Suggestions For Laptop Sound-cards

I’m thinking about doing a few gigs locally with renoise, and hence performing with a laptop. Biggest problem is, though, that the majority of laptops seem to come with crappy built-in soundcards. I was wondering if anyone here had experience with this sort of thing, and what cards they’d recommend (PCMCIA or USB for preference, though it may not be impossible to add a firewire port to the machine). I’d be looking for something with at least one stereo input, but also it’d be nice to have multiple outputs, so I could monitor something on headphones before putting it out through the speakers. Oh yeah, and ASIO would be nice too. Any suggestions, preferably at the budget end of the scale?

the two best low price options i can think of are the ASIO4ALL driver:

which can turn most laptop soundcards into fairly beast performance setups.


the Echo Indigo series soundcards:

oooooh… i want one sooooo baad. having a bit of a hard time making up my mind, i think i’d lean towards to indigo-io, because while dual, independant outputs would absolutely ROCK in renoise (because you can route tracks to different outputs) i’d rather have a high fidelity recording input. these cards are honestly one of your best options. they cost between US$120-180, where ASIO4ALL is free, but you get more than you pay for. Everyone on the EM411 forum digs them and they’ve got a decent review there too:…are&area_id=180

Take Echo Indigo-io…

I´d recommend rme multiface + additional a/d conbverter or the digiface (
No nice price ware, but very efficient.

I had a Digigram VXpocket Pro for a while and bought an Echo Indigo DJ for my new laptop. I’m very happy with both of them.

Thanks for the advice so far. I’d had a look at the indigo dj card shortly before I posted the question, so it’s good to get some feedback on the indigo range. It’d probably be worth my getting either an io or a dj, and upgrading to something with a breakout box (the layla 24 looks rather lovely for the price) if I ever started to turn a profit on this thing. I’ll check out the Digigram card too, and look at those Hammerfall devices and dream :)

like i said to someone else on this forum,
stay away from USB audio devices. USB controllers are generally alright, but ASIO through USB is a real headache.

i< think so. alot of high end audio interfaces work through firewire.