Best Sound Card for Stereo Mix and hopefully 24bit/192KHZ?

Discussion around the technical aspects of presenting a radio show. From mixers to software used. Including any help on using software with Reach OnAir
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michaelfarrie
Posts: 34
Joined: 09 Jun 2020, 11:36

Best Sound Card for Stereo Mix and hopefully 24bit/192KHZ?

Post by michaelfarrie »

We all need to use the so called "Stereo Mix" or "What U Hear" option to get the broadcast onto the ReachOnAirwaves, I'm hopefully finally getting to upgrade my ageing dualcore with a quadcore just before christmas but it's not big on the onboard sound, I've actually got by with onboard sound on the current PC because there is a Line in for the mixer and I use Stereo Mix for a live show, it works but as its slow there can be skips in live radio or recording the show, hence why I want to go faster.

I'm getting this Lenovo quad core model - https://www.lenovo.com/gb/en/desktops-a ... -wq7MqZC1g

Only thing is no Line In on its onboard sound (it's got Microphone but surely this is not going to be a "line level" input is it?), so I've got to find either a PCI Express sound card or a USB one that can definitely give you the Stereo Mix that you need and hopefully as well something that'll do 24 bit/192 KHZ want to record all audio in 24 bit, if I record a sketch, an interview etc I want to do it by default in 24 bit. Any ideas on what I should get, been told that Creative sound cards often lack Stereo Mix so that's out, I'm also getting a new mixer so might be able to start routing the whole show through that for the first time, music as well but I'm not used to it, it would be a learning curve. I use a Behringer at the moment and they're a bit noisy so it's not a great idea to route the music through it better quality stereo mixing it from the PC, the mixer I'm told is going to be some sort of Zoom model and it will now have faders not just knobs, it might even have balanced audio!

There is another use for 192 KHZ audio that perhaps I'd better not say but I have some other USB devices for it but they're not going to take the mixer so can't use those. It's amazing how many onboard Realtek etc devices actually have this with no need for external sound card but need something better for the actual live radio.

Plus I'm now finally going to be on Windows 10 rather than Windows 7, are there any issues with that and having Stereo Mix?

Another thought is that the Zoom mixer might turn out to be a USB device of its own, but I still might opt for an analog out so I can use Stereo Mix on the PC with it, I assume to use the Zoom mixer as a USB sound device for a live radio show all music output will have to be sent to the mixer, it might work would have to try it, then I assume somehow the music can be on another fader to the presenter mic etc. Then I've got to record this output somehow so there's going to have to be some sort of equivalent of record all on the zoom mixer's device (if you're still with me).

Potential mixer upgrade is this one -https://www.amazon.co.uk/Zoom-Live-Trak ... 9130388994

michaelfarrie
Posts: 34
Joined: 09 Jun 2020, 11:36

Re: Best Sound Card for Stereo Mix and hopefully 24bit/192KHZ?

Post by michaelfarrie »

The mixer will now have to wait, have the problem meanwhile that I only have the inbuilt mic in/audio out with no line in, so now need to know any USB sound card that'll provide stereo mix and the usual line in on Windows 10. Or possibly PCI-Express card to be installed.

ChrisReardon
Posts: 10
Joined: 09 Nov 2020, 01:09

Re: Best Sound Card for Stereo Mix and hopefully 24bit/192KHZ?

Post by ChrisReardon »

Hello. I use this. Plug & play. You'll have to change your in out things in the settings on the computer so that it sends the sound to the Begringer instead of the little socket on motherboard. You ok doing that ?
Chris.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Behringer-UCA2 ... 2a7fa20976

michaelfarrie
Posts: 34
Joined: 09 Jun 2020, 11:36

Re: Best Sound Card for Stereo Mix and hopefully 24bit/192KHZ?

Post by michaelfarrie »

Thanks for the idea. Sounds quite good, can easily set that no problem, but do you get a stereo mix in the Windows 10 recording properties through this? Saw that you have to look for the drivers, Windows 10 won't install them by default. Only downside if it has Stereo Mix is that it's limited to 48 KHZ, did want to record 24/96, which you can amazingly do on my old Realtek inbuilt sound.

michaelfarrie
Posts: 34
Joined: 09 Jun 2020, 11:36

Re: Best Sound Card for Stereo Mix and hopefully 24bit/192KHZ?

Post by michaelfarrie »

Just found out I can hopefully get a Zoom Live Trak L-8 for christmas, so hopefully there will now be a way to do it all through that. The onboard sound on this PC is very restricted, limited to 48 KHZ (whilst some other Realtek onboard sounds have been 24 bit/192 KHZ) and no line in socket, the mic in doesn't double as one, I tested it out, there is a stereo mix for the onboard sound but can't get the analogue mixer through it anyway. So can't move off the old PC only now might be able to do it with the new mixer solely handling it.

I can see having to use Virtual Audio Cable somehow to copy the output from this mixer so you have an audio device mixed down on the PC to broadcast, and hopefully handle all the levels of both music and voice etc right on the mixer. Luckily this PC is now an I7 with 8 cores and should be fast enough for Virtual Audio Cable, it doesn't really work on a slower dualcore, you get latency at least and actual breakup.

The mixer gives lots of options If I don't go live, you can do an "as live" show and record it to SD card, use a seperate channel for Skype calls etc, as well as being good for live music (I have keyboards in the room as well), it's just a matter of getting your head round working with all these new audio devices, when it's just been stereo through either "Stereo Mix" or "Line In" for years through an analogue mixer that I've never routed music or phone calls/Skype through.

My shows might sound really technical, you wouldn't believe how basic it has been! Mainly pre-record with Mixcraft 4, it just needs to see a line in device for that.

ChrisReardon
Posts: 10
Joined: 09 Nov 2020, 01:09

Re: Best Sound Card for Stereo Mix and hopefully 24bit/192KHZ?

Post by ChrisReardon »

I'm not really sure what you are trying to do. I use the play it software as given free by Reach. The music is all ooaded onto that.The music comes out of my PC through the behringer thing as described above, into a stand alone mixer, which is where the mis is plugged in, then out of the mixer, back in through the line in on the behringer thing, and into the PC. My tracks are all at 192k. Sound on computer is set to Speakers USB codec & Microphone USB codec (which is actually the line in part of your behringer thing.
Hope this helps.

michaelfarrie
Posts: 34
Joined: 09 Jun 2020, 11:36

Re: Best Sound Card for Stereo Mix and hopefully 24bit/192KHZ?

Post by michaelfarrie »

Two things I mainly do, pre-record a show into Mixcraft 4 using line in from the mixer, then piece it all together, it's the same multi track editing software you use to build music. Recording device is set as "Line In" to do pre-records.

The other thing is simply being live by monitoring the mixer but playing the music and IDS etc just through Winamp or multiple instances of Winamp (press ctrl+alt+N) so it's about time I did try some radio automation software instead. I'm just using the shoutcast plugin for this, and it doesn't really allow you to fire any jingles without the awkward multiple instances of Winamp workaround. Recording device is set as "Stereo Mix" to go live.

I also use the Sound Solution plugin with Winamp (though don't if it's a live broadcast with Reach as they have their own compression), which is why I've stuck with Winamp for so many years, be cause of making pre-compressed copies of tracks now (chartsound project) I could now finally start to use radio automation software, with a faster PC.

With your setup you get the music and your voice all included in the mix and can be recorded together back at the PC (or sent live) and that's what I'm now hoping to replicate when I get hold of the Zoom Live L8 mixer instead of the antiquated way as detailed above that the new PC or even USB sound cards now no longer even support.

michaelfarrie
Posts: 34
Joined: 09 Jun 2020, 11:36

Re: Best Sound Card for Stereo Mix and hopefully 24bit/192KHZ?

Post by michaelfarrie »

Got the mixer already and have been playing with it currently can't seem to play anything out to it from the PC and actually hear that sound, after 2-3 hours can't find out how you do it, so I've opted for a workaround and the device you posted might be it, if I play the PC output from the internal sound card (just an onboard Realtek) and connect it to a channel via a sound cable on the Zoom mixer I can hear it (but there must be some way of doing it through the USB but I can't find it), and then I have the usual microphone on another channel. In Mixcraft 4 which I've just installed to the new PC if I select the Zoom ASIO driver for the mixer as the recording device I can actually record the presenter mic and the music on seperate channels which would be great for going live and being able to edit levels afterwards. I just have no recording device on the PC for broadcast (as Reach's software/Winamp Shoutcast doesn't see the ASIO) so I'm hoping to use the Behringer thing you linked to to take the output of the mixer in analogue and be able to use it as a Line in device on the PC which both the Reach software and the Winamp Shoutcast plugin will be able to use for broadcast, here's hoping because I've taken the plunge, it's basically taking the audio from the PC adding the microphone part in the mixer, controlling the levels of both on the mixer and recording it back to this second sound card, if that works it will be fairly easy to broadcast.

There's very little software from Zoom about the mixer to do anything on the PC itself, but I have 4 seperate stereo channels that any audio editing and recording software can use, I can actually record as I said the presenter mic and PC output seperately, that's a good start!`

I've taken the plunge now to see if it will do this!

michaelfarrie
Posts: 34
Joined: 09 Jun 2020, 11:36

Re: Best Sound Card for Stereo Mix and hopefully 24bit/192KHZ?

Post by michaelfarrie »

If you're interested, I can say how it's gone so far, not moved over to new mixer/PC fully yet, I'll have to find some way of getting all the music/idents across probably a new drive because I'm leaving the old setup in place too (lots of unfinished shows though could find some way of copying them over perhaps).

Using ASIO in Mixcraft can record the presenter microphone and music coming from PC on seperate channels so could do a live show and even fix the levels afterwards, that has some potential!, might look at the chart of the year being the first show to come from it. Going live is possible, the channel coming back from the mixer is a standard sound device in Windows and combines the output from the mixer so you can mix the live show on the mixer, it is better than the old setup. The onboard sound on the PC is useless, has stereo mix but no line in, good job that this mixer is basically its own sound card! To fit all music and idents on an external drive for new PC is going to be 2 TB, don't want to clog the 500 GB or so internal drive up with anything other than software.

All the shows you've heard me do are still coming from the old setup despite having had this for over 2 weeks now.

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