[fruityloops] Re: new soundcard?

  • From: "Andy Ebling" <andyebling@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <fruityloops@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 30 Apr 2002 20:34:56 +0100

----- Original Message -----
From: "Sinatra Y2k" <sinatra_y2k@xxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <fruityloops@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Tuesday, April 30, 2002 8:43 PM
Subject: [fruityloops] Re: new soundcard?

> > You probably won't notice an awful lot of difference in quality unless
> > have very revealing monitoring system.
> > The latency you can get with the 2496 should be a lot lower than with
> > Live!
> Latency is definitely a big issue for me ... I don't have a particularly
> revealing montioring system (Alesis Montior 1's with a Samson Servo 120)

Hehe, that is alot more revealing than my monitoring system; Cambridge
Soundworks multimedia speakers or a cheap pair of Sony headphones!

> also I wonder whether I might notice an improvement in the quality of
> softsynths, and effects plug-ins generally - shouldn't they be able to
> function at a higher resolution?

I think some of the higher end softsynths and samplers are capable of
working at higher samplerates and resolution, but remember that will eat
more CPU as more data has to be shifted around, plus there will be a knock
on effect on your downstream effects.  It probably isn't work it.

> Shouldn't I be able to render the *.wavs
> at a higher resolution?

You should be able to do this with your setup as it is, but of course you
can't here the full resolution.  In the render settings dialog of
fruityloops, you can choose 32 bit floats and then import this into an
editor that understands 32 bit wavs (like cooledit Pro for example).   I
know for a fact that cool edit pro can read and process a 32 bit wav file,
but play it back thru a 16 bit device.

That said, true 24bit playback of a mix down is much more of a plus than 24
bit softsynths, the whole mix will be more detailed, dynamic and noise free
:-)).  Remember though, it still has to sound good in crunchy old 16 bit,
for CD!!

> Or when we talk about sound quality (insofar as the
> soundcard is concerned), are we really only talking about recording
> stuff, and the A/D conversion (and therefore stuff that starts and stays
> digital would not be tangibly improved).

If you take the signal out of your soundcard in the digital domain to a DAT
machine or external/rackmounted DAC, then in theory two different soundcards
should be exactly the same (although in practice one may add more jitter to
the digital signal, so degrade it slightly).  However, if you are using the
analogue outputs, the quality of the soundcard will directly affect the
quality of sound coming out of the computer.

When you come to record the same applies.  If you put the analogue signal
into a digital mixer and then feed the resulting digital signal into the
soundcards digital input, the soundcard should have little or no influence
on the signal, but if the analogue stage is used it does have a strong
baring on the signal.  My guess (this is just gut feeling) is that the 2496
will give you a significant quality boost in record quality; soundblaster
cards are, afterall aimed at the consumer market where playback is the most
important function.  In the professional environment (more where the 2496 is
aimed), recording is more important so you would hope that more time would
be spent on getting the input stage right from a design/implementation point
of view.

The extra headroom given by a higher resolution card can be useful when it
comes to recording live instruments or vocalists.  You will be able to get
away with less compression (so leave room for more flexible post processing)
before clipping or noise becomes a problem, so this gives you the advantage
of leaving production decisions until later in the production process.

> > Bare in mind that the 2496 has no on-board MIDI synth.  That isn't an
> issue
> > for me, but it might be for some people.  You _might_ be able to keep
> > Live! in there as well (although I have heard of people having problems
> > getting both the Live! and the 2496 to play nice in the same system).
> This shouldn't affect my MIDI controller, though, should it?  I haven't
> using MIDI-proper, or soundfonts or anything like that - just my knob box,
> and my shiny new Oxygen-8 (which is USB anyways, so it should be okay .. i
> think?!)

No, shouldn't have any effect on that.

Talking of controllers, I managed to get my thrustmaster joystick going as
an analogue controller in fruity this afternoon.  Its really cool to put the
cut off on the X axis and the resonance on the Y axis, especially on drum
loops.  I use the X-Y controller in fruity and then link knobs to that
controller to get the desired effect.  I guess laptop users with touch pads
have pretty much a Korg Kaos pad, but without the flashing lights.

I'll stop waffling on now and get back to making some music.


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