do better with ten $10 cables and an extra $300 in gear for something we really need, rather than blowing $400 for those same ten cables... but from the standpoint of longevity and resistance to abuse the fancy cables are nice to have. The question there is... How do you treat your cables? And do you keep spares?
Generally, you should opt for the shortest cable that will work, but unless we're talking about really long lengths (30+ feet), I really don't believe anyone would notice a substantial difference (although there are those people who are convinced they can tell the difference, of course). HOWEVER, one place where the home studio can be really bad (in my experience) is with regard to radio frequency (RF) interference. Everything in your home studio is packed much closer than in a pro setup. Therefore, RF interference is all around you and your cables. Your cell phone, your computer, monitors, amps, etc etc are all kicking out this RF noise that can slip past the shielding and get picked up by the cables. So going with the shortest possible cable, and selecting a quad cable over a traditional 2-strand MAY yield tangible benefits in the home studio.. but that's just my own conjecture.