R/E/P Community

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

Pages: [1]   Go Down

Author Topic: Advice on an unanswerable question  (Read 2351 times)

Consul

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 226
Advice on an unanswerable question
« on: October 09, 2005, 04:41:03 PM »

I know most people don't like questions like this, but I'm hoping to find someone with more experience than me who can help.

After 10 years of standing idle on recording any of this music going through my head, I've decided to take the plunge and give it a go. The problem is, I have so little extra money it's not funny. I don't even have a computer of my own to use yet. That gets budgeted like everything else.

I'll give the good news first. I have a good deal of electronics knowledge and experience, so I can actually take a handful of parts and build some pretty good mic pres and compressors, and maybe a decent EQ as well. In fact, I already have a bucketful of parts and PCBs that are currently begging to be used in something. That'll be a good set of winter projects for me. This includes some analog synths as well. A good start, to be sure.

Here comes the fun part.

Once I have a computer, I'll need converters. Yes, the dreaded converter question. I hate it as much as you do, but I really would like to know all of my options before finally choosing something.

Here is my plan: Track as high-quality of raw tracks as I can. During mixdown, determine what processing is or is not needed on each track, then loop those tracks out to the appropriate outboard chain. Then, those tracks will be re-recorded back into the computer. I've heard great results done using this method, even using average converters.

In order to do this, I'll need at least three outputs (a minimum of one for sending a track, and two to monitor what comes back in). I also need at least two inputs, since I find it unlikely I'll need more, since I'm not planning on recording drums (despite the fact that I'm a drummer, it would be way too difficult for me to record drums when I can't even have a kit right now, much less a good space to record in). Monitoring the input means it needs some internal routing options, which most cards provide these days.

Okay, so a two in, four out card should do. For best noise specs, the converters should be in a breakout box. This eliminates all of M-Audio's PCI range except the Delta-1010 (the breakout on the Delta 44 and 66 is purely for ease of connecting - the converters are still on the card). Their FireWire boxes are still an option, but I have no way to audition them.

I was thinking the MOTU 828-mkII would be pretty good, but it runs twice the price of what the computer will. If I can find a good one used, maybe...

In the end, I'd like a product good enough to keep a mastering engineer from laughing, or being aggravated at mastering yet another crummy job.

Since there are a lot of budget-minded people here, I'm hoping someone has some ideas I might not have thought of yet. Thank you all for your time, and for putting up with my long half-whining post. Smile

You know, on my budget, ten years ago, I never could have considered having any kind of studio capability at all. How times have changed...

If I could keep the converter choice at around $400, I would be happy. A little more for better quality would be feasable. Again, thank you for your help.
Logged
Darren Landrum

"Never be afraid to try something new. Remember that a lone amateur built the Ark. A large group of professionals built the Titanic." - Dave Barry

Consul

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 226
Re: Advice on an unanswerable question
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2005, 05:29:58 PM »

After doing some more thinking (for some reason, writing out my problems helps me to solve them), I have a feeling that the best answer for me is going to be this:

"The quality of the converters will not matter enough when compared to the quality of the analog front-end."

I'm confident I can build myself a high-quality analog front-end and processing setup. Maybe that's all I really need to worry about.
Logged
Darren Landrum

"Never be afraid to try something new. Remember that a lone amateur built the Ark. A large group of professionals built the Titanic." - Dave Barry

Jon Hodgson

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1854
Re: Advice on an unanswerable question
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2005, 07:25:21 PM »

If you look on ebay or some other second hand source you may find something one generation behind for a good price. A lot of people upgrade either because they want the latest and greatest, or because they want more channels.

Logged

Consul

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 226
Re: Advice on an unanswerable question
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2005, 07:34:52 PM »

Believe me, this has occurred to me. I want to stick with new, though, because I don't want to get a used unit that burns out on me in a matter of weeks. I've had enough of those nightmares. If a unit I purchase goes to the great converter in the sky, I want recourse. However, buying from someone I trust, whom I know has taken care of the gear, may be a completely different story.

Really, I shouldn't worry about what gear to buy until I can actually afford it. On the other hand, it's nice to be able to lay out a detailed plan and then put it into action. I'm somewhat torn between those two ideals.

Thank you for your input.
Logged
Darren Landrum

"Never be afraid to try something new. Remember that a lone amateur built the Ark. A large group of professionals built the Titanic." - Dave Barry

travelingsales

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 12
Re: Advice on an unanswerable question
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2005, 02:26:21 AM »

You might try the Presonus Firebox if you do go the digital route.  If you count 2 S/PDIF channels and the stereo headphone out, it's 6 in, 10 out.  More realistically it's 4 ins and 6 outs.  It's firewire, comes with Cubase LE, and there was recently a price drop on it to $299.  I've had one for almost a year and really like it.  Reviews on the net seem to be few in number, but you could read up on the Presonus Firepod, which is substantially the same, only with more channels and costing more $.  Most people who have used either box seem to like them.

Good luck with your building!

Mark
Logged

Consul

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 226
Re: Advice on an unanswerable question
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2005, 10:00:44 AM »

I've decided not to worry about it until I can actually afford to get something. Then I'll take a look at what's out on the market.

Thanks for the help, everyone.
Logged
Darren Landrum

"Never be afraid to try something new. Remember that a lone amateur built the Ark. A large group of professionals built the Titanic." - Dave Barry

Teddy G.

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 369
Re: Advice on an unanswerable question
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2005, 02:38:12 PM »

Some things you can "fudge on" and fool with, some things you can't.

Save your money and get the best soundcard/interface, like a Lynx card, say a Lynx 2 or L22. Start from a solid audio foundation. You need your most important piece(Interface/converters) to be --- well, just "to be". Computer? Generally irrelevent. Preamps, whatever..? Your call. Interface/sound card? The only one is the best one. Their prices are not disparate enough(One 100,000 dollars, one 1 dollar), it is a few hundred bucks more for the best in the biz. You will make no better decision than to NOT compromise on your interface/soundcard(And with Lynx that includes very fine converters.). If it's not the Lynx, at least be SURE it's EXACTLY the one you want, first time out. There's no reason to compromise here, if you're considering doing anything like professional work.

You want to have a "who has the least money" fight? I'll take you on! But, for my single most critical piece of gear, as long as my wife remains gainfully employed, only the best will do!

TG
Logged

Consul

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 226
Re: Advice on an unanswerable question
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2005, 06:59:22 PM »

Teddy G. wrote on Mon, 10 October 2005 12:38

You want to have a "who has the least money" fight? I'll take you on!


Umm... Yeah, my whining from before was clearly uncalled for. I apologize for that.

This winter is going to be all about the soldering iron. Maybe in a few months, there'll be some new options in the computer/computer interface arena.

Thanks!
Logged
Darren Landrum

"Never be afraid to try something new. Remember that a lone amateur built the Ark. A large group of professionals built the Titanic." - Dave Barry

copperx

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 49
Re: Advice on an unanswerable question
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2005, 02:52:17 PM »

Ok, I see no substantial advice on converters on that price range...

I've never tried them, but I hear a lot of praise about the Frontier Designs Tango 24s, available used for ~$500. You can hear some recordings made with them at www.thelazyi.com. Pretty cool, huh?
Logged

Consul

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 226
Re: Advice on an unanswerable question
« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2005, 07:44:44 PM »

You know, I actually ran across that one. For some reason, I was under the impression it was out of production, but I could be wrong.

It does sound quite good...

Thank you for your reply!
Logged
Darren Landrum

"Never be afraid to try something new. Remember that a lone amateur built the Ark. A large group of professionals built the Titanic." - Dave Barry

Consul

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 226
Re: Advice on an unanswerable question
« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2005, 11:34:12 AM »

Funny how problems sometimes solve themselves...

My brother is selling me his older Seasound Solo system (with the expansion, for 8 ins and 8 outs) for a nice, cheap price. That, in combination with the new XP drivers from Byte Heaven (someone decided to continue developing for this thing) and I should be good to go.

Thanks again, all.
Logged
Darren Landrum

"Never be afraid to try something new. Remember that a lone amateur built the Ark. A large group of professionals built the Titanic." - Dave Barry

digibird

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 27
Re: Advice on an unanswerable question
« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2005, 01:12:58 PM »

Good soundcard and converter value: E-MU 1820m or 1212m.
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up
 

Site Hosted By Ashdown Technologies, Inc.

Page created in 0.06 seconds with 22 queries.