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Wavs Posted: Rosetta 200: Internal vs External Clock
Old 3rd July 2005
  #1
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Wavs Posted: Rosetta 200: Internal vs External Clock

After realizing that the big ben clocked Rosetta may be a bit dippy in the low mids and slightly "overly" smooth, I got a call from a gearslutz member who had arrived at similar conclusions and he influenced me to try this new test, which has a mix going into the Rosetta 200 both on internal clock, and on the external 777 Big Ben style clock. For those who said the last material was too thick and hard rockish... this one is a cut on the album where its just me singing over the first guitar I ever owned, a beat up old Yamaha acoustic. I'll reveal which file is which later.

www.bangrecording.com/music/wherever1.wav

www.bangrecording.com/music/wherever2.wav

Ok, same thing, but now I tracked my vocal DIRECTLY into the A/D, one with the Big Ben clock, one with the internal "intelliclock". This is what really opened my eyes. Both correspond to 1 and 2 above.

www.bangrecording.com/music/justvoc1.wav

www.bangrecording.com/music/justvoc2.wav

A lot of confusion going on now.. A lot of the natural "rasp" in my voice was smoothed out when I tried tracking my vocal to the Big Ben clocked rosetta.. Instead of sounding crunchy and rich, I sounded choked. Starting last night, my ears have opened and I have a whole new feeling on the Big Ben which I will tell later. Put me on the side of apogees intelliclock. With this raw vocal tracked right to the A/D and from how I've described it, it should be pretty easy for you all to say which is the Big Ben and which is intelliclock. Again, thanks BT.

Steve
www.bangrecording.com
www.blacklinerock.com
Old 3rd July 2005
  #2
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Albert's Avatar
 

I'm not going to try to guess which is which, but I like the first example better. The guitar sounds pretty similar in both to me, but the voice seems more open and real in the first mix. The vocal sounds covered up in the second one, the edge seems to get a bit lost.

According to what I've read by some very knowledgable people, a well designed converter with a well designed clock should sound better running under its own clock than locked to an external clock. This is why I was very curious to hear the Lavry and the Rosetta running under their own clocks in the previous round of tests.

Have you tried the UA 2192 at all?
Old 3rd July 2005
  #3
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Sounds like Big Ben is on the second of both sets. I'm just listening on little computer speakers.
Old 3rd July 2005
  #4
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i think #1 sounds smoothed over and #2 'airier-crispier' so from your previous description i'd say #1 is big ben. i'm on the fence as to rossettas, 16Xs, or a combination. the dealer in mexico only has rossettas so i'll pretty much have to make a decision just from hearing them. they won't bring 16X to mexico for me to A/B - i'd have to order them.

since i need about 24 I/O, i was thinking of 2 X 16X + 1 X Rossetta - after this discussion it's plain to see that a Rossetta + 16X, both clocked from the 16x won't sound the same... so i'm chewing my nails here.
Old 3rd July 2005
  #5
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chriscoleman's Avatar
 

When I bought my Rosetta200, its clock tightened up my 002R's converters quite a bit - I think there's a pretty good clock in the Rosetta even though it's not the 777.

Steve,
Did you post to RAP a long time ago asking for mix critiques? If you did, we talked a while back - you've got some good stuff, no matter how it's converted. Enjoy.
Old 3rd July 2005
  #6
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Chris, I did post to RAP a while back, and thanks for the kind words. I'll share my thoughts on the clock issue after more people hear the above examples, but I'm sure you're all set with the intelliclock in the Rosetta.

Steve
www.bangrecording.com
www.blacklinerock.com
Old 4th July 2005
  #7
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since the clear message i'm getting is that the clock in each unit is an intrinsic part of its design characteristic, it's not at easy as clocking everything with big ben.

it's possible big ben could actually make the rossetta (or any converter) sound worse than its original design - though not necessarily... so clocking a 16x from a rosetta could have a detrimental effect -- if this is true it would be better not to 'mix' interfaces.

so the question is which sounds better with its own clock - rossetta or 16x? anyone?
Old 4th July 2005
  #8
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max cooper's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chriscoleman
When I bought my Rosetta200, its clock tightened up my 002R's converters quite a bit - I think there's a pretty good clock in the Rosetta even though it's not the 777.
I noticed this as well. I plan to add a 2 channel A/D to my Rosetta 800/Digi002 rig so I can have ten inputs, and I figured the remaining inputs could be used for scratch tracks, but clocked to the Rosetta, the 002 converters are almost useable. Quite a surprise.

The A/B's are quite intersting, too. Thanks for posting them. I figured the Big Ben was in the cards, but now...
Old 4th July 2005
  #9
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I don't get it. Every post I see about the Apogee AD 16X says what a wonderful sounding unit it is... and they also say that when you clock the rosetta 200 with the Big Ben, it'll sound damn close, like 98% as close as the AD 16X. But if this is the case, then the AD 16X must sound worse, or maybe its all bull****. I've been testing **** all day and all I can conclude is that when I clock the Rosetta 200 from my DA 16 X 777 clock via BNC cable, it sounds WORSE!!! All the midrange harmonics flatten out and the low end lessens, and the very hi end kinda wavers off in a plasticey kind of way. Rosetta on its own clock sounds pretty good to me, but I'm still interested in the UA 2192 and the HEDD 192.

Has anyone else noticed that the Big Ben does weird stuff to the sound of your A/Ds?

Steve
www.bangrecording.com
www.blacklinerock.com
Old 4th July 2005
  #10
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zmix's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bang
I don't get it. Every post I see about the Apogee AD 16X says what a wonderful sounding unit it is... and they also say that when you clock the rosetta 200 with the Big Ben, it'll sound damn close, like 98% as close as the AD 16X. But if this is the case, then the AD 16X must sound worse, or maybe its all bull****. I've been testing **** all day and all I can conclude is that when I clock the Rosetta 200 from my DA 16 X 777 clock via BNC cable, it sounds WORSE!!! All the midrange harmonics flatten out and the low end lessens, and the very hi end kinda wavers off in a plasticey kind of way. Rosetta on its own clock sounds pretty good to me, but I'm still interested in the UA 2192 and the HEDD 192.

Has anyone else noticed that the Big Ben does weird stuff to the sound of your A/Ds?

Steve
www.bangrecording.com
www.blacklinerock.com

Steve,
You've just announced that the Emperor has no clothes... Congratulations! You may already be a winner!

I had a friend in LA go through this same bout of gear hypochondria... he even went to Apathy's offices to find out how the Big Ben could be used in his system to improve the performance of his rack of Apathy converters. The thing that really pushed him over the edge was that they couldn't explain why, if the BB is such an improvement to their line, are they selling a substandard product? Are the internal clocks in their own products faulty?

What is this snake oil?

A clock signal is a crystal oscillator running at the sample frequency, and the output is a TTL level square wave. Nothing more, nothing less. The clock recovery circuits in the converter box may be prone to jitter as they try to lock on to an external clock signal, especially if it has some problem with signal interference.

An external clock is only needed if you have several external A/D converters with no means of central internal synchronization (BTW a PT rig does, the RME and MOTU pci systems also do).

If you have several different converters, and one seems to sound worse under external clock,it probably has a sub-standard recovery circuit. Use this box as the clock master because the internal crystal is certainly the most stable option.
Old 4th July 2005
  #11
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fletcher said:
Quote:
Now I've heard the 'Big Ben' do a wonderful thing to Apogee's Rosetta 800... and I've heard the Big Ben do something pretty cool to the Lynx 'Aurora-16' and totally make my RADAR-V sound like ass... as in it totally changed not only the tones but fukked with the balance of my mix in a huge way...
i think your experience was pretty much the opposite in reference to big ben/rossetta, but he said it really screwed up radar. so you both agree big ben can be detrimental... but now i'm really confused... anyway thanks for posting these things, unscientific as they may be.
Old 4th July 2005
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zmix
If you have several different converters, and one seems to sound worse under external clock,it probably has a sub-standard recovery circuit. Use this box as the clock master because the internal crystal is certainly the most stable option.
could this be it?!! so could the16x series have better 'recovery circuits'? this certainly would make sense.
Old 4th July 2005
  #13
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Well I'm confused as hell. You all can listen to the above samples... What happened to the midrange edge in samples 1?? Thats the Big Ben clocking the rosetta. The second which to me sounds much more "real" and harmonically rich is the Rosettas internal clock.

Any AD 16x users here? Does it sound flat in the midrange? Or is the rumor that the 777 clocked Rosetta sounds just like the AD 16X simply that, a RUMOR.

I redid this test like three times today, I even used different word clock cables to see if it made a difference. Every time, the Rosetta sounded way better on its own clock. I've been in the studio way too long today. I'm hitting up last call at the local dive bar, but I look forward to reading this thread tomorrow to see what people are thinking here. So far I've heard from one guy who completely agrees with me about the Big Ben altering sound in a weird way.. wonder if there is anyone else out there... Also, has anyone here actually A/B'd the Rosetta 200/800 and the AD16x using both their clocks? Does the externally 777 clocked rosetta REALLY sound like the AD16X, or is the AD16X a different beast altogether? Anyone from apogee care to explain what the differences are in the analog section of these units, and are they the same A/D chip??? I just can't imagine from all the raves about the A/D 16X, that it would sound like the 777 clocked Rosetta.

Steve
www.bangrecording.com
www.blacklinerock.com
Old 4th July 2005
  #14
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blaugruen7's Avatar
voc example 2 sounds a bit more covered to me.
Old 4th July 2005
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bang
Well I'm confused as hell. You all can listen to the above samples... What happened to the midrange edge in samples 1?? Thats the Big Ben clocking the rosetta. The second which to me sounds much more "real" and harmonically rich is the Rosettas internal clock.
all i can say is even from the .wav files you posted i heard the same thing, and the difference wasn't subtle.

Quote:
Any AD 16x users here? Does it sound flat in the midrange? Or is the rumor that the 777 clocked Rosetta sounds just like the AD 16X simply that, a RUMOR. (snip) ... Also, has anyone here actually A/B'd the Rosetta 200/800 and the AD16x using both their clocks? Does the externally 777 clocked rosetta REALLY sound like the AD16X, or is the AD16X a different beast altogether? Anyone from apogee care to explain what the differences are in the analog section of these units, and are they the same A/D chip??? I just can't imagine from all the raves about the A/D 16X, that it would sound like the 777 clocked Rosetta.

Steve
... ANYBODY?! somebody must've A/Bd these things with their own clocks and with each others' clocks -- i'd be happy to do it but as i said, the dealer here only has rossettas and the only way i'm going to be able to compare them is by actually buying the 16Xs ... so if any kind soul has actually done this please chime in.
Old 4th July 2005
  #16
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Donny's Avatar
 

I own a Big Ben and i do think that it makes a signifcance difference to the Digi 192 ..I also have a AD16x and for me the 16x's are the outright winner in conversion in comparison to the 192..Both of them are clocked exteranlly by the Big Ben..
Old 4th July 2005
  #17
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I took a listen Steve. On both samples sets, the 2nd one sounded better to me. It was more open with the vocal, and a tiny bit more thickness on the guitar. They were very close, but the 2nd sample sounded better to me on my HR824's.

and Steve.....since Rap is everywhere..........that voice of yours would sound hot on a Rap chorus.

Thanks for taking the time out to post samples. thumbsup
Old 4th July 2005
  #18
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J I agree 100%, the second samples sounds much more open with a more harmonic midrange and more 3D sound. Thats the rosetta on its int clock.

As for singing on a rap track, I've actually done it once before, it was a lot of fun. Hell, you got a track you want me to sing on, lets do it!!

Steve
www.bangrecording.com
www.blacklinerock.com
Old 4th July 2005
  #19
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chriscoleman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bang
J I agree 100%, the second samples sounds much more open with a more harmonic midrange and more 3D sound. Thats the rosetta on its int clock.

As for singing on a rap track, I've actually done it once before, it was a lot of fun. Hell, you got a track you want me to sing on, lets do it!!

Steve
www.bangrecording.com
www.blacklinerock.com
Steve, if you're handing out vocal tracks, I've got some tracks for you to sing on!
Old 4th July 2005
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donny
I own a Big Ben and i do think that it makes a signifcance difference to the Digi 192 ..I also have a AD16x and for me the 16x's are the outright winner in conversion in comparison to the 192..Both of them are clocked exteranlly by the Big Ben..
thank you very much sir - how do you deal with ADC when using both interfaces? 16Xs are supposed to be faster than 192s (less latency). do you figure out the difference in samples and manually pull the apogee tracks back that amount? sorry for being a little OT.
Old 4th July 2005
  #21
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When you sit in front of a desk and mix music for 9 hours a day, you get a bit shot out. My Lynx II C converters for some reason, weren't doing it for me. So I started trying all these outboard units, only to come back this morning, mix a song into both the Rosetta and then the Lynx... and I prefered the Lynx. If anyone cares to listen, I'll post small wavs. In the end, I've learned a huge lesson. If it aint broke in the audio signal path, don't fix it... and if its a good song and a good mix, neither Lynx Apogee or Lavry will ruin it.

Steve
www.bangrecording.com
www.blacklinerock.com
Old 4th July 2005
  #22
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Kestral's Avatar
 

Wow, I liked the second clip way better. Sounded much more present and full.

In any case, here's my views on the Big Ben. We had one in the studio clocking the 192 for awhile and you know what? We preferred the sound of an old Apogee PSX-100 clocking the 192 to the Big Ben. Interesting.
Old 4th July 2005
  #23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bang
When you sit in front of a desk and mix music for 9 hours a day, you get a bit shot out. My Lynx II C converters for some reason, weren't doing it for me. So I started trying all these outboard units, only to come back this morning, mix a song into both the Rosetta and then the Lynx... and I prefered the Lynx. If anyone cares to listen, I'll post small wavs. In the end, I've learned a huge lesson. If it aint broke in the audio signal path, don't fix it... and if its a good song and a good mix, neither Lynx Apogee or Lavry will ruin it.

Steve
www.bangrecording.com
www.blacklinerock.com
Sounds like you need to take it up a step...

1/2" tape my friend.

Analog mix to an analog machine.

Made for each other.
Old 4th July 2005
  #24
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--> Raal

I don't use the X-HD card ..I use the AES/EBU connections into a 192...
Old 4th July 2005
  #25
smk
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I might be the only one here, but I prefer the sound of #1 over #2. The sound's much more open, defined and a lot bigger in #1. The second set sounds smaller and weaker. Oh well...

Bang, if you could post your comparisons between the Lynx 2 and the Rosetta, I'd really appreciate it. I have a Lynx 2C. Could you be talked into doing the guitar + vocal thing with and without the C777 clock on both converters?

Good singing, btw...
Old 5th July 2005
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donny
--> Raal

I don't use the X-HD card ..I use the AES/EBU connections into a 192...
isn't the problem still there even going through AES/EBU? the amount of time it takes a signal to pass through the new apogees' analog circuit and converters i think is less than 192's but i may be wrong.
Old 5th July 2005
  #27
GMR
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[QUOTE=Bang]When you sit in front of a desk and mix music for 9 hours a day, you get a bit shot out. My Lynx II C converters for some reason, weren't doing it for me. So I started trying all these outboard units, only to come back this morning, mix a song into both the Rosetta and then the Lynx... and I prefered the Lynx. If anyone cares to listen, I'll post small wavs. In the end, I've learned a huge lesson. If it aint broke in the audio signal path, don't fix it... and if its a good song and a good mix, neither Lynx Apogee or Lavry will ruin it.

Steve


I think too much emphasis is put on converters at this point. At this level you pick one and work with what you got with it's internal clock. They might sound slightly different from each other but I think there are other components in the chain that have more significance. Just a thought! I'm still curious of the ad16x with it's internal clock. it maybe is better than the rosetta being clocked by BB.
Old 5th July 2005
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smk
I might be the only one here, but I prefer the sound of #1 over #2. The sound's much more open, defined and a lot bigger in #1. The second set sounds smaller and weaker. Oh well...
You're not the only one. I felt pretty much exactly the same as you, and am quite surprised that the general response seems to be going the other way. My post is the second post in the thread, so I wasn't influenced by any of the discussion.

I like the singing too.
Old 5th July 2005
  #29
Gear Nut
 

On first listen I liked #2 better, and assumed that because it sounded smoother it had to be the Big Ben clocked Rosetta.

After listening to both wavs a few more times, I found myself liking #1 more because it was more detailed. It sounded tighter, wider, and more balanced, but lost some mids and smoothness.

I like to listen to things more than once. Both first impressions and multiple impressions are useful to me.

Clocked or not, either would be usable. Or, application specific. Choose the converter according to source, the way you'd choose a mic or pre. If your source sounds better through one converter as opposed to another, if the converter smooths the source and that's the desired outcome, then choose that converter.

I was listening through BM6As.
Old 5th July 2005
  #30
Gear Addict
 

I prefer #1 as well, but that does not mean anything unless it is closer to the source than #2. Steve, Did you compare the two to the source? If so how and did you do it blind?

I am a bit worried that you may have spent too much time on this and are now too close to it. I think for your own purposes, you should leave this alone for a week and then go back with completely fresh ears and have someone else run the test, you do the listening.

As for your question in the other thread, I have compared the Rosetta 800 to the AD-16X. (my understanding is that the Rosetta 800 and 200 are the same quality). The AD-16X is better, even when the Rosetta is clocked to Big Ben (and yes, I felt the Rosetta was better when clocked to Big Ben).
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