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How big of a difference does a standalone ad/da converter really make? Audio Interfaces
Old 15th September 2011
  #1
Gear Head
 

How big of a difference does a standalone ad/da converter really make?

Just bought a ton of gear online for my first home studio(I'm totally a noob when it comes to all this I remind you!), and figured I'd try and get some decent gear right off the bat so it takes the equipment factor out of the equation for a bad sounding mix. Hoping that way I can learn what I'm doing a little quicker...

With that being said, its to my understanding that a standalone ad/da converter makes a world of difference in recording/mixing. I'm looking at used Lucid converters to get some bang for my buck cause I'm running low on funds. Do you think this is money well spent in a recording setup? Can I get just a standalone da converter or is the ad converter just as important? I want in the end to be able to make quality recordings that I'm not ashamed to show off. So far the gear I've bought is:
-Mackie Onyx 400F
-Line6 Pod HD Desktop
-FMR RNC-1773 Compressor
-KRK Rp8 Gen 1's
-Sansamp Programmable Bass Driver

I haven't bought a mic yet, but I'm going between a Shure SM7B and a Rode NTK(I'll be recording mostly hard rock/metal). I'm also going to be programming the drums with Native Instruments Battery 3.

I'm currently running Windows 7 Ultimate 64 on my laptop and plan on running the 400f in with firewire and put everything through that and into Reaper. Am I forgetting anything major for a good sounding digital recording? Any and all help/feedback I can get would be appreciated! Thank you in advance!
Old 15th September 2011
  #2
Lives for gear
 
beingmf's Avatar
 

The Onyx is more than OK for your needs. Just be prepared to spend the next year or so learning your gear, and, above all, what a "good" recording means. You may also spend the optional money (for the converter) for room acoustic treatment. This is usually the best investment, apart from what you have right now...
Old 15th September 2011
  #3
Lives for gear
 
evilrocker's Avatar
A high end converter is like night and day, like taking a blanket of your speakers....








Haha no really, you're fine with that! its all mp3 in the end
Old 15th September 2011
  #4
Deleted 6ccb844
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vorocity View Post
Just bought a ton of gear online for my first home studio(I'm totally a noob when it comes to all this I remind you!), and figured I'd try and get some decent gear right off the bat so it takes the equipment factor out of the equation for a bad sounding mix. Hoping that way I can learn what I'm doing a little quicker...

With that being said, its to my understanding that a standalone ad/da converter makes a world of difference in recording/mixing. I'm looking at used Lucid converters to get some bang for my buck cause I'm running low on funds. Do you think this is money well spent in a recording setup? Can I get just a standalone da converter or is the ad converter just as important? I want in the end to be able to make quality recordings that I'm not ashamed to show off. So far the gear I've bought is:
-Mackie Onyx 400F
-Line6 Pod HD Desktop
-FMR RNC-1773 Compressor
-KRK Rp8 Gen 1's
-Sansamp Programmable Bass Driver

I haven't bought a mic yet, but I'm going between a Shure SM7B and a Rode NTK(I'll be recording mostly hard rock/metal). I'm also going to be programming the drums with Native Instruments Battery 3.

I'm currently running Windows 7 Ultimate 64 on my laptop and plan on running the 400f in with firewire and put everything through that and into Reaper. Am I forgetting anything major for a good sounding digital recording? Any and all help/feedback I can get would be appreciated! Thank you in advance!
You can do highly respectable mixes on a modern day behringer interface, technology has moved so quickly, trust me it's all about talent: Sorry to quote this one but check this out:

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/low-e...challenge.html

If you want it sounding as good as possible, then you pay for the gear I'm renting an orpheus and Ensemble and a MH LIO 8 arrived today... Don't get me wrong it will make my life easier and I will get better results but your paying for 10 - 15 % not 300% and boy is it expensive...

They also come in different flavours with different interfaces, but alot of it is subjective and not many people will ever truly use what the high end interfaces are capable of.

If you put the effort in and not using absolute junk you can get good results.
Old 16th September 2011
  #5
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dannyvect View Post
You can do highly respectable mixes on a modern day behringer interface, technology has moved so quickly, trust me it's all about talent: Sorry to quote this one but check this out:

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/low-e...challenge.html

If you want it sounding as good as possible, then you pay for the gear I'm renting an orpheus and Ensemble and a MH LIO 8 arrived today... Don't get me wrong it will make my life easier and I will get better results but your paying for 10 - 15 % not 300% and boy is it expensive...

They also come in different flavours with different interfaces, but alot of it is subjective and not many people will ever truly use what the high end interfaces are capable of.

If you put the effort in and not using absolute junk you can get good results.
I love it when the voice of reason shows up at GS!

Thank you Danny.
Old 16th September 2011
  #6
Lives for gear
 

it's true that good converters are like taking blankets off your speakers. it's also true that inching up the quality range in converters yields small percentages in improvement. The difference in the Behringer ADA8000 to something like a Burl, or what I use, IZ Radar, is definitely going to be noticeable. In the end, a decent converter will get you started.

What's most important to me, is the source, the room it's recorded in, the mics used to capture it, and then the rest of the chain (converter being last). So get some good sounding instruments, get a good sounding room to record in (this will likely entail treating a room), and get some good mics to capture some good performances.

Do some research on here for non-bank-breaking mics that are suited for the sounds you are after. SM7 could work well for vocals, maybe guitar amp. Look into ubiquitous mics like sm57's, Senn. 421's as well for options. And get a variety of mics. You could devote $1000 and get 3 mics to cover a lot of bases. A dynamic, a condenser, and a ribbon, or double up on one of those at the expense of the ribbon for metal stuff (though Royer 121's are hard to beat on guitar amps).
Old 16th September 2011
  #7
Gear Head
 

Alright, sweet! Thanks for all the input guys! I think I'm going to hold off on the ad/da converter for the time being than, unless I find that special price I can not refuse!
Old 16th September 2011
  #8
Gear Head
 

With the room acoustic thought train, what's the best way to treat a room? Would foam be the best option? I've also seen studios use that sound proof fabric on the walls. Not sure where to even start with bass traps and if its worthy to attempt to build my own.
Old 16th September 2011
  #9
Quality A/D/A does make a difference. It's not night and day but is a difference. Price of entry to decent ones is around $2000 and for that kind of money you could treat your room and buy a nice mic. Both of which will make more of a difference than conversion.
Old 16th September 2011
  #10
Lives for gear
 
evilrocker's Avatar
No its not about the ****ing converters, its not like night and day. What is music for? Is it for people sitting in a treated room listening to high end monitors. Hell no, drink beer and listen to mp3s, the recording is all, the room, the mics, converters isnt a micropart of it.
Old 17th September 2011
  #11
Lives for gear
 
AwwDeOhh's Avatar
 

Use the money to treat your room +1000
You can always buy converters down the line if you feel the need, but:
it must be said- that if you're not in an acoustically balanced room, with properly setup (decent) monitors.. especially with an untrained ear, you will NOT notice much of a difference (if at all) with better conversion.
The converters even in low/low-mid range AI's are suffecient to get Great recordings. Converters have to be the LEAST amount of impact over other things you can do. (ie, source, mic technique, room acoustics, mixing ability, ect. ect. ect.)
ONLY when you have EVERYthing else up to par (including your own skill/experience) would i ever consider getting new AD/DAc

the weak point will definately be further up the chain, especially just starting out. Get your gear setup (look up proper way to setup your monitoring chain*) and start learning. Heck.. just finding your way around a modern sequencer will likely take months. Don't fret about your converters at this point

*Here's some links to read up on to start your understanding of room acoustics, and monitor placement
Acoustic Primer. GIK Acoustics. Acoustic Panels and Bass Traps.
RealTraps - How To Set Up a Room

Experience reigns supreme. An experienced engineer can use crap gear, and get a great recording. An INexperienced engineer can use the best gear in the world, and end up with crap.
Stick with it, learn the craft (it does take time) and-

~Good Luck!
Old 17th September 2011
  #12
Lives for gear
all that matters is the song!!!

converters are a huge difference
but everything matters too
Old 17th September 2011
  #13
Deleted 6ccb844
Guest
Lol I really, really doubt that when I am listening to my fravorite band on my .MP3 player I think to myself..

Hmm sorry guys, you sound awesome but I don't think I can listen you anymore because you only used an apogee ensmble and not a lavry gold..!
Old 18th September 2011
  #14
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dannyvect View Post
Lol I really, really doubt that when I am listening to my fravorite band on my .MP3 player I think to myself..
friends don't let friends listen to mp3s
Old 18th September 2011
  #15
Deleted 6ccb844
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by robertshaw View Post
friends don't let friends listen to mp3s
Better than listening to SAC's like some of these peeps do :P
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