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api a2d Am I doing something wrong?? Audio Interfaces
Old 16th April 2009
  #1
Gear Head
 

api a2d Am I doing something wrong??

After months of frustration with this unit I'm about to give up. The preamps work wonderfully, very happy with them when going analog out, not using the a2d converters. However, when I first started using this unit a few months ago, slaving my Apogee Ensemble via spdif, the output I was receiving into my DAW was really low. Watching the digital output meters on the A2d i'd be hitting red, but in my DAW I'd be barely reaching -12 at peaks. After speaking with the people at API a few times with no luck, I eventually gave up and just started using the preamps analog. The other day though, I thought I'd give it another shot because the main reason I originally bought this unit was to have 2 extra channels. However, now I don't get anything metering in my DAW. Metering on the a2d looks great, ensemble is syncing fine via spdif, can play prerecorded tracks, just no sound into my record enabled a2d spdif track. I'm starting to think this unit may have been defective all along. My last stab at solving this is asking you guys. I'm I doing something very very wrong? or do you think it's the unit itself. any response would be VERY appreciated. Thanks for reading.
Ron
Old 16th April 2009
  #2
Lives for gear
I use my A2D into protools digi002 through spdif and it works fine as long as you dont use an external clock (it clocks through the spdif)
what is your setup?
Old 16th April 2009
  #3
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by guitron View Post
After months of frustration with this unit I'm about to give up. The preamps work wonderfully, very happy with them when going analog out, not using the a2d converters. However, when I first started using this unit a few months ago, slaving my Apogee Ensemble via spdif, the output I was receiving into my DAW was really low. Watching the digital output meters on the A2d i'd be hitting red, but in my DAW I'd be barely reaching -12 at peaks. After speaking with the people at API a few times with no luck, I eventually gave up and just started using the preamps analog. The other day though, I thought I'd give it another shot because the main reason I originally bought this unit was to have 2 extra channels. However, now I don't get anything metering in my DAW. Metering on the a2d looks great, ensemble is syncing fine via spdif, can play prerecorded tracks, just no sound into my record enabled a2d spdif track. I'm starting to think this unit may have been defective all along. My last stab at solving this is asking you guys. I'm I doing something very very wrong? or do you think it's the unit itself. any response would be VERY appreciated. Thanks for reading.
Ron
Also as I understand it you are meant to hit the red with the digital level- there are three red bars and I understand you should aim to get the level hitting at least the second of the 3, clipping isnt an issue.
Old 17th April 2009
  #4
Gear Head
 

the A2D is hooked up to an apogee ensemble via spdif. i'm setting the A2D as the master (since i do not have an external clock).

and yes, i would be hitting red on the digital out meter on the a2d, but i'd only be hitting about -12 at most in my DAW.

but now I don't get anything into my DAW, yet I can still play prerecorded music with the ensemble receiving clock via spdif from the a2d. what's the deal?????

thanks,
Ron
Old 17th April 2009
  #5
Gear Maniac
 
Third Eye's Avatar
 

Do you have the converter trims turned up. All the way up is unity.
Old 17th April 2009
  #6
Registered User
Yeah - don't attenuate the digital output at all ... also, check that whatever software mixer you are using isn't attenuating the digital input before it hits the daw ...

The A2D's have a very hot analog output - are you using analog attenuation? If not, this might lead you to think you are cranking the output to acceptable levels, and maybe you aren't .. hence the low digital output ...?
Old 17th April 2009
  #7
Gear Head
 

digital outputs on the a2d are turned up. and i'm not using the analog out. the a2d is converting it and i'm going coax spdif out to the ensemble.
still no luck.
Old 17th April 2009
  #8
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by guitron View Post
digital outputs on the a2d are turned up. and i'm not using the analog out. the a2d is converting it and i'm going coax spdif out to the ensemble.
still no luck.
can you set the ensemble as the clock source not the a2d_
Old 17th April 2009
  #9
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nigel saunders View Post
can you set the ensemble as the clock source not the a2d_
unfortunately, no. my unit was made before they started putting a world clock in that is up-sampled to the proper rate. it only has a "super clock" in which i guess is a particular stand-alone clock. so the a2d has to be the master.
Old 17th April 2009
  #10
Is your only problem, a difference of input level between the API preamps going direct into the Ensemble AD and the AD of the unit? My guess is you are noticing the 0DBFS calibration of the ADC on the A2D. They both have different reference calibrations for +4, 0VU, and I would suspect that if you hear no audible issue with the preamps and converters other than a lower input level, this is indeed your issue.
Old 17th April 2009
  #11
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roc Mixwell View Post
Is your only problem, a difference of input level between the API preamps going direct into the Ensemble AD and the AD of the unit? My guess is you are noticing the 0DBFS calibration of the ADC on the A2D. They both have different reference calibrations for +4, 0VU, and I would suspect that if you hear no audible issue with the preamps and converters other than a lower input level, this is indeed your issue.

If that's the case, does that mean he's stuck with a significantly lower Input level? Is there anything that can be done to match the levels? Just curious since I have an A2D also which I will be connecting it as soon as my S/pdif cables arrive. Although I will not be interfacing to an Ensemble, I do have a Duet and I'd like to compare the sonic quality of the A2D conversion to the Duet.
Old 17th April 2009
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Groberts View Post
If that's the case, does that mean he's stuck with a significantly lower Input level? Is there anything that can be done to match the levels? Just curious since I have an A2D also which I will be connecting it as soon as my S/pdif cables arrive. Although I will not be interfacing to an Ensemble, I do have a Duet and I'd like to compare the sonic quality of the A2D conversion to the Duet.
I don't think its a problem, but I am not inside the OP's studio to say either way. If he feels there is a problem with the unit, he should contact API tech support, or the dealer it was purchased from. The ADC on the A2D is calibrated to accommodate the proper amount of headroom for the +30 dBu output of the API preamp. The Ensemble has semi-pro +4, 0VU reference calibration, which offers less headroom and more input gain than the API ADC. Its NO a big deal, if this is the case [IE really the heart of the issue and not a broken unit], I would suggest turning the API pre down going into the Apogee ADC, and print near -12 anyway. -12 is not a significantly low meter reading, I would also suggest. Its more like an "optimal" meter reading for peak info.

In your case, there is no cause for alarm, and I would suspect that you will appreciate the Duet as much as you would appreciate the A2D. Sonically, the converters are on par, in my experience. The cost for the ADC on the A2D, is about the same as the entire cost of the Duet, when you break it down comparing the A2D to a 5006B with X2 512c's, or other 2-space frame option.
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