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.

In years past on board motherboard audio left something to be desired. In the past few years the quality of on board motherboard audio has vastly improved. Most times today, you will be hard pressed to see a big difference mother board audio and some of the higher end sound cards.

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 *****

This card has been discontinued, but are plentiful on eBay
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 & 8
Run Microphone level wide open and adjust Mic input with preamp.
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.
.
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.