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In-depth Feature:  M-Audio DELTA 1010LT
Andy Mac writes: .

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Anoraks off - What's it Really Like?
OK, now we’ve satisfied the techies, let’s get down to business – what’s it like in use? Well, I have to say, it’s pretty good. Considering the amount of features and the modest price, the sound quality is admirable, and certainly a cut above your average consumer product. The mic amps are not bad – I wouldn’t want to record the next Madonna single using them, but the chances of her singing in my home studio are pretty slim, so let’s not worry about that. Having a balanced line level input is more useful, in my opinion, as you can plug in the output from a ‘proper’ mic amp or other +4dB piece of kit - this is one of the things that sets the Delta 1010LT apart from it’s cheaper Delta 410 cousin.

My major moan about the 2 balanced mic/line inputs is that to select between gain structures, you have to remove the card and fiddle around with those horrible little jumpers, which as their name suggests, tend to fly off and get lost in the nether regions of your computer given half a chance, but depending on your set-up, this may not be such a problem.

Performance of the card overall was not bad – I was using the ASIO drivers, and managed to get buffer size/latency figures down to respectable levels on my ageing 700MHz machine without too many problems. In ASIO, the smallest buffer size of 64 samples gave a latency figure of 1mS at 44.1kHz, which was fine for running FM7. Using MME, this figure leapt to 50mS, and with DirectSound it was 25mS. Some applications needed larger buffer sizes to avoid clicks and pops during playback – Windows Media Player was particularly greedy in this respect... I’ll say no more! Mildly irritating was the fact that to change buffer size, you had to exit all audio applications – I had to adjust this setting when using various plug-ins in Logic 5.0, and it would have been useful to be able to do it on the fly.

Safe Drivers?
In general, the Delta drivers behaved themselves. However, it was not a trouble-free experience, and there were gliches, crashes and occasional error messages. Logic 5 seemed to cause a few headaches, with ‘ASIO overload’ messages popping up in some setups, but this could be due to teething problems with Logic rather than the Delta drivers.

I’d recommend a regular check on the M-Audio website for updates, and remember to uninstall the previous versions where necessary – there is a utility available to do this. Even then, be prepared for a few wrangles – I found updating from to v.26 and then v.26 to v.27 no problem at all – going from v.20 straight to v.27 was a nightmare! Win2k wouldn’t even boot up, and I had to uninstall from ‘Safe Mode’. It’s a serious problem that causes Windows 2000 to fall over - not good at all. In fact, this appears to be a recurring weakness with M-audio drivers and installation guides and is one area where general improvements could be made.

More Resources              Articles - full listing
  • Delta 1010LT price from audioMIDI
  • Delta 1010LT Pages @ M-audio
  • Download 1010LT Manual (.PDF)

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