Seeking Sound Card and Video Card Advice

I just snagged a full version of Creative Suite 6 Production Premium with Premiere Pro CS6, After Effects, Photoshop Extd., Audition CS6, Flash Pro, Illustrator, Encore CS6, SpeedGrade, Prelude, Bridge. and Media Encoder -- all for $150 on TechSoup. So now I am looking at getting a beefier computer.

If I get a set of speakers like the Blue Sky Exo2, 2.1, 3" monitors -- then what sound card would I want?

Let's say my sound card choices were:

Avid Audiophile 2496 Sound Card
Creative Sound Blaster Recon3D Sound Board
Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Champion Sound Card
Creative X-Fi Titanium HD 70SB127000002 Sound Board
Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Audio Sound Card Retail
X-Fi PCI Express Sound Blaster Xtreme Audio Sound Card

Which one would I want if the rest of the system looked like:

Socket 2011 : Intel DX79TO LGA2011 Desktop Motherboard - Intel X79 Chipset
Intel LGA 2011 CPU : Intel Core i7 i7-3820 3.60 GHz Processor - Socket LGA-2011
DDR3 Memory : Kinston Hyper X KHX1600C9D3K8/32GX Quad Channel RAM Kit - - DDR3 32 GB (8 x 4 GB)
Case: Zalman Z11 System Cabinet - Mid-tower
Power Supply: Thermaltake TR-800P ATX12V & EPS12V Power Supply - 86% Efficiency - 800 W
Cooler: Intel BXRTS2011LC High Performance Liquid Cooler LGA2011, LGA1155,
PCI Express Video Card: PNY VCQ4000-PB Quadro 4000 Graphics Card - 2 GB GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16
Second Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Blue WD10EALX 1 TB Internal Hard Drive
SATA Hard Disk: Intel Cherryville 240 GB Internal Solid State Drive
Optical Drive: LG WH12LS39 Blu-ray Writer - Black - Bulk - Internal
Reader: iMicro INTCTM04MB All-in-1 Internal Card Reader
OS: Windows 7 PRO 64 Bit
Monitor: Acer V243HAJbd 24" LCD Monito

Also, anyone got any suggestions on the video card to be more future-looking? Today I don't have a camera that can utilize SDI connectivity. I am tentatively liking the Quadro 4000, but the other video card choices were:

PNY VCQ2000-PB Quadro 2000 Graphics Card - PCI Express 2.0 x16 - 1 GB GDDR5

ASUS ENGTX560 TI DCII/2DI/1GD5 GeForce GTX 560 Ti Graphics Card - 830 MHz Core

ASUS ENGTX580 DCII/2DIS/1536MD GeForce GTX 580 Graphics Card - PCI Express 2.0 - 1.50 GB GDDR5

Galaxy GeForce GTX 560 1 GPUs - 830 MHz Core - 1 GB GDDR5 PCIE 2.0 x16

MSI N580GTX TWIN FROZR II/OC GTX 580 - 800 MHz Core - 1.50 GB GDDR5 PCIE 2.0 x16

MSI R7870 Twin Frozr 2GD5/OC Radeon HD 7870 - 1050 MHz Core - 2 GB GDDR5 PCI-E 3.0 x16

PNY GeForce GTX 580 Graphic Card - 1.50 GB GDDR5 SDRAM - PCI Express 2.0 x16

PNY VCGGTX560XPB GeForce GTX560 Graphic Card - 1620MHz Core - 1 GB GDDR5 PCIE 2.0 x16

PNY VCQ4000-PB Quadro 4000 Graphics Card - 2 GB GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16

Visiontek Radeon HD 7870 Graphic Card - 1000 MHz Core - 2 GB GDDR5 SDRAM - PCI-Express 3.0 x16

XFX AMD Radeon HD 7770 1GB PCIE 3.0

XFX AMD Radeon HD 7850 CORE Edition 2GB PCIE 3.0

XFX AMD Radeon HD 7850 Double Dissipation Edition 2GB PCIE 3.0

XFX AMD Radeon HD 7950 Double Dissipation Edition 3GB PCIE 3.0

XFX Radeon HD 7970 Graphic Card - 925 MHz Core - 3 GB GDDR5 SDRAM - PCI-Express 3.0 x16


Also, I know nothing about video monitors. The other video monitor choices were:


Acer S200HLAbd 20" LED LCD Monitor - 16:9 - 5 ms $124.99
Acer V223WEJbd 22" LCD Monitor - 5 ms $149.99
Acer V233HAJBD 23" LCD Monitor $154.99
Acer V243HAJbd 24" LCD Monito $187.99
ASUS VS228H-P 21.5" LED Monitor LED Monitor $161.99
ASUS VB195T 19" LCD Monitor 5 ms 1280 x 1024 50000:1 - Speakers - DVI - VGA $154.99
Asus VE258Q 25" LED LCD Monitor $264.99
Asus VE276Q 27" LCD Monitor - 16:9 - 2 ms $289.99
ASUS VE278Q 27" LED LCD Monitor $333.99
ASUS VH236H LCD 23" - 1920 x 1080 - 16:9 - 2ms 20000:1 $179.99
Asus VS197D-P 19" LED LCD Monitor - 16:9 - 5 ms $99.99
Asus VS208N-P 20" LED LCD Monitor - 16:9 - 5 ms $125.99
Asus VS229H-P 22" LED LCD Monitor - 16:9 $169.99
Asus VS248H-P 24" LED LCD Monitor - 16:9 - 2 ms $209.99
Compaq L2105tm Touchscreen LCD Monitor- Smart Buy $269.99
NEC Display EA192M 19" LED LCD Monitor $254.99
Planar PL1911MW - LCD 19" 1440 x 900 1000:1 DVI-D, VGA - speakers $199.99
Samsung SyncMaster S24A650D 24" LED LCD Monitor - 16:9 - 8 ms $309.99
Toshiba 24L4200U 24" 1080p LED-LCD TV - 16:9 - HDTV 1080p $253.99
 
Alas, I, too, want to wade not into the debate too far-- but I have always used the term "professional" to apply to someone who is paid to do what they do. We certainly paid money for the PMG guys to make the promo video at http://youtu.be/9fUb3c08svg

I think different people have different definitions. When I was 16 I was paid decent money to play in a local school's orchestra, a few years later I went to a top music conservatory for several years and then a while after that started working professionally. At 16 I was far closer to a complete beginner than to even the minimum acceptable professional standards but by your definition wasn't I already a professional at 16? If you were to pay someone $500 a week to edit/mix sound, at best they would be grossing $25k a year. Take out equipment/operating costs and taxes etc. Is what's left enough to pay rent and support a family where they live? If the answer is "no" then they are an amateur or maybe semi-professional but by my personal definition they are not a professional.

I've listened to your promo video and IMO the sound is far below acceptable professional standards. There are fundamental unacceptable errors such as editing clicks, which even a first year student would not be allowed to get away with. There are also spurious sounds which could have been easily edited out, mis-matched background hiss, a little too much essing in places, the use of EQ and compression was sometimes inappropriate and the balance between different VOs was not particularly good. If one of my trainee's had produced that mix, I would be suggesting a career change (unless it was their first ever attempt at editing/mixing). Without question, nothing like that would ever be allowed out of my door and it would be rejected by the QC department of most respected broadcasters. Sorry to be so harsh, maybe they earned their money elsewhere in the making of your promo? To be honest, providing you have decent equipment/environment (which it sounds like you will), decent hearing and a bit of aptitude, it really would not take you long at all to surpass the quality of this example of "professional" audio work.

Well, the autocal sounds very appealing, indeed. But the 1032As would be more suited to my 2200cubic foot room than the 8250As? The chart at http://www.genelec.com/learning-center/speaker-selection-guide/dsp-system-selection/ seems to indicate that the 8250As are okay listening between 4 and 7 feet away in a room up to 3400ft3.

Unfortunately, much of the audio pro market is aimed at the music side of the business and as luck would have it, audio post for TV/Film is in many respects more demanding than music production, such is the case with speakers and acoustics. Audio post studios generally employ far more absorption than music studios, therefore requiring more power/output from the speakers. So you need to over specify and also remember the room volumes given are the maximum recommended, optimum room sizes (for audio post) would be considerably less. *Generally* under powered speakers are more of a concern in audio post than speakers which are too large. Also, I was under the impression that you were going to use your room at times as a bit of a home cinema, which would mean there would be people sitting more than 4ft away from the speakers as indeed would the average person watching TV or a DVD in their sitting room.

The other advantage of the 8250As is that they will accept a digital input which means you can go for a very cheap sound card with AES digital outputs, although a very cheap sound card may not be such a good idea in your case if you're also wanting to do some recording. I haven't heard the 8250As personally so I can't be sure of the sound but Genelec are one of the most respect professional monitor manufacturers. I would guess that without the additional fancy DSP and in-built D to A converters of the 8250As the 1032As would represent better quality purely from a speaker output point of view. Depending on your location, you might be able to get a dealer to bring both speakers to your studio (once the basic acoustic treatment is completed) so you can test them out and judge for yourself which is better. It's a bit of a chicken and egg situation though as you really want to apply acoustic treatment depending on the output of your speakers! If this isn't possible, the next best thing would be to go and have a listen at their showroom.

G
 
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Stoopid Newbie Question

Okay, with my wife changing jobs right now, we have put the studio on hold for now-- but I did buy a new computer and it finally arrived. I opted for cheaper audio monitors for now (since my dream studio is at least three years away, anyway).

I bought KRK rokits and went ahead and got this interface:


but just realized the 2i2 doesn't have XLR outs. Now I need to get some cables for the speakers. Since I am not going to solder my own connections, are there any brands of balanced cables with TRS connectors (or, for that matter, a TRS to XLR cable) that are better than others, or at this level of equipment, does it really not matter too much?
 
but just realized the 2i2 doesn't have XLR outs. Now I need to get some cables for the speakers. Since I am not going to solder my own connections, are there any brands of balanced cables with TRS connectors (or, for that matter, a TRS to XLR cable) that are better than others, or at this level of equipment, does it really not matter too much?

Careful, audio cables and interconnects is a section of the industry more packed with snake oil salesmen/companies than any other sector of the audio industry!!! I don't know current prices in the US but I would expect a top quality 5' TRS-XLR cable to cost less than US$30, much more than this and you're looking at snake oil, regardless of the often quite sophisticated terminology and marketing used to sell them.

Neutrik connectors are the ones I usually look for, simply due to the robustness of their construction, I'm guessing around $3 - $4 each in the US. Then standard balanced cable from Mogami, Van Damme or Klotz should be well under US$5 per foot.

These are the brands and prices I use/expect here in Europe (roughly converted to US$), Alcove might have better suggestions for the US?

G
 
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Alcove Audio

Business Member
indieBIZ
Yup, I use ProCo. I used ProCo cables for years when I was a touring musician and they were great; they tolerated the abuse, which in a static setting will not be an issue, and I never had noise problems, at least not ones that were a cabling issue. So I'm loyal because I've never had any trouble with them.
 
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HELP. Still no audio.

Okay, so now I bought a new computer.

I bought a Scarlett 2i2 interface.

I bought speakers (KRKrokit8s).

I bought cables for the speakers (balanced 1/4 TRS to XLR3M).

I loaded drivers for the Scarlett.

I plugged everthing in.

And I have no audio. :no:


I was under the impression (from the posts below) that this external interface would act as a sound card. Does it not? What am I doing wrong? :tear:

Do I need an amp or something? (I am such a noob, I know not what I need.) If so, can you also recommend the type and/or brand of whatever I might need?

At a bare minimum, I'd just need a sound card so that I can take what was recorded using the DR-100mkII, edit it with the AuditionCS6, and be able to hear it on a decent monitor system. I won't be playing my own live music into an audio interface, or anything like that-- and I suppose I could always continue to record Foley and ADR with my little recorder if I need to do that in post, too, right?

What soundcard or interface would be most bang for the buck?

 
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Alcove Audio

Business Member
indieBIZ
Okay, let's start at the beginning.

Speakers:

Power cable is plugged in?

Power is turned on?

The audio cables are correctly plugged in?

The cables work?

The volume is turned up?

Interface

Power cable is plugged in?

Power is turned on?

The USB cable is correctly plugged in?

The audio cables are correctly plugged in?

You installed the software? (USB drivers and plug-ins.)

You selected the proper USB output routing within the DAW/NLE routing system?

Monitoring is on?

Volume is up?


Start there and get back to us. I always go after these problems assuming that I did something stupid or overlooked the obvious. Once those have been eliminated I can begin looking for other reasons. FAQs on the manufacturers web site are a big help with specific pieces of gear. Check out the users group(s) of your DAW/NLE to see if anyone else has had similar issues. YouTube is also a good resource; many vendors have instruction videos there.

Oh... Read the freakin' manuals!


You'll get my bill on Monday...:D
 
Okay, I thought I must be flubbing the Audition routing (I currently only have AdobeCS6).

Every time I load Audition, I'm getting an error that says "loading the input and output devices failed, MME Device Internal Error).
 

Alcove Audio

Business Member
indieBIZ
Well, there you go...

Audition is not seeing the Scarlett 2i2. You'll have to go into the preferences. Check out the manual for both Audition and the 2i2. See if anyone on the Audition forums has had similar problem.
 

Alcove Audio

Business Member
indieBIZ
In Audition, click on Edit>Audio Hardware Setup. In the window that comes up you will see Audio Driver.


You did install the Focusrite USB drivers, right?
 
Yeh, I downloaded the drivers-- maybe I didn't install them correctly. However, it does see the driver, and no longer gives me that error-- but still the only sound I can get the computer to make is when I click on the little speaker button (volume control) beside the clock/date in the lower right corner of the windows toolbar and then click on the picture of the RCA cables that say "line out 2 scarlett 2i2" and then click the advanced tab and then click the green test arrow. It partially plays a few notes. No luck on the Audition forum or gearsltz forum, either. I wonder if it could have something to do with plugging the USB2 into a USB3 jack?
 
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I thought I'd narrowed down a culprit. The install DVD for the 2i2 also loaded a version of Ableton Live Lite. When I opened it, I saw that the 2i2 drivers weren't displaying as the selected ones like they are now in Audition and I thought that might have something to do with it, but that didn't fix the problem.

I feel like I know absolutely nothing. There are all sorts of settings for input latency, output latency, sample rate, buffer length, buffer size, etc.

It will play audio for like a second on youtube and then cut out altogether.
 

Alcove Audio

Business Member
indieBIZ
No luck on the Audition forum or gearsltz forum, either. I wonder if it could have something to do with plugging the USB2 into a USB3 jack?

That may be the issue, although not one I've ever come across before.

You should also see if there is a conflict of some sort between your video card and the 2i2; your video card may be trying to access the audio functions of your computer at the same time as the 2i2.

Welcome to the wonderful world of trouble-shooting!



Are you on a Mac or a PC?
 
PC. Windows 7.

Something else might be competing, indeed. Sometimes when I click on the little speaker button (volume control) beside the clock/date in the lower right corner of the windows toolbar and then click on the picture of the RCA cables that say "line out 2 scarlett 2i2" and then click the advanced tab and then click the green test arrow. It partially plays a few notes but other times it says the device is in use.

Video card is a GeForce GTX670
 
Wow. I don't know what I did, but I now have audio. WOO HOO. I disabled everything else that had the word "audio" in it, and then nothing would recognize the 2i2, and then I enabled everything and went in and asked Audition to find the interface again and everything WORKED.

Thanks for all the help with the troubleshooting. I wouldnt have ever gone in this direction without the idea that something might have been be trying to access the audio functions of your computer at the same time as the 2i2.
 

Alcove Audio

Business Member
indieBIZ
Great!!!

Start experimenting and have some fun. Do some weird, wild and crazy things once you've familiarized yourself with the proper and correct procedures.
 
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