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Are the A/D D/A converters part of the audio interface?

Discussion in 'Converters / Interfaces' started by pingonedown, Jan 14, 2007.

  1. pingonedown

    pingonedown Guest


    Everyone says great converters is where its at. Which ones are good without spending a ton of cash?

    I am thinking about buying a digi 002. But I heard the coverters are crap?

    If I bought logic pro what interface would be best?

    Just want to hear some opinions.
  2. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Most (all?) of the computer audio interfaces that I am aware of have AD/DA converters.

    My opinion is that if you are buying a DAW "without spending a ton of cash" you will be making compromises at every point of the signal chain. Look at the whole system, not one aspect like converters. I think that ease of installation, ease of use, and the amount of help you'll get up the learning curve are more important to a beginner than preamps and converters.

    With that said, you should take any advice you get (especially from people like me unwilling to do much to help you learn to record) with a grain of salt. For every post on the internet telling you that X is "crap" you can find another saying that X is incontrovertible evidence of the existence of a benevolent god. Most of them are people trying to justify their own decisions to themselves. When at all possible use your ears to make decisions. They won't all be right, but as we professors say, "education's expensive."
  3. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Such wisdom!!!!

    So true - many of the accolades given by many people are done so to make themselves feel better about themselves and their decisions.

    Yes - converters are an importan part of the signal chain. However, if the mic and the preamp (and the cables and the compressors, etc.) in the chain aren't up to par, the converters won't make a hill of beans difference. (Think how many hit records were made on stock converters in ADAT Blackface machines).

    Also - yes, I think the converters in the Digi Stuff in general suck (even their premium line). However, you can certainly record good music with them. In converters, the difference between "awesome" and "suck" is so minute that MOST individuals could hardly tell the difference. (IMO, you must truly HEAR and LISTEN to a GREAT converter before you can ever tell the difference between mediocre ones. Great converters fall into the realm of Prism, Genex, EMM, DCS, etc.)

    Good luck -

  4. sheet

    sheet Well-Known Member

    Get to the point. The Digi 002. It is usable. I have a set up in a VO booth. I also have an HD system with high end converters. Don't get caught up in all of this snobbery. I know for a fact that there are some high end sounding albums there that were sampled using Behringers.

    Don't get me wrong, there are huge differences in converters as a whole. But you can't be worried about how a 002 will stack up to the big boys. You should use your ears and compare in your price range.

    That said, the 002 is part of a Digidesign PT system. You don't just buy it for the controller/converters. If that is what you need, there are other ways to go.
  5. TVPostSound

    TVPostSound Guest

    Cuccos quote:

    Wow could you be justifying your purchases??? :roll:

    You think the Digidesign 192HD sucks, also in your opinion, in another post the True-Systems P8 sucks.
    Maybe I should return them, while Im at it, Ill return my 2 emmys too!!!! :shock:
    Dont take my sarcasm too seriously!!!!!

    Now being serious:

    Where do you draw the line on equipment prices, when your material will be played back on an iPod using the default 160k MP3 import???

    On my end, I can never spend uber high dollars on AD/DA converters, as my work is constantly mangled by networks, cable head ends, and DirecTV!!


    What stage of this business are you in??? Its not all about converters, its what you need to do with the gear. What kind of budget have you set??

    Ive recorded top LA VO guys, and mixed shows with a Protools MBox, sometimes its not the gear, but how you use it.

    I actually prefer the converters on the MBox to the 002!!!
  6. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Not at all...

    I justify my converter purchases as such -

    Lynx - I bought it because it was cheap and interfaced well with my AES 16. To my delight, it also sounds quite nice.

    Mackie Onyx - I bought it because it was VERY cheap, I like the sound of the pres and it works well as a back-up or second live rig (and all outputs - AES and Lightpipe AND analog are active at the same time).

    Remember...I said the difference between suck and glorious in converters is minute. (At least I believe that). Yeah, I don't like the 192 HD converters that much. I find them to be flat and 2-dimensional. However, I will say this for them - when pushing 16 or more channels through them, they don't get crowded like some other, more expensive A/Ds. Again, subtle, but important differences.

    As for the Trues...it's killing you that I don't like these pres, isn't it?? :wink: Seriously - I am fully aware that this opinion does not make me fit in with the popular majority. Most people LOVE the True pres. Perhaps my ears are just hearing something different when I listen to them...(not to say I have super human ears...just that perhaps mine as well as everyone elses are wired a tad differently...)

    You clearly enjoy yours and for video and voice over work, I would think that they would be fantastic. For classical recording, I just can't dig them (unless I were to use nothing but ribbons all the time - they did do well with those!).

    BTW - I had no idea you had 2 Emmys - congratulations- that's awesome! I am quite pleased that there are such qualified people hanging around here. (No sarcasm intended - I'm being serious. It's always hard to tell in the text medium.)

    I never consider price as a factor unless I must stay under a budget (often the case, but this is the only time cost factors in.) For example, I will not hesitate to use my Mackie Onyx on a serious recording gig (always as channels 9-16 or 17-24 though behind more "serious" pieces of gear). It sounds good and is rock solid.

    Some of my favorite mics to use are:
    Beyer M130/M160s
    AT 4040
    AKG BlueLine

    These are all considered "budget" mics and I have actually taken SERIOUS criticism by half-wits on this board before because they think I can not possibly be a serious engineer with such sh*tty gear.

    My whole philosophy is simple...
    Does it do what I need?
    Does it sound the way I want it to?

    If I can't answer yes to both questions, I don't buy it.

    Believe me, I understand the concept of mangled audio! I once had a regular client of mine tell me after receiving his orchestra's disc that the disc was the most unnatural, muddy, horrifying example of orchestral recording he had ever heard. Well...needless to say, I was quite shocked. Since he was a regular, I came out to his listening environment to find out what was wrong (as I felt the recording was the best I had ever coaxed out of his group given the crappy concert hall they perform in).

    It turns out, he has one of those Aiwa shelf systems. He had it set in Dolby Pro Logic but only had 2 speakers. The other 3 were in storage. Magically, when reverted back to 2-channel, the music sounded just fine.

    VERY true!...

    Funny enough, one of the better sounding choral discs I ever did was a recording of a VERY good church choir with a pro orchestra doing Faure's Requiem.

    The preamps and the A/D being used were those that were built into a Soundcraft M12 console mixing down to 2-track on the spot. (I was stretched thin with 3 recordings in one day!)
  7. pingonedown

    pingonedown Guest

    I have a Digi 001. I am in the middle of upgrading so I am trying to come up with Good system that I will enjoy for a quite a while.

    I am trying to determine should I go with logic pro or Pro tools LE. One thing I saw was that with logic you can record 24bit/192kHz. Po tools LE 24 bit/ 96kHz.

    I figured if I can get a really good audio interface. Logic may be the way to go. Since I can record at 24bit/192kHz. I know its suppose to be more difficult to get around logic when recording audio but it might be worth it.

    Overall, I would rather spend the money as I go, building a great studio over a couple years. Then having to upgrade every 3-4 years when pro tools decides to change its hardware.
  8. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    I use PT and have done so from the start
    and still have working machines with AM3 and 001

    I upgrade when I want to ... and don't see the problem

    I don't like the sound of my AKG BlueLines ... but I still use them
  9. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Hehe...that's kinda funny... :lol:

    What don't you like about them (they seem to polarize a LOT of people).

    I find them a tad dark and colored, but they work well on mid strings (viola/cello) and woodwinds.
  10. TVPostSound

    TVPostSound Guest

    Yes it is!!! :roll:

    I did love my Grace, but you know, it was almost TOO good.

    I kind of regret selling it, but the P8 was a good price/performance unit.
  11. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    pingonedown- If you have not done this, I really encourage you to make some simple, reproducible recordings at all the sample rates that your 001 can handle and burn them down to what ever media/format you typically use (e.g. a CD at 44.1/16). Put that media on shuffle and see how much difference there is in the final product. I did this and have recorded in 44.1 ever since. To my ears the differences were either undetectable or small enough that I did not want to put up with the file size and processor loads of the higher speeds.
  12. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    yeah could be dark

    I had a C451B (I think it was b .. CB451 ... or was it EB ??? )

    it had a slightly damaged capsule ... when I loaned it to someone
    I got talked into buying a pair of Bluelines and an additional Hyper C capsule ( I now have the third pre-amp section so 3 mics now )

    this fellow and his mate that worked the shop set up the deal

    eeih !

    I was never as happy without the 451
    what can I say
  13. Gib

    Gib Active Member

    Audio Converters

    I'm currently using the Motu HD192 Interface. Im really happy with the job these converters accomplish. I'd have to say they compare with the PT's HD converters. The Crane Song HEDD converters are ones that ive been impressed with when I worked at a studio a couple of years back. It only had two channels, and we ended up using it as a master clock source to sync our sony dmx-r100 board to. A little pricey, but those are the best that I have personally worked with. Im still learning techniques and info on gear day by day though, as all engineers should. :)

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