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Old March 24th, 2007, 02:17 PM   #1
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How Important is a Good *Sound* Card?

My computer has a $25 sound card. It works fine for regular life, but I will be using it with Vegas and Xpress Pro to edit HD footage and work with multiple audio tracks. Is a sound card upgrade in order? I already did the video card upgrade so I'm wondering if this is another step I should take.

Of course I'm open to any sound card recommendations. THANKS!
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Old March 24th, 2007, 06:28 PM   #2
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Frankly, there's no need.

The only real reason to change would be if you have integrated audio on the motherboard - this can sap CPU power since much of the processing is not done by dedicated hardware.

For video editing, the soundcard only serves to let you hear the audio when previewing/playing back on the PC.

One other reason to change would be if you intend to use Windows Vista and the soundcard doesn't have Vista drivers. The driver requirements for Vista are totally different than for previous versions of Windows and older soundcards will most likely become inoperable.
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Old March 27th, 2007, 06:38 PM   #3
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It depends on the type of work you plan to do. The place where a better audio card will benefit you is on the input side. If you plan to only get audio down the firewire from your camera, then you're probably ok with what you have. If you are digitizing audio from analog sources or want to be able to take a digital audio stream from an external recorder, then you'll need to upgrade.

Regardless of what you choose to do with the sound card, the place that you really need to put money is in your monitoring speakers and amplifier. Thanks to the laws of physics, there's really no subsitute for good, heavy, high-quality monitor speakers for mixing. Jay Rose's books on digital audio have lots of great advice on the topic. The good news is that your monitor speakers will be with you for twenty years (or more). Long after your current camera, NLE, and computer system have been relegated to the dust bin of history.
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Old March 28th, 2007, 03:12 AM   #4
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Right now I'm going just from the camera.

But in the near future, I plan on using a separate recorder, like a Fostex MR8HD 8-Track digital recorder with a 40GB HD.
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