View Full Version : Best Professional Grade Sound Card <$200

10-05-2008, 06:41 PM
I'm building a computer for my friend, and he wants a pro audio setup on it. He plans to mainly use it to record our band. Here the thing, to match the rest of his setup, he wants a top-of-the-line sound card. I really don't know of any professional or semi-pro sound cards, so I thought I'd come to you guys.

Heres what he needs:
1) 4+ Stereo Inputs
2) Internal connection like PCI (External box/dongles are fine)
3) MIDI connections
4) 2+ Stereo Outputs
5) Under $200

Does something like that exist?

Thanks in advance,

Crimson Sky
10-05-2008, 07:23 PM
Best bang for the buck:


I use this brand for video/audio editing. They have great refference speakers too. All very affordable.

10-05-2008, 07:32 PM
I don't think you can go wrong with creative. http://us.creative.com/products/welcome.asp?category=237

Crimson Sky
10-05-2008, 08:09 PM
Creative blows.

10-05-2008, 08:45 PM
Creative blows.

Even though I own many Creative products I must agree. Once the stuff I do own dies it will be replaced with anything but Creative garbage.

10-05-2008, 09:55 PM
I would imagine for band recording, that your best bet would be to go with one of the cheaper m-audio cards with stereo in and midi capabilities and combine it with a cheap 4 input mixer or something.

For straight multi track, multi input recording, you will probably need to look at spending a bit more on a soundcard.

Depends on the setup you are looking for though, if you are planning on micing up multiple instruments at once, or micing up a drum kit, then the money spent on say a m-audio delta 66 probably isnt going to be worth it, as you will find the lack of inputs frustrating, but if you are gonna be using programmed drums and home recording as opposed to "live" recordings (as in the full band at once) it will more then likely be sufficient.

I'm not hugely knowledgeble about recording hardware though, so i may be wrong.

10-05-2008, 11:33 PM
I second M-Audio also.. I have a Mobile PRE, and it's awesome. 2 channels of input (XLR or quarter inch for DI) with their own gain dials and a built in preamp!

No MIDI interface though.

10-06-2008, 01:06 AM
Currently it looks like the E-MU 1212M PCI (http://www.emu.com/products/product.asp?category=505&subcategory=491&product=9872) most closely fits his needs. Now I understand E-MU is a Creative brand, but that card seems to be getting good reviews.

Would you guys recommend this for what he's doing?


10-06-2008, 11:18 AM
M-Audio gear still gets my vote. :)

10-06-2008, 07:20 PM
Creative is the greatest brand ever. You absolutely could not go wrong with them.