• The Gear Page Apparel & Merch Shop is Open!

    Based on member demand, The Gear Page is pleased to announce that our Apparel Merch Shop is now open. The shop’s link is in the blue Navigation bar (on the right side), “Shop,” with t-shirts, hats, neck buffs, and stickers to start. Here’s the direct link: www.thegearpageshop.com

    You’ll find exclusive high-quality apparel and merchandise; all items are ethical, sustainably produced, and we will be continuously sourcing and adding new choices. 

    We can ship internationally. All shipping is at cost.


Firewire AD/DA converters v. Pro Tools HD

nb_fan

Member
Messages
386
So, I've been reading through forum after forum and I just wanted to know what you all thought about ad/da converter quality of the various Fireface converters out there.

I guess I'm looking for Pro Tools HD grade converters without actually going to pro tools (I'm comfy with Sonar).

I'm thinking about slowly building towards a semi-pro setup over the next while as I get a feel for each piece of the setup.

I've got a PC laptop and I'd like to keep things somewhat mobile, which is why I'm looking at firewire interfaces.

I'm looking for 8 analog I/O with future expansion ability to cover a full live band (so16 ins, maybe up to 24, who knows). Just looking for the ad/da conversion quality, and I suppose the analog front end that affects the conversion quality.

So, what I've seen so far are the following:
High End:
RME Fireface 800
Apogee Rosetta 800
Lynx Aurora 8/16
Prism Audio Orpheus

Mid:
Focusrite Saffire (Liquid 56 or pro 26?)
MOTU (various.. 8 pre, 896 mk3)

don't really want to go go lower than that...

I've seen some studios take the Lynx Auroras and ADC them into pro tools HD, so maybe that and the Orpheus are overkill?

I'm looking for converters that are approximate to the Pro Tools HD ad/da quality. Feel free to suggest others.

Thanks for the help, even if you have to qualify your statements with "It's all subjective" or "it's what your own ears tell you". I just want to hear people's thoughts.
 

LSchefman

Member
Messages
13,432
There's also the Metric Halo stuff, that a lot of people think sounds great.

I find that my work has gone just fine with MOTU gear, both the 1296 and the Traveler. My work goes on TV ads, etc., and the clients seem happy.

What I like about the MOTU stuff is that it sounds good to my ear, and it's reliable and unfussy. I can take a traveler and use it with my Macbook Pro, hand the same Traveler to our sound design guy, and he can use it with his PC without any problem.

Everyone's got an opinion about this stuff. If you're making a living making records with your music, it makes sense to get expensive converters. Treat yourself to a nice set. If you're not, then I'm one of those that thinks that there are more important things, like mics, etc.

One reviewer, Russ Long of PAR, who actually makes records and isn't some wannabe journalist did a review of the MOTU traveler and actually felt the converters compared well to his Lavry converters, which are a whole lotsa more money. I tend to agree with his gear assessments, but who knows, so far he's still using his Lavrys. ;)

But everyone's ears are different. And there are folks who feel that if they spend more, they get more. By and large, they do. However, there are surprises and bargains to be had. Keep an open mind about this stuff.

Anyway, I'd certainly add the Metric Halo to that list of yours.
 

nb_fan

Member
Messages
386
About the Metric Halo... it's too bad it's for Mac only.
And I've just read that Apogee is no longer coding for Windows... and I just upgraded to Vista (which isn't supported by the Rosetta, or any other interfaces for that matter)

So i guess Apogee is off the list too
 

nb_fan

Member
Messages
386
There's also the Metric Halo stuff, that a lot of people think sounds great.

I find that my work has gone just fine with MOTU gear, both the 1296 and the Traveler. My work goes on TV ads, etc., and the clients seem happy.

What I like about the MOTU stuff is that it sounds good to my ear, and it's reliable and unfussy. I can take a traveler and use it with my Macbook Pro, hand the same Traveler to our sound design guy, and he can use it with his PC without any problem.

Everyone's got an opinion about this stuff. If you're making a living making records with your music, it makes sense to get expensive converters. Treat yourself to a nice set. If you're not, then I'm one of those that thinks that there are more important things, like mics, etc.

One reviewer, Russ Long of PAR, who actually makes records and isn't some wannabe journalist did a review of the MOTU traveler and actually felt the converters compared well to his Lavry converters, which are a whole lotsa more money. I tend to agree with his gear assessments, but who knows, so far he's still using his Lavrys. ;)

But everyone's ears are different. And there are folks who feel that if they spend more, they get more. By and large, they do. However, there are surprises and bargains to be had. Keep an open mind about this stuff.

Anyway, I'd certainly add the Metric Halo to that list of yours.
I've debated taking that train of thought before. I do agree with you that much of the mid-level priced consumer gear is completely useable. Right now, I'm just interested in doing my own personal recordings and perhaps those of friends. However, I have a long term interest of building towards a small project studio with a little more professional edge (for potential clients) and I don't want to limit myself this early in the game.
 

chrisgraff

Member
Messages
2,648
One reviewer, Russ Long of PAR, who actually makes records and isn't some wannabe journalist did a review of the MOTU traveler and actually felt the converters compared well to his Lavry converters, which are a whole lotsa more money. I tend to agree with his gear assessments, but who knows, so far he's still using his Lavrys. ;)
Russ also loves the Aurora, owns it as well. I'll have to ask him about the Lavry.
 

loudboy

Member
Messages
27,316
Russ also loves the Aurora, owns it as well. I'll have to ask him about the Lavry.
A dealer had some reliability issues w/the Lynz Series - didn't recommend them.

RME Fireface 400 and 800 have a pretty good rep, for upper-end prosumer stuff.

A VERY low-cost, high-quality solution for 24 I/O is a used ADAT HD24-XR, and a MOTU 2408, altho that may be PCI, only. For under $2K, you get 24 ch of I/O that rival Radar, in a small, portable package. You can even do a location record w/o bringing a computer.
 

mgrier1

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,147
Can you go PCIe card to AES or the like? It will open up your converter options considerably...

Best,

Mike
 

nb_fan

Member
Messages
386
PCIe to AES? how does that work?

My only problem with the PCIe is that I've been working with laptops for a good 6 or 7 years now and I like the mobility. I've got a Thinkpad and i don't have a PCIe slot (unless I get an external case and connect it through my laptop's PCMCIA slot).

I guess it's an option, but that takes on an extra stage of conversion - im not sure how that will affect data speed/quality?
 

LSchefman

Member
Messages
13,432
>>However, I have a long term interest of building towards a small project studio with a little more professional edge (for potential clients) and I don't want to limit myself this early in the game.<<

Dude, you want to hear some "projects" done with MOTU gear, stop by my company's website, and click on Audio. Then after you decide if that sounds good enough to move forward and listen to more, click on Music and then Composing.

Then tell me if the MOTU gear I use would limit your plans. www.ringsidecreative.com

Edit: I'm not arguing you can't buy cooler sounding converters at more expense; I am saying that these work fine for my professional purposes with real clients, and one needn't get carried away with shiny boxes. It reminds me of the old argument that you needed a Studer to make really good records, and Otari wasn't a good enough tape machine. Despite the hits produced on them! ;)
 

nb_fan

Member
Messages
386
>>However, I have a long term interest of building towards a small project studio with a little more professional edge (for potential clients) and I don't want to limit myself this early in the game.<<

Dude, you want to hear some "projects" done with MOTU gear, stop by my company's website, and click on Audio. Then after you decide if that sounds good enough to move forward and listen to more, click on Music and then Composing.

Then tell me if the MOTU gear I use would limit your plans. www.ringsidecreative.com

Edit: I'm not arguing you can't buy cooler sounding converters at more expense; I am saying that these work fine for my professional purposes with real clients, and one needn't get carried away with shiny boxes. It reminds me of the old argument that you needed a Studer to make really good records, and Otari wasn't a good enough tape machine. Despite the hits produced on them! ;)
Wow. I am REALLY impressed by that website, both it's content and it's format - it's probably the coolest website I've been to in a very long time!
 

Powerpopfan

Member
Messages
582
very pro and impressive recordings. the real deal... (certainly not hearing any limitations) and the site is absolutely over-the-top great.

>>However, I have a long term interest of building towards a small project studio with a little more professional edge (for potential clients) and I don't want to limit myself this early in the game.<<

Dude, you want to hear some "projects" done with MOTU gear, stop by my company's website, and click on Audio. Then after you decide if that sounds good enough to move forward and listen to more, click on Music and then Composing.

Then tell me if the MOTU gear I use would limit your plans. www.ringsidecreative.com

Edit: I'm not arguing you can't buy cooler sounding converters at more expense; I am saying that these work fine for my professional purposes with real clients, and one needn't get carried away with shiny boxes. It reminds me of the old argument that you needed a Studer to make really good records, and Otari wasn't a good enough tape machine. Despite the hits produced on them! ;)
 

LSchefman

Member
Messages
13,432
It's so great that you guys like the site! Thanks so much!

We have a lot of talented people in the company doing all kinds of crazy-cool stuff! From animation to web design to video editing, to 3D, graphics, music, and audio post. I think it's kind of a unique concept.

Anyway, we're doing a lot of fun projects. I'm happy to be working with this team. The people are creative and fun.
 

LSchefman

Member
Messages
13,432
Gosh, I got so carried away by your enthusiasm for the website that I forgot to make my main point: it's the chef, not the grill!

Does that mean I would never invest in different converters? Not necessarily, just that so-called mid price ones can do an awfully professional job.

We are so incredibly lucky to have all these tools available to us, heck, even the cheapies sound good, that the playing field is leveled. It's not about a big label's zillion dollar studio, it's about the music. I love gear, but we all got into this, whether for pleasure or to make a living, for the music.

I think sometimes we at TGP (including me) lose sight of this.

Though my wife accuses me of being more into the gear... ;)
 

mgrier1

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,147
PCIe to AES? how does that work?

My only problem with the PCIe is that I've been working with laptops for a good 6 or 7 years now and I like the mobility. I've got a Thinkpad and i don't have a PCIe slot (unless I get an external case and connect it through my laptop's PCMCIA slot).

I guess it's an option, but that takes on an extra stage of conversion - im not sure how that will affect data speed/quality?
The AES interface let's you use converters like the Lavry Blue system, Mytek, UA, what have you. Opens up the spectrum and gets you past the inherent latency issues with Firewire/USB bus converters.

Yes, you'd need something like this:

http://www.magma.com/products/pciexpress/expressbox1/index.html

I wouldn't consider it an extra stage of conversion, just another way to achieve conversion. Certainly if absolute portability is an issue, just go Firewire/USB...

But, investigate the possibilities and see if the above would help meet your needs... Certainly not necessary to make quality music, but worth a look and more scalable too...

Best,

Mike
 




Trending Topics

Top