Below is list of tested sound cards and notes on setting up each sound card. This is not complete list of sound cards that will work with the RoMac 10 Band Equalizer, many other sound cards may work and give excellent results.

Most sound card problems that we have seen to date are usually a noisy microphone input. Sometimes checking both the +20 dB and adjusting the DSP Attn slider in the sound card level dialog box will help solve this problem. This may seem counter intuitive, but the +20 dB controls the hardware on the sound card, where as the DSP Attn is implemented in the equalizer software.

An inexpensive way to solve the problem of noisy microphone input on a sound card, It to use either a separate USB microphone, or use a USB converter to use your present microphone on a USB port, while using your present sound card for output to the radio.

A good example of this issue is with one of my own computers. It has a built in sound card based on the Sound Max AC97 chipset. I never could get decent results using the built in Microphone Input. When I use the Icicle USB converter, and still use the Sound Max for "Line In" and output, I get excellent results. Although I have not tested them, Shure and Marshall also manufactures a microphone to USB converter.  There are many inexpensive yet very high quality convertor devices on the market today. There are cables that will connect a XLR microphone to USB port, with a built in "sound card".

I have not found a sound card that doesn't have excellent results with these two USB converters I have tried them on various computers, Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7. Every one worked perfectly!

See below for information on another inexpensive USB device made by StarTech.

A dynamic microphone (-55 dBm) has been used for all the tests.

Windows XP have an option to use the "Line In" as the audio source when the equalizer is in a transmit mode. This will usually require some kind of microphone preamp in order to drive the sound cards "Line In" with a Microphone. Windows Vista & Windows 7 , has this capability built as part of the it's operating system.

Sound cards are rated 1 to 5 with an asterisk

As we test more sound cards in the future the results will be posted here.  Last update here...

Sound Card Special Settings Mic Preamp Required Remarks
       
M-Audio Delta 44 ***** Windows XP

1. Use option for different line in device.
2. Make sure under "Hardware Settings" in the M-Audio control panel "Independent" is selected under Multi Track Devices.
3. Adjust Line In levels with M-Audio control Panel. (-10 dB on microphone input)

Windows Vista & Windows 7
Run Microphone level wide open and adjust Mic input with preamp.
Vista Driver 5.10.0.5069 may not require a microphone preamp with a dynamic microphone. (On the M-Audio control panel, select -10db on the inputs used for the microphone)
Depending on Microphone used this card may require a Microphone preamp.

Most dynamic microphones should drive the sound card, if the minus 10db is checked on the respective inputs in the M-audio control panel.

This is the sound card I normally use.
Excellent sound.
Turtle Beach Santa Cruz ***** Use Line out always muted option No Excellent sound. Nice quiet microphone input. Windows XP and Vista 32 bit only. See FAQ #20 for use with Vista 32 bit.
Discontinued but readily available on EBay for less than $30.00
Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS ****
(PCI card)
"No Mon" checked. During receive, the Line In on Play side need to be adjusted. Do not use Line out always muted. No Good sound. Cards audio is slow to reach full volume going from transmit to receive. Discontinued but readily available on EBay.
Rode Podcaster USB microphone.*****

Added 7/29/09
 Windows XP will need to use "Different Line In" device in the Sound Card select dialog   Excellent sound.
Note: Only tested with Window Vista.
Icicle Microphone to USB Converter  *****

Added 07/29/09
Converter has very high audio levels with a dynamic microphone. Run gain on USB convertor unit at minimum.


Windows  XP have no native Windows level control. You will have to adjust the "DSP Attn" control in the sound card level dialog.

Windows Vista & Windows 7 - Run sound card level fairly low in tandem with the "DSP Attn" control around -10 to -15 dB.

Windows XP will need to use "Different Line In Device" option in the Sound Card select dialog.
No Excellent sound. I could detect no difference between my Heil PR 20 using this device and using the PR 20 into a M-Audio Delta 44 card.

Converts XLR Dynamic or Condenser (has phantom power available) Microphone to USB. Although the converter has a XLR connector, there would be no reason you couldn't make up a small adapter for a regular unbalanced dynamic microphone. Pin 1 & 3 - Mic minus , Pin 2 - Mic positive)

Great for the new Icom 7200 & 7600 radios.

Perfect for sound cards that have only one input, especially laptops with only one input on their sound card.
StarTech USB to Audio Adapter. *****

Tiger Direct Web Page


Updated 10/09/2010
Run DSP attenuation -15 to -20 db, with microphone level control about 1/3. 20 dB boost off.

In the software that is installed with the driver (USB PnP Sound Device), set the Analog Output to "Digital 44.1 kHz".

Unit has a microphone input and a speaker output.

Windows XP will need to use "Different Line In Device" option in sound card select dialog. Use an input on another sound card for Line In and/or Speakers.

Although Windows will supply a generic driver, use the following drivers if your device didn't include a driver disk. The following are all signed drivers and support both 32 bit and 64 bit.

Windows XP...
Windows Vista...
Windows 7... 

  This little unit has very good to excellent audio!  For $15.00 you can't beat this unit.

Perfect for laptops or sound cards that either lack a microphone input, or has a microphone input that is noisy.

This little unit has to be the best performance vs. price, I have run across.

Don't let the inexpensive price scare you away.


Diamond Xtreme Sound 7.1 DDL *** Windows Vista & Windows 7
1. May have to check both  +20 dB and adjust the DSP Attn slider on sound card levels dialog box to quiet the hiss on the card.
2. Use driver from website, not windows update.

Windows XP
1.  Use Line out always muted option.
No Good sound.
Vista
Mic is a bit noisy, but using the +20 dB and  adjusting the DSP Attn settings together will quiet it down.

With a Mic preamp adjust the DSP Attn setting with the level wide open, and adjust the microphone preamp for proper levels.

Microphone seems very quiet under Windows XP
Turtle Beach Riviera * Windows Vista and Windows 7
1. May have to check both the +20 dB and adjust the DSP Attn  on sound card level box to quiet the microphone input.

Windows  XP
1. May have to check both the +20 dB and adjust the DSP Attn level on sound card level dialog to quiet the microphone input. Depending on the OS ( XP or 2000), the +20 dB may not be enabled in the equalizer software and may have to be accessed via the Riviera Control panel.
2. May have some audio dropouts at a sampling rate of 22050 and small buffers. Either use a sampling rate of 16000 or increase buffer size to "Standard"

All Operating Systems
Select 2 channel operation in order to enable the Line In. Turn off internal equalizer. (Riviera control panel)
No Noisy microphone sound.
The Diamond card is a better bet


****** Microphone input needs audio on the tip and ring for some reason with a dynamic microphone **********

Use driver from website or CD that comes with the card. DO NOT use the Windows update drivers.


Run Mic Level on the Set Audio Levels as low as possible.
Turtle Beach Montego DDL Not recommended. See Remarks Not recommended.
Very noisy Microphone input. May be used for transmit only modes, if "Line In" is used for Microphone with a preamp. Windows XP users will have to use the reverse inputs on sound card select dialog box, to utilize the Line In for the Microphone.
M-Audio Revolution 5.1 and 7.1 Not compatible Not compatible.