Terratec SoundSystem DMX

This PCI sound card boasts two independent analog stereo line outs plus a microphone and an external line in. In addition to this, you receive a digital expansion module with connectors for digital devices that meet the S/PDIF standard, such as minidiscs or DAT (Digital Audio Tape) recorders. The expansion module doesn't need its own PCI slot, but it does require a port access panel, giving you access to both the Optical and RCA in and outs that support 32, 44.1 and 48KHz sample rates.

Internally, the main card has two CD audio connectors plus room for other expansion boards such as an external wavetable module or an ActiveRadio module. Connection space is also provided for auxiliary devices or even a voice modem for use as an answering machine.

Musicians will like this card for its lack of hiss, its signal to noise ratio of better than 97dB, its 64-voice hardware wavetable synthesiser and hardware acceleration of over 32 3D audio streams simultaneously - using either two or four speakers, or simply headphones.

Gamers will appreciate the inclusion of a digital gameport able to utilise force feedback controllers, and the SoundBlaster Pro compatibility in DOS. DMX's Canyon 3D engine with positional audio works with Aureal's A3D, Creative Labs' EAX, Microsoft Direct Sound 3D (D3D) and Sensaura 3D, allowing you to experience sound from front to back, left to right or below to overhead. With the included software, you can even optimise sound files to make full use of 3D.

The DMX comes boxed with its own comprehensive mixer control, WinJey, for playing CDs, MIDI, MOD or MP3 files; a demo version of Mixman Studio de-signed to test your mixing skills; Steinberg WaveLab Lite for sound editing; and Buzz, a synthesis and tracking program.

Other notable shareware included AudioCatalyst for MP3 encoding, SimSynth, TS-404 and Virtual Sampler. At $349, the SoundSystem DMX Advanced Audio Accelerator lends itself to being a contender for anyone in the market for a serious sound card - whatever the reason.

Terratec SoundSystem DMX

Price: $349

Distributor: Innovision

Phone: (03) 9853 6387

URL: www.innovision.com.au

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