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AW: PC sound cards

For most experiments, the quality of the software and the
loudspeakers/headphones with which you work will be more critical than the
quality of the sound card.

The built-in midi instruments in most sound cards are inappropriate for
several reasons: poor sampling rate, high noise content, faulty or
inflexible intonation, etc..  Instead, I recommend working with audio (e.g.
*.WAV) file playback, with files to be called up either via a sampler or
computer interface, or from burned CDs or DVDs.  In contrast to midi, the
qualitative differences in the playback of audio files from card to card are
significantly minimized.

To generate *.WAV files, I suggest a powerful synthesis package like CSOUND.
For a more conventionally "musical" interface, I have found Anderberg's ACID
WAVE (synthesis) and WAVEMAKER (rendering) programs to be very handy.
However, for most experimental samples and for users comfortable with
mathematical descriptions, using a general mathematics program like Mathlab
is an excellent alternative.

Daniel Wolf