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Sound setup questions., Sound card/headphones/mic etc.
Kreyn
post Jan 6 2012, 20:59
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Okay so after doing a little research, I am trying to come up with what is best. Basically I want a soundcard for my z5500 speakers and a future audiophile headset for making music. I have a keystone 49 midi keyboard which I use, and I can't use it through my speakers atm because it uses the onboard sound which sucks and makes it all distorted. Also when I play it through my current headset (logitech g35) I get a really annoying delay when playing through the midi (usb) keyboard.

So just a question, running my speakers through a sound card (I'm thinking the Asus Xonar D2X?) should solve the distortion problem and make the sound quality excellent, however would it stop the delay I'm getting with the midi keyboard, and because it's USB, would the midi keyboard still run through the sound card? Additionally, the sound card must be a PCIe 1x card due to not having any other slots available.

As for the microphone, I was thinking a Blue snowball (will also be able to use it for acoustic recordings so that should be nice). Would I have any problems just using it as a desktop microphone for things like skype as well (with audiophile headphones).

And onto the final question. What audiophile headset would you recommend? If possible I'd like it to still be able to do surround sound for games because if I'm spending this much on audio equipment I don't wanna have to use my g35 for games. I was thinking the Denon AH D2000, they are a bit pricey though.
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DVDdoug
post Jan 6 2012, 23:04
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QUOTE
I have a keystone 49 midi keyboard which I use, and I can't use it through my speakers atm because it uses the onboard sound which sucks and makes it all distorted.
How's the sound quality when you play a CD or MP3? If your onboard soundchip isn't defective, you shouldn't get audible distortion. (Sometimes you can get noise.)

QUOTE
I'm getting with the midi keyboard, and because it's USB, would the midi keyboard still run through the sound card?
Of course, the sound you hear from the computer is coming through the soundcard. wink.gif Assuming you are sending MIDI data thru the USB connection (and not digital audio), the sound is being generated by software (which may be part of your soundcard driver). Did your keyboard come with software? If you have software to record/capture the MIDI data, you can use virtual instrument plug-ins (i.e. VSTi's) to generate the actual sound, and you can change the instruments/sounds in post-production.

QUOTE
Also when I play it through my current headset (logitech g35) I get a really annoying delay when playing through the midi (usb) keyboard.
I think the best solution is to monitor yourself thru the keyboard's analog output. Then, you really don't care if there is a delay through the computer. Pro audio gear usually comes with low-latency ASIO drivers, or you can try ASIO4ALL.

QUOTE
As for the microphone, I was thinking a Blue snowball (will also be able to use it for acoustic recordings so that should be nice). Would I have any problems just using it as a desktop microphone for things like skype as well (with audiophile headphones).
I believe that's a good mic, and I assume it will work with Skype.

The good thing about USB "studio mics" is that you bypass the soundcard. The mic input on most regular-consumer soundcards is lousy quality and it's high-impedance unbalanbced is the wrong interface for studio & performance mics which are low-impedance balanced (with XLR connectors).

The downsides are that you can't monitor the analog (non-delayed) output.* You can't use the USB mic for live performance, and it's difficult to use more than one USB mic for stereo or multitrack recording. (And, in a few years you might not be able to get the drivers for Windows 8, or Win10, etc...)

QUOTE
What audiophile headset would you recommend?
Check out GoodCans.com for some headphone recommendations. You'l also find some recommendations if you search this forum.


FYI - Most pros recommend against using headphones for mixing (and music production).
QUOTE ("Recording Magazine")
As those of you who have followed this column for any length of time can attest, headphone mixing is one of the big no-no's around these parts. In our humble opinion, headphone mixes do not translate well in the real world, period, end of story. Other than checking for balance issues and the occasional hunting down of little details, they are tools best left for the tracking process.



* There may be a couple of USB mics with direct-analog monitoring thru a built-in headphone jack.

This post has been edited by DVDdoug: Jan 6 2012, 23:07
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Kreyn
post Jan 7 2012, 04:10
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Hmm my logitech z5500's aren't exactly audiophile quality, but you think I would be better of using them through a decent sound card? I'd definitely want to use headphones when recording audio though tongue.gif. My keyboard has a MIDI out port, but I'm not sure what the cable is... looks like a microphone port...

BTW the exact model of my midi keyboard is the M-Audio Keystation 49e.

This post has been edited by Kreyn: Jan 7 2012, 04:24
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Kreyn
post Jan 7 2012, 04:20
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Okay sorry, just tried my z5500's and the audio is not distorted, however I'm sure a sound card will help to get a much better sound? Would a sound card help to fix this latency issue? I installed that driver and I think it seemed to help slightly. As in it seemed like maybe there was a .8 second delay but now there is a .6 second delay. Maybe I'm imagining the difference.
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Kreyn
post Jan 7 2012, 18:38
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I'm trying a few VSTs and seriously some of them have such a distorted sound, I'm sure it's my sound processing.
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Kreyn
post Jan 9 2012, 17:31
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QUOTE (Kreyn @ Jan 8 2012, 03:38) *
I'm trying a few VSTs and seriously some of them have such a distorted sound, I'm sure it's my sound processing.


Okay the latency issue with the midi keyboard is pretty much fixed, i barely notice the lag anymore. Awesome. I ordered a Blue Yeti microphone, still undecided on the sound card and headphones. Also really tempted to buy a Yamaha Motif but damn they are expensive...
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Kreyn
post Jan 9 2012, 18:46
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Looking at the Ultrasone HFI780 headphones, they look pretty nice. Is it possible to do surround sound on it via some kind of software? Cause I play games on my PC as well so it would be nice if I could use these for gaming as well. Also if these are a solid choice, where would you recommend buying them from (since I live in Australia). Was thinking it's probably easiest just to get them of ebay?

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Ultrasone-HFI-7...#ht_2705wt_1139

Also considering the Denon D2000. I can get them for $300 AUD free shipping so that looks like a decent deal.

This post has been edited by Kreyn: Jan 9 2012, 19:09
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Kreyn
post Jan 9 2012, 20:39
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I'm a noob with sound cards etc, so here's a question!

I'm looking at the ASUS Xonar Essence STX atm, it looks very nice. I noticed the headphones in jack is a 1/4" port, and it has a line in. Does that mean that for example I could plug my bass guitar into my computer and somehow directly record? And also, the SPDIF out is for a coaxial cable right? My speakers (logitech z5500) can do either the optical version or the coaxial version (I know they are both optical but I'm not sure how to differentiate the names, one is a square shaped cable you know what I mean!) but I am currently using the optical cable, so I'll need to buy a coaxial cable for my speakers but that's not a big deal.
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