Personally I would go with an external USB card. Pretty common with most modern home studio setups.

Most of them will work, you'll just want something that has midi out. 

I'm pretty sure the sound card doesn't have separate memory for sound fonts. I think that's all loaded in the system memory. 



Any of the cards listed here: http://www.sweetwater.com/c695--USB_Audio_Interfaces/params=eyJmYWNldCI6eyJNSURJIElcL08iOlsiSW4iXX19 will probably work. 

The key words you can look for are "class compliant" to ensure that you won't have any issues with drivers. That being said: Behringer will probably give you the most bang for the buck,  Lexicon I know for sure works and is one of the cheapest. Prosonus, Avid, Focusrite are all pretty well known standards. I'm 90% sure it's going to work on 99% of all of those brands devices. 

Be careful with M-Audio. Some of their firmware in the past has been proprietary and has a few more steps to setup. (though I think there were drivers or patches available last time I checked for most stuff, just not as easy as everything else. Safe to think of them as the broadcom and nvidia of audio cards) 

Mark of the Unicorn (MOTU), Akai, and Roland are probably overkill for the project. 


These are all USB suggestions. There are firewire cards out there that offer super low latency, but from what I'm hearing that's probably not a big concern/requirement for this project.  Firewire devices all run through the FFADO layer and they actually have a list of supported devices: http://www.ffado.org/?q=devicesupport/list

Obviously any of those would work, but I wasn't sure if your workstation had firewire or not. 

On Mon Dec 29 2014 at 1:09:46 AM Panu Matilainen <pmatilai@laiskiainen.org> wrote:
On 12/29/2014 09:07 AM, William W. Austin wrote:
>
> My wife composes, and for playback she has used an Audigy2 PCI card in
> her desktop machine for years.   That computer is beyond it's last legs
> now, and her new one has only PCIE slots.  (Yes she uses Linux for her
> composing and playback.)
>
> The problem is that she uses the Midi feature of that card and has
> sound fonts that she loads (about 126 MB in size) into it.  She has
> given up trying to find one and has asked me to help... but so far I've
> struck out.
>
> Are there ANY PCIE sound which is roughly the equivalent of the Audigy
> 2 cards?   I won't say "money is no object", but I'm approaching the
> point where cost is less important than finding such a card if on
> exists.
>
> Any pointers on this issue will be greatly appreciated.

One possibile option that sort of side-steps the problem might be a PCIe
- PCI adapter, such as

http://www.startech.com/Cards-Adapters/Slot-Extension/PCI-Express-to-PCI-Adapter-Card~PEX1PCI1
http://www.beaglesoft.com/pcie2pci.htm

Mind you I dont have any experience with such products, and then there's
the question of whether the lot actually fits in the chassis at all.

        - Panu -
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