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Selecting An Audio Interface

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Hi all.


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.





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