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disclaimer - i'm not asking for shopping suggestions, just feasibility.

I'm thinking of getting a proper soundcard for my machine, but it's been a long long time since i've bought a dedicated card. I currently use the on board one to drive a 5.1 surround set of speakers, but i'm looking at the audio interfaces on the market and most put out one or more quarter inch jacks.

I'm not an audiophile really, but i need to be able to plug in midi cables. Previously (a long time ago) i found that cheap cards had issues on playback with the number of samples being played and the latency of triggering sounds making midi controlling practically impossible. I don't know if that's still an issue due to hardware advances in cpu speeds on board cheap purpose-built cards, but certainly my on board one is basically useless in terms of latency.

What i'd like to do is have inbound sound (to say ableton live) come in from a good audio interface (which also would support midi jacks), and have outbound sound from live go to a good card (to avoid playback issues above) and run that to the input of the onboard card that drives the speakers. I realize this isn't going to be crystal clear audio, but it saves buying monitor speakers.


1) Will running the output of a good card into the input of a poor card actually work in terms of software like ableton live ?

2) Is this even a good idea ? - Please suggest a better solution if you know of one. I'm just trying to avoid buying expensive monitor speakers etc when i already have some speakers, but need midi inputs and fixing the problem of the onboard soundcard having terrible latency.

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Have you considered Midi to USB converters instead? –  Everett Jul 23 '12 at 7:17
yes. That wouldn't solve my latency issues, i think ? Not sure though. I know i used to (a long time ago) get a slider in reason that i could either have good sound quality, or good latency. Trying to avoid that issue if i can. –  Sirex Jul 23 '12 at 7:44
I read something recently in an answer to a different question that suggested using a "low end m audio DAW bundle" and when I looked it up I found it had to do with sound cards with MIDI interfaces. –  martineau Jul 23 '12 at 11:08

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