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Looking for a soundcard - Just one that works!
Old 15th August 2017
  #1
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Looking for a soundcard - Just one that works!

Hi,
I'm a little at my wits end with my PC setup, not sure where to go. I built it in 2009, at the time was good spec. I didn't get much time to use it and I'm trying to get it going again. At the time I used Win XP 32 bit, my Mixtreme 192 sound card worked beautifullly, but as I bought more plugins & libraries, I needed more RAM, so added an extra drive and installed Win7 64 bit, so that card is now obsolete.

So here's my spec now:
Asus P5Q Pro board, intel Q9650, 8GB Kingston Hyperex DDR2, 4x SATA 2 (one still has the XP install in case I eventually give up!). Win7 64 bit, Cubase 5.

I bought an EMU 0404 PCI-e sound card, after searching the net, many people said it worked ok in Win7. For me, playback is fine, but I just can't record with it, no matter how I edit the buffer settings, it stutters/skips. I've scoured the net and tried every suggested fix, but no joy.

Is there a PCI or PCI-e card that will definitely work with my motherboard and Win7 64 bit? The board is only USB 2, so I'm guessing an interface won't be any good, will it?
Old 16th August 2017
  #2
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Maybe there's some other system specific issue, but I have one 0404 PCIe and I've used it at some HP Z800 and Z600 machines without any problems at Windows 7. It wasn't Cubase, but it worked well with both ASIO and WDM drivers.
Because of that, I'm not really sure, there isn't any other issues with your system, so while there are certainly some other choices for PCI or PCIe, I can't really predict, if it will be "just working there".

Michal
Old 16th August 2017
  #3
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Hey thanks for the reply.

I did actually manage to record a clean vocal track after disabling the on board sound in the BIOS, then reinstalling the EMU. I thought for a moment I had it solved, but then I tried recording another track and I was back to square 1. I can't even replicate that feat.

I guess that proves at least the thing is capable of doing it, I just wish I could figure out how to make it happen more than once.

I got a Toneport UX2, I never tried recording thru it, but if I can go in thru that and monitor thru the emu, then I suppose that will do as long as it sounds ok.

Most of the pci/pcie cards I've looked at, even new only seem to support up to Vista. I been out of the game so long, I'm guessing its moving on to USB 3 or thunderbolt now? Neither of which my motherboard can do.
Old 16th August 2017
  #4
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Two different interfaces at the same time won't cut.. DAW has to communicate with single ASIO driver.
It's still weird to me, EMU only glitches during recording. If that will be some buffer issue or so, it would certainly affect also playback.
That way, it rather looks like some hardware problem of particular interface.. Btw. did it work in another computer?, have you tested some other recording software instead of old Cubase? (like Reaper, which has long trial and it's easy to get.. or even some generic Windows WDM application like Audacity or Wavosaur.. if there will be hardware problem, it has to exhibit also there)

USB 3 is derail, unless you're going to record a lot of simultaneous channels, no need to worry about that. For small interfaces, it's has same characteristics as USB 2.0.
Thunerbolt at PC works with some interfaces, but it's rather extremely sensitive to particular setup IME (board, extension card, TB firmware, drivers, OS version).. compared to OS X, where TB is main interface for hi-perf external peripherals.

If you found only Vista supported PCI interfaces, then you looked just to some vintage or obsolete hardware. For example all internal RME interfaces has support up to Windows 10, similarly like ESI [email protected] XTE or Marian cards.
If there's one vendor, which I would trust with regards to well written drivers and broad software compatibility, it will be RME. It's pricier (although used PCI HDSP 9632 interfaces for instance aren't as expensive nowadays), but well worth of it.
Finally at your Core2Quad setup, you could also check some USB Babyface.. older Babyface (non Pro) model is still very good compact integrated interface with good sound and rock solid drivers. Check some eBay or so.
All RME interfaces I've been using were pretty much set and forget.. unless there will be some system issue.

Michal
Old 16th August 2017
  #5
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Hmm plenty for me to think about there, thanks.

I can eliminate the hard drive. It's defragmented and there's a ton of tracks I've recorded to it already. It's the drive that still has XP/32 on it.
There is only this card set up in Cubase. I only use the Toneport for monitoring thru my mixer without latency whilst I send the dry signal into the DAW.

It's in full duplex mode. One thing that does confuse me is in device set up, I choose asio full duplex, but in the drop-down, there is also an option for the emu, but if I select that, I get nothing whatsoever. I either forgotten or never learned this properly, but the sound is going in and coming out of the emu card.

Set and forget is something I like very much, that's why I ate toast for a month and bought that mixtreme card years ago. 16 in and out at 192 and it was as sure as a reel of tape, but alas its just as obsolete now.

I did see the RME card although it's about double the price of the ones I was looking at, but if I can spend my time working to pay for something that'll work, I'd rather that than spend the same amount of time trying to troubleshoot something that won't..
Just checked their site for the driver, you're right. Just the stores I looked at didn't list it.
Old 16th August 2017
  #6
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Oh I haven't tried this card on anything else, i'll give that a try. Although I can't see why there should be any compatibility issue with this version of Cubase, since they were both around at the same time.
Nonetheless, nothing to lose checking on that, thanks.

I do like the look of that baby face. So that thing sends audio thru USB into my daw and plays back thru it aswell?
These days its just me, recording 1 track at a time, or maybe 2 if I want to use an ambient Mic or something, so maybe that'll be ideal..
Old 16th August 2017
  #7
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Just having another go at this damn EMU this morning (Sounds like a Sesame Street scene!)

Anyway, here are my ASIO settings. I noticed that its set to 16 bits per sample for some reason and there's no way I can find to change it. In windows control panel its set to 24 bits. Not sure if that's what could be causing the trouble. Getting ready to throw it out and look for something else now, Its taking up too much time.. :/
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Looking for a soundcard - Just one that works!-asio.png  
Old 16th August 2017
  #8
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So you have that wrong, because you seems to be using Steinberg DirectX ASIO driver, which is meant only for use with audio interface, which doesn't have own ASIO driver (like some audio interface at motherboard). Essentially, it's emulation.
You have to select EMU ASIO driver there to have full performance and to bypass Windows software layers, when accessing the audio device.

Michal
Old 16th August 2017
  #9
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Right ok, in that case the EMU doesn't work. If I choose the EMU ASIO driver, I get nothing whatsoever in or out.

I have now disabled it and started using my Line 6 Toneport. I actually had no idea I could record audio into my DAW and monitor with that thru USB!

Recording quality seems ok, vocal doesn't sound quite as sweet as I'm used to, but I can fire up and start doing stuff now at last.

I watched some stuff on youtube about the babyface, I'll have me one of those I think..

Thanks for helping me out with this, I really appreciate it
Old 16th August 2017
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loosenut View Post
Right ok, in that case the EMU doesn't work. If I choose the EMU ASIO driver, I get nothing whatsoever in or out.
So transport is moving, but nothing is playing out, right?
In that case, I believe you have something badly set in EMU PatchMix software.
You should create new default session with appropriate sample rate there.
Also, when you start playback, audio should be indicated at peakmeters in PatchMix.

Michal
Old 16th August 2017
  #11
You may have already come across this but perhaps it's pertinent to your situation:

Soundscape Mixtreme and Windows 7 -DAVID Systems - Customer Service Portal | Customer Service Portal
Old 16th August 2017
  #12
You've disabled your motherboards on-board audio, good. If you haven't already, also try disabling any wireless capability. I go further by disabling Ethernet capability because I don't need it, my DAW PC's are never on-line, ever.

If you're not hearing anything from that audio interface, my guess is that you're probably not setting it up correctly, or your Cubase VST Inputs & Outputs aren't set, and/or you have not assigned the sound the channel(s) within your Cubase tracks within the Arrange Window (to the left pane after you've selected/highlighted your track).

I've read some audio cards in years past got along better using one sample rate over another, so try different rates. When I set my sample rate (within my audio interface software control panel) I also go into Cubase and set the sample rate for my project.

It could very well be that your drivers aren't so great working with Win 7 64 bit, who knows... you'll have to research to see if others have that card working well with Win 7 64 bit or not.

On my Win XP 32 slaves I'm using all Aardvark PCI based cards, I have mostly Q10's & some Aark 24 cards. I've read that some of the older motherboards voltage on the PCI slots are like 5 volts, however some newer boards don't put out 5 volts, more like 3.5 volts or so. Luckily my ASUS P5KC mother boards have the 5 volt slots, because all those older Aardvarks need/use 5 volts!

On my main/master 12 core/48 GB ram PC, a Lenovo ThinkStation D-20 workstation type PC, I'm using Win 7 Pro 64 bit, with older Tascam firewire based interfaces, a FW-1082 & FW-1884. These Tascams didn't really work well on my Win XP machines with my ASUS P5KC mobo's (maybe because I had the Win 7 driver? or it was the motherboard that didn't play well), but they work great on my Lenovo ThinkStation with it's own built-in firewire (TI chip based) port right out of the box. I'm not suggesting these old Tascams to you though, they can be hit & miss depending on the computer & firewire interface. They just happen to play very well with my Lenovo model.
Old 17th August 2017
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
You may have already come across this but perhaps it's pertinent to your situation:

Soundscape Mixtreme and Windows 7 -DAVID Systems - Customer Service Portal | Customer Service Portal
Ah yes I already tried that, thanks. I was really hoping it would work, but the driver doesn't even start. I think it may work on win7/32, but soundscape and later sydec never made 64 bit drivers for this card. Such a shame, for such nice piece of kit!

Thanks Steve and Michal. I did check the ins and outs of the channels and also Cubase. Cubase was sending audio to the emu and each channel was using the appropriate L or R from the emu. The playback was fine and it did actually record, just badly.

I couldn't figure out how to get anything into patchmix if I switched from the direct x to the emu in Cuba's settings. I think you may have found where my problem might be. Ill reinstall the emu and patchmix just to be sure and see what I find..

Old 21st August 2017
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msmucr View Post
So transport is moving, but nothing is playing out, right?
In that case, I believe you have something badly set in EMU PatchMix software.
You should create new default session with appropriate sample rate there.
Also, when you start playback, audio should be indicated at peakmeters in PatchMix.

Michal
Yes, it was something to do with the sends/inserts of Patchmix. I've been playing with them and also the VST connections in Cubase and so far I managed to get playback on strip 1 and recording in on 3/4. Its recording properly, although the sends/inserts in patchmix is confusing the hell out of me, so I just need to learn how to use it properly and I should be ok to carry on recording. I'll go & find some tutorials.

Thanks everyone for helping me out, much appreciated
Old 21st August 2017
  #15
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foamboy's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loosenut View Post
Win7 64 bit, Cubase 5.
Personally, I think the problem is Cubase 5 with Win 7 x64. I have the exact same Asus system, I am running 2 Saffire Pro 40's with C9 and zero problems.

I tried using C6 when I upgraded to Win 7 and had lots of problems until I upgrade to C7.

Try downloading the C9 demo and see if you get enhanced performance.

Good luck,

fb
Old 22nd August 2017
  #16
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Ron Vogel's Avatar
 

I have nearly the same setup as you. Except I have a P5Q-EM.

I have to overclock mine, the FSB needs to be faster. I had the Q9650 at 3.2Ghz with a P5K Mobo and 4 gig ram....but when I switched to the P5Q and 8 gig the system was slow.

It's the 8 Gig ram, and it's difficult to OC one of those boards with 4 slots filled.

I had to lower my multiplier to 8.5, and run it at 420Mhz to get around 3.7ish Ghz. I am also water cooled btw...

Anyway the performance is pretty good with my UH7000.

I did find that I could run 24/7 on my 4 Gig ram rig at 1100Mhz, but with 8 Gig it doesn't play nice over 1000.


If you don't want to OC it, I totally understand; but I would consider a more modern I5/I7 rig with DDR4 if you don't. Even OC'd the Core 2's won't match their speed.

If you want a screenshot of my Bios settings just PM me. There are a lot of options for the P5Q's, and it took me a few evenings to find out what worked.

Also, watch for sales on a water cooling set-up, my CPU never goes above 45C during stress testing at 3.7GHz!
Old 22nd August 2017
  #17
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Ron Vogel's Avatar
 

Forgot to mention, I also have a SATA 3 PCIe adapter running an 850evo SSD. That will also help
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