Pick a Sound Card and Start Your Home Recording

Digital recording becomes more and more popular now. By encoding analog sound into digital format, we can now process sound digitally, adding effects, mixing, and so on, plus edit to literally dozens of “generations” without any loss of quality. At this point, all you need is money, because even entry-level standalone digital equipment generally costs at least US$ 1000 to get started.

One way to beat this problem is to take the computer you obviously already have and by adding some boards and software to it, turn it into a digital multitrack recorder. This presupposes that you have a pretty good computer already; I would recommend a 166 MHz Pentium with 64 MB of RAM and 4 GB of free hard disk space as a minimum, but plenty of people have gotten by with less.

For the best results, what you want is to get a high-quality digital sound card made for this purpose.

What features do I need in an audio card? 3 things that need to be considered:

1. How many simultaneous inputs do I need?
2. Do I want to record with microphones? (If so I am going to need mic pre amps)
3. How much am I willing to spend?

Choosing the features is important to decide which is governed by if you will use a mixer, pre amps or one of the other types of recording setups.

Which cards sound the best for recording audio? There are 3 areas which effect audio quality in just the audio-card:

1. Converters used in the card;
2. Analog circuitry before and after the ad and da converters this includes built in pre amps;
3. If the sound-card is rate-locked.

The main thing which effects quality is the converters used in the card, next is if it resamples because the card is rate locked and lastly the analog design of the card also will affect the cards quality. The converters that most professional card use that sound good are made by AKM.

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