What do I need an external sound card for?

Discussion in 'Sound Cards and Speakers' started by Zohar, Apr 23, 2012.

  1. Zohar

    Zohar Geek Trainee

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    I read in the internet about home studios. Since I have an electric guitar, and I use already for almost a year VST programs. I read in the internet that for reducing sounds like BZZZ from guitar when its connected to the pc, you need an external sound card.

    Do I really need it?
  2. Big B

    Big B HWF Godfather

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    I don't know that for sure. What I do know is that you will need something that accepts the jack size that would come from the guitar itself, so something like a Soundblaster X-Fi Titanium with a 5.25" box that has said inputs would be necessary. From what I saw, a lot of these options have a box of some sort that is commonly external and that may work for your needs.

    Whatever you get isn't going to be dirt cheap, as the average consumer-grade card is equipped with 3.5mm jacks.
  3. henry222

    henry222 Geek

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    Doesn't your music s/w have Ext recording feature? + How are you inputting the Guitar???

    I don't think an ext card/box is needed - not to see if the PC will "record" anyway.
    As BigB suggests, you need to change the 1/4 jack to 3.5mm, use an adaptor with care as the leverage is great. Better to use a short cable with correct connections (1x 3.5mm plug + 1x 1/4 skt).
    Start with LINE i/p and find how to Record - easy in prog like Audacity(free download - DYOR) and playback via speakers/headphones/ext HiFi etc.
    This will determine if there is any Buzz (your word)...I think what yr describing is mains pick-up ( room wiring), caused by long cables from Guitar - Worry about that later, but shorter leads will help.
    The first thing to do is check the Levels are right to avoid distortion . . . only use "Mic-in" for low-level devices, like microphones! sounds obv but wth saying.
    External Audio devices are somewhat better Quality than many PC's own soundcard - but the difference isn't much - rather as BigB suggested they have more rugged connections. Most will connect via USB, but only work with a PC.

    Some folk prefer an independent recorder, using SDHC flash mem cards - like "Zoom" available Amazon abt £70 and these can record high quality via 3.5mm input skts [ hand-size, use AAA batteries-DYOR]. Good for gigs as their internal mics can record other sessions, eg for ideas, checking audience reaction, etc. I'd suggest one of these is a better 1st purchase for similar money. (and maybe stick with the _PC soundcard until you get tired of it.
    There are some cheaper "video recorders" - similar audio i/p but with a small vcam so you can see who's playing - Vid quality is slightly poor, but audio should be OK.

    With SDHC recorders you can playback (hedphones with good muffs for gig use!) or via hi-fi...or via PC where you can Edit the performance; eg in Audacity. - - - or a DAW prog.

    Hope that helps.
  4. van phillip

    van phillip Geek Trainee

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    try using "fruity loops" its a software for producers or editors, it can edit sounds and accepts live instrument

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