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High-end audio capture cards
#21
Built a new PC with a PCI slot specifically to keep using my M-Audio 2496, but can't seem to get it the drivers to install (see https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/...in7-64-bit and https://homerecording.com/bbs/general-di...lp-405995/ if you want the details). Will keep trying for a bit, but it's probably time to just get a new card. Will probably have to spend a bit more than the $90 I paid for my M-Audio 2496 though...

Thinking about a Focusrite since I want to do analog captures as well, but guess I'll need to get TRS adapters.

Is there a recommended card that's just for analog capture (preferably with at least 24/96 capability)? Was considering a newer M-Audio for analog, and just use the ESI card for digital capture. A quick search of M-Audio VS Focusrite seems to indicate that most people prefer Focusrite, though.
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#22
(2020-11-16, 09:01 PM)BusterD Wrote: Built a new PC with a PCI slot specifically to keep using my M-Audio 2496, but can't seem to get it the drivers to install (see https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/...in7-64-bit and https://homerecording.com/bbs/general-di...lp-405995/ if you want the details). Will keep trying for a bit, but it's probably time to just get a new card. Will probably have to spend a bit more than the $90 I paid for my M-Audio 2496 though...

Thinking about a Focusrite since I want to do analog captures as well, but guess I'll need to get TRS adapters.

Is there a recommended card that's just for analog capture (preferably with at least 24/96 capability)? Was considering a newer M-Audio for analog, and just use the ESI card for digital capture. A quick search of M-Audio VS Focusrite seems to indicate that most people prefer Focusrite, though.

My experience (and therefore opinion) of MAudio is universally terrible, mostly because their driver support is really, really bad. I probably wouldn't go near them again. But I've never used a Focusrite.

Because sync is crucial, I've been doing my analogue captures on the capture card at the same time as the video capture instead of with a separate audio interface. The downside is they're 20-bit because that's the SDI standard, basically, and 48 kHz as opposed to 96. But in practice, I'm a lot more interested in getting in-sync 20-bit 48 kHz captures than getting 24-bit 96 kHz captures that drift. The card is an old Blackmagic Decklink Studio 2, which has a ridiculous number of analogue connections.
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#23
From my post on the Dolby SDU4 thread: (https://forum.fanres.com/thread-1850-pos...l#pid66378)

Quote:ESI U86 XT - seems much better, I like its "simplicity"; brand new is around 290€ though
TASCAM US-16X08 - on amazon.de at 299€, but I like previous one more
Behringer UMC1820 - seems to have similar features at about 229€ is nicer price...

I'm thinking about getting one of these - probably the first one, as, IIRC, ESI is a good brand; FYI tomarrow is against the third (you can read more in his SDU4 thread)
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#24
(2020-11-16, 10:03 PM)spoRv Wrote: From my post on the Dolby SDU4 thread: (https://forum.fanres.com/thread-1850-pos...l#pid66378)

Quote:[*]ESI U86 XT - seems much better, I like its "simplicity"; brand new is around 290€ though
[*]TASCAM US-16X08 - on amazon.de at 299€, but I like previous one more
[*]Behringer UMC1820 - seems to have similar features at about 229€ is nicer price...
[*]
I'm thinking about getting one of these - probably the first one, as, IIRC, ESI is a good brand; FYI tomarrow is against the third (you can read more in his SDU4 thread)

I'm with @TomArrow, everything I've heard about the Behringer is negative really. I almost bought one anyway but talked myself out of it, glad I did because the Decklink manages fine as far as I can tell. The ESI U86 XT I looked at myself as well but didn't end up getting one.
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#25
(2020-11-16, 09:53 PM)pipefan413 Wrote: My experience (and therefore opinion) of MAudio is universally terrible, mostly because their driver support is really, really bad. I probably wouldn't go near them again.

Yeah, probably won't seriously consider them again unless I can find a lot of raving reviews. Already wasted several evenings trying to get my old 2496 working, and their newer stuff doesn't seem much better going by online comments.

Quote:But I've never used a Focusrite.

Me neither, their lower end models be cheaper but I should probably go with something non-USB powered for analog, as Tom indicates in the Dolby SDU4 thread. So it's either a higher end Focusrite or the ESI U86 XT, leaning toward the latter but I'll probably have to wait a while for it to come in stock.

Will just go with the ESI U24XL and do some digital captures for now.


Quote:Because sync is crucial, I've been doing my analogue captures on the capture card at the same time as the video capture instead of with a separate audio interface. The downside is they're 20-bit because that's the SDI standard, basically, and 48 kHz as opposed to 96. But in practice, I'm a lot more interested in getting in-sync 20-bit 48 kHz captures than getting 24-bit 96 kHz captures that drift.

Hmm, I wonder if the drift I got with the 2496 would have improved if I had been using a lower bit-depth/sampling rate. Too late to check with that card now, but will see how things go once I get a new card for analog capture.
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#26
(2020-11-17, 06:01 AM)BusterD Wrote: Hmm, I wonder if the drift I got with the 2496 would have improved if I had been using a lower bit-depth/sampling rate. Too late to check with that card now, but will see how things go once I get a new card for analog capture.

In my experience not really. The reason I was saying I capture analogue audio through my (video) capture card as the video is being captured:

(2020-11-16, 09:53 PM)pipefan413 Wrote: Because sync is crucial, I've been doing my analogue captures on the capture card at the same time as the video capture instead of with a separate audio interface. The downside is they're 20-bit because that's the SDI standard, basically, and 48 kHz as opposed to 96. But in practice, I'm a lot more interested in getting in-sync 20-bit 48 kHz captures than getting 24-bit 96 kHz captures that drift.

It wasn't so much that I meant a lower sample rate would help, it's that the sample rate depends on the specific internal clock speed being used to generate the sample rate as it's converting the analogue signal to digital, and unless that is aligned absolutely rock solid with the video, it'll drift. Capturing it with the video capture card ensures it does align and doesn't drift, as long as everything else is set up perfectly (e.g. my capture card's newest drivers are screwed but an old version seems to give me perfect sync).

I would think that regardless of the specific audio capture interface used, if you're capturing it separately from video, it's probably going to have some drift that you'll have to deal with somehow e.g. resampling to some funny sample rate then fixing it after (which is not ideal because it'd very very slightly affect pitch* unless you also correct for that, and my experience of speed-but-not-pitch correction is that it sounds noticeably bad) or cutting into the audio repeatedly to realign it because it's drifting further and further out as the track progresses. So although I could capture using my ESI interface or my old MAudio one, I'm not. If you've ever overclocked a computer, it's the same basic principle: there's a base clock somewhere that's being multiplied up to get the target frequency for sample capturing, so 96000 kHz won't necessarily be precisely 96000 kHz, but probably something slightly lower or slightly higher (by a very very small margin). As far as I can tell, if this is calculated separately from the video speed (so, frame rate), it'll drift; if captured in sync with the video by grabbing it through the same analogue-to-digital device, as long as that's set up properly, it won't. I verified this with the equipment I have and regardless of which separate capture device I used, or what software, it always drifted off if not done through the video capture card. This includes when I experimented with using AmaRecTV and leaving it to default re. using the video capture card clock, it still drifted if I captured the audio with my sound card, or the ESI, or the MAudio. I would be very keen to figure out if there's a reliable workaround for this but for the time being I'm just doing all analogue audio capture in sync with video through the Decklink and putting up with the fact it's 20-bit 48 kHz (honestly the analogue captures are almost exclusively going to be crackly old mono tracks anyway so it probably doesn't matter very much, although one is the Dolby Stereo for TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE).

* this is pretty much guaranteed to be imperceptible methinks, since we're talking about absolutely tiny sample rate discrepancies
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