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Conversion/Monitoring Question Audio Interfaces
Old 29th December 2010
  #1
Gear Head
 

Conversion/Monitoring Question

If I were to buy an Aurora 8 I then need something like the Dangerous D-Box for my monitoring is that correct? And at that point I would be bypassing the conversion in the D-Box?

Would I be better off getting x number of channels of A/D and then using the D-Box for my D/A?

This is all assuming everything is being done ITB and I only need D/A for monitoring purposes. I hope that wasn't too confusing....
Old 29th December 2010
  #2
Deleted #157546
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ridgeway View Post
If I were to buy an Aurora 8 I then need something like the Dangerous D-Box for my monitoring is that correct? And at that point I would be bypassing the conversion in the D-Box?

Would I be better off getting x number of channels of A/D and then using the D-Box for my D/A?

This is all assuming everything is being done ITB and I only need D/A for monitoring purposes. I hope that wasn't too confusing....

I'm not 100 percent sure what your trying to do. The aura 8 is 8 channels and the Dbox is 2. So it depends on what you already have. or if your trying to do the summing thing or whatever.

Getting the Lynx and Dangerous box just for monitors is an expensive way to go.

So perhaps tell me more about your set up?
Old 29th December 2010
  #3
Gear Head
 

There is no setup, I'm trying to build one!

I don't want to dip below the conversion quality of the Lynx just because it seems pretty standard around here. But I would go with Lavry or something else if I'm not going to need all those channels of D/A on the Lynx anyway. My question is that with something like the Aurora what do I need to do to monitor? Am I forced into buying something like the D-Box. I'm not interested in summing anything at the moment, so I really only need D/A for monitoring.

I'm just interested in tracking and then mixing ITB but it seems like all the channels of D/A in the aurora are useless for monitoring if I'm going to have to buy something like a Central Station or D-Box anyway unless the converters in the D-Box aren't very good?

I guess the most simple way to put it would be....with the Lynx Aurora what would you do for a monitoring solution? The only answer I was able to find was using a D-Box, Central Station, etc. But they have their own converters correct? I don't know...without actually seeing this stuff in front of me I'm not very good at figuring out what I need to do I guess. I need someone to talk to that's not trying to sell me stuff haha
Old 29th December 2010
  #4
Deleted #157546
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You still need an interface if your going to mix ITB. The D-box is not an interface, but the Lynx can be made one with the FW option.

I wouldn't waste money on the D-box right now. Look for a simple monitor controller from presonus or mackie....you don't need to blow a lot of money on a monitor controller when there are lots of other important things to think of...room acoustics...mics, cables, pres, studio monitors....etc.

Make sure you set up a good budget and prioritize what you NEED.
Old 29th December 2010
  #5
Gear Head
 

Yeah I know, I already have the other stuff budgeted in. I just need to figure out how I'm getting everything in the computer and out to the monitors/headphones. It's looking like I'm just going to have to drive down to North Carolina to Sound Pure or something to figure it out and demo everything anyway, so I might as well stop driving myself crazy about it. I literally fall asleep and wake up thinking about this kind of stuff. Sad I know.
Old 29th December 2010
  #6
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If you're mixing ITB, you could happily get yourself something like a MOTU ultralite & a D-Box. You can hook up the digital output of the MOTU to the digital input of the D-Box and use the good converters in that. All the MOTU is doing is Firewire -> Digital output, you wouldn't be utilising it's conversion stages at all (which are fine, but not as good as the Lynx). The D-Box conversion is good.
Old 30th December 2010
  #7
Gear Head
 

If I did that, wouldn't that present a weak link during the tracking by using the A/D in the MOTU?
Old 30th December 2010
  #8
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NF Audio's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ridgeway View Post
If I were to buy an Aurora 8 I then need something like the Dangerous D-Box for my monitoring is that correct? And at that point I would be bypassing the conversion in the D-Box?

Would I be better off getting x number of channels of A/D and then using the D-Box for my D/A?

This is all assuming everything is being done ITB and I only need D/A for monitoring purposes. I hope that wasn't too confusing....
The Aurora 8 is just a DA/AD converter, that converts analogue to AES/EBU format and vice versa. So if you're really keen on that particular set of converters do you realize this means you will still need an interface to get the AES/EBU in and out of your computer? I'm not really sure of interfaces that offer 8 AES/EBU I/O, because I've never had to look for one, but I'm sure they exist.

From there, really you just need a simple monitor controllers between the first two outputs of the Aurora and some speakers. Maybe mono, speaker select and an extra input would be useful, on that. There are heaps of options for that kind of monitor controller.

For headphones sends you could easily use the remaining 6 outputs of the Aurora as 3 separate stereo sends. Just connect a stereo headphone amplifier to each remaining pair of outputs from the Aurora.

On the tracking side of the coin, you'll need some preamps to connect to the line level analogue inputs on the Aurora.

To be perfectly honest I don't know if the Aurora 8 is the best way of making this happen for you? Maybe you should consider some kind of firewire audio interface that has ADAT I/O, then you could get an 8-channel converter like the Apogee Rosetta 800.

Best of luck choosing your equipment.

Kindest Regards,

NF.
Old 30th December 2010
  #9
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doncaparker's Avatar
 

I'm kinda confused by your question, OP.

The only problem you have using an Aurora 8 for monitoring is deciding which 2 of the 8 analog outs you want to use for the monitor signals. That's not a bad problem to have.

If you are going to use an Aurora 8 at all, you've also got to have an interface (like a PCI card) that handles 8 digital in and 8 digital out. If you don't buy that in addition to the Aurora 8, it is like buying a car without wheels.

Assuming you have a working Aurora 8, with the proper computer interface, just pick two of the analog outs and feed those to your monitors. Use the Lynx digital mixing software to choose what signals go to those analog outs.

If you want to send 2 signals to powered monitors and another 2 signals to a headphone amp, it's easy to do, because that still leaves you 4 unused analog outs. This is similar to what I do: I have a Lynx Two A, with 4 analog outs. 2 go to my powered monitors (with a passive volume control in between), and 2 go to my cheapie headphone amp. It works fine.

The Dangerous D-Box has a lot of stuff you don't need, as far as I can tell. Maybe controlling and deciding what goes through what analog out is what concerns you. If that is the case, don't worry. The Lynx digital mixing software will let you pick what goes where.

I hope this helps.
Old 30th December 2010
  #10
Gear Head
 

Actually the Aurora is able to act as an interface the way I understand it so I think I'm good there. I just need to get from the Aurora to the monitors and headphones. I don't need a lot of options really, just route the signal to those two places without spending $1,200. Or even $500. $500 seems like a lot of money for this task to me for some reason. Seems there should be an easier way to do this without affecting the quality of the signal. I see I can actually go directly from the Aurora to the monitors, but then I am running the risk of blowing them if the volume spikes for some reason in the DAW. I don't really want that risk.

After the signal leaves the Aurora I don't see why it needs to be affected in any way on its way to the monitors. I see that the headphones need an amp, but I see I can get one for $50 and I'm not extremely concerned with the sound of the phones anyway. I just don't want the sound getting screwed up on the way to the monitors after going through $10,000 worth of gear. I admittedly don't know what I'm doing, that's why I'm here. I'm a musician, not an engineer. Yet!

Maybe I'm not thinking about this in the right way and I'm just wishing that there was an easier way to do something. Maybe I'm just going to have to shell out another $1,200 for an expensive volume knob. (If that's what I need it for...I really don't understand why I need it in the first place other than not blowing the speakers)
Old 30th December 2010
  #11
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by doncaparker View Post
I'm kinda confused by your question, OP.

The only problem you have using an Aurora 8 for monitoring is deciding which 2 of the 8 analog outs you want to use for the monitor signals. That's not a bad problem to have.

If you are going to use an Aurora 8 at all, you've also got to have an interface (like a PCI card) that handles 8 digital in and 8 digital out. If you don't buy that in addition to the Aurora 8, it is like buying a car without wheels.

Assuming you have a working Aurora 8, with the proper computer interface, just pick two of the analog outs and feed those to your monitors. Use the Lynx digital mixing software to choose what signals go to those analog outs.

If you want to send 2 signals to powered monitors and another 2 signals to a headphone amp, it's easy to do, because that still leaves you 4 unused analog outs. This is similar to what I do: I have a Lynx Two A, with 4 analog outs. 2 go to my powered monitors (with a passive volume control in between), and 2 go to my cheapie headphone amp. It works fine.

The Dangerous D-Box has a lot of stuff you don't need, as far as I can tell. Maybe controlling and deciding what goes through what analog out is what concerns you. If that is the case, don't worry. The Lynx digital mixing software will let you pick what goes where.

I hope this helps.
Yes actually that was very helpful....one question though. I noticed everyone else was worried about having monitor controllers and blowing their speakers. Are you not worried about that?

Also, the Firewire card with the Lynx acts as the interface right? Maybe I'm not understanding that either lol
Old 30th December 2010
  #12
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NF Audio's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ridgeway View Post
Actually the Aurora is able to act as an interface the way I understand it so I think I'm good there. I just need to get from the Aurora to the monitors and headphones. I don't need a lot of options really, just route the signal to those two places without spending $1,200. Or even $500. $500 seems like a lot of money for this task to me for some reason. Seems there should be an easier way to do this without affecting the quality of the signal. I see I can actually go directly from the Aurora to the monitors, but then I am running the risk of blowing them if the volume spikes for some reason in the DAW. I don't really want that risk.

After the signal leaves the Aurora I don't see why it needs to be affected in any way on its way to the monitors. I see that the headphones need an amp, but I see I can get one for $50 and I'm not extremely concerned with the sound of the phones anyway. I just don't want the sound getting screwed up on the way to the monitors after going through $10,000 worth of gear. I admittedly don't know what I'm doing, that's why I'm here. I'm a musician, not an engineer. Yet!

Maybe I'm not thinking about this in the right way and I'm just wishing that there was an easier way to do something. Maybe I'm just going to have to shell out another $1,200 for an expensive volume knob. (If that's what I need it for...I really don't understand why I need it in the first place other than not blowing the speakers)
You don't need to spend $1200 on a monitor controller if all you need is a volume control. There are plenty of perfectly transparent options for less than that IMO.

Can you enlighten me how the Aurora 8 can act as an interface on its own? or is there another card you buy for it?
Old 30th December 2010
  #13
Gear Head
 

Oh I read that too quick....you have a passive volume control in between the monitors and the computer. Got ya. I think my question has been answered. Using this solution I run little risk of blowing my speakers?
Old 30th December 2010
  #14
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by NF Audio View Post
You don't need to spend $1200 on a monitor controller if all you need is a volume control. There are plenty of perfectly transparent options for less than that IMO.

Can you enlighten me how the Aurora 8 can act as an interface on its own? or is there another card you buy for it?

There is a firewire card that you can get that goes inside the Aurora the way I understand it.
Old 30th December 2010
  #15
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NF Audio's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ridgeway View Post
Oh I read that too quick....you have a passive volume control in between the monitors and the computer. Got ya. I think my question has been answered. Using this solution I run little risk of blowing my speakers?
right on thumbsup
Old 30th December 2010
  #16
Gear Head
 

So who exactly is the something like the D-Box aimed at? Someone that doesn't already have D/A conversion? What exactly does something like that do that justifies the price tag....

And thank you guys for helping me out with this btw....I was sort of bummed that I might have to spend a whole bunch more money for that because it was eating up part of my budget!
Old 30th December 2010
  #17
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NF Audio's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ridgeway View Post
So who exactly is the something like the D-Box aimed at? Someone that doesn't already have D/A conversion? What exactly does something like that do that justifies the price tag....

And thank you guys for helping me out with this btw....I was sort of bummed that I might have to spend a whole bunch more money for that because it was eating up part of my budget!
The reason it's priced at that point is because it includes a whole host of other things other than the monitor control section...

- An D/A converter
- A summing mixer
- Headphones amps
- Talkback mic system
- Monitor routing system

If you bought all those things separately... well you can see why it is priced like it is.

But I gather you only need a simple monitor controller and a couple of headphones amps, so a lot of the features of the d box would be superfluous!

Best,

NF.
Old 30th December 2010
  #18
Gear Head
 

I see now, thank you sir! I appreciate taking the time to help me out and I"ll check out that controller you have on your sig there.
Old 30th December 2010
  #19
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NF Audio's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ridgeway View Post
I see now, thank you sir! I appreciate taking the time to help me out and I"ll check out that controller you have on your sig there.
No problems man, It probably looks like that was my intention now... but it wasn't. Hope you have a good new years eve!
Old 30th December 2010
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by ridgeway View Post
A I see I can actually go directly from the Aurora to the monitors, but then I am running the risk of blowing them if the volume spikes for some reason in the DAW. I don't really want that risk.

After the signal leaves the Aurora I don't see why it needs to be affected in any way on its way to the monitors. I see that the headphones need an amp, but I see I can get one for $50 and I'm not extremely concerned with the sound of the phones anyway. I just don't want the sound getting screwed up on the way to the monitors after going through $10,000 worth of gear. I admittedly don't know what I'm doing, that's why I'm here. I'm a musician, not an engineer. Yet!

Maybe I'm not thinking about this in the right way and I'm just wishing that there was an easier way to do something. Maybe I'm just going to have to shell out another $1,200 for an expensive volume knob. (If that's what I need it for...I really don't understand why I need it in the first place other than not blowing the speakers)
For the blowing speakers thing...there is already a very low risk as is...and secondly, monitors are always the last thing in your chain to power up, and the first thing to power down.
So, if you are worried, just power them up once everything else is already up and running with the volume completely attenuated...then power on your monitors and bring the levels up to taste.

I've never had any reason to fear my monitors being blown unless there is something I'm missing.
Old 30th December 2010
  #21
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NF Audio's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Draw the Moral View Post
For the blowing speakers thing...there is already a very low risk as is...and secondly, monitors are always the last thing in your chain to power up, and the first thing to power down.
So, if you are worried, just power them up once everything else is already up and running with the volume completely attenuated...then power on your monitors and bring the levels up to taste.

I've never had any reason to fear my monitors being blown unless there is something I'm missing.
Sure, there's not really any reason you can't just operate this way. I think people just like the security of having a large dial on the table top they can just quickly reach for if they need to turn the monitors down in a hurry.

Also there's the argument of lost resolution when attenuating digitally... but let's not get into that one!
Old 30th December 2010
  #22
Gear Head
 

I had just read in a few different places where people were saying they had blown thier speakers due to the DAW doing something weird and not having a monitor controller or the master in the DAW being cranked up when the project was opened and not realizing the monitors were cranked up as well. Just a blonde moment I guess?

I have to admit though, I'm somewhat confused as to why there needs to be any volume control between the Aurora and the monitors to begin with. What benefit does this offer? And does it actually provide some protection from blowing them? I guess you could just set the monitors volume low and never touch it and then use the controller primarily? I don't know, just stabbing in the dark at it! For a hundred dollars I guess I'm probably too willing to just accept it and move on but for more money I was asking questions! I know that's not the way to be, but I'm trying to take in a lot at once right now and trying to prioritize what I'm worrying about. The monitor controller seems trivial, although now I'm wondering why it's even needed to begin with if blowing the speakers isn't a valid problem. If it offers some protection from that happening then I'd say it's probably worth the money, but if it doesn't then I don't even see the point really in my case. Care to explain it to me?
Old 30th December 2010
  #23
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NF Audio's Avatar
Basically, what you've said.

You open a project, forget that the master fader is up because you had to put it up to 0 last time for mixdown, hit play and your monitors blow the tweeters across the room.

You can of course use the attenuators on the monitors themselves to ensure that even with the volume cranked up in your daw that the monitors don't go anywhere near their max volume.

It's pretty much about ergonomics I reckon. You change the level of your monitors a million times during the course of a recording... if you want to use the mouse and find the master fader every time then all power to ya!

NF.
Old 30th December 2010
  #24
Gear Head
 

This is probably going to show my newness to all of this, but isn't moving the fader different than changing the volume on the speakers themselves? Meaning if I need a louder listening level then I need to do it by the monitors not by the fader? I hate asking question that I know are probably making me look like an idiot, but it's either ask now or find out the hard way. Finding out the hard can sometimes yield bad results....I know!
Old 30th December 2010
  #25
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NF Audio's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ridgeway View Post
This is probably going to show my newness to all of this, but isn't moving the fader different than changing the volume on the speakers themselves? Meaning if I need a louder listening level then I need to do it by the monitors not by the fader? I hate asking question that I know are probably making me look like an idiot, but it's either ask now or find out the hard way. Finding out the hard can sometimes yield bad results....I know!
Yeah it definitely is different, but a lot of people just use the master fader rather than the trim controls on their speakers because it's a pain in the ass to get behind your speakers and change it on BOTH speakers every time you want to change your listening level. Of course you have to put the master fader back up to 0 when you go to mix down.
Old 30th December 2010
  #26
Deleted #157546
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by ridgeway View Post
This is probably going to show my newness to all of this, but isn't moving the fader different than changing the volume on the speakers themselves? Meaning if I need a louder listening level then I need to do it by the monitors not by the fader? I hate asking question that I know are probably making me look like an idiot, but it's either ask now or find out the hard way. Finding out the hard can sometimes yield bad results....I know!
Using the Master Fader in your DAW is not a substitution for a studio monitor controller.
Old 30th December 2010
  #27
Gear Head
 

Ok, got it. Get the controller, save the back and legs. Like you said, mostly ergonomics. Not a sonic necessity but rather a physical one lol
Old 30th December 2010
  #28
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NF Audio's Avatar
I reckon you'll be glad one day when something really loud starts coming out of your speakers scaring the **** out of you and you clients and you don't have to scramble around with the mouse or dive behind your speakers!
Old 30th December 2010
  #29
Gear Head
 

Lol I think you're right....definitely going with the volume control!
Old 30th December 2010
  #30
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doncaparker's Avatar
 

The NF Audio passive controller sounds like a nice item. Just so you have an idea of what's out there, though, you do have options. I use a TC Electronic Level Pilot, and it works great.
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