Distortion when using two sound cards

Q. I get distorted sound when I use two sound cards

If you use two different sound cards then you may experience distorted sound if the two sound cards are not compatible with each other and/or have different sound properties (Bit rate, sample rate and/or latency.)

Ideally, you should use a proper dedicated multi-channel sound card designed for DJ use, such as Numark DJIO. This is particularly important if you are performing to a live audience rather than just practising at home.

When using two sound cards, you will need to use two similar cards that have the same bit rate and sample rate (16-bit/44.1Khz is optimal.)

On a Windows PC, you may be able to set/change the bit rate and/or sample rate from the sound card's control panel or mixer application.

On a Mac, you can normally change this using the Audio MIDI setup utility:

  • Go to MacOS Utilities -> Audio MIDI Setup.

  • In Audio MIDI Setup, make sure that you are viewing Audio devices, not MIDI devices (Click on the Audio Devices tab, or in newer versions of MacOS, View menu -> Show Audio Window)

  • Depending on your version of MacOS you should either see a list of audio devices or the properties of the default device.

  • In newer versions of MacOS, click on each sound card in the list of sound devices. Then click on the OUTPUT tab and check that it is set to 44100.0 Hz and 2ch-16 bit.

  • In older versions, choose each sound card in the Properties For: drop-down list. Then check that it is set to 44100.0 Hz and 2-ch 16 bit.

NOTE: For live performance and best sound quality, a proper dedicated multi-channel DJ sound card is strongly recommended, such as Numark DJIO, Hercules DJ Trim, etc. with either VirtualDJ Basic or the full VirtualDJ Professional, depending on your requirements - Please see comparison.

NOTE: VirtualDJ Home FREE and VirtualDJ Broadcaster are limited software and do not support external multi-channel sound cards.

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