The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
What to do with that ever-present SPDIF port....
Old 18th November 2009
  #1
Gear Addict
 
AjD's Avatar
 

What to do with that ever-present SPDIF port....

Like many of you, I use a lightpipe soundcard which also sports a SPDIF port.

For years, I've happily run 24 channels of lightpipe conversion - and ignored that lonely little SPDIF port.

But now... it might be nice to have a couple extra input channels. Nothing else I own has SPDIF, so it's been useless so far. But it'd be pretty cool if I could, for example, plug a couple extra mic channels in - or even just the stereo out from my virtual instrument PC/keyboard station (which, sadly, lacks SPDIF as well).

Any ideas on the cheapest decent way to do 1/4" analog out to SPDIF in (24 bit/44.1 is fine)?

I'm also curious - what are you using SPDIF for? (Or not?)

Aj
Old 18th November 2009
  #2
RTR
Lives for gear
 
RTR's Avatar
I would like to know also.. I have a m-audio 610 with a spdif port and wounder what some of you would get to use it!
Old 18th November 2009
  #3
Lives for gear
 
Finnish's Avatar
 

I have EMU 0404 USB, it has 2 analog outputs and 2 SPDIF outputs.

I REALLY need those 2 "extra" outputs, but how in the world do I make'em analog with the lowest possible cash amount?

We need some cheapo SPDIF -> analog "solutions", don't we?
Old 18th November 2009
  #4
Lives for gear
 
claend's Avatar
 

I've just purchased a Lunatec V3 whch i will plug to my PJM through S/PDIF... can't wait to get it!
Old 18th November 2009
  #5
My motu spdif in and out goes into a Lexicon MX400. 24/44.1
The spdif out i used to have was connecting the motu to a digi 002.

Many good effect racks use Spdif. I used to work with an Eventide, the Eclipse model. There are many digital racks that use spdif.

Depending on the conversion and clock, the spdif is better then the analog out of those racks (not always, but sometimes).

If your budget is shorter you can have a good stereo tube preamp with digital out from ART (Digital MPA Gold) or a Focusrite Platinum series with digital out if your budget is a little better. Lots of options really.
Old 18th November 2009
  #6
Lives for gear
A cheap converter

Search ebay for "Flying Cow" by MIDIMAN, later M-Audio, like this one with "24 bit" clearly marked on the front panel: M-Audio Flying Cow 24 Bit Analog Digital Converter DAC - eBay (item 230391869857 end time Nov-23-09 12:07:58 PST)

I paid around $45 with shipping for one to occupy an unused s/p-dif port. They are an upgrade to the sound of most DAT decks, and quite a few "low-end" stand-alone CD/DVD players. Flying Cow24 is better -sounding than the analog outputs of a Digidesign AudioMedia NuBus or PCI card.
Old 18th November 2009
  #7
Here for the gear
 
koaparlor's Avatar
 

I have an inexpensive TC Electronics M300 reverb/fx processor that has SPDIF I/O. I patch this through the SPDIF I/O on my Focusrite Pro 40 and use it for reverb and/or effects in the cue mix.
Old 18th November 2009
  #8
Lives for gear
 
ears2thesky's Avatar
I use the S/PDIF out on my Focusrite Liquid Saffire56 for monitoring. I run it into the S/PDIF in on a Lexicon BMC2 monitor controller for D/A. The 10 analog line outs of the LS56 are all patched to a passive summer, so having another out for monitoring is very useful.
I had owned a Roland MMP-2 two-channel mic pre using the S/PDIF out into the interface for two more channels, but having purchased a Platinum Octopre which I light-pipe into the the LS56 I've got 16 channels now, so I sold it.
Old 18th November 2009
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by koaparlor View Post
I have an inexpensive TC Electronics M300 reverb/fx processor that has SPDIF I/O. I patch this through the SPDIF I/O on my Focusrite Pro 40 and use it for reverb and/or effects in the cue mix.
How is this rack compared to the Lexicon MX400?
Old 18th November 2009
  #10
Gear Addict
 
AjD's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rufus13 View Post
Search ebay for "Flying Cow" by MIDIMAN, later M-Audio, like this one with "24 bit" clearly marked on the front panel
Cool suggestion Rufus.

Question: How would I sync that thing up with my current set-up? Right now, I've got three Frontier Design Tango 24s going via Lightpipe into an RME HDSP 9652 PCI card. I'm using the first Tango as the master. No wordclock needed (yet).

Anyone know?
Old 18th November 2009
  #11
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by AjD View Post
Cool suggestion Rufus.

Question: How would I sync that thing up with my current set-up? Right now, I've got three Frontier Design Tango 24s going via Lightpipe into an RME HDSP 9652 PCI card. I'm using the first Tango as the master. No wordclock needed (yet).

Anyone know?
Flying Cow has an "external" mode that will sync via AES/EBU or s/p-dif to your RME Project Hammerfall card (which has a good master clock).

You would have 26 (8x3+2)in/outs on the Hammerfall DSP Mixer control panel.

Previous posts of looping an effects box into a DAW with s/p-dif is good.

Cheers.
Old 19th November 2009
  #12
Gear Addict
 
AjD's Avatar
 

This thread just made me realize something obvious....

I've got an old RME card (original 9652) which has been sitting on a shelf for 5 years. It's got a SPDIF out, of course.

I'm gonna stick that old card in my soft-synth PC, and route it into my main PC's SPDIF in! Hurray... instantly I gain two new mic channels on my main studio rig!

So glad I posted this question

Aj
Old 19th November 2009
  #13
Lives for gear
 
musicbydesign's Avatar
 

Here's my use for it. I have an 003r connected to a Fireface 800
as the AD/DA. Lightpipe from FF800 to 003r for 8 channels into
Pro Tools. SPDIF from 003r to FF800 for playback. The FF800 is
also my monitor controller using it's built-in mixer.

Daniel
Old 20th November 2009
  #14
Gear Head
 
phillis's Avatar
 

SPDIF can run 2 channels, so a stereo signal? Whats a good 2 channel/stereo pre amp to hook up to a 002R/003R with spdif?
Old 20th November 2009
  #15
Gear Addict
 
greyskull's Avatar
api a2d
Old 20th November 2009
  #16
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by greyskull View Post
api a2d
I agree I used an A2D for this and it was great.

There was another trick - you could send completed mixes back through the A2D with the pad engaged and record the output - Made it sound more like it was mixed on a desk. (headroom/width),
Old 20th November 2009
  #17
Gear Head
 
phillis's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nigel saunders View Post
I agree I used an A2D for this and it was great.

There was another trick - you could send completed mixes back through the A2D with the pad engaged and record the output - Made it sound more like it was mixed on a desk. (headroom/width),

Yeah, ive done something similar. Although, what are some more 'low end' pres with an SPIDF port? say, $1000 or so? is there much in that market?
Old 20th November 2009
  #18
Lives for gear
 
musicbydesign's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by phillis View Post
Yeah, ive done something similar. Although, what are some more 'low end' pres with an SPIDF port? say, $1000 or so? is there much in that market?
Haven't heard it but Im sure there is plenty of info around on it.
Mackie 400F

Buy Mackie Onyx 400F FireWire Computer Recording Interface Factory Restock | Audio Interfaces & Convertors | Audio Interfaces | Musician's Friend

Old 20th November 2009
  #19
Lives for gear
 
FeatheredSerpent's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by phillis View Post
Yeah, ive done something similar. Although, what are some more 'low end' pres with an SPIDF port? say, $1000 or so? is there much in that market?

Focusrite ISA One with A/D option
SSL Alpha Channel
Joe Meek TwinQ
Old 20th November 2009
  #20
Lives for gear
 
Slikjmuzik's Avatar
 

Solutions

To me, the best bang for the buck preamps with conversion on the way in would be the ART Digital MPA or the DBX 376 or 386. Those can go on the way in to ur spdif port. However, that will leave your spdif out unattented and lonely. If you choose a preamp for the in, I highly suggest an Apogee MiniDac on the way out, or if you've got the flow, a Mytek or Lavry Black stereo D/A. However, I feel the most efficient solution would be a nice reverb unit that uses the spidf in/out ports so that you can relieve processing power inside the box. The Lexicon units such as the MX400 can be used as a plug-in inside the box so you don't really have to setup DAW inserts, you can just pull it up and use it right on an insert slot.

Hope that helps.
Old 20th November 2009
  #21
Lives for gear
this might sound vaguely retarded, but you know what? it works for me...

I basically do a combination of mixing itb and otb.

my otb board is pure analog 8 bus 4 auxes with additional stereo aux (5-6 which I used for the primary headphone mix).

Stuff that can stay itb stays in the box. stuff that benefits from coming otb comes otb, gets it's outboard fx and summing and submixing, and then goes back itb.

When it goes itb I typically do it as a stereo return. Now one of my favorite new ways to do that is to use my card's spdif in connected to my DAT deck's (yes, DAT deck's) digital output, wiht the analog ins of the DAT deck being driven by the stereo submix outs from my analog board. My board also gets the rest of the tracks from the daw sent to it as a stereo daw-created submix and I also monitor those through the same board (my analog board drives my uber complex control-freak's monitoring setup as well). I drive the daw stereo submix out through spdif into an external one way stereo d-a converter that I ripped out of an otherwise blown/dead pair of studio monitors I came across for free some time ago. The converted to analog output goes to a pair of ins on my analog board for monitoring, as mentioned earlier.

So my spdif out is used for stereo submix outs from my daw's mixer.
my spdif in is used for stereo submix returns from my analog board.

d/a converter is good quality model I ripped from trashed digital studio monitors some time ago.

a/d converter is my panasonic 3800 dat deck.

and there are those times when I mixdown from an entirely otb mix to both dat and back into my daw... call my crazy, but my frickin dat deck is an incredibly musical 2 track recorder. Not digital sounding in any bad way at all, other than in fidelity. it's converters kick ass, even though they're 20bit only.

Ok, now back to the more practical side of things.

When I'm NOT doing things like this (I change my setup every few months... never quite satisfied...), I sometimes take my cd player's digital out into my card's digital input for the best sound when listening to cd tracks (for fun or comparison).
other times I've thrown a stereo fx box on the digital ins and outs, although I prefer to do my aux sends through analog since reducing gain in the digital domain results in an increasing loss in fidelity that is rather audible to me compared to how my board works. Probably just me...

still that works well... the digital stereo fx box on digital ins and outs. really good for itb work with an outboard fx box. For some fully automated mixes I've done stuff like that.

cheers,
Don
Old 20th November 2009
  #22
Lives for gear
 
FeatheredSerpent's Avatar
 

You should definitely consider the fx box road too, someone mentioned an mx400, you'd probably be better off with an mpx-1 or an mpx-500.

Could double up as an extra pair of line in/out as well.
📝 Reply
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
🖨️ Show Printable Version
✉️ Email this Page
🔍 Search thread
♾️ Similar Threads
🎙️ View mentioned gear
Forum Jump
Forum Jump