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Old March 5th, 2008, 08:03 PM   #1
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Does my soundcard matter?

I have an ASUS MB with onboard sound. I also have a Soundblaster Live card, that I'm not using and was debating whether or not to install it instead of using the onboard sound.

Assuming it's a better soundcard, does it really matter for editing?

How about other functions, such as recording voiceovers?
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Old March 5th, 2008, 08:41 PM   #2
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For editing, no.

For voiceovers, potentially. Integrated audio is usually rather noisy and recording via microphone will be especially sensitive to interference from other components.

Ideally, the preamp for the microphone should be outside the computer entirely as should the A-to-D conversion. However, using a soundcard will be an improvement over the integrated audio.

A crude but effective test is to hook up headphones and put the output volume to maximum. You will hear the noise. Do things with the display - e.g., maximize then minimize an application, create some disk activity etc. Make sure all sounds are turned off so you don't inadvertently zap your ears.
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Old March 5th, 2008, 11:08 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by John Miller View Post
For editing, no.
Well, while it may not affect your audio quality, per se, it will make it harder to hear when there are actual problems in your audio that the noisy on-board sound card masks. So, I'd have to disagree a little but still you are overall correct.

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Old March 6th, 2008, 12:20 AM   #4
 
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The soundcard drivers may or may not have an impact on how well Vegas performs on your particular machine. Like most everything else, it's a series of weights and balances. Some sound cards use a lot of resource, others don't.
In the past, Live! cards created a lot of challenges, but I believe those challenges have gone away.
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Old March 6th, 2008, 03:10 AM   #5
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yes the sound card is very important if you consider that audio is part of the video editing.
For example , you get a soundblaster audigy (the one with the external bay), you will have the optical in/out to work high quality with minidisc, the 5.1 real time editing and monitoring, the low latency ASIO drivers, realtime directx effects, a good firewire plug and so on...
With a regular card, you can live without it, but then you are limiting your work to what your hardware can do, and soon or later you will discover that it is not enough.
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Old March 6th, 2008, 08:03 AM   #6
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I avoid anything MOBO integrated stricly for performance sake except raid controllers. I'm a bit old school that way. I was taught that integrated video and audio shares precious system resources, especially integrated video.

However with a quality MOBO, I have lately noticed that there is very little difference. I have integrated sound available and an Audigy 4 card also. The quality of my integrated audio is very good, and it is NOT noisy for what I do.

I run high-end speakers that are phenominal, and I have no problems. I still use my PCI card just because it has more depth and it frees up my MOBO resources that can be more soley devoted to my raid controllers, which are my highest priorty.

Some integraged audio arrangements really are terrible, and if yours is one of those, I would suggest moving up to a sound card.

But if yours sounds fine and you are having no problems dont' bother.

Technically folks could argue all day long about theoretical differences but the bottom line is if you are not having issue don't worry about it.
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Old March 6th, 2008, 08:41 AM   #7
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My secondondary workstation has an ASUS P5WD2 MOBO with low-quality integrated audio, and it really is terrible, but it doesn't matter to me on that machine.

I avoid anything MOBO integrated on my primary workstation stricly for performance sake except raid controllers. I'm a bit old school that way. I was taught that integrated video and audio share precious system resources, especially integrated video which we all know is a big no-no.

However with a quality MOBO, I have lately noticed that there is very little difference. I have integrated sound available on my newer workstation and an Audigy 4 card also. The quality of my integrated audio is very good, and it is NOT noisy for what I do, but I still use my PCI card just because it has more depth of sound and it frees up my MOBO resources that can be devoted to my raid controllers, which are my highest priorty.

Some integrated audio arrangements really are terrible, and if yours is one of those, I would suggest moving up to a sound card. I'm not a fan of ASUS anyway and if you have the P5WD2 board as I do you most definitely want a sound card.

Last edited by Jeff Harper; March 6th, 2008 at 09:17 AM.
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Old March 6th, 2008, 09:15 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Davidson View Post
Well, while it may not affect your audio quality, per se, it will make it harder to hear when there are actual problems in your audio that the noisy on-board sound card masks. So, I'd have to disagree a little but still you are overall correct.

Dave
You're absolutely right. I should have clarified that I was refering to audio effects being applied to audio tracks and the final audio rendering to file.
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