Suggestions for external sound card for notebook - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

 
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post #1 of 7 Old 07-21-09, 10:04 PM Thread Starter
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Suggestions for external sound card for notebook

I downloaded REW, got the CM-140 SPL meter and cables, and was ready to run REW on my notebook when I spotted the note about NOT using the mic-in jack on a notebook.

How do I know if the jack on my notebook (a Dell Inspiron 6400) is mic-in or line-in? The description in the Vista Mixer says "Microphone / Line In". It uses the SigmaTel HD Audio Codec.

Assuming I need an external sound card to plug into my notebook. What's a recommended one?
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post #2 of 7 Old 07-21-09, 10:33 PM
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Re: Suggestions for external sound card for notebook

Quote:
jbjb wrote: View Post
The description in the Vista Mixer says "Microphone / Line In". It uses the SigmaTel HD Audio Codec.
Does it have a check box that alows you to select "line in"? if it does it may allow you to use it.

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post #3 of 7 Old 07-22-09, 06:49 AM
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Re: Suggestions for external sound card for notebook

Hi,

I have an XPS M1710 with the same card (running XP not Vista)
When you put a jack plug in the 'mic' socket you should get a pop-up asking if you want to use the mic or line-in

It works quite well but seems to roll a few dB off before 20Hz (see dashed line on attached)

The REW help file mentions a few makes/models of external card... I've just picked up a 'SB Live! 24bit' external sound card off ebay for a few pounds so I can see if its any better.


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Last edited by JC74; 07-22-09 at 06:58 AM.
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post #4 of 7 Old 07-22-09, 07:23 AM
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Re: Suggestions for external sound card for notebook

My old laptop had the Sigmatel drivers and it had a utility that let you select what each jack was (mid/line in), (line out, spdif, speaker), etc. I believe it was in the control panel or possibly it's own "Program Files" folder.

Good luck.
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post #5 of 7 Old 07-23-09, 01:38 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Suggestions for external sound card for notebook

Quote:
JC74 wrote: View Post
I have an XPS M1710 with the same card (running XP not Vista)
When you put a jack plug in the 'mic' socket you should get a pop-up asking if you want to use the mic or line-in
Quote:
Anthony wrote: View Post
My old laptop had the Sigmatel drivers and it had a utility that let you select what each jack was (mid/line in), (line out, spdif, speaker), etc. I believe it was in the control panel or possibly it's own "Program Files" folder.
You're right guys.

When I plugged the jack into the input, this popped up:



So if I select "line in" I'm good to go for REW? What the difference between that and "microphone"?
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post #6 of 7 Old 07-23-09, 04:15 AM
 
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Re: Suggestions for external sound card for notebook

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So if I select "line in" I'm good to go for REW? What the difference between that and "microphone"?
difference only in "Low" or "Hi" sensitivity (Hi - for microphone). But it just "program" parameter.
next step - check level in RAW. If you chose "Line" but level in RAW is too Low, then you can try "microphone". And vice versa.
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post #7 of 7 Old 07-23-09, 07:19 AM
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Re: Suggestions for external sound card for notebook

Yeah, you are good to go there.

Line in and microphone have different sensitivities and I believe different input impedances. Bruce can talk better about that than I can. The line out from the SPL meter or mixing board are better matched with a Line In input on a sound card. The end result is you get more dynamic range measured and better signal to noise. All this ends up as a better measurement in REW.

Good luck.
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