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#72186 - 05/06/10 12:21 PM [PowerTracks Pro Audio] orchestra sample sound card
HARDING Offline
Newbie

Registered: 03/27/10
Posts: 4
I am looking to buy a sound card with very high quality orchestral samples and wonder if anyone can suggest the best one to use with Powertracks 12. I believe that there is a really good one that gets the attack, decay and vibrato or whatever just right for the specific instrument. I won't say money is no object but I certainly expect to spend quite a bit.

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#72187 - 05/06/10 05:52 PM [PowerTracks Pro Audio] Re: orchestra sample sound card [Re: HARDING]
Mac Offline
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Registered: 05/29/00
Posts: 38502
Loc: Chesapeake, Virginia USA
These days, the sound card no longer contains any MIDI synth stuff, for the most part.

You are looking for a MIDI synth, hardware or software, that is compat with your pc system.


--Mac
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#72188 - 05/06/10 06:22 PM [PowerTracks Pro Audio] Re: orchestra sample sound card [Re: Mac]
Gary Curran Offline
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Registered: 01/07/02
Posts: 10059
Loc: Poulsbo, Wa 98370
As Mac pointed out, 'sound cards' these days are often more of 'sound chips' built onto your mainboard. That isn't to say that there aren't real plug in cards available, there are, but not like 10 years ago when you could buy a sound card from multiple different vendors and get different sounds.

Today, PC's and Windows use a .dll file that contains about 4 megs of sample data. This way, no matter what computer you listen to, high end desktop, laptop or netbook, the MIDI sounds will all be the same. It used to be that you could buy a card from Creative and get one set of sounds, buy a card from Turtle Beach and get another set, buy one from Yamaha and get a totally different set. Those days are far and long gone.

Sound cards today do not have ANY sounds on them.

So, where do the sounds come from? They come from software, via a 'software synthesizer.' There are multiple software synths out there today that you can purchase and install on your computer, or you can buy a hardware module or keyboard.

For Orchestral work, I would recommend Garritan's Personal Orchestra 4.

http://www.garritan.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=154&Itemid=54

With the Aria player, you can create a stand alone device that can be used with PowerTracks Pro Audio or Real Band.

Please check out the Demos page here for an idea of what Personal Orchestra can do for you.

http://www.garritan.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=109&Itemid=63

How do you get these lovely sounds out of your computer?

The built in sound card on your computer isn't really optimized for audio recording work. The following is copied from Garritan's FAQs on GPO4

Quote:

What Soundcard Do You Recommend?

People ask us often about soundcards we recommend. Although we cannot recommend specific cards (each system is different), there are many good and inexpensive ones to choose from. Yamaha and M-Audio are brands you may want to research for soundcards. You rsoundcard is very important to making music with our software instruments. It is important you have something a step above a "stock" consumer grade soundcard that may come pre-installed in your computer. Such cards are not designed to handle higher quality sounds and the performance needs of the instruments.

In looking for a soundcard, be sure to look for a low-latency card. Make sure you have a soundcard with adjustable buffers so you can set the latency. Basically, latency is the time it takes to play a sound on your keyboard to when you'll hear it playing from your speakers. There is a inverse relationship between latency and performance. The lower the latency the higher the resource demands. One can often find a sweet spot between latency and performance and each system is different.[\quote]

If you were to plan on going with something like GPO, I would recommend the M-Audio 2496 Audiophile card as a very good, relatively inexpensive audio interface. For monitoring, of course, you'll need some sort of monitoring setup, like a mixer and powered speakers.

There are other solutions, as well, but I think this is a good one.

Hope this helps.

Gary
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