Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >
You need to be logged in to post on the forum
Topic Options
Index
#127616 - 08/31/11 10:29 AM Sound card vs midi / audio interface
toucher Offline
Expert

Registered: 04/20/08
Posts: 1062
Loc: Arizona
In all my years of home recording and learning about midi, etc, I still have what I can only attribute to a mental block regarding certain signal flow issues. I know there are some Midi / Audio interfaces that are basically a fancy patch bay albeit some with fx and pre amps etc. These units basically direct signal flow from a guitar or mic and or midi keyboard into the computer sound card or VSC or Coyote.

I have seen write ups for midi / audio interfaces such as some focusrite models that sound as though they are complete recording systems in and of themselves and would work thru Real band or similar recording software such as cubase etc, even if my computer had no sound source of its own.

There are cards like the 2496 that have both midi and audio that plug into your computer so all of your sounds coming out of the computer speakers are coming from that card.

My confusion is this; Is there a stand alone sound source that will do both midi and audio so that I would not even need a computer except to operate the software program like cubase, or powertracks etc. Something with drivers that will allow me to switch between the computer sounds system if so desired or take it out of the loop entirely. I can do it with midi ie; the ketron,or similar, I can use a digital recorder arranger like the Boss or roland or even some of the new workstation keyboards.

What I am looking for is a sound module that will accept signal from Real Band etc both midi and audio and play it through speakers or phones, without coloring the sound. The realtec isn't all that bad but i'd like to upgrade somewhat and get better midi etc. All in one unit that also acts as an interface / mixer.

Whew./

Any input is appreciated.

Rob
_________________________
Dang....This is addicting.

http://www.reverbnation.com/roberttrippmusic

Top
#127617 - 08/31/11 10:38 AM Re: Sound card vs midi / audio interface [Re: toucher]
Mac Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/29/00
Posts: 38502
Loc: Chesapeake, Virginia USA
First, the AP2496 card does not have any MIDI sound capabilities of its own. Most soundcards do not have that anymore. The MIDI on most sound devices is just a MIDI connection port designed for the hookup of MIDI controller instruments and MIDI synths.

If I follow what you are after, the M-Audio USB Fast Track Pro sounds like what you may be after.


--Mac
_________________________
PGmusic FAQs, Tutorials and Updates! click here

You must be Audiominds.
www.audiominds.com

Top
#127618 - 08/31/11 12:31 PM Re: Sound card vs midi / audio interface [Re: Mac]
rharv Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/30/00
Posts: 17544
Loc: Marysville, Mi. USA
_________________________
Make your sound your own!

Top
#127619 - 08/31/11 04:03 PM Re: Sound card vs midi / audio interface [Re: Mac]
Kent - PG Music Offline
PG Music Staff

Registered: 11/05/08
Posts: 404
Quote:


If I follow what you are after, the M-Audio USB Fast Track Pro sounds like what you may be after.





Please note that if you're using any operating system other that Window 7 64-bit, the Fast Track's ASIO drivers won't work with Band-in-a-Box. You'll be able to use ASIO with RealBand, but will be stuck using MME with BIAB. For some people, that's not an issue, but others find that to be a deal-breaker.

Cheers
Kent
PG Music

Top
#127620 - 08/31/11 04:11 PM Re: Sound card vs midi / audio interface [Re: Kent - PG Music]
MusicStudent Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/08/02
Posts: 4845
Loc: Chicago
Quote:


Please note that if you're using any operating system other that Window 7 64-bit, the Fast Track's ASIO drivers won't work with Band-in-a-Box. You'll be able to use ASIO with RealBand, but will be stuck using MME with BIAB. For some people, that's not an issue, but others find that to be a deal-breaker.

Cheers
Kent
PG Music




Boy that is sure the information you want to know before a purchase. I don't think I knew that there was an issue. I would assume there is a "compatibility" thread somewhere with this info so we can direct newbees.
_________________________
Dan

BIAB User Map


Top
#127621 - 08/31/11 04:34 PM Re: Sound card vs midi / audio interface [Re: MusicStudent]
Matt Finley Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/12/00
Posts: 14346
Loc: Hudson Valley & Lake George NY
Isn't that right. I have one of these and never gave it any thought once the Windows 7 64-bit drivers came out, since it worked fine. This is important info, though, since there were other recent threads requesting info about Fast Track and BIAB.
_________________________
BIAB 2017 Audiophile. Software includes SONAR Platinum, Adobe Audition, Ozone, & Encore on Windows 10 64-bit. Hardware includes custom i7, 16 Gb RAM; Roland Integra-7, Focusrite 18i20, TCE Finalizer, Behringer X-Touch.

Top
#127622 - 08/31/11 05:12 PM Re: Sound card vs midi / audio interface [Re: Matt Finley]
Kent - PG Music Offline
PG Music Staff

Registered: 11/05/08
Posts: 404
Hi guys,

There was a thread a while back regarding ASIO compatibility using different interfaces, but everyone in the thread who was using the Fast Track also happened to be using Win7, so had no problems.

I've mentioned the compatibility issue a few times, but the Fast Track comes up a lot a lot... Luckily, Windows 7 is getting more widely adopted, so this issue has been coming up less and less.

Here's a link to that thread, if anybody's interested:
http://www.pgmusic.com/forums/showflat.php?Cat=0&Number=319047&an=&page=&vc=1

Kent
PG Music

Top
#127623 - 08/31/11 06:20 PM Re: Sound card vs midi / audio interface [Re: Kent - PG Music]
rharv Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/30/00
Posts: 17544
Loc: Marysville, Mi. USA
Thanks Kent.
_________________________
Make your sound your own!

Top
#127624 - 08/31/11 06:52 PM Re: Sound card vs midi / audio interface [Re: toucher]
jazzmammal Online   content
Veteran

Registered: 06/08/05
Posts: 5911
Loc: Redondo Beach, Ca.
This is very confusing and extremely difficult to nail down because of all the tradeoffs.

First, none of the modern interfaces have any on board sound except for the Sonic Cell. I have a SC and it works great. It's a full Roland hardware synth including a nice GM sondbank that retails for about $700. I bought mine used for $400. Things change so fast I probably shouldn't say none, maybe there's others now. Most are like you indicated, input/output devices. My $500 EMU 1820M has midi in/out, two XLR mic inputs and eight RCA ins/outs. This is for multitrack live recording. My SC is a good interface, the ASIO works fine but it's only got one combo XLR and 1/4" input with a line in and two 1/4" stereo outs. Not good for multitracking like my 1820M. The 1820M has no built in synths or other sound but it has a very complex and sophisticated PatchMix digital mixer. Not a physical mixer. I don't believe any of them come with a physical mixer but I think Tascam and/or Mackie have a fairly expensive physical mixer that will interface with their regular interface. I see the SC is now discontinued so I don't know if anything is available to replace it.

You said this:

Quote:

I have seen write ups for midi / audio interfaces such as some focusrite models that sound as though they are complete recording systems in and of themselves and would work thru Real band or similar recording software such as cubase etc, even if my computer had no sound source of its own.




This is confusing. If you installed a softsynth like the VSC or Forte DXi, then your conputer has an internal sound source, right? Every computer has a built in sound chip on the mobo so they all have a built in "sound source".

I mentioned tradeoffs. The biggest one is do you like being able to do direct rendering or not? Direct rendering requires software VSTI or DXi synths, it won't work with external hardware synths. If you're using hardware then you have to route the audio output from a synth like my SC, back into your interface, the 1820M in my case, route it internally to Real Band or other DAW and record your finished song in real time as it plays back. A five minute song takes five minutes while a direct render may only take 20-30 seconds.

The way you worded your conclusion sounds like you need a good multi in/out interface similar to my EMU. With that you can use either your internal softsynths or external hardware. Something like my SC with a full synth plus multiple ins/outs that also acts as an interface may not exist.

Bob
_________________________
Win 10 64 bit, Intel 4770, 256 Gig SSD, 16 Gigs Ram, Roland Sonic Cell, Kurzweil PC3, Hammond SK1, Korg PA1XPro, Garritan JABB, Hypercanvas, Sampletank 3, more.

Top
#127625 - 08/31/11 07:42 PM Re: Sound card vs midi / audio interface [Re: jazzmammal]
MusicStudent Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/08/02
Posts: 4845
Loc: Chicago
Quote:

This is very confusing and extremely difficult to nail down because of all the tradeoffs.





You said that right.

Quote:

sounds like you need a good multi in/out interface similar to my EMU. With that you can use either your internal softsynths or external hardware. Something like my SC with a full synth plus multiple ins/outs that also acts as an interface may not exist.





But you don't seem confused at all, this is my understanding also.
_________________________
Dan

BIAB User Map


Top
#127626 - 08/31/11 09:44 PM Re: Sound card vs midi / audio interface [Re: MusicStudent]
rockstar_not Offline
Veteran

Registered: 01/14/02
Posts: 6922
Loc: Colorado Springs, CO, USA
I was going to say there was no device with a built in synth that also is an audio and midi interface but rharv shot that down. It's not that confusing except win 7 64 has thrown a mankey wrench into things.

Top
#127627 - 08/31/11 09:56 PM Re: Sound card vs midi / audio interface [Re: rockstar_not]
eddie1261 Online   content
Veteran

Registered: 04/08/11
Posts: 3411
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
I get really lost in these discussions only because until VERY recently I never used anything other than the Cakewalk soft synth that came with Sonar, and very little of that. I played parts in through a controller and played them back through my synthesizers. Granted I could get a lot of studio space back by not doing it that way but there's just something about the sounds in those old Ensoniq synths that I can't let go of. The warmth of those strings, the bite of the pianos....
_________________________
Please say a prayer for the 22 veterans who will commit suicide today.

Top
#127628 - 08/31/11 11:07 PM Re: Sound card vs midi / audio interface [Re: eddie1261]
toucher Offline
Expert

Registered: 04/20/08
Posts: 1062
Loc: Arizona
Wow!!

To sum it up, it sounds like the market is wide open for an external device that can do it all with quality results. I've found lots of options with trade offs, but no magic super device as of yet.

Although I still have to check out the link posted by Rharv.

Thanks for the input guys, I thought I must be really out to lunch not being able to find the magic button, maybe it only exists in my wishful thinking.

Rob
_________________________
Dang....This is addicting.

http://www.reverbnation.com/roberttrippmusic

Top
#127629 - 08/31/11 11:47 PM Re: Sound card vs midi / audio interface [Re: toucher]
rockstar_not Offline
Veteran

Registered: 01/14/02
Posts: 6922
Loc: Colorado Springs, CO, USA
Robert - there's really not a big demand for this because soft synths rule the roost in the recording world these days. The computers are way more powerful than necessary to make this a reality.

I'm guessing Roland doesn't sell a whole bunch of those devices.

Another much more expensive option, but is truly a one box solution is to buy one of the workstation keyboards that has the whole audio interface built in, a PC built in with access to all of the soft synths you need, etc.

I haven't recorded the sound of a hardware synthesizer to disk in over 6 or 7 years. No need. I have way better sounds at my fingertips in soft synths for nearly zero financial outlay than my hardware synth; an Ensoniq VFX SD.

Most DAW software works with these very very nicely; with some elbow grease. Less grease than hauling them all over the place and maintaining them. Seriously. ASIO is what makes this a reality.

ASIO can be problematic, but most interfaces and recording software crossed the bridge to functioning ASIO many many moons ago. This isn't to say there aren't issues now and then, but truly working ASIO became part of my stable of tools in the mid 2000's, and I would never, ever want to go back. No way, no how.

Once your brain makes the jump that you don't have to have a dedicated hardware synth, to get synth sounds, you will drink the Kool-Aid and join. It's o.k. to do so.

In fact, it's getting to the point that what you seek is available with an iPad and some very clever interfaces for the iPad. I know Alesis just dropped an announcement a week or so ago. http://www.alesis.com/iodock

See that - no hardware synth and definitely some GM midi synth is available for the iPad is already out there. I haven't looked, I'm just sure that this happened probably long ago. But General Midi is not what you hear with today's songs. You are hearing immense sample playback synths/samplers, dedicated software synths that mimic old-school electromechanical keyboards and synthesizers etc. Guitar amps are very often amp simulation, in the box.

So, while Roland is making it, I doubt there will be many copycats simply because of the dominance of soft synths and the available computing horsepower in today's multi-thread processors.

I realize that I am in the minority here in PG world, but that is simply because most that post here SEEM to still be using MME, because PG products still are dodgy with ASIO.

This is not the case in the rest of DAW software world.

This doesn't mean I don't like hardware synths and keyboards. I really do - I lust for a Nord Stage like you wouldn't believe, or a Roland V-Combo to a lesser extent - but I can't afford it with 4 kids, the mortgage, a minivan with 181,000+ miles on it, etc. However I can crank away some very authentic B3 and Rhodes and Minimoog sounds way better than most dedicated hardware synths and it cost me exactly zero dollars. The VB3 emulation I won in a songwriting contest, the rhodes in a different contest, and the Minimoog sounds have come from the freebie MinimogueVA softsynth. It simply rocks.

Drums, fuhgetaboutit in a hardware box. All the kids are using EZDrummer or Jamstix, etc. on their computers. Many times you don't even know they are programmed drums. Have a listen to Dimitar Nalbantov's stuff for some great progressive rock drum programming on Youtube. Here's a tasty one just to get the feel for what EZDrummer can do in the hands of a talented home-recordist and ridiculously good instrumental rock guitar player. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCbxeO32Nj4&NR=1

Because the computing power of an iPhone or iPad or certainly many laptops currently provide a flexible solution to your 'magic button' you just will not likely see companies clamoring for an all-in-one standalone box.

-Scott


Edited by rockstar_not (08/31/11 11:51 PM)

Top
#127630 - 09/01/11 03:04 PM Re: Sound card vs midi / audio interface [Re: rockstar_not]
toucher Offline
Expert

Registered: 04/20/08
Posts: 1062
Loc: Arizona
makes sense. I guess I need to educate myself more with softsynths, samples etc. My old yamaha harware piano still sounds like a real piano compared to some of the software, but I must admit to having listend to ony a few, and not willing to lay out big bucks at this stage in life.

Thanks for the detailed info Scott
_________________________
Dang....This is addicting.

http://www.reverbnation.com/roberttrippmusic

Top
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >


PG Music News
Customers LOVE Band-in-a-Box® 2017 for Windows!

Band-in-a-Box® 2017 for Windows was released on December 1st, and we've already received some great feedback!

Here's what users are saying...

"Coolest program around! In my opinion, the sound of the music is much improved with the 2017 upgrade!"
"Every one of the new RealTracks sounds fantastic. It is amazing 'the heights' to where PG Music has taken BIAB."
"Natural Arrangements Feature: Whatever magic this does, I'm hearing better voice leading in the guitar and piano on my Bossa Nova song with advanced extensions. I'm really liking this!"
"What a sensational spread. Most impressive. Thank you!"
"Love the dual layer chord view! How great is that. I like being able to see two alternative notations together (especially Nashville and standard notations)!"
"These RealTracks are an incredible achievement. Like the others above me, 'Wow' was the first thing that sprang to mind!"
"Receiving my installation on a flash drive is perfect!"
"I am impressed with the new RealTracks, to say the least!!! Can't wait to get creative with this excellence!!!!"
"I like what I am hearing!!! Awesome stuff, PG Music!"
"The new RealTracks are stupendous!"
"I just installed 2017 for Windows and and while it took a few minutes to become familiar with it. The end result is a MUCH more usable application UI. It looks like someone spent some serious time re-thinking how a UI should operate for BiaB and did an awesome job on the re-design."
"The first few demo's I played with only 2017 RealTracks... WOW, Felt almost like being 12 again. Absolutely incredible marriages and sounds to hear."

Announcing RealBand 2017!

There are 50+ New Features added to the just-released RealBand 2017!

RealBand is included with all Band-in-a-Box® 2017 for Windows packages. Purchase your upgrade here!

Some of these great new features include:

RealTracks have been enhanced with better tempo stretching and pitch shifting (Elastique 3), better phrase transitions, Natural Arrangements option for more natural playing, faster opening of the RealTracks Picker, better tempo swapping, demo volume control, and more!

The media player control now has a volume control in various dialogs like RealTracks, RealDrums, Loops, and UserTracks Picker. If the demos are too loud/soft relative to your other music, you can independently control this.

sforzando SFZ synth has been added!

Tempo pitch shifting and tempo stretching has been greatly enhanced with the integration of the newest version of the world-leading Elastique 3.

12-Key RealTracks and Hi-Q Guitar RealCharts on tab/notation are included.

VST Tempo Sync has been enhanced for plugins like Addictive Drums, Rapid Composer, EZ drummer, and Jamstix.

...and more! To see the complete list of new features, visit www.pgmusic.com/bbwin.new.htm, scroll down, and click on the RealBand 2017 tab.

Band-in-a-Box®... on a USB Flash Drive!

We've just rolled out a new way to receive any Band-in-a-Box® Pro, MegaPAK, or PlusPAK purchase (either First-time or Upgrade)... Now you can choose to have your installation files shipped to you on a USB Flash Drive instead of DVDs!

That's right.... for just $10 more, you'll receive a 32 GB USB Flash Drive that conveniently includes all the installation files for your purchase - we'll even throw in a free Band-in-a-Box® keychain with your Flash Drive order!

Learn more...

When placing your order online, the shopping cart will prompt you to select this option before you enter your payment information. Ordering over the phone? Just mention this preferred method for delivery type!

Band-in-a-Box® 2017 for Windows is Here!

Band-in-a-Box® and RealBand 2017 for Windows are here with over 80 NEW features and enhancements, 202 NEW RealTracks, 34 MIDI SuperTracks, Instrumental Studies, 24 available "Bonus" RealTracks (during the December special), and more!

Band-in-a-Box® 2017 for Windows has over 80 exciting new features and enhancements! The main screen GUI has been redesigned with many requested improvements, including a new, smaller footprint, configurable toolbars, and more. RealTracks sound better than ever with improved stretching and transposition quality (Elastique 3), better phrase transitions, and Natural Arrangements. We have added new "Woodshedding" RealTracks called 12-Key Guitar RealTracks from Brent Mason played in 12 keys with Hi-Q (precise) Tab/Notation which is ideal for studying and learning. There are many RealDrums enhancements including Half/Double/Triple time, Multiple Drum/Percussion/Loops on one drum track, and more. There is a dedicated Song Titles Browser with metadata info on over 8,000 popular songs. UserTracks enhancements include Half/Double/Triple time, rests, 3/4 waltz support, and more. We've added a new VST Synthesizer (sforzando SFZ Synth) with support for the popular .SFZ sound format, as well as PG Music's Hi-Q sounds, and more! Click here to read about all the new features!

Plus, Until December 31st, 2016, SAVE on most upgrade packages and receive a Free Bonus PAK of Add-ons that includes 4 MIDI SuperTracks & 4 Instrumental Studies! Or upgrade to the 49-PAK and get ALL 24 Bonus UNRELEASED RealTracks, 30 MIDI SuperTracks, 18 Instrumental Studies, and 59 re-discovered RealStyles & MIDI SuperTracks! Learn More...

To find the Upgrade package right for you, visit www.pgmusic.com/bbwin.packages.htm

Watch the new features video...

NEW! Celtic Guitar Video Master Class Series with Quinn Bachand!

Ever wanted to learn how to play Celtic Guitar from a pro? Try out our just-released program, the Celtic Guitar Video Master Class Series with Quinn Bachand!

If you're familiar with Band-in-a-Box & RealTracks, you may have already heard Quinn playing along with your song - his contributions include the Celtic guitar, Bodhran, Irish Bouzouki, and banjo.

Click here to watch the Celtic Guitar Video Master Class Series [Trailer]!

Band-in-a-Box® for Beginner's - New Forum!

New to Band-in-a-Box® ? We've created a Beginner's Forum that's the perfect place to post resources ideal for those starting with Band-in-a-Box®.

If you're not new to Band-in-a-Box®, that doesn't mean you can't join in the action! Pop over to the new forum to join in the discussion & share your knowledge too!

#MusicMonday - Listen to All These Great Songs!

Check out our Band-in-a-Box® Radio page... there are hours of songs to listen to - all shared with us by our Forum Members!

Like what you hear? Each song playing includes a link to the original forum post, so you can leave a comment if you'd like! Found an artist you want to hear more from? There is also an option to visit the Artist SoundCloud page!

Forum Stats
25461 Members
46 Forums
42540 Topics
343393 Posts

Max Online: 2283 @ 08/25/16 03:52 PM
Newest Members
mikeroot2, nzpaul, Wildmillbilly, Keethen, williamrichard99

25460 Registered Users
Top Posters (30 Days)
Matt Finley 457
PeterGannon 369
Noel96 315
VideoTrack 308
Pipeline 274
David Snyder 200
jford 178
Pat Marr 173
Robertkc 112
Bob Buford 109
Today's Birthdays
ED PLOCKI, Prissíla Garcia