A Audio and hi-fi forum. AudioBanter.com

Go Back   Home » AudioBanter.com forum » rec.audio » Pro Audio
Site Map Home Register Authors List Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read Web Partners

Apologies for age-old question ... AD/DA DAW interface?



 
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old March 22nd 21, 04:15 PM posted to rec.audio.pro
Barry B
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 30
Default Apologies for age-old question ... AD/DA DAW interface?

I've read about a bajillion reviews and internet opinions and, as usual, opinions vary from "BEST THING EVER" to "I WOULDN'T HOLD A DOOR OPEN WITH ONE"... for pretty much any piece of gear. Hoping to get a little more guidance here...

What I do -

"Classical" (orchestral and chamber) and acoustic jazz (mostly "straight ahead") music recording. Typical session is two to eight mics, and usually no direct or line inputs, all simultaneously input. There have been a few times when I've wished for a few more mic channels. On very rare occasions I do some light overdubbing. No real interest in using high sampling rates due to increased system demands and increased TIM with very minimal (if any) gains in fidelity. Most recordings done at 24/48 or 16/44.1.

What I've been using for many years -

A two-channel Great River mic pre with balanced and unbalanced outputs (LOVE IT).
An Apogee PSX100.
Earthworks QTC1 or Neumann KM184 pairs, typically, depending upon room.

Those are my good two channels. When I need more, I've just used mic prefader outs of a Mackie VLZ1404. Don't hate me. It's what I have, and this stuff was all purchased back in the starvation years; I saved and paid what was VERY long green back then for me for two really good channels.

My interface is an M-audio Delta1010; internal card w/ breakout box, eight channels of analog input, and SPDIF (fed from the Apogee), feeding a Win 7 machine running Samplitude 11.5.

What I want -

More channels of high quality mic preamps, above all.
The ability to get all of those channels simultaneously through high quality conversion by an interface.

What I want to spend -

As little as possible to get quality gear. Hoping to stay under $2K.

What I'm considering -

Focusrite Clarett 8Pre USB - would cover all the bases, very cost effectively, but unsure about ACTUAL quality of pres and stability of drivers, based upon reviews. In the Mackie VLZ to Great River huge spectrum of pre quality, where do the Clarett pres lay? Are the driver instability issues related more to user error/ignorance (typical) or are they a real issue?

Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 - Same questions/issues as above, only cheaper and of lesser quality, but readily available now.

Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 AND Clarett OctoPre - 8 good channels of good mic pres, 8 channels of slightly less good mic pres (but still way better than Mackie VLZ?), and maybe only a couple hundred bucks more than the Clarett 8Pre USB. Catch is it would rely on the A/D conversion of the Scarlett. I couldn't find any information or comparison between Scarlett and Clarett converters. Anyone have any experience with both? Feed the Scarlett's ADAT In with the OctoPre's ADAT out, Scarlett's USB to my computer, and all sixteen channels available on my DAW?

RME UCX - seems to be highly regarded as much better than the Focusrite stuff above, although much more expensive but still within shouting distance of my budget... but... only two mic pres, and the price would obviate purchasing additional quality mic pres for me right now. I COULD wait... if the RME was truly a HUGE step up from the Focusrite stuff.

Questions -

Interface format - Currently have USB 2.0 only. For the stuff I do, any concrete advantage to a new laptop with 3.0 and/or Thunderbolt capability?

Missed options? - Anything other than what I've written above that I should consider given the goals?

ADAT optical - never used it. Apogee PSX100 has ADAT I/O, and can use them to spread higher resolution sample frequencies over multiple channels on an external recorder. Any way to put it's ADAT I/O to good use with any of the above products?

Wrap-up -

I've truly enjoyed using the Great River and Apogee, and get really frustrated when I need more than those two channels. Have not yet desired more than ten simultaneous channels, but could see using it if I had the capability. I'm not starving anymore. and want to be less frustrated.

Sorry for the longwindedness.... just trying to be clear, and I'd be grateful for any clear responses from personal experience with any mentioned gear or other gear I should consider

MUCH thanks...

Barry




Ads
  #2  
Old March 22nd 21, 05:06 PM posted to rec.audio.pro
Don Pearce[_3_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 2,404
Default Apologies for age-old question ... AD/DA DAW interface?

On Mon, 22 Mar 2021 09:15:17 -0700 (PDT), Barry B
> wrote:

>I've read about a bajillion reviews and internet opinions and, as usual, opinions vary from "BEST THING EVER" to "I WOULDN'T HOLD A DOOR OPEN WITH ONE"... for pretty much any piece of gear. Hoping to get a little more guidance here...
>
>What I do -
>
>"Classical" (orchestral and chamber) and acoustic jazz (mostly "straight ahead") music recording. Typical session is two to eight mics, and usually no direct or line inputs, all simultaneously input. There have been a few times when I've wished for a few more mic channels. On very rare occasions I do some light overdubbing. No real interest in using high sampling rates due to increased system demands and increased TIM with very minimal (if any) gains in fidelity. Most recordings done at 24/48 or 16/44.1.
>
>What I've been using for many years -
>
>A two-channel Great River mic pre with balanced and unbalanced outputs (LOVE IT).
>An Apogee PSX100.
>Earthworks QTC1 or Neumann KM184 pairs, typically, depending upon room.
>
>Those are my good two channels. When I need more, I've just used mic prefader outs of a Mackie VLZ1404. Don't hate me. It's what I have, and this stuff was all purchased back in the starvation years; I saved and paid what was VERY long green back then for me for two really good channels.
>
>My interface is an M-audio Delta1010; internal card w/ breakout box, eight channels of analog input, and SPDIF (fed from the Apogee), feeding a Win 7 machine running Samplitude 11.5.
>
>What I want -
>
>More channels of high quality mic preamps, above all.
>The ability to get all of those channels simultaneously through high quality conversion by an interface.
>
>What I want to spend -
>
>As little as possible to get quality gear. Hoping to stay under $2K.
>
>What I'm considering -
>
>Focusrite Clarett 8Pre USB - would cover all the bases, very cost effectively, but unsure about ACTUAL quality of pres and stability of drivers, based upon reviews. In the Mackie VLZ to Great River huge spectrum of pre quality, where do the Clarett pres lay? Are the driver instability issues related more to user error/ignorance (typical) or are they a real issue?
>
>Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 - Same questions/issues as above, only cheaper and of lesser quality, but readily available now.
>
>Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 AND Clarett OctoPre - 8 good channels of good mic pres, 8 channels of slightly less good mic pres (but still way better than Mackie VLZ?), and maybe only a couple hundred bucks more than the Clarett 8Pre USB. Catch is it would rely on the A/D conversion of the Scarlett. I couldn't find any information or comparison between Scarlett and Clarett converters. Anyone have any experience with both? Feed the Scarlett's ADAT In with the OctoPre's ADAT out, Scarlett's USB to my computer, and all sixteen channels available on my DAW?
>
>RME UCX - seems to be highly regarded as much better than the Focusrite stuff above, although much more expensive but still within shouting distance of my budget... but... only two mic pres, and the price would obviate purchasing additional quality mic pres for me right now. I COULD wait... if the RME was truly a HUGE step up from the Focusrite stuff.
>
>Questions -
>
>Interface format - Currently have USB 2.0 only. For the stuff I do, any concrete advantage to a new laptop with 3.0 and/or Thunderbolt capability?
>
>Missed options? - Anything other than what I've written above that I should consider given the goals?
>
>ADAT optical - never used it. Apogee PSX100 has ADAT I/O, and can use them to spread higher resolution sample frequencies over multiple channels on an external recorder. Any way to put it's ADAT I/O to good use with any of the above products?
>
>Wrap-up -
>
>I've truly enjoyed using the Great River and Apogee, and get really frustrated when I need more than those two channels. Have not yet desired more than ten simultaneous channels, but could see using it if I had the capability. I'm not starving anymore. and want to be less frustrated.
>
>Sorry for the longwindedness.... just trying to be clear, and I'd be grateful for any clear responses from personal experience with any mentioned gear or other gear I should consider
>
>MUCH thanks...
>
>Barry
>
>
>

Buy whatever is cheapest. There is zero sound quality difference
between any pieces of electronics these days - they passed that hurdle
years ago.

d

--
This email has been checked for viruses by Avast antivirus software.
https://www.avast.com/antivirus

  #3  
Old March 22nd 21, 09:43 PM posted to rec.audio.pro
Mike Rivers[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 2,174
Default Apologies for age-old question ... AD/DA DAW interface?

On 3/22/2021 12:15 PM, Barry B wrote:
> What I want -
>
> More channels of high quality mic preamps, above all.
> The ability to get all of those channels simultaneously through high quality conversion by an interface.
>
> What I want to spend -
>
> As little as possible to get quality gear. Hoping to stay under $2K.


One thing you haven't said anything about is how you're mixing. Is that
"in the box" with Samplitude? I ask, because you do have a Mackie mixer
in your collection.

You have some pretty good gear right now. If there's a weak link, it's
probably the M-Audio Delta 1010. It's going on 20 years old and they're
making much better converters today, at practically giveaway prices.

The Mackie VLZ preamps are actually pretty good - Not a Great River, and
a notch down from a Scarlett or Clarett (there's really very little
difference between those two) but certainly still usable. I'm not trying
to talk you out of buying a box of 8 preamps with or without an A/D
converter, just telling you that what you have now isn't so bad.

> Focusrite Clarett 8Pre USB - would cover all the bases, very cost effectively, but unsure about ACTUAL quality of pres and stability of drivers, based upon reviews.


I'm not sure of any issues with the Clarett series, but I've heard from
a very reliable source that more than a smattering of people have been
having trouble with Scarletts, but he didn't tell me the nature of the
problems. Focusrite had a reputation for solid drivers in the past but
maybe they've become sloppy because of price point and the fact that
there are more inexperienced users buying into the gear than 15-20 years
ago. I reviewed a Saffire and was quite pleased with it. A friend bought
a recent Scarlett and we puzzled for an hour or so over the built-in
monitor mixer because there was little text and mostly graphics on
screen and we couldn't figure out what was what. But it did pass audio
nicely.

> In the Mackie VLZ to Great River huge spectrum of pre quality, where do the Clarett pres lay? Are the driver
> instability issues related more to user error/ignorance (typical) or are they a real issue?


As far as preamps go, it would be a matter of preference. Do you have
the Great River NV series or the earlier generation? The NV is designed
to have Neve-like coloration while the Clarett is designed more for
purity. I have an early Great River MP-2H that I got while I was working
with Mackie in the VLZ days. One evening after work we did a shootout
between the Great River and a 1402VLZ with mixed results. Neither was
better, just different.

> Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 - Same questions/issues as above, only cheaper and of lesser quality, but readily available now.


Are the Claretts hard to get? They've been out for two years now. Maybe
it's a China manufacturing thing (though that's only an assumption of
both). I think that maybe, just maybe, the reason they're short on
Claretts is because they're pushing the Scarletts hard and not saying
that the Clarett is really substantially better, at least for the
general user. I wouldn't be surprised if they don't both use the same
converter chips and that the difference may be in the power supply,
analog output circuitry, and maybe just a little difference in the preamps.


> Catch is it would rely on the A/D conversion of the Scarlett. I couldn't find any information or comparison between Scarlett and Clarett converters. Anyone have any experience with both? Feed the Scarlett's ADAT In with the OctoPre's ADAT out, Scarlett's USB to my computer, and all sixteen channels available on my DAW?


That's just how they designed it to be used - with the OctoPre as an
expander. In general, Don Pierce is correct - there may be measurable
differences between different units but there are are enough other
things that can get in the way of a pristine recording that you should
consider functionality and cost first (as you're doing) and then think
hard about the small differences.

> RME UCX - seems to be highly regarded as much better than the Focusrite stuff above, although much more expensive but still within shouting distance of my budget... but... only two mic pres, and the price would obviate purchasing additional quality mic pres for me right now. I COULD wait... if the RME was truly a HUGE step up from the Focusrite stuff.


I think that they're different in enough ways so that it would be hard
to say which was better for your purposes. Focusrite has always made
good sounding preamps so there's no reason for them to make a
not-so-good one with the Scarlett. RME always gets a nod for good
preamps on their interfaces, but they're most famous for the cleanliness
on the digital side and their well written (and their generally
trouble-free) drivers.

> Interface format - Currently have USB 2.0 only. For the stuff I do, any concrete advantage to a new laptop with 3.0 and/or Thunderbolt capability?


Nope. You can run 64 channels at 24-bit 48 kHz over USB 2.0. But one of
these days, sooner than you think, someone is going to start supplying
drivers that depend on some niggle that USB3 offers - it could be
something like you can get enough current to provide a bunch of mics
worth of 48v phantom power from a USB port, but only two mics worth from
USB2, and then they saved money by not supplying an external power
supply and connector as a few manufacturers are doing now. A lot of new
gear is coming with USB-C connectors now, so you might need to stockpile
some adapters or cables soon so you can plug in the gear you buy after
this run - and you WILL buy some more gear.

> ADAT optical - never used it. Apogee PSX100 has ADAT I/O, and can use them to spread higher resolution sample frequencies over multiple channels on an external recorder. Any way to put it's ADAT I/O to good use with any of the above products?


Generally, ADAT optical just works, but you need to understand how to
set up a master/slave for clocking, since each one has its own digital
clock. The ADAT sMux convention uses two cables to pass the advertised
number of channels at 2x sample rate, and some offer just one connector
so an 8-channel preamp will get you four channels at 2x sample rate.
There's also a definition for 4x sample rate but hardly anyone uses that.

> I've truly enjoyed using the Great River and Apogee, and get really frustrated when I need more than those two channels. Have not yet desired more than ten simultaneous channels, but could see using it if I had the capability. I'm not starving anymore. and want to be less frustrated.


Got enough good mics?


--
For a good time, call http://mikeriversaudio.wordpress.com
  #4  
Old March 23rd 21, 05:08 PM posted to rec.audio.pro
Barry B
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 30
Default Apologies for age-old question ... AD/DA DAW interface?

Mike!

I can't than you enough for taking the time to write such a helpful, detailed response. Much more than I expected or deserve. Some responses and such inserted below...

On Monday, March 22, 2021 at 5:43:17 PM UTC-4, Mike Rivers wrote:

> One thing you haven't said anything about is how you're mixing. Is that
> "in the box" with Samplitude? I ask, because you do have a Mackie mixer
> in your collection.


The Mackie was purchased back when I was playing a lot of more commercial gigs as a keyboard player and used to mix my keyboard rig in performances. These days, I'm a position where I don't have to take those gigs anymore, and now I stick to what I love... straight ahead jazz and classical ... and play acoustic pianos or a single sampled piano keyboard when the venue can't provide a real piano. I haven't used the Mackie for anything other than the six extra mic pres in years. All mixing is done on the DAW with Samplitude.

>
> You have some pretty good gear right now. If there's a weak link, it's
> probably the M-Audio Delta 1010. It's going on 20 years old and they're
> making much better converters today, at practically giveaway prices.


Curious about this. When I feed the 1010's spdif in w/ the Apogee, and have the Apogee do the clocking, does the 1010 still have an effect on the signal or does it just pass the digital data from the Apogee untouched? The eight analog inputs are, as you say, definitely weak links.

>
> The Mackie VLZ preamps are actually pretty good - Not a Great River, and
> a notch down from a Scarlett or Clarett (there's really very little
> difference between those two) but certainly still usable. I'm not trying
> to talk you out of buying a box of 8 preamps with or without an A/D
> converter, just telling you that what you have now isn't so bad.


My distaste for the Mackie pres is admittedly unreasonable for their cost.... for what they are (inexpensive preamps included on an inexpensive board), they are pretty incredible. They just don't have a lot of headroom and behave badly when pushed too hard so great care needs to be taken in setting input levels. Yes, gain-staging is always important (great article on your website, BTW... really enjoy your writing), but at least in my experience the Mackie pres are particularly unforgiving. Also, their sound varies quite a bit depending upon the mic used. Some mics do very well with them (KM184, TLM103) and don't show as much night/day improvement with the Great River, while others, for whatever reasons, (QTC-1, AT4041 and AT4050.... especially the 4050) sound like different, MUCH better mics on the Great River. The 4050 is awful.. chunky, covered, dull.... on the Mackie pres. Well... again... "awful" is way too strong. It sounds great for a relatively inexpensive microphone on a dirt cheap preamp.

>...but I've heard from
> a very reliable source that more than a smattering of people have been
> having trouble with Scarletts, but he didn't tell me the nature of the
> problems.


Is this a source you converse with regularly? If so and it presents no inconvenience nor ethical dilemmas, I'd be very curious to know what the problems were. Review/forum sites are replete with discussions along the lines of "The Focusrite drivers SUCK!! Couldn't ever get the thing to work right.... took it back and bought a ... instead, and it ROCKS! Focusrite is garbage!" followed by, "DUDE, you just don't know what you're doing. My Focusrite is ROCK solid, never had an issue with it, and it sounds as good or better than my $40,000 MoonRock D/A!!!!".. ad infinitum. I have no idea what to believe. Given my experience with other equipment, and in other areas of my life in which I have more expertise, I'm inclined to chalk up the bad reviews to user error, but one never knows.

> > In the Mackie VLZ to Great River huge spectrum of pre quality, where do the Clarett pres lay? Are the driver
> > instability issues related more to user error/ignorance (typical) or are they a real issue?

> As far as preamps go, it would be a matter of preference. Do you have
> the Great River NV series or the earlier generation? The NV is designed
> to have Neve-like coloration while the Clarett is designed more for
> purity. I have an early Great River MP-2H that I got while I was working
> with Mackie in the VLZ days. One evening after work we did a shootout
> between the Great River and a 1402VLZ with mixed results. Neither was
> better, just different.


I've got one of the early ones, too... MP-2H with the unbalanced and balanced outs, bought from Fletcher @ Mercenary way back when (like most of the other stuff I've mentioned...)

> > Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 - Same questions/issues as above, only cheaper and of lesser quality, but readily available now.

> Are the Claretts hard to get? They've been out for two years now. Maybe
> it's a China manufacturing thing (though that's only an assumption of
> both).


Right now, most of the usual sources show a lot of the Focusrite stuff out of stock, especially the Clarett line... including the Focusrite site itself. I don't know why.


>In general, Don Pierce is correct - there may be measurable
> differences between different units but there are are enough other
> things that can get in the way of a pristine recording that you should
> consider functionality and cost first (as you're doing) and then think
> hard about the small differences.


Great advice. As with almost everything, a great craftsman can create great things even with mediocre tools, while a poor craftsman can have the best tools at his/her disposal and create nothing but garbage. I am still very much in the learning stages of this craft (and always will be, as I've always been in the "learning stage" of whatever I'm deeply interested in, including my profession as a musician), and realize that mic selection and placement has a lot more to do with results than A/D conversion topography, especially given today's converters.

> I think that they're different in enough ways so that it would be hard
> to say which was better for your purposes. Focusrite has always made
> good sounding preamps so there's no reason for them to make a
> not-so-good one with the Scarlett. RME always gets a nod for good
> preamps on their interfaces, but they're most famous for the cleanliness
> on the digital side and their well written (and their generally
> trouble-free) drivers.


The primary goal was to get more channels of high quality mic pres, with better (and USB) A/D converters as an added plus. Now you have me rethinking that, re/ your comment about the converters in the 1010 being the weak link. While the Apogee sounds noticeably better than the 1010, a cheapie Tascam US-366 interface (used for quick grabs from vinyl and recording rehearsals on location, mostly) doesn't strike me as appreciably better or worse than the 1010 sound-quality wise. If the RME converters would be a significant step up, even from the Apogee, then maybe it makes more sense to go that way and start collecting a variety of mic pres. Downside.. portability. I do a lot of location stuff, and a 2 or 3 space rack bag and laptop would be preferable.

> > Interface format - Currently have USB 2.0 only. For the stuff I do, any concrete advantage to a new laptop with 3.0 and/or Thunderbolt capability?

> Nope. You can run 64 channels at 24-bit 48 kHz over USB 2.0.


WONDERFUL. Good to know.

> > ADAT optical - never used it. Apogee PSX100 has ADAT I/O, and can use them to spread higher resolution sample frequencies over multiple channels on an external recorder. Any way to put it's ADAT I/O to good use with any of the above products?

> Generally, ADAT optical just works, but you need to understand how to
> set up a master/slave for clocking, since each one has its own digital
> clock. The ADAT sMux convention uses two cables to pass the advertised
> number of channels at 2x sample rate, and some offer just one connector
> so an 8-channel preamp will get you four channels at 2x sample rate.
> There's also a definition for 4x sample rate but hardly anyone uses that.


Got it. I guess I should have asked a slightly more pointed question. The OctoPre has an 8 channel ADAT optical out. Attaching that to the PSX-100's adat optical in does.... what? The Apogee can only output two channels via spdif, AES/EBU, or analog, or spread higher sample rates for two channels across four or eight via it's ADAT output. Given my current equipment, an OctoPre could be used as eight mic preamps, with it's eight analog outputs feeding the eight analog inputs of my 1010... basically replacing the Mackie... but the OctoPre's ADAT output would not be usable. Is that correct? And... if it is... it would make more sense, given your observation about the weak conversion in the 1010, to start with a better (and more convenient portable, meaning USB) interface and then consider the preamp situation... which kind of leads back to the 18i20 or Clarett 8Pre USB.... or a good standalone USB interface that will accept ADAT inputs?


> Got enough good mics?


Never. Locker is a pair each of KM184s, QTC-1s, AT4041s, and AT4050s, a single TLM103, and a handful of SM57s. I had purchased a Wright omni (I think that's the correct spelling, but not sure) from Fletcher way back when (handmade mic, I believe) as it had been highly recommended for recording upright bass, but it didn't work well for me back then (could have been me, and not the mic), so I sent it back and bought the TLM103 instead. Very different mic, obviously, but I found it more useful. There's SO many other mics I'd like to add, but with the mics I have now I can usually find one that sounds pretty good on whatever I need to capture. The issue is that I don't have enough channels to use them all... when I get to that point, I'll need to expand the mic collection without a doubt. There's already times when I've thought... "A 184 would sound great here... let me grab one... oh, crap, they're both in use already ..."...
...
> For a good time, call http://mikeriversaudio.wordpress.com


I didn't call, but have already spent some quality time reading there.... thanks again!

Best to you, Mike.
Barry
  #5  
Old March 23rd 21, 09:43 PM posted to rec.audio.pro
geoff
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,786
Default Apologies for age-old question ... AD/DA DAW interface?

On 24/03/2021 6:08 am, Barry B wrote:

> I've got one of the early ones, too... MP-2H with the unbalanced and balanced outs, bought from Fletcher @ Mercenary way back when (like most of the other stuff I've mentioned...)


Whatever happened to Fletch ?

>
>>> Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 - Same questions/issues as above, only cheaper and of lesser quality, but readily available now.

>> Are the Claretts hard to get? They've been out for two years now. Maybe
>> it's a China manufacturing thing (though that's only an assumption of
>> both).

>


I have (amongst several others - several MOTU, Aphex, that old Delta
1010, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 and 18i20, way back to Turtle Beach
Multisound (wonder how Dave Haynie is going...), and a few others.

Have had no problems whatsoever with the Focusrite drivers or hardware,
or major sound differences wrt mic-fussiness. Everything sounds pretty
much as expected and not significantly different to any of the others.
maybe my hearing is going ...

In fact, unlike in the 'old days' anything USB-based seems a doodle
compared to the previous attachment methods . Only catch is to follow
the instructions as to what to do first - either install the driver or
attach the device.

geoff
  #6  
Old March 23rd 21, 11:06 PM posted to rec.audio.pro
Mike Rivers[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 2,174
Default Apologies for age-old question ... AD/DA DAW interface?

On 3/23/2021 1:08 PM, Barry B wrote:
> Curious about this. When I feed the 1010's spdif in w/ the Apogee,

and have the Apogee do the clocking, does the 1010 still have an effect
on the signal or does it just pass the digital data from the Apogee
untouched? The eight analog inputs are, as you say, definitely weak links.
You're getting into territory here where I don't have any experience
with the gear that you have. The thing to look for is in the 1010
manual. See if it has a setting for the clock source. If you can set it
to S/PDIF, then, yes, the 1010 would sync to the Apogee clock and that
might help a little. It depends on how the clocking is derived in the 1010.

> My distaste for the Mackie pres is admittedly unreasonable for their

cost... for what they are (inexpensive preamps included on an
inexpensive board), they are pretty incredible. They just don't have a
lot of headroom and behave badly when pushed too hard so great care
needs to be taken in setting input levels.

I never understood why people have "headroom" problems like this. The
input gain is there for a reason. You set it so that the preamp doesn't
clip (or get too close to clipping) and you're good to go. Where the
Mackie mixers had a problem, which they finally solved with the VLZ3
version, was with the mix bus. When you had all the preamps running very
close to clipping, when they were summed on the bus, they produced
peaks, or sometimes even a near steady-state signal, that was greater
than the summing stage could handle, so that's where the headroom issue
came in. But if you used the Mackie preamps as preamps only, and took
their direct or insert outputs straight into your A/D converters, you'd
have a pretty decent system - as long as you watched the clipping level
of the preamps. But you need to do that with any preamp. And most
digital interfaces with the preamp and A/D converter in the same box are
calibrated so that you hit 0 dBFS at the same point that the preamp hits
clipping, or maybe just a tad sooner.

I agree that mics can sound different when working into different
preamps, and there are some mics that have a problem with a particular
preamp. You've just been lucky to find some of those, it seems.

>> ...but I've heard from
>> a very reliable source that more than a smattering of people have been
>> having trouble with Scarletts, but he didn't tell me the nature of the
>> problems.

> Is this a source you converse with regularly?


Yes, but since he does a lot of work for the manufacturers, he usually
doesn't like to talk about problems that he's heard about from others,
because he doesn't always track track them down himself. That's not his
gig. I can ask him what he's heard, but I might not get anything useful.
But if there's really a problem, Focusrite will either fix it or
discontinue the product. If you like everything else about a Focusrite
product except what you've heard about someone's unspecific problems,
I'd say go for it. They'll make good on it.

One piece of advice, though, is this: Don't buy it until you're ready to
start using it, at least until you're able to power it up and check it
out thoroughly. If you buy from a reputable dealer like Swee****er,
Compass Point, or B&H, you'll be able to return it (maybe even score
free return shipping) if you don't like it or encounter a problem that
the manufacturer can't address right away.


> I've got one of the early ones, too... MP-2H with the unbalanced and

balanced outs, bought from Fletcher @ Mercenary way back when (like most
of the other stuff I've mentioned...)
By the way, the "H" is for Hank Alrich who used to frequent here. Hank
requested a before and after transformer output connector, so it became
a product.

>> Are the Claretts hard to get? They've been out for two years now.


It could be that this is where the mysterious problem is, and that it's
something that involves more than a simple fix. Just a possibility based
on an unfounded rumor about an unknown specific problem.

> The primary goal was to get more channels of high quality mic pres,

with better (and USB) A/D converters as an added plus.

Well, then, that's what you should do. And consider a system approach
with separate preamps and A/D converters. Buy an assortment of preamps
that you like, buy one good converter (nobody ever got fired for buying
Apogee) and you'll have a more flexible system than if you bought an
interface with all those parts in the same box. As I think I wrote
before, RME is best known for their converters, so that might be a way
to get the best "known" and not worry about how the "unknown" compares
to other preamps.

..
> Got it. I guess I should have asked a slightly more pointed

question. The OctoPre has an 8 channel ADAT optical out. Attaching that
to the PSX-100's adat optical in does.... what?
Not much, as far as I can see. You could use it as a sample rate converter,

The Apogee can only output two channels via spdif, AES/EBU, or analog,
or spread higher sample rates for two channels across four or eight via
it's ADAT output. Given my current equipment, an OctoPre could be used
as eight mic preamps, with it's eight analog outputs feeding the eight
analog inputs of my 1010... basically replacing the Mackie.. but the
OctoPre's ADAT output would not be usable. Is that correct?

Not with the PSX-100, at least not for anything particularly useful. But
the OctoPre is a good match for an interface of your choice that has
fewer mic inputs than you want, but has an ADAT optical input for
expansion. Those ADAT preamps show up as additional sources to your DAW.



--
For a good time, call http://mikeriversaudio.wordpress.com


--
For a good time, call http://mikeriversaudio.wordpress.com
  #7  
Old March 23rd 21, 11:07 PM posted to rec.audio.pro
Mike Rivers[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 2,174
Default Apologies for age-old question ... AD/DA DAW interface?

On 3/23/2021 5:43 PM, geoff wrote:

> Whatever happened to Fletch ?


Fletcher owns a bar in downtown Manhattan. He enjoys it and says he'll
never have another job in audio again. I'd tell you the name but I
forgot it.
--
For a good time, call http://mikeriversaudio.wordpress.com
  #8  
Old March 24th 21, 02:17 PM posted to rec.audio.pro
Barry B
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 30
Default Apologies for age-old question ... AD/DA DAW interface?

On Tuesday, March 23, 2021 at 5:43:36 PM UTC-4, geoff wrote:

> Whatever happened to Fletch ?


I never met him personally, nor would he remember me, but he was incredibly helpful to me over many phone calls and made great recommendations on gear.. Rec.audio.pro, in general back then, was a hugely helpful resource and place full of wonderful knowledgeable people. It's really nice to know that a few are still here! Before even posting here (I'm not a big fan of all things Google, so coming into this group in its current iteration was kind of a last ditch effort for me, but I'm VERY glad and grateful for the responses from you and Mike), I looked up Mercenary and tried to find Fletcher, only to discover that the Mercenary of olden is no more. Fletcher appears to have taken a gig w Telefunken for a bit after leaving Mercenary, but judging from Mike's response above, he has gone on to a different calling at this point. Understandable. Sure would be fun to find his bar!


> >

> I have (amongst several others - several MOTU, Aphex, that old Delta
> 1010, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 and 18i20, way back to Turtle Beach
> Multisound (wonder how Dave Haynie is going...), and a few others.
>
> Have had no problems whatsoever with the Focusrite drivers or hardware,
> or major sound differences wrt mic-fussiness. Everything sounds pretty
> much as expected and not significantly different to any of the others.
> maybe my hearing is going ...
>
> In fact, unlike in the 'old days' anything USB-based seems a doodle
> compared to the previous attachment methods . Only catch is to follow
> the instructions as to what to do first - either install the driver or
> attach the device.
>
> geoff


Good to know, geoff... very helpful. One thing I enjoyed at the session on Monday night (which went very well) was just how rock solid and trouble-free the Delta1010 is. Whenever I have to drag out my little Tascam US-366 for a quick USB laptop recording, I have to wrestle with all kinds of settings and recording errors until I get the buffer settings and routing correct.. The 1010... turn on the computer and just use it. I love the physical ease and portability of USB, but sure appreciate the hardware monitoring and total lack of latency behind the 1010. I'm hoping that, whatever I end up getting, I can enjoy the best of both worlds.... and better mic pres. Thanks for the reply.
  #9  
Old March 24th 21, 02:26 PM posted to rec.audio.pro
Barry B
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 30
Default Apologies for age-old question ... AD/DA DAW interface?

Mike,

Thank you very much for another complete and clear answer to everything. After thinking about your advice and thoughts thoroughly, I think I'm going to pick up an 18i20 while continuing to hone my personal skills, getting the most possible out of my equipment, and add another mic or two to the collection ... that microphone-parts.com site you linked to in another thread is very intriguing. I almost pulled the trigger on an RME Octomic XTC, which is a bit past the budget but looks great, but can always do that to expand later. Right now, the more I think about it, the weakest link in my chain may still be ME... I've improved over the years and learned a lot, but I know there's a ways to go before I've truly outgrown the quality of this gear and the 18i20. Based upon your input and geoff's, it sounds like the 18i20 is a solid, honest box and a good fit for current needs... while still leaving plenty of money in the kitty for expansion to more varied and better quality gear even in the near future if necessary, without becoming useless.

Talk me out of it?

  #10  
Old March 24th 21, 02:49 PM posted to rec.audio.pro
Mike Rivers[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 2,174
Default Apologies for age-old question ... AD/DA DAW interface?

On 3/24/2021 10:17 AM, Barry B wrote:
> One thing I enjoyed at the session on Monday night (which went very well) was just how rock solid and trouble-free the Delta1010 is. Whenever I have to drag out my little Tascam US-366 for a quick USB laptop recording, I have to wrestle with all kinds of settings and recording errors until I get the buffer settings and routing correct. The 1010... turn on the computer and just use it.


This is one of the benefits that you get with an interface that has a PC
bus adapter card like the 1010. The hardware has no ambiguity as to what
it's talking to. But except for a few systems, this is a thing of the
past. Computers are being built with fewer and fewer bus expansion
slots, which in turn is a product of the computer industry deciding that
users shouldn't have to open up their computer in order to connect
something. So now hardware designers have to deal with Firewire (also on
the extinct list), various flavors of USB, Thunderbolt, Lightning, and
now several flavors of Ethernet connection.

You no longer need a screwdriver to install your interface, but you
might need some special kind of luck to have it work reliably.

I'm surprised that the Tascam US-366 is giving you trouble. But then, I
just started using a TASCAM US-44HR and, while I seem to have it working
well with everything but Audacity, every time I open its (rather meager)
control panel, it takes a couple of seconds between when it says "Device
is not connected" to actually showing the settings. Could be that I have
a pretty minimal computer and it would be happier with a faster
processor than a Core2Duo and more memory. But it does sound very good
(better than the Behringer that it replaced) and tests out better than
anyone could expect for the price.


--
For a good time, call http://mikeriversaudio.wordpress.com
 




Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Pres and Interface question Kevin Drysdale Pro Audio 5 February 5th 07 11:41 PM
Firewire Interface Question Bacon McBacon Pro Audio 2 May 5th 05 11:43 AM
QUESTION: Which MOTU Interface Is Right For Me???? HWBossHoss Pro Audio 4 June 15th 04 01:09 AM
Delco CD Interface Question Mike Wagner Car Audio 0 February 8th 04 06:30 PM
All Apologies LeBaron & Alrich Pro Audio 2 July 4th 03 04:15 PM


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 03:28 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2004-2021 AudioBanter.com.
The comments are property of their posters.