The question “which sound card should I get” arises periodically in various DJ forums. The answers are often reduced to “I use card X, it’s the best!”, with an inherent possibility of a local religious war. The truth, however, is that nowadays there are plenty of good sound cards out there, with very reasonable prices and widely varied feature sets, and so you can make much better choice by looking at the specific features of the card that you need, rather than listening to someone’s opinions on what is “the ultimate best”.
In my not so long career as a tango DJ I have owned 12 (twelve) various sound interfaces, and tried out many more. In this article, which emerged out of the Sound Engineering for Tango DJs seminars, and discussions in several Tango DJ groups, I will try to present a feature-centered, rather than opinion-based view on various classes of sound cards, suitable for Tango DJs, without delving too much either into the misty worlds of audiophile legends or stepping onto perilous grounds of digital sound quality issues.
This article is about a simple and effective technique for getting the best sound out of your tango recordings. More specifically, we are targeting the electric recording era, from 1926 to 1949. The technique defines a set of simple rules which allow to obtain repeatable results in any tango venue, on any recording, with minimal adjustments between the tandas. It was initially tried and tested in several milonga venues in Toronto in 2014, and further improved with the feedback from the DJs from all over the globe. I strongly believe that it can dramatically improve your sound, and, at the same time, you would spend less time tweaking the equalizer, cursing the bad recording and/or inadequate sound system, etc.