Help? - S7.02PE with Onboard Realtek problem!

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Jonbouy
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2009/01/24 19:41:48 (permalink)

Help? - S7.02PE with Onboard Realtek problem!

My problem is that my onboard Realtek HD Audio chip works with Sonar.

I get great latency times, am able to Record 24bit audio without dropouts or glitches, people tell me my mixes sound nice and nobody can tell the difference between my stems and those produced on a dedicated interface without resorting to using laboratory tests... Sonar never crashes and I complete my projects and recording exercises usually without any interruptions. I have tried it both in Vista and XP yet it continues to work.

I have loaned a couple of usb interfaces from my local store in the past one of which would cost £200 in order to rectify this situation, the trouble is none of these offered any tangible improvement to my onboard solution.

My onboard chip is a Realtek ALC888 HD audio chip running on a bog standard Dell 531 AMD X2 4000+ with 2.4gb ram.

The major issue for me is that I become the laughing stock of the Producer Forum when I mention this all too real fact, and someone even suggested that I purchase a lesser sequencer in order to justify my use of the onboard sound (Strange but true!!!). Trouble is I really enjoy using Sonar and all the features it provides and I've tried adding an audio interface but it doesn't provide me with anything I need over and above what I already have.

So should I spend £200 on an interface in order that I'm not rejected by my peers? Please help I am beside myself with desperation over this issue.

Thanks in advance.

"We can't do anything to change the world until capitalism crumbles.
In the meantime we should all go shopping to console ourselves" - Banksy
#1

12 Replies Related Threads

    jacktheexcynic
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    RE: Help? - S7.02PE with Onboard Realtek problem! 2009/01/24 19:50:32 (permalink)
    personally i think that £200 is not going to really gain the respect of your peers. you should definitely be looking for something in the £1000 range. £200 might get you an interface worthy of using sonar producer (instead of home studio, like you should be using) but your peers will still shake their heads sadly while you are off in the coffee house posting bad but funny jokes.

    - jack the ex-cynic
    #2
    Fog
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    RE: Help? - S7.02PE with Onboard Realtek problem! 2009/01/24 21:33:52 (permalink)
    Jon you could always use that £200 to buy a round of drinks with

    or may I be so bold to suggest you get something uber expensive... preferably with very poor drivers that have been in beta since windows 3.1 and the more obscure the company the better. Also make sure it comes in a massive cardboard box , the size of at least the size of hhmm an estate car (station wagon) that you need it delivered in a 7 Tonne Lorry, make sure the driver delivers early and wakes up all your neighbors by not ringing the bell (mini cab driver style) , and using the car horn to alert people within a 5 minute radius at some crazy early hour on a Saturday so all your neighbours can be impressed.

    joking aside if your happy with what you use and it's doing what you want.. who cares.







    #3
    slartabartfast
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    RE: Help? - S7.02PE with Onboard Realtek problem! 2009/01/24 21:50:14 (permalink)
    Why is this drivel being posted in the coffehouse. Some moderator should move this to the Sonar Producer & Studio Forum so that it can be moved to the Hardware Forum where it belongs.
    #4
    Guitarhacker
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    RE: Help? - S7.02PE with Onboard Realtek problem! 2009/01/24 22:01:23 (permalink)
    Jon.... assuming this is not a joke.....

    Here's the solution.... don't tell anybody..... oppps...... too late.

    So plan "B" Post a "MADE UP" list of top of the line equipment in your signature. If anybody challenges that... act like it's beneath you to argue with them over "this trivial issue" ........ tell them they're jealous that you make lots of money and are able to buy the top of the line gear.......
    post edited by Guitarhacker - 2009/01/24 22:06:03

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    #5
    Crg
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    RE: Help? - S7.02PE with Onboard Realtek problem! 2009/01/24 22:40:41 (permalink)
    Glad to hear yours works, mine never would. Probably due to different Mobos. Which is the problem with all those other posts you speak of. Driver! take me to the speakers!

    Craig DuBuc
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    moosetex
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    RE: Help? - S7.02PE with Onboard Realtek problem! 2009/01/24 23:22:20 (permalink)
    I also have a built-in Realtek HD audio card on my laptop, and I get the same reactions you do.

    Like GuitarHacker says, I never tell anyone what I used. Sometimes I just say, "It's not the equipment -- it's how you use it." Other times, I tell them I "forgot" which computer I did this on... and name some of the gear on my other computer. Poor Realtek... the card that jams... but everyone's ashamed to name it.

    BUBBA

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    Jonbouy
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    RE: Help? - S7.02PE with Onboard Realtek problem! 2009/01/25 03:17:22 (permalink)
    ORIGINAL: Guitarhacker

    Jon.... assuming this is not a joke.....

    Here's the solution.... don't tell anybody..... oppps...... too late.



    Would that involve me not speaking?.... That's kinda hard for me...

    I'm being a bit light-hearted here sure but I'm not joking this IS my situation.

    Crg, I understand that not everyone gets them working well but I'm never as bold as to TELL folk what they need, I just say what I did to get mine working I just wish some other folk could extend that courtesy to me sometimes. Some of the comments I've had about this have been truly unbelievable.

    Sure I could remain all meek about it but when I see someone being kicked to touch for daring to attempt to use their on-board chip I get all protective and feel compelled to shield them from being treated as lesser beings and attempt to correct some of the myths that are often levelled to defend what I often perceive as newbie bullying.

    Technically the HD specification is very clear and companies producing codecs for the spec are also clear in indicating the nuts and bolts of their particular implementation so the perceived lesser quality of the Realtek chip is largely mythical or the very least so slight that it is unnoticeable. So if you do manage to get yours working well there is very little to recommend not using it e.g. M-Audio Delta snr 99db (A weighted), Realtek 888 snr 97db (A-Weighted). The DAC's in the 888 chip are fine and certainly choice of monitors and the treatment of the room would be bigger factors when mixing than the chip. The one area where it may fall down is on the ADC's front but I being as I only ever use soft-synths and pre-recorded stems tracking isn't an issue for me. Some claim though that with a decent pre which you'd need for most sub £200 cards anyway there isn't a problem there either.

    If I was an audiophile or was relying on my output for my income sure I'd want to spend the plus 4 figures required to gain the extra 10% in quality but for many users the onboard solution (these days) is often perfectly adequate, with Crg's caveat in mind....provided you can get it working.

    And thanks Bubba it really helps to know that I'm not on my own.
    post edited by Jonbouy - 2009/01/25 06:37:43

    "We can't do anything to change the world until capitalism crumbles.
    In the meantime we should all go shopping to console ourselves" - Banksy
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    moosetex
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    RE: Help? - S7.02PE with Onboard Realtek problem! 2009/01/25 04:34:39 (permalink)
    Thanx, Jon, but I was just looking thru my stuff again, and it seems I had the wrong thing there... My chip isn't Realtek, but Sigma Tel. (It was my onboard network card that is Realtek.) They must be equivalent because they both use Realtek drivers and the Realtek HD audio codec (which I believe is written by Microsoft). On one of the driver sites, I saw "Realtek audio codec" listed as the name, and underneath, it listed as "applicable" both Sigma Tel and Realtek 280 and 880.

    At any rate, I think they're just about the same thing, but mine may be an even cheaper chip than the Realtek! (My laptop is a Gateway, which was bought out and killed by Acer about a month after I bought the laptop.) I also use the free ASIO utility called ASIO4ALL with mine.

    Doesn't change the situation, though.

    Bubba
    post edited by moosetex - 2009/01/25 04:52:09

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    #9
    Jonbouy
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    RE: Help? - S7.02PE with Onboard Realtek problem! 2009/01/25 06:27:44 (permalink)
    Realtek, Sigma Tel, Conexant all make HD Audio compliant chips and Vista has a generic HD Audio driver too which isn't available in the older XP, which may be worth a try if the 'OEM' driver bloat gets in the way of it working.

    HD Audio is an Intel spec that's been adopted and integrated by MS in Windows only since Vista and the newer ALC889 chips already being produced offer a SNR of 110db which exceeds most of those sub £200 cards now, most of which haven't been significantly updated in the last 5 years, as well as many other improvements like standard dual SPDIF channels etc, etc.
    post edited by Jonbouy - 2009/01/25 06:30:54

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    Garry Stubbs
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    RE: Help? - S7.02PE with Onboard Realtek problem! 2009/01/25 07:19:01 (permalink)
    Jon,

    I can see where you are coming from, I always go for the best gear I can afford whether it be home electronics, cars, musical equipment etc. I am always looking for improvements on what I have started off with and now and then paying more actually ends up setting you back from where you were operating quite well beforehand. As an example, I bought a quad core pc, loaded with Vista, 3 * 500Gb drives and max memory about 4 months ago now. It still resides in its box on my studio floor as I had some software problems staging it and I had the realisation that everything I have is currently working perfectly. I have decided to install it when I reach the limit, probably later in the year, of what I can get in terms of the size and type of tracks I am dealing with. In fact, managing limitations in some ways improves your creativity and knowledge. May I suggest this would be a good approach for you to take before making any purchase, in other words, enjoy what you are creating now, but maybe look at how an expansion of your recording could then "justify" buying a more functional audio interface.

    Just some random thoughts Jon.

    Garry Kiosk

    EDIT: hangover induced typos
    post edited by The Kiosk Project - 2009/01/25 07:37:01


    https://soundcloud.com/garry-kiosk
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    Jonbouy
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    RE: Help? - S7.02PE with Onboard Realtek problem! 2009/01/25 07:47:45 (permalink)
    I totally agree Garry, if you just enjoy having good gear or you have a real need because you are charging clients for your services then why not go the full measure.

    Sure you can get to the shops in a beat up ol' van but it's a different experience in a shiny red ferrari no doubt and I appreciate that. All I'm saying is that in all the cases I've come across so far you'll get little or no further forward with a budget interface and I'm talking this sub £200 price range here and the analogy becomes like going to the shops in a brand new Fiat as opposed to a 5 year old low series BMW. It's cheaper to run shiny and current and really does perform the equivalent role albeit with a little more noise and reduced comfort.

    When you start getting into spending more money then the increased usability and features start arriving and don't get me wrong there's plenty of gear that I covet myself....unfortunately I'm on disability presently and the stuff I'd really like, well, it's way out of my league (just now...).

    What I do object to however is the few precious people (fortunately a minority though they do tend to yell the most) TELLING me what I'm hearing and experiencing with my current set-up isn't true, when it clearly is. Also if anyone is like me and went full stretch to get the best sequencer they could afford it may be awhile before they can run to the extra expense of something that really does raise their capability to a better level....the most oft heard argument in the Producer forum is "why spend all that money on a sequencer and play it back through a 50 cent chip" which is a complete nonsense really when that 50 cent chip is acquitting itself quite admirably among the £200 range hardware.

    I'm always looking at ways of 'managing up' gear wise and to my mind my present priorities would be some half-decent monitors which would add some real benefit...so all donations gratefully accepted...

    But certainly I have nothing against those enjoying and appreciating what they have and I'd be completely submerged in great gear given the opportunity, but it would be stuff that makes the cut and offers genuine improvements like I'm sure your set up does (or in this instance will before too long...).

    I guess too I'm trying to stand by the little guy a bit, and I've recently gotten quite a few emails of support for my stance on this issue from folk who are actually afraid of saying what they use and how to get it working because of some of the 'Billy Big Balls' attitudes of a few individuals from the upstairs forum.
    post edited by Jonbouy - 2009/01/25 08:28:30

    "We can't do anything to change the world until capitalism crumbles.
    In the meantime we should all go shopping to console ourselves" - Banksy
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    Garry Stubbs
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    RE: Help? - S7.02PE with Onboard Realtek problem! 2009/01/25 08:24:33 (permalink)
    I'm with you all the way on your thoughts and approach Jon, it's taken me years to "reign in" and just use what I have to best effect. Like you I challange many"music consumers" to tell the difference. The jukebox in our local pub has a facility for local artists to put some of their stuff on. Some of the guys pay to take their bands into commercial studios to record three or four tracks at a time, and a few of us have home facilities. I often sit down with the paper and a pint of Guinness in a quiet corner and have a careful listen. Some of the studio stuff is really knocked out poorly, mixed but not mastered in my opinion, with drums sounding like egg cartons, uncompressed vocals, clipping etc etc. On the other hand, some of the home recorded stuff is fantastic, crafted with love and care. One guy I know, has just produced an album, which he sells in my local canalside pub, which he recorded in his houseboat which is moored alongside the pub. It sounds great. I think the attention, and care to recording and performing can shine and thats what the audience hear.

    Enough of my rambling.

    Garry Kiosk


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