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Trying to wrap head around new WIN/RME/Reaper system build for heavy AA use
Old 11th August 2019
  #1
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wjmwpg's Avatar
 

Trying to wrap head around new WIN/RME/Reaper system build for heavy AA use

I think what’s below really breaks down to two key questions:

1. If I switch to (invest in) a WIN system would I be crazy to go with any interface+driver set other than RME?

2. If the answer to 1 is yes, and I go with a Babyface Pro or a 9632 ADAT PCI Audio Interface, what are people pairing with these to increase channel count (hopefully without breaking the bank)?

what’s below . . .

I’ve decided it’s time to move on from my 3.4GHz i7 iMac + Mackie Onyx 1220i firewire mixer/interface, to a new WIN build desktop for Reaper and heavy Acustica Acqua and Nebula plug-in use.

This started with the idea of the WIN desktop build ($2000-$3000), but then it occurred to me that I’d likely want to upgrade my interface as well. While I have the Onyx, and it’s handy sometimes to have 12 inputs (mostly recording jam sessions/rough off-the-floor demos), when I’m concerned about the recording quality I use my two-channel Audient Mico (over optical) as I prefer its pres. However my recent reading on WIN systems has reminded me that unlike OSX’s standard CoreAudio, WIN has many different driver options, with differing results. So if I’m going to drop >$2000 on the desktop build I might as well also take the plunge into RME for an interface/driver combo that’s going to get the best outta my new system . . . or am I overestimating the benefit of RME drivers over Focusrite, or Presonus, etc.?

I don’t think I can afford the WIN build and an RME with multiple mic/line inputs and pres. If I go for a Babyface Pro I’m going to have to find another way of adding channels for those times when I need at least 8.

Then there’s also the option of going with an RME PCI ADAT card in the WIN system build. Frankly I’m not sure what the best route to go is. I thought deciding on the specifics of my WIN build would be the hard part after 20 years on MAC systems (two days of research/reading solved this), but honestly it’s the change in drivers/interface/mixer/peripherals that I’m having the toughest time working out.

Any advice appreciated.
Old 13th August 2019
  #2
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Yes, +1 for RME. I use Babyface Pro (switched from classic Babyface). RME drivers (especially WIN one) known for their rock solidity. The interface also known as bang for a buck device, talking about components quality / price / size / engineering / usability.

As for the Reaper on WIN - true, it's the best combo for AA ground.
When selecting components, mind to use a motherboard capable for best DPC Latency possible (more info about DPC here), and fastest memory for your price range (AA speed depends on memory speed highly)

Also i suppose @ Will The Weirdo could help you with advice, as i remember he know much more than me about WIN setups for and AA use.
Old 14th August 2019
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ceejay View Post
Yes, +1 for RME. I use Babyface Pro (switched from classic Babyface). RME drivers (especially WIN one) known for their rock solidity. The interface also known as bang for a buck device, talking about components quality / price / size / engineering / usability.

As for the Reaper on WIN - true, it's the best combo for AA ground.
When selecting components, mind to use a motherboard capable for best DPC Latency possible (more info about DPC here), and fastest memory for your price range (AA speed depends on memory speed highly)

Also i suppose @ Will The Weirdo could help you with advice, as i remember he know much more than me about WIN setups for and AA use.
Thanks @ ceejay , I really appreciate the response. I’ve been researching interface options like mad, RME, UAD, Apogee, Audient, Focusrite - we sure aren’t spoiled for choice! Even once I settled on RME I had a tough time choosing between the various options. Babyface Pro, PCIe card, Fireface 802, MADIface XT, etc., but I’ve decided to go with the Babyface Pro as every penny I spend on my interface now is a penny taken out of the PC build budget. I figure the Babyface Pro and an inexpensive (ADAT capable) 8pre will get me to 12 channels up and running immediately, and if I want to upgrade that end of things down the road I easily can.

I’m feeling pretty tempted to build an AMD 3900X system, after thinking I had settled on an Intel build - still more research to be done on that end.
Old 14th August 2019
  #4
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Yes, i'm on Intel as well. Please share your findings as soon you complete your decision and build.
Here's 2017 thread on AA offical forum, but full of useful info, hope it could be helpful for you:
http://forum.acustica-audio.com/view...hp?f=8&t=30020
Old 14th August 2019
  #5
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@ ceejay - Thanks for the reminder to check out the AA official forum - for some reason I’ve just stopped checking in there in the last year or two.

In a couple months I’ll definitely post about my build and experience using it. Are you running WIN 10 or 7?

Last edited by wjmwpg; 14th August 2019 at 07:03 PM.. Reason: Afterthought
Old 14th August 2019
  #6
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Win 10 ltsc
Old 7th November 2019
  #7
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My new system is built on 2066 socket, 9900X, 4x16gb Ram, windows 10 pro, RME fireface.
So far my first impressions are...impressive
Old 4 weeks ago
  #8
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If you want high channel count on a budget look at threads here on the Alesis HD24XR (for it's converters) teamed up with a RME 9652 PCI card (newer version with 2 midi I/O). That will give you 24 channels via ADAT lightpipe per combo with the ability to use three combos in a computer for 72 channels of ADAT I/O. If you do not have PCI slots in your computer there are PCI to PCIe adaptor cards for about $30 each and then you will need to modify your computer case. Not a better combo for the least amount of money to get you still one of the lowest latency interfaces at full load. Actual round trip latency is around 3.5ms using 64 sample buffer setting at 48k sample rate. Thats with using three 9652's and loopback through the analog in/out of the HD24XR using the RTL utility to measure ACTUAL latency.

Watch out for marketing deceptions with latency as I've seen ads claiming 1ms latency but when you look at the fine print its one way within the interface at 192k sample rate. When you do an apples to apples comparison with a full analog in to analog out at industry standard 48k sample rate you will see that 1ms is actually over 4ms with proper measurement of RTL.

The RME cards have a FPGA chip on them which is basically a stripped down specialty CPU which does a lot of work before the data hits the computer. You pay extra for that but it's programing and the drivers are what gives RME the performance boost compared to others. There are interfaces with DSP chips that allow plug use during monitoring without taking the latency hit of going through the computer like Pro Tools HD and Apollo that again you pay extra for.
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