Quantcast PCIe AIW: sound card or AIW audio capture? - digitalFAQ Forum
  #1  
12-09-2020, 10:32 AM
K101 K101 is offline
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I'm still waiting on my PCIe AIW to arrive, and I am trying to make sure that I have everything I need to get started. I've read on here that the PCIe AIWs could capture the sound themselves unlike the previous AGP cards.

With that said, is it recommended to use the AIWs audio capture capability, or should I use a dedicated sound card? I'm going to assume that the sound card is still needed for quality captures and to offload processing from the CPU, but I hadn't heard much about this for the PCIe AIWs, so I thought I would ask. The AIW appears to have an unlabeled aux-out pin header, so I would connect it directly to the aux-in (CD-in) header on my sound card. I will need to buy the cable for this if that is the case.
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  #2  
12-09-2020, 11:07 AM
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PCIe AIW audio is terrible. Really tinny crappy sound.

You want the Turtle Beach Santa Cruz for AIW capture systems. Just be careful, there are small variations in the TBSC cards (which look different from the usual TBSCs), and then anything "untested" or "pulled from working environment" is generally NOT working correctly.

I sometimes have extras in the marketplace, that I tested in an AIW system (my main dev box). Overall availability of these cards can go in waves, droughts for months, then a quick glut, then drought again.

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  #3  
12-16-2020, 09:50 AM
K101 K101 is offline
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Alright. That's good to know. I figured that the PCIe AIW audio wouldn't be great, but I couldn't find anyone talking about it, so I decided to spin up a new thread specifically asking about it in case anyone else needed to find this in the future.

Since the TBSC availability comes and goes, how would you recommend testing one if I picked one up elsewhere? What issues usually appear on these cards?

Are there any cables that are needed for it? I've noticed that there are several additional connections on the card, but the only one I recognize is the aux-in (CD-in) header.

Also, what is it about the TBSC that makes it so good? Is it the SNR?

@lordsmurf When you have a chance, please see my comment above.

Also, is there any difference between the Dell Voyetra TBSC cards and the original TBSC cards? The originals don't seem to pop up as often, so it would be great if the Dell variants could be used instead. They look identical except for the stickers on the board.
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  #4  
12-27-2020, 10:59 PM
NJRoadfan NJRoadfan is offline
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They should work fine, unlike the Dell OEM Sound Blaster cards that usually require special drivers.
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  #5  
12-27-2020, 11:12 PM
ehbowen ehbowen is offline
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I'm just now seeing this. I have and regularly use a PCIe All-In-Wonder, an X1800 to be precise, and I have been very happy with its performance. But note it does NOT have any audio input capability whatsoever. While I could have tried the PC's built-in audio, after reading recommendations on this forum I opted for a dedicated sound card...best to let the video card concentrate on video stuff and the sound card handle the audio stuff because the CPU has enough to do coordinating everything.

I haven't used any other PCIe AIW except my X1800, so I won't speak to those cards. And I'm not questioning Lordsmurf's recommendation of the Turtle Beach Santa Cruz; I in fact use one on my other AGP capture system. But for this system I opted for a PCIe (x1) sound card, an ASUS Xonar DGX to be exact. I've been very pleased with its performance. And it has the added benefit of being readily available new.

Edit To Add: Whoops, just checked and it looks like the DGX has gone out of production. Sorry. I can't recommend that you experiment with something I haven't tried. Possibly you can find either a TBSC or a DGX in good used condition if you shop around.

Last edited by ehbowen; 12-27-2020 at 11:23 PM.
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  #6  
12-29-2020, 01:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K101 View Post
Are there any cables that are needed for it? I've noticed that there are several additional connections on the card, but the only one I recognize is the aux-in (CD-in) header.
What matters most is lack of feedback/noise.
I've caught some ATI setup messing with audio quality. Not all, but some. Enough to warrant careful testing.

You have 3 options
- loopback
- bypass
- aux

Loop back = ATI dongle in for audio, mini out from ATI card output wire bundle to soundcard in
Bypass = audio from VCR to stereo mini adapter to soundcard
AUX = what you saw, internal aux connection from soundcard to ATI; note no AUX on PCIe, was removed

Quote:
Also, what is it about the TBSC that makes it so good? Is it the SNR?
Frequency response, not tinny, fidelity, SNR, etc.

Quote:
Also, is there any difference between the Dell Voyetra TBSC cards and the original TBSC cards? The originals don't seem to pop up as often, so it would be great if the Dell variants could be used instead. They look identical except for the stickers on the board.
Some are iffy. This is gamble. Can go either way. These may look the same, but on-card firmwares may not match OEM. I've run into that, had some weird issues.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ehbowen View Post
Xonar
BTW, I'd tried Xonar PCIe audio with AIW PCIe before. I only did it because no PCI was available. It wasn't bad, but definitely not a TBSC. I'd not fault anybody for using it, when PCIe is the only slot.

AIW PCIe aren't bad, but I've gotten more selective about certain issues, such as offset. For me, a reason for AIW is also MPEG capturing, and offset makes it harder. And PCIe cannot even capture MPEG well, due to no dropped frames counter in MMC 9.1x (only MMC available to these PCIe). I'd like to test the earlier PCIe card, see how those act.

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  #7  
12-29-2020, 02:44 PM
NJRoadfan NJRoadfan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ehbowen View Post
I'm just now seeing this. I have and regularly use a PCIe All-In-Wonder, an X1800 to be precise, and I have been very happy with its performance. But note it does NOT have any audio input capability whatsoever.
This appears to be driver dependent, although I think all the PCIe cards require the newer WDM package that exposes the ATI Theater 200 audio capture pin (They show the capture device as "ATI T200 Unified AVStream" in device manager). I can confirm that my PCIe X800XL does indeed capture audio on its own. Heck, the machine didn't even have any sound card drivers installed, so there is certainly an ADC on these cards.

I have also tested the newer drivers with the AIW 9600XT AGP capture card and while the Theater audio capture pin appears in VirtualDub, no audio is actually received by the machine. I wouldn't recommend playing with the newer drivers if using ATI MMC 8.x for capture though, as the new drivers break compatibility with it.
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  #8  
12-29-2020, 03:38 PM
ehbowen ehbowen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJRoadfan View Post
This appears to be driver dependent, although I think all the PCIe cards require the newer WDM package that exposes the ATI Theater 200 audio capture pin (They show the capture device as "ATI T200 Unified AVStream" in device manager). I can confirm that my PCIe X800XL does indeed capture audio on its own. Heck, the machine didn't even have any sound card drivers installed, so there is certainly an ADC on these cards.
Well, on my X1800 there isn't even an audio connection. Physically, I mean. There are two DVI monitor ports and a 9-pin VIVO (Video-In/Video-Out) connector, and that's it. Unless there's an internal header on the card itself which I'm unaware of. I don't miss it, though; the Xonar does an adequate job.
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  #9  
12-30-2020, 11:11 AM
NJRoadfan NJRoadfan is offline
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Thats not an All-in-Wonder card! Sounds like a standard ATI X1800XT video card to me. Is it dual slot? You'd be right as the AVIVO plugs don't carry audio for some reason. Cable: https://www.svideo.com/6110018100.html

The single slot AIW 1800XL has the same plug configuration as the X800XL, 2x coax F-connectors for the TV/FM Radio, 1xDVI, and 1xATI IO that breaks out to VGA and video input and output DINs that the domino block breakouts plug into.
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  #10  
12-30-2020, 02:16 PM
ehbowen ehbowen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJRoadfan View Post
Thats not an All-in-Wonder card! Sounds like a standard ATI X1800XT video card to me. Is it dual slot? You'd be right as the AVIVO plugs don't carry audio for some reason. Cable: https://www.svideo.com/6110018100.html

The single slot AIW 1800XL has the same plug configuration as the X800XL, 2x coax F-connectors for the TV/FM Radio, 1xDVI, and 1xATI IO that breaks out to VGA and video input and output DINs that the domino block breakouts plug into.
Well, it was one of those bare cards sold on eBay, without packaging or accessories, so I don't know what it was originally intended to be sold as. And it is single slot, with the two DVI connectors and the single round VIVO connection between them. But after I was able to locate a replacement for the VIVO cable (on s-video.com), I found that it captured beautifully.

Unlike a certain poster who seems to have taken over Blank Media, I don't have to have perfect knowledge in advance in order to try things out and see if they work....
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