MadiXtreme, Mixpander, or HDSPe Madi for SSL Alpha Link?
Old 27th January 2009
  #1
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MadiXtreme, Mixpander, or HDSPe Madi for SSL Alpha Link?

Hey guys, 1st post on here, so lets hope it goes well

I'm trying to decide which I/O solution to go with an SSL Alpha-link Madi AX. There are a few people on here that love the mixpander route, but I was wondering what differences there would be going with either the Madixtreme or the HDSPe? Besides price, any performance differences between the three? (other than the HDSPe being PCIe)

I don't think it matters, but I'm using this in a mixerless rig, so its just preamps --->SSL--->DAW on the way in, with the occasional trip through some external compression.


Thanks Guys!
Old 27th January 2009
  #2
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bumpity bump
Old 28th January 2009
  #3
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I went the RME route and LOVE IT. Keep in mind I am a big total mix fan and have used RME for years.

I decided not to go with the Mixpander due to the proximity needed from the computer (short cable), the size of the card, and that I didn't want to learn a new way of mixing my ins and outs when I already like total mix (I am also running mixerless)

I did not go with the Madiextreme because it does not have built in mixer software and is just a card to get the audio info your computer and you have to mix your in's and out's directly in your recording program (for me, Nuendo)

RME comes with an extra stereo out on the card which sounds great, has solid drivers, uses total mix and digicheck, and I can put my computer in another room and run a long Madi cable run without any issues.

PS I LOVE the SSL converters. My mixes have never come together so quickly nor have they translated so well. My bass guitar tracks are tighter, more round, and are far easier to fit together with other tracks.

Any of the cards would be great but that was why I went with the RME
Old 28th January 2009
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dudleys100 View Post
I went the RME route and LOVE IT. Keep in mind I am a big total mix fan and have used RME for years.

I decided not to go with the Mixpander due to the proximity needed from the computer (short cable), the size of the card, and that I didn't want to learn a new way of mixing my ins and outs when I already like total mix (I am also running mixerless)

I did not go with the Madiextreme because it does not have built in mixer software and is just a card to get the audio info your computer and you have to mix your in's and out's directly in your recording program (for me, Nuendo)

RME comes with an extra stereo out on the card which sounds great, has solid drivers, uses total mix and digicheck, and I can put my computer in another room and run a long Madi cable run without any issues.

PS I LOVE the SSL converters. My mixes have never come together so quickly nor have they translated so well. My bass guitar tracks are tighter, more round, and are far easier to fit together with other tracks.

Any of the cards would be great but that was why I went with the RME
What he said
Old 28th January 2009
  #5
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Thread Starter
awesome, that is great insight. Thanks very much!
Old 28th January 2009
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Empire Prod View Post
What he said
x2

Luca
Old 28th January 2009
  #7
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Swami Digital's Avatar
 

Thanks for the insights! I am also in the same position of trying to figure out which card to use with my alphalink madi ax.

-D
Old 28th January 2009
  #8
If I may chime in — I also have the RME HDSPe MADI to ALpha Link MADI AX — what they said thumbsup

-B-
Old 29th January 2009
  #9
Gear maniac
 

the ssl mixpander has a lot of dsp on the card that will run the ssl soundscape mixer which will have zero latency and you can add plug-ins like the ssl eq with zero latency.

you can also run the SSL soundscape recording ( SOON TO BE UPDATED )software which now runs natively with a mixpander card (just hard drive (s) to your computer )
Old 29th January 2009
  #10
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one question though:

with one RME MADI Card I can only run ONE SSL Alpha-Link with 24 Analog In/Out, right?
If I want more than 24 Analog In/Out (e.g. 2 SSL Alpha-Link's), I have to buy another RME MADi Card, right?
Where as the SSL MADI Xtreme 128 can run 2 SSL Alpha-Link for a total of 48 Analog In/Out, right?

Just asking because if all the assumptions above are correct, then the SSL MADI Xtreme 128 is way inexpensive to run 48 Analog In/Out.

Or do I miss anything?
Old 29th January 2009
  #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by mobilemozart View Post
one question though:

with one RME MADI Card I can only run ONE SSL Alpha-Link with 24 Analog In/Out, right?
If I want more than 24 Analog In/Out (e.g. 2 SSL Alpha-Link's), I have to buy another RME MADi Card, right?
Where as the SSL MADI Xtreme 128 can run 2 SSL Alpha-Link for a total of 48 Analog In/Out, right?

Just asking because if all the assumptions above are correct, then the SSL MADI Xtreme 128 is way inexpensive to run 48 Analog In/Out.

Or do I miss anything?
That's correct. The difference is that the RME offered TotalMix where the MADI Xtreme is straight I/O. If you don't need the software mixing, you'd be better off with the Xtreme 128 if more I/O is what you want. For my purposes, MADI turned out to be unnecessary due to a change in equipment choices. Now I feel that I would have been better off with the Mixpander and its DSP. I'll probably make that change at some point down the road, when the idea of losing $1,500 of my favorite dollars on a perfectly good RME card doesn't hurt so much.

-B-
Old 30th January 2009
  #12
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Thread Starter
well, I'm only linking one alphalink, and with the MadiXtreme 64 being $600 cheaper than the HDSPe, I'm having a hard time convincing myself that the mixer software is worth that much of a price difference...
Old 30th January 2009
  #13
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I lucked out and got the RME Madi card (PCI) for $500 on Ebay. I also got the Alpha Link Madi AX for $1900 shipped brand new from a dealer in the UK

I feel pretty lucky
Old 30th January 2009
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dudleys100 View Post
I lucked out and got the RME Madi card (PCI) for $500 on Ebay. I also got the Alpha Link Madi AX for $1900 shipped brand new from a dealer in the UK

I feel pretty lucky
so there is a pci (pci-x) version of the madi-card? i was under the impression there´s only pci-e? thanks
Old 30th January 2009
  #15
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RME: Hammerfall DSP MADI

A little cheaper than the PCI-E but I was happy to use it because it left more PCI-E slots on my computer for UAD-1'a and UAD-2's
Old 30th January 2009
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Millennium Skies View Post
well, I'm only linking one alphalink, and with the MadiXtreme 64 being $600 cheaper than the HDSPe, I'm having a hard time convincing myself that the mixer software is worth that much of a price difference...


That is also my line of thinking. I can think of many things I could spend that $600 on too. It's a dilemma.

-D
Old 31st January 2009
  #17
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by dudleys100 View Post
RME: Hammerfall DSP MADI

A little cheaper than the PCI-E but I was happy to use it because it left more PCI-E slots on my computer for UAD-1'a and UAD-2's
i like the idea of keeping PCIe ports free, so the question then becomes: what can the HDSP not do that the HDSPe can do performance wise?
Old 28th September 2009
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mobilemozart View Post
one question though:

with one RME MADI Card I can only run ONE SSL Alpha-Link with 24 Analog In/Out, right?
If I want more than 24 Analog In/Out (e.g. 2 SSL Alpha-Link's), I have to buy another RME MADi Card, right?
Where as the SSL MADI Xtreme 128 can run 2 SSL Alpha-Link for a total of 48 Analog In/Out, right?

Just asking because if all the assumptions above are correct, then the SSL MADI Xtreme 128 is way inexpensive to run 48 Analog In/Out.

Or do I miss anything?
Sorry to resurrect an old thread, but isn't this wrong?

MadiXtreme 64 card + Alpha Link Madi AX + 24ch of analog to adat convertors make this a 48 i/o system, right??



Herwig
Old 28th September 2009
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeadPoet View Post
Sorry to resurrect an old thread, but isn't this wrong?

MadiXtreme 64 card + Alpha Link Madi AX + 24ch of analog to adat convertors make this a 48 i/o system, right??



Herwig
Correct, all 48 channels are alive and well in this setup.

War
Old 29th September 2009
  #20
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dudleys100's Avatar
 

Yup, same outcome with the RME
Old 29th September 2009
  #21
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I just bought a ssl-alphalink. And because i didn't have enough money, i had to buy a RME 9652 (the one with 3xadati/o) second-hand for 100,- euro.
I got a new I7 computer. So i can run plugs while tracking very low latency. In totalmix you can mix your daw-signal (with plugs) with the dry signal (4ms latency in think) and send that to a headphone mix.
So i think i can do pretty much the same now, as with the mixpander or Mixtreme cards.
Only my plugs are not as good as the ssl plugs, and i can't go higher then 44.100 (24 tracks simultaneous). But it saved me something between 800 and 900 euro. Altough i'm planning on buying one of these cards in the future.
I hope this is of any use to you.

Greetz, Nielzz
Old 4th October 2009
  #22
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Got my alpha link ax and MX64 card. Works great for the small amount of time I had to test it (some sessions later this week will tell me more).


Setup is great:


DAW1 (cubase, my main daw) has the madi card
DAW2 (PTMP, for outside people who prefer pt) has a lightbridge.


The alphalink has 24 i/o to my studio/desk, I have a spare behringer ada8000 for 8 'extra' channels and the other 2 adat ports are linked to the lightbridge.

I can have the alphalink on either daw without repatching any (optical or other) cables.



I have a Mutec Smart Clock which I'll be testing this week (if I hear any difference with or without). Chances are I don't hear a diff so that'll be up for sale because I don't really need it anymore.




Herwig
Old 19th October 2009
  #23
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bonestar's Avatar
 

I've been doing a bit of digging. The RME PCIe MADI card sells for $1,600, whereas the SSL MADI PCIe card sells standalone for $800 or as low as $300 if purched as part of an Alpha Link AX bundle. Either way, that seems like an enormous premium to pay for the direct monitoring the RME provides.

Am I missing something?
Old 19th October 2009
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jslator View Post
I've been doing a bit of digging. The RME PCIe MADI card sells for $1,600, whereas the SSL MADI PCIe card sells standalone for $800 or as low as $300 if purched as part of an Alpha Link AX bundle. Either way, that seems like an enormous premium to pay for the direct monitoring the RME provides.

Am I missing something?
No, go for it - also, on a Mac Pro the latency are senational so maybe the monitoring isn't such a big issue at all?
Old 19th October 2009
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mobilemozart View Post
No, go for it - also, on a Mac Pro the latency are senational so maybe the monitoring isn't such a big issue at all?
I'm using a PC with Cubase. I would assume the latency is low on that platform as well. I guess if guys are using the SSL PCIe MADI card with success, then direct monitoring maybe isn't as big a deal as I first thought.
Old 19th October 2009
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jslator View Post
I'm using a PC with Cubase. I would assume the latency is low on that platform as well. I guess if guys are using the SSL PCIe MADI card with success, then direct monitoring maybe isn't as big a deal as I first thought.
OK, I'm on a Mac Pro - can't speak for PC. However, I'm using a console for monitoring so I don't need software monitoring anyway. The reason why I still want a system with low latency is live playing of Virtual Instruments and also accessing Plug-Ins from Analog Inputs (e.g. Console FX send to Waves IR-1).
Old 19th October 2009
  #27
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got the mixpander without mixer, it´s very stable, very good
i think rme is very stable, too
i do monitoring analog with splitting my preamps, no latency...
if i need reverb, no problem, latency is predelay..
i´m still very satisfied that i went the alphlink route, one of the greatest gear decisions at my place... from fireface and adi-8 and multiface before
Old 20th October 2009
  #28
Gear Head
 

How is the sound ?

Okay, so the AlphaLink MADI AX is relatively affordable.

But how is the sound ? If you could compare it to Apogee, RME, etc, that would help.

Thanks...
Old 20th October 2009
  #29
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Can someone please answer this for me. I've checked the SSL Alpha Link MADI-AX manual, and the answer sin't 100% clear...

Can I route the 24 analog inputs to both the MADI outputs and the 24 ADAT outputs at the same time? In other words, can the Alpha Link serve as a digital channel splitter (routing each input to both the computer for recording and an external digital mixer for monitoring)?

Can it also route to the 24 analog outs at the same time? I know it doesn't have internal mixing capabilities, but maybe it can just pass the audio straight through on a channel-by-channel basis?
Old 21st October 2009
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidespinosa View Post
Okay, so the AlphaLink MADI AX is relatively affordable.

But how is the sound ? If you could compare it to Apogee, RME, etc, that would help.

Thanks...
can compare to FF and Multiface and ADI-8
SSL is a huge improvement for me







... yes, i work for ssl, just kiddin´
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