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R/E/P => R/E/P Archives => Brad Blackwood => Topic started by: mcsnare on July 23, 2007, 10:50:05 am

Title: Sound Cards
Post by: mcsnare on July 23, 2007, 10:50:05 am
I need to get a few new sound cards for another computer. I have Lynx 1's in my other comp, but was looking for a cheaper alternative. Any of you guys have the Emu 0404? It looks like it will do what I need. Any downside to using a cheap card like this just to get dig in/out?
Thanks,
Dave
Title: Re: Sound Cards
Post by: bblackwood on July 23, 2007, 11:15:27 am
I use all RME here, love them, zero issues. That being said, I imagine you could use a SoundBlaster with digital output and be fine as long as you made sure all processing was turned off.
Title: Re: Sound Cards
Post by: Tomas Danko on July 23, 2007, 11:23:09 am
bblackwood wrote on Mon, 23 July 2007 16:15

I use all RME here, love them, zero issues. That being said, I imagine you could use a SoundBlaster with digital output and be fine as long as you made sure all processing was turned off.


RME is rock solid, I use several of their interfaces and can recommend them highly.

Beware of some of the Creative Labs interfaces (ie Audigy), because they will always convert the sample rate through 48 kHz in hardware no matter what. This is not very nice when you are working with 44.1 kHz.

E-MU is owned by Creative Labs, but it seems their interfaces are meant towards the "prosumer"-market.
Title: Re: Sound Cards
Post by: Viitalahde on July 23, 2007, 11:29:00 am
I once had an SB Audigy.. Horrible user interface. There was a taggable box with text "SPDIF bypass enable".

What?
Title: Re: Sound Cards
Post by: OTR-jkl on July 23, 2007, 01:25:40 pm
Dave -
I've been using this card for dig I/O within Samp and have had no issues with it. SPDIF is standard but you can get an add-on bracket for AES and optical. Only about that is the AES connections are 1/4" instead of XLR. AFAIK, it does not mess up dig audio in any way and should work fine for you.
Title: Re: Sound Cards
Post by: TotalSonic on July 23, 2007, 02:15:29 pm
OTR-jkl wrote on Mon, 23 July 2007 13:25

Dave -
I've been using this card for dig I/O within Samp and have had no issues with it. SPDIF is standard but you can get an add-on bracket for AES and optical. Only about that is the AES connections are 1/4" instead of XLR. AFAIK, it does not mess up dig audio in any way and should work fine for you.


Well, the Lynx One is currently available for $405 street price and offers both AES & spdif i/o as standard, plus midi i/o & more importantly wordclock i/o - so for a mastering rig it's about same price new as the Card Deluxe but offers some features that aren't on the DAL card.

As far as cheap soundcards - the main downsides usually is the absence of word clock i/o.  I have a Terratec Phase22 $100 card in one of DAW's for secondary coax spdif i/o (up to 192kHz) and it works fine when using the ASIO2 drivers.  

For more full featured but pricier stuff I agree with the recommendations for RME - excellent driver support and a wide range of well made cards for most needs.  I also really like the Mixtreme and Mixpander solutions from Sydec (now owned by SSL) too - http://www.sydec.be

For most mastering rigs I think the best bet is either the Lynx AES-16 or the RME AES-32, or a Sydec Mixtreme192 tied to an Sydec/Apogee i/o896.  All of these will run a bit more than a Lynx One though.

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Title: Re: Sound Cards
Post by: Thomas W. Bethel on July 23, 2007, 06:15:55 pm
Two RME cards here. One for each studio and NO PROBLEMS EVER!

(loud sound of Tom knocking on wood)

Tried some other cards but was not happy with them. There are always lots of RME cards on EBAY and some dealers have "B" stocks that you can get rather reasonably.

Best of Luck!
Title: Re: Sound Cards
Post by: lofi on July 23, 2007, 06:36:51 pm
Quote:

I imagine you could use a SoundBlaster with digital output and be fine as long as you made sure all processing was turned off.


and that is a big prob with most of the m-audio cards. they are quite ok for the price but you always got trough their internal softmixer for some unnecesary processing  Rolling Eyes

ah well
Title: Re: Sound Cards
Post by: Sam Lord on July 23, 2007, 11:46:38 pm
Well I really like my EMU 1212M, not an RME but just fine, and the website and manual are excellent.  I/O with TRS jacks switchable between AES and SPDIF--very logical interface too.  Great price, now $150...
http://www.zzounds.com/item--EMU1212M
Title: Re: Sound Cards
Post by: Oldfart on July 24, 2007, 10:12:50 am
Lynx L22 here. Very happy with it. And when I'm ready financially, I do plan to acquire an 8 channel Aurora.

Oldfart
Title: Re: Sound Cards
Post by: garret on July 24, 2007, 10:17:11 am
For something in the middle between the E-MU/Maudio stuff and the high end stuff (lynx, rme), check out the Echo products.

The Gina 3G has a nice breakout box, SPDIF @ 24/96, ADAT i/o, clock sync, and two passable preamps w/o phantom power.

Not too shabby for $280 street.

http://www.echoaudio.com/Products/PCI/Gina3G/index.php
Title: Re: Sound Cards
Post by: Allen Corneau on July 24, 2007, 10:55:12 am
My main interface is Sadie, but I put in an RME Digi 96/8 as a secondary capture card and for the excellent DigiCheck metering. (I found it on sale bundled with a copy of Samplitude.)

Other than a few bugs getting it up and running when I first got it, it's been great ever since.

Title: Re: Sound Cards
Post by: mcsnare on July 24, 2007, 11:45:14 am
Thanks for all the responses. I only need stereo digital in and out and RME no longer makes a card that does this. I'm gonna look at the Echo line.
Dave
Title: Re: Sound Cards
Post by: mcsnare on July 24, 2007, 11:49:18 am
If I go for something that only has sp/dif in/out what would I do to get AES? A simple connection adapter or something with an x/former?
Dave
Title: Re: Sound Cards
Post by: bblackwood on July 24, 2007, 12:11:51 pm
mcsnare wrote on Tue, 24 July 2007 10:49

If I go for something that only has sp/dif in/out what would I do to get AES? A simple connection adapter or something with an x/former?

Depends on the piece. In my 'backup DAW' the RME card only has SP/DIF connectors, though it can send AES words out of the SP/DIF. In the past I've cobbled together cables that didn't account for impedance at all and they still worked - modern receivers seem to not really care.

IOW, I don't think it will matter much.

That being said, an active SP/DIF to AES converter is the way to go - it's what i keep here for the backup DAW...
Title: Re: Sound Cards
Post by: OTR-jkl on July 24, 2007, 12:20:02 pm
The DAL CDL uses this adaptor to handle AES & optical I/O.
Title: Re: Sound Cards
Post by: PP on July 26, 2007, 12:37:52 pm
Title: Re: Sound Cards
Post by: mcsnare on July 26, 2007, 01:00:16 pm
Thanks for the info. Those Marian cards look pretty cool.
Dave
Title: Re: Sound Cards
Post by: Mark Wilder on July 26, 2007, 03:39:42 pm
I have 2 cards, one being the Marian Marc 2 Pro (the other, a Lynx).  We listened to a pile of cards, and the M2P was a killa.  I highly recommend it.
Title: Re: Sound Cards
Post by: TotalSonic on July 26, 2007, 04:10:58 pm
Mark Wilder wrote on Thu, 26 July 2007 15:39

I have 2 cards, one being the Marian Marc 2 Pro (the other, a Lynx).  We listened to a pile of cards, and the M2P was a killa.  I highly recommend it.


Mark -
When you say "listened to a pile of cards," was this to the onboard converters?  Seems for mastering these would never come into play.  Otherwise - if we're talking AES/EBU streams to/from a DAW where they are clocked from the ADC or reclocked by the DAC - unless something is actually broken (i.e. glitching from buffer under runs due to a strained system or poorly written drivers, or unable to properly clock off of external sources for some reason) then they should sound the same.  Have you found this isn't the case for what you tested?

Anyway - the Marian cards look like a good option - but the Lynx and RME options are definitely easier to find dealers and support for in the States.

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Title: Re: Sound Cards
Post by: Mark Wilder on July 27, 2007, 12:32:05 am
This was a few years ago, but from what I remember this is what we did:

We only listened via the digital i/o thru standard converters in the house (Lavry D/A and HDCD A/D).  We first listened D/A with pre-existing files, switching cards after each playback.  Then, we'd create a file for each card through an A/D conversion, same source, same converter, and played it back through a single card/converter, switching in the software.  Then, as the list became shorter, we lived with each card for a few days and a few sessions to get a working appreciation for it.

Taking separate notes, Joe Palmaccio, David Smith and I came to the same conclusion.  Then we set up a scaled back listening session for the others.

Title: Re: Sound Cards
Post by: PP on August 03, 2007, 07:08:14 am