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jamie marchant

PCI sound cards that work on Mac OS 9

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Hi: 

 I ave some old sound card lying around and was wondering if any of them would work on OS 9. They may or may not be better then whatever I have built-in to the machine I don't know.(I have a PowerMac G4 PCI). Does anyone have a list of compatible cards? If not I only have 3 cards, I could just list them off. 

-Jamie 

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Built in audio on G4's works fairly well. If you don't tell anyone what you have, no one can play the guessing game to see if it is compatible :p

Edited by Themk

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Short answer is it's really unlikely any random sound cards you have lying around would work in OS 9. Creative *briefly* sold a version of the Soundblaster Live! for Macs but it was a debacle, and I don't think the drivers for it will work with a regular Live!. Other than that you're pretty much looking at high-end pro audio processors, like the DigiDesign Audiomedia III which, again, you're unlikely to have sitting around in a pile of rotgut PC cards.

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The SoundBlaster Live! Mac Edition drivers won't work with the standard PC cards (I tried). Its likely they gave the Mac Edition card its own PCI ID.

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Doesn't surprise me at all. Modding Creative drivers is a time honored tradition on the Windows side of things. Nice to know that changing the PCI ID is all that is needed to make it work. Hopefully the driver is smart enough to query the 10k1 and adjust the input and outputs in the mixer accordingly.

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Sorry, forgot about this thread. 

 

I have a Sound Blaster something (model: CT4B10), I don't think it's very good. 

 

I have a Sound Blaster Live(CT4830), this was a good card for PC but I've heard the Mac cards sound better or about the same so I have not bothered to modify the driver, even though that is something I've heard of. 

 

Lastly, I have a Vortex AU8829B2. 

 

Sorry other than the Live I don't know the 'name' of these cards. 

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The only plentiful sound cards you will find for the mac are the pro tools cards used for studio audio work (and the same gear was used for video editing). Decent video capture cards have built in audio as well. Built in audio is decent unless you need it to be studio quality.

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The SB Live! tends to have a pretty bad reputation for a number of reasons (bad drivers, hardware conflicts...) but the one that rises above the rest in "Audiophile" circles is the Live's ADC has a fixed 48K sample rate for audio capture, meaning if you, say, want to capture CD rate 44.1K audio it'll perform digital resampling on the output stream instead of giving you a real "native" capture. (Think of it as the audio equivalent of running an LCD display at a scaled resolution instead of native.) It wasn't even very good at it and tended to produce files with distortion levels sufficient that even people with relatively tin ears could hear it.

 

In other words, it's a passible card for games and music generation, but avoid it like the plague for audio mastering.

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The card should be able to natively record at a 44.1khz sample rate (the onboard ADC handles that). The problem was if you used on onboard DSP in the EMU10k for anything. When the DSP is enabled, everything processed through the chip is poorly resampled to 48khz. The EMU20k on the X-Fi fixed this for the most part, and added a high quality resampling engine as well.

 

See the "Digital Confusions" sidebar on this article: https://web-beta.archive.org/web/20150606090902/http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/may99/articles/soundblaster.htm

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