Quantcast Sound card recommendations for ATI MMC? - digitalFAQ Forum
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01-12-2022, 09:37 AM
joonas joonas is offline
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I have been looking for months for suitable sound card for ATI 7200/9000 AIW and MMC.

I have been looking up for older threads and gathered some recommendations from these and now looking for your up-to-date opinion on them:

1. Turtle Beach Santa Cruz Riviera/Montego
2. M-Audio Audiophile 24/96
3. Creative Soundblaster Audigy!
4. Creative Soundblaster CT4670/CT4750/CT4810

Looking forward to your opinions!
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  #2  
01-12-2022, 10:16 AM
RobustReviews RobustReviews is online now
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Any, all or none...

If you're just looking to digitise output from a VHS tape, any sound card made in the last 20 or so years will be more than capable of doing it. We're playing in 'clown shoes stupid' levels of audio capture with VHS or similar sources, try your built-in standard audio and see if you're happy with the results.

Spend the money on a decent set of headphones is my frank opinion, you'll get far more out of your editing with a decent set of headphones than with xyz soundcard. Craptastic headphones mean it's practically impossible to make determinations and editing decisions.

I'm a BeyerDynamic guy, but anything made by AKG, Sennheiser and their ilk in the $100-200US price bracket is a better investment than worrying about audio cards when working with analogue videotape. You'll also have a decent set of headphones, which are always nice to have anyway.

A personal recommendation for this sort of work is BeyerDynamic DT770, a great deal of 'proper' (as in national broadcast) radio engineering work is now being monitored and controlled on them although they come in at a comparatively modest price point. They're astonishingly comfortable too, and I've done 4-hour radio slots wearing them throughout.

DT100 if you want something very cold and clinical purely for editing, they're an ancient design and uncomfortable to wear for extended periods but they're still the ultimate 'budget' flat headphone.

Anything made (or sold as) Sony should be discounted, Sony headphones are the absolute worst and are not suitable for making any quality value judgements with. Sometimes you'll see pictures or videos from inside radio studios where guests are given Sony headphones... That's about all they're good for.

If you're plugging in to a PC/laptop, find the 'lowest ohm' version you can.

TLDR; don't worry too much about it, invest in decent headphones.
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  #3  
01-12-2022, 11:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joonas View Post
1. Turtle Beach Santa Cruz Riviera/Montego
2. M-Audio Audiophile 24/96
3. Creative Soundblaster Audigy!
4. Creative Soundblaster CT4670/CT4750/CT4810
You want to TB Santa Cruz. That's been the best cards to pair with an AIW since the early 2000s. That hasn't changed.

You'll need to search the forum about the Riviera, but I vaguely remember it's not the same, possibly older, issues. Not a card mentioned much, and not in years.

Never Creative, always tinny, various issues with drivers/etc. Cheap crap low-end consumer cards. Arguably worse than many AC97-based, definitely many Realtek. All of that is best avoided if possible. (When not possible, Realtek, usually, not always. It gets murky in cheap card chipsets.)

M-Audio, no opinion. But amusingly, anything that consider itself "audiophile" is usually a POS. Proceed with extreme caution.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobustReviews View Post
Any, all or none...
If you're just looking to digitise output from a VHS tape, any sound card made in the last 20 or so years will be more than capable of doing it.
No, false. You've written that several times now, and I wish you'd stop it. You're glossing over technical aspects, and regressing solid advice that goes back decades.

There are 5 major concerns with sound cards:
- distortion
- lack of quality, tinny
- issues with inputs, outputs -- limited #, db boosting, etc
- the ability to preview, aka "what u hear"/etc
- clock

Headphones, and speakers, are a completely separate topic. That advice is simple: reference monitors, or near-reference speakers like certain Monsoons

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  #4  
01-12-2022, 11:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
No, false. You've said that several times now, and I wish you'd stop it. You're glossing over and regressing solid advice that goes back decades.

There are 5 major concerns with sound cards:
- distortion
- lack of quality, tinny
- issues with inputs, outputs -- limited #, db boosting, etc
- the ability to preview, aka "what u hear"/etc
- clock

Headphones, and speakers, are a completely separate topic. That advice is simple: reference monitors, or near-reference speakers like certain Monsoons
Exactly, going back decades. 'What You Hear'... what decade are we in?

You're just throwing out terms, none of them especially relevant. We're quantising videotape audio here, not getting into the finer points of audiophile reproduction. Anything backed by hardware designed in the last decade or so is more than adequate for this purpose.

It's moot anyway if you're buying an old card full of electrolytic capacitors (like the Santa Cruz cards from prehistory), they'll almost certainly have drifted massively from spec'. It's no different from video equipment.

I stand wholly by my advice - in 2022 any relatively modern standard audio card will wholly meet or exceed the requirements required to quantise VHS audio.
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  #5  
01-12-2022, 04:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobustReviews View Post
Exactly, going back decades. 'What You Hear'... what decade are we in?
This is evergreen info. It's not changing.

Quote:
You're just throwing out terms, none of them especially relevant. We're quantising videotape audio here, not getting into the finer points of audiophile reproduction.
No.

It's true that VHS audio is somewhat lousy. But a lousy capture card makes it worse. We're not looking for the "bestest ever!" card (the kind that gives a so-called "audiophile" a wet dream), but simply a card that is known to not (1) screw up audio worse, (2) be a PITA because it simply does not cooperate with capturing. And sadly, that is most audio cards, be it 90s, 00s, 10s, or now in 20s.

Quote:
It's moot anyway if you're buying an old card full of electrolytic capacitors (like the Santa Cruz cards from prehistory), they'll almost certainly have drifted massively from spec'.
No. Rare.

Quote:
I stand wholly by my advice - in 2022 any relatively modern standard audio card will wholly meet or exceed the requirements required to quantise VHS audio.
You're advice is wrong.

The wrong audio card will quickly dump you into one of those video sinkholes (not just rabbithole, but sinkhole). It's one of those circles of video hell that makes you want to just abort the project, and throw the videos back in the closet (or trash, or wherever).

If you have an ATI AIW system, buy a TBSC, done, the end, move on, next topic.

Also note: If you insist on PCIe AIW setups (even ignoring the reduced experience of the PCIe AIW), no PCI at all, you'll find that you'll have to make compromises. Lower expectations, and "use whatever" (noting that "whatever" will run into the issues lined out in my last post). Worse yet, a lot of "new" (built on those "old" chips from 00s/10s) Chinese cards lack XP drivers.

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  #6  
01-12-2022, 05:11 PM
hodgey hodgey is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
M-Audio, no opinion. But amusingly, anything that consider itself "audiophile" is usually a POS. Proceed with extreme caution.
I can't speak for this card specifically, but I M-Audio was/is makes sutff geared towards musicians/recording artists rather than gaming, and is a somewhat respectable vendor in that field, so despite the cheesy name, if the drivers are serviceable, it may not be a bad card if the TBSC is unavailable. Would check for reviews and info about it before grabbing one though.
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  #7  
01-12-2022, 05:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hodgey View Post
I can't speak for this card specifically, but I M-Audio was/is makes sutff geared towards musicians/recording artists rather than gaming, and is a somewhat respectable vendor in that field, so despite the cheesy name, if the drivers are serviceable, it may not be a bad card if the TBSC is unavailable. Would check for reviews and info about it before grabbing one though.
Yes, the M-Audio brand was (according tho the marketing, at least) respected for audio quality, in the recording/music field. But this exact card was more for DIY home studio/rec.

M-Audio is also overpriced.

But again, that sort of recording/production card rarely played well with video capture cards. I do have vague memories of M-Audio issues in general, hence advice to proceed with caution. I may have even posted about this exact card in the early 2000s (here, VH, another). Unfortunately, a lot of info regarding ATI AIW has been lost in the past 20 years, sites going offline, sites archiving "old" information.

I see TBSCs available out there, right now. I think M-Audio is therefore not worth considering.

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  #8  
01-13-2022, 06:31 AM
timtape timtape is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hodgey View Post
I can't speak for this card specifically, but I M-Audio was/is makes sutff geared towards musicians/recording artists rather than gaming, and is a somewhat respectable vendor in that field, so despite the cheesy name, if the drivers are serviceable, it may not be a bad card if the TBSC is unavailable. Would check for reviews and info about it before grabbing one though.
I checked the M Audio website for driver availability. Downloads are still available for a wide range of PC's. Not bad support for a 20 odd year old PCI card not manufactured for many years. But then the 24/96 was very popular.

The 24/96 was my first decent soundcard almost 20 years ago. At that time, a way better A/D converter than the ones built into a standard PC. I still have it but changed many years ago to a slightly more capable M Audio Audiophile 192. Audio converters have become somewhat better specced since then, but the 24/96 is still quite useable for many applications. Obviously record level needs more careful calibration for HiFi audio sources compared to linear.

Not sure though of the situation regarding standard PCI slots in modern PC's. M audio no longer makes PCI sound cards and perhaps that's typical across brands. These days many users have long since moved to USB audio interfaces. Often these carry input gain controls on each channel. Sometimes handy on VCR's with different line output levels and of course for trimming more demanding sources such as HiFi. A very common and respected brand these days is Focusrite.

Last edited by timtape; 01-13-2022 at 06:47 AM.
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  #9  
01-13-2022, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by timtape View Post
A very common and respected brand these days is Focusrite.
We use Focusrite external stuff for microphones, no problems - very impressed considering the modest price tag. Similar in quality to Behringer kit I guess, perfectly cromulent for the outlay.

There's one sitting on the desk next to mine, one of my co-directors is a BBC audio engineer and I've never heard him complain about it - he takes it on-air for the Beeb occasionally so it can't be that bad. There's certainly better kit (we own some), but for its duty, it seems to be perfectly reasonable.

We were all E-Mu in that side of the business, but that's all been replaced in favour of Creative Soundblaster ZxR DB Pro; they don't sound 'tinny.' The E-Mu cards were getting very long in the tooth but we have around 10 of them if anybody is interested, they're just scrap so do holla if you want one.

Can't say for everything that make, but that bit of Focusrite equipment raises no eyebrows and he's a stickler for these matters so
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