SYNTH ZONE
Visit The Bar For Casual Discussion
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >
Topic Options
#141750 - 01/17/06 08:16 AM Laptop Sound Card
Charlie71 Offline
Member

Registered: 06/28/05
Posts: 45
Loc: Alice, TX 78332
Howdy Everyone,
I have just started experimenting with recording with my laptop. I'm using Power Tracks Pro Audio 8. I wanted to record some songs to post on the Zone, but I have discovered, to my horror, that when I record myself with just a standard UB1002FX mixer (reverb set to 00) straight into the microphone on my laptop, I SOUND HORRIBLE! When I listen with my headphones it sounds FINE, but the recording is "leaving out" a lot of the range. Will a better sound card help me out or am I about to face the cold hard fact that my voice is not very good?

My second question is this:
What PCMCIA sound card would you recommend. The Creative Sound Blaster Audigy looks good and is in my price range ($100). Does anyone have any experience with this model or can you recommend something else in that price range?

Thanks so much!
Charlie
_________________________
---------------------
Music rules the world!

Charlie

Top
#141751 - 01/17/06 08:40 AM Re: Laptop Sound Card
GlennT Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/01/02
Posts: 1774
Loc: Medina, OH, USA
Quote:
Originally posted by Charlie71:
The Creative Sound Blaster Audigy looks good


That's the one I just obtained, the Audigy 2 ZS. Haven't tried it out yet, but it's been highly recommended by others. Do a google for a rebate.

Glenn

Top
#141752 - 01/17/06 08:43 AM Re: Laptop Sound Card
Charlie71 Offline
Member

Registered: 06/28/05
Posts: 45
Loc: Alice, TX 78332
Thanks Glenn...
I'll check for the rebate and BTW, congratulations on your Senior Dance success... there is nothing better than having a performance that everyone enjoys; that's what it is all about.

Charlie
_________________________
---------------------
Music rules the world!

Charlie

Top
#141753 - 01/17/06 09:09 AM Re: Laptop Sound Card
tony mads usa Online   cool2
Senior Member

Registered: 01/16/02
Posts: 14267
Loc: East Greenwich RI USA
I'm using the Creative SB Audigy as well ... sounds real good, but there are times that the vocals seem to be missing some of the mids and highs ... could also be due to the speakers you are listening through ...
t.
_________________________
t. cool

Top
#141754 - 01/17/06 10:30 AM Re: Laptop Sound Card
Charlie71 Offline
Member

Registered: 06/28/05
Posts: 45
Loc: Alice, TX 78332
Tony...
You may have struck on the real issue here... When I play the recording back, I have been playing it back on the LAPTOP! How stupid of me.... maybe if I save it as an MP3 and then put it on a CD and play it through my CD player hooked to my Z5500s, it will sound better?
What do you think?
Thanks,
Charlie
_________________________
---------------------
Music rules the world!

Charlie

Top
#141755 - 01/17/06 10:32 AM Re: Laptop Sound Card
travlin'easy Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/08/02
Posts: 15024
Loc: Forest Hill, MD USA
If the song sounds good through the headphones, but lousy from the speakers--it's not the sound card's fault--it's the speaker system.

Most OEM sound cards work just fine, and more often than not they'll provide you with excellent quality recordings, both midi and audio (.wav/mp3). I wish I had a dollar for every person that thought their recordings would dramatically improve just by changing the sound card--hell, I could have been retired by now.

The bottom line is the card is likely not the culprit. The easy test is to put a professionally recorded CD in the laptop,fire it through the speakers, then plug in the headphones and take note of the difference. If the speakers don't sound as good as the headphones, and you cannot tune the sound system to closely match the headphones using the EQ, etc, then it's time to think seriously about buying a new sound system.

Good Luck,

Gary

------------------
Travlin' Easy
_________________________
PSR-S950, TC Helicon Harmony-M, Digitech VR, Samson Q7, Sennheiser E855, Custom Console, and lots of other silly stuff!

K+E=W (Knowledge Plus Experience = Wisdom.)

Top
#141756 - 01/17/06 10:41 AM Re: Laptop Sound Card
Bluezplayer Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 11/10/00
Posts: 2195
Loc: Catskill Mountains, NY
Good point Gary. You can get a decent recording and playback even using most of the cheap soundcards that come in today's computers.

The Audigy will add some to the quality of any digital recordings that you may wnat to do, along with the advantage of using ASIO drivers that will greatly reduce latency, but you can do ok without it. If latency becomes an issue, you could always employ the use of the freeware ASIO4All generic ASIO drivers, which pretty much will work with just about any XP system and soundcard. I've used that setup with my laptop ( as a sound module only, not for recording ) when both space and setup time was at a premium and I didn't want to bring my USB quattro external soundcare along.

If you're going to do any serious recording, mixing, and mastering, that's when you might need to consider a higher quality card. The Audigy is fine, but I doubt you'd ever see it in action in any pro studio.

AJ
_________________________
AJ

Top
#141757 - 01/17/06 10:43 AM Re: Laptop Sound Card
Charlie71 Offline
Member

Registered: 06/28/05
Posts: 45
Loc: Alice, TX 78332
Howdy Gary!
First of all, I didn't quite explain my setup... the headphones that I'm referring to are plugged into the "headphones" plug on the UB1002FX mixer, not the laptop. When I listen to what I'm recording, it sounds GOOD, but when I play it back on the laptop, it sounds TERRIBLE. So the sound card COULD be the problem... right?
WAIT, WAIT, WAIT... I just thought of another test.... I'll do as Gary suggested and plug my headphones into the laptop and see how it sounds bypassing the laptop speakers.
Thanks,
Charlie

[This message has been edited by Charlie71 (edited 01-17-2006).]
_________________________
---------------------
Music rules the world!

Charlie

Top
#141758 - 01/17/06 10:50 AM Re: Laptop Sound Card
Bluezplayer Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 11/10/00
Posts: 2195
Loc: Catskill Mountains, NY
Maybe ...but there are other possibilities to explore as well. You may be overdriving the signal from the mixer into the laptop. Remember that the laptop's soundcard probably has a mic input as opposed to a line input. because of this, it is important to greatly reduce the amount of signal going from the mixer to the card.

Does PT 8 have any Vu meters ( I'm not that familiar with the app ). If so, these should tell the story. If not, you might want to d/l a freeware one from somewhere like KVR Audio.

Another Q .. Are you recording at 44Khz and 16 bits. If you are recording at less there will surely be a noticeable degradation in sound quality.

What type of cords / jacks are you using between the two ?

AJ
_________________________
AJ

Top
#141759 - 01/17/06 12:26 PM Re: Laptop Sound Card
Charlie71 Offline
Member

Registered: 06/28/05
Posts: 45
Loc: Alice, TX 78332
Howdy AJ,

First, let me re-iterate the main issue. The recording seems to be very "dry" and doesn't sound full like I'm hearing it as I record it. Even the reverb that I add seems to be missing and the accompaniment is missing the "fullness" that I hear when I'm listening to the sound as I'm recording it. There is no "interference" or "static" or anything like that, it just sounds like it was recorded on a portable cassette recorder with only the condenser mic.

Now for the rest of your questions:
Power Tracks has Vu Meters and I'm definitely not overdriving the input. I have it set so that my max is less than the "clip" limit. As far as cables, I'm using a standard "double RCA to Mini 1/8 plug. I'm using the "out to tape" connectors on the UB1002FX and connecting directly to the "microphone" input on the laptop. There is no "line in" on my laptop.

How do I check to see if I'm recording at 44Khz and 16 bits?

Thanks,
Charlie

[This message has been edited by Charlie71 (edited 01-17-2006).]

[This message has been edited by Charlie71 (edited 01-17-2006).]
_________________________
---------------------
Music rules the world!

Charlie

Top
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >

Moderator:  Admin 



Help keep Synth Zone Online