Top End Converter Audio Interface and Line Levels

Discussion in 'The Rack Space' started by ctreitzell, Jan 10, 2019.

  1. ctreitzell

    ctreitzell Member

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    I realize this a question for a different forum....or is it?

    Next thing on my to purchase list is a high end audio interface and computer and DAW aficianados don't typically have the mentality of this subForum.

    I noticed clipping straight away with my PreSonus FireStudio Mobiles with the PCM81, they've served me well, but now it's time to move up. Yes, of course I turned the PCM output down...but the mojo feels marginalized. Without diving into full specs right now seems the PreSonus FSM peak analog input is around +10...not good enough, time to move up.

    I am thinking Prism Sound, RME or Antelope 8in/8out minimum
    I see Prism with +18
    RME some at +21
    didn't look at Antelope yet
    I would consider Metric Halo, altho I have experienced that matrix driver and I'm not a fan
    I'm not interested in UA or Focusrite anything; only thing I'd consider a MOTU for is midi.
    Unbelievably, I have an old mbox2 and the analog in is +21pk!:confused: I haven't tried it yet, but I know latency and converter are not great (PreSonus FSM with far superior latency).

    Prism is typically regarded as the best converter on the planet
    and they are kinda local to me (Ely, UK)
    but drivers wise, RME is so highly regarded...and I have read reviews calling out the Prism drivers

    anyone here have any preferences or advice?
     
  2. hydroquebec

    hydroquebec Member

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    hi @ctreitzell, you mentioned in the H8000 thread that you were considering one of the big boys? I wonder if you could kill two bird here by using the same device as an audio interface?

    I have not tried this yet, but I'm told that the converters are quite high quality (maybe not Prism or Apogee quality - not sure). I think you can connect via Firewire and us the routing utility to pass the signal through.
     
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  3. jb4674

    jb4674 Member

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    Get an RME. The drives are super stable and the unit has converters that are the $h1t!. Get the Fireface UFX+ and school everyone here..

    Presonus is crap and they don't like to support their legacy hardware. I have a Firestudio 2626 that I purchased brand new, which bit the dust due to bad firmware and they won't even service it nor will they tell me how to fix it.

    Buy it once and buy it right.

     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2019 at 6:29 PM
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  4. ctreitzell

    ctreitzell Member

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    I thought the same thing, yet I think the latency is gonna tip the scales there...I don't know what the stable RT latency is on the H8000FW.

    Try it out and let me know how you get on...I know you haven't time for that tho...keep up them experimunts :-D
     
  5. hydroquebec

    hydroquebec Member

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    I appreciate your understanding!

    I went ahead and ordered a Firewire -> USB cable. I'll see if I can get some testing done before you make your purchase. I've got a somewhat decent laptop and will be able to compare it so something as basic as a Scarlet.
     
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  6. ctreitzell

    ctreitzell Member

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    JB, the 802 is right at the top of my initial list
    http://www.rme-audio.de/en/products/fireface_802.php
    Instrument in max at +21dBu :)
    I'd like more xlr ins, I suppose that is why the price is so friendly,
    and Total Mix drivers are the best.
    midi clock is important here, too, and RME is supposed to be great;
    That said, I have heard Antelope midi clock was the best in an AI; only bettered by a standalone midi clock. My brother is always telling me digital never sounded right until he spent thousands on a midi master clock...nowagain, he is a drummer first and foremost.:rolleyes:...so he's pretty sensitive to timing.

    I know you don't like PreSonus...still, my FSMs have been very good to me
     
  7. Maltese Fan

    Maltese Fan Member

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    Let us know about that FireWire to USB cable. I'm told they don't work at all.
     
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  8. Kronos147

    Kronos147 Member

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    I have been loving my Lynx Auroras for a long time. I run Pro Tools HD. I use the HD card in them. However, there are other hook ups for them. USB, Lightning...

    I original got them to add to my 2 AVID 192 interfaces. I ended up going all Lynx.

    They have been really stable and tech support was great helping me get going during my Pro Tools 8 to 10 upgrade.

    My friend got the "Aurora-n"s in his studio. He is on Pro Tools 12. They sound great too, and have been stable for him.
     
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  9. swinginguitar

    swinginguitar Member

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    I just put in an Apogee Element - haven't run i thru all the paces yet, but so far solid...
     
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  10. uraniumwilly

    uraniumwilly Member

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    I too like the Lynx Aurora, especially the tech support, which 70% of the time, they're old school: they pick up the phone. When the 16 was released it was highly praised by a large number of recording engineers that deal with top talent. I mean the old pro geezers that used to hangout at rec.audio.pro. The 16 used goes cheap for what you get, e.g., the digital mixer, and you can buy a thunderbolt card to go into the DAW. It's a very good high end unit.

    If your budget is high, you can't go wrong with an more updated Lynx or any Apogee. But I haven't heard of any better tech support than Lynx. And they're really good guys.
     
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  11. jb4674

    jb4674 Member

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    I’d look at the Fireface UFX II instead. The one thing I’ve heard about Antelope is that their drivers are not always stable like the RME drivers are. They do offer more pre’s which is nice but, you’ll pay for the extra pre’s at the register.
     
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  12. swinginguitar

    swinginguitar Member

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    Isn't Antelope a reboot of Aardvark? Igor Levin et al?
     
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  13. ctreitzell

    ctreitzell Member

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    Oh my, I did not realize...thanks for that!
     
  14. ctreitzell

    ctreitzell Member

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    I spent a fair amount of time researching on GS last night/yesterday morning

    seems like in the box PCIe RME HDSPe RTL is still the best in the biz. There is a lot to be said for writing your own driver. It looks it might be wise to wait until post NAMM shake out. But...uhhhh...I'd rather not wait...

    thanks for the advises, please keep em coming

    anybody using Prism?
     
  15. ctreitzell

    ctreitzell Member

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    Thanks, Jimmy, I did go digging much deeper on the RME site last night and now see the XLR out on the UFX units, where the 802 is just 1/4" for the inst/line I/O other than the XLR Pre ins.

    I read on GS that RME is just as particular about USB chipsets as PreSonus is about 1394 chipsets. I was unable to find any documentation on that as of yet. The RME site FAQs can be somewhat confusing as they talk a lot about win XP and 2000...supporting old 16bit gear. Some date info might be helpful.

    I had dismissed PCIe when I started my research, but reading GS has opened my mind back up to that possibility of having a card in the box with such low RTL. More reading to do...
     
  16. jb4674

    jb4674 Member

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    Hi Todd,

    Don’t let those I/O on the back of their units fool you. Those are balanced I/O leveraging TRS connectors.
     
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  17. ctreitzell

    ctreitzell Member

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    fool me? you mean fool me into thinking they are unbalanced?

    I just xlr for connection stability more than anything

    I'm pretty set on going RME; MADI could be very helpful to me as my buildings are pretty big and some live rooms might be a fair distance from critical listening room
     
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  18. DieHon

    DieHon Member

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    Pardon my ignorance, but isn't UA as good as the ones mentioned in this thread? I'm looking for a apollo 8p right now.
     
  19. rustolium

    rustolium Member

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    Have you looked at Burl or DAD? I have both, and the DAD is in the form of the Avid MTRX. The card flexibility in these units is really powerful. They are both able to be calibrated too. The Burl Iron in front of the AD is pretty cool. Oh, and DANTE routing is killer for multi room stuff. MADI is cool too.

    I also have a UAD as the Unison stuff is pretty cool and latency is well handled. It doubles as an analog device in the studio and a remote interface for mobile stuff. Why are you apposed to it? There is quite a ecosystem around it now. Admittedly, I don't use it as my main ADACs so I haven't encountered your specific use case with the UAD.
     
  20. Scratch17

    Scratch17 Member

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    Take a look at the new UA Apollo X series. It can run at +24 dB headroom mode. The converter quality is fantastic. There are two clocks. One is for multiples of 44.1 kHz, the other for multiples of 48kHz, so jitter is almost zero. All have 6 onboard DSP chips to run UAD plugins at near zero latency during tracking. And as rustolium pointed out, the UAD Unison plugins are great.
     

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