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Echo Digital Audio Indigo IO

Echo Digital Audio Indigo IO

Even with inexpensive recording software it’s possible to produce professional-sounding tracks on a laptop. But built-in sound cards have lousy analog-to-digital converters, and musicians need better ways to plug in other than via a computer’s standard microphone or line input. Finding a solution isn’t hard these days, as a wealth of USB and FireWire breakout boxes have flooded the market.

The least expensive, easiest and most streamlined way I’ve found to integrate superior sound into a laptop comes via Echo’s Indigo IO, a card that slides into a laptop’s Type II Cardbus slot and allows for stereo input and stereo output via two 1/8-inch phono jacks. The Indigo supports 24-bit/96 kHz audio and full-duplex (two-channel in, two-channel out) operation, which means that you can play into the Indigo as you listen out of it, overdubbing until you are creatively bankrupt. The card has a frequency range of 10 Hz to 20 kHz and a dynamic range of >109 dB. Strange but great is an onscreen mixer included with the Indigo’s software that gives you eight virtual outputs, allowing you to mix eight channels from separate audio programs into one stereo output feed.

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