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how important is it to have a separate DA?
Old 28th March 2018
  #1
Here for the gear
 

how important is it to have a separate DA?

Hello everyone,

I’ve recently been blessed with a job opportunity that has given me a little more saving room to be able to purchase some gear and I recently purchased an antelope Orion 32 for my AD/DA coming from an apollo twin/focusrite Safire combination. That upgrade was long overdue for me.

My next step is to replace my monitor controller. I’m currently using a presonus monitor station but I’ve been looking at the antelope satori, the dangerous st, and the grace m905 analog.

I guess I have a couple of questions..

1. How good is the DA conversion on the antelope Orion 32? I know on the pure 2 they promote “mastering grade quality DA”, but no word on the Orion 32.

2. If the Orion already has a DA, how important is it to get a monitor controller with a built in DAC (crane song avocet ,grace m905 digital) or is this redundant and not necessary?

3. Out of the satori, the st, and the m905 (analog) which would you choose?

And....or......

4. If it is absolutely an upgrade in quality to go digital which would you choose? M905 digital or the crane song?

I just want something that is going to last and to be of great quality. If I need to save more for the digital versions I will, but if the only convenience for my setup is connectivity I’d rather save 1000 and I’ll be halfway to getting a used api3124+ On my list of things to get

All of your replies are much appreciated and I thank you all in advance!
Old 28th March 2018
  #2
Lives for gear
 

Go with the Grace m905 analog (and definitely look on the used market to save some extra.)

Get the api or anything else and worry less about monitoring. Your monitoring will be way better than the Presonus. Make sure to actually learn your monitor controller and calibrate it (which the Presonus can barely do and not well.)

Yes, the 905 digital converters are better but you haven't spoken about the rest of your room/monitoring and the minuscule improvement there is going to be nothing like the creative improvement of other gear. Same for the Avocet. The big thing about the Avocet and Grace are the features that extend beyond basic monitoring (sub integration, mono, phase, etc)

Skip the Satori and get a proper controller that is standalone from any computer needs.

(The Dangerous ST is good too but one tier below the Grace and Cranesong and one tier above the Satori)
Old 28th March 2018
  #3
Another benefit of having a separate monitoring DA, is that the 32 channels stay free. Probably in a lot of situations you'll always have a spare pair DA-outs. If your room is setup and configured for 32 channels, you may end up in a predicament if you need all 32 channels for tracking or mixdown.
Old 28th March 2018
  #4
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pentagon View Post
Go with the Grace m905 analog (and definitely look on the used market to save some extra.)

Get the api or anything else and worry less about monitoring. Your monitoring will be way better than the Presonus. Make sure to actually learn your monitor controller and calibrate it (which the Presonus can barely do and not well.)

Yes, the 905 digital converters are better but you haven't spoken about the rest of your room/monitoring and the minuscule improvement there is going to be nothing like the creative improvement of other gear. Same for the Avocet. The big thing about the Avocet and Grace are the features that extend beyond basic monitoring (sub integration, mono, phase, etc)

Skip the Satori and get a proper controller that is standalone from any computer needs.

(The Dangerous ST is good too but one tier below the Grace and Cranesong and one tier above the Satori)
Awesome. Thanks so much for your reply. It helped me gain some insight.

My room is treated best it can be without making it a permanent install ( I will be moving soon ) but I do have bass traps and other treatment. My monitors are the Neumann kh120, and I use a pair of avantone mixcubes as my grot box. I love the way the Neumann’s sound, I just feel I’m not getting the most out of my setup. Thankfully, my mixes translate but there’s always room for improvements in my chain
Old 28th March 2018
  #5
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I use an Avocet into my 0300's and Auratones.

My converter is a HEDD 192 so I know at least my monitor controller is giving as good a performance as my converters.

The Avocet is my personal favorite, but I'm sure the Grace and Dangerous ST is also very good.
Old 28th March 2018
  #6
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by stardustmedia View Post
Another benefit of having a separate monitoring DA, is that the 32 channels stay free. Probably in a lot of situations you'll always have a spare pair DA-outs. If your room is setup and configured for 32 channels, you may end up in a predicament if you need all 32 channels for tracking or mixdown.
My plan is to run 16 inputs via preamps and outs 1-8 for monitor controller, 9-16 hearback system and 17-32 for summing. I also need to incorporate my tc electric clarity but I can run that via ADAT as well as my hearback system
Old 28th March 2018
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thehightenor View Post
I use an Avocet into my 0300's and Auratones.

My converter is a HEDD 192 so I know at least my monitor controller is giving as good a performance as my converters.

The Avocet is my personal favorite, but I'm sure the Grace and Dangerous ST is also very good.
Wow that’s the dream combination right there! I’m just trying to achieve consistency in my path which I don’t have right now. I see the way everyone’s eyes light up when I mention the avocet, but I unfortunately haven’t been able to try them out. I’m only familiar with the m905 and the St and it makes me wonder why In some forums people say there’s zero contest with the avocet and not look any further. I’ve used my setup with a proper monitor controller and my current monitor controller served its purpose, but it’s definitely been the weakest part of my system and it was night and day to switch. Is it that much of a difference sonically? Those are the things that make me hesitant about my decision because if There is a leap in quality the extra 1000 is a worthy investment to me. On the other hand, if I don’t need to spend the extra 1000 there are other investments I need to make. So I’m torn between being practical and being a gearslut

Also, The kh310s are the Neumann branded 0300’s right? I own the kh120 and they are great for my room and I’ve learned them quickly but I’m afriaid they might not be enough for me in a year when I go into a bigger space. I’ve been eyeing the kh 310s for that purpose
Old 28th March 2018
  #8
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skybluerental's Avatar
 

The DA on the Orion is very high quality.

Its all you need from a DA to make great sounding recordings.
Old 28th March 2018
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FelizSounds View Post
Wow that’s the dream combination right there! I’m just trying to achieve consistency in my path which I don’t have right now. I see the way everyone’s eyes light up when I mention the avocet, but I unfortunately haven’t been able to try them out. I’m only familiar with the m905 and the St and it makes me wonder why In some forums people say there’s zero contest with the avocet and not look any further. I’ve used my setup with a proper monitor controller and my current monitor controller served its purpose, but it’s definitely been the weakest part of my system and it was night and day to switch. Is it that much of a difference sonically? Those are the things that make me hesitant about my decision because if There is a leap in quality the extra 1000 is a worthy investment to me. On the other hand, if I don’t need to spend the extra 1000 there are other investments I need to make. So I’m torn between being practical and being a gearslut

Also, The kh310s are the Neumann branded 0300’s right? I own the kh120 and they are great for my room and I’ve learned them quickly but I’m afriaid they might not be enough for me in a year when I go into a bigger space. I’ve been eyeing the kh 310s for that purpose
Well you know - I'm not sure some days I need any of it and after 40 years being a professional musician I'm sure I could make a great album on a laptop and a just about any interface and an SM58!

When I'm writing I use a Mackie Big Knob and a pair of £350 Blue Sky monitors.

When I come to tracking and mixing, mastering I turn on the fancy stuff and it let's me get into the tiny details - of course these days the way people consume music those tiny details are probably just to satisfy my personal quest for perfection :-)

These tools are great to use and a privilege to own - my attitude is work with whatever you have and make great music then as and when money allows realise your dreams and personal aspirations and build up that dream rig.

I personally don't think it's worth getting into debt for this stuff unless of course it's a business and you're making money.

The 310's are very good but the ATC SCM25A Pro's are utterly sublime and beyond stunning and cost £7,500 a pair - see this stuff never ends!

The SCM25A Pro's have been on my radar forever.

By the way I bought my Avocet second hand it was mint and cost 50% of the retail price.
Old 28th March 2018
  #10
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thehightenor View Post
Well you know - I'm not sure some days I need any of it and after 40 years being a professional musician I'm sure I could make a great album on a laptop and a just about any interface and an SM58!

When I'm writing I use a Mackie Big Knob and a pair of £350 Blue Sky monitors.

When I come to tracking and mixing, mastering I turn on the fancy stuff and it let's me get into the tiny details - of course these days the way people consume music those tiny details are probably just to satisfy my personal quest for perfection :-)

These tools are great to use and a privilege to own - my attitude is work with whatever you have and make great music then as and when money allows realise your dreams and personal aspirations and build up that dream rig.

I personally don't think it's worth getting into debt for this stuff unless of course it's a business and you're making money.

The 310's are very good but the ATC SCM25A Pro's are utterly sublime and beyond stunning and cost £7,500 a pair - see this stuff never ends!

The SCM25A Pro's have been on my radar forever.

By the way I bought my Avocet second hand it was mint and cost 50% of the retail price.
I feel the same exact way about working with what you have to get things done, I was using my pres into a focusrite Safire pro 40 whenever I needed to track drums and I’ll admit I did that for longer than I should’ve, but during that time I was patient enough to purchase some really good microphones very cheap and now I’ve (almost) completed my locker list. But during that time I’ve learned my monitors/mics/pres because I had time to go one by one and develop an opinion about what sounds good to me and cross out a big chunk of my ambitious gear list I that thought I needed

I’ve saved thousands looking for mics and pres on the used market but now I’m kind of at the point where the things I do need don’t really pop up used, and if they do, it almost makes more sense to buy it new because the difference is so small. I really do hope I could find a deal like you did! That would really help me buy that Api I’m gunning for!

Thanks for your reply and advice!
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