The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
Question about interface specs?
Old 10th September 2011
  #1
Deleted 6ccb844
Guest
Question about interface specs?

I don't normally pay too much attention to specs but I am going to get a blackjack stuck in my bag for recording at mates house n stuff..

Mackie bang on about the blackjack having a 114DB Dynamic range..

So I was intrigued, I am going to get a steiny mrx as a replacement for my edirol UA-1000.

So I researched and apparently, out of three interfaces I researched it came in this order..

Prism orpheous: 115DB Dynamic range
Mackie OnyxBJ: 114DB Dynamic range
Steinberg MRX: 107DB Dynamic range

So in terms of quality is this pointing towards what I think it is?

That the BJ is nearly as good as having one from an Orpheous and the Steinberg is lacking way behind a £130 squid interface...

Tell me not sooo..
Old 10th September 2011
  #2
Deleted 6ccb844
Guest
Nobody know?
Old 11th September 2011
  #3
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dannyvect View Post
Nobody know?

specs are specks

some vendors are more honest than others

sometimes just the way they are stated makes a difference
eg at what distortion level, reference used for dB, etc.

sometimes they just copy the specs from the chip makers

DR does not make anything better or worse than the other when they are that close.
Old 11th September 2011
  #4
Deleted 6ccb844
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldeanalogueguy View Post
specs are specks

some vendors are more honest than others

sometimes just the way they are stated makes a difference
eg at what distortion level, reference used for dB, etc.

sometimes they just copy the specs from the chip makers

DR does not make anything better or worse than the other when they are that close.

Heres the thing though, if they are all that close then why spend £3k on something like a prism?
Old 11th September 2011
  #5
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dannyvect View Post
Heres the thing though, if they are all that close then why spend £3k on something like a prism?
Don't. Buy a MR816 if it works for your setup. Don't buy into the hype.
Old 11th September 2011
  #6
Deleted 6ccb844
Guest
After much, much reading looking into specs and one thing or another...

It seems that people like the MR816 because it is the least accurate.. Huh go figure..

It has the lowest dynamic range and it's snr's in general waver left right and centre.

Might be what gives it that analogue feel whilst something like the Orpheous is technically better, but it just doesn't feel as nice...

It's like driving a car that's doing all the work and your the lump of flesh that's going for the ride.. "To quote top gear"

Something to reflect on..
Old 11th September 2011
  #7
Gear Addict
 

I had the MR816 and I did like it. I only sold it because I couldn't use it with my new laptop (no firewire). I also have had mytek, apogee, and rme adda/interfaces. They all had their flaws for me. Then again, they all worked well enough... just get what works best for you.
Old 11th September 2011
  #8
Lives for gear
 

Nobody uses dynamic range anymore.
Old 11th September 2011
  #9
Deleted 6ccb844
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
Nobody uses dynamic range anymore.
What do they use then buddy?

And why do Mackie make such a big thing of it?
Old 11th September 2011
  #10
Lives for gear
 
stella645's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dannyvect View Post

And why do Mackie make such a big thing of it?
They're playing Top Trumps. That's their best chance of a winning figure.
Old 11th September 2011
  #11
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dannyvect View Post
What do they use then buddy?

And why do Mackie make such a big thing of it?
Dynamic range is a wonderful thing. I wish more people did use it. The dynamic range available in something like cassette is dismal, in LP is fair, in RTR is okay and in CD and later, is fantastic. You can trace the loss of dynamic range in recordings from about 1985 to the present... roughly from the introduction of CD as a popular medium for distribution.... as everyone wants every instrument "fatter" and louder. The ability to now have incredible subtlety and crashing, thunderous crescendos has given way to every thing being at full scale, 100% of the time.

Don't take my word for it, check with Doug Sax, Bob Katz, Alan Parsons, Glenn Meadows, Geoff Emerick.... the discussions about this have been flying around the net since the old Compuserve and original usenet days. Rip Rowen wrote about it for Wired more than ten years ago.

If you are only using the upper 6 dB of the interface, the difference among the choices listed is superfluous. There may be reasons to choose one over the other, but the dynamic range is not the metric i would worry about. They are all better than the best 2 inch RTR.
Old 12th September 2011
  #12
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dannyvect View Post
So I was intrigued, I am going to get a steiny mrx as a replacement for my edirol UA-1000.
IMHO, that "upgrade" won't give you that much of an improvement in sound quality and workflow. The UA-1000 is a pretty solid interface, although it is now pretty much orphanware.

While I now use the MR816 as my main interface, the UA-1000 still gets a lot of use.
Old 12th September 2011
  #13
Deleted 6ccb844
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by Black Shadow View Post
IMHO, that "upgrade" won't give you that much of an improvement in sound quality and workflow. The UA-1000 is a pretty solid interface, although it is now pretty much orphanware.

While I now use the MR816 as my main interface, the UA-1000 still gets a lot of use.
Would the mighty Orpheus do the trick?
Old 12th September 2011
  #14
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dannyvect View Post
Would the mighty Orpheus do the trick?
As I've said in another thread in which we both have a part, I do like Prism gear. It will be of a higher standard than the others that you mentioned. (as increments in quality never match price it is stupid to ask if it will be 'twice as good' or whatever...) I also mentioned that there seems to be some questions about the performance of the Orpheus, so do your due diligence.

What about RME? (I'm an admitted fan, but there is a reason for that.)
Old 12th September 2011
  #15
Deleted 6ccb844
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
As I've said in another thread in which we both have a part, I do like Prism gear. It will be of a higher standard than the others that you mentioned. (as increments in quality never match price it is stupid to ask if it will be 'twice as good' or whatever...) I also mentioned that there seems to be some questions about the performance of the Orpheus, so do your due diligence.

What about RME? (I'm an admitted fan, but there is a reason for that.)
No such thing as a stupid question bruv, just stupid answers

The RME UFX looks alright, not sure how it compares to the MR816 would have to do some research.
Old 12th September 2011
  #16
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dannyvect View Post
No such thing as a stupid question bruv, just stupid answers
Possibly, but the only thing twice as good for just twice as much money, is twice as much money.
Old 12th September 2011
  #17
Deleted 6ccb844
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
Possibly, but the only thing twice as good for just twice as much money, is twice as much money.

Every post seems to multiply confusion.. Simply I like many others want to get the best quality..

Some of the stuff recently is seriously not far from its the extra 10 to 15 percent..

Some things are given... better monitors, better instruments, better mic's. It's just something extra so you can take it to distribution and not have to worry about the quality.

If talent / room / basic equipment (Instrument's pre's etc.) are taken out the question and accounted for and you need what goes in to sound exactly like what goes in what do you go for?

So you find the Prism and you think hmmm sounds like good quality, then some guy comes along and says I sold my "Insert high end I/O here") For a Mr816X which is 6X less expensive then it's all back to 0 my friend.

These specs don't make life easier
Old 12th September 2011
  #18
114 db dynamic range is the levels from hiss to clipping. Take 20 db off right away to determine the +4 dbu operating s/n ratio. That gives you a -94 db s/n, -98 if referenced to 0 dbu.

Those are more "real world" specs.
Old 12th September 2011
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
Nobody uses dynamic range anymore.
This!!! This flatness race (Lady Gaga and anything autotuned) is just garbage. PEEEUSUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAH right in the ear drum. That's what it sounds like.

The dynamic range it's referring to is the SPL it can take. A live rock band is like...around 115db I think.
Old 12th September 2011
  #20
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dannyvect View Post
E.... then some guy comes along and says I sold my "Insert high end I/O here") For a Mr816X which is 6X less expensive then it's all back to 0 my friend.

These specs don't make life easier
Well, you do have to put the experience of the poster into the equation, and what it is that they do and what kind of production requirements apply to their work and yours. When Bob O or Jim W says something to me it resonates more than a comment from someone who has stated their experiences and they are different than my own, and from which I have no basis from which to draw useful information

I often say that a guy who is used to hamburger usually doesn't like his first steak. But after eating a few.... "hmmm... this stuff ain't bad!"

And then there is the question of value. Without a doubt steak is more expensive than hamburger. Is it worth it? Is it worth it to YOU? Will hamburger do? We all have to live within our budgets.

Specs are also only part of the story. Creative claimed that their original Sound Blaster audio card was 'CD Quality' and if you went by their specs, that was true. Did it SOUND like any professionally produced CD? Not really. Or amp ratings... My Cello amp didn't have near the power of a big Crown or Crest, but it cost about six times as much; and you could get a pile of budget named amps for what I paid for the Cello. Do you think that they sounded the same? Do Behringer Truth, Adam S1x, and Barefoot MM27s sound the same?

On top of the specs, it also pays to investigate reliability and ease of use. And don't forget support: I've mentioned before that I am a fan of RME. They have three things that attract me. One is support.. they don't release a product without making sure that it works, they keep their products in the pipeline a long time and support them as long as they are available. Another is their commitment to the software: it is always getting better. (I've bought some large dollar purchases from name brand companies which became orphans almost before i got them out of the boxes, and the software and drivers stopped at 1.0) Make sure that the company that makes the product you buy will support it for as long as you plan to use it.


One other anecdote: whenever I have made a purchase based upon saving money it has bit me in the ass twice, once when I bought the wrong thing that bummed me out to use, and then again when I had to pay for what I knew that I should have bought to start with.

So buy sensibly, buy based on your requirements, sound, reliability, and support. And if you think that you shouldn't, don't. There is no hurry either to save or to spend too much. And if you DO hurry, you'll likely be unhappy about it later.

(Ever wonder who makes hardware for software companies and if they maybe have a hardware line of their own? Just asking.)
Old 12th September 2011
  #21
Deleted 6ccb844
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
Well, you do have to put the experience of the poster into the equation, and what it is that they do and what kind of production requirements apply to their work and yours. When Bob O or Jim W says something to me it resonates more than a comment from someone who has stated their experiences and they are different than my own, and from which I have no basis from which to draw useful information

I often say that a guy who is used to hamburger usually doesn't like his first steak. But after eating a few.... "hmmm... this stuff ain't bad!"

And then there is the question of value. Without a doubt steak is more expensive than hamburger. Is it worth it? Is it worth it to YOU? Will hamburger do? We all have to live within our budgets.

Specs are also only part of the story. Creative claimed that their original Sound Blaster audio card was 'CD Quality' and if you went by their specs, that was true. Did it SOUND like any professionally produced CD? Not really. Or amp ratings... My Cello amp didn't have near the power of a big Crown or Crest, but it cost about six times as much; and you could get a pile of budget named amps for what I paid for the Cello. Do you think that they sounded the same? Do Behringer Truth, Adam S1x, and Barefoot MM27s sound the same?

On top of the specs, it also pays to investigate reliability and ease of use. And don't forget support: I've mentioned before that I am a fan of RME. They have three things that attract me. One is support.. they don't release a product without making sure that it works, they keep their products in the pipeline a long time and support them as long as they are available. Another is their commitment to the software: it is always getting better. (I've bought some large dollar purchases from name brand companies which became orphans almost before i got them out of the boxes, and the software and drivers stopped at 1.0) Make sure that the company that makes the product you buy will support it for as long as you plan to use it.


One other anecdote: whenever I have made a purchase based upon saving money it has bit me in the ass twice, once when I bought the wrong thing that bummed me out to use, and then again when I had to pay for what I knew that I should have bought to start with.

So buy sensibly, buy based on your requirements, sound, reliability, and support. And if you think that you shouldn't, don't. There is no hurry either to save or to spend too much. And if you DO hurry, you'll likely be unhappy about it later.

(Ever wonder who makes hardware for software companies and if they maybe have a hardware line of their own? Just asking.)
Some very good advice there.. As I say I can afford an Orepheus (If I saved for a couple of months) and from that I can obviously afford the RME UFX.. I would prefer the UFX because if it didn't live up to expectations then it's not as big of a hit. I don't think you really know a piece of gear untill you have had it for at least a couple of months...

I had an MBOX1 hated it, then once my knowledge had built up I used the PRE's and got some pretty decent results.. I was happy with it... There are issues with latency etc. and that's why I stopped using it.

Had a saffire (It's ok nothing really wrong, nothing awsome)
Had a Digirack (Was ok..)
Had an MBOX 3 (had alot of technical issues with it)
Had a behringer desk (Thought it was pretty good bar the 2+2 interface)

I just want to break out of the mid line stack and have the what comes in come's back out sort of interface..

That's all it has to do.
Old 12th September 2011
  #22
Lives for gear
 

" I just want to break out of the mid line stack and have the what comes in come's back out sort of interface.."


Many years ago I switched to separate components. This enabled me to upgrade without having to toss everything each time. Most recently I upgraded the sound cards, but I still have the same mic pres and converters that I have had for some time. It is not cheaper to do it this way, but for me it sure has been easier. (I bought the RME HDSPe AES cards). I have been suing Mytek converters for more than ten years I guess, and what goes in comes out. I don't know what your needs are, your budget, but something like a Lynx Aurora with an RME card is pretty sweet. It is pricy to start there, but to buy the first part and cheap interim devices until you can afford to upgrade is a reasonable solution and smarter than buying whole units that you have to replace every couple of years.

For example, if you decided that the RME RayDAT was the card for you, you could buy 16 channels of Behringer converters and mic pres for under $500. I'm not suggesting that you stay with Behringer, but you then have the option to buy better pres or converters as you can afford them, and it is just a matter of plugging them into the existing system. Eventually the Behringers are gone.

I had a very nice sounding ATI 8MX2... 8 Paragon mic pres, 8 limiters, plus mixing and monitoring in 1 rack space. Couple that with a decent 8 channel converter and you've got a great front end. You see them used for $1600 or so, they list at about $3k. That is a budget price for 8 premiere channels and there is no reason to get rid of that, like, ever...
Old 12th September 2011
  #23
Deleted 6ccb844
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
" I just want to break out of the mid line stack and have the what comes in come's back out sort of interface.."


Many years ago I switched to separate components. This enabled me to upgrade without having to toss everything each time. Most recently I upgraded the sound cards, but I still have the same mic pres and converters that I have had for some time. It is not cheaper to do it this way, but for me it sure has been easier. (I bought the RME HDSPe AES cards). I have been suing Mytek converters for more than ten years I guess, and what goes in comes out. I don't know what your needs are, your budget, but something like a Lynx Aurora with an RME card is pretty sweet. It is pricy to start there, but to buy the first part and cheap interim devices until you can afford to upgrade is a reasonable solution and smarter than buying whole units that you have to replace every couple of years.

For example, if you decided that the RME RayDAT was the card for you, you could buy 16 channels of Behringer converters and mic pres for under $500. I'm not suggesting that you stay with Behringer, but you then have the option to buy better pres or converters as you can afford them, and it is just a matter of plugging them into the existing system. Eventually the Behringers are gone.

I had a very nice sounding ATI 8MX2... 8 Paragon mic pres, 8 limiters, plus mixing and monitoring in 1 rack space. Couple that with a decent 8 channel converter and you've got a great front end. You see them used for $1600 or so, they list at about $3k. That is a budget price for 8 premiere channels and there is no reason to get rid of that, like, ever...
I have a TD12 so I only need a couple of channels...

I like your Idea though might look into cards with convertors..

Just need a card with AES or S/PDIF then that will bypass the converters on the soundcard anyway right?
Old 13th September 2011
  #24
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dannyvect View Post
Heres the thing though, if they are all that close then why spend £3k on something like a prism?

there are lots of other specs and considerations than DR

reliability, distortion, yada yada
trade them all off versus cost
according to what you need

one size fits nobody
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump