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Help me understand Conversion A/D D/A
Old 22nd August 2007
  #1
Help me understand Conversion A/D D/A

Okay....I hate to ask such a lengthy series of questions but, this seems to be the most complex and most debated part of digital audio chains..."conversion." First off I believe I have an intermediate understanding of what converters are supposed to do, optimize and translate the wave form into binary with the least amount of error...ect, but I find myself increasingly confused on to determine my need and how to properly configure an a/d converter and or a d/a converter into my chain. for instance: currently my chain is chain goes mic>pre>comp>delta 1010 I asume my A/D converter would go right before the delta 1010....or should I just get a word clock and use the A/D coverters in the delta, or should I get the delta modded, or should I get a word clock to go into the converter and then go into the delta, or should I bypass the delta's analog input and use S/PDIF via wordclock>A/D converter???!!!....the possibilities go on. Can you understand why I'm confused? I currently do all my mixing itb, but I'm considering (maybe) using outboard gear in my future mixes (compression) so do I even need a D/A converter? Even with all those questions anwsered then comes the next challenge: What to buy?! Apogee (Rosetta, Minime?) BigBen Aurora (Lynx)? What?!!

So simply put: what chain will be most benificial? How the hell would I put it together? and which units?

Sorry for the long post, but thanks in advance to all those who dare to read.......PEACE!!
Old 22nd August 2007
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Daniel Antix's Avatar
i'm interested to hear an answer to this too. and how do you compare what specs of units?
Old 22nd August 2007
  #3
Quote:
Originally Posted by R'shonn View Post
I find myself increasingly confused on to determine my need and how to properly configure an a/d converter and or a d/a converter into my chain.

Don't worry, it's not nearly as difficult as you might think.


Quote:
for instance: currently my chain is chain goes mic>pre>comp>delta 1010 I asume my A/D converter would go right before the delta 1010....or should I just get a word clock and use the A/D coverters in the delta, or should I get the delta modded, or should I get a word clock to go into the converter and then go into the delta, or should I bypass the delta's analog input and use S/PDIF via wordclock>A/D converter???!!!

That depends on your budget and everything else that is in the chain. If you have a great room, mic, preamp, and compressor and you are using a Delta 1010, then that's where the bottleneck will be. If you have prosumer gear somewhere else in the chain, or lots of early reflections or bass nodes happening in your room, forget about upgrading the converter and work on the other pieces of the puzzle. IF everything is in order, then look at starting with just 2 channels of high quality A/D/A conversion like Apogee, Lavry, Mytek, etc. You'll go line out of the compressor, into the converter, then SPDIF out of the converter into your Delta 1010 digitally only, thereby bypassing the conversion on the Delta.


Quote:
so do I even need a D/A converter?

A high quality D/A converter will give you one piece of the puzzle in allowing your mixes to translate as accurately as possible. The lower quality the D/A, the more skewed the reality coming out of your computer will be. Note again that room and speakers are just as important if not more so.


Quote:
Even with all those questions anwsered then comes the next challenge: What to buy?! Apogee (Rosetta, Minime?) BigBen Aurora (Lynx)? What?!!

I wouldn't buy an expensive external PLL clock right now, just get a better converter (but read advice above). I've found in general a great converter will have a great clock, they are usually one and the same.
Old 22nd August 2007
  #4
Gear Maniac
 
SurfingMusicMan's Avatar
 

Although I am also interested in hearing the responses that will be forthcoming, I anticipate an ongoing joke in this thread will be, in true gearslutz fashion, "Just use tape and don't worry about it."
Old 22nd August 2007
  #5
Lives for gear
 

What's tape??

Converters a bit like preamps. You can buy a lot of cheap ones in a box (like your 1010, or a Mackie mixer). Or - you can buy expensive standalone converters that are ultra high quality.

If you go for standalone converters, you will need a lot of digital i/o channels. A simple s/pdif interface is only good for two channels. ADAT lightpipe interfaces are good for 8, but it limits your choices a little.

I opted for a multichannel AES soundcard (Lynx AES16SRC) which allows me to connect up a bunch of digital gear. AES is like s/pdif over balanced cables - so you can run long cables. You can use most s/pdif gear over AES too, with inline transformers.

Expensive converters will blow you away if you haven't heard them before. I would recommend you have at least two channels of superb A/D and D/A.
Old 23rd August 2007
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by NathanEldred View Post
Don't worry, it's not nearly as difficult as you might think.





That depends on your budget and everything else that is in the chain. If you have a great room, mic, preamp, and compressor and you are using a Delta 1010, then that's where the bottleneck will be. If you have prosumer gear somewhere else in the chain, or lots of early reflections or bass nodes happening in your room, forget about upgrading the converter and work on the other pieces of the puzzle. IF everything is in order, then look at starting with just 2 channels of high quality A/D/A conversion like Apogee, Lavry, Mytek, etc. You'll go line out of the compressor, into the converter, then SPDIF out of the converter into your Delta 1010 digitally only, thereby bypassing the conversion on the Delta.





A high quality D/A converter will give you one piece of the puzzle in allowing your mixes to translate as accurately as possible. The lower quality the D/A, the more skewed the reality coming out of your computer will be. Note again that room and speakers are just as important if not more so.





I wouldn't buy an expensive external PLL clock right now, just get a better converter (but read advice above). I've found in general a great converter will have a great clock, they are usually one and the same.
Thanks I appreiciate the response.........any other takers?
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