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Cheapest A/D/A Conversion Digital Converters
Old 6th September 2011
  #1
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Cheapest A/D/A Conversion

I built a project studio revolving around an 8 track Otari 1/2" tape machine; I plan on recording all analog for any official releases.

In order to preserve tape, and for ease of workflow, I want a cheap A/D/A converter to demo ideas into Logic rather than onto tape. As it will just be used for demos, I am not very concerned with quality; as long as I can get my ideas across, it is fine.

I have been recommended a Behringer ADA8000. Since it doesn't have firewire or USB, could I connect it to my computer using the SPDIF connections on an old MBOX 1 I have lying around?

Any other suggestions? I don't want to spend much money at all on this.
Old 6th September 2011
  #2
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Boschen's Avatar
 

How many tracks at a time do you need? I think spdif only will do stereo, but if that's all you need, the berry should be fine. Just make sure the Mbox and it have compatible ins/outs. The berry converters actually have a decent rep. Should be perfect for demo stuff.
Old 6th September 2011
  #3
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Have you searched the forums? Plenty of good recommendations already offered.


Good luck.
Old 6th September 2011
  #4
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i could get away with just 2 tracks, though 8 would be nice considering id want to demo ideas that will eventually be recorded on 8 track tape. So your saying the Behringer would work through the Mbox SPDIF to get to my computer, however I could only use 2 channels on the Behringer in that case? Seems then the behringer would be pointless, and I should just get a 2 channel converter? Unfortunately one of the inputs on the MBOX is broken, otherwise I could just use that.
Old 6th September 2011
  #5
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Apogee Mini-Me

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Old 6th September 2011
  #6
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the sound devices usbpre2 is really good, and relatively cheap
Old 6th September 2011
  #7
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The ADA8000 is an ADAT connection, not SPDIF. For SPDIF look into the Behringer SRC2496, same converters as the ADA8000, 2 channels at up to 96/24.
Old 6th September 2011
  #8
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Thanks Gamelan. So is that the cheapest option? Mbox 1 SPDIF and the SRC2496?

Eventually I am going to get a high quality 2 channel converter, but for now just need something for demos so i don't waste tape.
Old 6th September 2011
  #9
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Earcatcher's Avatar
The cheapest you said? My computers all have a direct analog in for two channels and a direct analog out. You can even set the sampling rate that you want to use. Costs nothing. All you need is a mini-jack on the input and a mini-jack on the output.
Old 10th September 2011
  #10
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I just realized that I have a Zoom h4n handheld recorder, which also acts as a USB interface. Would I be able to use that as a 2 channel converter? Plug the stereo outputs of the mixing board into inputs 1 and 2 and then record into logic? I know the inputs have mic preamps, so is there anything I need to do to bypass the pres and just use the A/D conversion?
Old 10th September 2011
  #11
Old 10th September 2011
  #12
RiF
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RiF's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Earcatcher View Post
The cheapest you said? My computers all have a direct analog in for two channels and a direct analog out. You can even set the sampling rate that you want to use. Costs nothing. All you need is a mini-jack on the input and a mini-jack on the output.
What earcatcher said.
Old 11th September 2011
  #13
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cdog's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikoo69 View Post
I just realized that I have a Zoom h4n handheld recorder, which also acts as a USB interface. Would I be able to use that as a 2 channel converter? Plug the stereo outputs of the mixing board into inputs 1 and 2 and then record into logic? I know the inputs have mic preamps, so is there anything I need to do to bypass the pres and just use the A/D conversion?
Just set the input levels low, you should be fine.


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Old 12th September 2011
  #14
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Alesis ADAT xt20 (very good DA, goes today for nothing)
Behringer ADA 8000
Old 10th October 2011
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin78 View Post
great sound, and very cheap
BEHRINGER: SRC2496

audiophiles love this unit
Behringer Ultramatch upsampler review
Behringer
Sorry to bring this thread back up, but I was not aware that this product existed. 2 ch A/D - D/A...for that price? Tons of features. Seems like quite a bargain to me. If it sounds good, then that's a really cool product.
Old 10th October 2011
  #16
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foldback's Avatar
We use a Behringer FCA202 A-D-A firewire interface in our broadcast studio for feeding audio into a Mac Mini for broadcasting. It was only $90 off Amazon, it sounds good and has been reliable so far. It is capable of 24-bit where the cheaper Behringer converters were limited to 16-bit.

The ADA 8000 has light-pipe inputs/outputs, how will you get that into your computer? Also, the latest builds of the ADA 8000 have a very annoying problem, the converters turn off when they don't get fed audio, they turn on when audio happens again but there is a ramp-up of sound that I hate.

We've had no reliability problem so far with any of our Behringer equipment but we only use it in our broadcast rig, not in our recording system which is all Apogee.

Best of luck to you.
Old 11th October 2011
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevens119 View Post
Sorry to bring this thread back up, but I was not aware that this product existed. 2 ch A/D - D/A...for that price? Tons of features. Seems like quite a bargain to me. If it sounds good, then that's a really cool product.
The SRC2496 hums and gets hot because of the transformers inside, so maybe cool isn't the best word to describe it. But it does sound decent for the price.
Old 11th October 2011
  #18
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oh, I don't want one...that sucks that it hums. Just thought it was cool. Now when somebody asks me how to get a little better conversion for a low price I have a better answer than APOGEE or RME
Old 11th October 2011
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Earcatcher View Post
The cheapest you said? My computers all have a direct analog in for two channels and a direct analog out. You can even set the sampling rate that you want to use. Costs nothing. All you need is a mini-jack on the input and a mini-jack on the output.
+1 :-)

I was going to say, "guess what a soundcard is?"

but you nailed it. cheapest a/d/a converter is the on-board sound card for your computer.

cheapest at a certain performance level though would be another topic entirely and yes, it's been discussed many times on this board, but I highly doubt the OP would actually find a conclusive answer from any of us.

Each one of us knows that what we use is better than anyone else's A/D/A. The only thing wrong with the world is that everybody else is wrong all the time.

Right?

:-D
Old 12th October 2011
  #20
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Bender888's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gamelan View Post
The SRC2496 hums and gets hot because of the transformers inside, so maybe cool isn't the best word to describe it. But it does sound decent for the price.
Mine doesn't hum, been going great for 3 years now. Does get a little warm, so I leave a space above it in the rack. I'm sure it could be fixed with a cheap heatsink or something.

But absolutely no problems sound wise.
Old 12th October 2011
  #21
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88fingerz's Avatar
 

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 will do the trick and then some.
Old 12th October 2011
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foldback View Post
The ADA 8000 has light-pipe inputs/outputs, how will you get that into your computer?
Another case of confusing digital converters with audio interfaces.

Digital converter - converts audio between analog and digital formats (A/D and D/A).

Audio interface - allows the recording of audio in a computer-based system.

One doesn't necessarily equal the other.
Old 12th October 2011
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bender888 View Post
Mine doesn't hum, been going great for 3 years now. Does get a little warm, so I leave a space above it in the rack. I'm sure it could be fixed with a cheap heatsink or something.

But absolutely no problems sound wise.
I didn't mean it hums on the recording affecting sound quality. It sounds great. The transformers in the box itself hum a bit. I probably notice it more because it usually ends up sitting on the desktop instead of in the rack.
Old 13th October 2011
  #24
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Well I just stuck my head in the rack and yep, you are right... it does hum.

Very so slighty, but up close it could be annoying.

Being Behringer I'm sure the hum varies unit to unit!
Old 13th October 2011
  #25
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S2udio's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bender888 View Post
Being Behringer I'm sure the hum varies unit to unit!
No the same unit varies from user to user........
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