Help with Hybrid DAW Setup 16 channels I/O to analog summing amp back to DAW/ 2 Buss

TheJackAttack

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Mar 20, 2008
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currently Billings
Well, I've been waiting on USB 3.0 for about 20 months now. eSATA is just now stable enough to use for an audio drive. Firewire 1394c (1600) is due out about the same time as USB 3.0....which is to say that I'm still waiting for it too. It's hard to test new protocols when they exist is specification only!!! I think 800 speed didn't catch on as well because most people don't need the throughput of the faster protocol. 1394a (400) and USB 2.0 work for the consumer market until they try to go prosumer audio or video editing with external hard drives etc.

On the other hand, there is a really cool firewire 800 (1394b) repeater out there. And I am unlikely to get rid of my FF800's baring something really fabulous coming along for mobile recording.
[="http://www.cwol.com/firewire/newnex-1394b-optical-repeater.htm#details"]Newnex FireNEX800 FireWire 800 1394b Optical Repeater[/]
 

Boswell

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UK
can you explain why the second computer for this and what steps I plan on for my mastering stage? Sequoia uses the codemeter (dongle) which is good on one hand because I can take it where I go but not so good if I am using one DAW to another both needing Sequoia.
Example circumstances in which you would consider using two separate computers:

(1) Where the recording and tracking was done at a sampling rate different than the rate required for the final mix. You can't easily run interfaces attached to a single computer at different sampling rates, so, for example, an FF800 playing tracks out at 96KHz cannot simultaneously re-sample the stereo mix at 44.1KHz. My normal path in these circumstances for my own recordings is to mixdown directly from the HD24XRs, but if I get sent files to mix, it's easier to play these from the computer. I often find that sampling rate conversion via analog re-sampling can sound superior to all-digital SRCs.

(2) Where you want different types of interface for the replay and re-recording. Use of your FF800 for analog output combined with your FireWire Lavry ADCs for capturing the mix would be an example. Running two separate manufacturers' drivers at the same time is usually a recipe for trouble. However, as Jack indicated, using the FF800 to interface the Lavry ADCs via S/PDIF is an excellent way round this problem.

Any DAW (even Audacity) can be used to capture the stereo mix - it's not a demanding task.
 

djmukilteo

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Nov 23, 2008
Location
Rainy Roads WA USA
Example circumstances in which you would consider using two separate computers:

(1) Where the recording and tracking was done at a sampling rate different than the rate required for the final mix. You can't easily run interfaces attached to a single computer at different sampling rates, so, for example, an FF800 playing tracks out at 96KHz cannot simultaneously re-sample the stereo mix at 44.1KHz. My normal path in these circumstances for my own recordings is to mixdown directly from the HD24XRs, but if I get sent files to mix, it's easier to play these from the computer. I often find that sampling rate conversion via analog re-sampling can sound superior to all-digital SRCs.

(2) Where you want different types of interface for the replay and re-recording. Use of your FF800 for analog output combined with your FireWire Lavry ADCs for capturing the mix would be an example. Running two separate manufacturers' drivers at the same time is usually a recipe for trouble. However, as Jack indicated, using the FF800 to interface the Lavry ADCs via S/PDIF is an excellent way round this problem.

Any DAW (even Audacity) can be used to capture the stereo mix - it's not a demanding task.

This was something I was considering for my FF800 and ZED R16.
My thought was to get a second computer with FW as a standalone box for the ZED.
Have the FF800 act as a master recorder running maybe at 96khz on current box and then have the ZED running the tracking side at maybe 48khz on the second box.
The ZED would be the "main console" and I could use the Sonar LE for that box and then the FF800 running Cubase 4 as a summing mastering deck. Analog out of the ZED into the FF...!!!
Would that be a good idea or make sense?....All I would need would be the second computer box...
 

audiokid

Chris
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Location
Nanaimo BC, Canada
=Boswell;345087]Example circumstances in which you would consider using two separate computers:

(1) Where the recording and tracking was done at a sampling rate different than the rate required for the final mix. You can't easily run interfaces attached to a single computer at different sampling rates, so, for example, an FF800 playing tracks out at 96KHz cannot simultaneously re-sample the stereo mix at 44.1KHz. My normal path in these circumstances for my own recordings is to mixdown directly from the HD24XRs, but if I get sent files to mix, it's easier to play these from the computer. I often find that sampling rate conversion via analog re-sampling can sound superior to all-digital SRCs.
Boswell, Can you explain this a bit more? "sampling rate conversion via analog re-sampling"


Any DAW (even Audacity) can be used to capture the stereo mix - it's not a demanding task.
And where the Korg MR-2000s would fit in at this point?
[="http://www.korg.co.uk/products/digital_recording/mr/dr_mr2000s_specs.asp"]KORG MR-2000S 1-Bit Recorder Specification[/]

Thanks Bos, I'm getting it now.
 

djmukilteo

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Location
Rainy Roads WA USA
Boswell, Can you explain this a bit more? "sampling rate conversion via analog re-sampling"


And where the Korg MR-2000s would fit in at this point?
[="http://www.korg.co.uk/products/digital_recording/mr/dr_mr2000s_specs.asp"]KORG MR-2000S 1-Bit Recorder Specification[/]

Thanks Bos, I'm getting it now.

I would like to hear what that Korg unit sounds like sampling at 192khz/24 bit!
But then many people claim no advantage with any discernible quality using anything above 96khz!
Still that seems like a pretty amazing little box
 

TheJackAttack

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Mar 20, 2008
Location
currently Billings
Cucco has the MR-1000. He might comment if he gets time.

The optimal way to use the MR2000 would be as your mastering recorder at DSD rate-in place of the second computer.

I won't answer for Boswell but I believe what he means by sample rate converter is simply that you have converted DA via the Fireface into your summing mixer (whichever one). Now you are completely analog for the duration until you bring it back into a computer or mastering recorder. The final destination should likely be at whatever sample rate your final product will be. If it's a CD your second computer or recorder will be set to 44.1K/16 bit. If it's a DVD then 48K/16 bit. The advantage to this is you don't have to worry about the maths in the DAW for downsampling/dithering etc.

If you were to send the analog out of the FF800 at 88.2k/24 you could NOT bring it back into the FF800 at the new rate of 44.1k/16. You would have to bring it back at the exact same rate as your session. Of course if you are already in your destination sample rate this becomes a moot point.
 

audiokid

Chris
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Location
Nanaimo BC, Canada
Thanks John/ everyone! So well put. I totally understand the entire process.

Man, what a great thread. You guys are exceptional. I'm certain this thread has and will help so many. Kudo's and a big hug for taking the time to help me.
 

Boswell

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Apr 19, 2006
Location
UK
Boswell, Can you explain this a bit more? "sampling rate conversion via analog re-sampling"
Jack clarified this admirably - sorry not to be more clear in the first place. I had some unpleasant experiences with early digital sampling rate converters, and so now regard all such SRCs with a little suspicion. If I can perform SRC inherently in the process of external analog mixing or summing, then I grab at the opportunity. The best-sounding CDs I have ever produced have been from 96KHz recordings made on HD24XRs, mixed down from the HD24XR analog outs into a Midas Venice and then the stereo mix re-digitized at 44.1KHz (actually on another HD24XR externally clocked). Incidentally, this range of Midas desks is really designed for live use, but their EQ and summing is so good that they make excellent production consoles.

And where the Korg MR-2000s would fit in at this point?
[="http://www.korg.co.uk/products/digital_recording/mr/dr_mr2000s_specs.asp"]KORG MR-2000S 1-Bit Recorder Specification[/]

The obvious place for this beast is for capturing the summed mix, but you hit the problem of what output format to use. The MR-2000S is rightly lauded for its 1-bit operations, but it also has the capability of recording PCM at 44.1/24 or the CD standard of 44.1/16. Although it's a bit of a waste to use it in this mode, it may be the best way to get the end result for demo or rough CDs. However, since even externally mixed recordings invariably need topping and tailing, I would prefer to digitize at 44.1/24, do the top/tail in a DAW and then use a good dithering algorithm to print the final 44.1/16 master. For production CDs, I ship out to a mastering house at 44.1/24, so I let them perform the dithering. It may be that mastering houses can now accept one or more of the various 1-bit formats that the Korg can generate, and, if so, it's a no-brainer to use it in its intended mode.
 

audiokid

Chris
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Nanaimo BC, Canada
hooking 2 ff800 together

To utilize the full capabilities of the FF800 you'll need to use the 800 (9 pin) port. I believe though that you could get what you want done on the 400 (6 pin) port. You will plug the first FF800 into your computer via the 6 pin cable. You will connect the second FF800 to the first one via a 9 pin cable. You are tracking to an internal drive so you won't have to worry about that. Each mixer will show up in the RME gui just like normal. The lowest serial number shows up as 1, then the next one as 2, and even a third one as 3.

Do you have firewire 800 on that big beast of a computer?!?!? You really should. Throughput on firewire 400 is about 30mb/s and on firewire 800 it is 70mb/s or 80mb/s depending on the bridge board.

I found this and thought of this post by John, Thank again for all the help guys.

 
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