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How does a standalone converter integrate with a sound card?

Discussion in 'Converters / Interfaces' started by SonicIdiot, Nov 18, 2009.

  1. SonicIdiot

    SonicIdiot Guest

    I just don't get it: I use and ECHO Layla3G. It has 8 ins and outs and, of course, its own converters. It works and sounds great, but in the relentless pursuit of the golden signal chain, I've always wanted to upgrade to a better set of converters, but I can't wrap my mind around how it would work. If I were to, say, get an Apogee two channel ad/da, would that mean I can only record two sources at a time? Would the chain go mic-pre-converter-s/pdif to Layla - then - s/pdif out back to Apogee and da to monitors?

    Now, there are eight channel converter boxes that would have a one-to-one relationship with the Layla, but is that the way it's done? This doesn't make sense to me either, as any large studio is obviously going to have way more than eight channels-at-a-time capacity. Are these converter boxes aimed at the smaller market? What am I missing here? (Probably something right under my nose - you can count on me for that!)

    Let me put it one other way: when you see, say, Dr. Dre hanging out in the studio hoovering over a board with what looks to be about 1000 channels, how is each of the channels converted to digital? What is the relationship?
     
  2. Spase

    Spase Active Member

    Re: How does a standalone converter integrate with a sound c

    If the converter has S/PDIF, yes, you can do that - but it won't limit you to only those 2 channels, just make sure that one unit is set as the master, and all other units are slaved to it. Also, the ADAT ins can be used with some of the 8 channel units (ones with ADAT outs) as more inputs to your ECHO Layla3G. It does look like there is a 16channel max in/out though, so you couldn't have the 8 ins plus the 2 S/PDIF plus the 8 ADAT all working at the same time.
     
  3. SonicIdiot

    SonicIdiot Guest

    I think I've overcomplicated a simple question: If I have a two channel A/D converter, can I record only two sources at one time (or one stereo source) and if I have an eight channel A/D, can I then record eight audio sources simultaneously?
     
  4. Spase

    Spase Active Member

    Re: How does a standalone converter integrate with a sound c

     
  5. jg49

    jg49 Well-Known Member

    Maybe you just don't understand routing. Your Layla has 8 channel analog direct in (2 which have a preamp availability.) It also has another 8 channels that can "pass through."
    From the Echo specs
    Supports full duplex 16 channel in, 16 channel out operation
    This means you can add up to another 8 channels of audio in. You asked about using the Apogee Duet? They make other two channel interfaces. You can not use the Duet in conjunction with the Layla simutaneously ONLY BECAUSE the Duet does not have a s/pdif or ADAT output, this is how you connect the other channels to the 3G. You could for example add the Toneport UX3 by connecting it's S/PDIF to the 3G (now you have ten channels) or, again as an example, the OctoPre MKII via ADAT and you would then have 16 simultaneous channels available for recording.
    If you were to use either of these examples you need to make sure the 3G is the "master" and the second unit the "slave" this tells the computer to sync all incoming tracks through the 3G.

    Now to answer the second question.
    Sonic Idiot "If I have a two channel A/D converter, can I record only two sources at one time (or one stereo source) and if I have an eight channel A/D, can I then record eight audio sources simultaneously?"
    You can use these devices seperately, if you switch the computer software to "look" for the device you are using at that particular moment as long as both units are compatible with whatever software you are running. Record two channels thru one interface then switch over and record 8 thru the other. If you want to use them both then do the above.
     
  6. SonicIdiot

    SonicIdiot Guest

    Thanks for your replies -

    jg49 - I'm thinking of the Rosetta 200 or 800, and I'm not looking for a way to increase the number of inputs, nor am I looking to to use the super awesome converter to covert only two channels and let the Layla handle the others. I want all eight channels of physical, direct input to be converted by the Apogee. I want to cut the Layla's converters out of the picture entirely.
     

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