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HEDD 192 Upgrade or Apollo Quad?
Old 3rd November 2014
  #1
HEDD 192 Upgrade or Apollo Quad?

Hey guys,
I've been out of recording for a very long time (10 years) and sold my Great River MP-2NV, Waves Platinum bundle, but I still have my HEDD 192 (96k version) and an M-Audio 1814 interface. I'm thinking of replacing the M-Audio 1814 with a UA Apollo Quad for the plugs and pres. I use it mainly for vocals and acoustic guitar recording.

Here is my current setup:

HEDD 192 (96k version)
M-Audio Firewire 1814
ProTools 7 and Logic ProX/Garage Band
Mac Pro 6 Core 3.5Ghz OSX 10.10
Hafler trans-nova monitors
Soundelux U99 Mic
Rode NTK Mic

If I get the Apollo will I even need the HEDD 192 anymore?

Should I send the HEDD 192 back for the 192k upgrade and pass on the Apollo?

Any other ideas you have for me are appreciated!

It's a longer road back to relearning all of this stuff than I thought!
Old 3rd November 2014
  #2
Ask yourself this... What do you like about the hedd? What would you use it for if you had the Apollo? Would the Apollo cover that scenario for you?

These are questions only you can answer.
Old 3rd November 2014
  #3
Lives for gear
 

Just remember that the HEDD is among the best two channel mastering grade convertors with no direct connectivity to a computer (unless using a PCI card with AES or other digital interconnects).

An Apollo is a more general "sound card" with direct connectivity to your DAW and a routing software so it can function as your "hub".

Ideally, you can keep your HEDD for your 2buss DA/AD connected via the AES on the Apollo and use your Apollo convertors for tracking and general I/O needs.

I'm using my HEDD for mastering connected via the AES on my MH LIO.
Old 3rd November 2014
  #4
Gear Nut
See, I have been thinking of picking up a nice 2-track A/D to complement my current systems: Aurora 16 and 192i/o for the A-system and for B-system the dual-chip Apollo (if you do get an Apollo spring for the quad, it's worth it for the extra DSP). That way I can print the 2-bus return from my summing mixer using a mastering-grade A/D. So likewise, I would suggest you keep the HEDD, as its a fantastic unit for such purposes, and also has the various harmonic features that units like the Apollo lack.
Old 4th November 2014
  #5
Thanks for the help everyone. Much appreciated!

I was using the Great River MP-2NV into HEDD 192 (for A/D and WC) during tracking by pass through of the M-Audio 1814. My M-Audio Firewire 1814 control software doesn't work with OSX 10.10 so setting up for bypassing the internal converters and WC are no longer an option :(
I just wasn't sure if there was a big difference in the A/D conversion using the newer Apollo Quad vs HEDD 192. The Apollo uses a more advanced converter chipset than the M-Audio 1814 (same manufacturer = AKM). I like to track using the higher quality converter on the front end and really like the HEDD 192 A/D converter.

Can I obtain as good or better results tracking with the Apollo Quad @192k/24bit and their new Neve 1073 pre plugins as I had with the MP-2NV into HEDD 192 @96k/24bit?


Can the HEDD 192 still be used as the A/D and WC for tracking when used with the Apollo Quad as the interface? Any drawbacks to this?



Also, are most people tracking at 192k sample rates now or is 96k still a popular go between prior to mastering?

Thanks again!

Allen
Old 5th November 2014
  #6
I got a few things answered today by playing around with my current setup. I put my old iMac OSX 10.8 back in biz today and hooked up the M-Audio Firewire 1814 to it. I was able to use the control panel for the M-Audio and sync the HEDD 192 A/D via SPDIF and do some comparative recordings at various sample rates in Logic Pro 7.

At 44.1k the HEDD 192 was noticeably better than the M-Audio A/D. It was night and day difference. At 96k, the difference become more subtle but the HEDD still was better, more open, smooth, cleaner, warmer (all dials on zero). At 192k the difference became less discernible. My current HEDD 192 only goes to 96k so I was comparing the M-Audio at 192k to the HEDD at 96k. I was actually impressed with the M-Audio A/D at that sample rate. Something I can live with for now. Called M-Audio tech support and they were bought out by Alesis with no plans for any more software upgrades. Boooooooooooo!!!!!!!

Then I downloaded Logic Pro X in under 10 minutes from the app store and all I can say is Wow! What a change of scenery! I love it so far! It detected my M-Audio Firewire 1814 and I was recording in 192k/24bit in under 5 minutes. I'm not able to sync to the HEDD 192 A/D or WC unfortunately because the M-Audio control panel doesn't work in OSX 10.10. Hopefully I'll figure out how to use it in the rest of the chain. So far my investment is only $199 for Logic Pro X and I'll be good with that for awhile. Thanks Apple for saving me lots of money so far and a really cool new program! No Registration, No USB Key, No hunting down and registering or installing core audio drivers, and lots of cool loops, synths, and plugins in this one. I'm really impressed! Very clean and professional appearing program with lots of extras!

Old 5th November 2014
  #7
Gear Nut
I'm not sure that going up to 192kHz will do anything positive for you. You'll be using a bunch more disk space for files and possibly more memory when running DSP (I say possibly because many plugs upsample to 192 or above anyway, so I'm unsure whether they would up sample from 192 to something higher, stay at 192, or what). You already have a Nyquist frequency so far above the top of the human hearing range at 96kHz, and most mics don't pick much up beyond that area anyway.

I always recommend running at 96 or 88.2 as opposed to 48 or 44.1, but I think that 96 is the sweet spot. Going higher increases the overhead without much of a return, and some argue that sample rates that high are actually detrimental compared to 96k. I'm not familiar enough with that line of reasoning and the technical facts behind it relating to digital audio and psychoacoustics, but perhaps somebody else can pop in and enlighten us on that subject.
Old 6th November 2014
  #8
Thanks Jon. I know I'm going to be upgrading soon. I'm just looking at my options right now. Such a bummer that M-Audio discontinued support after being bought out or I'd be using the HEDD 192 right now in the front end. I'm pretty sure I'm going with the UA Apollo. It's funny cause you look at the reviews and most are 5 star reviews with great appraise, but if you look around here there are many people who aren't happy with the A/D on the Apollo. I got a solution for that though. It's called HEDD 192!. lol
Old 6th November 2014
  #9
The ad on the apollo is great! I think it is the da more people speak of here. Lots of owners have paired their apollo with a dbox with happy results. I for one am ok with the da on my apollo and would love a hedd to pair up with apollo for mix downs and such. The hedd is a sexy converter!
Old 6th November 2014
  #10
Gear Maniac
 
Fabio's Avatar
I don't know Apollo but Mixing/Mastering without Hedd is forbidden here
Old 6th November 2014
  #11
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

The HEDD 192 is fantastic, the "tape saturation" effect on board is very cool for delivering that somewhat limited dynamic range if desired, while tracking. It definitely adds up over time in a project!

Crane Song is running a promotion this month also for end users to save $.

War
Old 6th November 2014
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by warhead View Post
The HEDD 192 is fantastic, the "tape saturation" effect on board is very cool for delivering that somewhat limited dynamic range if desired, while tracking. It definitely adds up over time in a project!

Crane Song is running a promotion this month also for end users to save $.

War
I wonder how good the new Pheonix II tape saturation plugin is compared to HEDD.

What is the promotion that Cranesong is running? I don't see it on their website.

Thanks,

Allen
Old 6th November 2014
  #13
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

It is a lower sell price, I don't think they update their website often.

Crane Song HEDD 192 | ZenPro Audio

Quote:
Originally Posted by ahallada View Post
I wonder how good the new Pheonix II tape saturation plugin is compared to HEDD.

What is the promotion that Cranesong is running? I don't see it on their website.

Thanks,

Allen
Old 6th November 2014
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by warhead View Post
It is a lower sell price, I don't think they update their website often.

Crane Song HEDD 192 | ZenPro Audio
That's interesting. Usually when I see big price reductions like that, they are either discontinuing the product, or getting ready for a new upgrade model.

Maybe Cranesong is going to focus more on their plugins? Sure would save them money over hardware.
Old 6th November 2014
  #15
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

I don't suspect that at all actually, we are entering into the heavy selling season!

War

Quote:
Originally Posted by ahallada View Post
That's interesting. Usually when I see big price reductions like that, they are either discontinuing the product, or getting ready for a new upgrade model.

Maybe Cranesong is going to focus more on their plugins? Sure would save them money over hardware.
Old 7th November 2014
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by warhead View Post
I don't suspect that at all actually, we are entering into the heavy selling season!

War
True that!

I figured out another workaround for my new Mac Pro OSX 10.10. I installed another partition on the system hard drive with 50GB of space. Then I installed OSX 10.9 (Mavericks) on the new partition. Now I'm able to boot into OSX 10.9 and use the M-Audio Control Panel and sync with the HEDD 192 at up to 96k sample rates as well as WC.

The trick was to install Logic ProX on this new partition. It already sees it on the other partition from the app store so it didn't want to install on the new partition. Tech support was baffled. So I went into Disk Utilities and unmounted the OSX 10.10 partition and sign out and back into the app store and it is downloading now.

Hope that helps anyone out who is setting up multiple partitions in OSX and trying to download apps from the store. Just unmount the disk you are not using while downloading and then remount it when it is done. I might get a job with Apple now. lol
Old 7th November 2014
  #17
Found a good response from Dan Lavry here in GS country regarding sample rates:

"Sampling at 44.1KHz often yields great results, when done well. But 44.1KHz sampling (22.05KHz audio) is a bit tight. The ACCUMULATED limitations on high audio frequencies can degrade both high frequency flatness response and high frequency phase linearity.
Most mics are limited to 20KHz. What does it mean? It means there is already a 3dB loss of response at 20KHz (3dB is the half power point). So it is possible to have say 1-2dB loss at some 18KHzโ€ฆ
The same is true for speakers, so a mic at the record end and a speaker at playback can yield 6dB accumulated loss at 20KHz, so what happens at 17-18KHz?
Adding yet another device, an AD, with yet another 3dB loss at 20KHz, may become very audible, depending on the music.

That is were some sensible increase in sampling rate may help. How much is sensible? It helps to do the sampling at 48KHz, and better yet at 60KHz. Unfortunately, there is no 60KHz standard, so 88.2-96KHz may be a reasonable alternative. A bit faster then the optimum rate of 50-70KHz, but not outrageously so.

It is NOT about processing signals that the mic can not capture, the speaker can not play and the ear can not hear. It is about having a good audio range, that range that ear can hear. If we want flat audio response to 20 KHz, we need the mics and speakers and AD converters to be flat to 20KHz. Most mics and speakers are not, but at least we can get the AD flatness out of the way. It only takes a few KHZ increase. 88.2KHz is more then enough.

It is not about unexplained mystery. It is, in fact, โ€œnuts and boltsโ€, easy to understand stuffโ€ฆ "

Regards
Dan Lavry
Lavry Engineering
Old 11th November 2014
  #18
I just found out that the new Cranesong HEDD 192 uses the same A/D and D/A converter chipset as the Prism Sound Orpheus. It is a Cirrus Logic CS 5381 for A/D and CS 4398 for D/A. The CS 4398 is also used on the D/A for the Apollo Quad which is probably why it gets such good reviews on the backend quality.

Just an FYI!
Old 11th November 2014
  #19
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ahallada View Post
I just found out that the new Cranesong HEDD 192 uses the same A/D and D/A converter chipset as the Prism Sound Orpheus. It is a Cirrus Logic CS 5381 for A/D and CS 4398 for D/A. The CS 4398 is also used on the D/A for the Apollo Quad which is probably why it gets such good reviews on the backend quality.

Just an FYI!
I will again reiterate that there is no better time than now to buy a HEDD192!

War
Old 12th November 2014
  #20
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ahallada View Post
I just found out that the new Cranesong HEDD 192 uses the same A/D and D/A converter chipset as the Prism Sound Orpheus. It is a Cirrus Logic CS 5381 for A/D and CS 4398 for D/A. The CS 4398 is also used on the D/A for the Apollo Quad which is probably why it gets such good reviews on the backend quality.

Just an FYI!
remember the chip is basically a small calculator, working after more or less the same principles. i own pro and prosumer converters utilizing those same chips, the sound is not even close.
Old 12th November 2014
  #21
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ahallada View Post
I just found out that the new uses the same A/D and D/A converter chipset as the . It is a Cirrus Logic CS 5381 for A/D and CS 4398 for D/A. The CS 4398 is also used on the D/A for the which is probably why it gets such good reviews on the backend quality.

Just an FYI!
Those chips are used in lots of consumer stuff as well as really cheap converter interfaces. They only cost about $10 a chip ea in bulk. In other words it wouldn't be fair to judge a converter solely on the ICs it uses. while it's an important attribute It doesn't really tell the whole story.
Old 13th November 2014
  #22
Quote:
Originally Posted by chainrule View Post
Those chips are used in lots of consumer stuff as well as really cheap converter interfaces. They only cost about $10 a chip ea in bulk. In other words it wouldn't be fair to judge a converter solely on the ICs it uses. while it's an important attribute It doesn't really tell the whole story.
I haven't seen this specific chip (Cirrus Logic CS 5381 ) used in any lower end units. There is a list of A/D and D/A converter chipsets from various models and manufacturers listed here in GS. The only ones I know that use this chipset are the higher end converters i.e.. Prism Orpheus, Cranesong HEDD 192, API A2D, Apogee Symphony. I think on the front end the chipset is really important where there is just processing from analog to numbers.
Old 13th November 2014
  #23
Quote:
Originally Posted by chainrule View Post
Those chips are used in lots of consumer stuff as well as really cheap converter interfaces. They only cost about $10 a chip ea in bulk. In other words it wouldn't be fair to judge a converter solely on the ICs it uses. while it's an important attribute It doesn't really tell the whole story.
I hear what you are saying.

I haven't seen this specific chip (Cirrus Logic CS 5381 ) used in any lower end units. There is a list of A/D and D/A converter chipsets from various models and manufacturers listed here in GS. The only ones I know that use this chipset are the higher end converters i.e.. Prism Orpheus, Cranesong HEDD 192, API A2D, Apogee Symphony. I think on the front end the chipset is really important where there is just processing of analog to numbers. High end manufacturers are going to use good clocks/filters/schematics etc., but I'm sure the sound differences we think we hear between various A/D units using the same chipsets, are really due to minor differences in schematics.
Old 13th November 2014
  #24
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by ahallada View Post
Thanks Jon. I know I'm going to be upgrading soon. I'm just looking at my options right now. Such a bummer that M-Audio discontinued support after being bought out or I'd be using the HEDD 192 right now in the front end. I'm pretty sure I'm going with the UA Apollo. It's funny cause you look at the reviews and most are 5 star reviews with great appraise, but if you look around here there are many people who aren't happy with the A/D on the Apollo. I got a solution for that though. It's called HEDD 192!. lol
There is nothing wrong with the AD on the Apollo. It sounds great. And I have a HEDD too. Keep the HEDD and get the Apollo!
Old 13th November 2014
  #25
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZEUSS View Post
There is nothing wrong with the AD on the Apollo. It sounds great. And I have a HEDD too. Keep the HEDD and get the Apollo!
Done! Thanks for the push!

I'm eyeing down that AMS Neve 1073 DPD and the API A2D like a good GearSlut Addict! lol
Old 15th November 2014
  #26
Quote:
Originally Posted by ahallada View Post
Done! Thanks for the push!

I'm eyeing down that AMS Neve 1073 DPD and the API A2D like a good GearSlut Addict! lol
Got the API A2D
Old 9th December 2014
  #27
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ahallada View Post
I just found out that the new Cranesong HEDD 192 uses the same A/D and D/A converter chipset as the Prism Sound Orpheus. It is a Cirrus Logic CS 5381 for A/D and CS 4398 for D/A. The CS 4398 is also used on the D/A for the Apollo Quad which is probably why it gets such good reviews on the backend quality.

Just an FYI!
What chips were the older 192 version using. Did this update just happen? Or is it the other way around? Orpheus uses the same chips as the original hedd?
Old 10th December 2014
  #28
Quote:
Originally Posted by tekn0 View Post
What chips were the older 192 version using. Did this update just happen? Or is it the other way around? Orpheus uses the same chips as the original hedd?
I'm not sure of the exact converter chipset used in the HEDD 192 (96k version), but they were made by Crystal Technologies before they were bought out by Cirrus.


No the new Orpheus uses the same converter chipsets as the new HEDD 192 (see above). I'm not sure the exact date when Cranesong did the last HEDD 192 upgrade but it was within the last few years.
The Cranesong Avocet uses a more up to date DAC chipset (Cirrus CS8421) than the HEDD 192 but Cranesong is planning to upgrade the HEDD in the near future.
Old 10th December 2014
  #29
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by ahallada View Post
I just found out that the new Cranesong HEDD 192 uses the same A/D and D/A converter chipset as the Prism Sound Orpheus. It is a Cirrus Logic CS 5381 for A/D and CS 4398 for D/A. The CS 4398 is also used on the D/A for the Apollo Quad which is probably why it gets such good reviews on the backend quality.
So you are saying the HEDD and Apollo have the same D/A chip?
Old 10th December 2014
  #30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazer Toms View Post
So you are saying the HEDD and Apollo have the same D/A chip?

Yes right now they both use the Cirrus Logic CS 4398 DAC chipset. The ADC on the Apollo Quad is an AKM AK 5388 and the HEDD 192 uses the Cirrus Logic CS 5381. The HEDD 192 is due for an upgrade in the near future according to the company and I suspect they will upgrade the DAC chipset to the same chipset used in their Avocet (Cirrus CS8421).
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