The Best Notebook Soundcard For Renoise?

I would like to know which is for you the best card to use for Renoise on a laptop, with a max of output and midi capabilities…


there are 2 emu 1616m and rme multiface. Both PCMCIA based.

I use a creative sb live 24. the reason is that creative recently made some very good soundcards (the live 24 and the audigy 2 external have great specs) and the live does not need external power supply but is powered by the USB port. the only downside (which is a big one however) is that there is no native ASIO support, you have to buy the ASIO driver from, which weighs in at 55 $ … quite much if you consider that the card itself costs 45 € … :(

Is the SBLive24 a new soundcard? If it is, I would’ve hoped that ASIO drivers were bundled.

If not, you might like to check out the excellent kX drivers, specifically designed for the SBLive stuff:-

Excellent support too, and yet free(!)

However, I’m not particularly a fan of Creative stuff, as their earlier cards (including the Audigy, and I think Audigy2, too) were all clocked at 48KHz regardless of the selected freq, which means everything you input was converted into 48KHz on the fly regardless without you knowing, which is pretty disasterous from a recording viewpoint. Not sure what their latest stuff (Audigy4, XFi, etc.) is like, but along with a host of other issues (such as ASIO not originally being natively supported, like in your case, for those cards that were fully capable of doing so) the Creative stuff left a nasty taste in a lot of people’s mouthes for those into music tech recording, and understandably people are wary with regards to new claims from Creative.

Firewire, USB2, or PCMCIA?

There’s a lot of choice out there at the moment. A great time for consumers.

I have an external firewire soundcard - a Motu Traveler - which is capable of around 20/22 ins/outs (with an ADAT add-on card), but has just one midi in + out.

Equalling or above that would be the Echo AudioFire, the RME Fireface, or the Mackie Onyx fireface cards, or similar. Other cheaper models would be the Edirol FA-101, M-Audio Firewire1814, etc… all with loads of audio ins/outs and other possibilities (digital/ADAT-expansions, etc).

For PCMCIA (cardbus) you’d similarly be looking at the RME Hammerfall + breakout box [Multiface or Digiface], or the Emu 1616M, etc…

No doubt there are others I’ve forgot to mention.

Audio latency with all types of cards (PCMCIA/Firewire/USB2) should roughly be the same. However MIDI latency will be slightly better with PCI based interfaces (PCMCIA [ie. cardbus]) as opposed to firewire or USB2.

Indigo DJ Im using right now. Very stable, nice sounding card.

I’ve got an M-audio firewire 410… seems alright, but I haven’t used it enough to be sure.

I use also use an Echo Indigo but the IO version… It has no external midi capabilties but the sound is very clear and powerfull when you hook it up to a mixer or headphones. It also gets you low latency. In my case when using a full track with all effects and stuff about 60 percent lower. The first card I got was broken but I got a new one and it is rock solid up to now (9 months or so).

the live 24 external is a new card, and the kxdrivers wont work, since that card is an entirely new development and not based on the old emu chips. all that it has in common with the other cards is the name.

Firewire, USB2, or PCMCIA?

Of course PCMCIA.


PCI and CardBus have not been surpassed by any other interface technology for professional audio - no other solution can keep up regarding low Latency and lowest CPU load.

i have one of those echo indigo io’s also, works really good too, have had it for quite awhile now i think over a year. you can assign renoise tracks to the any of the virtual channels. did seem flimsy at first, but after a while i stopped bein worried it about it snapping in half. even tho i’m gentle with it, it can take some abuse. probably wouldnt take a direct stomp or a 60mph pitch at a wall or the floor :lol: no midi of course but why use midi when everything has become usb.
works in linux too! :D
once i can afford a powerbook, i will be putting it in it, as for now it doesnt get any use, ibm thinkpads suck! for music.

what about firewire?
there looks to be some really decent firewire ones out there.

I’m using the card with an IBM ThinkPad T22. What kind of problems do you have?

a t23, with a gig of ram. i dont use it for music anymore, only for work.
thing drove me crazy, still kinda does. i dont even try to do music on it anymore, i havent tried yet but i would like to use it like a live sound module, just running reaktor or sc3 with the laptop closed a cooler fan in between it an my ibook on top.

nanoloop works pretty good tho :D

I use a Echo indigo I/O
Never had a problem with it, great soundquality + asio drivers.

I used Echo Indigo DJ cardbus. Nice sounding piece of shit :lol:
Edit: I had problems with it and USB M-Audio Ozone. You HAVE TO plugin them in RIGHT order when using them for Live situations.
My gig went f****ing shit, lots of audio problems, and stuff you dont wanna hear… ;)

Hey Timo, i see you are using the Motu Traveler :yeah:

I had this lovely unit home for testing yesterday, and it worked like a charm with Renoise, and all other tasks i need it for. Rocks big time.
And the latency in Renoise @ 96khz went as low as 2ms. Wow!

I think i’ll purchase it very soon, but want to test the Onyx 400f first,
just for comparison.

However, one thing i didn’t get to work with the Traveler, was to set it up so that each of the 4 stereo-outs-pairs mirrored the Main Outs…
you see, i was hoping to use these outputs to monitor the full mix on 4 different stereos/speakers, at the same time. do you know if this is possible? maybe the limitation lies within Renoise’s routing capabilities?