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One PC for audio/fx and one for Gigastudio

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Hypothesis, Jun 13, 2003.

  1. Hypothesis

    Hypothesis Guest

    Greetz !

    I wan't your opinion on the best way to digitally (audio) connect 2 computers - One as a multichannel audio recording device and a sequencer and other as the sampler/synth module. I need at least 32 I/O in 24 bit, and my main goal is to route the Gigasampler channels as audio to the other PC, use the VST/DirectX FX on them in realtime, and record them to HDD... I've read about the RME HDSP MADI card, and would like your opinion about it... it seems like a very good solution, at least based on what I have read... I've also read something about the VST Link cards... Any info & suggestions appreciated !!! Thanx & CHEERS !
  2. MisterBlue

    MisterBlue Member


    I can't speak for the HDSP card but I am running exactly that kind of configuration with a regular Hammerfall card 9652 in my main PC and a (much cheaper) Digi 96/8 (only 8 ADAT channels) in my GigaStudio PC. The Giga PC receives MIDI and sends out digital audio via ADAT lightpipe to the main PC. I use "audio input channels" with Logic Audio and I can apply all available FX to the signals coming from Giga (including the FX that run on my TC Powercore and UAD cards in the main machine). It works simply great - I couldn't be much happier. Latency is extremely good in both machines and the thing is rock-solid.

    For reference: My Giga machine (800 MHz Athlon) runs on 98SE (haven't seen a need to upgrade), my main Logic computer (Athlon XP2100+) runs on WinXP Home.

    I would not hesitate to go with the RME cards. Their stuff simply works! I have not heard of a single disappointed user (which is rare with computer stuff).

    Hope this helps,

  3. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

    I totally agree with Mister Blue...

    RME is great stuff and has built a reputation for that as well.

    Now, whetehr you need the MADI card or not is a totally different story. The MADI card is for use with their 64 channel interface box or to hook up to a Sony DMXR100 console fitted with a MADI card or some other large scale console that allows for a MADI interface.

    From what I have heard is that the MADI stuff is rather expensive.

    How many channels of audio do you need out of the Giga machine and how many total ins do you need of the audio machine?

    That's what we really need to know in the long run.

    Opus :D
  4. Hypothesis

    Hypothesis Guest

    Hi guyz !

    Thanx for the fast reply ! As I mentioned, I need at least 32 audio channels (preferably more) out of the Giga PC, and 32 audio channels IN in the Sequencing/FX/Audio computer, because I write very complicated orchestral scores for film. MADI seems to be the only interface that can transfer that large number of audio channels over a single interface and (even more incredible) over a single cord (I'm a little bit sceptical about it at the moment). So I was wondering if it would be a good idea to get 2 HDSP MADI cards, one for the GIGA PC and one for the AUDIO PC and link them togeter (of course MIDI also) ,... or maybe there is a better solution ?
  5. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

    Well, from what I've seen is that the MADI isn't available yet...not sure when it will be though.

    Looking at the RME website it's the way to go for what you need to do.

    I think this is the ultimate solution for multi channel operation indeed. The question though is getting the system not to choke on that much input.

    I would be very curious to see it work myself!

    Opus :D
  6. MisterBlue

    MisterBlue Member

    Although I don't know your exact requirements, I dare to believe that there must be a way to do with less than 32 transfer channels. I think Opus is right, the tax on your system with all those channels might become a real problem ...

    Have you considered making more use of the mixer inside GigaStudio and only transferring some 8 or 16 channels? Shouldn't require too much of a compromise ... ?

    If switching between your different systems is a problem you should consider a KVM (Keyboard, Video, Mouse) switch. With a simple key combination you can access your different systems with just one set of screens, keyboard and mouse.
    Works great, saves space and money!

    Just an idea,

  7. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

    Yup, scroll lock>sroll lock and the number of the port! lol

    I use a Belkin 4 port KVM! Server machine on 2, audio machine on 1 and soon to be system link on 3...4th port is for when I am configuring systems for people!

    Opus :D
  8. Hypothesis

    Hypothesis Guest

    Well the ABSOLUTE minimum would be some 16-24 channels, but I would have to make some really big compromises then (like mixing in Gigastudio, that you suggested, and using some of it's internal EQ) since the scores are very complex and I often use all of the 64 channels in Gigastudio... I also plan to use some of UAD's FX... Do you know anything about the VST LINK cards ? Any tips appreciated !
  9. MisterBlue

    MisterBlue Member

    Alright, I take another swag at it:

    The GigaStudio mixer can be largely automated and controlled from your main PC (at least for volume it is very easy). I understand that you would like to use different EQ on the different channels, but are you sure that you can't group the "instruments" in less channels that share a certain EQ setting on your main machine?

    My philosophy is that less EQ is more. I don't know the quality of your samples but that is where it all starts for me. Either I have been lucky or I don't know any better, but I found that e.g. a well recorded set of string orchestra samples doesn't need individual EQ for violins, violas, cellos etc. (which would easily use up lots of channels). Au contraire, I think that things get messed up when I do that, sounding less an less like a real orchestra in one room. What happens eventually in my mixes is that I apply a little low-frequency roll-off to get rid of mud and every now and then a little "air on top" if absolutely needed - that's it.

    Anyway, If you can restrict yourself to 24 channels, the RME Hammerfall systems would transfer 24 channels with excellent latency at a reasonable expense. I'd say that is worth a compromise buy you have to decide that, of course.

  10. Hypothesis

    Hypothesis Guest

    Yes, I totally agree with the "less is more" approach, but there are certain situations and certain types of scores that you cannot put in the "classical-film-orchestra-sound category". For example, I'm currently doing something that could only be described as a cyber-symphony, and it is a mixture of classical symphonic instruments and dozens of different types of electronic and non-electronic sounds, so in the end I turn up using different dynamics/eq settings on almost every channel, not to mention other FX... But I guess I could settle down a bit, and think about getting the Hammerfall... Can you tell me something more about your experience with the Hammerfall card ? I think that the original Hammerfall is now replaced with the HDSP9652 card, also with 3xADAT optical I/O...

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