[LAU] Laptop soundcard

Len Ovens len at ovenwerks.net
Fri Jan 30 13:53:11 UTC 2015

On Fri, 30 Jan 2015, Arnold Krille wrote:

> On Fri, 30 Jan 2015 12:08:59 +0100 Peter O'Doherty
> <kevinpeterodoherty at gmail.com> wrote:
>> My laptop (running ubuntu) has the following (audio) specs. I know
>> it's probably subjective, but is this considered "good enough" for
>> pro audio work or should I invest in an external sound card? (Or for
>> that matter a better laptop?!) And if so, which soundcard is
>> recommended?
>> 00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) HD Audio
>> Controller (rev 03)
> The only thing "high definition" about the integrated audio interfaces
> in laptops is in the name. Other than that they will sound okayish with
> their speakers or with equally "high definition" head-phones. But as
> soon as you connect them to a real amplifier/PA (and fix the
> ground-loops) you will notice the noise and crappy quality. And after
> connecting the laptop with a normal-sized audio-cable for more then 5
> times you will get crackles from the broken soldering connection of the
> plug...

What he didn't say is that (at least what I have found) the output is the 
better part. The input circuitry (important for recording) is worse as it 
is designed to allow the use of skype and not much else. If you are doing 
pure synth music with no audio inputs. The HDA audio would be ok. To 
record audio, you would at least need an external mic pre... and for the 
cost of that one may as well get at least a USB audio IF which would 
generally include the mic pre anyway.

USB insertion cycles is not that high BTW. It may be as low as 700 
depending on the quality of the usb plug.

> Get a usb device or a firewire device if your laptop supports it.


Len Ovens

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