Audio Interfaces (Sound Cards) from Dancing Dots
Dancing Dots sells and supports hardware accessories
that we know are compatible with our audio production and notation software
products. This page focuses on a number of high-end soundcards that not
only sound great but which are screen-reader friendly as well. Use them
with your current workstation or with one of our Dancing Dots
Accessible Audio and Notation Workstation. If you're
looking for MIDI musical keyboards and related devices, check out our
MIDI equipment page too. By the way, even
if you can see just fine and don't need to use a screen reader to make
music with your PC, the soundcards below still sound great! Dancing Dots
does have a number of sighted customers who order our soundcards and other
mainstream products because they get top quality gear, it's competitively
priced and sometimes because they realize that their support of our business
helps blind musicians everywhere.
For best results with SONAR or Sound Forge, you should
acquire a high-end soundcard to dedicate to processing the audio which
you can record with any of the sound cards listed below. You will assign
JAWS to exclusively use your PC's consumer soundcard such as a SOUNDBLASTER or other low-end audio card.
FireWire vs. USB Audio Interfaces(soundcard)
Most audio interfaces(soundcards) connect to a computer using one of two popular connection technologies: FireWire or USB.
Audio interfaces(soundcards) that connect using FireWire (also called IEEE1394, 1394, or I-Link), provide superior performance to interfaces that connect using USB. Interfaces that connect using FireWire operate at lower latency. This means that audio signals pass through them in an extremely short amount of time, making it possible to, for example, sing in to a microphone while listening to the sound echo back through headphones. A computer with a FireWire audio interface(soundcard) will be able to work with a slightly higher number of tracks than the same computer with a USB audio interface(soundcard). FireWire audio interfaces(soundcards) are extremely picky when it comes to compatibility, though. Only a few computer motherboard and chipset combinations will work flawlessly with FireWire audio interfaces(soundcards). For this reason, we suggest that you not consider using a FireWire audio interface(soundcard) unless you've ordered a specialized Digital Audio Workstation that has been approved for use with them, or unless you have previously checked with Dancing Dots to be sure that your computer will be compatible. Please be aware that most desktop and laptop computers that include FireWire ports are not sufficiently compatible with FireWire audio interfaces(soundcards).
Audio interfaces(soundcards) that connect using USB (Universal Serial Bus), are compatible with most all modern computers. If you're not using a specialized Digital Audio Workstation, a USB audio interface(soundcard) is your best option. While USB audio interfaces(soundcards) don't provide as low of latency as a FireWire audio interface(soundcard), and aren't able to handle as many tracks of audio, their compatibility with a wide variety of computers makes them a great option for people with moderate recording needs or small budgets.
In general, if you plan to purchase a specialized Digital Audio Workstation to use for recording, we suggest the use of a FireWire audio interface(soundcard). If you plan to use an existing desktop or laptop computer for recording, then we suggest a USB audio interface (soundcard).
For FireWire interfaces, we suggest the Mackie Onyx line. Please see below for more information.
If you plan to use an audio interface that connects via USB, we recommend one of the devices from Roland listed on this page.
Do you need to record several performers at a time, or do you need to
record live drums and work with other situations that require complex microphone setups?
Dancing Dots can supply audio interfaces (soundcards) that can simultaneously record from 8, 16, or more
sources. Please contact us for recommendations that are accessible and will best meet your needs.
Microphones, Preamps and Mixers
If you wish to record with a microphone you may need a high-quality
microphone pre-amp to boost the signal.
Check the soundcard's specs to determine whether you need a preamp or not.
You will not need a
pre-amp to record an audio signal taken via line-in such as the line-out from a CD player or the audio out from an electronic
By the way, an excellent workhorse of a microphone is the
Shure Beta 58A Supercardioid Dynamic Microphone.
If you already own an audio mixer, you most likely do not need to order an Audio Buddy as your mixer has built-in pre-amps. If you're looking
for an excellent multi-channel mixer, consider the Mackie 1202VLZ or the Mackie 1604 mixer.
Desktop Digital Audio Interfaces (Sound Cards)
- All are 24-bit/96kHz full-duplex.
- Driver support across all platforms, OS and audio standards.
- Low driver latency and zero-latency monitoring for unequalled performance.
Dancing Dots will provide a descriptive text of the control panel of the device to visually impaired customers who order one of the Digital Audio Interfaces below.
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Quarry Lane P.O. Box 927 Valley Forge, PA 19482 P:
610 783-6692 F: 610 500-5072
|Copyright 2002, 2005 Dancing Dots