Most reliable sound card

My band uses a laptop for backing tracks and for a long time we´ve used Indigo DJ and Sawstudio. Never had any issues unless the user knuf up using it, and we´ve had it for over ten years.

Now the software is extremely outdated and we´re afraid the hardware is getting worn down. The plan was to switch to Cubase and a bigger more “proper” sound card. We bought MOTU Ultralite MK3. On the old system with Sawstudio we get bluescreens with the new card, and on the new system with Cubase it crashes frequently.

So my question is: What do you use?

I want a workhorse of a sound card able to sustain all kinds of abuse.

Tour starts in a week so thankful for any help!:slight_smile:

Is it a new laptop? if so does it have firewire? in which case in my personal view you can’t go wrong with a firewire outboard device that gives you the best possible input control.

For instance - although I use an M-audio NRV10 in my little studio - it also functions as a good little desk, and allows you to record multiple ‘ins’ that Cubase will identify as separate input ‘tracks’ allowing you to mix in post production

If you mix down straight (I presume) off your PA desk - stereo out, in to a normal soundcard, you would be more restricted.

Hope that helps

something wrong somewhere because Motu have very reliable drivers and ive owned 3x 828’s 2 x ultralites and have never had an issue with them , you’ll be hard pushed to find a better interface in that price range and with the tools in cuemix as well .
Motu are normally rock solid

If I understand your requirement correctly, you only use this for playback. If you want rock-solid, luckily for you Echo are Linux-friendly and your Indigo will be supported by any current Linux installation. This will keep your hardware working perfectly indefinitely. Just render your tracks to audio files, and play them with e.g. VLC. There’s really no reason to use a DAW for playback during live performances.

If you really want to trust your live performances to Windows or Mac OS, then IMHO RME is the way to go, if only for the quality of their drivers. RME may seem expensive, but if I add up the cost of all the other cards I’ve used, and then add the time I’ve wasted trying to get them to actually work properly, I would have saved money if I’d gone with RME in the first place.

My second choice would be MOTU – certainly if you’re using Apple – but until recently they have been somewhat less supportive of Windows (that’s just my personal experience). As you already have a MOTU, the bad news is that MOTU are very hostile towards Linux, so that limits your options.

You could always try Steinberg hardware, but I’m sure you will have gathered from other sources that people have lost all confidence in the company maintaining driver/firmware/software support.

This neatly brings me back to my opening observation that your Echo card is well supported under Linux, and that won’t change … if I were you, I’d sell the MOTU and buy 3 or 4 old laptops on eBay, install Linux on them and either use the Indigo or choose a USB RME card.