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Converters Quality: Audio Interface vs. Digital Mixer
Old 1st July 2020
  #1
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Converters Quality: Audio Interface vs. Digital Mixer

I was wondering, what would be difference in quality in my recordings if replacing a RME UFX+ audio interface with a digital mixer, like Presonus StudioLive 32S or Behringer Wing? Provided that both run on the same samplingrate (48kHz).

I'm currently running the RME UFX+ (on thunderbolt) for recording mostly synthesizers, rarely vocals. Besides that, I do a lot of mixing in the box, so I'd like to use a digital mixer as a DAW-Controller. How is the conversion on modern digital mixers compared to interfaces like RME or UAD?

thanks

Last edited by donsilakis; 4th July 2020 at 10:01 AM.. Reason: Typo
Old 8th August 2020
  #2
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PeteJames's Avatar
I'm also curious about this
Old 8th August 2020
  #3
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Conversion is not the problem with digital mixers. It's the EQ's, compressors, and preamps that are typically lacking on a digital mixer. Like all things audio, there are high end an low end. The advantage is routing, recall, and automation.

The other problem with digital mixers is being outdated. Any digital mixer will be eventually be useless.

At one time I had an O2R and Allen an heath mixer. The A&H mixer was much better sounding than the O2R.
Old 8th August 2020
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elegentdrum View Post
The other problem with digital mixers is being outdated. Any digital mixer will be eventually be useless.
Why useless though? I mean, if it still works in 10-20 years it's still useful although outdated. But that's pretty much the destiny of all gear, no? Sh1t, that's the destiny of all of us as well...

I haven't done any comparison with high end interfaces but the X32 sounds good to my ears. You can always add outboard or ITB eqs, compressors, effects and such anyway. Preamps are good for what they are and anyway OP doesn't seem like a preamp purist since he says he doesn't even do vocals that much.
Grasspike should be able to give more info, he knows the X32 inside out.

The wing is the new Behringer from what I know, haven't seen many reviews on it yet.But it probably builds upon the X32/M32 legacy.
Old 9th August 2020
  #5
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I have a Qu-24. I’m planning on replacing with a MOTU 16A or 828es and another AVB expansion for more I/O.

I track bands live off the floor, so can routinely use 20+ channels.

This led me down the road of mixers, first with a Mackie 1640i analog mixer with built in FireWire to the Qu-24.

The routing options are great and setting up personal mixes is easy for everyone.

But it is a lot of mixer I just don’t use as it really is geared towards live, so besides lots of inputs and flexible routing, it doesn’t have any inserts and is lacking mojo being digital so there isn’t a lot to offer for studio use. I mean the faders rarely get touched: I’m always using my iPad.

I would rather just use my Fader Port for automation or get something like a Console 1 and Fader if I wanted hands on mixing.
Old 9th August 2020
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donsilakis View Post
.... How is the conversion on modern digital mixers compared to interfaces like RME or UAD?

thanks
This is rather indirect, but potentially useful:

I normally have my Audient ASP800 analog outputs 1-2 running into a pair of XLR 0-gain channels in my Midas M32. I recently added the capability of having the ADAT output of the ASP800's concurrently captured into the same DAW project because the RME MADI ExpressCard, and RME HDSP 9652 are both seen and used by the DAW. Got it?

While figuring out the additional (25 sample) delay of the ADAT input relative to the 'analog' input, when I zoomed in, it became obvious that the samples from both are identical. (I didn't check the whole 3 minutes of data, just several spots along the timeline that was recording a MIDI-generated tempo click through the ASP800.)

So, at least we can say that the conversion of a Midas M32 is mostly identical to the conversion in an Audient ASP800.
Old 9th August 2020
  #7
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gravyface's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by MediaGary View Post
This is rather indirect, but potentially useful:

I normally have my Audient ASP800 analog outputs 1-2 running into a pair of XLR 0-gain channels in my Midas M32. I recently added the capability of having the ADAT output of the ASP800's concurrently captured into the same DAW project because the RME MADI ExpressCard, and RME HDSP 9652 are both seen and used by the DAW. Got it?

While figuring out the additional (25 sample) delay of the ADAT input relative to the 'analog' input, when I zoomed in, it became obvious that the samples from both are identical. (I didn't check the whole 3 minutes of data, just several spots along the timeline that was recording a MIDI-generated tempo click through the ASP800.)

So, at least we can say that the conversion of a Midas M32 is mostly identical to the conversion in an Audient ASP800.
Interesting.
Old 9th August 2020
  #8
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I'm currently trying to decide whether to go with 2x SPL Madison converters over MADI vs a Ferrofish A32 + RME Madiface. Then I would run into it with a Soundcraft GB2 mixer but this might degrade the quality vs running my signal straight into it. I really wanted a knob per function mixer though so i'd have to test this. I'm also wondering whether a digital mixer would be a better idea to preserve the sound quality (more than cheaper analogue mixers) and also offer built in effects and forget about the dedicated converters as I do really want a mixer. I guess the 'safest' route to keep the audio quality would be to use a DAW controller as a mixer but then latency and I want to work outside the box more and get hands on. I've no idea which way to go.
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