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Is an onboard sound chip suitable for music production?

Plug-in hosts and other software applications discussion

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Zombie Queen
KVRAF
 
3420 posts since 1 Aug, 2005, from where butter flies

Postby Zombie Queen; Sat Mar 22, 2014 10:21 am Re: Is an onboard sound chip suitable for music production?

Those specs look good on paper, I have 889 chip in my kids comps, I once plugged headphone amp and my old studio cans into it. There is huge perceptual difference compared to my Echo Audio breakout box, or old M-audio audiophile I had before it. This thing here is simply noisy, nowhere near those SN specs and on top of it, it's apparently catching some interferences, so it's buzzing too. Maybe it performs better depending on motherboard, but I'd really say, it's worth upgrading to anything made with actual music in mind.
SzcZ: music | samples
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Tricky-Loops
KVRAF
 
8318 posts since 12 Mar, 2012, from South Bavaria - near the alps... :-)

Postby Tricky-Loops; Sat Mar 22, 2014 10:59 am Re: Is an onboard sound chip suitable for music production?

Depends on your demands. If you want to build a high-quality professional producer studio, you should buy a special soundcard. But for making some songs, an on-board soundcard is okay... Keep in mind that nobody will listen to your songs to notice "oh, that must be an on-board soundcard!" There were even some people who made (good) music with a SID chip... :o

On the other hand, if you have 170 EUR for speakers, you should have some bucks for a soundcard, too... :wink:
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chk071
KVRAF
 
3080 posts since 10 Apr, 2010, from Germany

Postby chk071; Sat Mar 22, 2014 1:33 pm Re: Is an onboard sound chip suitable for music production?

You're right. After reading a bit about the ALC887 on the net, i decided to build my Asus card into the new computer. Why live with worse sound, when you have a little better option. :)

@ Zombie Queen: I can confirm there are a lot of cards/chips which are not properly shielded against electro static (if that's the right term). I had a Terratec sound card once, which was so terrible in that regard, that i had to put it in a PCI slot further away from the fan of the CPU, but it still was buzzing like mad.
tooneba
KVRist
 
374 posts since 6 Nov, 2012

Postby tooneba; Sat Mar 22, 2014 3:22 pm Re: Is an onboard sound chip suitable for music production?

Macbook Pro has odd chip that wastes CPU and increases latency when using headphone.
glokraw
KVRAF
 
5122 posts since 6 Oct, 2004

Postby glokraw; Sun Mar 23, 2014 11:33 pm Re: Is an onboard sound chip suitable for music production?

chk071 wrote:You're right. After reading a bit about the ALC887 on the net, i decided to build my Asus card into the new computer. Why live with worse sound, when you have a little better option. :)

@ Zombie Queen: I can confirm there are a lot of cards/chips which are not properly shielded against electro static (if that's the right term). I had a Terratec sound card once, which was so terrible in that regard, that i had to put it in a PCI slot further away from the fan of the CPU, but it still was buzzing like mad.

keeping accurate notes, and saving your project files
means you can redo them every time you make
a significant gear upgrade. Re-render them, re-master them,
and view the old/new waveforms side by side in an editor. In the meantime,
save up, do some odd jobs, extra shifts, and in short order,
there will be a choice home studio growing.
Cheers
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4damind
KVRAF
 
3587 posts since 17 Aug, 2004, from Berlin, Germany

Postby 4damind; Mon Mar 24, 2014 12:49 am Re: Is an onboard sound chip suitable for music production?

I would buy a cheap card for <100€. The converters on the on-board sound cards are IMO not so good that I would use them for recordings/monitoring. There is also the problem with latency if ASIO4All is not working or cannot achieve the expected low latency.
With my testings the resolution is not so good and I missed a lot of details (but I have not tested this with newer on-board chips).
I would use a on-board sound chip only as a temporary solution.
Frank Arnold Musician & IT Freelancer

Visit me on:
Facebook | Soundcloud | 4damind.com
juffi
KVRist
 
351 posts since 28 Jul, 2004, from near Düsseldorf, Germany

Postby juffi; Mon Mar 24, 2014 1:29 am Re: Is an onboard sound chip suitable for music production?

I tried an onboard Sound chip as well, i have a realtek also on my Compaq . There was one day my EMU 1820m had no lights on and looked like it died.

So i tried the onboard chip with 1024 samples. As long you have only a few tracks in your cubase it is ok. Then i tried a big Project , beyond 30 tracks and lots of VST instruments, and the crackles begin.

My EMU Card could handle that easily. So depends what you are doing.

Another thing i heard that onboard Intel HD Audio Chips are not that bad.
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