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 2 Sound Cards Distorted Sound

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. This is particularly important if you are performing to a live audience rather than just practicing 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). Please follow the steps below to change the bit depth and sample rate (providing your sound cards support it):

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. The easiest way to do this is:

  • Right-click on the speaker icon in the system tray (lower right side of the taskbar)

  • Select Playback devices

  • Right-click the sound card from the list and select Properties

  • Click the Advanced tab at the top of the window

  • From the Default Format drop down menu, select the sample rate and bit depth.16 bit, 44100 Hz (Studio Quality) is common between most sound cards but you can use a higher sample rate if both cards support it.


You can normally change audio settings using the Audio MIDI setup utility:

  • Go to Spotlight Search and type Audio MIDI Setup. Click on it in the list or press enter to open it.

  • In Audio MIDI Setup make sure that you are viewing Audio devices, not MIDI devices. If the audio window does not display, go to the toolbar at the top and select View Show Audio Devices

  • Select the sound card that you wish to change the audio properties for and select Output from the menu to the right

  • Check that the sound card is set to 44100.0 Hz and 2ch-16 bit Integer. A higher bit rate and sample rate can be used if both sound cards support it.

  • Exit out of the Audio MIDI Setup once you have made the desired changes.

NOTE: For live performance and best sound quality, a proper dedicated multi-channel DJ sound card is strongly recommended, such as the Numark DJIO, Hercules DJ Trim, or any other dedicated multi-channel sound card designed for professional use.

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