Re: Advice needed re:- Sound Cards
D F Tweedie
No laptops have anything but integrated soundcards on the motherboard.
Only custom desktops made by companies that specialize in making Digital Audio Workstations are available with installed sound card or 'audio interfaces.' When you are looking at 'specs' you should be only concerned about the
power of the computer to run/ record audio ... CPU speed, RAM, disk
drive speed, number and type of connectors, etc.
That said, audio interfaces connect via pci cardbus or pci card, pci express cardbus or pcie card, firewire and USB 2.0 or 1.1. The best audio soundcards use pcie because that is the most reliable and fastest 'interface' between the audio hardware and the computer processor. The order I have listed them is the order from highest to lowest performance.
So, almost any laptop or desktop can be hooked up with an audio interface through the above transmissions. If you don't have the connection you can usually buy a card or cardbus for your computer to make it work
But, what type is adequate for you? Well, unless you understand the differences between types and other issues related to audio interfaces, e.g., midi ports, number of input/ outputs, mic preamps, etc., you can't make an intelligent choice and it is difficult to give anyone an intelligent recommendation.
Issues of price, quality of support, 'future proofing,' bundled software, etc. all come into play. What is adequate now may not be good in the future and there is virtually no market for resale other than for the very high end units. I know, because from over the years I have about 5 different ones sitting in my closet! So, buy nice or buy twice ... or more.
To educate yourself go to Tweakheadz web site. I wish I'd known this information when I 'got into' the digital audio thing. I'd have saved a lot of money.
For prices check Sweetwater.com or zzounds.com. I've found generally better pre and after sales support from both these companies compared to Guitarcenter.com, musiciansfriend.com, samash.com, etc.
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