I have been using a POD HD desktop connected to an Emu 1212m via coaxial spdif. I am now moving to a HD500X. I have upgraded my PC to Windows 8.1 and looking to get rid of the Emu because the drivers haven't been upgraded for years and are getting clunky. I have never been able to get usb audio to work with my POD HD desktop - no idea why, perhaps the Emu objected to it.
So, I am looking at usb audio interfaces with spdif input. My needs are few. I want the device to handle all the computer sounds and playback audio from any old media player. I want to be able to use tools like SlowGold to slowdown and pitch shift songs and play them while simultaneously playing along with my guitar - for example to learn difficult parts. I want to be able to mix the levels of the media file playback and the guitar in a single software interface. With Emu and the accompanying Patchmix software I can do this.
I'd prefer to keep it simple. For example, I don't want to have to run recording software just to play back a song and play along with it. Preferably just the audio driver and a software mixer. That said, I don't want to lock out the possibility of doing some recording as I do some from time to time.
Is there a usb audio device with coax spdif that can do what I need? The Roland Quad-Capture seems to fit the bill:
But not sure if it will simultaneously playback audio from a media file and spdif input as the software that comes with it seems to only have two channels and you have to run Sonar to activate the digital ones - perhaps using Sonar to mix????
Appreciate any advice you might have on whether the Roland will suit or on any other viable alternative under $300.