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PCIe card + converter at low price than babyface? Audio Interfaces
Old 23rd April 2017
  #1
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PCIe card + converter at low price than babyface?

So I'm looking for a 500$ range audio interface , with my outmost priority being reliability , drivers , IDC about preamps and only need 2 ins\outs (midi could be nice)

It kinda settled that RME has the best drivers support , but their babyface interface is damn expensive at around 700$ .

Since PCIe cards cut the need for any communication protocol , I'm interested in one,for their ability to provide very low latency on big workload.
but they don't have Digital to analog converters , which will be an additional purchase.

Is there any PCIe card and a converter combo that would beat the baby face in terms of price , and would still be reliable?

(I also got a pretty good deal on an SPL creston , but I'm afraid of the drivers, although it's a cool unit)

Edit:
RME HDSP 9632 - I've found one for dirt cheap 200$ , it allready has converters on it , ???
Old 23rd April 2017
  #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dobibo View Post
RME HDSP 9632 - I've found one for dirt cheap 200$ , it allready has converters on it , ???
It has, there are two kinds of breakout cables for it.. the ones with unbalanced RCAs and balanced with XLRs. You can get the other one as an option from RME.
Then there is separate output for headphones, which is driven by separate DA converter.

Check its product page, everything is written there..
https://www.rme-audio.de/en/products/hdsp_9632.php

Only thing is, 9632 is PCI.. not PCI express, so be sure, there is such slot at your motherboard.

Michal
Old 23rd April 2017
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msmucr View Post
It has, there are two kinds of breakout cables for it.. the ones with unbalanced RCAs and balanced with XLRs. You can get the other one as an option from RME.
Then there is separate output for headphones, which is driven by separate DA converter.

Check its product page, everything is written there..
https://www.rme-audio.de/en/products/hdsp_9632.php

Only thing is, 9632 is PCI.. not PCI express, so be sure, there is such slot at your motherboard.

Michal
Hi Michael , Ya I'l need a PCIe to PCI convertor , It seems like another step that is bound to some problems .
Have you had any experience, or know how reliable a setup like that would be ?

And also , in terms of latency and processing power , which unit (baby vs the 9632) will take? and how much to the results vary?
Old 23rd April 2017
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dobibo View Post
Hi Michael , Ya I'l need a PCIe to PCI convertor , It seems like another step that is bound to some problems .
Have you had any experience, or know how reliable a setup like that would be ?

And also , in terms of latency and processing power , which unit (baby vs the 9632) will take? and how much to the results vary?
Hmm.. I have never used an additional PCIe/PCI converter (like Startech). Some people there reports success with such setups, I managed to always avoid that in setups, because there were either non-X99 platform with PCI slots option or I've managed to replace it with native PCIe solution.. Honestly besides possible compatibility woes, I didn't want to experiment with some alternative DIY mounting solutions, cutting into case or use some flex riser cables. But of course YMMV.

With regards to second question.. well.. "necessity" of PCI/PCIe card differs user from user.. Generally RME USB interfaces performs very well (this is pretty apparent if you're coming from another typical USB interface) and is reliable, so many users find it more than adequate even for VI and amp-sims, who runs it at 64s buffers without any issues.
Roundtrip latency figure alone will between older PCI card via its analog I/Os be pretty close to new Babyface Pro, because newer interfaces has "faster" A/D and D/A converters. If we would exclude that and use just digital loopback for the test, then PCI/PCIe cards has about cca 0.7ms shorter RTL. Which is pretty insignificant in the complete picture.
Where RME PCI/PCIe card might have own edge, is DAW behavior under heavy load, where its more efficient audio streaming plays its role and present less load to the system. If you really appreciate this difference is hard to tell.. While this general performance characteristic still applies.. the edge can have different priority at different setups and workloads.
So I'd probably try Babyface, because it's probably simpler solution and should have everything you'd need incl. volume controller. When its performance won't cut for some reason (I don't think, it would be bottleneck for vast majority of users), then try to look for HDSPe AIO.

Michal
Old 23rd April 2017
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msmucr View Post
Hmm.. I have never used an additional PCIe/PCI converter (like Startech). Some people there reports success with such setups, I managed to always avoid that in setups, because there were either non-X99 platform with PCI slots option or I've managed to replace it with native PCIe solution.. Honestly besides possible compatibility woes, I didn't want to experiment with some alternative DIY mounting solutions, cutting into case or use some flex riser cables. But of course YMMV.

With regards to second question.. well.. "necessity" of PCI/PCIe card differs user from user.. Generally RME USB interfaces performs very well (this is pretty apparent if you're coming from another typical USB interface) and is reliable, so many users find it more than adequate even for VI and amp-sims, who runs it at 64s buffers without any issues.
Roundtrip latency figure alone will between older PCI card via its analog I/Os be pretty close to new Babyface Pro, because newer interfaces has "faster" A/D and D/A converters. If we would exclude that and use just digital loopback for the test, then PCI/PCIe cards has about cca 0.7ms shorter RTL. Which is pretty insignificant in the complete picture.
Where RME PCI/PCIe card might have own edge, is DAW behavior under heavy load, where its more efficient audio streaming plays its role and present less load to the system. If you really appreciate this difference is hard to tell.. While this general performance characteristic still applies.. the edge can have different priority at different setups and workloads.
So I'd probably try Babyface, because it's probably simpler solution and should have everything you'd need incl. volume controller. When its performance won't cut for some reason (I don't think, it would be bottleneck for vast majority of users), then try to look for HDSPe AIO.

Michal
Great , thank you very much sir.
though it's 2.5 times the price of the 200$ PCI I've found, I'l go with the baby , just to minimize the risk of any compatability issue , and I guess it's portable , so the price would pay itself off .
Old 23rd April 2017
  #6
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It looks like steep price for Babyface, but its aspects makes it real professional audio interface at small package IMO. Those are usually keepers.

Good luck with that!

Michal
Old 23rd April 2017
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bgood's Avatar
Man... Hang in there. Rme PCIe stuff comes up cheap on eBay, reverb.
Old 24th April 2017
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bgood View Post
Man... Hang in there. Rme PCIe stuff comes up cheap on eBay, reverb.
I've found one for 500$
PCIe card + converter at low price than babyface?RME HDSPe AIO Audio Interface PCIe Express + Symm. Peitsche + 1.5 Jahre Garantie | eBay

add in 50-70 bucks for a breaker cable ,24 euros for shipping

that's almost 600$ (concidering I'l be able to get it in without paying 17%VAT)
and it's built in on my PC , no Gain knobs , all wires dandling at the back of my PC , and would maybe need to buy an additional hardware to manage that easier.

but , how much of a difference performance wise , since RME's usb drivers are so good , there is between their babyface and the aio PCIe interface?
(IDC about preamps , Just want a smooth ride in terms of drivers and performance for years,compatability)
Old 24th April 2017
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dobibo View Post
I've found one for 500$
PCIe card + converter at low price than babyface?RME HDSPe AIO Audio Interface PCIe Express + Symm. Peitsche + 1.5 Jahre Garantie | eBay

add in 50-70 bucks for a breaker cable ,24 euros for shipping

that's almost 600$ (concidering I'l be able to get it in without paying 17%VAT)
and it's built in on my PC , no Gain knobs , all wires dandling at the back of my PC , and would maybe need to buy an additional hardware to manage that easier.

but , how much of a difference performance wise , since RME's usb drivers are so good , there is between their babyface and the aio PCIe interface?
(IDC about preamps , Just want a smooth ride in terms of drivers and performance for years,compatability)
Man usb audio devices are banned from my life... But, if I had to trust one it'd be an rme

Regardless of which rme you pick you can be assured that those dudes will keep writing drivers for it!
Old 24th April 2017
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bgood View Post
Man usb audio devices are banned from my life... But, if I had to trust one it'd be an rme

Regardless of which rme you pick you can be assured that those dudes will keep writing drivers for it!
Yea that's why I'm sucking it in and going to give them my money .
I want a smooth ride all the way till I die , And I can be sure that they'll update the drivers till that time comes.

If I'l find a PCIe card of them locally here soon I'l definetly get it , but if it's from ebay , I rather just save for the baby.
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