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-   -   Do you use different AD Converters tracking same song? (https://www.gearslutz.com/board/high-end/799542-do-you-use-different-ad-converters-tracking-same-song.html)

Simma Lugnt 3rd January 2013 01:56 PM

Do you use different AD Converters for Overdubs/Layers tracking the same song?
 
I couldn't find anybody here who use different AD converters (not necessarily simultaneously) in the same song to achive "better" mix?

Wonder how many of you use different AD converters during tracking same song (like blending pres and mics)?

I mean, to use it for overdubs/layers for example: Orpheus for acoustic gtr (which IMO suite it better than 2192) BUT using 2192 for tracking Bass later cos of it's nice lows.


Is it mixable later? Does it glue?

Seamus TM 3rd January 2013 02:34 PM

Different converters will have different latency times.
I suppose that you could find the exact times of each converter and go through everything and move it around after the fact, but I can't think of a good enough reason to go through all that.

Best to keep it all through one, in my opinion.

petermiles 3rd January 2013 03:14 PM

I never did this out of choice. I used to have a bodged together system with for following convertors:

Apogee Ensemble 8in 8 out
Focusrite ISA 428 8in
Focusrite 4pre 4 in
Behringer ADA8000 8in 8 out

These were all hooked up and clocked via ADAT to an RME raydat card.

This was just the way my system came together. It worked fine as long as you kept things grouped together in order of phase importance, like all drumclose mics into the apogee convertors, distant room mics into the 428.

It goes VERY wrong if you do things that are very phase sensitive like multiple mic a guitar cab with one mic into the apogee and another into the 4pre. The slight difference in timing i guess totally ruined the phase of the mics in a way i couldn't recover with any kind of time/phase correction afterwards.

I only made this mistake once. I can't think you'd ever want to do this out of choice, only necessity. Some people have a few channels oh high end conversion for critical stuff and then a rew PT192's for the bog standard stuff to save money. No need for 48 channels of Prism IO for most people!

AllBread 3rd January 2013 06:34 PM

I'll third the above two replies - for me it's best to pick one type of high quality convertor and stick with it. Not only can there be latency issues but I figure we have enough decisions to make in a short amount of time during a session and don't want to have to decide which converter will flatter the source more!

joeq 3rd January 2013 07:14 PM

not on purpose

Quote:

(like blending pres and mics in the same song)
well mics are MICS! hittt

But even here on Gearslutz, the backlash against preamp "palettes" is quite visible, with strong arguments being made in favor of 'cohesion' vs variety.

Now I love my preamps, so that's too late for me, but at this point I wouldn't go anywhere near a philosophy which made me feel I had go out and buy a 'selection' of different converters, too!

Simma Lugnt 3rd January 2013 07:17 PM

I should be more specific, sorry guys....

I'm aware of the phase issues using different converters at the same time. What i ment was to use it for overdubs/layers for example: Orpheus for acoustic gtr (which IMO suite it better than 2192) BUT 2192 for tracking Bass later cos of it's nice lows.

Orpheus low end is not as big as 2192 or AD10....

AllBread 3rd January 2013 08:47 PM

That makes sense to me - I could see having/wanting a pair of higher quality convertors or ones with a particular sound for printing mixes and doing overdubs. And the timing discrepancy will be slight between units so no reason you can't use them both at once as long as a stereo channel doesn't get split across them.

Rick Sutton 3rd January 2013 11:02 PM

I tried it for about a year when I bought a stereo AD that was high end in comparison to the standard Digidesign converters that I had at the time. Assigning it to critical tracks and to most overdubs was the plan. After a year of messing with the complications it added to an already complicated process and realizing that my final product didn't show any noticeable improvement I sold the high end convertor and put the money somewhere where it would do more good.

psycho_monkey 4th January 2013 12:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AllBread (Post 8598832)
That makes sense to me - I could see having/wanting a pair of higher quality convertors or ones with a particular sound for printing mixes and doing overdubs. And the timing discrepancy will be slight between units so no reason you can't use them both at once as long as a stereo channel doesn't get split across them.

+1. It's not unheard of for people to use whatever they have for the large-scale tracking, but using the "money" converter for the overdubs (although some, like the Lavry Gold, aren't designed for tracking at all, but only for printing mixes).

I think that's more through necessity than design though - I don't know anyone who wouldn't like 16 of their favourite converter, I don't know anyone who switches conversion as a "flavour" when they're tracking. There's simply too many other variables on a real tracking session on the clock to be fussing about stuff like this, IME!

bonestar 4th January 2013 12:16 AM

I would think pretty much anybody's time (and money) would be MUCH better spent tweaking mic positions, improving room treatments, trying different mics and outboard, adjusting EQ and compression, etc., etc. than trying to match different AD's to each source by their sonic signatures. That would seem, to me, like it would make the smallest possible difference of any choice you could possibly make in the course of tracking. It wouldn't be time well spent.

Deleted 651cf92 4th January 2013 01:06 AM

We use an aggregated devise made up from an RME and an Apogee unit and don't run into any problems, I don't spread a stereo pair across them, not because I had problems but just not to tempt fate.

emitsweet 4th January 2013 01:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Seamus TM (Post 8597774)
Different converters will have different latency times.

That would mean their clocks are broken or you have a termination issue or something out of the ordinary sync wise.

I have 3 different converters clocked to a burl B2 and interfaced to an RME 9652 and it's always zero latency. Never had a problem with latency times. I've locked up every way imaginable with using 5 different master clocks over the years via Word clock spdif or ADAT. Locked up to a 2192 or apogee 800 or lynx as a master never had any issues. I even have had 4 converters connected to this 9652, 1 on each adat mux and 1 converter via spdif never had an issue. The card is 12 years old and I am still using 11 year old xp drivers.

The only way you could have latency issues is improper clocking, bad device drivers or you don't have the internal/external clocking set properly on respective master and slave(s).

As far as the OP yeah, using multiple converters on a song can give you different textures. This may or may nor be desirable, however to make sure you are getting "the sound" of a particular converter make sure its master clock is used , since slaving a converter can alter it's sound albeit
slightly one would imagine. Personally I thin their are hug differences between some converters but YMMV
One time I did have a bad tslolink cable that gave me issues but it generated clicks/pop so you know right way their is an issue

Rick Sutton 4th January 2013 02:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Seamus TM
Different converters will have different latency times.
Quote:

Originally Posted by emitsweet (Post 8599724)
That would mean their clocks are broken or you have a termination issue or something out of the ordinary sync wise.

I have 3 different converters clocked to a burl B2 and interfaced to an RME 9652 and it's always zero latency.
The only way you could have latency issues is improper clocking, bad device drivers or you don't have the internal/external clocking set properly on respective master and slave(s).

Well, I had my system clocked by an Apogee Big Ben and I found that there was indeed latency issues when using different mfg's converters.

There was enough difference in latency to be a problem with stereo capture (or any two tracks with enough common information on both) across the two converters.
Here are some discussions and specs on converter latency.
Lavry Engineering • View topic - Latency of Lavry Blue
http://duc.avid.com/showthread.php?t=25272

psycho_monkey 4th January 2013 02:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emitsweet (Post 8599724)
That would mean their clocks are broken or you have a termination issue or something out of the ordinary sync wise.

I have 3 different converters clocked to a burl B2 and interfaced to an RME 9652 and it's always zero latency. Never had a problem with latency times. I've locked up every way imaginable with using 5 different master clocks over the years via Word clock spdif or ADAT. Locked up to a 2192 or apogee 800 or lynx as a master never had any issues. I even have had 4 converters connected to this 9652, 1 on each adat mux and 1 converter via spdif never had an issue. The card is 12 years old and I am still using 11 year old xp drivers.

The only way you could have latency issues is improper clocking, bad device drivers or you don't have the internal/external clocking set properly on respective master and slave(s).

Completely wrong.

ALL converters have different latency times.

It's in the microseconds, but it's there.

Lynx's big selling point with the Aurora is that it's identical to a 192 so slots into a PT rig seamlessly.

Lavry advises AGAINST recording with the Gold because it has a higher than usual latency because of the processing that makes it sound so good - it's designed for mastering/printing mixes.

It's nothing to do with clocking, drivers etc. There's no such thing as "zero latency" with digital recording. Try paralleling signals and recording through each of your converters simultaneously, then zoom down to sample level. Try doing loopback tests with no delay compensation, and see what happens. You'll see!

Simma Lugnt 4th January 2013 10:40 AM

Thank you all for answers.

It may seem a bit extreme to use multiple AD to achieve "wider/deeper soundscape" not to mention using different brands of cables that can provide easier mixing but i thought it may be worth trying. Money and time are not a problem for me. I'm just intressted in "good/better" sound if possible.


I guess, I'm "skating on thin ice" ...


Let me know if you have mixed such song/record. hittt

Deleted 651cf92 4th January 2013 01:00 PM

When your tracking a song, try printing one mic through two different A/D convertors, then mix the song with the same processing done to each of the two tracks then do two bounces, one with each of the two. I can't imagine being able to hear that much of a difference between the two.

emitsweet 5th January 2013 10:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by psycho_monkey (Post 8599865)
Completely wrong.

ALL converters have different latency times.

None of the ones I used had different latency times if there was it was not negligible. Again, clock them properly. Use a solid driver like ASIO and a good DAW like Cubase and there is no latency internally, at loopback, let a alone differences between units.

Currently I have a 2192, and an apogee Rosetta all clocked to a burl via lightpipe into an RME 9652. Not an issue. since I bought the RME 10+ years ago. I'm sure cheaper hardware, incorrect clocking and bad drivers, bad cables could cause issues.

Too be honest I haven't read or heard the word latency in over 10 years until I saw this post. I haven't had latency issues since the early/mid 90s when I used protools/soundtools on a mac quadra then a power pc. Plugin latency was horrible then. Hardware was bad. Went to samplitude then cubase and never had an issue since maybe 1996 with latency internally with plugins or externally with hardware.

If 2 converters have different latencies theses days there clocking is malfunctioning, you have bad word clock cables or you PC drivers are buggy or your interface is broke or poorly designed . Either that or you are using a 486 cpu or something with an ISA buss that just can't communicate fast enough. Seriously. If a setup in 2013 has latency it's a broken setup. Tim to buy some new toys.

If you are having problems with latency with multiple A/D units have a qualified tech check out your setup .There could be a few things causing it like bad drivers, cables, improper clocking settings even noise/interference can mess with a clock
and cause issues. I've used alt east 10 different A/D converters over the last 11 years clocking 3-4 at a time with the RME never ever had an issue. Not even 32ms of latency. Since with direct monitoring is is hardware so it is zero. I'm sure o nthe hardware level there is some latency but it is so small it not noticeable.

I'm curious what devices have you used that had different latencies?

psycho_monkey 5th January 2013 04:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emitsweet (Post 8603848)
None of the ones I used had different latency times if there was it was not negligible. Again, clock them properly. Use a solid driver like ASIO and a good DAW like Cubase and there is no latency internally, at loopback, let a alone differences between units.

Currently I have a 2192, and an apogee Rosetta all clocked to a burl via lightpipe into an RME 9652. Not an issue. since I bought the RME 10+ years ago. I'm sure cheaper hardware, incorrect clocking and bad drivers, bad cables could cause issues.

Too be honest I haven't read or heard the word latency in over 10 years until I saw this post. I haven't had latency issues since the early/mid 90s when I used protools/soundtools on a mac quadra then a power pc. Plugin latency was horrible then. Hardware was bad. Went to samplitude then cubase and never had an issue since maybe 1996 with latency internally with plugins or externally with hardware.

If 2 converters have different latencies theses days there clocking is malfunctioning, you have bad word clock cables or you PC drivers are buggy or your interface is broke or poorly designed . Either that or you are using a 486 cpu or something with an ISA buss that just can't communicate fast enough. Seriously. If a setup in 2013 has latency it's a broken setup. Tim to buy some new toys.

If you are having problems with latency with multiple A/D units have a qualified tech check out your setup .There could be a few things causing it like bad drivers, cables, improper clocking settings even noise/interference can mess with a clock
and cause issues. I've used alt east 10 different A/D converters over the last 11 years clocking 3-4 at a time with the RME never ever had an issue. Not even 32ms of latency. Since with direct monitoring is is hardware so it is zero. I'm sure o nthe hardware level there is some latency but it is so small it not noticeable.

I'm curious what devices have you used that had different latencies?

Sigh...it's not latency you can hear or feel in isolation, but it's latency in the sample level that can make a difference if eg you were tracking a parallel to 2 different converters.

As I said, it's a selling point of the lynx that they're identical to 192s, and a downside to the lavry gold that its latency is too high for tracking.

It's nothing to do with clocking. Clocking affects jitter. It doesn't affect latency.

No daw had plugin delay compensation in '96. I think pt HD was the first to introduce it around 2001.

You can't get true zero latency monitoring with rme software - it still goes through the converters, like an HD rig when tracking. It's "near zero" latency. This is fact.

I think we're talking about different things. 32 samples? I'm talking about converter latency of 2-3 samples. I think the lynx aurora is about 10 samples or something. Again, nothing you're going to "hear in isolation, or even notice in a full setup in most cases - but you do want to avoid splitting stereo sources across converters for this reason.

So yes "so small it's not noticeable" in most cases - but you should be aware of it. Try it - using analogue, parallel the same signal into your different converters, then analyze at sample level. Then come back and let me know what you find....you might learn something!

And again - please stop mentioning clocking, this is nothing to do with latency ever!

emitsweet 5th January 2013 06:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by psycho_monkey (Post 8604434)
Sigh...it's not latency you can hear or feel in isolation, but it's latency in the sample level that can make a difference if eg you were tracking a parallel to 2 different converters.


this is why master clocks exist, since the sample level is dependent on clocking. FYI That's what sample is
its a snapshot at a particular pulse that it all based on the frequency / sample rate. Frequency is controlled by a clock


Quote:

Originally Posted by psycho_monkey (Post 8604434)
And again - please stop mentioning clocking, this is nothing to do with latency ever!

nothing to do with latency ever? you should read up on digital basics then.

With interfacing multiple converters, latency has nothing to do with the converters themselves it would only have to do with the device which is acting as their respective multiplexer. If two converters have different latencies one or both of them are broken. All digital hardware devices run on a clock this is the essence of pulse code modulation. This is 1/2 of how digital works and latency with converters and synchronous digital systems is a non issue in this century/millennium. However latency with respect to two standalone converters would only be a side effect of a clocking issue or something malfunctioning.

I think you are confusing loopback latency times with the interfacing computer hardware. Regardless, if someone is experiencing latency in any part of the recording chain, you either have something setup incorrectly, something is defective or something is poorly designed. A/D Computer interfaces such as ASIO hardware are essentially a RTOS and there is no latency since it completely bypasses the hardware layers which are usually the delay culprit.

If you were running a couple cheapo USB interfaces simultaneously I suppose there could be latency. But why would anyone in Pro Audio be using cheap hardware?

If you use professional equipment, latency does not exist at least not enough for it to be negligible to a human's hearing.


thanks for the reply

Rick Sutton 5th January 2013 06:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emitsweet (Post 8604728)
this is why master clocks exist

A master clock keeps different digital devices locked to the same frequency so they don't drift from each other causing clicks etc. Each one of those devices can be passing audio that has a different absolute timing base due to the internal digital circuitry required for AD conversion. Digital conversion is not instantaneous....it takes time.
Look at the Lavry link in my post above.
There is latency in digital conversion and Lavry lays it out for their converters at different sample rates. Not all converters have the same latency. It is a fact. It is real.

GearSchmuck 5th January 2013 06:30 PM

nope - mixable and gluable.

Rick Sutton 5th January 2013 07:13 PM

Emit,
You seem to be thinking of latency the way we all were introduced to it in the early days of digital. Large amounts of latency that can be easily heard by humans and is a bitch to deal with when it comes to monitoring and musical timing issues is a highly magnified version of the type of latency that some of us are talking about here. The very small amount of latency in digital conversion, usually in the range of 1 ms, is not something that is noticeable until you have a "stereo" source that is spread across two different converters with slight differences in their internal latency. A clock can't correct this. It may seem counter-intuitive but it really can't. The clock makes sure the two converters march to the same beat but those two sources can be marching several samples off from each other BUT still in sync (with an offset equal to the difference in latency) and locked. Nothing is "broken", it's just how digital works in the real world.
One other thing, regarding your quote "I think you are confusing loopback latency times". Is this internal or external (through the converters again) loopback? If it is external it is a function of the same inherent latency in digital conversion that we are talking about.

SighBorg 5th January 2013 08:05 PM

Converter one's processing (error correction, soft limiting feature, etc) needs a look ahead of 3 samples & converter two needs a look ahead of 2 samples. Both are locked by a clock:

1 ...x.x.x.x.x.x.x.x.x.x
2 ..x.x.x.x.x.x.x.x.x.x

There is a time delay with each other, however the delay between the 2 units remains at a constant difference of 1 sample because of the clock.

robertbonello 5th January 2013 11:15 PM

Sorry emit but you're getting things mixed up. I'm pretty much 100% the other guys are right on this one

Think of the result of a multiple converter latency discrepancy somewhere along the lines of running a bussed h/w insert out and back into a daw WITHOUT delay compensation to eg parallel compress something..

*takes a deep breath and backs away slowly... *

Drumsound 5th January 2013 11:51 PM

I predicted (at least 5 years ago) that people would get into having multiple converters like multiple preamps. I'm kinda surprised this thread didn't appear sooner.

emitsweet 6th January 2013 01:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rick Sutton (Post 8604938)
Emit,
You seem to be thinking of latency the way we all were introduced to it in the early days of digital.
thanks for the reply


Large amounts of latency that can be easily heard by humans and is a bitch to deal with when it comes to monitoring and musical timing issues is a highly magnified version of the type of latency that some of us are talking about here. The very small amount of latency in digital conversion, usually in the range of 1 ms, is not something that is noticeable until you have a "stereo" source that is spread across two different converters with slight differences in their internal latency. A clock can't correct this. It may seem counter-intuitive but it really can't. The clock makes sure the two converters march to the same beat but those two sources can be marching several samples off from each other BUT still in sync (with an offset equal to the difference in latency) and locked. Nothing is "broken", it's just how digital works in the real world.
One other thing, regarding your quote "I think you are confusing loopback latency times". Is this internal or external (through the converters again) loopback? If it is external it is a function of the same inherent latency in digital conversion that we are talking about.


No that's not what I'm referring to. With any digital device comprised of sequential circuits there is going to be latency, but this latency exists only for one reason, a clock.

Just to make clear where I'm coming from:

First there may be some disconnect here with regards to "converter"
When someone says "converter" to me that refers to something like an apogee Rosetta or mytek 192 etc. A standalone converter unit. No interface. An interface is something like an rme9632 or a Lynx AES16e . A devices like an RME Fireface or a M-Audio Fast Track are both a converter and an interface in one ( in addition maybe has preamps but disregard for this conversation)

Second with computers and digital devices there are is a term called latency which is a delay. However with a DAW, latency can also be induced by the DAW, The OS, The OS kernel and the Computer hardware (HAL) and interfacing hardware via a buss itself. So there are lots of parts of a chain that can individually induce and subsequently accumulate latency into the chain. Hard drives controllers and Mechanical hard drives can also cause latency due to the collective seek, access and data transfer rates. Also PCI, USB or Firewire devices can also accumulated delays since some latency is inherit to the architecture; since the way the HAL or OS communicates with expansion hardware. Still all based on a sequential circuit clock however

Third (and only in theory) All digital sequential circuits will have some latency since at the heart of all sequential circuits is a pulse which is called a clock. This means most digital devices on earth, that are not solely comprised of a combinational circuit, are sequential circuits which utilize a clock in order to operate in their dynamic synchronous manner. Anytime a clock is being used there is technically going be some latency however negligible or in-negligible it may be.


When someone says "don't use multiple converters because of latency" they need to be more specific. Simply chaining two converters of some level of quality via word clock and interfacing them using some form of a multiplexer, will never cause noticeable delay/latency. ever unless they are defective or improperly attached

If you are using 2 different interfaces such as two rme9652 cards sure there can be latency during synchronization communications, but despite some of the people saying latency and clocking are not related is incorrect, it is still is in fact a result of clocking. Not clocking in the digital audio sense of sample rate, but the sequential circuit sense deep down inside a circuit due to edge triggered (triggered by clock) flip flips.


Another scenarios is:
sure if you use two M-Audio Fast Tracks via usb sure you can have latency between these two units. Since there is no way to clock them appropriately. And the way USB works with threads it may be tough to have both devices communicate via OS based RT priority

Lasty Latency as it relates to audio can also be a result a poor device drivers, slow hard-drives, bad cables or many other things.

However despite the several "latencies" commonly associated with a DAW setup can be simply be eliminated with using proper high quality software hardware drivers and configuration. Any time 2 discrete digital devices communicate it is done so by clocking. I realize latency from loop back is not the necessarily same as latency introduced by external hardware. This could be the disconnect here.

But the reason latency exists with a DAW (with the exception of it due t mechanical hard disks) is all related to clocking or OS scheduling/priority. Whether it is the clock inside a sequential circuit or a master audio clock in an interface, converter or device driver. It often comes down to clocking. Im the event there are other delays internally it is a result of OS scheduling.
this is why ASIO is so cool, it bypasses this layer.

That little delay you used to hear 10 years ago due to buffer sizes etc. Is also still due to clocking in most cases. It's the time it takes for the analog signal to be converted into data -> data processed -> data converted back to analog. This is called "loop latency" and all these processes are still defendant on a digital clock, In addition to OS Time-sharing/scheduling which in itself is dependent on a clock. Actually several.

If two standalone converters are unable to provide functionality without delay then one or bot ha re poorly designed.
If latency is a result of slow or outdated computer hardware then get some better hardware. There should never be latency
in a modern signal and data chain.

Showcase 6th January 2013 01:14 AM

Why would anyone do this? for real? .... :facepalm:

Doc Mixwell 6th January 2013 01:24 AM

It is my experience that there are different amount's of residual latency times on all these different brands of converters, by design.

If you pass similarly phase related material (a kick drum mic into one AD and your overheads into another AD) you are going to have an issue.

emitsweet 6th January 2013 01:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Showcase (Post 8605929)
Why would anyone do this? for real? .... :facepalm:

In my case I use different converters to record because I can't afford 12 channels of 2192 or Burl. In the perfect world I would love to have 32 channels of Lavry gold or a 24ch mothership but that is very expensive. Sometimes it's cost effective to buy one high quality 2 channel converter and buy a midlevel 8 channel unit and slave it.

But many converters have "a sound" why not use them as an instrument and not just as a device? no rules.
It may be a bad idea but it shouldn't stop anyone from trying it.

emitsweet 6th January 2013 01:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Doc Mixwell (Post 8605958)
It is my experience that there are different amount's of residual latency times on all these different brands of converters, by design.

If you pass similarly phase related material (a kick drum mic into one AD and your overheads into another AD) you are going to have an issue.

That would mean the slave is not really a good slave. Usually this happens as a result of latency due to the DAW, the multiplexer interface and not the converters themselves. Every drum session I have ever done I double or triple mic the kick
and snare, the way my stuff is setup it just so happens the kick drums end up getting tracked over 3 different converters. Never had a phase issue in 10 years of doing this. And this is even having 2 mics side by side. so phase could technically be inherit due to mic distance relationship in itself. Still never had a problem. If there is a latency delay because of a converter just go into the DAW and nudge the bogus track(s), problem solved. How much could it be off? let's not get carried away here. It is a couple milliseconds max