a rant about soundcards and its endless dead-time

Ralf Mardorf ralf.mardorf at rocketmail.com
Mon Feb 12 02:29:34 UTC 2018

On Mon, 12 Feb 2018 01:56:52 +0100, Polytropon wrote:
>On Sun, 11 Feb 2018 22:36:17 +0000, Eric Joyner wrote:
>> Why not just get a PCI-E sound card in the first place? I don't know
>> why someone would go out of their way to get a PCI one in 2018.  
>MIDI interface? Just guessing...

At least expensive PCIe cards provide MIDI, too.

USB MIDI often suffers from too much jitter, indeed, my mobo still
allows to use an old Envy24 PCI card + my RME PCIe card for (audio
and) MIDI and I wouldn't drop them, if I should get an USB audio device
for my Linux PC, but continue using them as MIDI interfaces.

>Plus - they can be used on several systems without much problems, it's
>as simple as "plug pull" and "plug insert".

Class compliant USB audio interfaces have a few pitfalls. Before I got
the Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 2nd Gen for my iPad, I tested a
Presonus AudioBox 1818VSL. It drains too much power for the iPad, so I
needed to add an active USB hub, to get rid of the power issue, but
then there still were issues, so I returned the Presonus to the dealer.
Both USB interfaces are working with my Linux PC, but the Focusrite
could be used with lower latency, than the Presonus. Another issue with
class compliant interfaces could be missing features, that are only
provided, if a driver for this card is available, e.g. build in effects
or monitor routing. USB ports are tricky e.g. regarding shared IRQs, but
usually it should be possible to find an USB port that doesn't cause
issues. If so, USB 2 allows to use 18 inputs and 20 outputs, assuming
the PC has the horse power to handle the DSP load.

However, for audio I only will buy USB interfaces in the future,
because it indeed is nearly as simple as "plug pull" and "plug insert".

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