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Recommended Sound cards for Windows 10?

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Recommended Sound cards for Windows 10?

Postby DavidBeschauer » Mon Feb 13, 2017 8:00 am

I am upgrading to Windows 10, 64G RAM, i7 processor, etc. I have previously used an Audiophile 1010LT, which does not support Windows 10 of course. I need a new sound card that likes Windows10. Can anyone recommend such a card? I liked the 1010LT, and would like something just as reliable and easy to use, if such a thing exists. Your opinion on amplifiers would be equally appreciated Thank you.

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Re: Recommended Sound cards for Windows 10?

Postby magnaton » Mon Feb 13, 2017 8:42 am

Hello David:

Many of us prefer using an outboard Audio Interface where the connection is USB, Firewire, or Thunderbolt. There was a recent discussion on some of these that starts here:

http://forum.hauptwerk.com/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=15833&start=30#p118940

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Re: Recommended Sound cards for Windows 10?

Postby DavidBeschauer » Mon Feb 13, 2017 8:46 am

Thank you for taking the time to reply.
I am hoping to hear some personal recommendations for equipment, by name/model, etc. Do you have a preference? I know nothing about Firewire or Thunderbolt.

Again, thank you.

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Re: Recommended Sound cards for Windows 10?

Postby mdyde » Mon Feb 13, 2017 9:54 am

Hello David,

In answer also to your email to us on this:

I have 6 Klipsch RP280F speakers I would like to use in an instrument I am planning: 4 manuals with the full surround Laurenskirk sampleset. I have not yet bought a soundcard for my PC (running Windows 10 Pro) with 64G Ram. I am lost. Can someone recommend a soundcard (and amplifier, although I am prepared to use the two Pioneer 5.1 HTPs that I have) that is at least the quality of the MAudiophile 1010LT, and hopefullly just as easy to use? It is, obviously, imperative that the card support the Windows10 OS. Thank you.


We have some general guidance on types/makes of audio interfaces hardware in these documents (linked to from the 'Support | Prerequisites' part of the website):

https://www.hauptwerk.com/clientuploads/documentation/PDF/HauptwerkBackgroundTechnicalInfoOnComputerHardware.pdf
https://www.hauptwerk.com/clientuploads/documentation/PDF/HauptwerkPrerequisites.pdf

We can only really provide meaningful advice based on hardware that we've actually used and tested here (and to some extent on feedback on, and issues with, audio interfaces that we hear from Hauptwerk users). Since there's a lot of hardware available, and it changes frequently, we can't realistically buy much of it, so Hauptwerk users might be in a better position to pass on their recommendations/experiences than we are.

However, the audio interfaces that we currently use are from RME (Fireface UFX in my case, Fireface 800 in Brett's case), and we'd have no hesitation at all in recommending RME's products for quality of drivers, hardware, and support. They're aimed mainly at the fully professional recording/studio/media market, so they aren't the cheapest and their control software might not be the most intuitive for non-technical people, but for Hauptwerk purposes you wouldn't normally need to access their control software anyway. Certainly my Fireface UFX works very well on Windows 10.

Some of RME's models that might be worth considering for the number of output channels that you're currently using:

- Fireface UCX (FireWire + USB 2.0, with 8 analogue output channels): http://www.rme-audio.de/en/products/fireface_ucx.php and http://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/rme-fireface-ucx

- Babyface Pro (USB 2.0, would need to used in combination with an additional 8-channel ADAT DAC to give a total of 12 analogue output channels): http://www.rme-audio.de/en/products/babyface_pro.php and http://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/rme-babyface-pro

Personally, for up to 8 outputs, I think I would go with the UCX, given that it has both FireWire and USB and 8 output channels (without requiring additional hardware).

At a lower price-point, M-Audio models continue to be popular with Hauptwerk users, and we rarely seem to get problems reported with their drivers, so their current range might be worth looking at too, if the RME ones cost more than you'd want to spend: http://www.m-audio.com/products/browse/category/usb-audio-and-midi-interfaces . (I don't have any of their current models myself, although I've used various older ones which all seem to have worked well, with reliable drivers, where available. Even my old M-Audio FireWire 410 still works perfectly on Windows 10, even though M-Audio don't officially support it.)

For amplifiers/speakers, in general we usually recommend good-quality 'active' (meaning self-amplified) studio monitors (but other types of good-quality full-range speakers/amplifiers could potentially be fine too). Your local large musical equipment shop, might be a good place to see and hear different models, and lots of discussions/recommendations from Hauptwerk users can be found via the 'Amplification' section of our forum. (We actually mainly use headphones ourselves, so we're not in the best positions to advise on specific makes/models of speakers/amplifiers.)

Sound of Sound magazine is an excellent source of thorough reviews for studio monitors and audio interfaces (and other studio/audio/MIDI equipment):

http://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/hardware/monitors
http://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/hardware/audio-interface
Best regards,
Martin.

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Re: Recommended Sound cards for Windows 10?

Postby David Baldwin » Tue Feb 14, 2017 7:41 am

The 1010LT works on my Windows 10 using the Windows 8 driver.
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Re: Recommended Sound cards for Windows 10?

Postby MattOlieman » Tue Feb 14, 2017 8:27 am

I too use the 1010LT and works perfect with my Windows 10 using the Windows 8 driver.
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Re: Recommended Sound cards for Windows 10?

Postby mdyde » Tue Feb 14, 2017 9:04 am

Hello David,

In answer to your email today (so that other people replying to this thread can see the relevant details about what you're looking for):

DavidBeschauer wrote:Thank you, Mr. Dyde, for your response. I do not seem to be able to get a direct answer from anyone to my question, which was what/which audio CARDS (as in plug-in-to-motherboard) people liked. I assume, therefore, that the lack of an answer to that question means that nobody is making CARDS (such as the 1010LT) that will support Windows 10? I really prefer not to have any equipment external to my computer except the amplifier and speakers. Evidently this is no longer a possibility. Thank you again.


Thanks for the clarification. I hadn't realised you specifically meant an internal (PCI/PCIe) card, since many people these days use the terms 'sound card' and 'audio interface' interchangeably (even if strictly incorrectly).

As I see others have commented, the 1010LT will probably still work on Windows 10, even though M-Audio don't officially support it. If buying a 1010LT, and given that its useful lifespan might not be as long as a current model (now that M-Audio no longer support it), then my advice would be that it's probably best to look for a reasonably inexpensive second-hand one. They do crop up frequently second-hand.

In general, the trend amongst audio interfaces over the last few years seems to have been first towards FireWire, then USB, and now Thunderbolt (and very recently Ethernet-based protocols). Probably that's largely due to the increasing popularity of portable computers (laptops and tablets), compared to desktops, and the resulting decline in the number of computers with PCI/PCIe slots, as well as the trends in the types of ports that manufacturers provide on their laptops.

Very few PCI/PCIe audio interfaces are still made now (from any manufacturers), with probably the main ones being the RME HDSPe and RME HDSPe RayDAT:

http://www.rme-audio.de/en/products/hdspe_aio.php
http://www.rme-audio.de/en/products/hdspe_raydat.php

I would expect either of those to be very good for Hauptwerk purposes (and the AIO is well-proven amongst Hauptwerk users), but both would require an external 8-channel ADAT DAC in order to give the six analogue output channels you're looking for. Hence they aren't the simplest of solutions.
Best regards,
Martin.

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Re: Recommended Sound cards for Windows 10?

Postby DavidBeschauer » Tue Feb 14, 2017 10:24 am

I would like to thank everyone who has responded to my call for help. I am very glad to hear that some have been able to continue to use the 1010LT in Windows10, incorporating the windows8 driver for the card. I think I am going to go this route: my experience was to have the card driving three different Pioneer HTP072s in surround mode. In addition to the 6 Klipsch speakers (2 per amp) playing the Front, I used the speakers that came with the amps for the surround. 2 speakers/1 amp were devoted to Great, Swell and Choir respectively, and the pedal was distributed among the 3 amps. The sound was impressive, and since I have such a limited knowledge of electronics/audio I was particularly grateful for the ease with which everything was made to work the way I wanted. I hope to duplicate that experience and I appreciate very much all advice and suggestions I have gotten here from people willing to share their own expertise. Again, I thank you all.

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Re: Recommended Sound cards for Windows 10?

Postby mdyde » Tue Feb 14, 2017 10:27 am

Thanks, David.

You're very welcome.
Best regards,
Martin.

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Re: Recommended Sound cards for Windows 10?

Postby dhm » Tue Feb 14, 2017 1:55 pm

In case it's of interest to anyone, I have a number of pre-owned M-Audio 1010LTs.
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Re: Recommended Sound cards for Windows 10?

Postby DavidBeschauer » Tue Feb 14, 2017 2:09 pm

How much do you want for the one that is in best condition? And if I buy a second one as a backup, what would the tot cost be? I'd certainly rather buy a used one from someone on this forum than from someone on Ebay!

Thank you.
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Re: Recommended Sound cards for Windows 10?

Postby DavidBeschauer » Tue Feb 14, 2017 2:13 pm

And if you prefer to conduct business privately, please use my email: davidjbeschauer@gmail.com.
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