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32 Channel PCIE Audio Interfaces
Old 18th November 2014
  #1
292133
Guest
32 Channel PCIE

Alright guys, forgive me for my naive question here. I'm upgrading to the apogee symphony, and I'm looking to run it through the PCIE card. I only intend on tracking one input at a time, so would I really benefit from a 64 Channel PCIE or would the 32 channel suffice? again, apologies in advance for these dumb questions, I'm just interested in knowing the benefit. Also, how would a PCIE card affect large VSTs projects? (Battery, Kontakt, etc) because my current set up tends to crash in Pro Tools when I start running too many, and I've been told the PCIE card tends to take the load off of the CPU. I'm finally getting into high gear so I want to make sure I understand these things. I'm slowly learning. Also, any additional advice is welcome. Gracias..
Old 18th November 2014
  #2
Lives for gear
 

If you are only tracking one at a time then why not buy a high end preamp /compressor.

Obvious if you need the ad/da then the symphony is fine.

Cheers
Old 18th November 2014
  #3
Think you're a little confused here!

the PCIe cards...both are discontinued in favour of the thunderbridge, but you only really want the 64 version (is it named for channel count, or 64bit compatibility? I don't know).

Neither has any processing power, and even DSP cards don't help soft synths - that's down to the computer power, RAM, buffer size, and the efficiency of DAW and soft synth. Benefits over USB connection are higher IO count and slightly lower latency.

If you're only tracking one channel at a time and are fairly new to this, I honestly wouldn't even look at the symphony - you're spending a lot of money for features you don't need. Look at the Duet, Quartet or new Ensemble.

The Symphony might be a touch better quality, but at this point you may not be in a position to appreciate, or even hear the difference - if your monitoring/recording room isn't up to the same quality point.
Old 18th November 2014
  #4
292133
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by nickknack View Post
If you are only tracking one at a time then why not buy a high end preamp /compressor.

Obvious if you need the ad/da then the symphony is fine.

Cheers
I plan on running a Avalon 737 -> symphony
Old 18th November 2014
  #5
292133
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
Think you're a little confused here!

the PCIe cards...both are discontinued in favour of the thunderbridge, but you only really want the 64 version (is it named for channel count, or 64bit compatibility? I don't know).

Neither has any processing power, and even DSP cards don't help soft synths - that's down to the computer power, RAM, buffer size, and the efficiency of DAW and soft synth. Benefits over USB connection are higher IO count and slightly lower latency.

If you're only tracking one channel at a time and are fairly new to this, I honestly wouldn't even look at the symphony - you're spending a lot of money for features you don't need. Look at the Duet, Quartet or new Ensemble.

The Symphony might be a touch better quality, but at this point you may not be in a position to appreciate, or even hear the difference - if your monitoring/recording room isn't up to the same quality point.
lol yes confused might be an understatement.. I have an iMac but I intended to get a Mac Pro for the sake of the PCIE expansion slots because I was under the impression it would help run larger projects (according to the guy at the studio ) I just didn't wanna run an avalon 737 -> ensemble when I could just get the 2x6 symphony for a few hundred more.
Old 18th November 2014
  #6
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
Think you're a little confused here!

the PCIe cards...both are discontinued in favour of the thunderbridge, but you only really want the 64 version (is it named for channel count, or 64bit compatibility? I don't know).


Are you sure the Symphony 64 is discontinued?

It still appears active on the Apogee website... and the sweetwater & vintage king sites.

The 64 card is the only one to get if you are going PCIe. The 32 was discontinued years ago and have VERY limited support within OSX. I think the last compatible version of OSX was Snow Leopard.
Old 18th November 2014
  #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by justcalvillo View Post
lol yes confused might be an understatement.. I have an iMac but I intended to get a Mac Pro for the sake of the PCIE expansion slots because I was under the impression it would help run larger projects (according to the guy at the studio ) I just didn't wanna run an avalon 737 -> ensemble when I could just get the 2x6 symphony for a few hundred more.
No, it won't do that unfortunately. Depending on what mac pro you get...you'd need to get a pre-trashcan model to be able to use the PCIe, and you might find a modern iMac is actually more powerful - my laptop (2013) smokes my old 8core mac pro!

I still think the Symphony is overkill. Avalon wouldn't be my first choice, but I'd rather have mic pre/EQ/compressor into Ensemble than track clean into Symphony....but then I like to commit as much as possible!

Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleDev View Post
Are you sure the Symphony 64 is discontinued?

It still appears active on the Apogee website... and the sweetwater & vintage king sites.

The 64 card is the only one to get if you are going PCIe. The 32 was discontinued years ago and have VERY limited support within OSX. I think the last compatible version of OSX was Snow Leopard.
It appears under "legacy" products on Apogee's website doesn't it? the "Symphony 64 thunderbridge" is one product...and not the PCIe version. and yes, the 32bit only goes to 10.6.7.
Old 18th November 2014
  #8
292133
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
No, it won't do that unfortunately. Depending on what mac pro you get...you'd need to get a pre-trashcan model to be able to use the PCIe, and you might find a modern iMac is actually more powerful - my laptop (2013) smokes my old 8core mac pro!

I still think the Symphony is overkill. Avalon wouldn't be my first choice, but I'd rather have mic pre/EQ/compressor into Ensemble than track clean into Symphony....but then I like to commit as much as possible!
I have a 2014 macbook, but would that really handle projects better than say a mac like this?

32 Channel PCIEApple Mac Pro 3 46GHz 6 Core 16GB 2TB HDD Radeon HD 6870 1GB Excellent | eBay

Look here are my biggest concerns: #1 having the power to run many VSTs without hassle, #2 having the depth and clarity that i get at the studio. when I bounce tracks out they just seem flat and dull (from a scarlett 2i2) than when I go to the studio (who's running pro tools HD 11 I/O) obviously these 2 set ups are two different leagues, but I'm wondering if I can achieve it with the symphony. I've got good quality monitors and properly treated control room so this is just the missing link. I figured for the money a tlm 102 -> 737 would give me that..
Old 18th November 2014
  #9
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
It appears under "legacy" products on Apogee's website doesn't it? the "Symphony 64 thunderbridge" is one product...and not the PCIe version. and yes, the 32bit only goes to 10.6.7.

Argh yes, right you are...

I hope that doesn't indicated the conclusion of software updates for it. Apogee have a habit of discontinuing support prematurely compared to other manufacturers.
Old 18th November 2014
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by justcalvillo View Post
I have a 2014 macbook, but would that really handle projects better than say a mac like this?

32 Channel PCIEApple Mac Pro 3 46GHz 6 Core 16GB 2TB HDD Radeon HD 6870 1GB Excellent | eBay

Look here are my biggest concerns: #1 having the power to run many VSTs without hassle, #2 having the depth and clarity that i get at the studio. when I bounce tracks out they just seem flat and dull (from a scarlett 2i2) than when I go to the studio (who's running pro tools HD 11 I/O) obviously these 2 set ups are two different leagues, but I'm wondering if I can achieve it with the symphony. I've got good quality monitors and properly treated control room so this is just the missing link. I figured for the money a tlm 102 -> 737 would give me that..
Yes - I'd probably rather have the Macbook, assuming your RAM is good. The MP will have advantages - internal drives, upgradable RAM, PCIe slots - and disadvantages - no TB, less power.

Your Focusrite makes NO difference to the bounce quality btw - if you're not externally printing through the interface, it has no effect. The Focusrite may not be as flattering as an Avid IO but it won't transform things full of life into dull sources. listen to some music - does it still sound good? if so...your converter isn't the issue. Got to compare like with like.
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