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Author Topic: Notebook DAW Card Interfaces?  (Read 2879 times)

woods

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Notebook DAW Card Interfaces?
« on: May 18, 2004, 08:43:02 pm »

Good ones -- Bad Ones.

And Best combinations, ie. firewire / usb / pcmcia
with which - Motu 828 or RME multiface / digiface or any other manufacturer?

My particular concern is with format conversion rather than digital conversion because I really just want to get out of the DAW into a hi end digital converter with SPIDF inputs.

What are you using with your Laptop?

Thanks,
Woods
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Bill Park

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Re: Notebook DAW Card Interfaces?
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2004, 09:10:18 pm »

I use the Cardbus interfcae with a Multiface.  I'm very happy with it.  I also use a Digiface in my main room.

Digigram has a couple of options, as does Echo.

Tascam offers a couple of USB things, as does M-Audio and a bunch of others.

Metric Halo, MOTU, ....  there's really no shortage of options.

There are several ways to move the data that are better/quicker than SP/DIF, from using an external hard drive on both systems, to burning CDs or DVDs, to networking the notebook to the main rig.

 Bill
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woods

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Re: Notebook DAW Card Interfaces?
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2004, 01:26:44 pm »

Tell me this:

I want to use the MOTU 828mkII strictly as a format converter from firewire to SPDIF. Will the audio quality be adversely affected if you're staying in the digital realm?

Also, will the 828mkII allow 2-way data transfer? Here is the intended signal flow:  

Out of firewire into the 828.
Out of 828 SPDIF into HEDD SPDIF.
Thru analog chain.
Back out of HEDD SPDIF into 828 SPDIF.
Back out 828 firewire into computer.

Thanks
woods
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Bill Park

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Re: Notebook DAW Card Interfaces?
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2004, 01:33:39 pm »

Unless you already own it, the 828 is a waste of money for that purpose. (it's overkill)  If you are only using SPDIF, why not look at one of the little Ederol USB boxes, a Tascam US 122, or any of a handful of other inexpensive options that have I/O limited to your needs.

 Bill
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woods

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Re: Notebook DAW Card Interfaces?
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2004, 02:41:20 pm »

You're right. But I forgot to mention that I am trying to find a box that will serve another purpose as well.

That is I want to use it to format convert in the tracking phase too. Here's how:

I want to use the HEDD AD converter to record into an HD24. The HEDD is SPIDF out and the HD24 is ADAT Optical in. So I need a box to format convert between SPIDF and ADAT. The 828 will do this.

One question:    Will using a format converter like the 828 adversely affect the signal quality. And therefore negate any quality gains made by using the Cranesong AD converters?

Thanks,
woods
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Bill Park

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Re: Notebook DAW Card Interfaces?
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2004, 04:12:14 pm »

Why are you using the HD 24 at all?

Something like the RME Multiface gives you SPFIF, ADAT optical I/O (switchable to optical SPDIF), Word Clock I/O, MIDI I/O, and 8 channels of analog I/O.

 Bill
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grock5

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Re: Notebook DAW Card Interfaces?
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2004, 11:56:35 pm »

woods wrote on Wed, 19 May 2004 14:41



One question:    Will using a format converter like the 828 adversely affect the signal quality. And therefore negate any quality gains made by using the Cranesong AD converters?



Probably not, as long as it's working properly.

I had a motu 2408mk2 that I used to do a similar thing with, PC > HEDD192 > ANALOG > HEDD192 > PC, and it worked.

But it WAS overkill. I used it because I had it laying around. If I had to purchase something to do this, I would have bought a pair of RME PCI cards with s/pdif i/o, or a Lynx AES card for less money. If you need firewire connectivity your kinda stuck with either "overkill" or consumer style stuff.

Additionally, if you are on a PC, motu units can be a bit quirky with their ASIO implementation. The quality control was also a bit questionable, as I had to go through a couple of those 2408's before I found the one I ended up keeping. Motu was very cool about it, very helpful, but it still wasted my time and ultimately pissed me off. I ended up selling my 2408, and upon receiving the unit, the buyer informed me that one of the light banks wasn't working properly. It turns out that it was NEVER working properly, and I always assumed it's flawwed operation was the way it was SUPPOSED to work!

I don't know that I would buy a unit from them again. They offer great features at a decent price, but ultimatley I'd rather spend a few dollars more and save a whole lot in the long run...  

- Gary
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Ronny

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Re: Notebook DAW Card Interfaces?
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2004, 01:02:50 am »



One of my associates had to send his Motu back 3 times too. My observations is that it works better with Mac than with PC. The RME cards do work well with PC and you hear little complaints from the experienced users of RME. Most of the problems are from home recordists that use midi setups and I tend to think that pilot error is a chief cause of the problems reported. Matthias and the crew are real good about interfacing with the user when he/she has a problem and they are top in the field at providing improvements and updates to previous products that they've released. I think that I've updated Digicheck about 10 times since they first released it and it updates are always free. Unlike some companies that relenquish support for the old user, when they design a new product, RME is quite the opposite.
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