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New Lynx LT-TB Thunderbolt for Aurora, Hilo
Old 14th October 2013
  #1
Gear Nut
 

New Lynx LT-TB Thunderbolt for Aurora, Hilo

Lynx Studio Technology Introduces LT-TB Thunderbolt™ LSlot Interface for Lynx Hilo and Aurora Converters

Hilo-TB and Aurora-TB models will be released at the same time.


Lynx Studio Technology has introduced the LT-TB Thunderbolt LSlot interface for our Aurora and Hilo converters. The LT-TB is a two-port Thunderbolt expansion card that supports daisy-chaining Aurora and Hilo converters and any other certified Thunderbolt device on both Apple and Windows computers.

“The LT-TB has been in development for over a year. At Lynx we opted to wait a little longer and develop with the new Cactus Ridge second-generation Thunderbolt controller. This device allows for a more robust design electrically,” stated Bob Bauman, Lynx cofounder and chief hardware designer. “Similar to other Lynx products, LT-TB incorporates an FPGA for audio mixing and control functions that can be easily updated in the field. Months of in-house testing along with support from Apple and Intel will assure that LT-TB works well with any other certified Thunderbolt product on the market. It’s a long process, but end users will definitely benefit from the ease of use in the long run.”

At the same time that the LT-TB is released, Lynx will introduce several converter models using this interface. These include the Hilo-TB, Aurora 8-TB, Aurora 16-TB and Aurora 16-VTB models. In addition, any existing Hilo or Aurora owner can implement an LT-TB to their converter with an easy and free firmware update. The LT-TB and accompanying Aurora and Hilo models are the first Thunderbolt audio devices certified for Windows as well as Mac.

Whereas some earlier Thunderbolt equipped converters are limited to two units and 32 analog channels, the LT-TB can be used in a chain of up to 6 Aurora converters for up to 96 analog channels, plus 96 digital channels on one Thunderbolt port. So theoretically, the upcoming 6 port Mac Pro could deliver up to 1,152 channels.

“The Thunderbolt protocol allows up to six devices and one display to be connected to the computer on a single Thunderbolt port. So in addition to Lynx converters, you can have external drives, displays, expansion chassis and so on. The LT-TB has two Thunderbolt ports, which allows this daisy chaining of devices,” explained Lynx co founder and chief software engineer David A. Hoatson. “One of the other nice features of the LT-TB and other Thunderbolt devices is the ability to plug, unplug and hot-plug them. So you can easily bring in an additional Aurora or Hilo or other Thunderbolt device without needing to reinstall drivers or reset anything. It’s all automatic.”

According to Intel, the developer of Thunderbolt, “Thunderbolt delivers unparalleled performance, flexibility and simplicity to personal computing.” said Jason Ziller, Intel’s director of Thunderbolt Marketing, “Products like the Lynx LT-TB LSlot interface help highlight what Thunderbolt makes possible.”

Thunderbolt delivers 10 gigabits per second speed, twice the speed of USB 3.0. Thunderbolt™ technology is the fastest connection to your PC at 10Gbs – in each direction, and at the same time. Thunderbolt provides flexibility and simplicity by connecting to data and display devices with a single cable, up to six devices in a daisy-chain.

US Suggested Retail Prices are: LT-TB $650; Hilo-TB $2795; Aurora 8TB $2395; Aurora 16TB $3395; Aurora 16 VTTB $3695. All are available starting November 2013.
Old 14th October 2013
  #2
nms
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Thanks Phil! I'll be watching to hear what kind of improvements this offers for low latency stability while running higher (88-96) sample rates. The Hilo usb drivers are the weak link in my system. I run an i7 with 12 threads at 4.2ghz but my Hilo craps out too easily at 128 samp buffer and 88.2khz.
Old 15th October 2013
  #3
Gear Nut
 
kneelie's Avatar
These look very interesting. I have been waiting for a higher speed connection on a high end converter. I look forward to seeing the impact Thunderbolt has on reducing latency.
Old 15th October 2013
  #4
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I've been excited about this as it means easy integration for PT into a Mac rig without needing an AES16 or expansion chassis. Exciting times...
Old 15th October 2013
  #5
Great to see Lynx keeping current. aurora is a great box. Sound quality good enough that lynx didn't see the need for an upgrade? I was hoping to see Hilo's conversion show up in an 8 ch box.
Old 15th October 2013
  #6
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funka's Avatar
They did it as I was hoping for so long...!
Old 16th October 2013
  #7
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beau_mckee's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Category 5 View Post
Great to see Lynx keeping current. aurora is a great box. Sound quality good enough that lynx didn't see the need for an upgrade? I was hoping to see Hilo's conversion show up in an 8 ch box.
I too was hoping for this, although I have always enjoyed the aurora converters
Old 16th October 2013
  #8
nms
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Yep we'll have to wait for more Hilo channels in a single unit I guess. I wonder how long? Great that they're on point with a true Thunderbolt interface though.
Old 16th October 2013
  #9
Gear Maniac
Wonderful. I just want the promised software update for remote control of HILO. They said that this would be released at AES. TB is great. However, these folks have said and promised updated firmware and software on this unit that has yet to be done. HILO is a great unit that is crippled by its lack of remote control from the computer. I am visually handicapped from glaucoma and have been pretty vocal about the promised remote control on their support forum.
Old 18th October 2013
  #10
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Avening's Avatar
 

Phil, would you be able to comment on latency specs using the new LT-TB connection? Are they reduced and stable at lower buffer settings like 64 & 32?

Please let us know. I'm know I'm not the only one waiting to hear back about this!!
Old 20th October 2013
  #11
Gear Maniac
 
waterloo's Avatar
 

Great news! Can anyone comment on how this will affect the sound? Different drivers? Less jitter? Or just better latency and performance? Currently using LT-USB with a MacBookPro. The computer tech side of things isn't my forte. Thanks
Old 20th October 2013
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveE9C6 View Post
I just want the promised software update for remote control of HILO. They said that this would be released at AES.
Don't hold your breath. I love my Lynx gear, but software updates are definitely their weak side. I've been hoping forever that the AES16e will get a mixer update, but I don't think the company is capable of making it more user friendly. Even though it has been updated a few times it's still very clumsy and a bit ugly-- for instance:
  • All inputs have 2 different names (Record 01-02 / DI 1L, DI 1R) and outputs have 2 different names (Play 01+02, Ditigal Out 1L, Digital Out 1R) depending on which panel you view which can get confusing easily.
  • Faders cannot be grouped (say I want my Sub output signal to always match my mains)
  • No button for quick mono monitoring

That's just SOME of my complaints about it-- Point being, don't trust a company's promises-- if the product doesn't do what you want right now, consider getting what you need instead of waiting forever.
Old 21st October 2013
  #13
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nickelironsteel's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nms View Post
Yep we'll have to wait for more Hilo channels in a single unit I guess. I wonder how long? Great that they're on point with a true Thunderbolt interface though.
Modular would be great
Old 22nd October 2013
  #14
Gear Nut
 
Mr.Larsen's Avatar
 

YEAH!!!
Great it's about time!
:-)
Old 1st November 2013
  #15
Lives for gear
And yet another person interested in the latency specs at both 44.1 and 96K. Preferably with data for round trip through a host (pro tools, logic etc). Stability with 32 buffers and 64buffers (44.1 and 96) very important.
Old 1st November 2013
  #16
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Avening's Avatar
 

I spoke with Phil a week or so ago about this, and he said they will be posting their findings on the Lynx website soon. I think we're all a little anxious to see the results.
Old 1st November 2013
  #17
Gear Nut
 

Thunderbolt update

Phil at Lynx here

New mixer for AES16e and Aurora Thunderbolt is coming along quite nicely. Won't make everyone happy (never happens) but it's really quite nice. No firm release date, but will keep you posted.

Also we still intend on doing a very accurate latency measurement on the Aurora TB. An early initial test showed a latency as low as 1.5 ms (as measured by Logic) at 192 kHz. Very early result. We'll be doing some exact measurements with our Audio Precision unit in the next few weeks, at various sample rates and buffer sizes. It's pretty fast.

More details as they become available. We have sent a lot of LT-TB information to our retailers and distributors over the last two weeks - they should have a lot od details and answers for you.

Phil at Lynx
Old 3rd November 2013
  #18
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TheOxmyn's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmoon View Post
New mixer for AES16e and Aurora Thunderbolt is coming along quite nicely.
Is the PCI version excluded from the update?
Old 4th November 2013
  #19
Gear Nut
 

Question: Is the PCI version excluded from the update?

Very good question. So let me give you a very good and clear answer.

The new mixer will be available for Apple OS AND Windows. We still (and will continue to) support both Mac and PC.

Second, Lynx Thunderbolt products are certified for BOTH Mac and Windows. Lynx is the first pro audio company to get the Windows certification.

So whichever platform you use now and choose for the future, you're covered by Lynx.

You would think everyone would give you this option, wouldn't you?

Thanks,

Phil at Lynx
Old 6th November 2013
  #20
Trp
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pmoon View Post
Thanks,

Phil at Lynx
Hi Phil,

is "Lynx LT-TB available in November 2013" still valid? I´d really like to get one for my Aurora 16 asap.
Old 6th November 2013
  #21
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TheOxmyn's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmoon View Post
Question: So whichever platform you use now and choose for the future, you're covered by Lynx.
Thank You for the continued support.
Old 6th November 2013
  #22
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trp View Post
Hi Phil,

is "Lynx LT-TB available in November 2013" still valid? I´d really like to get one for my Aurora 16 asap.
The first batch that we ship in early December will be Aurora and Hilo converters preloaded with LT-TB. This is a very limited run and these units are pretty much committed already.

Then, just a few weeks later (no firm date yet) the LT-TB card will be available for any Aurora or Hilo upgrades like yours. Talk to your dealer and get it on order. We'll get them out as fast as we can.

So there is not a long wait for this.

Thanks,

Phil at Lynx
Old 25th November 2013
  #23
Gear Maniac
 
waterloo's Avatar
 

Will the LT-TB make a difference in sound vs. the LT-USB?
Old 25th November 2013
  #24
nms
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nms's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by waterloo View Post
Will the LT-TB make a difference in sound vs. the LT-USB?
Absolutely not. Not unless it's broken.
Old 2nd December 2013
  #25
Gear Head
 

Can chained Thunderbolt devices be used with the Hilo in standby?
Old 2nd December 2013
  #26
Gear Nut
 

LTTB Answers

As to audio quality between an Aurora using the LT-TB and LT-USB, a couple of details.

First, the latency with the LT-TB will be less (about half) of that of the LT-USB. Just the nature of these technologies. But the overall sound quality should not change - the converter is still doing the converting, just two ways of getting the ones and zeros to and from the computer.

Question #2 Can chained Thunderbolt devices be used with the Hilo in standby?

Before, yes, After, no. Explanation to be clear.

Thunderbolt allows up to 6 devices to be connected serially. This chain is active until it comes to a unit that is powered off or in standby mode. So if a unit, say a Hilo, is the 6th in the chain and turned off, the other 5 units prior to it are all operational. If a Thunderbolt device is first in the chain, and turned off, then nothing after it will be functional.

That being said, here is part of the beauty of Thunderbolt. Let's say a device in the mioddle of the chain goes down. All you need to do is to pull out the Thunderbolt cable, bypass the down unit and plug it into the next unit. Without powering down, resetting or anything, the computer will automatically recognize and use those subsequent units. Pretty cool.

Keep the good questions coming.

Phil at Lynx
Old 2nd December 2013
  #27
Gear Maniac
 
waterloo's Avatar
 

Regarding sound quality I guess I was thinking about there being less jitter, but I don't know squat about how it all works.
Old 12th December 2013
  #28
Gear Nut
 

Video on Thunderbolt by Lynx

Lynx Thunderbolt Technology - YouTube

This is a link to our video on Thunderbolt technology and how it is implemented in our Aurora and Hilo converters.

Lynx co founder and chief hardware engineer Bob Bauman is interviewed by Mike Nicoletti here in our inhouse video studio. Bob give a great explanation about Thunderbolt in general, explaining in an easy to understand way. They discuss:

• What is Thunderbolt?
• Thunderbolt’s unique advantages.
• Lynx’s implementation of Thunderbolt technology for Aurora and Hilo.
• Use in Apple and Windows computers
• Thunderbolt’s connection with PCI Express technology and why that is important.
• How this is different from some of the early-to-market Thunderbolt products currently available?
• What is Thunderbolt 2 and why the LT-TB is compatible with this?

If you are thinking about adding a Thunderbolt equipped converter to your system, take a few minutes to watch this video.

Phil at Lynx
Old 13th December 2013
  #29
Gear Maniac
Phil, or anyone else at Lynx. Please answer our requests and questions about the Hilo Remote.
Old 14th December 2013
  #30
nms
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nms's Avatar
It really sucks that there are no TB motherboards for 6 core pc's. Wtf is the deal there?
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