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Pro Tools HD Native versus SSL Alpha-Link with MADI Xtreme64 and PT 9 Audio Interfaces
Old 7th September 2011
  #1
Pro Tools HD Native versus SSL Alpha-Link with MADI Xtreme64 and PT 9

I'm torn between a Pro Tools HD Native system with two Lynx Aurora 16 or a SSL Alpha-Link with the MADI Xtreme 64 card.

We mix through a 24 track console and usually do not exceed that number. We also monitor through the console.

With the Alpha-Link I'll need a 2 channel AD/DA for mix down, and I was thinking about a Tascam DV-RA1000HD. With the Lynx, I'd just record mixes to two tracks.

Would I notice any performance difference between the HD Native and the MADI card?

I'm trying to figure out the benefit of HD Native if I monitor through a console and don't mix in 5.1 and I don't exceed 32 tracks very often.
Old 7th September 2011
  #2
I'd be wary of using 3rd party converters with HD Native at this stage. When Kittonian stops recommending Auroras because of potential problems, you know there's an issue!
Old 7th September 2011
  #3
Lives for gear
 
LeMauce's Avatar
Prisewise the SSL option beats the Native by far. Bought the SSL madixtreme64 + Alphalink (ADAT) bundle for 2000euro's here.
But had some problems in the beginning with the madi card and drivers.
Now with protools 9.0.5/10.6.8 and the lasted drivers it is ROCK solid and then I mean rock solide its is really dead one good. No strange error popup messages or crap outs during playback even on 32samples and big sessions.

If you go for the Native card go also with the new AVID AD/DA's. The Native card have sometimes probls with 3rd party AD/DA's interfaces. The DELTA of SSL has also some probs with it.
Old 7th September 2011
  #4
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lordward's Avatar
I've got the MX4 card and 2 Alphalink Madis'.

Happy with the sound, performance, price and the routing/matrix possibilities are just great. I'm also running PT9 with this setup. Works great.

DW
Old 7th September 2011
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeMauce View Post
If you go for the Native card go also with the new AVID AD/DA's. The Native card have sometimes probls with 3rd party AD/DA's interfaces. The DELTA of SSL has also some probs with it.
We are using the SSL DeltaLink boxes without problems since they updated the firmware this summer. There are several funky options one must get one's head around (owing to the fact that one has to use existing ProTools code pages to tweak parameters of non-AVID hardware), but once you get past that, all good.
Old 7th September 2011
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
I'd be wary of using 3rd party converters with HD Native at this stage. When Kittonian stops recommending Auroras because of potential problems, you know there's an issue!
The only fair shot is give the product a chance and try it out with the hardware, before deciding on anything that is being said here on this forum.

I am here to say that I got a 48 Channel Lynx HDNative system in the field, cooking GAS. x1 Aurora 16 and x1 Aurora 8. Several gotcha's indeed.

It works though, as does my Apogee and other interfaces, which have been working with HDTDM for years without problems, or requiring much brain power.

Even though, I still STRONGLY recommend, that based on experience, getting an AVID interface, is the best way to go with this new HD Native system. After that you are buying sonics and features for your budget, only. Not assured stability.

The AVID interfaces have very low latency compared to other Digi-Link devices, and they are the most rock solid stable with the cards. There is nothing to worry about with them. I feel, that since the system has 64 I/O capabilities, one might mess with more 3rd party I/O down the line, after you get down to business with your system.
Old 7th September 2011
  #7
I don't think that I can budget 24 or 32 channels of Avid HD I/O and the Native card. The Avid hardware is just too expensive.

Running the HD native system vs the MADI/PCI-e card, will I notice any performance differences? Don't I avoid a lot of the latency issues monitoring through a console, since PT 9 has delay compensation, and I don't need the increased track count or 5.1 capabilities. Is there any other advantages PT HD Native would give me?
Old 7th September 2011
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Sullivan View Post
I don't think that I can budget 24 or 32 channels of Avid HD I/O and the Native card. The Avid hardware is just too expensive.

Running the HD native system vs the MADI/PCI-e card, will I notice any performance differences? Don't I avoid a lot of the latency issues monitoring through a console, since PT 9 has delay compensation, and I don't need the increased track count or 5.1 capabilities. Is there any other advantages PT HD Native would give me?
The HDNative system is more powerful than PT9+CPK and I will tell you why.

1) You get Input monitoring and a clever LLM system if needed.

2) You get a 64-Bit Floating Point Mix engine.

3) It yields a squeaky clean and incredibly low DSP profile, that is a high bandwidth, high channel count, sample accurate link to the PTHD environment.

4) With a powerful Machine, you have stable buffering capabilities down to 32 samples.

5) You have 64 I/O streams with any Application, for future use, of use of your interfaces Digital I/O etc.

---------

You just explained however, that you monitor with a console, and don't need any of the features of PTHD, but I think we all need better headroom on the bussing, smaller DSP load while working, and more I/O without limiting power. So really, if the goal is that you need 24-32 I/O, and if that is more important that the above attributes, than I would suggest PT9 and then just get whatever banks of converters you can afford with whatever digital interfacing system floats your boat.

For instance the RME MADI/PCI-e interface with your SSL MADI unit, [I recommend it for its routing matrix, low latency and stable performance]. It has a seriously versatile routing matrix for any situation. Monitoring with your console is a great way to work, but even still, the lower the latency in the digital world, and the lower the temperature of the DSP, the better in my book.
Old 7th September 2011
  #9
Hmm...maybe I'll wait a little bit and see what Lynx comes up with. On their website they say they have a work around.

I just can't afford the Avid converters, and love the sound of the Lynx units.

Is the Lynx Aurora more stable running a 8 and 16 channel unit with HD native? I'd consider getting an 8 and 16 channel unit and another 2 channel mix down unit like a Tascam DV-RA1000HD that I could connect to one of the Aurora's digitally.
Old 7th September 2011
  #10
Gear Maniac
 

I just over to the Alpha Link AX and the Madiextreme64 running pt9.0.3 and it is rock solid. Ultra clean and extremely fast, latency delay to my outboard hardware is Really low. I'm just lovin it. Hope they get the Madi128 online with pro tools, I'm all in! And 24 I/O has solved alot of problems for me and at a price point I'm very happy with.
Old 7th September 2011
  #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Sullivan View Post
Hmm...maybe I'll wait a little bit and see what Lynx comes up with. On their website they say they have a work around.

I just can't afford the Avid converters, and love the sound of the Lynx units.

Is the Lynx Aurora more stable running a 8 and 16 channel unit with HD native? I'd consider getting an 8 and 16 channel unit and another 2 channel mix down unit like a Tascam DV-RA1000HD that I could connect to one of the Aurora's digitally.
The Lynx LTHD card with both the Aurora 8/16 works great with HDNative and both add AES/EBU ports to the party. What workaround do you speak of? One issue is that the LTHD/HDNative card stays locked to the card even after PT is closed. This is actually cool, as it is accessed by the Core Audio environment too, without limitation.
Old 7th September 2011
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roc Mixwell View Post
The only fair shot is give the product a chance and try it out with the hardware, before deciding on anything that is being said here on this forum.

I am here to say that I got a 48 Channel Lynx HDNative system in the field, cooking GAS. x1 Aurora 16 and x1 Aurora 8. Several gotcha's indeed.

It works though, as does my Apogee and other interfaces, which have been working with HDTDM for years without problems, or requiring much brain power.

Even though, I still STRONGLY recommend, that based on experience, getting an AVID interface, is the best way to go with this new HD Native system. After that you are buying sonics and features for your budget, only. Not assured stability.

The AVID interfaces have very low latency compared to other Digi-Link devices, and they are the most rock solid stable with the cards. There is nothing to worry about with them. I feel, that since the system has 64 I/O capabilities, one might mess with more 3rd party I/O down the line, after you get down to business with your system.
I agree.

We've had problems with Auroras on one of our rigs, with a particular version of HD TDM card, with PT9 at higher sample rates...I'm just not 100% confident in recommending 3rd party solutions to PT interfaces until things stabilise a little! And I was quoting the biggest Aurora endorsee on here...!
Old 7th September 2011
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roc Mixwell View Post
The Lynx LTHD card with both the Aurora 8/16 works great with HDNative and both add AES/EBU ports to the party. What workaround do you speak of? One issue is that the LTHD/HDNative card stays locked to the card even after PT is closed. This is actually cool, as it is accessed by the Core Audio environment too, without limitation.
I'm referring to all the issues people have been mentioning using native and the Auroras. I know some have said that when opening a session in a different sample rate it creates an error
Old 7th September 2011
  #14
Solid State Logic
 
Jim@SSL's Avatar
 

The OP needs 24 i/o and all monitoring is going through the console.

MadiXtreme and Alpha Link seems to be just what he needs. Any other features discussed in this thread either;

seem to ignore the original post

or

are written by dealers




This post is included in the above categorisation. heh
Old 7th September 2011
  #15
Hey Jim, the problem I run into with the MADI unit is I still need two channels for mix down. Is it possible for me to interface say a Tascam DV-RA1000HD or a stereo 2 track AD/DA with the Alpha-Link? That particular unit has AES but I don't want to spend another grand for that option on the Alphalink when I only need two channels.

Maybe Pro Tools will recognize the DV-RA1000HD hooked up with USB?
Old 8th September 2011
  #16
Gear Addict
 
mm-pro's Avatar
I have a bank of Aes digital devices being converted to ADAT optical going into my AlphaLink using an Alesis A4. Maybe there is a converter with lightpipe worth considering.


Regards,

MM
Old 8th September 2011
  #17
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

Just to comment on the SSL concerning latency etc, we run 2 systems with Nuendo on one and PT9 on the other using the MADI Extreme 64 card (that comes with the bundle). Both systems report a round trip latency of 2.04ms (very fast) and I've never had any issues monitoring live even off of the DAW output.

I would be curious to know the round trip latency of the AVID, and I'm sure it's quite good.

War
Old 8th September 2011
  #18
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Sullivan View Post
That particular unit has AES but I don't want to spend another grand for that option on the Alphalink when I only need two channels.
We actually put together our own SSL Alpha Link SX (AES) bundle which saves tons of money. Just like the AX bundle...only the digital is AES.

War
Old 8th September 2011
  #19
Can you run two Alpha-Link off 1 card? I can probably get a second for not much more than a good 2 channel ad/da
Old 8th September 2011
  #20
Lives for gear
 
lozion's Avatar
 

More fuel to the debate:

HD Native really Works!
Old 8th September 2011
  #21
Gear Addict
 
mm-pro's Avatar
You could hook a second up through the ADAT inputs though you lose half the channels when you smux. Or you can get the dual MADI 128 SSL card, though there have been some issues with that card and ProTools 9...I am not sure if this has been completely resolved.

Regards,

MM



Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Sullivan View Post
Can you run two Alpha-Link off 1 card? I can

probably get a second for not much more than a good 2 channel ad/da
Old 8th September 2011
  #22
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mirrorboy's Avatar
 

Hey all-

Sorry if this is a dumb question:

I'm running an Aurora 16 with the Lynx AES 16e card. I get 16 Analogue I/O. The way it's hooked up the digital I/O's go to the PCIe cards' interface.

I'm not really sure how the above poster gets 48 channels of I/O with an Aurora 8 and an Aurora 16. Is it because when using the LT-HD card connected to the Native card....this is essentially freeing up the digital I/Os and then you are able to use all 16 Analogue I/O and 16 Digital I/O simultaneously? Hope that makes sense...

Can the LT-HD card handle this much bandwidth ok?

(I know there are some issues right now with Native cards and the Auroras- but in the future I was thinking about getting a Native card and am wondering about how people literally double the I/O...or rather, free up the Digital I/O as mine are used to interface with the AES 16e card)

I guess I'm just wondering how it's done and if there are any downsides as opposed to the way I currently have things setup.

Thanks,

Scott
Old 8th September 2011
  #23
Quote:
Originally Posted by mirrorboy View Post
Hey all-

Sorry if this is a dumb question:

I'm running an Aurora 16 with the Lynx AES 16e card. I get 16 Analogue I/O. The way it's hooked up the digital I/O's go to the PCIe cards' interface.

I'm not really sure how the above poster gets 48 channels of I/O with an Aurora 8 and an Aurora 16. Is it because when using the LT-HD card connected to the Native card....this is essentially freeing up the digital I/Os and then you are able to use all 16 Analogue I/O and 16 Digital I/O simultaneously? Hope that makes sense...

Can the LT-HD card handle this much bandwidth ok?

(I know there are some issues right now with Native cards and the Auroras- but in the future I was thinking about getting a Native card and am wondering about how people literally double the I/O...or rather, free up the Digital I/O as mine are used to interface with the AES 16e card)

I guess I'm just wondering how it's done and if there are any downsides as opposed to the way I currently have things setup.

Thanks,

Scott
Each digilink card (and thus LT-HD card) can handle 32io. The Lynx 16 has 32io (16 analogue, 16 digital - you're using both in your setup) and the Lynx 8 has 16io. so the post you refer to, using 2 LT HD cards, gets 48io (24 analogue, 24 digital). the Native card has 2 digilink ports, and can handle 64io.
Old 8th September 2011
  #24
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mirrorboy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
Each digilink card (and thus LT-HD card) can handle 32io. The Lynx 16 has 32io (16 analogue, 16 digital - you're using both in your setup) and the Lynx 8 has 16io. so the post you refer to, using 2 LT HD cards, gets 48io (24 analogue, 24 digital). the Native card has 2 digilink ports, and can handle 64io.
OK thanks.

I guess I was wondering more about how this is achieved being that I currently use the Aurora's digital I/O to interface with the Lynx AES 16e card.

With an Aurora 16 with the LT-HD card...would all 32 I/O be interfacing via the LT-HD to the Native PCIe card....and therefore the digital I/O is now freed up? Any bandwidth issues in doing it this way seeing as how I'd be doubling up the I/O that is being sent to and from the Aurora Converter/Native PCIe Card?

Thanks again,

Scott
Old 8th September 2011
  #25
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s.d.finley's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mirrorboy View Post
OK thanks.

I guess I was wondering more about how this is achieved being that I currently use the Aurora's digital I/O to interface with the Lynx AES 16e card.

With an Aurora 16 with the LT-HD card...would all 32 I/O be interfacing via the LT-HD to the Native PCIe card....and therefore the digital I/O is now freed up? Any bandwidth issues in doing it this way seeing as how I'd be doubling up the I/O that is being sent to and from the Aurora Converter/Native PCIe Card?

Thanks again,

Scott
Running PtHD and the lynx aurora 16 with LTHD card yes its 32 io no bandwith issues. Pthd native, I dunno.
Old 26th October 2011
  #26
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Well, with the recent debacle (imho) of Avids new offerings, I'm thinking more & more about the SSL route.

So, am bumping this thread to hear more on SSL MADI Xtreme 64 and Alpha-Link MADI AX bundled with Pro Tools 9 (soon 10?). The price is too good.

-Can you actually track & mix at 32 buffer on a Mac Pro?

-Any caveats with the system or issues we should know about?

-What would be a good 8 AD-DA to bring the i/o count to 32?

-Is this listing a good quote?:

Pro Tools HD Native versus SSL Alpha-Link with MADI Xtreme64 and PT 9SSL MADI Xtreme 64 and Alpha-Link MADI AX Bundle | eBay

Txs.
Old 29th October 2011
  #27
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lozion's Avatar
 

yes, txs for your input...
Old 29th October 2011
  #28
Quote:
Originally Posted by lozion View Post
Well, with the recent debacle (imho) of Avids new offerings, I'm thinking more & more about the SSL route.

So, am bumping this thread to hear more on SSL MADI Xtreme 64 and Alpha-Link MADI AX bundled with Pro Tools 9 (soon 10?). The price is too good.

-Can you actually track & mix at 32 buffer on a Mac Pro?

-Any caveats with the system or issues we should know about?

-What would be a good 8 AD-DA to bring the i/o count to 32?

-Is this listing a good quote?:

Pro Tools HD Native versus SSL Alpha-Link with MADI Xtreme64 and PT 9SSL MADI Xtreme 64 and Alpha-Link MADI AX Bundle | eBay

Txs.
32 sample buffer is only guaranteed work perfectly with Avid hardware.

There are ALWAYS plenty of caveats when you use 3rd party interfacing hardware with Avid products.

Luckily, they seem to be on the ball with Core Audio so i am finding it will work with several of my devices (and work well) (no I cannot buffer my 3rd party hardware, down to 32 samples and move around pro tools like a mad man,,,,,i could get the spinning ball,,,,

so the hardcore point is that we are not seeing the same driver DSP profile inside Core Audio that we are with Avid hardware.

I'm not saying you can't use what you are asking about, but I would suggest to you, that using two interfaces, other than through the digital I/O of the first interface, will never be a recommendation I would make. Ever.
Old 29th October 2011
  #29
Gear Maniac
 

[QUOTE=lozion;7169547]Well, with the recent debacle (imho) of Avids new offerings, I'm thinking more & more about the SSL route.

So, am bumping this thread to hear more on SSL MADI Xtreme 64 and Alpha-Link MADI AX bundled with Pro Tools 9 (soon 10?). The price is too good.

-Can you actually track & mix at 32 buffer on a Mac Pro?

I have but it was on a acoustic session and it was a low track count with only a few plugs. I use mac pro quad core with 12 gig of ram. I will say though that at buffer of 64 you will not notice any latency, nor will your clients. I am currently working on a session that has 42 tracks with quite a few plugs plus I am using 8 outboard comps and eq's and it works fine. Not sure of results with a hd native card, I am using Alpha Link AX and the Madi Extreme 64 and using the Alpha as the clock source. If you add a second box then you should consider a external clock. Pt 9 only allows for 32 tracks so for me to get a second Alpha and only be able to use the first 8 converters is a waste.
Old 30th October 2011
  #30
Lives for gear
 
lozion's Avatar
 

Yes, 64 buffer is very acceptable in terms of latency.
I've worked on a MOTU rig with 2 HD192+424 PCIE card on a current Mac Pro and PT9 was rock solid at 64. I guess I can expect the same performance from the SSL variant...
Txs guys.
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