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Old July 25th, 2005, 07:14 AM   #1
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Help with M-audio Delta 1010 vs Firewire 410

In my pursuit of selecting audio hardware I have read countless threads here on the subject and just when I think I understand what I need, I read something else and confuse myself again. So it is time to ask the questions and get clarification so I can get this completed. I appreciate any help anyone can give.

I am looking for audio hardware for my desktop that I can do the following with:

Monitor audio for editing and creating sound design for video projects.
Use MIDI devices to compose and edit score for video projects.
Input for Mics to record voice over/looping for video projects.

I eventually want to create 5.1 surround mixes but right now am foucusing on normal stereo mixes.

I was looking to get a pair of M-audio BX-8a monitors and a M-audio SB-X subwoofer to start with.

I have been looking at the M-audio Delta 1010 card and the M-audio Firewire 410 but am not sure I understand what the advantages/disadvantages of either are. The firewire unit has mic pre-amps that the 1010 doesn't but I have heard you get better performance from an internal card. Because I want to do about everything with this hardware is this a case where I would need both? Is there another route I should go? Can anyone explain what the strength of each setup would be and if I could do everything I need to do with either. I am sorry but I am frustrated because just when I think I understand, I read something that confuses me again.

Thanks,
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Old July 25th, 2005, 12:33 PM   #2
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More specific question

I guess what I am really looking for is a confirmation of what I think to be true between these audio solutions.

Delta 1010 card

Pro's
PCI interface (which from what I have read here is preferred)
10 Balanced I/O
Can power surround system
Midi Inputs

Con's
No mic preamp - I would need to purchase separately (I think)
No headphone monitoring (is there a way to monitor with headphones?)

Firewire 410

Pro's
Mic preamps
Headphone monitoring
Can power surrond sound monitor system
Balanced I/O
Midi Inputs

Con's
Firewire connection (latency issues?, capture issues?, issues with firewire hard drives?)

I can't seem to find something that has everything I need in one package...am I missing something? Again, any help would be appreciated.
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Old July 25th, 2005, 12:46 PM   #3
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I'm in the same shoes as you; looking for an audio interface. That being said, don't take anything I say in this thread as recommendations, because I know just as much as you do. I just spent all yesterday researching soundcards/audio interfaces, so I've been reading a lot of information, but I have no experience to speak from.

First off; do you really need 8 inputs? I think that's intended for use in studios where you'd be recording a band -- you only need as many inputs as tracks you will be recording simultaneously. Since you said you'd just be dubbing voice, you probably won't need more than one, possibly two inputs (correct me if I'm wrong). If you're looking in the $500 range, then I'd take a look at the EMU 1820M. Of course, that does come with a ridiculous 18 inputs, but it can take just about any form of input. Or there's the slightly trimmed down EMU 1212M, which is basically a smaller version for $300 cheaper -- it gives you the same performance as the 1820M, just less input/outputs, and crappier software that comes with it. The 1212M gives you MIDI in/out, two balanced 1/4in inputs, two balanced outputs, and ADAT and S/PDIF in/out. Another option in the sub-$200 price range that gives you balanced 1/4in in/outs and midi is the M Audio Audiophile 192. One more: I just found the Edirol UA25 -- For $240, it has phantom powered XLR, balanced 1/4in, preamps on the inputs, and midi -- the only problem is it's only USB1.1.

I hope someone who knows more than me posts in this thread, because my needs are pretty much the exact same as yours, with the addition of the need to record guitar/bass input. Sorry if I just confused you further by introducing a bunch of new models, haha... My problem is I'm not sure exactly which features I need in the device for my specific needs. Let me know which one you end up buying.

Oh, and this is a good read:
http://www.tweakheadz.com/soundcards...ome_studio.htm
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Old July 25th, 2005, 12:59 PM   #4
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James,

Thanks for the reply. You're right I don't really need 8 inputs but I think I need the outputs to power a 5.1 surround monitor system. Is this even right? In the configuration sheet on the M-audio site is showed the 1010 being connected to Active monitors and a surround sound system separately. Which would be the setup to mix a 5.1 soundtrack? This is where I start to confuse myself. I am trying to read everything I can but am still in the learning process for professional audio. Unfortunately, I don't have any stores here that carry the equipment where I could get a good demo.

As far as inputs I really need just the two mic inputs with a preamp and phantom power and the MIDI I/O to hook up my MIDI keyboard. I guess there is a possibility of needing other inputs if I decide to record with other instruments.

Isn't EMU the professional division of Creative Labs or am I mistaken? I wasn't sure of the quality of their professional line. I don't want to have to re-buy equipment.
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Old July 25th, 2005, 01:02 PM   #5
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Hi guys, from the standpoint of someone who is still in the learning process I like the Edirol Fa101 (firewire) and the Echo Layla 3G (PCI). Both have very low latency issues and give very clean sound. The echo also has a break out box (which is nice for a PCI) with balanced ins and outs. The FA101 has nice mic pres and both have monitoring ports. I believe the Echo can be gotten at florida music co (online or call) for about $450 give or take. Or try fullcompass.com they tend to have reasonable prices.
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Old July 25th, 2005, 01:12 PM   #6
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I just found something -- The MAudio Delta 1010LT. As far as I can tell, it's the exact same thing as the Delta 1010, for less than half the price. It doesn't have the nice external interface, but if you don't mind crawling underneath your desk to plug in wires, it seems you can save a lot of money.
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Old July 25th, 2005, 01:24 PM   #7
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Dwight,

Thanks for the info.....

I just read the specs on the Echo card...that seems to have everything that I am looking for....I believe I have read here that Echo makes really good cards. Anybody here have the Echo Layla 3G card?

James,

I saw the 1010LT but just had the same questions with it. I would probably opt for the breakout box just because I have too many cables coming out of my PC already. The Echo card seems to have the best of both the 410 and the 1010.
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Old July 25th, 2005, 05:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Penhorwood
James,

...
Isn't EMU the professional division of Creative Labs or am I mistaken? I wasn't sure of the quality of their professional line. I don't want to have to re-buy equipment.
I too am in the process of deciding how best to go about the upgrade and from just about the same perspective - general audio sweetening, mixing and monitoring to stereo and 5.1 mixes with limited recording of live sounds beyond VO, ADR, and FX/Foley. (Though I would like be able to do quality location music performance recording suitable for audio CD as an adjunct to performance video.) I was considering the EMU1820m but have bumped that down in the pile after further research as general consensus seems to be that it is little more than a glorifed Soundblaster with some quality assurance and driver quality issues and there are higher quality offerings in the same general price category from other manufacturers. Delta, Echo, Edirol, and MOTU all seem to have good offerings that fit the bill with both PCI and Firewire interfaces. I'm not even sure that microphone inputs on the interface itself are all that important as one would usually want to put a mixer between the actual sound capture devices - microphones and instruments or even other analog sources aand the interface that would provide the preamps, level controls, and any pre-recording processing. For example, the Mackie Onyx series of 12 and 16 channel mixers have a built-in 16 channel input/2 channel output firewire interface card available as an extra option that will record multitrack without any additional interface required (too bad it's only 2 channels out back to the mixer for monitoring -fine for stereo but not capable of monitoring or playing back a 5.1 surround mix.)
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Old July 25th, 2005, 08:21 PM   #9
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Steve - I've also read a lot about sound interfaces, from a variety of sources and for quite a long time now, as I've been looking at them too. Other than annoyances with driver glitches and power draw, I haven't read anything bad about the 1820M. It does not appear to be a glorified SoundBlaster, despite the fact that Creative is the company's consumer division. The majority of owners seem very happy with it, and in fact, even those annoyed with it say it sounds better than any other card in the price range, including the other cards mentioned here -- hence their frustration when it glitches on them. But if you have drivers issues, then that's a major problem, so it might still be avoided by Kevin.

Kevin - M-Audio and RME are widely praised for their solid drivers. I'm not sure about Echo. RME is probably more than you want to spend, and between the two M-Audio devices you're considering, it looks like a draw to me, too. The 1010LT also looks good, but I'd prefer a breakout box.
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Old July 26th, 2005, 07:42 AM   #10
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Thanks everyone for all of the good info. I am thinking that the Echo might meet my needs. I did some more research through this forums threads and it got some good reviews from people. I know I have read great things about the M-audio hardware.

There is one more store in town that might be able to demo one of these for me, if not I will just have to bite the bullet and buy one sight unseen.

Thanks everyone for all the input...it's great having a resource like this.
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Old July 26th, 2005, 03:22 PM   #11
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Since your question is answered, I'm going to go ahead and hijack your thread instead of making a new one.

My current setup is using a USB midisport Uno 1x1 device that connects the midi i/o of my keyboard to the USB port of my computer. I do have some latency issues, but I'm not sure if that's because of the device or my laptop/drivers. As of right now I just deal with it. I record audio through the miniplug mic input on my laptop. The sound quality isn't great, obviously, but it's not horrible for voice (just when I'm trying to convert midi played through my keyboard to audio).

My budget is less than Kevin's; I was looking to spend under $200, stretching it to 250 if necessary. My needs were:
--Midi i/o to record from my keyboard
--Converting midi played back through the keyboard to audio
--Recording from a microphone to dub audio for videos
--Record guitar/bass for a potential purchase in the future

The solution I found that I think best fits my scenario would be to purchase a Behringer UB1002 Mixer ($60) or similar to achieve a phantom powered XLR input with built in preamp, and then buy one of the following sound cards:

1) Emu 0404 - $100. 1/4in I/O, S/PDIF I/O, midi I/O. The only problem is the 1/4in is unbalanced. Would this be a big deal, if I used a short cable to connect the mixer to the sound card?
2) Echo MIA - $130. Same as above, but balanced inputs. I wouldn't get the effects engine built into the emu, which sounded pretty cool, but I suppose I can live without it.
3) MAudio Audiophile 192 -- $180
4) EMU 1212M - $200
5) MAudio Delta 1010LT - $220

I know the delta will give me a bunch more inputs/outputs, but since I don't need that, would there be any advantage to me buying one of the more expensive cards, or would the MIA give me the same performance?

Does anyone know anything about the behringer mixers? Would I be losing quality by routing the analog signal through a mixer before it gets converted to digital? Is this a good solution for a cheap device with decent preamps and sound output?

Other options I've found:
Tascam US22 - $200. This box has everything I need, but some people report bad latency and crackling issues. I could use my current USB midisport for the midi i/o, however, so if the tascam is good for audio and bad for midi, I can use it for just audio.

Edirol UA25 - $240. It's a little more expensive than the other options, but it seems to do everything I need. It has phantom powered XLR inputs with preamps, balanced 1/4 TRS connectors, and midi i/o. The only problem is it's only USB1.1. Would this pose a problem? Is USB1.1 fast enough for an audio interface?


If anyone has experience with any of the specific devices I listed, I'd love to hear some input. I'm building a new PC for video and audio production, and the soundcard is the only piece I haven't picked out yet. In case anyone cares (it might matter for sound card compatibility or something), here are all the pieces I've picked out:

Processor: AMD Athlon 64 3000+ Venice 1GHz FSB 512KB L2 Cache Socket 939
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16819103537 - $146
Motherboard: Has onboard video and audio (video card to be added as budget allows)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813130485 - $86.50
Hard Drive: 320GB 7200RPM SATA
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16822144394 - $148
DVD Burner: 16x +/-R (8/4x DL)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16827152047 - $44
RAM: 1GB (eventually to be doubled, as budget allows)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820145440 - $80

Price: Approx $500 excluding sound card/audio interface and case/power supply, although it fluctuates up and down pretty much daily -- I'll just buy each part when the price is low.
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