I have Analog Lab installed on a Windows 7 laptop. (My keyboard controller is a 49-key Analog Experience.)
I'd like to improve the quality of the output using a "sound card", which for a laptop is a box connected via USB.
Any recommendations for the best USB sound card to use with the Analog Lab?
How to answer a question like that?
I can only say this:
There are more factors to the "Best" sound than a soundcard.
The important things on the soundcard for playback purposes is good DC (Digital to Analog) converters, good and stable ASIO drivers, good headphone connection if you use headphones and good balanced outputs for a amp or powered monitors.
But if you use headphones, then the headphones is important for the sound.
And if you use speakers then the amp+speakers, or the powered monitors are important. Also the speaker placement, the listening spot and the acoustic behavior of the listening room is important. Poor speakers can sound better than good speakers if the poor speakers have a good placement and a good listening spot, and the good speakers has bad placement and a bad listening spot.
All connections can have a impact. And even high quality equiptment can sound bad, if placed or used in a bad manor.
Regarding soundcards, then i believe RME has good converters and good ASIO driver, and low latency that's one important reason for using a better soundcard than the normal standard PC soundcard.
Arturias Audio Fuse is properly up there too if it's finished.
There are high end soundcard producents on the market.
But most users happily use cheaper soundcards like a Focusrite Scarlet, a Presonus AudioBox, Native instruments Komplete Audio 6, a Roland Capture and others. It's about what you find best for your use.
Perhaps one of those soundcards will do for you, but you'll have to find out yourself.
If you only need the soundcard for playback, then there can be other options. That you have to study.
The recording quality is a very important part of having a music production soundcard. And then other things are important too. If you don't need to record, then you might be able to find other solutions that works for you. It's a jungle.
I suggest you find out what your needs are, and then try to find a soundcard that match those needs. Then it's about a feel, then take a chance and make a choice.
Just remember all the other important factors like headphones, amp+speakers or monitors, speaker placement, listening spot and listening room.
I don't think i can help further.
If anyone can add to this or correct this, then plase do. I'm no expert.
Do for instance a RME sound that much better than the cheaper ones i have mentioned or is it mainly the performance that are better? I have thought about this my self.
And what soundcards have a high volumen headphone output?
Just some questions of my own, to show some things to consider.