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Antelope Audio Orion 32 VS apogee rosetta/UR824
Old 24th June 2014
  #1
Antelope Audio Orion 32 VS apogee rosetta/UR824

Hi,

I need some advice from experts gearslutterz ! I have a 32 track desk which I use for mixing to tape, coming from Cubase. Currently I have 24 outs via 2 Rosetta's 800 and a UR824 (which is the interface connected to Cubase, but I use the Rosetta's word clock). So with that set up I'm limited to 24 outs and 48 kHz. (If I go higher I loose channels -SMUX connection-).

So I would like to have 32 outs to use all my mixers channels. The Antelope Audio Orion 32 seems like like the perfect answer to my need, with the bonus of being able to work in 88, 96, 192 (!!) kHz without loosing channels. But I would like to know if as far as quality of conversion that would be a downgrade from the Rosetta 800 ? I pretty happy with the sound I have right now...

I read as much as I could about the Orion, but the reviewz and opinions are pretty mixed...I know I should try it myself but would be complicated for now.

Thanks for helping me making a decision !
Old 24th June 2014
  #2
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Hendyamps's Avatar
 

good grief I have nearly the exact same setup and was wondering the same thing...lol
Rosetta 800 ADAT into UR824 running as interface for Cubase 7

I'd also like to hear how the Orion sounds compared to a Prism and how stable the drivers are.
Old 24th June 2014
  #3
Gear Addict
 
jjeffers's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Muzikarma View Post
I read as much as I could about the Orion, but the reviewz and opinions are pretty mixed...I know I should try it myself but would be complicated for now.
I can't compare the conversion quality vs. the Rosetta, but I will tell you that the latest Orion driver is stable for me (on Mac). I had all kinds of problems earlier, to the point that I just gave up on USB, but since driver version 2.06, it's been well-behaved.
Old 24th June 2014
  #4
Yup same setup handyamps...Are you using the Rosetta wordclock ? I don't know for you but I do and by doing so I lost the ability to change the word clock from cubase, and it's a pain in the arse loading projects with different sampling rate. So I have to change the SR manually in cubase and on the Rosetta everytime; that led to trouble more then once ! So it's another advantage to have just one machine and one wordclock to worry about...And thanks for the input jjeffers ! Good to know the drivers are stables, but it worries me a bit that they were not stable before the 2.0.6 update.

The Prism look like a good product, but I would need 4 of them to get to the 32 channel count !
Old 25th June 2014
  #5
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Hendyamps's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Muzikarma View Post
Yup same setup handyamps...Are you using the Rosetta wordclock ? I don't know for you but I do and by doing so I lost the ability to change the word clock from cubase, and it's a pain in the arse loading projects with different sampling rate. So I have to change the SR manually in cubase and on the Rosetta everytime; that led to trouble more then once ! So it's another advantage to have just one machine and one wordclock to worry about...And thanks for the input jjeffers ! Good to know the drivers are stables, but it worries me a bit that they were not stable before the 2.0.6 update.

The Prism look like a good product, but I would need 4 of them to get to the 32 channel count !
yeah I clock from the Rosetta but have never had the issue of switching sample rates - I use 44k for everything I do. If I did switch them though that would piss me off a bit!
Old 25th June 2014
  #6
Gear Addict
Apogee in general has a "sound" that's kinda thick in the low mids. It's sounds kinda "fat" and "meaty" in a cool way. The Orion is a "cleaner" sounding converter in comparison.

If you find yourself dialing in "clarity" on your mixes with the Rosetta, you'll probably find yourself doing less-so with the Orion. The flip side....You might feel a need to beef up the bottom.

I have not used an external clock source on the Orion. It's possible that clocking the Orion with the Rosetta will give you a bit more of that Apogee sound with the I/O capacity of the Orion. You'd definitely have to try that out for yourself though.

I really dig the Orion. I've been using it for a little over a year now and love it's size and capabilities. The routing and mixer takes a little getting used to, but once you wrap your head around what's happening, you can make any source go to any destination whether it's ADAT, MADI, USB to the computer, or the mixer app.

The earlier driver and firmware versions had some issues, but I think things have been really worked out now for the past few months.

32 I/O in 1U. Just make sure that you plan for the DSUB's and know that the Orion needs to be fairly close to your computer. (Last I checked you couldn't run it through a hub.)
Old 26th June 2014
  #7
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Hendyamps's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by effitall View Post
Apogee in general has a "sound" that's kinda thick in the low mids. It's sounds kinda "fat" and "meaty" in a cool way. The Orion is a "cleaner" sounding converter in comparison.

If you find yourself dialing in "clarity" on your mixes with the Rosetta, you'll probably find yourself doing less-so with the Orion. The flip side....You might feel a need to beef up the bottom.

I have not used an external clock source on the Orion. It's possible that clocking the Orion with the Rosetta will give you a bit more of that Apogee sound with the I/O capacity of the Orion. You'd definitely have to try that out for yourself though.

I really dig the Orion. I've been using it for a little over a year now and love it's size and capabilities. The routing and mixer takes a little getting used to, but once you wrap your head around what's happening, you can make any source go to any destination whether it's ADAT, MADI, USB to the computer, or the mixer app.

The earlier driver and firmware versions had some issues, but I think things have been really worked out now for the past few months.

32 I/O in 1U. Just make sure that you plan for the DSUB's and know that the Orion needs to be fairly close to your computer. (Last I checked you couldn't run it through a hub.)

Thanks for the info, it was very helpful!
I have not noticed the overly "fat and meaty" characteristics you described as much as I noticed the punchy in the high mids style, but I get what you are saying in comparison to the Orion. Have you compared the Orion to any other converters?
Old 26th June 2014
  #8
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hendyamps View Post
Thanks for the info, it was very helpful!
I have not noticed the overly "fat and meaty" characteristics you described as much as I noticed the punchy in the high mids style, but I get what you are saying in comparison to the Orion. Have you compared the Orion to any other converters?
Well..To be clear...The Apogees aren't "overly" fat. They just have some substance to them.

Anyway....

I've been in sessions with Lynx, Digi 192's, Apogee AD/DA16X's, RME FF800, MOTU192s (Stock, BLA modded, and further modded by myself), a wide assortment of low-end stuff, and of course the Orion 32.

The stock MOTU192 would be at the bottom of the list getting progressively better with the mods.

The RME FF800 would probably be in the ballpark of the modded MOTU.

The Lynx above that. Granted my only exposure with them was at 44.1 in a not so fun session. Maybe my opinion is tainted.

The Digi 192's I felt were pretty good. I didn't think the Lynx were more special than the 192's.

I would say the Apogee AD/DA16X are pretty cool converters. I have not heard the Symphony converters, and only have passing exposure to the Rosetta 800. My general impression of 16x's vs Rosetta is that the 16x's were superior. While I think the Digi192's are pretty characterless and neutral, I think the Apogees have a bit of personality (one that I like mind you).

Then there's the Orion...I think it just sounds good. Last year I wanted to upgrade my personal converters (I was still using my modded MOTU's). I thought about the AD/DA16x's because they were my favorites of converters I had used up to that point. I decided against it because of the age and potential for support/maintenance issues. Symphony was out because of the price. Lynx was considered....Then I saw the Orion. After a couple of weeks of debating about it...I called up Sweetwater and had them send me one.

I don't feel hampered by conversion anymore. I have all the I/O that I need. I can be mobile if I need to be (show up to a location recording rig with a laptop, a rack bag, and whatever mics/cables I need).

There was somebody on GS that posted a A/B of a mix handled with Apogee AD/DA16x's and the Orion. You could hear the differences....I felt like I could hear more "detail" in the Orion version, I felt like there was more "meat" in the Apogee version. I recognized the Apogee right away.

Sooo...That's my take on all that. As always... YMMV.
Old 27th June 2014
  #9
Lives for gear
 
Hendyamps's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by effitall View Post
Well..To be clear...The Apogees aren't "overly" fat. They just have some substance to them.

Anyway....

I've been in sessions with Lynx, Digi 192's, Apogee AD/DA16X's, RME FF800, MOTU192s (Stock, BLA modded, and further modded by myself), a wide assortment of low-end stuff, and of course the Orion 32.

The stock MOTU192 would be at the bottom of the list getting progressively better with the mods.

The RME FF800 would probably be in the ballpark of the modded MOTU.

The Lynx above that. Granted my only exposure with them was at 44.1 in a not so fun session. Maybe my opinion is tainted.

The Digi 192's I felt were pretty good. I didn't think the Lynx were more special than the 192's.

I would say the Apogee AD/DA16X are pretty cool converters. I have not heard the Symphony converters, and only have passing exposure to the Rosetta 800. My general impression of 16x's vs Rosetta is that the 16x's were superior. While I think the Digi192's are pretty characterless and neutral, I think the Apogees have a bit of personality (one that I like mind you).

Then there's the Orion...I think it just sounds good. Last year I wanted to upgrade my personal converters (I was still using my modded MOTU's). I thought about the AD/DA16x's because they were my favorites of converters I had used up to that point. I decided against it because of the age and potential for support/maintenance issues. Symphony was out because of the price. Lynx was considered....Then I saw the Orion. After a couple of weeks of debating about it...I called up Sweetwater and had them send me one.

I don't feel hampered by conversion anymore. I have all the I/O that I need. I can be mobile if I need to be (show up to a location recording rig with a laptop, a rack bag, and whatever mics/cables I need).

There was somebody on GS that posted a A/B of a mix handled with Apogee AD/DA16x's and the Orion. You could hear the differences....I felt like I could hear more "detail" in the Orion version, I felt like there was more "meat" in the Apogee version. I recognized the Apogee right away.

Sooo...That's my take on all that. As always... YMMV.
Once again, thank you for the very helpful post!
Old 16th September 2014
  #10
Gear Maniac
 

Hi, I have searched but it isn´t clear to me yet, can you play 32 channels out of the orion while recording 2 channels ? (I have an external summing box)

So, via USB is posible to have 32 channel in and 32 channels out simultaneously with acceptable latency? or should I go to the madi route?

thanks!
Old 29th September 2015
  #11
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by pablo1980 View Post
Hi, I have searched but it isn´t clear to me yet, can you play 32 channels out of the orion while recording 2 channels ? (I have an external summing box)

So, via USB is posible to have 32 channel in and 32 channels out simultaneously with acceptable latency? or should I go to the madi route?

thanks!

I'm interested i know about that too, effitall
what about a response?
Old 29th September 2015
  #12
32 in 32 out

Yes you can do it, and latency is surprinsingly good (on my system anyway).
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