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RME or MOTU??

Discussion in 'Converters / Interfaces' started by Doug102938@aol.com, Jul 11, 2003.

  1. Doug102938@aol.com

    Doug102938@aol.com Active Member

    Hi all I'm looking for a new Sound card option I currently have the motu 1224 which is ok but only suports 48 sample rate.

    Im looking for 8 trs analog inputs at 96 khtz. I want to begin at mixing DVD material and also improve my all audio creations.

    Two units I have been looking at are the Motu 2408 mkIII and the RME Multiface.
    Which has the better converters? On audiomidi.com it says the RME needs a Fast SCSI drive But I'm thinking that thats for the use of all 32 varios inputs, I have 2 X WD 80 gig 8mb cache drives is that enough?
    I use samplitude and cubase sx mainly. Thanks for the help in making the decision.
     
  2. MisterBlue

    MisterBlue Member

    Doug,

    you don't need Fast SCSI to operate the RME. That's bogus. The recent 8MB buffer ATA disks at 7200 rpm are quite powerful and should be more than sufficient in performance to cover even 32 channels.

    Both RME and MOTU offer quite good solutions. As for the the sound of the converters, you can check the specifications but at that kind of quality level the real message is not in the dB's anymore. You would really have to listen to them to make that judgement :D ). Might be a bit of hassle but could be worth it ...

    On the other hand one could also argue that neither one will really disappoint you. You could simply let the features, look or "gut feeling" decide ... :D

    Not sure if my ramblings are helpful ...

    MisterBlue.
     
  3. Doug102938@aol.com

    Doug102938@aol.com Active Member

    Hey Mr. Blue thanks for the reply
    (btw I got my computer in that I ordered and so far so good! :D ) Anyway I Had yet another question. Is it worth looking into a 192 khz converter say like the Motu HD or the Lynx two C...Or is that maybe a tad bit over kill for a home based mixing my own material person such as myself. I know at least one model of the Motu uses the new AKM converters but not sure which. Your opinion would be much appreciated.
     
  4. MisterBlue

    MisterBlue Member

    The sample rate question has become an almost religious dispute ... :D Now, 24-bit vs. 16-bit :D

    MisterBlue.
     
  5. Doug102938@aol.com

    Doug102938@aol.com Active Member

    Thanks again for the reply. Its always interesting to hear the various opinions on sample rates. My current motu sounds pretty nice to my not so experienced ears but I have yet to hear anything run at 96 khz so I may not know what I'm missing (or something like that). Also my current motu is 24 bit /48 khz. So I think that I just might stick with it for a while. or at least until I have my mind absolutly made up on which 96 khz card to get and have the money! I'll probably go up to sam ash or something see if they wont let me come in and try out some of their stuff in store. thanks for the info
     
  6. MisterBlue

    MisterBlue Member

    Good choice. No need to rush a decision if you are covered for now.

    I can almost guarantee you that it will be next to impossible to really distinguish the subtle differences between systems in a music store unless the setup is really close to what you are used to. Your mind will be playing all kinds of tricks on you ... different speakers, different rooms, whatever material they are playing (bring your own!) ...

    MisterBlue.
     
  7. UncleBob58

    UncleBob58 Active Member

    Hey Guys!

    Was at a friends studio in Manhattan a couple of weeks ago. They had just installed the Pro Tools HDIII system and were experimenting and trying to push the limits, etc. They recorded same source material, a CD through a speaker in the booth, at both 192kHz and 48kHz @ 24 bit. When listening to playback on the studio monitors, a very nice custom set-up, yes, you could hear the difference. But when they bounced to CD and we listened in the meeting room, whch had a decent but not great stereo, I could not hear the difference when A/B'd. One of the engineers claimed that he could, but no one else did. The general concensus was that unless the project was going into theatres it was not worth the disk space and extra processing power.

    For whatever it's worth,

    Uncle Bob

    What concerns me is not the way things are, but the way people think things are - Epectitus
     
  8. hobbesblb

    hobbesblb Guest

    I would look into Echo Layla 24. It gives you what you want with 24 bits @ up to 96kHz, but runs at arond $700 dollars at zzounds or guitar center, I bought mine for $600 on sale. It doesn't have all of the extra digital IO that you have with the MOTU (which I was also looked at buying at the time), it just has 8 in/out analog and 8 in/out digital S/PDIF/Optical. It runs very stable and very transparent. For guitar(active pickups) when not miking, I go direct into the Layla and boost gain inside of the DAW Software (I use Sonar XL 2.2) because it is quieter than my pre-amps.
    In regards to general recording (i.e. anything going to Audio CD), I recommend recording in Native CD resolution 16 bit 44kHz to avoid the dither loss you may encounter when you mix down unless you have some really incredible 24 bit effects which you hope to employ. There are many sources dealing with dithering avaible. To explain it more simply we could use the example of colors. 16 bit color is around 65 thousand colors, 24 bit color is 16.8 million colors. When you reduce the number of colors from 16 million to 65 thousand the computer tries to find the nearest color, but sometimes misses the right pallet color, this happens in sound as well, especially with cheap converters.
    To futher make a point about quality, newer video cards support 32 bit color pallets of 4.3 Billion colors but the difference is not discernable. (Yes I know I am about to mix specs here but let me prove a point) The discernable difference as quality increases decreases exponentially (This by the way is called the law of deminishing returns in case you wanted to know) While the decernable difference between 24/48 may be discernable to 24/192 try 24/96 and compare again, the difference becomes more slight. Just as with high dollar studio monitors, which is better an Event TR8 or Mackie 824's? Mackie of course, but compare Event 2020bas V2 to Mackie 824's and it becomes less decernable (but most would say the Mackie's are better-myself not included). Consider this as you look at equipment and wade through the hype. In the end I may get 24/192 equipment, but right now, the price does not justify the value or difference to me.
     
  9. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

    Guys,
    Let me jump in here about converters and sampling rates...

    Being the technical support rep at Apogee I've learned a great deal about this subject from picking the analog and digital engineers brains...and let me tell you...there's a hell of a lot of information there! :D )
    From 96 to 44.1 you halve it plus a 3rd or something of that nature which can induce artifacts into the audio. This is what we are trying to avoid!

    Now, it is NOT recommended to record at 16 bit as you are truly losing out on the overall bandwidth of the digital recording. Telling someone to record the full song at 16 bit is hog wash and complete mis information! You are basically dithering the whole time and as you dither each track you are inducing more noise into the recording then you need to! trust me...I do FFT testings of files at 24 bit and 16 bit at work and once you see what goes on you'll only want to to dither once and once only...at the final mix down!!!

    All converters are 24 bit and setting a software to be 16 bit is dithering...no and if or buts about it!

    Now I totally agree with Mr Blue here in the fact that if you were recording with 16 bit converters then you would want to record at the highest sampling rate possible...but then again there is NO SUCH THING as a 16 bit 88.2 or 96Khz system...it CAN NOT exist!

    Ok, so now onto the different sound cards here...

    Echo Audio...great stuff indeed...but have you truly compared the A/D and D/A converters to other components? They're nice but a little too dull for my taste..they need a little more life to be honest.

    MOTU...to me they just are "there" there's absolutely no life to them in any way. The reason they are so popular is due to their configurations! What other sound card can accept that many niputs with that many options?!! Good luck on a PC as well if you have problems...their support department for PC is virtually nothing and good luck even getting a hold of them on the phone as well.

    RME...all around good. Solid drivers..great stuff for the price. Many different options.

    Opus :D
     
  10. Doug102938@aol.com

    Doug102938@aol.com Active Member

    WOW now I really have alot to think about. Nothing quite like an education when you least expect it. Anyway. Based on what everyone is saying I would say I want to go with Some RME option. The Multiface is very tempting since is is like $800. Any suggestions on particular favs of the RME stuff for what I need just 8 trs inputs 2 trs outs I dont need all the other digital I/Os probably never will as i like to keep it simple and I Do LOTs of over dubs and should never need more than 8 inputs at a time. Thanks. I wish I had more knowledge to add insight to the topic of conversion but that is why im asking and getting help from those who know.

    Any opinions on the Lynx cards?

    Opus so your saying I should be tracking at 24/88.2 so it matches up the best when mixed down? just out of curiosity what is the mixdown required for DVD material 44.1 sample rate or higher? I know its 24 bit just not sure of the sample rate. thanks all for the insight
     
  11. Blutone

    Blutone Guest

    For that price range and functionality options, you may also want to check out the Aardvark Q10 Pro.
     
  12. MisterBlue

    MisterBlue Member

    Yes, if your target is a 44.1/16-bit audio CD recording in 88.2/24-bit is a very good option.

    Any half-way decent sample rate conversion will simply drop every other sample (not as bad as it sounds) but leave all the remaining ones perfectly intact. Odd conversions like 48/44.1 or 96/44.1 involve calculations and will - unavoidably - introduce rounding errors (which manifests itself as distortion and noise, albeit small).

    MisterBLue.
     
  13. chroma17

    chroma17 Guest

    hey there...
    I thought I should point out a flaw with the RME products...they do not work properly on Macintosh G4 Powerbooks. If you attempt to use the audio and MIDI features of an RME interface at the same time, loud clicks occur in the audio. RME has told people that the "fix" is to buy another separate MIDI interface even though you've just paid for theirs.
    However, a friend has an RME that he uses with a PC and it works fine, with low latency and good sound.
    So if you have a Mac, I would go for the MOTU or another competitor...
    .c
     
  14. MisterBlue

    MisterBlue Member

    Sounds to me like there is a problem with Apple's operating system. If RME could fix the problem I know they would ... a company of their size can not afford to piss of a significant number of customers if there is only a driver problem. Arrogance is the one thing I have definitely NOT seen from them (yet).

    If you search the different Digital Audio Forums you will find long threads about problems that people are having with OSX. PC's under WinXP have comparatively few issues, now that the OS has been out for a while. I know that Apple fans don't like to hear it but the latest new Apple OS's have as many bugs as the Microsoft OS's when they first came out.

    Then again, it is unfortunately correct that RME might not be a good choice for Apple users unless this problem is fixed.

    Just my opinion,

    MisterBlue.
     
  15. karambos

    karambos Guest

    Great thread. I need an 8in 8out card too and the three brands I'd narrowed it down to have all been discussed here: Echo Audio, MOTU and RME. By the way, I run Logic on a Mac G3 (going to upgrade to a G4 soon)

    After reading this and a load of other threads about this, I'm going for RME. But the question for me remains: Do I get the RME Mutiface or the ADI-8 Pro?

    I'm grateful help

    Karambos
     
  16. jroberts

    jroberts Guest

    What about the Digi002 Rack?
     
  17. MisterBlue

    MisterBlue Member

    Karambos,

    I personally own the ADI-8PRO and love it. In all honesty, however, I have not A/B'ed my system with the Multiface. There is not other way of truly comparing units than a direct comparison with everything else perfectly equal!
    You could also consider the ADI-8DS/AE. It's the Anniversary Edition of the DS and it's actually cheaper than the DS (although a little more expensive than the ADI-8PRO, I believe).

    If your budget is limited you might be fully covered with the Multiface, though. I guess I would let my wallet decide. In any case you will have a great system for the money.

    Just my opinion,

    MisterBlue.
     

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