Quantcast Soundcard or onboard sound for video capture? - digitalFAQ Forum
  #1  
06-18-2012, 11:06 AM
david151 david151 is offline
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I am just in the process of putting a system together for uncompressed video capture from VCR (using all in wonder 9800). In terms of capturing the sound with the video I wondered what the best option would be?

1) My motherboard is the Asrock ALiveDual-eSATA2 which uses the C-Media CM6501 Audio Codec with UAA architecture. The motherboard has a CD header directly on it so I could connect the All in wonder card with a CD cable directly to the board and use onboard sound for capture.

2) Use a sound blaster audigy 2 zs which I currently already have, however this card is much older than the motherboard so would it really be much better than using onboard sound in option 1?

3) Use a sound blaster x-fi fatal1ty which seems to be a step up from the audigy 2 zs, however how beneficial would it be compared to onboard sound in option 1?

4) Use an M-Audio Delta Audiophile 2496. From forum reviews it seems this is a highly rated card and provides a great balance between cost and performance. While the SoundBlaster cards are often referred to as gaming cards the M audio seems to have the edge in terms of professional sound recording. The problem is the card does not have any headers on it to accept a CD cable from the All in wonder card. I know I could just bypass the All in wonder card and go from the VCR for audio directly into the soundcard, however I have read a few posts saying it is better to pass audio through the All in Wonder card to help reduce sync problems.

I would be really interested to see what people recommend. Not really worried about expense (within reason) as I just want to get the best results I can.

Thanks Dave
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  #2  
06-18-2012, 11:31 AM
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On-board C-Media audio tends to be horrible, and won't maintain a clock sync. Don't use it. When using the audio card with capturing video, always use a quality dedicated PCI audio card. (This obviously excludes situations where the audio is hardware encoded with the video.)

Sound Blaster Audigy is fine. Note that the oldest/first Audigy cards had problems, circa 2002-2004.

There's no reason to believe the Sound Blaster X-Fi Fatal1ty will have better audio quality. When it comes to audio cards, the only "better" stuff on the card are the surround-sound features, multiple I/O, etc -- in other words, things that do not matter for the purpose of capturing video. In fact, sometimes these extra whizbang features inhibit proper audio capturing, or cooperation with video capture cards!

M-Audio Delta Audiophile 2496 is probably a fine card, purely from the point-of-view of audio playback, but again there's no real advantage between it and the Sound Blaster card for capturing HiFi audio from a VCR.

Unlike a lot of the other hardware aspects of capturing video, the audio card itself is either (1) working, or (2) not working. The "quality" of the card isn't really a concern. The main issue to look for in audio cards is how much the gain may be badly boosted, or if the clock will not sync properly, but that's generally an issue only found in the cheap chipsets integrated into motherboards. You're not going to face that issue with a name-brand PCI card from Creative Sound Blaster, Turtle Beach, M-Audio, or others. Even off-brand PCI audio cards tend to be passable.

A bigger concern is speaker quality. Far too many people use cheap/junky consumer-grade speakers, which heavily distorts the sound, and have an atrocious frequency response curve.

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  #3  
09-06-2018, 10:42 AM
Orientation Orientation is offline
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Are any of these two sound cards any decent for capturing audio?
https://articulo.mercadolibre.com.ar...igy-sb0570-_JM
https://articulo.mercadolibre.com.ar...o-audigy-2-_JM

If so, which one would you recommend?
Mind one come with Installation CD and the other doesn't.

What about this one?
https://articulo.mercadolibre.com.ar...-y-digital-_JM
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  #4  
09-14-2018, 06:55 AM
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Not the USB item. I've never come across a decent USB audio card.

Audigy cards sometimes had issues, with the biggest problem being distortion and tinny quality. SoundBlaster cards just really were not very good, and many times even the modern onboard Realtek can sound better.

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09-14-2018, 08:36 AM
dpalomaki dpalomaki is offline
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This review from 4 years ago provides some good food for thought.
https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews...o,3733-19.html

In the 1980s and 1990s there were major differences in quality among sound cards and motherboard sound capabilities. The PC inside is a electrically noisy place, and how well the cards and on board circuitry dealt with that was a big issue. There was a lot of bad stuff for sale, and not just the cheap stuff. At that time names like M-Audio, Ensoniq, and Turtle Beach were tops, and Sound Blaster was in the process of dragging itself out of the mud to become decent. (Still good names for legacy PCs.)

Today things are much better, to the point that the market for separate sound cards is all but dead except for folks setting up digital audio works stations and audiophiles with deep pockets (often using USB audio interfaces). The benefit of the USB audio interfaces for modern PCs is they save a scarce slot, provide many I/O options, get the ansdlog audio gear out of the noisy PC case, and reduce the chance of becoming obsolete as the PC bus changes every couple years.

But simple, cheap USB devices are not the stuff audio workstations would use. I would look to brands such as TASCAM and M-Audio as a starting point for USB audio interfaces..
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09-14-2018, 08:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpalomaki View Post
In the ... 1990s
I used Pro Audio Spectrum/Studio cards back then.

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  #7  
09-14-2018, 12:45 PM
Eric-Jan Eric-Jan is offline
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Asrock ALiveDual-eSATA2
btw. the specs of this moterboard still refer to Windows Vista, and Windows XP
CPU 2 core is also dated.
A new OS will not like it, and need more resources.
on top of that the soundcard will use many interrupts, which is also bad, maybe even sync issues.
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10-01-2018, 04:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpalomaki View Post
Today things are much better, to the point that the market for separate sound cards is all but dead except for folks setting up digital audio works stations and audiophiles with deep pockets (often using USB audio interfaces). The benefit of the USB audio interfaces for modern PCs is they save a scarce slot, provide many I/O options, get the ansdlog audio gear out of the noisy PC case, and reduce the chance of becoming obsolete as the PC bus changes every couple years.

But simple, cheap USB devices are not the stuff audio workstations would use. I would look to brands such as TASCAM and M-Audio as a starting point for USB audio interfaces..
Thanks for the info. I finished reading the article you linked.

I had thought about a USB Audio Interface since I could use it in several PCs instead of having a PCI sound card exclusively installed on 1 CPU. But I'm confused how would I connect the mini plug connector coming out of the video card, to the USB Audio interface. I know the USB Audio Interfaces have one or more line in's for 6.5 jacks but what about 3.5 mini plugs?
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  #9  
10-01-2018, 05:54 AM
hodgey hodgey is online now
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You can find 6.5mm to 3.5mm adapters in most electronics stores, or online. They are pretty cheap.
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10-01-2018, 06:31 AM
dpalomaki dpalomaki is offline
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Be aware that the 6.5mm jacks on USB breakout boxes are often for single channel (mono) balanced audio sources and possibly mic level (check the documentation for the device you may have). The simple 3.5-to-6.5 mm adapters, such as come with headphones, are often for unbalanced stereo sources at consumer line or headphone level, and will not work properly with if plugged into a balanced input (you will hear the difference between the left and right channel).

You might need something like this depending on your gear and existing cables
https://www.sweetwater.com/store/det...iABEgKRtvD_BwE
or
https://www.guitarcenter.com/Hosa/35...4GC-adType^PLA
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10-01-2018, 08:05 AM
JPMedia JPMedia is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric-Jan View Post
Asrock ALiveDual-eSATA2
btw. the specs of this moterboard still refer to Windows Vista, and Windows XP
CPU 2 core is also dated.
A new OS will not like it, and need more resources.
on top of that the soundcard will use many interrupts, which is also bad, maybe even sync issues.
Eric-Jan, modern components aren't needed (or preferred) for analog video capture. You keep insisting that XP, Core 2 Duo, AGP, etc. are all out of date, but you need to understand that legacy hardware is used with legacy software because it offers the best results for anyone pursuing the highest quality analog capture or restoration. The "old" computers discussed in this forum built using these legacy parts have one soul purpose: analog capture. They aren't (shouldn't?) be used for games, they aren't connected to the internet, and aren't used as an individual's primary personal computer.

Sure, the Blackmagic capture card "works", Mac OS is popular among the general public, and Davinci Resolve is free, but these refrains are often irrelevant in threads about legacy hardware and software as they relate to high quality analog capture.
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10-01-2018, 09:09 AM
dpalomaki dpalomaki is offline
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Quote:
...but these refrains are often irrelevant in threads about legacy hardware and software...
The point being that modern computers, software, and accessories generally are better matched to current video technologies and methods, because less attention is given to supporting the now obsolete formats and hardware. Modern software is 64-bit. The question becomes who will pay to recode drivers and software for otherwise obsolete 16- and 32-bit software/peripherals that are only needed by niche markets that are declining over time..
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  #13  
10-02-2018, 03:16 AM
Orientation Orientation is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hodgey View Post
You can find 6.5mm to 3.5mm adapters in most electronics stores, or online. They are pretty cheap.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dpalomaki View Post
Be aware that the 6.5mm jacks on USB breakout boxes are often for single channel (mono) balanced audio sources and possibly mic level (check the documentation for the device you may have). The simple 3.5-to-6.5 mm adapters, such as come with headphones, are often for unbalanced stereo sources at consumer line or headphone level, and will not work properly with if plugged into a balanced input (you will hear the difference between the left and right channel).

You might need something like this depending on your gear and existing cables
https://www.sweetwater.com/store/det...iABEgKRtvD_BwE
or
https://www.guitarcenter.com/Hosa/35...4GC-adType^PLA
Ok so, obviously I would need a USB Audio Interface with at least 2 line in's for both 6.5 jacks, and Windows XP compatible ('cause that's the OS running in the PC the graphics card's in).

Now, I looked for some affordable options: Behringer Umc204 Hd, Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (2nd Gen), Steinberg UR22 MK2, Tascam US 2x2.
The Behringer seems to be the only one compatible with Windows XP (and is the cheapest one when bought as new). What about this one? Any interface you would recommend?

The pointed Hosa YMP434 adapter seems to be a pain in the ass to get locally, I'd have to import it.
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  #14  
10-02-2018, 05:56 AM
dpalomaki dpalomaki is offline
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Just a thought. Try your onboard audio to determine whether or not it meets your needs before you shell out real money for new or external sound card or USB audio interface. While its reputation was not tops you might have one that was better than most.
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10-02-2018, 10:41 AM
Eric-Jan Eric-Jan is offline
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Why should an external soundcard be used at all ? i see no point in that, other than it could give sync issues...
always use the sound input of the capture device, thats good enough for sound of a VHS tape.
Even a capture card/device from BlackMagic Design would be a cheaper and better solution, then trying to do it the hard way, like is suggested.
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10-02-2018, 04:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpalomaki View Post
Just a thought. Try your onboard audio to determine whether or not it meets your needs before you shell out real money for new or external sound card or USB audio interface. While its reputation was not tops you might have one that was better than most.
Yes, that's pretty much what I intend to do. However, I am already looking for options in case the audio is not good enough (which is likely). Besides, I play music and I need an interface anyways and since you commented it was a good option for capturing audio I thought about killing tow birds with one stone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric-Jan View Post
Why should an external soundcard be used at all ? i see no point in that, other than it could give sync issues...
always use the sound input of the capture device, thats good enough for sound of a VHS tape.
Even a capture card/device from BlackMagic Design would be a cheaper and better solution, then trying to do it the hard way, like is suggested.
Well, my situation is pretty similar to that of the OP. My video card is a ATI AIW 9800, it does not capture audio itself. I have to by-pass the audio to a soundcard. So far the only option I have is the onboard soundcard. It seems kind of logical to start looking for a higher quality alternative.
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  #17  
10-02-2018, 05:28 PM
hodgey hodgey is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orientation View Post
Now, I looked for some affordable options: Behringer Umc204 Hd, Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (2nd Gen), Steinberg UR22 MK2, Tascam US 2x2.
The Behringer seems to be the only one compatible with Windows XP (and is the cheapest one when bought as new). What about this one? Any interface you would recommend?

The pointed Hosa YMP434 adapter seems to be a pain in the ass to get locally, I'd have to import it.
I can't speak for the specific card, but I'm quite satisfied with my Berhinger X1204Mixer. Don't know if the Umc204H has a similar DAC, though it does seem to feature the pre-amp from behringers more expensive mixers. There is also a slightly cheaper UMC202H if you don't need the midi ports.

Focusrite, Steinberg and Tascam are all generally well regarded for audio equipment, so they would probably work great too. Alternatively, as it's an older computer, maybe you could luck out on an older used firewire sound card for cheap. The main thing really with recording sound once you're above the super cheap level sound cards is avoiding noise, which can be an issue with some integrated cards (unless you're running a recording studio or something and have very high requirements).

As for cables, RCA -> Jack cables also exist if you're taking audio from a VCR.
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10-02-2018, 06:22 PM
dpalomaki dpalomaki is offline
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Quote:
...maybe you could luck out on an older used firewire sound card for cheap...
Firewire sound cards never caught on for good and sufficient reason.

The external USB audio interface device was suggested with current computers in mind where USB is the main way to connect. The better sound cards are a good choice for an older PC bus in a dedicated machine as long as you don't plan to move it forwarded to newer MBs. I've been happy with several different M-Audio cards, including the Delta66 (handy breakout box), Audiophile 2496, and Audiophile 192. On my more recent boxes I'm using a USB connected TASCAM US366 interface.

Linear track VHS audio is not very good, arguably on a par with good AM radio. However, VHS HiFI can be quite good, better than the low grade sound cards of old.
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10-02-2018, 08:23 PM
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This is the PC I intend to use for capturing:
Microprocessor: Intel Pentium 4 (3.00GHz) - Motherboard: PC Chips P21g V3.1 Socket 775 - Memory: 1GB RAM DDR (although I'm gonna expand it to 2 GB) - HDD: S-ATA II 120 GB - OS: Windows XP SP2

Two final possible options (if I decide to upgrade to a better soundcard) are:
M-audio Audiophile 192 - 24bits soundcard --> Would avoid noise as an external interface does?
Behringer Umc204 Hd interface --> Is more convenient since I could use it in other PCs as well, but how good would it work with these specs?

What would you choose?

Last edited by Orientation; 10-02-2018 at 08:38 PM.
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  #20  
10-03-2018, 06:02 AM
dpalomaki dpalomaki is offline
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Ability to quickly move for use with newer system and use beyond simple audio capture argues for the Behringer. I am not familiar with the specific MB you have, and have no idea whether or not it will mate happily with your other peripherals.

You will probably want a separate hard drive for video capture/storage, one that does not contain the OS or software you will be using.

Last edited by dpalomaki; 10-03-2018 at 06:17 AM.
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