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Help with converter choices
Old 7th August 2005
  #1
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Help with converter choices

Hi,

Real quick, I just wanted to say Hi to the group & introduce myself. My name is Todd, and I own a small project studio in north Idaho. Lately I've been working with another local studio that runs Final Cut HD & we're coming up with clients that are wanting 5.1 mixes for live concerts. In order to do so, I need to ditch the 2x2 soundcard in my computer & get up to at least 6 channels out. Aside from the HD work, I'm also doing some tracking for studios out of LA where the performers are here, and the music is there. This is all telling me it's time to step up to the plate with some real 8x8 stuff on the computer.

So far, I'm down to a few interfaces I'm really interested in:

The Motu HD192
Apogee Rosetta 800
Lynx Aurora 8


The guy at Sweetwater is trying to talk me into an RME multiface & talk me out of the Lynx as well, but I haven't really looked at them much to know anything about them. In any case, the new converter will be running with a Big Ben.

I've read about the differences with the Lynx & the Apogee, and from that alone I"m inclined to go with the Lynx, (also the Apogee seems to only have 4 in and 4 out through AES which is another stumbling block)....but nobody seems to know where the HD 192 fits in the picture. I e-mailed one studio that had the Apogee & the HD192, but haven't heard anything back yet.

If it were you, which way would you go?

Thanks for your help!
Todd
Old 7th August 2005
  #2
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dolo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by shaddai
(also the Apogee seems to only have 4 in and 4 out through AES which is another stumbling block
have two, sold one the have 8 channesl of AES on four stero pair. will be selling the other 800 one my aurora 16 (2) arrive. by the way, i'm selling my big ben as well. don't really need it with the aurora boxes.

so my opinion is to go with the auror 8 and lynx aes16 card if you don't already have one. consider selling the big ben and upgrade some where else if need be.

my .02.
Old 7th August 2005
  #3
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I grabbed one of the Aurora 16's... and I've been really happy with it. Good sounds, easy to use. My only gripe would be that the digital ins & outs are the Yamaha pinout... so, I had to wire up some cables that converted it to the Tascam pinout (like the digital I/O's on a 192 I/O).

Why would the guy from Sweetwater try and talk you out of it?? I'm interested in hearing what his reasons would be.

Regards,
Charles
Old 8th August 2005
  #4
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I probably worded that wrong. He's not specifically stating 'don't buy the Lynx' & doesn't come accross as the type that would do so. He is however trying to steer me at the RME, Apogee & Motu (which they do stock) in spite of knowing I'm seriously leaning further and further toward the Lynx. I would imagine that Sweetwater has purchasing agreements established with RME, Apogee & Motu that allow them to maintain a better profit margin over special ordering a Lynx for me...at least that's my guess.

As far as I'm concerned however, he may be watching his profit margin, but I'm watching the quality of output from my studio. I started this thread in order to get some guidance from the people who would know more about the different converters than the sales guy does, not necessarily to say 'my sales guy is an idiot & I don't trust him'.

He's just doing his job & feeding his kids, and I don't blame him for that. He's been a great help so far..

Todd
Old 8th August 2005
  #5
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This is a tough one, both the Apogee and Lynx boxes are nice, and each have their sound. You gotta listen to both to decide.

I went with the Auroa-16 and the AES-16 card, and got the cable pin-outs from Lynx to have my cables made (still waiting for the cables to show up btw...).
Old 8th August 2005
  #6
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I've never actually used one, bit the Metric Halo 2882 is something to consider. I was just in the studio with Bob Rice who co designed the 2882 and he was saying that the converters in the 2882 beat the 192's and where right up there with the AD 16 x's. I'm gonna see if I can demo one and find out for myself. Just a thought!
PEACE!!!!
Old 8th August 2005
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shaddai
I probably worded that wrong. He's not specifically stating 'don't buy the Lynx' & doesn't come accross as the type that would do so. He is however trying to steer me at the RME, Apogee & Motu (which they do stock) in spite of knowing I'm seriously leaning further and further toward the Lynx. I would imagine that Sweetwater has purchasing agreements established with RME, Apogee & Motu that allow them to maintain a better profit margin over special ordering a Lynx for me...at least that's my guess.

As far as I'm concerned however, he may be watching his profit margin, but I'm watching the quality of output from my studio. I started this thread in order to get some guidance from the people who would know more about the different converters than the sales guy does, not necessarily to say 'my sales guy is an idiot & I don't trust him'.

He's just doing his job & feeding his kids, and I don't blame him for that. He's been a great help so far..

Todd
Knowing what most folks are charging for the Aurora 8 & 16's, I wouldn't worry about their profit margin... they are being taken care of.
Anyway, I don't fault sales guys for what they do, either... and I don't want to sound as if I am. I was just curious why someone would recommend the others over the Aurora.

But, being a user (or former user, in some cases) of Lynx, Apogee and MOTU gear... I can say this:
The Lynx and Apogee stuff is excellent. MOTU... not so much.
Lynx were incredibly easy to deal with, and went out of their way to help me out. So, I can definitely give Phil Moon & Lynx a big thumbsup . Beyond helpful.
Apogee were easy to work with, too.
I had mediocre support from MOTU when I was once a user (and of the 3 manufacturers, the most problematic equipment).

And, between Lynx and Apogee, you definitely get more bang for you buck with the Aurora's.

Anyway, hope this helps.
Regards and good luck,
CJ
Old 8th August 2005
  #8
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I own a MOTU 2408 MK3 and i'm happy with it.

What do Apogee or RME converters have more than MOTU ones ? Higher dynamic range ? More transparence ?
I'd like to buy an RME Fireface 800 soon, and I wonder if that one has better converters compared to the MOTU.
Old 8th August 2005
  #9
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RME here for surround mixing !
Old 8th August 2005
  #10
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dolo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SLy_drums
I'd like to buy an RME Fireface 800 soon, and I wonder if that one has better converters compared to the MOTU.

yes by far!!!!! i had some of the motus stuff and to me it sound like very good speakers with a blanket over them.

i've uesd the fireface 800 as well. that thing is a great piece.
Old 9th August 2005
  #11
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First off, Patrick:

Now that that's out of the way, I just want to say thanks for the information that you guys are sharing. From doing some more research & reading the posts here, I'm gettting this kind of idea:

Apogee vs. Lynx: Let's see you try to split a hair. From what I've read elsewhere, the Lynx supposedly has better imaging & mid-high/high detail. The apogee has better clarity on the bottom end. Mids are pretty equal. Some here & elsewhere have got away from Apogee & went with Lynx, and I haven't seen anyone go the other way around...which is probably because Lynx hasn't been around as long. Both sound very very good... which leaves it as a toss up audio wise. Given the bang for the buck factor, I'd probably go with the Lynx.

Motu: this isn't the first time I've heard the blanket on the speakers statement concerning their gear...or someone feeling it was mediocre when compared with Apogee. It's also not the first time I've heard about Motu's support.

RME: Gonna have to look into them a little closer. Found an archived shootout with the older Apogee AD8000, and the ADI-8 where the RME had a flatter freq response, better noise floor, and was a ton cheaper...and they did all the testing themselves. They didn't say much about sonic quality though. I'm definitely gonna check them out a bunch closer.

So, to sum it up, If I were forced to do something today, I'd go with the Lynx. But I definitely want to check out the RME unit first. I wonder how I'd get to hear the both of them side by side? anyone know?

Thanks again for the info!
Todd
Old 10th August 2005
  #12
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I want to point out something here though I am in a hurry. I have the RME Fireface 800. I haven't had any other converter so I can't tell you how it compares, but really, the converters are extremely important! If you want great sound quality you need a great converter and you won't find it in the RME or MOTU, from what I've read. I've read good things about the Rosetta 200 and the Lynx Aurora. Actually I would have a hard time in choosing between them myself, but I think I would go with the Apogee Rosetta 200 because because generally Apogee seems to be the standard and there's a reason for that...
Old 10th August 2005
  #13
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Doublehelix's Avatar
 

I am currently using the Motu 24i/o, which I think is pretty good, but if the stinking cables ever show up, I am expecting to see a big improvement with the Lynx Aurora.

The cables were due yesterday or the day before, but still nothing...

They better be here today, or some heads are going to roll!!! Hehe...
Old 10th August 2005
  #14
Gear Nut
 

"I am currently using the Motu 24i/o, which I think is pretty good, but if the stinking cables ever show up, I am expecting to see a big improvement with the Lynx Aurora."

I also use Motu mk3 converters and think that they are very decent for the cost.
I would love to hear your impressions on the Lynxs compared to the Motu's.
I realize at this stage, you would like to hear them yourself. (Cables!!!)
Thanks.
Old 10th August 2005
  #15
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
I have the RME Fireface 800. I haven't had any other converter so I can't tell you how it compares, but really, the converters are extremely important!
I could not agree with you more. The other half of the equation is the guy behind the board :-) Great converters won't help anyone who can't hear the difference between C and C#, can't figure out which compression setting sounds better on a vocal, or can't quite get a mix to sound like a package instead of a whole bunch of different sounds that are just thrown together.

Anyway, thanks again for the info everyone!
Todd
Old 10th August 2005
  #16
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larry zip's Avatar
 

when i started out i had rme interfaces which i changed to lynx and the difference was huge. when i tired the mettic halo something didn't sond right and when I expanded the screen you could see that one side was off by one sample which put the phase relationship of the two sides all to hell. i got an aurora 16 about 2 or 3 weeks ago and haven't been happier. i used to have apogee converters but i sold them on ebay. i have been using the aurora 16 into the folcurm and using the lavry blue into a masterlink and lavry blue for d/a conversion and am very happy because it sounds amazing. nathan at altas gave me a really good deal on everything i would always recommend him because he has the best proice
Old 11th August 2005
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trademarkh
"I am currently using the Motu 24i/o, which I think is pretty good, but if the stinking cables ever show up, I am expecting to see a big improvement with the Lynx Aurora."

I also use Motu mk3 converters and think that they are very decent for the cost.
I would love to hear your impressions on the Lynxs compared to the Motu's.
I realize at this stage, you would like to hear them yourself. (Cables!!!)
Thanks.

You are not going to stinking believe this!!! The cables didn't show up again today!!! I am so ticked off!!! I finally had my dealer call the manufacturer and they tracked the package...scheduled to arrive tomorrow...Yeah, right! I have been hearing that for the last 2 weeks.

Somebody needs to get their ass kicked for this! Any volunteers??? Hehe... I paid $600 for custom cables, and then have to wait weeks to get them???

I should have gone to Redco...those guys are amazing!!! Highly recommended!!! I was trying to do a favor for a good friend, which is a good thing to do, but Redco would have delivered the cables in a few days...done!

I have had the Aurora for almost 3 weeks now...just sitting there staring at me with no connectors!

Take a deep breath and repeat after me: one more day...one more day...one more day...
Old 11th August 2005
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyCrazyMan
I think I would go with the Apogee Rosetta 200 because because generally Apogee seems to be the standard and there's a reason for that...
Well, they are *one* of the standards, and make great mid-level converters, no doubt. It is just about impossible to go wrong with Apogee for the price.

Lynx is new to the high channel count market for sure, but they have a pretty decent reputation as well.
Old 11th August 2005
  #19
Gear Nut
 

"You are not going to stinking believe this!!! The cables didn't show up again today!!! I am so ticked off!!! I finally had my dealer call the manufacturer and they tracked the package...scheduled to arrive tomorrow...Yeah, right! I have been hearing that for the last 2 weeks. "

I've been there, I feel your pain. It will go as soon as you hear that doorbell....
Old 12th August 2005
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trademarkh
"You are not going to stinking believe this!!! The cables didn't show up again today!!! I am so ticked off!!! I finally had my dealer call the manufacturer and they tracked the package...scheduled to arrive tomorrow...Yeah, right! I have been hearing that for the last 2 weeks. "

I've been there, I feel your pain. It will go as soon as you hear that doorbell....
Believe it or not, the cables finally showed up!!! Party time!!!

Now, I gotta get down and dirty and re-connect all the wires behind the patchbay and make a few changes to go from 24 channels of i/o down to 16 channels, which kind of sucks, but hopefully the improvement in converters is worth the loss of 8 channels.

Should know something by early next week if I spend the weekend re-wiring...
Old 12th August 2005
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doublehelix
Believe it or not, the cables finally showed up!!! Party time!!!

Now, I gotta get down and dirty and re-connect all the wires behind the patchbay and make a few changes to go from 24 channels of i/o down to 16 channels, which kind of sucks, but hopefully the improvement in converters is worth the loss of 8 channels.

Should know something by early next week if I spend the weekend re-wiring...
Nice one DH!

Now how 'bout throwing up a couple A/B comparisons with the Motu & Lynx for us
Old 12th August 2005
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ekimeno
Nice one DH!

Now how 'bout throwing up a couple A/B comparisons with the Motu & Lynx for us
Well...that is going to be tough, since I would have to record something identically with first the MOTU, and then the Aurora, which is not something I want to mess with, but once I get a song done with the Aurora, I guess I could post a clip of that along with a similar clip of a song I have done previously with the MOTU...

Actually, I guess I could post a clip of a drum beat mixdown using both converters...wont' be exact, but close enough, eh?

Our current session is resuming Tuesday (had to take the weekend off...), so hopefully, I will have the Auroras up and running by then. We are down to the final few overdubs, and then the mix. My next session is supposed to start next weekend, which will be my first opportunity to do drums again.

Give me a week or two, and I'll try to get something up...
Old 12th August 2005
  #23
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It would be cool to see the difference between the Mk3 and Lynx converters - I'm sure the Lynx will beat it hands down after all the cool things I've read about it...

I probably would have recorded a simple guitar lick twice using the same mic/pre combo - a recording for each converter. I suppose a drum recording will work just as well though!

I'm busy tossing up going for either a Rosetta 800 or Aurora 8 over my current Motu 828Mk2. One of the main reasons I'm leaning towards the Apogee is for the simple reason that it has the X-HD card for linking with the Pro Tools HD system I'm saving up for... I read somewhere that Lynx might be doing the same thing - but not sure yet.

Good luck setting up your new stuff!
Old 12th August 2005
  #24
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I just sold my Mackie D8B and bought the Lynx AES16 and Aurora 8.
I haven't had much time with them yet, but so far it's great.
I even use two channels of the D/A to send the mix to my monitors (via my SPL MTC-2381) Eventually I'll get a dedicated D/A for monitoring.

I'd recommend holding on to the Big Ben and seeing if it improves or not.
No reason to sell something you already have that might work.

I've found master word clocks to make a huge difference in the past.
Eventually I'll probably buy the Antelope Isochrone http://www.antelopeaudio.com/products_iso_ocx.html
Can't hurt.

Good luck with your choice.
Aaron
Old 12th August 2005
  #25
84K
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shaddai
Hi,

Real quick, I just wanted to say Hi to the group & introduce myself. My name is Todd, and I own a small project studio in north Idaho.
(come on group) HI TODD! (this is really starting to remind me of AA....)


Quote:
Originally Posted by shaddai
So far, I'm down to a few interfaces I'm really interested in:

The Motu HD192
Apogee Rosetta 800
Lynx Aurora 8
I LOVE APOGEE! If you can get their stuff and make it work for oyur situation, do it. do it.
Old 15th August 2005
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doublehelix

Actually, I guess I could post a clip of a drum beat mixdown using both converters...wont' be exact, but close enough, eh?
What a great idea! Do it do it do it! For meee! Please record a drum beat for us recorded through the different converters. It would be very interesting to listen to it and analyze the result. I am very interested in the Aurora myself since it seems very good on paper...! When you think about it, it's really a smooth and fast procedure!
Old 15th August 2005
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 84K
(come on group) HI TODD! (this is really starting to remind me of AA....)
...well, it's been almost a year since I last used hardware.

...it's been all plugins since then, and believe me there have been moments when I've considered jacking back in...

...it's been tough...
Old 15th August 2005
  #28
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I have a RME ADI-8 DS with a 002r and it made a big difference.
I used the Lucid 2496 before and it was ok, not that much of a difference.
I am even using the low end Focusrite mic pre from my Control24 and it sounds sweet.

Have fun searching for a good converter that fits your budget.
Old 15th August 2005
  #29
Where is Jamie Tagg?
Old 17th August 2005
  #30
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Well I got the Aurora installed, and up and running finally!!!

All I can say is "WOW"!!!

I had a short 3-hour vocal overdub session last night as my first test, so these results are VERY preliminary. The D/As got the most work last night since we were doing vocal overdubs...

(All tracks are at 24/88.2 using the internal Aurora clock for both the Aurora and the AES-16 card)

The D/As are so much more detailed than my old Motus, it was crazy, the stereo separation difference is just sick! Individual instruments just popped out of the mix, and the stereo spread was so cool! You can really hear subtle panning settings and all the subtle dynamics in the mix.

I was pretty blown away by the D/As (as you can tell), and these are tracks that were recorded through the Motu converters.

As far as the A/Ds go...also pretty stinking amazing!!!

We tracked some male lead vocal tracks using a BLUE Bottle (B6 capsule) and a Neumann U87ai through a few different pres, but ended up settling on the Great River in the end.

Without doubt, the best-sounding vocals I have ever tracked! Clear, full, bright, non-edgy, all the adjectives that you can think of, and MORE! Hehe...

I am very anxious to track a full project with these things to get a feel for some more sources and for how the tracks are going to stack. We should be done tracking the current session by Thrusday or Friday, and a new session starts next Tuesday (someday, I'll find the time to finish mixing the current project, but that is another story!).

My plan is to continue recording at 88.2K, but I am going to "sneak" in one song at 44.1K to compare the Aurora conversion at the lower rates.

I will post some drum samples comparing the Motu at 88.2 vs. the Aurora at 88.2 vs. the Aurora at 44.1 sometimes towards the end of next week. Remember, this will not be a *true* A/B comparison since they are different drummers, different kits, and possibly different mics/placements/mic pres, depending on what sounds good for this particular session, but it will be a start.

Just to put an end to this post (finally), I want to say that I honestly had no problems with my old Motu (24i/o), it has served me well for the last several months (it is pretty much brand new too), but the Aurora is just in another league imho.

The price difference is pretty crazy too however...I paid $1,500 for the Motu, and the Lynx was over $4,200 (Aurora 16 + AES-16 card + $600 of cables), and I went from 24 channels of i/o down to 16 channels. So almost 3X the price, with 2/3 the number of channels.

That's all for now...
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