1. Register NOW and become part of this fantastic knowledge base forum! This message will go away once you have registered.

a/d converter help...

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by mcerveni, Sep 20, 2008.

  1. mcerveni

    mcerveni Guest

    I'm purchasing a UA 1176 compressor, Great River ME 1NV pre, and an Avalon M5 preamp, and API plug-ins as well, just wondering what is the best a/d converter to buy for my setup. I'll be recording acoustic guitar, vocals, piano, strings.

    Right now i have a M-Audio profire 2626 and planning to use it as a converter only. It runs at 192kHz. or am i better off getting a better converter?

    if so, which ones would you recommend?
    and i'm using Cubase 4.
     
  2. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Budget??

    # of Channels?

    Past experiences?
     
  3. mcerveni

    mcerveni Guest

    I haven't atually tried the m-audio profire 2626 interface. until i get my other gear, i'll have to test it out to see how good the coverter is. but then again, i won't have anything to compare it with.

    i only need 2 channels. it's just me recording acoustic, vocals, piano , one at a time.

    i just was reading about the converters for m-audio, that it's on the lower end compared to other converteres
     
  4. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Budget???

    For no nonsense A/D - Lavry Gold, DCS or Prism.

    For really, really good but 1/3 to 1/10th the price - Apogee Rosetta 200.

    For affordable wonder - RME.
     
  5. Greener

    Greener Guest

    Cucco, I don't speak intelligent.

    No-nonsense
    Really really good
    and affordable wonder.

    Good, better, best in which order?
     
  6. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    mcerveni, some of your choices do not appear to be well thought out?

    Why would you purchase an 1176, & 2 different preamps? Then, API plug-ins??? Why not just purchase a couple of API preamps to feed the 1176 and screw the other two preamps? Then you would have THAT SOUND! That's the sound hits were born from. What? Not good enough for your purposes? I think not. Not someone else's blah blah esoteric preamps, that you believe will make you sound better. I have a load of API's & Neve's, 1176's & LA 3's and have no need to play with stupid software & other people's preamps who are trying to play catch-up with that "anything you can do I can do better" preamp manufacturers mindset. That doesn't necessarily get you better. It gets you different. Which is not necessarily better unless you believe all of the advertising hype. Being clean is one thing. Having character is another.

    A clean character
    Ms. Remy Ann David
     
  7. mcerveni

    mcerveni Guest

    budge for a converter would be aprox. $1500.

    And i guess i just wanted a little variety with preamps.

    I'm looking for a rack mount preamp, and i guess API a2d would be best for me then considering i only need 1 or 2 channels. i will be able to bypass the a/d converter though right? this way if i get a 'better' converter down the road.

    i was thinking the avalon m5 for a clean acoustic sound...i'm not familiar yet with hearing the diff from clean to character..i know api and great river have 'character' based on the reviews...the great river is deeper sounding then the API i heard in a acoustic sample. so i enjoyed the bottom end the great river gave the acoustic.

    i know API is widely used, and great for vocals as well. i want something that will have character for my voice, detailed sounding (kind of like the voice of scott anderson) the way his voice sounds through the mix is very detailed, you can hear the raw-ness and roughness.

    again, you can listen to my vocals at http://www.myspace.com/michaelcerveni to have a better idea.
     
  8. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    I doubt you'll ever get a better A/D converter than what's in the API. It's about as good as they get.

    Just a thought.

    J
     
  9. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Yup, I'm with the monkey who has the gun.

    What Mr. monkey?? Give you all of my APIs??? Over my dead Neve!
    Ms. Remy Ann David
     
  10. mcerveni

    mcerveni Guest

    Why should i get the api a2d over a great river or Avalon m5?

    also what mic would suit me if i were to get an api 312 preamp?
    depends on the singer right?
    i was thinking an TLM 49.
     
  11. fmw

    fmw Guest

    My personal opinion is that an outboard ADC is probably the last thing you want to buy. I doubt a bias controlled listening test would uncover any audible difference between it and the ADC in your recording interface. That is a very mature and perfected technology. I would be willing to bet that those who hear differences in ADC's aren't doing bias controlled listening tests.

    Flame away. That's my opinion.
     
  12. Greener

    Greener Guest

    *applies fire*
     
  13. fmw

    fmw Guest

    I'd be very interested in whatever bias controlled listening tests of ADC's you know about.
     
  14. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    I'm with FMW on this.

    For me, it's largely a case of the Emporer's new clothes, ESPECIALLY the part that implies "if you can't hear the differences everyone is talking about, then you're a know-nothing" (Very similar to the part in the original story where it stated that only the very smart folks could see the clothes; if you couldn't see 'em, you were deficient.)

    I'll happily admit that I hear very little, if any, difference in most converters. I think it's mostly subjective hoo-hah. I've never heard anyone explain to my satisfaction what it is they THINK they're hearing that makes one better than the other, when all things are set up equally. I know it's heresy on here to admit such a thing, but there it is.

    Of course, I don't mind having the best stuff for a couple of reasons: 1. it SHUTS UP the gear-sluts who want to nit-pick, and calms down clients who THINK they need it to sound "Better" 2. It removes all doubt that there MIGHT be something better out there. (So I can get on with my work.) But I don't think for one second it makes the SOUND any better.

    A/D Conversion? It depends. If you've done everything else right, it's probably the least of your worries. Once you've gotten to the level of the RME's or the other esoteric stuff, they either do what they do, or they're broken. My money's on the performer, the instrument, the room, the mics and the performance itself.

    I'm willing to bet that 99% of what's out there is a lot of smoke and mirrors anyway, and no one can REALLY hear the difference in a truly non-emotional, scientific, non-biased, double blind listening test, where all parameters are equal.

    I've been asking for proof of this kind of stuff for years. Please, somebody prove me wrong and let me hear what I'm missing. Let's have definitive proof somewhere, not the session you did where everything worked well, the sun was shining, the humidity was low, Jupiter & Mars were aligned, and everyone simply felt good anyway. Give me a real A/B comparison where one recording done with "Brand 1" A/D converter actually sounds better (or even DIFFERENT) than "Brand A". :twisted:
     
  15. fmw

    fmw Guest

    Thanks, Joe.

    I've spent over 10 years doing bias controlled listening tests on audio products of all sorts. I'm sure everyone here understands the term perceptual hearing and I can tell you that when audible differences are subtle to non-existent, the brain adds bias to the sounds it processes. Nobody is immune from the effect. Great recordings come from great performances and great skill on the part of the recordist, not from ADC's.
     
  16. Greener

    Greener Guest

    This makes me think you're deaf.

    Arguing that there are bugger all differences in AD's, and that the differences you "percieve" are not what's actually there, because you measured it and therefor I must be making $*^t up...

    Next you'll be telling me there is no difference between a VMS/70 and a tinfoil cylinder phonograph... It's all my head.

    I've only had one AD that's not on my motherboard soundcard and it's a lot better than the one on my MB... I have a lot of different DA's though, and they're all very very different.

    Why don't you show us where you've done bias controlled testing. And I'm thinking that when you control the biases in things you may aswell not test them because it's like testing if 1+1 is going to equal 2 but anyways, one mic, one pre, split into two converters then recorded. No difference? Got proof?
     
  17. Link555

    Link555 Well-Known Member

    I have to agree with FMW on this one too. Its imposible to turn your own bias off. But in the end, what matters is how well the tool works for you.
     
  18. fmw

    fmw Guest

    I'm just deaf. I should really give up trying to explain the truths of perceptual hearing to people. They simply don't want to believe it. Not a problem. Consider me deaf.
     
  19. Greener

    Greener Guest

    "I'm sure everyone here understands the term perceptual hearing and I can tell you that when audible differences are subtle to non-existent, the brain adds bias to the sounds it processes."

    "I'm sure everyone here understands"
    Arrogant.

    "I can tell you"
    Arrogant.

    "differences are subtle to non-existent"
    About as scientific as the chili heat ratings on the side of sauce bottles.

    "the brain adds bias to the sounds it processes"
    So after you've made some arrogant statements, not given any actual scientific information you then go on to say that people perceive things differently.

    WOW!

    "I'd be very interested in whatever bias controlled listening tests of ADC's you know about."
    I know this self confessed deaf guy that claims he's done them...

    "They simply don't want to believe it."
    I wonder why?

    "I'm just deaf."
    You're not doing too badly for a deaf guy, selling DAW's and whatnot. I hope it doesn't affect you too much.


    Anyways, my ears and brain that make things up are going to continue thinking you're full of it until I see some evidence.

    ADC units are not just a converter, they have an analog chain within them, the quality of this chain + the quality of conversion give to the overall quality of the product.

    An absence of something does not prove anything.
     
  20. fmw

    fmw Guest

    "I'm sure everyone here understands"
    Arrogant.

    No. Apparently mistaken. I thought professional audio people would have some knowledge about perceptual hearing. Obviously there is at least one that does not. Let me try to explain as arrogantly as I can. Placebo effect is strong in humans. It has caused people to cure themselves in medical drug tests. In the audio world it crops up when sonic differences are either subtle or non existent. People substitute their own sonic differences from bias or expectations. You can put "placebo effect" in your search engine and read more if you care to. I don't think you care to. You aren't open to the ideas of others. You consider people with ideas that disagree with yours to be arrogant.

    "I can tell you"
    Arrogant.

    OK. The reason I can tell you is that I spent over 10 years doing bias controlled listening tests on audio playback equipment. I learned that many things that audiophiles consider audible differences disappear when listening tests are done in a bias-controlled manner. Bias-controlled means there is no way for the listener to know which of two products he is hearing during the comparisons. We learned that DAC's have no characteristic sound. Some DAC units - particularly those with tube driven analog states - had characteristic sounds but logic lead us to the conclusion that it was the analog stages causing the differences not the DAC's themselves. I've never done a bias controlled test on an ADC. Neither have you. If you think ADC's would be different in bias controlled listening tests, then you can prove it to me. I have logic on my side.

    We learned that cables don't have sound - at least passive ones. We learned that solid state amplifiers operating below the clipping level were indistinguishable from one another. That isn't to say that

    "differences are subtle to non-existent"
    About as scientific as the chili heat ratings on the side of sauce bottles.

    We define these terms by the statistical results of the tests. We do numerous iterations with a number of people and then tally the scores. Scores in the area of 50-50 are defined as inaudible. Scores in the 60-40 area are views as subtle. Scores in the 70-30 area or above are defined as audible. If you need more details on how we conduct the tests, then let me know. I assume by your attitude that you don't care.

    "the brain adds bias to the sounds it processes"
    So after you've made some arrogant statements, not given any actual scientific information you then go on to say that people perceive things differently.

    WOW!

    I can't imagine why this statement would confuse you. Yes, people perceive things differently. Is that something with which you disagree?

    "I'd be very interested in whatever bias controlled listening tests of ADC's you know about."
    I know this self confessed deaf guy that claims he's done them...

    That's true but I haven't ever done any with ADC's as I said above. Apparently nobody else has either. No surprise there. Your opinion that ADC's have a characteristic sound sounds to me like it is based on bias and belief. Mine is based on over 30 comparative listening test with DAC's. At least there is a logical thread there.

    "They simply don't want to believe it."
    I wonder why?

    Because they are not open to ideas that disagree with their own opinions.


    "I'm just deaf."
    You're not doing too badly for a deaf guy, selling DAW's and whatnot. I hope it doesn't affect you too much.

    It doesn't take hearing to make a DAW. Did you think we test hard drives for their audibility before installing them in a computer?


    Anyways, my ears and brain that make things up are going to continue thinking you're full of it until I see some evidence.

    I have no interest in providing you any evidence. There are countless scientific papers and accounts of bias controlled listening tests on the internet and in publications. If you don't want to look for yourself then I'll simply ignore your rude rantings.

    ADC units are not just a converter, they have an analog chain within them, the quality of this chain + the quality of conversion give to the overall quality of the product.

    Obviously, you didn't read my post. I said exactly that in an earlier post. You're just angry.

    An absence of something does not prove anything.

    Nor does a closed mind learn anything.[/quote]
     

Share This Page