trying to get back in

brother rat

All mics sound the same.
I've had to take a break from recording for a few years, but I would like to get back into it a little and get a few things recorded.
I have a Delta 44 card (PCI) which I have been happy with for almost 20 years. And I think it should still hold up. But I no longer have a computer that accepts PCI cards.
Any fancy devices out there that will convert a PCI card to a USB output? Should I just forfeit the Delta 44 and purchase one of the lower end USB mixers and stick with the stereo output only?
Any other recommendations? There are so many 2 input USB interfaces nowadays that it's hard to sift through what's what.
Thanks!
 

spantini

COO of me, inc.
Welcome, brother rat!

You'll probably get advice to forget the card, forget the USB mixer and go with an Audio/Digital Interface, which should connect to
your PC via USB. Many starters use a simple 2-input interface which will accept both line level 1/4" and XLR - most will also have
Phantom power for your mics (this is a popular model USB Audio Interfaces | Focusrite). Then get yourself a DAW for
your PC, that's the software to use for recording/mixing/etc.. that's your mixer/recorder/effects all in one.
 

jimmys69

MOODerator
Welcome back!

Yeah, you better off starting with a new interface. How many tracks do you need to record at once? What did you use to record to? DAW?
 

brother rat

All mics sound the same.
I really only need to record two tracks at a time. Most recently I had been using Reaper. I would even consider a portable standalone recorder.
 
If your needs are modest you could pick up an older used computer with pci slots for next to nothing,
or a small two channel USB interface for the same.

Converting pci to a modern interface isn't really a done thing.
Pci-e is a different story but then it's still really common in desktops.

Some of the focusrite, presonus, NI offerings are spot on.
Welcome back, too. :)...They always come back.
 

DM60

Well-known member
I have a Delta still in my computer, but I switched to USB since they really are just as good these days. Sound quality wise, you lose nothing, gain a bunch. For the speed you expect, make sure you get a card that has ASIO drivers. Get that set and you are good as gold. As stated, phantom power, line inputs, direct DI, and no crawling behind the PC when you want to change connections!

Hope you enjoy getting back into it!
 

miroslav

Cosmic Cowboy
If your needs are modest you could pick up an older used computer with pci slots for next to nothing...

:thumbs up:

I'm still running multiple PCI audio cards for my converters, using an older computer
TBH...if you just need one PCI slot, you don't have to go back too far to find that. I need at least 3 PCI slots, so for that, I had to dig a bit more, but it's still a solid system...quad-core extreme, 3Ghz, 16GB Ram...and it only cost me like maybe $100 for the system, and then I paid extra to move up to 16GB RAM (I think it came with 8GB to start). Plus I opted to add all high-speed WD Velciraptor drives...but you could probably find a pretty decent ready-to-go computer with a PCI slot for $100-$200 bucks.

I saw the title "trying to get back in"...and thought maybe you locked yourself out of the house. :p
 

ecc83

Well-known member
I cannot agree that many USB interfaces are quite the equal of the PCI 44 (or the 2496 I still have in one PC)

The difference is latency. My 2496 will work reliably at 128 samples and just about ok at 64. The only USB AI I am aware of that beats it at anything like sub "RME" prices is my Native Instruments KA6 which goes to 32 samples and is glitch free at 64 (a faster PC would I am sure run 32 samples)

Of course, low latency might not be an issue? Is the D 44 the one without MIDI? if so latency is probably not a concern. I would still however recommend the KA6 although this years crop of sub £150 AIs are all very good from what I read.

Re keeping the PCI card going? Yes, you can still find MOBOs with PCI slots I have an Asus so equipped and with an AMD 6core 3G Black and 6G ram it is pretty nifty. You don't need Deep Thought to bang together a few tracks!

Dave.
 
quad-core extreme, 3Ghz, 16GB Ram.

Yep..Still a very capable setup. Also very overclockable, if the board allows.
The windows box I keep is a q9550 (2.8ghz stock) which I run at 3.8ghz with no voltage increases, on air, at 40C and under! :eek:

The old ram is damn pricey now, though. I have 8gb and regrets.
 

DM60

Well-known member
I cannot agree that many USB interfaces are quite the equal of the PCI 44 (or the 2496 I still have in one PC)

The difference is latency. My 2496 will work reliably at 128 samples and just about ok at 64. The only USB AI I am aware of that beats it at anything like sub "RME" prices is my Native Instruments KA6 which goes to 32 samples and is glitch free at 64 (a faster PC would I am sure run 32 samples)

Of course, low latency might not be an issue? Is the D 44 the one without MIDI? if so latency is probably not a concern. I would still however recommend the KA6 although this years crop of sub £150 AIs are all very good from what I read.

Re keeping the PCI card going? Yes, you can still find MOBOs with PCI slots I have an Asus so equipped and with an AMD 6core 3G Black and 6G ram it is pretty nifty. You don't need Deep Thought to bang together a few tracks!

Dave.

I pretty much have the same setup, but like I said, I don't think the gain (if any) is worth the pain. Since switching to a good USB interface, I really don't see an upside keeping it going.

But... to your point, that configuration you mention will get the job done very easy. Add an SSD and there will be no issues. That setup should be out there at a very reasonable price. He could probably recylce the old case, and then just get a graphics card that will work with the OS he will be using.
 

miroslav

Cosmic Cowboy
Yep..Still a very capable setup. Also very overclockable, if the board allows.
The windows box I keep is a q9550 (2.8ghz stock) which I run at 3.8ghz with no voltage increases, on air, at 40C and under! :eek:

The old ram is damn pricey now, though. I have 8gb and regrets.


TBH...I've not tried or even looked into overclocking it...so not sure if it's even possible, but so far I'm not feeling any need.

On the 16GB RAM...I got lucky and found a nice deal on 16GB of G-Skill in 4GB sticks. The 8GB I already had was four 2GB sticks...so I could just add to it.
I think I only paid like $160 (?) for the 16GB. The funny part was that my computer per spec, states it can use 8GB max if you read the manual...but when I was looking for an older computer for my DAW system, I did some more research on it, and found that while not clearly advertised, it was indeed capable of using up to 16GB of RAM, as long as you got a specifc type (I forget now what the particulars were)...so I had to dig around for the RAM, and was lucky to find it in one lot of 16GB.
That said...I've monitored my DAW performance, and TBH, I'm never even tapping into half of the 16GB...but, I've not ever really pushed it hard with real-time RAM intensive stuff, so I'm still glad I have it.
I see people installing 32GB and even 64GB in some newer computers...though frankly I think that might be overkill unless you're doing something very RAM specific. I think people just assume more=better/faster without considering what part of the system takes the biggest hits for certain tasks....they just go for maxing everything out. :p
 

ecc83

Well-known member
"I see people installing 32GB and even 64GB in some newer computers...though frankly I think that might be overkill unless you're doing something very RAM specific. I think people just assume more=better/faster without considering what part of the system takes the biggest hits for certain tasks....they just go for maxing everything out."

There was a thread recently Mir' (SoS?) about ram and it was suggested that going to extremes can result in a bigger CPU hit as it tries to access all the memory?

I can't say, just an old, retired bottle jockey but I had the 4G in this i3 HP laptop doubled and I do not notice any difference other than it runs a bit hotter!
Now, I have NO idea how many watts a 4G say stick consumes but it might be something to think about before peeps go ape-***t stupid with ram?

Dave.
 
TBH...I've not tried or even looked into overclocking it...so not sure if it's even possible, but so far I'm not feeling any need.

On the 16GB RAM...I got lucky and found a nice deal on 16GB of G-Skill in 4GB sticks. The 8GB I already had was four 2GB sticks...so I could just add to it.
I think I only paid like $160 (?) for the 16GB. The funny part was that my computer per spec, states it can use 8GB max if you read the manual...but when I was looking for an older computer for my DAW system, I did some more research on it, and found that while not clearly advertised, it was indeed capable of using up to 16GB of RAM, as long as you got a specifc type (I forget now what the particulars were)...so I had to dig around for the RAM, and was lucky to find it in one lot of 16GB.

Nice! I've seen that happen quite a bit. I don't know if it's bios revisions after release, or what, but a few computers I had were capable of greater capacity than the manufacturer originally stated.

That said...I've monitored my DAW performance, and TBH, I'm never even tapping into half of the 16GB...but, I've not ever really pushed it hard with real-time RAM intensive stuff, so I'm still glad I have it.
I see people installing 32GB and even 64GB in some newer computers...though frankly I think that might be overkill unless you're doing something very RAM specific. I think people just assume more=better/faster without considering what part of the system takes the biggest hits for certain tasks....they just go for maxing everything out. :p

Agreed. My recording/main work computer has 24gb, which is overkill for me.
That said, it's triple channel so it was a choice between 3x4 or 3x8.
The other machine I mentioned just sits there and does nothing unless I'm programming and usually, if I'm programming, it's running an environment that eats ram like I eat sweeties.
It runs out of memory and shits itself all the time. :(
 
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