Dear alsa users,

We are looking for a replacement card for PCI(e) audio that we are using in our linguistics laboratory. We have been quite happy with the older ASUS Xonar D2 pci and ASUS Essence STX II PCIe cards. Unfortunately, these are out of stock in the Netherlands, I don't know whether they are still being made. We need quite a number of those devices in roughly 15-25 pc's in our labs. So they were good value for money at roughly 200 euro or dollars each. The xonars worked out of the box on recent versions of Ubuntu and this great to have so we do not have to make small adjustments to the all pc's in the lab.

Some background on psychology/linguistics research. We are looking for a sound card that is easy to use, and without many "expert" features. For quality speech recordings we are looking for devices that has a high signal to noise ratio (in practice we used an analog mic preamp and put the preamps output in the line out of the preamp in the line in of the xonar cards). Also we like to record as naturally as possible and we don't value Digital signal processors (DSPs) that mimics special preamps. Additionally, cards using DSPs might have an internal buffer in which they do there processing and take additional latency. In artificial grammar learning or other types of experiments in which speech stimuli are presented to participant in our lab we greatly value the timing of the presentation of those speech stimuli. That is: we try to schedule a stimulus (speech or another sound) with 1ms accuracy. So If we know that ALSA or another backend uses a eg. 20ms playback/software buffer, we schedule the stimulus 20 ms ahead of time. We would like to keep any buffering delays as short as reasonably possible.

So coming back to the original question, the Xonars we were working with ran fine in for example Ubuntu-18.04 and even some older distributions. We would like to find a nice replacement that meets the requirements of a linguistics lab and are relatively easy to maintain. I don't know if this is the right place to ask, but I hope to get some input for we have tried quite a number of PCI(e)  devices from expensive RME equipment to cheaper Creative Sound BlasterX AE-5 Plus or very cheap TERRATEC Aureon devices. Perhaps we should move to USB class 1 and/or 2 compliant devices.

Hopefully some of you have experience with such equipment and is willing to give us a nice suggestion.

Best regards and thank you for your time,


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