I have a new ultra compact pc, I use the on board sound card. The sound quality is just fine.
The only way to get sound out of it is through the HDMI cable, I’ve connected my sound system to the headphone out of my monitor. So far so good. I sample a lot by recording YouTube sound with Audacity, this was working great on my old pc but on the new one the sound is really silent (even when all the settings are at max) and the signal to noise ratio is below acceptable.
Any advice? Should I get an external sound card?
Which one to buy?
Get a sound card. If you are in a pinch they have them on Amazon as low as 2$ but if you can I’d get a focusrite or something. About the best overall bang.
It might be gain staging somewhere in the OS. Maybe check the windows audio mixer.
You can pick up a Behringer U-Phoria UM2 off of Amazon for less than $20. I picked one up to help a buddy get setup to record his guitar and was really impressed with the sound quality and low noise floor. I ended up buying one for myself just for the phantom power. The preamps distort pleasantly
The Behringer UMC I got for my kids pisses all over the Focusrite Scarlett on my own audio machine. Less noise, seemingly less distortion, handles occasional reds much more gracefully (the frontends saturate/limit more rounded rather than just let the ADC clip). If you can find it cheap I recommend.
That’s crazy. I haven’t heard that. I might get one then. I could use some extra inputs.
Would a Behringer U-Phoria UMC202HD be a good pickup?
Link to specs
Yup that’s the one. But that only has stereo in stereo out (or two monos in), so if the channel count works for you go for it.
My Scarlett is gen 2 mind you, apparently gen 3 is much less noisy
I think mine is Gen 2 can’t remember but it’s not noisy. I have never had a problem with it. But consistency in products lack these days. You might have gotten a shittt one
Yeah it’s not really super noisy, it’s just an easily heard difference. Also, things seem to sound a pinch cleaner on the Behringer, I am guessing it’s the lower THD.
I upgraded to a gen 3 Scarlett last year and it sounds great, but I had tons of problems with the drivers and getting low latency. I had to give it huge buffers on my relatively high-end laptop for it to be stable, like 512ms+. I spent way too much time trying to get that sorted. I’m pretty sure it boiled down to crappy Dell bios and botched docking station drivers. I finally just caved and bought a dedicated studio/gaming rig. It thankfully is handling it much better, I think I have it down to 32 samples and rock solid
Definitely get a USB interface. I’ve had a Scarlett Solo for years, it has been rock solid and inexpensive.
I have found though that the drivers should be the latest ones off their website, and that also it needs to be plugged into a USB3 socket for the best performance. Definitely don’t plug it into one of those cheap USB hubs.
I’ve bought just that.
I’ve connected it through a USB-C port.
The big gain is to be made by using the Focusrite ASIO which reduces the latency to about 5 milliseconds. I used to have latencies towards 150-200ms.