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AD/DA converter help...would I benefit from an upgrade?
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tradarama
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#1
9th January 2007
Old 9th January 2007
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AD/DA converter help...would I benefit from an upgrade?

I am a newbie and have an Aardvark Q10 with its card into my Carillon computer system w/ Cubase. I am now moving away from the Q10 built in preamps and running line in with higher end premaps (Pacifica, Germanium, 737). Questions:

1. Would I benefit from an upgrade? How aweful would I notice the Q10 being.

2. (Be gentle I'm new) What would I need? AD COnverter & Card? Pls give me examples. Also I'm confused about if I need something separate when going DA.

3. The Q10 has a computer based mixer that I use...what would I use for the mixer if I upgraded.

Guys I really appreciate your help.

PS I have a pretty deep base of experience with high end guitar amps and guitars if anyone wants to pick my brain on that front.

Jim
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9th January 2007
Old 9th January 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tradarama View Post
I am a newbie and have an Aardvark Q10 with its card into my Carillon computer system w/ Cubase. I am now moving away from the Q10 built in preamps and running line in with higher end premaps (Pacifica, Germanium, 737). Questions:

1. Would I benefit from an upgrade? How aweful would I notice the Q10 being.

2. (Be gentle I'm new) What would I need? AD COnverter & Card? Pls give me examples. Also I'm confused about if I need something separate when going DA.

3. The Q10 has a computer based mixer that I use...what would I use for the mixer if I upgraded.

Guys I really appreciate your help.

PS I have a pretty deep base of experience with high end guitar amps and guitars if anyone wants to pick my brain on that front.

Jim
1. It's great to hear that you are upgrading the pre-amps and, yes, you will need to upgrade your converters as well. Better converters should help you maximize the tonal quality of the pre-amps that you are currently investing in.

2. There are a ton of possibilities. How many channels of AD/DA do you need? Do you have a budget? Some additional information would help narrow down the choices.

Also, I am a little confused by this statement, "also I'm confused about if I need something separate when going DA." I want to help you out, so please explain further.

3. You will no longer use the Q10 mixer, which is designed to work only with the Q10. This shouldn't be a problem because many converters come with their own mixer programs.
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9th January 2007
Old 9th January 2007
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Thanks for the reply! I am only a home recording guy

I will be recording maybe 2 guitar tracks at a time. Not sure what the AD/DA needs are.

For example, I am under the impression that my 2 tracks is enough. Am I limiting myself too much? I'm not recording a drum set or band together. I do want high quality and would spend for up to $2k for the right unit. I would prefer if there were something less that would be a great step up from the Q10.

Is this enough to help? Thanks, Jim
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9th January 2007
Old 9th January 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tradarama View Post
I will be recording maybe 2 guitar tracks at a time. Not sure what the AD/DA needs are.

For example, I am under the impression that my 2 tracks is enough. Am I limiting myself too much? I'm not recording a drum set or band together. I do want high quality and would spend for up to $2k for the right unit. I would prefer if there were something less that would be a great step up from the Q10.

Is this enough to help? Thanks, Jim
Okay, figure you will need enough AD channels for whatever you record. If you never record drums then you can probably get by with 2-4 tracks, but if you occasionally record drums then you really need to get at least 8 channels. Ultimately, I would have a couple channels to spare. I always find I need more channels of AD then I had planned on.

As far as, DA you will need at least two channels for monitoring the stereo mix. You will also need one or two mixes for headphones, plus for insert sends, and other last minutes additions.

In your case I would look at an 8 channel converter like the Lynx Aurora 8 and Apogee Rosetta 800, both are amazing units.
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9th January 2007
Old 9th January 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zwinter View Post
Okay, figure you will need enough AD channels for whatever you record. If you never record drums then you can probably get by with 2-4 tracks, but if you occasionally record drums then you really need to get at least 8 channels. Ultimately, I would have a couple channels to spare. I always find I need more channels of AD then I had planned on.

As far as, DA you will need at least two channels for monitoring the stereo mix. You will also need one or two mixes for headphones, plus for insert sends, and other last minutes additions.

In your case I would look at an 8 channel converter like the Lynx Aurora 8 and Apogee Rosetta 800, both are amazing units.
Listen to Zach, he knows his stuff. I don't have the Aurora converters but have heard them and they are top notch.

Regards,
Bruce
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tradarama
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9th January 2007
Old 9th January 2007
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Last dumb question for now....

do I need the unit AND a card in my computer? THanks, Jim
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10th January 2007
Old 10th January 2007
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The thing is... The Q10 sounds great. I use my apogee converters normaly but sometimes I run out of in/outs and use the inputs/outputs in my q10's. I'm allways suprised how good they sound.

Some year or two ago me and a client/friend did a blindtest with the following:

1. Apogee Rosetta 200
2. Lavry Blue
3. UA 2192
4. Aardvark Q10

I bought the Rosetta.
I liked the Lavry - it was ok.
The UA 2192 and Q10 sounded about the same, the 2192 was better but not that much...

Aardvark is out of business and the drivers suck but if you can live with that - keep the Q10 and get a ADDA like the rosetta or similar feeding the spdif I/O for critical listening and recording.

//Philip
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10th January 2007
Old 10th January 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zwinter View Post
In your case I would look at an 8 channel converter like the Lynx Aurora 8 and Apogee Rosetta 800, both are amazing units.

that's odd, considering his case is that he'll record 'maybe 2 guitars at a time.'

my experience is that most one man project studios do fine with 2 channels of a/d.


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10th January 2007
Old 10th January 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tradarama View Post
I will be recording maybe 2 guitar tracks at a time. Not sure what the AD/DA needs are.

I do want high quality and would spend for up to $2k for the right unit.
I can highly recommend the UA 2192. It's my priority converter for all mono and stereo tasks and using its DA for monitoring is equally amazing. Though I knew that it will be a big upgrade from the 001 converters I've used before, the difference is pretty much staggering.

BTW, I also use the Lynx Aurora8 and it's a great unit as well. But the 2192 is really in a league of its own and would make total sense as 'golden' 2ch setup.
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10th January 2007
Old 10th January 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k View Post
that's odd, considering his case is that he'll record 'maybe 2 guitars at a time.'

my experience is that most one man project studios do fine with 2 channels of a/d.


gregoire
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ubk
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Interesting, I always find 2 channels of AD/DA to not be enough once you factor in your stereo mix and, at minimum, one headphone mix. Plus, I try to error on the side of caution when it comes to channel counts. I am not necessarily saying this guy need to go purchase 24 channels of AD/DA, but he also needs to plan for the future.
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10th January 2007
Old 10th January 2007
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Quote:
that's odd, considering his case is that he'll record 'maybe 2 guitars at a time.'
my experience is that most one man project studios do fine with 2 channels of a/d.


gregoire
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ubk
Jup ,it works for me too.
I would try the Mytek Stereo96-ADC and Stereo96-DAC.
tradarama
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12th January 2007
Old 12th January 2007
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Maybe I should say I like Rock to Hard Rock...

Do you think one brand favors hard guitars etc better than others?
#13
12th January 2007
Old 12th January 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zwinter View Post
Interesting, I always find 2 channels of AD/DA to not be enough once you factor in your stereo mix and, at minimum, one headphone mix. Plus, I try to error on the side of caution when it comes to channel counts. I am not necessarily saying this guy need to go purchase 24 channels of AD/DA, but he also needs to plan for the future.
Zach brings up a good point. The AD/DA converter isn't exactly the only thing you are going to need when it comes to monitoring as you will need some way to control the level going out of the D/A. I think Zach's concerns about the monitoring could be addressed with the Presonus Central Station as it would provide two headphone outputs with dedicated level control, line outs if you ever want to use a headphone distribution set up (doubtful if you are only recording two tracks by yourself), and also monitor control for a few sets of speakers. It also gives you two more channels of D/A via SPDIF or ADAT which may be used to switch back and forth between your mix and a reference CD.

Having owned both the Rosetta 200 and the Rosetta 800, which I currently own, I would probably say go for the former unless you plan on ever recording a drum set. But be sure and budget about $350-$500 on the Presonus, depending on whether or not you want the remote. It was personally recommended by Dave at Apogee, and I couldn't be happier with it.

Best,
Chris
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13th January 2007
Old 13th January 2007
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You mentioned you use Cubase, although we don't know which version.

SX3 and Cubase 4 allow use of external effects. If you plan to make use of that someday down the road -- maybe an outboard compressor -- you might want some additional channels like ZWinter suggested. External effects cannot share I/O ports with your primary ins and outs. And if you're going to be going out of the box and back in, better converters are always a good idea.

You also mentioned several higher end preamps. I would think that you would want each "permanently" hooked up to its own dedicated input. At least I would.
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