Propellerhead Software
Old 2012-11-11, 08:36
Posts: n/a
Audio interfaces and sound cards

hey there i have a question... I have an m-audio interface for recording music, but i also like to play pc games, should i get a video card also, or does the audio interface act as a sound card? Would getting a good sound card increase performance for gaming, or is that redundant?

Thanks in advance.
Old 2012-11-11, 08:49
gwynebiau's Avatar
gwynebiau gwynebiau is offline
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,377
Your question is a little confusing...are you mixing up sound cards and video cards? A good video card can help performance *a lot* for games. These days I don't think extra sound cards are all that important for games, unless the games you want to play have specific features which only work with certain sound cards, or your built in audio doesn't handle as many channels as you want (5.1/7.1/etc.).

I don't know if your M-Audio interface would do much for your game audio (I would suspect not), but most computers built in the last 5-10 years have pretty decent audio-out built in for games and stuff. It's mostly people recording audio and making music who need extra audio hardware these days.
Old 2012-11-11, 09:31
RXTX's Avatar
RXTX RXTX is offline
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 562
Short answer: Yes, you can use the interface as a sound card for games and applications (that's what I do), and no, there's almost no difference in performance.

Things to consider: if you want to play games/watch movies in surround sound (2.1/5.1/7.1), make sure your interface supports it (many interfaces don't, but sound cards usually do). Also, some games are specifically designed to make use the sound card's onboard DSP chips for added effects (like the EAX technology on Sound Blaster cards). Some high-end games I've played don't sound quite as lively and realistic when played through an interface that lacks these capabilities. Lastly, if you do get a sound card, you'll have to figure out a way of sharing your speakers/headphones among the two devices (physically plugging and unplugging each time, hardware mixer, software mixer, line-in cable, etc...)
Old 2012-11-11, 16:48
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oops... yeah i typed in video card instead of sound card on accident there. I want my games to sound amazing, so I want a sound card but it is kind of a pain to have to switch between them. is there any easy way to make this work? thanks for the quick replies.
Old 2012-11-11, 16:56
something something is offline
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 211
Why do you need 2 or more soundcards?

Just set your PC to output all audio trough your current M-audio soundcard, and set Reason (or any other DAW) to your M-audio soundcard as well.

Note, this is an image grabbed from the web,. but the idea is the same.
You should see your M-audio soundcard there, rightclick on it and select that card in playback AND recording tab.

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