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Need help on analog summing chain and converter selection DAW Software
Old 30th August 2007
  #1
Need help on analog summing chain and converter selection

I record primarly acoustic music, folk, bluegrass, Celtic, some electronica. I have about $3500 to spend on an upgraded analog summing chain, and am trying to decide if this will work with my setup.

Currently have:
pcAudioLabs Core2Duo, Win XP Pro running Sonar 6 and Wavelab 6
RME FF800
Folcrom
Presonus ADL 600
Presonus Central Station

Want to get: better conversion for analog summing and monitoring

Thinking of trying this setup:
RME analog out (8 channels to dsub) -> Folcrom -> (with or w/o ADL 600) into API A2D -> Digital SPDIF out back into RME -> [Record Track in Sonar]

MONITOR via SPDIF out -> Benchmark DAC-1 -> Presonus CS swtitchable to 2 sets of speakers (Adam A7, Alesis M1 MK2)

What I am trying to accomplish is this:
1. Do tracking and preliminary mixing ITB

2. When ready to master, analog sum via the Folcrom with makeup gain provided by either the ADL 600 or the API A2D (or maybe a combination of the two, using the API A2D insert). Later I may add an analog 2 ch. EQ to the insert)

3. Back to digital via the API A2D into the RME again to a separate stereo mix down track in Sonar.

4. Monitor the post-D-A conversion by routing the output of the mixdown track via RME SPDIF out to the Benchmark DAC, and from there into the Central Station for monitor switching.

5. Take the completed stereo mix track and export to a 24-bit wav, import into Wavelab for any final processing, dithering, then write out to a master CD (Plextor).

Does anyone see any problems in this setup? (other than it sounds like alot of work!)

I should be able to play the finished tracks to the analog outs of the RME into the Folcrom, etc. while simultaneously recording back the 2-track mix onto the separate track, as long as I keep the same sample rate throughout, correct?

Will the API A2D provide superior sound and conversion as opposed to just going out of the ADL 600 directly and using the FF800's A-D?

Or would I be better off with a separate A-D D-A (like the Lavry Blue) and not using the API A2D, just the ADL 600? I realize that separating the A-D from the preamp has its advantages, but read lots of good comments on the API A2D's sound.

Any other suggestions welcome.
(I have a decent acoustically treated, small room, lots of bass traps, and some pretty decent mics, so lets not go that route).

Sorry for the long-winded post, but this has been a tough call for me. Thanks in advance for the help.
Old 30th August 2007
  #2


The only problem I see is that you are going out to analog, but don't mention any outboard gear that you want to use.

Just seems like a lot of work for something pretty esoteric. 24 bit digital summing is pretty good and you wont do any better without actually running all the stems at full volume and cutting them using external faders.

But I'm an electronics engineer more than a mojo music kind of guy.....




-tINY

Old 31st August 2007
  #3
The makeup gain from the pres (either the ADL 600 or API A2D) will provide some mojo, and I intend to add to this as I can, probably a Hammer EQ and maybe a Roll Superstereo Compressor. I am just laying the foundation for the outboard processing.
Old 31st August 2007
  #4
Well I guess this is a snoozer.

I went ahead and ordered the API A2D and Benchmark DAC-1 USB.

Now back to music....
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