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Is it really worth it to have expensive interfaces/converters? Audio Interfaces
Old 18th September 2007
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dlmorley's Avatar
I bought the SSL alpha Link converters and love them. HUGE difference, compared to either my Motu or Fostex D2424. I mix analogue btw and the difference when running 24 tracks is very big.
Best $3k I have spent recently...
Old 18th September 2007
Gear Addict

Originally Posted by Dysanfel View Post
I sold my RME ADI-2 that I was using with my 002 because the difference was too small to justify spending $700.
then again, relativity.... the Ear, Brain Variable
some people hear that diference BIG enough to spend even more $$ to hear other converters & wordclocks

ofcourse thers a threshold in that performance price ratio curve,
i would not spend $$$ for a mytek 8x192, sounds too clean for me, others would kill to have that sound, i just dont like that sound "subjective"

but if i had $10k i would consider to have a Prism Ada-8hr

RME sound GOOD or BAD its subjective , and depends on the model,
i dont like the sound of my RME hdsp 9632, but love the drivers and the SteadyClock(TM) + emu 1820m AD/DA

if you can hear the A/B diference Big enough, better AD/DA becomes addictive for some
but.. more $$ doesnt always mean better, thats a variable that most people cannot understand easy
most people probably cannot hear it, or can, but cannot tell what it is

it depends also, if you are or not obsessive compulsive with hearing pleasure

and your subjective point of view: some people like tube sound and swear by it, others like transformer sound, others tape sound

i dont like tube that much, i like transformers and tape sound,

if i tell you that i wish to have an esi ex8000, lucid 88192, lynx aurora8, lavry, apogee 16x ADDA, prism ada-8xr, mytek, digidesign hd192

just to hear A/B personally and know what to keep and sell the others,,
means = i hear that diference big enough,
but... would i kill, kidnap, torchure someone to have them ? no,
not enough pleasure "diference its not big enough"
would i regret to die without hearing/having the others ? some day ill hear them
would i envy others that have a more $$$ converter$ & wordclock$ ? not yet, i think becouse i havent heard that diference in A/B tests personally for enough time alone, and that diference can be "subjective"

if i didnt had $3k?, i would be happy with a M-Audio AP192 or a motu 2408mk2, or digi001
its all relative, but not with a behringer ada8000+yamaha dsp factory ds2416 i had, too noisy and buffer size was too big, 512 if i remember well

i purchased a lynx aes16+ls.adat yesterday "wanna test the asio drivers, dma engine & the SyncroLock(TM) vs. SteadyClock(TM)",
i think $aving $ome money to an esi ex8000 or a lynx aurora8, i wish i could have both to test A/B and sell the one i dont like
do i need those ? no, emu 1820m+Steadyclock(TM) is enough,
its the audio addiction "audio slave" part of me
Old 18th September 2007
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7161's Avatar

Originally Posted by DISCERN View Post
Huh? I take it you have never used anything other than just a "decent asio soundcard". Either that, or you don't have the monitors or monitoring environment to support the increased quality of high end conversion.

lol, i'm getting dejavu.. last time it was someone saying I wasnt around in the 80's.

i actualy do have the ability to listen to the difference if a difference existed, but more importantly you say...

Your "proof of the pudding" idea is nonsense. To hear better AD conversion, you need good DA conversion. If you are just using "any decent asio soundcard", then everything you playback through it will sound just like "any decent asio soundcard".

well thats my point, thanks for agreeing. 99.99% of punters will listen to a cd on a car hifi or a home hifi, both of which you say wont show those differences.

so whats the point then if (as you say) the end user cant hear it?

beleive it or not i do actualy think these things out logicaly.
Old 18th September 2007
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amd's Avatar

In my experience, good converters will immediately improve your sound. They will remove a "haze" from your audio and help you make better decisions during a mix. It's kinda like trying to look at the bottom of a lake with muddy water vs. crystal clear water! Yes, they are expensive, but once you have them you will never go back. Also, like high end preamps - it's a personal decision since they all sound good in different ways. Some are very clean, transparent, wider image, colored eltc. Good luck!
Old 19th September 2007
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crufty's Avatar
Here's a somewhat related question:

While I assume it's obvious that the best case scenario is to have a single AD/DA converter for each input/output pair, what do folks think about using patch bay/cables?

My thought is to have gear wired to a line mixer for the creative process, then utilize a patch bay to mix down each midi outboard gear driven track separately, 4 inputs at a time (for say the ensemble). Would a patch bay defeat the purpose of having expensive aka high quality convertors?

Old 19th September 2007
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maks's Avatar

"but there is a reason why people spent thousands of dollars on a reliable and accurate monitoring chain. You really are kidding yourself if you actually buy into the tripe you are typing.

there are also people who buy into alot of audiophile hype, like speaker cables that cost 10k, or a speaker system that is 250k...who is kidding who? will this make the experience of music better? it depends...because that experience is yours it a need?absolutely not, in many cases just a luxury.

buy whats in your budget! and learn it! if you buy into a high-end chain make sure you have a lower end system to be realistic as to what 80% of listeners listen to now days.

in regards to audiophiles who spend 250k on audio systems to listen as closely as possible to string rather for that money buy season tickets to a hall and enjoy it in "full" glory....much cheaper dont you think?

but then again what do i know...

its different when its yours...
Old 19th September 2007
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crufty's Avatar
what are we, gearsluts or gearprudes? Of course we all want the audio equipment that is just out of our financial reach
Old 19th September 2007
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EliasGwinn's Avatar

From a technical point of view, there are some very discrete symptoms of a poor converter. I could explain each, but the most harmful symptom is jitter-induced artifacts. The reason this is the most harmful is because it will add tones to the audio that are completely non-musical related.

For example, if you record a song in C-major, the jitter can cause tones that are not only out of the key, but may not even be an exact note (it could be a pitch between notes). So, you've got each instrument tuned up perfectly and playing C-major together, but the converter is adding a note somewhere between G# and A. The result is, instead of the beautiful, euphoric C-major sound you expected, there are ugly, completely out-of-tune notes added. They aren't as loud as the instruments, obviously, but the beauty of the symphony of C-majors is lost and gone. Its like 5 members of a 30-piece choir singing completely out of key.

The reason jitter is 'non-musical' is because the tones are related to the jitter frequency, which is related to the sampling clock and other noise, none of which is related to the pitches of the music.

This type of distortion is different then, for instance, tube or transformer distortion which will add tones relative to the music you are putting through them.

So, the question may not be, "Can you hear the difference between converters", but more "Can you tell when an instrument is out-of-tune", because that is what jitter will do to your recordings.

When monitoring through a D/A, this will cause you to pull out your hair trying to 'clean up' a mix. You'll be reaching deeper and deeper with your eq's, trying to dig out 'the garbage', when the 'garbage' was actually just jitter-artifacts that were causing the playback to sound bad. Even if your tracks were recorded perfectly, they will sound bad during playback/monitoring when the jitter hits the D/A.

Furthermore, that jitter won't be consistent between playback systems. So, even if you think you're fixing something that will be added by a cheap stereo anyway, you'll be frustrated when you find out that the jitter in the D/A of each cheap CD player/iPod is adding completely different things. Also, you'll realize that you completely adjusted your mix based on the jitter you heard while mixing, and now those adjustments aren't helping, and possibly hurting your mix.

I spent too much time 'chasing ghosts' in my mix before I realized I was trying to fix my D/A instead of my mix.
Old 20th September 2007
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Dysanfel's Avatar
Originally Posted by EliasGwinn View Post
So, the question may not be, "Can you hear the difference between converters", but more "Can you tell when an instrument is out-of-tune", because that is what jitter will do to your recordings.
Or maybe... "does the perceived improvement in jitter justify the money your spending?" heh
Old 21st September 2007
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maks's Avatar

"I'm sorry, it sounds like you are trying to perhaps justify your cheap converters than actually make a qualitative evaluation."

tutt i owned a benchmark dac-1, RME, Apogee, and now have a im not justifying any converter. i speak from personal experience not heresy... its "personal experience"... all i meant to say is that ,a dac-1 or a prizm will not necessarily make you produce/mix better music, for some it will for others not. The animated character in my line i hope is not showing a middle finger, just a gesture of disagreement right? if so, please pardon that, and i will remove...dont want any enemies just a friendly debate.

"Its time to acknowledge a few key points the people seem to be missing entirely.

- Mixing and recording music has a significantly different purpose than just listening to produced audio."

i don't get this..what is this purpose?? i thought the key to producing good music lie's in the "art of listening" to audio youre making. Kinda the same thing, no?

"- Its not your job to make your music translate on every system, its your job to make the absolute best music and mix you can. Its the mastering engineers job to make your music translate on every system. The mastering engineer adheres to the "**** in equals **** out" principle just like the rest of us."

but if you cannot anticipate how the mix will sound to the outside world its a mixing mistake aswell, no?, the mastering engineer isn't capable of correcting your chosen sound sources or relative balance of elements within the mix, ive learned thru countless trials and errors that a great record is still 95% in the mix. If thats off, back to the drawing boards. Or you can pay much more for the ME to mix/master stems.

"Some replies in this thread just leave me scratching my head. I'd say some people have never even used high quality converters judging by some of the responses. Flip on your ipod and have a listen... you can hear differences in quality based on the recording methods and mix created. If an ipod turned everything production into the same generic sound you might have a point, but it doesn't... quite far from it. Feel free to blame Ipods or peoples listening habits, but you really are kidding yourself... so much so that I find it rather amusing."

What i find amusing is your absolute stance on something that is so subjective..i dont disagree that mixing on a neve, ssl, prizm's, weiss's "could" and chances are would give better results to a particular style, producer, musician, but its naive to say its necessary to get a great sound. I define quality by the selection of sound sources and their respective cohesion, arrangement, writing skills, creative mixing , sound design then judging by what converter was used. As i said before whatever floats your boat is fine...if you have the budget to get the high-end stuff go ahead, its all good, who's to say its wrong, but to put down everything else that is not of the absolute best and expensive is.......oh well!.

PS converters over or at 1k dont have much "jitter" these days to be of any major concern...and thinking back to technical specs of gear back in the 80-90's they are far more superior in almost every respect, except in how most use them. This is were the problem remains.
Old 22nd September 2007
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MonoBrow's Avatar

The rme pricerange should be fine.(or any other brand in that pricerange)

We do fine with a creamware scope 1. 4 dsp a scope 6 dsp and a rme multiface 1.Not the best but totally ok for electronic music i think.
Old 22nd September 2007
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maks's Avatar

"What you purpose is like an engineer saying "because people mostly drive cars, I will only build a bridge to support the weight of cars". It blasphemes the art and science of audio engineering. Whats worse is that it really reflects the degree of care and pride you have for your music, which is what baffles me the most."

ok,...if you fail to "discern" what i tried getting at then i have nothing more to add...what ever dude.

I actually do reference my music on ipods, and sometimes in bestbuy on hifi's just for the heck of it and play tracks in clubs, for friends before releasing it, i really don't have to but i find its fun and sometimes get an objective view point with additional ideas i otherwise would miss or never get to because of being stuck in the lab for too long, im not only an engineer but a producer/writer as well...if i didn't care i probably wouldn't go that far, but how in the world would you even grasp how much i care about music or anything else for that matter?what a cheap shot...the art and science of audio engineering isnt in the latest and the greatest of toys to own...but in being the best you can be with whats put in front of you at the moment and bringing out further beauty/destruction for others to experience ....I give up, this is getting too personal and way too subjective.
Old 24th September 2007
Gear Addict
EliasGwinn's Avatar

Originally Posted by maks View Post
PS converters over or at 1k dont have much "jitter" these days to be of any major concern

The converter is not the source of the jitter. Jitter comes from the clock source. The problem arises when a converter cannot reject the jitter. This is still a MAJOR problem with lots of D/A's and A/D's, at all price points.

For example, if you call a company that makes A/D's and ask them if it is better to use an external clock or the internal, they will tell you, "Internal, because it has less jitter."

Studios with high-end converters will often buy expensive master clocks claiming to provide 'low-jitter clocking' to multiple A/D's. If jitter wasn't an issue, they could use any clock source, such as the output from the master A/D.

There are many great converters that are very good at rejecting jitter. But there are also many 'high-end' converters that suffer significantly from jitter. Price won't guarantee anything.

Our converters, the DAC1 and ADC1, are completely immune to jitter. This can be shown with simple, common jitter-rejection measurements, similar to those used by every converter manufacturer. The clocking mechanism in our converters is very unique, and almost unrivaled. Even extremely large amounts of jitter will not affect the performance of these converters at all. The ADC1 will sound the same running off a high-jitter external clock as it will running from its internal clock...the specs won't change a bit.

With that said, I do agree with the statement that a good recording begins with a good song, arrangement and sound sources. A bad converter won't ruin the song, but it may limit the quality of recording you achieve.
Old 24th September 2007
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7161's Avatar

there seems to be rather a penchent on this particular sub-forum for people guessing and then dismissing peoples opinion based on their guess as to the persons experience.

perhaps those of us who disagree do so based on something tangible and we're not conjouring these opinions out of thin air.

I just cant agree with this idea that even 2 people will mix the same on a given system... somehow we're supposed to beleive that given some defined critical 'hi-end' system it will allow two 'professional' engineers/users to mix with identical precision and thus, provided with that hi-end accuracy, they will be able to turn out identical 'professional' mixes.

all mix descisions are subjective, no 2 engineers have the same weighting curve in their ears if it comes to thatso they are going to hear these 'top-end' converters differently to start with. You give the same song to 2 guys in the same studio and they will turn out 2 different mixes.. so whats the point? we're not talking about a hi-end bit of lab measuring kit, where 2 scientists will each get the same exact reading when weighing a carbon atom or something.

thus I maintain, without any personal feelings getting involved, and purely based on sensible logic (cos i dont care as long as the system is decent)... a flat 20-20 decent quality soundcard should give you enuff detail and dynamic range to mix a song. and subjective mix decisions the individual makes will far outwight any influence a hi-end converter might have don't you think?

mixing on any setup is very subjective, and decisions we make arent just effected by the prestine or otherwise listening environment. A top-end system is not going to magicaly tell you even simple stuff like how high to mix the bass or hats & how to best eq those items.. you can in a super hi-end studio turn out a mix which totaly fails to do it, then you take it home and mix it again on way lesser gear and turn out the right mix which has a label jumping up and down for joy and reaching for contracts whereas before they were totaly indifferent to the 'hi-end' studio mix.

if thats not true then why the endless list of failed artist or band launches, all done in the most prestine conditions, with the prestine pro gear and following the rule-book to the letter?

hey, but, there's also nothing wrong with choosing top-end, i just dont agree it guarantees any better results
Old 24th September 2007
Gear Addict
EliasGwinn's Avatar

Originally Posted by 7161 View Post
hey, but, there's also nothing wrong with choosing top-end, i just dont agree it guarantees any better results
I agree. Top-end gear will not guarantee good results.

Neither will an acoustically-designed mix room. Someone could turn out a great mix in a closet.

And high-precision monitors will not guarantee good results.

But when I mix a track, I want to know if I am hearing the actual musical content, or if I'm hearing my room resonate, monitors distort, and/or jittery D-to-a. There will always be weak links in the monitoring chain, but I prefer minimizing them to focus on the mix.
Old 24th September 2007
Gear Addict

Originally Posted by 7161 View Post
thus I maintain... purely based on sensible logic ... a flat 20-20 decent quality soundcard should give you enuff detail and dynamic range to mix a song. and subjective mix decisions the individual makes will far outwight any influence a hi-end converter might have don't you think?

mixing on any setup is very subjective, and decisions we make arent just effected by the prestine or otherwise listening environment. A top-end system is not going to magicaly tell you even simple stuff like how high to mix the bass or hats & how to best eq those items..
why the endless list of failed artist or band launches, all done in the most prestine conditions, with the prestine pro gear and following the rule-book to the letter?

hey, but, there's also nothing wrong with choosing top-end, i just dont agree it guarantees any better results
well, the endless list of failed artist its not becouse a bad mix, or bad soundcard, thats one of the main reasons of having a great soundcard,
if you fail was not that
how can you tell if the soundcard in your laptop is flat 20-20k?
unless you use some software like EAW smaart or JBL smaart or
and flat mic, a flat mic-pre,

mixing with the onboard soundcard of intel 865gbfl its crazy,
it sounds incredible diferent to m-audio audiophile 192

also, and most important, wordclock, jitter and square waveform
just like roland tb303, oberheim ob-8,SEM matrix-1000, korg ms-20
they all have square waves, but they all sound diferent at same pitch

same thing happens with the square waveform of the wordclock, all wordclocks sound a bit diferent, and will affect the way you mix and pan things

a pro-vintage wordclock like alesis ai-2 sounds amazing with older recordings made with similar hi-jitter clocks, but if you listen new songs recorded with extremly low jitter, will sound strange, sometimes highs dissapear
also hi-jitter narrows the stereo image, sometimes sounds great,
more intimate voices, but will make you mix hard pan more than you should

emu 1820m clock sounds like crap with most songs, old and new recordings, sounds verry odd, becouse the jitter of 576ps,
it like odd and even,

tc electronic finalizer express wordclock by s/pdif sounds wrong highs

and most important, wordclock affects pluigin algorithms,
reverbs, eqs and virtual synths are the most affected,
for example: you must eq totally diferent with same EQ plugin
if you use alesis ai-2 or if you use emu 1820m wordclock

and some plugins dont sound good with hi-jitter,
and some plugins dont sound good with low jitter,
sonictimeworks eq1, kjearhusaudio GEQ7, sonic flavours dq7 for example
sonictimeworks sounds great with a clock similar to motu 2408mk2
but with other clocks sounds diferent/vintage

reverbs sound blur with hi jitter, like the mirror in your bathroom when you use really hot watter "vapour"
and with a low jitter clock reverbs sound 3d warp, like star trek space ship in warp speed, when you see faces streching

RME SteadyClock(TM) and M-Audio Audiophile192 are verry nice sounding wordclocks and are verry compatible with other wordclocks = sound good with any recording ive heard so far

other thing, :: i downloaded some free cakewalk samples a few months ago, and there was a trumpet sample/loop, that trumpet sample sounded clipped in m-audio ap192, but sounded ok with emu 1820m DA+m-audio ap192 wordclock by spdif

::i think its exacly the opposite::
A top-end well calibrated system it Does magicaly tell you how high to mix the bass or hats & how to best eq those items..
its not my problem, that you have wax in your ears and cant detect that magic diference, or havent opened your ear

but anyway... any soundcard, and fullrange decent home speakers, and amplifier that does not change the eq curves with SPL (becouse if you mix louder will sound strange at soft volume or vise versa)
+ verry good room eq, will work!
ashly gqx, or urei 537, or bss, or klark teknik

for example the grey behriger truth monitors/speakers, they change the freq.response with diferent SPL
becouse the lack of big magnets, or hi quality magnets like neodinium
or poor ventilation

and not having wax in the ears its verry important,
its all a chain, a weak link will make it fail
the balance its verry important

AD its verry important if you want to record, thats not in debate here
in gearslutz there are samples of ssl alpha link vs. apogee rosetta vs. lucid 8824, and when you import that samples and mix them exactly the same in you pc, the lucid 8824 sounds like a soundblaster compared to SSL alpha link

DA its verry important if you wanna mix confortable

the DA in my RME hdsp9632 v1.7 (analog devices 1852 chip) does sound totally diferent (colorless/unsaturated/grey but can hear verry small details)
than my emu 1820m DA (cirrus logic 5394) + SteadyClock(TM) (verry golden colored but verry soft natural)
and sounds totally diferent than my ex- M-Audio Audiophile 192 (AKM4385 if i remember well) the highs specially sounds plastic, but verry nice, and verry up-front sound

the headphones out in RME 9632 sound exactly the same as RME hdsp main outs, but in emu 1820m headphone outs highs sounds a bit diferent than Main Outs

think of DA+speakers+roomeq+room.treatment::
: like painting with sun glasses in a bright or dark room, in a room with windows and a sunny day or a basement with just one 60w lamp

"have you tryed to paint with sun glasses? in a dark room "

some glasses are dark black, some are pink, some are transparent but have 10x magnification, some are cracked and dirty
the better you see = more detailed your painting will be
constant light its verry important for film or photography or painting

its all about the vibe, if you hear it or see it, it makes easyer to mix/paint/capture it

there are songs that have hidden sounds like tringles and stuff
for example: got to love somebody 99 remix , the vegas remix, if i remember well

if you have bad speakers, bad room, wax in the ears, or bad soundcard, or bad wordclock will not hear the 30 seconds of triangles in the remix

or for example the reverb in::
mind one - hurt of intention, tyrone remix, the reverb sounds amazing, like im really there!
feels like im pulled to a diferent room, (come with me/join me) like a warp speed feeling
translating that 3D effect its hard

and also its verry sad, to hear a great song sound muddy,
like dt8 for example, or jeff mills the bells

"good sound" makes you happy :-) heh, it does stimulate the reward pathways in the brain
good sound its a bit relative, becouse the wax in the ears but..
if you cannot hear it or cannot feel it , you are lossing pleasure
listening its a pleasure like eating, or... or... or...

mixing its the art of making pleasure by listening
like cooking its the art of making eating a pleasure
you can live blind, or you can live hearless, or tastless and make great things in life, but..
Old 24th September 2007
Gear Addict

behringer ada8000 wordclock by adat sounds way better than yamaha dsp fatory (ds2416 + at16) wordclock
Old 24th September 2007
Gear Nut
paintitblack's Avatar

Everyone has pretty good answers here.
The Key is YES!
Spending a lot on an amazingly accurate Converter is definatly worth it and your ears will thank you.
You can still get some pretty good converters that wont completly deaden your wallet, but research a good one you like (not just beacuse you can afford it) be very picky on your desicion... and start saving those dimes.
Old 25th September 2007
Gear Addict

tested today a digidesign digi 002R 002 Rack,
used soundcards:
emu 1820m/1010pci<--adat-->002R
the 002R -10dB unbalanced cable<--outs-->002R inputs 1&2, also tested 5&6
emu 1820m e-dsp drivers with Rmaa5.5
and 002R + Host (Sonar LE, Cubase LE, Samplitude LE, etc..) with 002R Asio Drivers
in the host software was routed:
ADAT IN 1&2--TO-->002R ANALOG oUT1&2--TO-->002R ANALOG IN1&2--TO-->002R ADAT OUTS 1&2
ADAT IN 1&2--TO-->002R ANALOG oUT1&2--TO-->002R ANALOG IN5&6--TO-->002R ADAT OUTS 1&2
E-DSP WAVE OUT 1/2 --to--> ADAT.OUT1/2
Thats similar like testing a emu 1010pci adat loop-back test, but with a 002R inserted in the loop
and the 002R internally routed for DA/AD box = an external analog loop-back
with its own 002R internal clock and emu 1820m/1010pci v1 in external ADAT,
with RME SteadyClock(TM) by spdif directly to 002R s/pdif input (002R set to S/pdif ext.clock),
with EMU 1820m/1010pci 576ps Clock by Adat to 002R ADAT "002R set to ADAT ext.clock"
with EMU 1820m/1010pci 576ps Clock by S/pdif to 002R "002R set to S/PDIF external Clock"
the 002R with rmaa5.5 measures verry pro, nice specs
---->included are all the .sav files<----
but listening.. emu 1820m vs. 002R
WMP9-->RME hdsp9632 spdif out-->emu>emu adat.out-->
the 002R has a veil in front of the sound, verry obvious,
hearing the 002R analog loopback vs. the spdif.input--to-analog-outs vs. 1820m headphone out
sounds like:
"small grainy casset tape color sound but nice without:
the Tape harmonics
or Tape Compression/Saturation
or the Tape Noise or without the Tape freq. response"
dont know how, but sounds like it
probably the analog circuit stage, circuit design, op-amps brand/model, resistors, caps, etc..
The emu 1820m DA sounds golden colored but way more transparent, "what goes in comes out"
closer/similar to s/pdif signal, vs. listening analog loop-back
the 002R headphones-out sounds really bad crap vs. emu 1820m headphones
sounds verry diferent/inferior than real back main outs
also 45% volume headphone out in the 002R = near 10% volume in the 1820m headphone out
the new Digidesign 002R Asio v7.3 drivers are verry nice, works ok at 128samples,
but takes too much time to react, when selecting for the first time the digi asio drivers
and/or apply the Asio Drivers settings
that lag time it takes the digi asio drivers sometimes makes an error to the host software
its just a few seconds but...
works Ok with the 1394a firewire port in my Asus P5W DH Deluxe motherboard,
becouse it has a Texas Instruments Chip
also i tested it with the firewire port in emu 1820m/1010pci v1
(new emus dont have firewire ports) also has Texas Instruments Chip and works OK
but emu firewire port was a bit less efficient becouse emu e-dsp was sharing IRQs with sata
and im lazy to move it to another pci slot
with:: msinfo32.exe
at 128 samples cracks and pops start with 85% cpu in my core2duo 2.13ghz
inserting 84x Gco-1 with vb-audio ffx4 and cakewalk vst-to-dx wrapper
just the GCO-1 can insert a few more
the Mic/Line inputs are a bit diferent specs ("less accurate") than only dedicated Line-Inputs 5&6,7&8
that happens with most "combo" inputs
to me.. emu 1820m sounds similar to s/pdif, detailed and transparent "better" than 002R AD/DA
also RME hdsp9632 (but colorless) or M-audio audiophile 192/2496 sound diferent
its incredible how diferent the same digital 1/0 sequence "same song"
can sound diferent with diferent soundcards
i think probably near 30% of the "tape sound color sound like" of the 002R sound also comes from the inernal wordclock jitter
the most anoing feature appart of the bad headphone out
is that the 002R drivers does not have an independent digidesign wave driver setup/config utility,
like RME hdsp or EMU DSP or M-audio Audiophile 192 or Motu 2408mk2 pci-324
to for example: listen WindowsMediaplayer9 with another external wordclock by adat or s/pdif
is not possible,only with Asio drivers
thats feels verry limited/anoing if you have better/diferent wordclocks arround doing nothing
and want "just to hear music" with them + WMP9 with digi002R DA outs
its an attractive idea "not eficient" to run an asio host like Sonar or cubase just to hear .mp3 music
i like verry much wmp9,10,11 decoder sound and features, have a verry nice sound, compared to other players
i even measured them with RMAA, its in other post about .mp3 vs. mpc codecs
also this digi002R smells a bit like QSC MX-1500a power amps
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Old 26th September 2007
Gear Addict

Originally Posted by DivineChemical View Post
Let me preface by saying of course, spending more and getting a better converter is going to make your recordings sound ten times better.

Is it necessary though? No. Some of the greatest records were recorded on the crappiest gear imaginable. Example: Velvet Acid Christ's "Fun With Knives". It's his best selling album of all time. Since then, he's moved on to having high-end converters, using distressors, etc. And yet, this album was recorded using an M-Audio Delta 1010 into Cubase. During mixing, he did his monitoring with an Aiwa bookshelf stereo system.
dude, if its true, 96k-24bit interface in 1999 was crappiest gear imaginable?
digi001 its 48k-24bit

better use another example
Old 27th September 2007
Gear Addict

Originally Posted by DivineChemical View Post
I still stand by that example because even though it is a 24/96 unit, it has some pretty lousy conversion, hence why they offer the upgrade on Black Lion's site. Besides... mixing on a set of Aiwa consumer speakers? You've gotta admit that's pretty brash.
well, about 1 year ago or so, i went to my near super mall, and listened every brand&model of home stereos available, same radio station, the best settings/sound i could do with each unit, and listened every one, a few times

the red woofer Aiwa with 3 eq knobs was the best sounding
compared to a yamaha ns-10 sounds really good
but my father ended up purchasing the cheapes one, that now its collecting dust

in fact, any decent speaker "audio inputs, good crossover design, and smal diaphragm tweeter near 1", hopefully metal dome" with a great room eq, with urei 537 or ashly gqx, or alesis meq230, or ...
can work for making great mixes
Old 27th September 2007
Lives for gear
gregohb's Avatar

Originally Posted by Strobian View Post
Well great convertors are right. If you want your stuff to sound its best, you need them. In computer recording with external gear, you have to have them or you may as well stay with a console. Any vibe you create is funneled through that window, they can squeeze the life right out of a recording or display the life that was in there. Its like the idea of a good preamp, it brings to life everything run through it.
I think there is a different scale for different things. I am discovering now that there is a huge difference in the sound of mics, and its worth it not to use a cheap one, or even mediocre one. However, the difference in the worst a/d and best is not so great. I had an Apogee rosetta, but for many daily activities i recorded with m-audio stuff, and it sounded fine to me. Maybe if I a/b'ed them I would have noticed some tiny difference. But with the mics's or guitar amps, the difference is huge. thus expensive converters are one of the LEAST cost effective ways to improve your sound. Of course, with unlimited funds, you should always get the best of everything, but with a fixed budget, converters are one of the last items to go expensive on.
Old 27th September 2007
Lives for gear
maks's Avatar

Here's an arbitrary example, i wear different hats in the studio and am not always the engineer who's concentrated on doing one task and that is "damage control". As i produce/write EM alot of times i approach mixing/producing in a reversed manner, another words i pick/choose sounds that later on are not in need of very detailed eq/mixing or very critical attention to detail, as i could simply replace any given sound and by way of creating them know them as well as telephone numbers to my close friends. Prior to writing "alot" of time is spent on sound design, sampling and given alot of individual attention/planning to this arsenal building :-). So in effect when writing "actual music" the sources are well chosen, picked to not clash, and dont need a generic "mixdown" but really a fine tune up(most times in the arrangement), i also think if a producer spends too much time on detail he loses focus on the big picture, admittedly the higher end stuff has swayed me in that direction on a number of occasions, just like a low-end system could put a haze on it. On the other hand when ive done bands, the situation is different because you're building things up from scratch, many times sources are not replaceable(like a tone from a guitarist who forcefully insists on it staying, a drum kit that just isnt appropriate, or changing the arrangement is out of the question) and here i think is where more critical listening/judgment is needed to create balance and the use of higher quality components are certainly more justified.
Old 28th September 2007
Gear Maniac
freshmints's Avatar

how huge is the sonic difference between rme fireface and the enseble
any opinions about that ?
im look at both at the moment add some hardware eqs and comps to my daw setup .
but dont really feel to drop the extra cash on the ensemble .
experience and opinions welcome
Old 28th September 2007
Lives for gear
maks's Avatar

those next to an m-audio card would be "huge".
Some like the rme, some more the ensemble, id take the ensemble, your best bet though would be to try them yourself first.
Old 28th September 2007
Gear Maniac
freshmints's Avatar

well yes try myself...
but then again i to ask in a forum
for experiences and opinions
Old 30th September 2007
Here for the gear

If you want a great interface and dont need many ins and outs checkout the Apogee Duet, its 2in & 2out with a sticker price of $495. I am still waiting for mine to arrive at the local guitar center.

Apogee Electronics: Products: Duet
Old 30th September 2007
Lives for gear
octatonic's Avatar
Originally Posted by maks View Post
all i meant to say is that ,a dac-1 or a prizm will not necessarily make you produce/mix better music, for some it will for others not.
Driving a formula 1 car won't make you a better driver- but try winning a formula 1 race without one.

It is a slightly fatuous example, I admit- but there is an element of truth to it.
Of course you can get by without higher end gear, but I prefer to hear the music and not the converter.
I was less aware a bit earlier in my career and did a few records with cheaper converters (Audiowerk8 and Yamaha O2r, Adats).
I don't like to listen to those recordings anymore.
Whatever works for you though- but I'm happy spending the money.
Old 30th September 2007
Gear Maniac
freshmints's Avatar

i saw the duet advert ,
looks pretty nice , are those the same converters as in the ensemble ?
Old 15th October 2007
Lives for gear

Originally Posted by freshmints View Post
i saw the duet advert ,
looks pretty nice , are those the same converters as in the ensemble ?
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