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OT - PCI vs external sound cards for professional audio (was Re: What professional PCIe audio cards do work with Linux?)

On Mon, Nov 12, 2012 at 11:25:51AM -0500, Rob Owens wrote:
> I use an M-Audio Delta 1010LT on Debian Squeeze.

Interesting stuff, thanks for sharing!

I have an M-Audio Audiophile 2496 which I use for some very amateur
messing around. I occasionally hook an Alesis Micron up to it, both
MIDI and the headphone-out into the M-Audio's line-in.

I've read/heard some folks suggest that for "serious" audio work,
one should use an external sound "card" (e.g. via USB - such as the
old SB Extigy's), because all PCI cards suffer from some noise due
to their nature (close proximity to the HDD, signal interference on
the mainboard etc.) -- is this basically horseshit? I've never
noticed any such problems with the Audiophile nor with an SB Live!
PCI card, although I probably wouldn't notice some distortions as
I'm not a professional.  I did notice that the on-board sound chips
on both my desktop and successive laptops have had a lot of noise
on their inputs.

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