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BuildOrBuy Group Network
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images/bullet2.gifIf I were Building a System Today... Rev 7 (5/12/03).


Digital Audio WorkStation Odyssey
  1. Audio
  2. Audio Loops
  3. Audio Processing Tools
  4. ProAudio
  5. GigaStudio

Looking for that all-in-one studio setup solution? A "Bang For The Buck" ProAudio interface? We've provided Hardware & Software Features & Standards To Consider below.

Questions To Ask Yourself:
  1. O/S Compatibility? So your running Windows. What flavor? Win98 SE, Win 2000 Pro or Win XP Pro?
  2. Interface Requirements: Hardware / Software -
    Does Your PC Have the Guts to run this interface? Or do you require a new PC? M/B chipset, ok?
  3. DirectX compliant (DirectSound)? Do you require the latest DirectX Video Capture Update?
  4. Quality Required: 24 Bit Depth / 96 KHz or CD Quality = 16 bit / 44.1 KHz).
  5. Multi-client capable hardware? Can you address 2 applications simultaneously?
  6. Multiple card capable?
  7. GigaStudio - GSIF Compatible Hardware Drivers?
  8. ASIO Drivers (Audio Stream Input Output)? Steinberg CuBase VST | Nuendo Compatible when released Nov 2000 for Win98.
  9. Completeness of package?
  10. Ability to coexist with other gear in setup? Digital Audio & Midi?
  11. Phantom Powered Mic PreAmps? How Many?
  12. Does the unit do what you want or need? I/O Capabilities...
Digital Audio Gear:

images/pointared.gif Aardvark Professional Digital Audio

We had high hopes for Aardvark, unless they can get successful shipping drivers they may Sea their Sound go too!

Features: 24 Bit/96 KHz; 4 Mic PreAmps (Phantom Powered);
Special: 4 Units can be installed concurrently; Will coexist with Creative Labs SB Live.
Supported: GigaStudio 2.00 or greater; GSIF Compatible Hardware + SampleRate independent Multiclient capable.

Update... 2 From appears "WDM will be available by the end of March Or April!?" What year? 

Update... 1 Most Important: Does NOT yet support WDM Driver Model hence no Win2000 or WinXP anything drivers & NO GSIF under Win2000 (2/27/2002).

Aardvark-Pro: Direct Pro 24/96 Used In Laboratory Tests (July 2001).

Aardvark-Pro: Tips & Tricks: Direct Pro 24/96 - Getting better sound out of your microphones.

images/pointared.gif Digidesign - One Solution. One Company. Digi001 | Pro Tools Hardware Features | Software Features. Digi001, a Mac product now working sporadically with PC's on Win98 SE. Great idea even if finicky. Prefers M/B with i440BX chipsets (Circa 1998!).

images/bullet2.gifMbox - New Digidesign and Focusrite Micro Project/Home Studio: AD/DA Converters, 44.1, 48 kHz; 24-bit to/from computer; S/PDIF I/O (24-bit); 2-channel USB audio peripheral; Includes two TRS (1/4")/XLR analogue inputs - featuring Focusrite Audio Engineering mic preamps and 48 V phantom power - US List $495.00 (3/7/2002).

images/pointared.gif Echo Digital Audio - Makers of Mona, Layla, Gina, Mia ... 24/96 Digital Recording Systems!

Need 4 Phantom Powered MIC Preamps, see Mona. List: $995.00 - No Midi!

Compare Echo cards

O/S: 95/98/2000/XP/Mac/WDM/ASIO/GSIF (2/27/2002)!

images/pointared.gif www.egosys:

images/pointared.gif ESI (Ego Systems Inc.):

images/bullet2.gifWaMi Rack 192X; (24bit 192kHz AD converter) - $899.00

images/bullet2.gifWaMi Rack 192L; (24bit 96kHz AD converter) - $499.00

images/pointared.gif EGO·SYS - WaMi Rack 24 or Waveterminal 2496. Features: 24 Bit/96 KHz; 4 Mic PreAmps (Phantom Powered).

images/pointared.gif Soundscape - Mixtreme PCI cards (No Mic PreAmps - spoken of highly and often @ Sonic Foundry Vegas Forum).

images/pointared.gif Frontier Design Group - Dakota PCI (All Same as above). | Tango24

images/pointared.gif Lynx Studio Technology, Inc.

images/pointared.gif - ADAT

images/pointared.gif MOTU Audio 2408mkII - MOTU 828 FireWire

images/pointared.gif Hardware / Software by

images/pointared.gif SEK'D - Soft & Hardware for Harddisk-Recording - Sek'd Sienna (Hardware) & Samplitude 2496 (Software). 1-800-330-7753 (USA). Features: Best for AMD Athlon K7; 24 Bit/96 KHz.

images/pointared.gif SeaSound - Out OF Business! See a great deal? Pass! Seasound Solo EX or newer Solo EX8. Features: 24 Bit/96 KHz; 2 Mic PreAmps (Phantom Powered)

Please visit the SeaSound Users Group at

images/pointared.gif Gadget Labs - Gadget Labs Wave/824. Features: 24 Bit/48 KHz; 2 Mic XLR Inputs - No PreAmps!

images/pointared.gif Midiman / M Audio's - Makers of high quality Digital Recording systems, and MIDI interfaces. Delta 1010; Delta 66; Delta 44 & Omni I/O, now know as M-Audio Omni Studio - Integrated Desktop Audio Station. Features: A record/playback “front end” for the Delta 44 and Delta 66 interface cards. 24 bit / 96 kHz; 2 Mic/Inst inputs equipped with XLR phantom power, insert I/O jacks, individual gain controls, gain reduction "pad" switch, and signal/clip indicator LEDs.

O/S: Windows 95/98, ASIO/ASIO2, Mac, GSIF, DirectX and Windows NT/2000 drivers (2/27/2002).

Audio Interface Watch
  1. images/bullet2.gifRolls RFX Bellari: GCi404 Audio Computer Interface - Perfect compliment to an existing Audio Card? Features: Single balanced XLR Microphone input with phantom power + (1) 1/4" Instrument signal and a group of stereo Line Input signals and stereo Phono preamp with grounding post and built-in RIAA equalization (7/3/2002).
  2. images/  Terratec Products (3/21/2002).
  3. images/bullet2.gifDMX 6Fire - Move over Creative!
  4. images/bullet2.gifTerratec DMX 6 Fire - - $249.00!
  5. images/bullet2.gifGigaSampler Libraries: - Sounds - Gigasampler Format
  6. INQUIRER awards for 2001 See: Best Semi Professional Card, Terratec DMX 6 Fire 24/96.
  7. TerraTec DMX 6fire 2496 (3/27/02).
  8. Digital Video: Dual Duel - Six dual-CPU workstations reviewed (12/29/01).


BuildOrBuy Audio Internals
  1. WDM Driver support also means only Win98SE, WinMe, Win2000 & WinXP.
  2. PC Audio, Sound Cards & Audio Restoration - PC Computer Audio 
  3. Examples of Audio Processing  / Digital Audio Editing Applications. 
  4. ProAudio Interfaces, WDM Driver Model, Yamaha's MLAN (1394 FireWire a.k.a. Sony iLink).
  5. Midi Files of Patriotism & Inspiration
  6. Tascam GigaStudio ( Audio Libraries.


BuildOrBuy Windows  Internals
  1. Windows History & Timeline
  2. Windows Product Activation
  3. WinXP Launch
  4. WinXP Launch Overview Preliminaries
  5. Windows XP
  6. Windows 2000
  7. Upgrading to Windows 2000 Professional
  8. WinXP Tools
  9. Windows Me Tools
  10. Windows Driver Model
  11. PC Chipsets: MB, Video & Audio/Sound Card Components.


Possible Audio Solutions:

Layla or Delta 1010 plus a small Mackie or Behringer mixer will be slightly cheaper than two DirectPros or two Monas or any other way of getting eight mic preamps piped into your PC. The Mackie 1402VLZ Pro has 6 mic preamps and goes for about $600; the Behringer EURORACK MX2004A has 8 and goes for about $300.

Mic PreAmps: M-Audio Omni Studio (Win200 / XP); Aardvark DirectPro 24/96 (Win98); Digi 001; Seasound Solo / SoloEX.



Only a few cards have mic preamps worth considering. The 1/8" Mic Input jacks on consumer soundcards will not cut it. Cards worth consideration which include mic preamps are as follows: Aardvark DirectPro (Win98), Echo Mona, SeaSound SoloEX (Gone), Digidesign Digi001 (Finicky, prefers i440BX chipset M/B), M-Audio Delta44 and Delta66 + the optional OMNI I/O box as a front end. Alas, all these solutions are in the $500+ range.

Research Resources:
  1. - Audio Forums for PC digital audio hardware & software.

  2. PC Music Guru - Enhancing Computer Music Karma.

  3. - Your best source for information on the Digital Audio Workstation.

  4. PCAVTech Sound Card Technical Benchmarks.

  5. * the website for the magazine for creative music recording...Tape Op.

  6. Home Recording Studio from Digidesign and Harmony Central - Contest Now Closed! Info is still good!
DAW Station
DV Tools
Sound Cards
audioMIDI - DAWs
The DirectX Files: Plug-ins
Fxpansion!: Amulet (Direct X VST Adapter)
Spin Audio Software
Rubber Chicken - Chicken Systems (Ensoniq EPS 16 Tools)
AudioMulch Interactive Music Studio
TC Works Native
Waves Ltd. Digital Audio Processing
Waves supports: Digi001
Native Intruments: Reaktor
FruityLoops Music Tools
NTONYX - Virtual Audio Cable 2.00
Digital Audio Programming



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