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Sound card recommendations for basic music composition?

Hi.  I'm hoping to improve my soundcard soon.  One thing I'd like to be
able to do is use it for simple composition work, such as can be done
with Rosegarden ( http://www.all-day-breakfast.com/rosegarden/ ).  I
play traditional Irish music with a group of amateur musicians; I want
to be able to work out the tunes in a notation editor, listen to playback,
get melody and chords right, and then print the result to distribute to
the members of the group.

I'm not looking for high-end pro audio features.  They'd be nice to
have and I'd be happy to get them, especially if sometime down the road
I want to start messing with external MIDI devices and so on.  But right
now, from my limited understanding, I don't think I need an expensive
high-end card so much as a card that has its full features supported.
And that's where I think I'm stuck.

For instance, I've noticed a lot of people here suggest the Soundblaster
Live! set of cards; but both the OSS and ALSA hardware support pages seem
to say that the EMU10k1 wavetable synth on the card isn't supported yet
under either set of drivers.  I know (I think) that that's the purpose
of tiMIDIty -- to provide a software solution by faking the wavetable
synth -- but I've read online that it's very limited (in instruments,
sound quality, etc.).

Any suggestions on cards, or best implementations of software solutions,
would be greatly appreciated.  Also, while I've read the Sound- and
MIDI-Howtos, any suggestions of good educational resources for online
sound and musicmaking would be appreciated as well.

Thanks very much,


Chris Metzler			cmetzler@speakeasy.snip-me.net
		(remove "snip-me." to email)

"As a child I understood how to give; I have forgotten this grace since I
have become civilized." - Chief Luther Standing Bear

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