External A/D with USB audio interface
Old 7th April 2012
  #1
Gear Head
 

Thread Starter
External A/D with USB audio interface

Hi.. I really need you guys' help on this one!

I'm recording an album with a band in a pro high-end studio this summer. Before we go in the studio, we want to record all bass and guitar to then later re-amp in the studio. For this purpose, we need:
- DI and preamp: We settled on Avalon 5u which should serve well for both guitar and bass. This unit needs to be plugged into:
- an A/D converter. We settled on the Mytek Digital Stereo 192 ADC. This of course needs to be connected with an audio interface card (USB PC).

All we need is to record ONLY 1 channel at a time coming from the ADC. Which means we don't care at all about preamps, converters or any other stuff in the interface card, since we get all this from the other mentioned gear. All we need is a reliable latency-problem-free recording environment for PC for recording 1 channel at a time compatible with the gear mentioned above. What can you recommend? Is this Word Clock thing important?

I already own an Mbox 2 Mini which appears to have no way of connecting with the AD converter.
I also own a Tascam US-1800 which DOES have an SPDIF input, and the AD converter DOES have an SPDIF output. Would this work without latency problems etc? Again, what about word clock. Not important? Also I already have some latency problems with this sound card that I notice when I add effects to tracks and do live playback while recording. For example vocals live playback comes after real voice in the room. Same for guitars and other. What causes this? Slow computer, bad drivers or wrong driver/environment settings?

What are the do's and don't's? I'm really stuck here. I have been researching for days now and can't get past this one. PLEASE help!
Old 8th April 2012
  #2
Lives for gear
 

It's not a single channel interface, but RME HDSPe is very close to what you need, in terms of low latency and digital inputs (SPDIF or AES) from your Mytek. If you are using a laptop, again RME Babyface.
Old 8th April 2012
  #3
Gear Head
 

Thread Starter
Yeah, it must be USB.. thanks for opinion.. can I please ask you to also consider all my other questions? :P
Old 8th April 2012
  #5
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BeMoJe View Post
Yeah, it must be USB.. thanks for opinion.. can I please ask you to also consider all my other questions? :P
Wordclock is important when you want to sync multiple AD converters or DA converters. If the syncing clock is bad, multiple devices do not perform sync'ed conversions. But for the single device, AD/DA conversions take place using internal clock, and even with Tascam or other budget audio interfaces, you'll not hear the difference in sound, just because of the quality of the internal clock.

In your case, since Mytek ADC takes care of the ADC using its internal clock, the job you need to do is to pass that digital signal to computers without loss. For that job, latency actually doens't matter. Tascam US-1800 will do that, or even Creative Soundblaster card would do that as long as the card has SPDIF input. Low latency is important when you want to record or play while the AD-DA conversion takes place simultaneously.

Since you need high quality recording to bring in the materials to the high end studio, you also need a good DA converter to make sure your recording was good. Even U5-Mytek ADC combo makes a great recording, how would you check the quality? I would recommend Mytek DAC or Benchmark DAC to match up.

Now, it's getting multi-thousand solution, but these top quality stereo ADC/DACs are mostly used for mastering purposes. I strongly believe you can do a fairy decent job with RME babyface + U5, or SoundDevice USBpre +U5 as suggested above.
Old 8th April 2012
  #6
Gear Head
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by Masaaki View Post
Now, it's getting multi-thousand solution, but these top quality stereo ADC/DACs are mostly used for mastering purposes. I strongly believe you can do a fairy decent job with RME babyface + U5, or SoundDevice USBpre +U5 as suggested above.
Nice! Thanks so much for your reply!! I still have some comments, though.
-
I need to be sure that there are no latency problems, as I would need to do amp simulations for the guitars WHILE recording them to get the right feel. But I understand I can achieve this with the two USB interfaces you guys have suggested.
-
About the conversion. I realize I can get decent results with RME babyface + U5, but.. I must have as good conversion as they have in the studio so our recorded guitars and bass will not be the bottle neck / weakest link of the recordings degrading the entire production. In the studio they use the Pro Tools HD2 systems for tracking. I understand the converters in these systems are much better than the RME converters. What do you know about this? How about the RME ADI-2, will this compare to the HD systems?
Old 8th April 2012
  #7
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BeMoJe View Post
I need to be sure that there are no latency problems, as I would need to do amp simulations for the guitars WHILE recording them to get the right feel. But I understand I can achieve this with the two USB interfaces you guys have suggested.
Well, if you use amp sim during the recording, it's better to get the one with low latency, and my suggestion goes to RME Babyface.

As to the comparison to PT-HD2, I don't know how the conversion of HD2 sounds, so I can't tell. But I believe U5's tone/boost selection will have more impact than anything else, and that's the thing I wonder. Why not using clean DI with clean pre? (I have U5, and it's designed to color the tone...right?)
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