Helpful ReplyHas Anyone Tried / Tested A Gigabyte Motherboard With Built-In Creative Audio?

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jimfogle
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2018/11/09 03:11:19 (permalink)

Has Anyone Tried / Tested A Gigabyte Motherboard With Built-In Creative Audio?

I'm in the research phase of figuring out what components I'd like to use if I ever have the opportunity to build, or have built for me, a new computer system.  My "dream cpu" would be use an 8th or 9th generation Intel I7 cpu, 16 GB of DDR4, Slot M2 or SSD main drive, 1 or 2 TB secondary drive, 500W or more power supply in a mid size tower capable of protecting an ATX or EATX size motherboard.
 
I prefer Gigabyte motherboards and Creative over Realtek.  Any thoughts about a motherboard like the Gigabyte GA-Z270X-Gaming 9?  https://www.gigabyte.com/...70X-Gaming-9-rev-10#kf

Jim F
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#1
abacab
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Re: Has Anyone Tried / Tested A Gigabyte Motherboard With Built-In Creative Audio? 2018/11/10 01:46:58 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby jimfogle 2018/11/12 02:17:51
I'd go for a cheap Focusrite USB audio interface, or even splurge on a bottom of the line Behringer, before considering using an on-board PC audio chip. Especially considering you are looking at an i7, 16GB DDR4 RAM, SSD, etc.
 
Why compromise on your audio output???
 
But that's just my opinion...

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msmcleod
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Re: Has Anyone Tried / Tested A Gigabyte Motherboard With Built-In Creative Audio? 2018/11/10 03:11:37 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby jimfogle 2018/11/12 02:17:40
abacab
I'd go for a cheap Focusrite USB audio interface, or even splurge on a bottom of the line Behringer, before considering using an on-board PC audio chip. Especially considering you are looking at an i7, 16GB DDR4 RAM, SSD, etc.
 
Why compromise on your audio output???
 
But that's just my opinion...


+1 to this.
 
I would add however, for line level signals the Behringer interfaces are absolutely fine.
 
If you're going to be using a mic though, I'd consider the Focusrite. The Behringer Mic Pre's, whilst clean, sound really harsh IMHO.
 

Mark McLeod
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Re: Has Anyone Tried / Tested A Gigabyte Motherboard With Built-In Creative Audio? 2018/11/10 11:46:04 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby jimfogle 2018/11/12 02:17:32
I agree with the others, PC sound devices, regardless of brand, are poor compared to a separate recording interface unit.  Both in Signal to noise, latency, input levels (PC sound cards require high input levels, nearly line level).  They do not have XLR inputs and do not have phantom power if needed.   
 
PC sound is designed for consumer uses, not recording. 
 

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#4
abacab
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Re: Has Anyone Tried / Tested A Gigabyte Motherboard With Built-In Creative Audio? 2018/11/10 21:01:30 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby jimfogle 2018/11/12 02:17:24
Just to add that a pro audio interface is important even if you are NOT recording external instruments or microphones.  The sound quality of dedicated DACs https://en.wikipedia.org/...al-to-analog_converter will always deliver superior audio to your monitors, even if you are working completely "in the box" with virtual instruments.

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jimfogle
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Re: Has Anyone Tried / Tested A Gigabyte Motherboard With Built-In Creative Audio? 2018/11/11 03:38:46 (permalink)
I will be working mostly in the box.  What little I do record I use an external digital recorder and then import the audio wave files into my computer.  I have a USB powered audio interface should I decide to use the computer for recording.
 
My understanding is Burr-Brown is well known as manufacturing pretty good DACs.  The motherboard I'm looking at also has sockets so the DACs and headphone op-amps can be easily replaced as well as jump jacks to set a variety of headphone amplifier bias levels.  The audio section has ground plane isolation from the rest of the motherboard as well as a separate audio section power supply connection.
 
abacab, I'm not sure what you mean by the term "dedicated DAC".  By definition, any DAC is dedicated to converting digital data into an analog waveform.  Can you elaborate, please?

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#6
jimfogle
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Re: Has Anyone Tried / Tested A Gigabyte Motherboard With Built-In Creative Audio? 2018/11/11 03:38:46 (permalink)
I will be working mostly in the box.  What little I do record I use an external digital recorder and then import the audio wave files into my computer.  I have a USB powered audio interface should I decide to use the computer for recording.
 
My understanding is Burr-Brown is well known as manufacturing pretty good DACs.  The motherboard I'm looking at also has sockets so the DACs and headphone op-amps can be easily replaced as well as jump jacks to set a variety of headphone amplifier bias levels.  The audio section has ground plane isolation from the rest of the motherboard as well as a separate audio section power supply connection.
 
abacab, I'm not sure what you mean by the term "dedicated DAC".  By definition, any DAC is dedicated to converting digital data into an analog waveform.  Can you elaborate, please?

Jim F
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#7
abacab
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Re: Has Anyone Tried / Tested A Gigabyte Motherboard With Built-In Creative Audio? 2018/11/11 04:56:06 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby jimfogle 2018/11/12 02:11:49
I was only using the term "dedicated" in the context of high end audio output from the PC.  Sure, the consumer grade DACs supplied on motherboards are fine for games or watching videos, but they are built to a cost point that amounts to pennies in the overall build cost of the motherboard.  They are not intended for audiophiles or pro audio users.
 
It seems reasonable to me to spend at least as much, or more, on an audio interface as I would invest in a motherboard.  I am a hobbyist, and I work mostly in the box myself these days, having retired most of my external  hardware to the storage closet.  I bought an external audio interface over 10 years ago, and it still works fine.  I consider that one of the best computer investments I have made, and it has served me over the life of 3 computers. 
 
In addition, if you work with virtual instruments, the lower latency of the factory ASIO drivers used with pro audio interfaces should give you a more realistic experience while playing them.
 
Good luck with whatever you choose.

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jimfogle
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Re: Has Anyone Tried / Tested A Gigabyte Motherboard With Built-In Creative Audio? 2018/11/12 02:37:18 (permalink)
abacab,
 
Thank you specifically, and firebird and msmcleod for your response(s).  I try not to ask for advice too much in this forum but highly value the advice provided when I do ask.
 
My background is as a technical support engineer for a company that makes computer based point of sale (pos) systems so I'm pretty familiar with the components of a computer and the need at times to use external parts because there are some jobs better handled outside "the box".  However, I've not kept up with pc component changes as I once did so I'm playing catch up.
 
Again, your advice is valued and I thank you for taking time to share your thoughts.

Jim F
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#9
Jim Roseberry
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Re: Has Anyone Tried / Tested A Gigabyte Motherboard With Built-In Creative Audio? 2018/11/12 13:37:51 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby jimfogle 2018/11/13 02:46:42
Onboard audio has gotten better over the years... but it's nowhere near the level of a dedicated audio interface.
It's hard to get the noise floor super low (better than about -100dB)... when the converters are in-the-box.
Then there's the ASIO driver... and the audio interface's safety-buffer.
You can run the Presonus Quantum at 96k with 1ms total round-trip latency... and it's rock-solid.
Onboard audio will use a large safety-buffer (much higher round-trip latency), doesn't have balanced I/O, will have much higher noise-floor, and the performance (especially as smaller buffer sizes) won't be on-par with a dedicated audio interface. 
 

Best Regards,

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TheMaartian
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Re: Has Anyone Tried / Tested A Gigabyte Motherboard With Built-In Creative Audio? 2018/11/12 14:03:18 (permalink)
At one time, I disabled my motherboard Realtek audio via the BIOS, and ran with just my Tascam audio interface.
 
I regretted that decision almost daily, so I reenabled the MB audio chip.
 
Why?
 
There a very few true multi-client ASIO drivers out there. Where I ran into the most trouble was with training videos. When the training video was playing, it took exclusive use of the Tascam, so I couldn't have my DAW loaded to work along with the training video.
 
So, are the Creative drivers better than the Realtek drivers on the latest Win10?

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Jim Roseberry
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Re: Has Anyone Tried / Tested A Gigabyte Motherboard With Built-In Creative Audio? 2018/11/12 17:23:49 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby jimfogle 2018/11/13 02:47:15
Control Panel>Sound
  • Select the desired Default Playback Device
  • Go to it's Properties>Advanced and uncheck "Allow applications to take exclusive control of this device".

Best Regards,

Jim Roseberry
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abacab
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Re: Has Anyone Tried / Tested A Gigabyte Motherboard With Built-In Creative Audio? 2018/11/13 02:22:58 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby jimfogle 2018/11/13 02:47:43
I have disabled my onboard Realtek HD audio in my BIOS and use only my external audio interface through my monitors for all audio, both Windows and ASIO.  No issues here.
 
I agree with Jim Roseberry's advice, and I would also suggest using the same sampling rate for the Windows audio and your DAW projects if you choose to use only one sound system and want to be able to stream training videos and use your DAW at the same time.  It seems that some interfaces, including mine, can only run only one sampling rate at a time and cannot switch back and forth on the fly.

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TheMaartian
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Re: Has Anyone Tried / Tested A Gigabyte Motherboard With Built-In Creative Audio? 2018/11/13 14:06:26 (permalink)
Jim Roseberry
Control Panel>Sound
  • Select the desired Default Playback Device
  • Go to it's Properties>Advanced and uncheck "Allow applications to take exclusive control of this device".

Confused. What does this have to do with the lack of multi-client support? This seems likely to make things worse.

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kitekrazy1
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Re: Has Anyone Tried / Tested A Gigabyte Motherboard With Built-In Creative Audio? 2018/11/13 15:26:50 (permalink)
 This many not apply to this thread but so often I see people building a great system only to go budget on an audio device.
 I still use onboard audio for non DAW stuff.  I've never had issues having a audio device and onboard sound. 
 
 
 
 

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abacab
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Re: Has Anyone Tried / Tested A Gigabyte Motherboard With Built-In Creative Audio? 2018/11/13 18:25:28 (permalink)
TheMaartian
Jim Roseberry
Control Panel>Sound
  • Select the desired Default Playback Device
  • Go to it's Properties>Advanced and uncheck "Allow applications to take exclusive control of this device".

Confused. What does this have to do with the lack of multi-client support? This seems likely to make things worse.




Training videos (via YouTube, or your web browser) use Windows audio, regardless of the interface you are using.  They do not access ASIO, even if your interface supports that.  So multi-client ASIO is not needed to run a web browser and a DAW concurrently.
 
If you are using more than one DAW or music app that is configured to use ASIO, only one of them can access ASIO at a time.
 
I use the settings above on my Windows audio, and have no conflicts whatsoever between my ASIO DAW and my web browser audio.

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#16
husker
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Re: Has Anyone Tried / Tested A Gigabyte Motherboard With Built-In Creative Audio? 2018/11/14 02:49:07 (permalink)
I might be missing something, but why not use both?  That is what I do - dedicated audio interface for Daw use, and the built-in sound attached to another set of speakers for all other audio.
 
Is only having one set of monitors/speakers  the reason to use a dedicated audio interface for everything? 

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abacab
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Re: Has Anyone Tried / Tested A Gigabyte Motherboard With Built-In Creative Audio? 2018/11/14 04:21:40 (permalink)
husker
 
Is only having one set of monitors/speakers  the reason to use a dedicated audio interface for everything? 




Yes, reduces clutter on the workstation.  But both methods work just fine. 

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msmcleod
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Re: Has Anyone Tried / Tested A Gigabyte Motherboard With Built-In Creative Audio? 2018/11/14 09:36:20 (permalink)
I put both my on board Realtek output and my Focusrite 18i20 output through a Mackie Big Knob passive.
 
That way I can swap between them easily.
 
It does mean that I can't listen to both at the same time, but I don't find this an issue. Even if I'm listening to a tutorial video on the realtek, I'll usually pause it if I need to try anything out in the DAW.

Mark McLeod
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Jim Roseberry
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Re: Has Anyone Tried / Tested A Gigabyte Motherboard With Built-In Creative Audio? 2018/11/14 13:49:52 (permalink)
TheMaartian
 
Confused. What does this have to do with the lack of multi-client support? This seems likely to make things worse.



How would this setting make things "worse"?   
Multi-client ASIO has zero to do with this setting.
This is a Windows Sound setting that keeps an individual application from having exclusive control over the audio interface.
It's recommended by many audio interface manufacturers including Presonus.

Best Regards,

Jim Roseberry
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Jim Roseberry
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Re: Has Anyone Tried / Tested A Gigabyte Motherboard With Built-In Creative Audio? 2018/11/14 13:54:09 (permalink)
husker
Is only having one set of monitors/speakers  the reason to use a dedicated audio interface for everything? 



That is a logistical reason... but (IMO) not the main reason.
If you have a high-end audio interface... and you want to reference a mix against a well-done professional mix;
It makes sense to monitor the reference mix thru the high-end audio interface... as it'll have better fidelity.
Better D/A, lower noise-floor, etc...
 

Best Regards,

Jim Roseberry
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#21
husker
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Re: Has Anyone Tried / Tested A Gigabyte Motherboard With Built-In Creative Audio? 2018/11/14 14:58:14 (permalink)
Thanks Jim and Abacab.  I'll swap this over tonight to use only my Focusrite.   It would be nice to save a bit of space.
 
Edit:  Thanks guys, this really works well.  Saves some space, and sounds better!
post edited by husker - 2018/11/15 01:29:49

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#22
abacab
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Re: Has Anyone Tried / Tested A Gigabyte Motherboard With Built-In Creative Audio? 2018/11/16 01:45:00 (permalink)
I have found that I just like listening to everything on my computer through my audio monitors.  Everything just seems to sound better!!!
 
If I go back to the internal audio, everything just sounds dull by comparison.
 
Music played back through YouTube, Pandora, Spotify, and Amazon, not to mention my MP-3 library, all sound much clearer through a high end interface and monitors.

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#23
fireberd
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Re: Has Anyone Tried / Tested A Gigabyte Motherboard With Built-In Creative Audio? 2018/11/16 11:18:33 (permalink)
The speakers are the difference and the weakest link in any audio system.  I have some relatively high end Klipsch 2.1 computer speakers.  They sound great for PC music with my Realtek Audio.  My JBL LSR 308 studio monitors are great too, but with the Klipsch I don't need to use my recording interface and studio monitors for PC audio.  I like to use the PC audio to check mixes, and it gives a perspective on how the mix will sound (I also check my mixes on a car sound system and a boom box).
 

"GCSG Productions"
Franklin D-10 Pedal Steel Guitar (primary instrument). Nashville Telecaster, Bass, etc. 
ASUS ROG Maximus VIII Hero M/B, i7 6700K CPU, 16GB Ram, SSD and conventional hard drives, Win 10 Pro and Win 10 Pro Insider Pre-Release
Sonar Platinum/CbB. MOTU 896MK3 Hybrid, Tranzport, X-Touch, JBL LSR308 Monitors,  
Ozone 5,  Studio One 4.1
ISRC Registered
Member of Nashville based R.O.P.E. Assn.
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