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PC Sound Cards How I Built A Reliable Home Recording Studio- USB Sound Card _____________________________________________________________________________________

By Hills James- As a musician and engineer I have had a natural interest in music recording since the 1970's. Back then we had to use a Reel to Reel Multitrack recorder, which I part owned with five friends; this was far from ideal, however it gave me a great insight into how to layer tracks and edit time lines. When we had saved enough money in the 80's, we moved up to a dedicated hard drive recorder. The computers in those days, fitted with basic PC sound cards, just took care of midi-sequencing via a keyboards on-board sounds; we dare not ask them to do much more, as they were just so unreliable. In the 80's, operating systems were no where near as robust as they are now and frequent crashes and freezes were plentiful and just part of the process we had to deal with.

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I purchased my first serious desk top computer in the early 90's and as was the norm back then, computers did not come with any PC sound cards. Being an avid gamer and home recording enthusiast, I naturally rushed out and purchased a top end sound card of the time that I was informed would do the

job. I remember that simply fitting pci sound cards and getting them to work was a time consuming experience and problems with drivers and compatibility with operating systems became a constant frustration. My first serious PC sound card was the Creative Sound Blaster AWE64 Gold, it was a thing of beauty. The box alone filled me with hope and excitement (sad - I know!). I purchased this when I was onto my 3rd or 4th computer upgrade in about 2001. Then in 2004 moved onto the Creative Sound Blaster Audigy ES that included the first generation break-out box.

At long last, these days I use a much more powerful desk top computer with over a Terabyte of hard drive space and a Novation nio 2/4 portable USB audio interface/ USB sound card. I plug it into one of many USB ports. It is a great little device; it allows me to input balanced microphones with phantom power through XLR. It has an input for electric guitars or external keyboards; it caters for midi-through to control virtual instruments; it has two volume controllable jack outputs for headphones.

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Usb sound card