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Alternative to Alesis AI-3?

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by hmacdonald, May 12, 2006.

  1. hmacdonald

    hmacdonald Member

    Hey guys, this is my first post, and i would just like to commend recording.org and its staff for being an awesome resource all round....thanks again.

    Anyways on to my question....i just recently bought a digidesign 002rack and a digidesign control 24. As you already probably know the 002rack only supports 8 channels of analog audio input......but it also supports 8 more channels though its adat lightpipe. i have been doing some research and i have stumbled across the Alesis AI-3 analog to lightpipe converter. i have read up on this piece of equipment, and have found that some ppl are less then happy with its performance, so i was just wondering if you guys had some recommendations or other options in mind.......any help will be appriciated.....thanks again
  2. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Depends on what features you want and how much you are prepared to spend. At the bottom end (for much less money than the AI-3) is the Behringer ADA8000, and you get passable microphone pre-amps built-in. A bit up in price is the Creamware A16 Ultra. This box has got a good name, has 16 channels (2 ADAT ports) or can run at 96KHz on 8 channels, but it takes high-level inputs only (like the AI-3). If you want to spend more money than this in the hope of getting higher quality, there are several ways to go. I suggest you come back with a budget and we can make further suggestions.
  3. saemskin

    saemskin Active Member

    as far as that goes, how about a "stickied" list of all adat converters, their price and user comments on color, quality, etc... I at least would be interested in reading said list.
  4. Dave62

    Dave62 Guest

    I replaced my AI-3 with Apogee's Rosetta 800 and I think it's great. I monitor through it, use it as word clock master, and you can also cal it to your outboard gear with a factory mod. All in all a very nice piece.
  5. jonnyc

    jonnyc Member

    I'm not sure those ada8000's have bypassable mic pre's. I own one and from everything I've read and everything everyone's told me the pre's cannot be bypassed. You can turn the gain down for less of the signature Behri sound but you can't bypass the pre's.
  6. TVPostSound

    TVPostSound Guest

    Using the "line in" 1/4" plugs bypasses the preamps, to the ADAT port out.
    Using the ADAT in, analog audio come out of the XLRs out in the back, with no path through the preamps.
    The ADA8000 uses Alesis enc/dec chips, they have no other choice as Alesis owns the patent!!!!!

    I'm using the ADAT out of my PT192 HD to the ADA8000, to my monitor section.
  7. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Yes, the ADA8000 has line ins on 1/4" TRS jacks and these bypass the microphone pre-amps.

    The ADA8000 is one of the better items of Behringer gear for the money, but one trick they missed is a switch to loop the ADAT outs electronically back to the ADAT ins so it could be used as an analog pre-amp. You can do this using an optical cable, but not if you want to use the optical out for feeding a mixer or hard disk recorder.
  8. jonnyc

    jonnyc Member

    Does you're gain knob control the 1/4" inputs? If so then I'm pretty sure it's preamp'd. Please if I'm wrong tell me exactly how.
  9. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Ah, I see what you are asking now. In the ADA8000, the TRS line inputs have an attenuator pad and then feed into the same input stage as the XLR inputs. My misunderstanding of the question, sorry.
  10. SkamaWhoHa

    SkamaWhoHa Guest

    I've got a side question about the ADA8000

    I'd like to use it to give 8 more inputs into my 896, but I would also like to zero latency monitor with it. I got the idea to use this: here

    Send one out to the 896, the other back into the ADA8000. I feel that I am missing something though. Has anyone tried this? It would make the Behringer a lot more attractive.
  11. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    you are correct

    here is an accurate (as far as I know) representation of the insides of the ADA8000

    I think it is a worthwhile budget unit and do use them
    I also have an Ai3 and use it as a Keyboard return
  12. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Yes, you can do this, although I have never used the Dayton device. You have to check that an optical splitter box designed for S/PDIF does not attenuate the optical signals so much that the receivers can't get enough signal, as they are already working at their limits at the 13Mbps ADAT bit rate.

    See my earlier post about increasing the usefulness of the ADA8000:
  13. Robak

    Robak Active Member

    What about Marian ADCON?
    It's cheap and I think you can monitor the signal without latency on analog outs. If you don't need preamps it seems a good choice. Has anyone tested it?

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