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Topic: Ideal Motherboards for sound recording (Read 5726 times) previous topic - next topic

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  • amanzin
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Ideal Motherboards for sound recording
I'm trying to build a computer to transfer a ton of cassette tapes to high-quality digital format. Are there any motherboards that are designed specifically with sound recording in mind. For example, motherboards that are low-electronic noise and that don't have bad built-in soundcards? Any recommendations?

Thanks!

Ideal Motherboards for sound recording
Reply #1
I guess that depends how high you set the bar in terms of the performance you're expecting, but the onboard sound on my current budget Gigabyte motherboard fulfills my needs and looks pretty good on paper against some of the opposition. It was my dream PC media centre mobo at the time and still is.

It's very hard to source this particular motherboard now, but it gives you some idea how good they can be without spending a fortune. It was around £50UK IIRC.

Link (Click the graphs to expand)[/i]
  • Last Edit: 14 March, 2010, 01:07:02 AM by Slipstreem

  • DJAd
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Ideal Motherboards for sound recording
Reply #2
What is the point of building a monster PC to transfer CASSETTE tapes?! I would imagine the quality of the tapes is pretty low already so a good soundcard and decent recording software should be a main priority. Also it might be worth looking at getting a decent tape deck with some new heads before undertaking such a project.

  • odigg
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Ideal Motherboards for sound recording
Reply #3
From what I've seen of measurements, full ATX boards tend to measure better than MicroATX and other smaller sized motherboards.  Other than that, I recommend a brand with a good reputation (e.g. Asus, Gigabyte) as they *may* put more care into designing the motherboard.

There is nothing much beyond that point.  Current motherboards have sound inputs/outputs that measure well so just pick one that you like.  If you google a motherboard model you are interested in you may be able to find RMAA measurements for.  I've found that some Russian and Chinese review sites include RMAA testing in their motherboard reviews.  You may not be able to understand the language, but the graphs are easy to interpret.


  • Jens Rex
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Ideal Motherboards for sound recording
Reply #4
Motherboard doesn't matter at all. I was transferring LP's on an AMD K6 300 Mhz back in the 90's. If you're serious about this, I recommend buying a semi-pro external audio interface. They aren't that expensive.

  • odigg
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Ideal Motherboards for sound recording
Reply #5
Motherboard doesn't matter at all. I was transferring LP's on an AMD K6 300 Mhz back in the 90's.


Which probably means you had an dedicated sound card.  My motherboard's onboard sound (5.5 year old Asus) adds an audible amount of hiss to recordings of everything, even tape.  I know of one motherboard (and older ECS model) with a sound device that constantly pops.

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If you're serious about this, I recommend buying a semi-pro external audio interface. They aren't that expensive.


100% agree. A Behringer UCA202 can be purchased for $30 and is arguably better than spending your time trying to search for RMAA measurements for motherboards you are interested in.
  • Last Edit: 14 March, 2010, 01:56:42 PM by odigg

  • Fandango
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Ideal Motherboards for sound recording
Reply #6
Since Intel introduced HD Audio in 2004, onboard sound has become pretty sufficient qualitywise. If your motherboard's line in is good enough, then why bother buying extra equipment?

Record some silence from line-in and amplify the recording. Then have a look at the spectrum.

  • lvqcl
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Ideal Motherboards for sound recording
Reply #7
I can hear HDD activity when listen to music via onboard codec (old ASUS motherboard, IIRC A8N32)...

Ideal Motherboards for sound recording
Reply #8
I can hear HDD activity when listen to music via onboard codec (old ASUS motherboard, IIRC A8N32)...


The sound quality of the chips on modern motherboards (and the OP was talking about building a new machine) was acceptable back in 2005-2006 when the A8N32 was new, but for a variety of reasons, the kinds of problems you mention were not uncommon.

Both the quality of the chips and the implementations have only improved significantly since then. One reason for this is the growth of the HTPC segment of the market. There's a good chance that a motherboard with egregiously noisy audio will be returned as being defective, and manufactuers now have a healthy fear for returns.

Ideal Motherboards for sound recording
Reply #9
If you are set on a project to build a PC specifically for rerecording audio you might want to consider the new type of low power systems.

Some thing like the Zotac Ion n330 sounds ideal for your purpose. dual core Atom processor. No fan operation. Seperate power supply. It even has an Nvidia 9400M on board under a big heatsink. Quite tempted myself but i'm not an expert so i'd do some more checking around.

Although really, like JensRex already mentioned, you might be well advised to buy a off board soundcard/DAC like the E-MU 0202 or M-Audio Fast Track. That way you can use any PC, anytime and if anything get better results.