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HDX Upgrade - Choosing converters
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azirkin
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#1
21st March 2012
Old 21st March 2012
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HDX Upgrade - Choosing converters

Hey All,

I'd like some advice here.

We have a large credit with an audio vendor and are considering using it to purchase an HDX upgrade. We are currently running HD2 with an SSL Delta Link and Alpha Link MADI chain used for I/O. I figure that:

(1) We're committed to the Pro Tools platform;
(2) We're going to have to go to HDX at some point; and
(3) The value of my HD2 equipment (including the Delta Link) is falling.

I've also figured that if we do the upgrade, it probably makes sense to get on the Avid interface platform as well. I know that eventually the third party manufacturers will get their systems to work, but I don't think there's much value in being a guinea pig in that process.

Our setup requires 24 channels of analog i/o and 8 channels of AES/EBU digital i/o, all of which I get on the Alpha Link with 16 digital channels to spare.

I see two options for converters, then:

(1) Go completely to the AVID I/Os. I would need to get two boxes - a 16x16 analog unit an 8x8x8.

(2) Get an AVID HD MADI and continue to use the Alpha-Link. That would leave open the possibility of using other MADI-based converters down the line (Burl?) with perfect PT integration. I don't really don't know how the SSL converters compare to the new AVIDs.

Option (1) is a bit more expensive. The 16x16 and HD MADI are the same price, and that options requires the additional purchase of the $3,000 8x8x8.

I'd love some thoughts.

Adam
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#2
21st March 2012
Old 21st March 2012
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I would go for the HDX with AVID MADI box. You can keep your Alphalink for the moment and when the money is coming is you can upgrade to Burl,RME,DAD etc etc with madi connection.
But have to say that the new AVID I/O sounds very very good.
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21st March 2012
Old 21st March 2012
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Go with the Avid conversion
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21st March 2012
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I dont know what you need but I have a HD16x16 analog and its great ,way more detail than my old 192i/o.
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21st March 2012
Old 21st March 2012
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Im having a similar problem, but various differences in my needs,

Option 1- madi route
Option 2- avid converter route
Option 3 mix of two, gives choices and throws a little more fun into it

I'm leaning towards option 3, but I wanted to get a second opinion.
For all, I'm looking for 32 in 32 out channel wise,
I was thinking for the mix 8 madi 24 avid.
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21st March 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Weezyanna View Post
Im having a similar problem, but various differences in my needs,

Option 1- madi route
Option 2- avid converter route
Option 3 mix of two, gives choices and throws a little more fun into it

I'm leaning towards option 3, but I wanted to get a second opinion.
For all, I'm looking for 32 in 32 out channel wise,
I was thinking for the mix 8 madi 24 avid.

I would avoid ...Choices and Fun!

Gt a system that rocks and run with it. If you need MADI later, obviously there will be a monetary reason and buying another I/O (MADI capable) should;t be an issue
#7
21st March 2012
Old 21st March 2012
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Are you satisfied/happy with the Madi SSL conversion you have now? If so, I would recommend that you stick with it, at least for now. If not, definitely check out the Avid IO.

To wit, I have an HD2 rig with Apogee AD-16x/DA-16x conversion. I had the Avid Analog 16x16 HD io here for a couple of weeks in hopes of upgrading to a full HDX system, but sent it back because I vastly preferred the Apogees. And to be clear, this wasn't an "audiophile" issue for me -- the Avid just didn't perform well in my set-up, for what it's worth.

Anyway, I'm certainly NOT saying the HD io is bad, just that it's not for everyone. The grass isn't always greener -- JB
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21st March 2012
Old 21st March 2012
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Avid is a good choice. Happy user here..
#9
22nd March 2012
Old 22nd March 2012
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A 192 Digital I/O will give you 16 Channels of Digital I/O with HDX.
we use 2 of them on HDX and they are dirt cheap now.
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22nd March 2012
Old 22nd March 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T_R_S View Post
A 192 Digital I/O will give you 16 Channels of Digital I/O with HDX.
we use 2 of them on HDX and they are dirt cheap now.
so the blue face 192's work with hdx? I was under the impression you had to buy the new avid converters?
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22nd March 2012
Old 22nd March 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peeweedrummer View Post
so the blue face 192's work with hdx? I was under the impression you had to buy the new avid converters?
They work fine with 32 bit Pro Tools and I believe are even still officially "supported."

They might not work with 64 bit Pro Tools at least on an Apple due to Apple not supporting a lot of older code in 64 bit apps. I recently learned that this issue is much bigger for older mac programs and plug-ins than simply recompiling for 64 bits.
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#12
23rd March 2012
Old 23rd March 2012
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#13
23rd March 2012
Old 23rd March 2012
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any MADI converter is...if you own an HDIO MADI
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23rd March 2012
Old 23rd March 2012
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Quote:
any MADI converter is...if you own an HDIO MADI
I don´t think there is a MADI option in the HD I/O. Only AES and Analogue.

For MADI you have the HD MADI, but you´ll need a MADI capable converter like the Alpha Link the OP has.
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23rd March 2012
Old 23rd March 2012
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23rd March 2012
Old 23rd March 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jb_studio View Post
Are you satisfied/happy with the Madi SSL conversion you have now? If so, I would recommend that you stick with it, at least for now. If not, definitely check out the Avid IO.

To wit, I have an HD2 rig with Apogee AD-16x/DA-16x conversion. I had the Avid Analog 16x16 HD io here for a couple of weeks in hopes of upgrading to a full HDX system, but sent it back because I vastly preferred the Apogees. And to be clear, this wasn't an "audiophile" issue for me -- the Avid just didn't perform well in my set-up, for what it's worth.

Anyway, I'm certainly NOT saying the HD io is bad, just that it's not for everyone. The grass isn't always greener -- JB
I have the same rig- HD2 w/ apogee AD/DA16x, rosetta 800 and rosetta 200 (PCIX).
I am thinking about checking the avid converters as I approach this inevitable upgrade from dual 2.5G5 to a new computer and protools rig.
What didn't you like about them?
Did the internal fans kick on ever? Were they noisy?
Did the conversion sound OK, or it does it still sound "cramped, crowded and edgy" like the previous digi converters?

Any input will help me make decisions over the next few months.

I'm really just hoping my rig keeps working until there are new Mac desktop machines.
Sad that I will probably have to spend around $20K to get no change in functionality (mostly) from my current rig.

I look forward to being on a new version of the software with the various improvements that come with it. I also like the idea of a faster computer!

only time will tell...
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23rd March 2012
Old 23rd March 2012
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Quote:
Although, Avid won't sell the HDX card without an interface, will they?
Not sure about that, I've read contradictory articles. You better ask your dealer. Anyway, if they only sell with the interface, I think I would change DAW, tha's unaceptable to force people to buy their own interfaces, just for commercial reasons. There's no technical reason for that as far as I know.
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23rd March 2012
Old 23rd March 2012
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Balanceman,

I've used the Avid I/O's at sessions at Jungle City, where they are clocked off an Antelope Atomic Clock, and they sounded fine there. If I were you, I would definitely look into the Avid since it's the obvious, practical solution for those of us who want to upgrade our computer rigs and stick with Pro Tools.

That being said, my experience with the Avid in my own studio was pretty bleak. In my room, running off its own clock, the Avid sounded very mid-forward, dense, and harsh, with a narrow stereo field. It was perplexing. Naturally I had my tech come in and troubleshoot the whole situation, but between the two of us and my partner we couldn't find any issues. The calibration, the clocking, the cabling, and power were all solid, but for some reason it just didn't sound good. The fan noise was not an issue at all, just the overall tone of the device. When I hooked the Apogees back up, everything sounded great again.

I experimented with the Avid for several days over a period of a couple of weeks, both recording and listening, and I was so unhappy with it that I had to send it back. Altogether it was odd, and very unexpected. Granted, I think my experience is an 'outlier' one, but empirically I wanted to share it because it cost me some serious downtime (and shipping money), and I would have approached the situation differently if I had read an account like this first.

I hope that helps, and I wish you all the best in your upgrade quest.
#19
23rd March 2012
Old 23rd March 2012
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Quote:
I've used the Avid I/O's at sessions at Jungle City, where they are clocked off an Antelope Atomic Clock
You mean they had an Antelope clock getting 10 MHZ from the Antelope 10M?

Or was in Oven mode, meaning without the 10 MHZ feed?
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23rd March 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by balanceman View Post
I have the same rig- HD2 w/ apogee AD/DA16x, rosetta 800 and rosetta 200 (PCIX).
I am thinking about checking the avid converters as I approach this inevitable upgrade from dual 2.5G5 to a new computer and protools rig.
What didn't you like about them?
Did the internal fans kick on ever? Were they noisy?
Did the conversion sound OK, or it does it still sound "cramped, crowded and edgy" like the previous digi converters?

Any input will help me make decisions over the next few months.

I'm really just hoping my rig keeps working until there are new Mac desktop machines.
Sad that I will probably have to spend around $20K to get no change in functionality (mostly) from my current rig.



I look forward to being on a new version of the software with the various improvements that come with it. I also like the idea of a faster computer!

only time will tell...
the apogee X stuff is great IMO...also Ihave AviIO...and I find that it is great too...definitely NOT narrow stereo field over here...the opposite actually...also NOT dense AT ALL...no harsh over here either...those issues sound like a rig that isn;t clocking properly for some reason that must have been a bad one
#21
23rd March 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UncleBubba View Post
the apogee X stuff is great IMO...also Ihave AviIO...and I find that it is great too...definitely NOT narrow stereo field over here...the opposite actually...also NOT dense AT ALL...no harsh over here either...those issues sound like a rig that isn;t clocking properly for some reason that must have been a bad one
I agree, it does seem like that, and we triple checked all the clocking settings. It also seemed like it could be an analog issue, like for instance if the DA were driving the console too hard it could result in that kind of effect. But we checked the calibration and experiment with many different levels, both in Pro Tools and using the trimmers on the Avid, and it didn't improve. I just want to stress that we tried everything to get it working properly. Certainly there must have been something in my room that was throwing it off, but I could never isolate the problem. Either that or the unit itself was just defective.

I don't want to scare anyone off from buying an Avid IO because of my isolated experience. They are definitely capable of sounding great, and other studios are having success with them. It should be at the top of the list if someone is moving to HDX. But for what it's worth I just couldn't get it to play well with my system -- JB
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23rd March 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulo m View Post
You mean they had an Antelope clock getting 10 MHZ from the Antelope 10M?

Or was in Oven mode, meaning without the 10 MHZ feed?
I'm not totally sure. The assistant said that everything was running off the 10M, but I didn't personally check to see whether the clock source was oven or atomic.

BTW, it was a great experience working there. Very nice rooms and staff. I would definitely go back -- JB
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24th March 2012
Old 24th March 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by balanceman View Post
I have the same rig- HD2 w/ apogee AD/DA16x, rosetta 800 and rosetta 200 (PCIX).
I am thinking about checking the avid converters as I approach this inevitable upgrade from dual 2.5G5 to a new computer and protools rig.
What didn't you like about them?
Did the internal fans kick on ever? Were they noisy?
Did the conversion sound OK, or it does it still sound "cramped, crowded and edgy" like the previous digi converters?

Any input will help me make decisions over the next few months.

I'm really just hoping my rig keeps working until there are new Mac desktop machines.
Sad that I will probably have to spend around $20K to get no change in functionality (mostly) from my current rig.

I look forward to being on a new version of the software with the various improvements that come with it. I also like the idea of a faster computer!

only time will tell...
The new HD interfaces are much better sounding than the 192s and HDX is great. I really like HD10 not much different than 9 but there is features that do improve work flow and sound quality. What else could we ask for plus it will be 64bit next year .
#24
24th March 2012
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Is it true your HD TDM plugins will not work with HDX? That really sucks
You have to buy them all over again
#25
26th March 2012
Old 26th March 2012
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You have a working rig now however money burning a hole in your pocket is basicially what you are saying. Many HD users think the smart course of action is to WAIT until PT goes 64 bit in the near future and see how that shakes out and see what gear may be orphaned along the way. More importantly waiting to see how many plugs make the jump to AAX DSP to see if going Native would be a better option. Could that same credit be spent on other gear that would improve your operation may be options you should be exploring too.
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26th March 2012
Old 26th March 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tube World View Post
Is it true your HD TDM plugins will not work with HDX? That really sucks
You have to buy them all over again
Well, you'll have to update them, just like when you move os. You won't have to buy then again from scratch.

Of course, this is the price of progress. Tdm won't work at all with 64 bit. No doubt there will be some who moan about this too...
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26th March 2012
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At this point I would say go for the Madi, with the posibility of everybody having to re- engineer their Digi link conection after the release of 11 it gives you the most longterm options for upgrade at this point in time.
If your happy with the SSL at this point, and clients are happy it only makes sense. Plus it wouldn't suprise me if more manufactures look at Madi as the future, remember 10 isn't the potential problem 11 is!
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26th March 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddageek View Post
At this point I would say go for the Madi, with the posibility of everybody having to re- engineer their Digi link conection after the release of 11 it gives you the most longterm options for upgrade at this point in time.
If your happy with the SSL at this point, and clients are happy it only makes sense. Plus it wouldn't suprise me if more manufactures look at Madi as the future, remember 10 isn't the potential problem 11 is!
The HD io will of course be fully pt 11 compatible - that is surely the most guaranteed to work? Any of the new converters will be fine, including the madi io.

The 192s may work of course...
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26th March 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bassmankr View Post
You have a working rig now however money burning a hole in your pocket is basicially what you are saying. Many HD users think the smart course of action is to WAIT until PT goes 64 bit in the near future and see how that shakes out and see what gear may be orphaned along the way. More importantly waiting to see how many plugs make the jump to AAX DSP to see if going Native would be a better option. Could that same credit be spent on other gear that would improve your operation may be options you should be exploring too.
I agree with that last point.

More than anything, I've been concerned that the value of my existing stuff is going to plummet, although I feel a bit better about that now that I know the Delta-Link is HDX-compatible.

It's not really a case of money "burning a hole in my pocket." It's more about protecting investments (or, rather, limiting losses).
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27th March 2012
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Well anytime you lock your business into one platform you are fu**ed financially. That company has you by the balls. The only way to be on the controlling end is being flexible and multi-sourcing. So you locked yourself into Avid, you are in the same boat as many others and bottom line is it's going to cost you money. Maybe it's just best to accept it and focus on more positive things. If you can't get it out of your head about losing money then sell your Avid stuff now (it will only go down in value), then grab Cubase and use your existing gear. If your computer is long in the tooth put together a $1k Intel 2600K Sandybridge build and you will be fine for another 5 years. ANY choice you make will come with it's own set of compromises.
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