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Not much more to add on this OP other than say, I have been on PCIe AES for years. I've switched to an RME MADI PCIe interface last night and did 64 tracks at 88.2 including midi and vsti processing without a glitch.

I'm summing 32 tracks AD and my system is shockingly fast and very stable. The latency is barely noticeable. I even went so far as to loop one bar and do numerous overdubs for a min. It never lost sync and the overdubs recorded seamlessly. I am thrilled!

Hope that helps someone wondering. MADI is very cool.


audiokid Wed, 02/05/2014 - 08:31


I'm using the new Orion 32. Its not near as stable with usb but rocks with madi!

Small or large studio, stability doesn't matter for this update. I didn't buy it to travel the long distance madi is known for. Bought because I heard it was an improvement with the Orion and it is indeed.
Four , 15 hour days and not one single hick-up, and I mean nothing! 16 instances of melodyne added, which has always caused latency issues and occasional crashes for me. This is the most stable interface ever.

audiokid Sat, 02/08/2014 - 20:08

Davedog, post: 410295 wrote: I wanted to ask you about that converter. It is on my radar at this point. It sounds like the thing to have. I still work on a mac. Does the MADI protocol have any differences with this?

Hi Dave,

It Should work just fine for PC or Mac providing you have an open PCIe slot and the extra second space required for additional MIDI and an external BNC connect.
The card I have is the RME PCIe MADI. There is a new version called the PCIe MADI FX which I'm told is an improvement for a few extra features but this wasn't worth the expense for me. I got this used for $850. What a deal.

Davedog Thu, 02/13/2014 - 13:23

Hi Chris. I have a couple of open slots on the Mac. I'm not quite ready for all this money-wise but my ears are to the point where I simply can't stand the Digi conversion any more. I can hear the differences quite clearly when just rock solid clocking is added to any Digi interface and it makes you wonder.....I track mostly through the Alesis HR24 as a converter and it seems to give things a musical quality I dont find with the 003. I really only use the 003 as a motorized mixer so its going to go also. Maybe a Euphonics in its place. I like the tactile thing with the sliders a lot more than automating in the box. I'm simply better at it. Now the Orion thing comes along. So a MADI card and the Orion will do the trick?? I'm also thinking of adding the second machine. Maybe with the great converters and clocking PT won't make me feel like I'm banging my head against a tree. Your thoughts?

audiokid Thu, 02/13/2014 - 16:23

When you can, and if nothing else presents itself , do it, you will not regret.

The MADI card I use is PCIe, not PCI. There is a performance increase with PCIe. So, hopefully your Mac has one PCIe slot available for that. Thats all you need. The other slot is for the BNC/MIDI card that connects a ribbon cable to the main card. So in essence, you need two slots so the BNC card is beside the main card. Make sense, thus, taking up two slots?

I've seen used Orion 32's go used for $2650. RME MADI PCIe for $850.

You will also need a
Fiber Optic Cable, SC/SC, OM1, Multi Mode, Duplex - 3 meter (62.5/125 or 50/125.

I got this super cheap and it works great. $16.84
[[url=http://[/URL]="http://www.primecab…"]Fiber Optic Cable, SC/SC, OM1, Multi Mode, Duplex - 3 meter (62.5/125 Type) - Orange at PrimeCables Canada[/]="http://www.primecab…"]Fiber Optic Cable, SC/SC, OM1, Multi Mode, Duplex - 3 meter (62.5/125 Type) - Orange at PrimeCables Canada[/]

That will give you 32 channels of ADDA at 96k. Rocking.

Davedog Thu, 02/13/2014 - 17:37

Thanks Chris. My Mac is a modern Intel chipped one. It doesnt do PCI/PCIx only PCIe. I have a source for all things cable related. On a side note they have sold two of the AT5040's now. So I dont have one they'll let me get spit in at the store. Their description goes farther than the reviews I have read. The soundfield is unlike anything else. There is no special pricing AT is very strict with this product.

Now all I gotta do is get the money. I retired last month from being an electrician so its time to get a bit more serious about the studio. I figure I'm an easy 10K away from being set for a while now. I gotta upgrade the monitors too. And PT. 11 probably. In two machines....yowza.....maybe 10k aint enough!

Davedog Wed, 02/19/2014 - 13:30

audiokid, post: 410446 wrote: You mean a capture DAW (uncoupled) for independent mixdown ?

Yes. This is the direction I think I'll need to go. Lots of smaller studios in this area and the only way of competing is to sound better. This seems to be exactly what I want to hear. Boswell's description and yours, brings this full circle for me. I have a bunch of questions but it would seem that conversion at a higher quality is the lynchpin.

audiokid Sun, 02/23/2014 - 18:33

kmetal, post: 410660 wrote: As a lurker, I might add in a addition to better conversion, a decent monitor controller, the difference between the Mackie big knob and the Coleman monitor controllers was huge at the studio.

Yes indeed Kyle!
To echo, my monitor control system is the key component to this entire set-up. Without that, it would be broken.

Tony Carpenter Wed, 08/20/2014 - 13:38

Greetings all,

Hopefully it's OK to jump in here, since this is MADI and Orion related. I have been coming here for a while but have had nothing to ask or contribute. I have enjoyed reading reviews and opinions of personal use a LOT. I will understand if no one has time to help, but, I do have a new setup which may be on someone's radar of use. I have owned an Orion 32 for about a year. Until now I have been using it on the USB ports.. not the greatest experience initially and it has it's foibles as audiokid discovered under far more use than I have given it.

Anyway, to the thrust of the matter. I am finally in the middle of building a studio in my spare apartment. I have invested in more outboard gear and a couple of Focusrite Octopre Mk2 Dymanics to replace my Mackie 1640i Onyx. With the Orion 32 I am planning to put a RME HDSPe PCIx MADI card in the Mac Pro. So, what I want to be able to do within Logic Pro X is.. bring the signals in through the Orion from the Focusrites. Into the MADI (Logic) back out to various EQ Comp etc and back in again. Where I am at loss is whether that is possible without a patchbay using just the DB25s on the Orion. I did see reference on Antelopes site about some kid doing it.

My background was mostly on a VS1880 and I have been stumbling sometimes successfully and sometimes not ever since I switched into first an Aardvark Q10 and then onwwards!. Current new setup now has a MCU Pro and extender. Finally getting away from not having direct control of multiple faders!, hurrah.

Edit: Almost forgot, going to SUM to a Dangerous D-BOX.

Any help would be much appreciated in advice. I have looked about and this has by far been the richest source of people who actually use the sort of stuff I am trying to :).



audiokid Wed, 08/20/2014 - 13:48

You'd be way better off capturing to a second daw over the round trip. Its by far superior to the round trip. Don't believe anything about investing in the 10M either, its complete nonsense, especially if you capture and learn what I do.
Never the less, buy used Xpatches!! They have been discontinued because people don't get it. I have two and love them. I can track, mix and master at any given time without loosing a beat. Don't waste your time on the old school patch bays when you are at this level. This is the bomb. There are a few other digital brands of patchbays, but the SSL XPatch is what I use. And they are flawless.
Sounds like you are building a nice setup, kudo's!

Tony Carpenter Wed, 08/20/2014 - 13:58

Thanks for the reply audiokid :). I hoped you may reply, but didn't expect so quickly. So, because the SSL Xpatch is not on my shopping available list, wife put the choker on it now :D. Can I use say a Tiqae X85? That looked like a great way to go due to it's DB25 niceness. Worst case scenario, with going up and out, and no I have NO intention of falling for the 10M thing. Will I lose much really if I used I/O out on stems and back in?. Orion 32 mixer told where to bring it in and out?.

If I do go out to patch (X85) and back in, the beast Mac Pro can run say a PT session say, I guess if needed in addition to LPX. Forgive me if I drift on this a bit, because I am still wearing my L plates on this sort of setup very much.



audiokid Wed, 08/20/2014 - 15:10

Hi Tony,

Without this turning into a book, in a nut shell, I think external hardware via stems and round trip is pretty much a joke now. I know I can produce better mixes using a few key products with an analog mastering matrix over oodles of hardware via the round trip. Not one process I did couldn't be done better with better tracking from client or me, ITB mixing and hybrid 2-bus processing via a mastering matrix that AD to a capture DAW. This is where the patchbay lives now. I've completely removed all gear between the 32 channels. Basically those are simply there to elevate some ITB cramming and to rout the DA out to the Mastering Matrix. I do however, still use 8 channels for external effects but they are static and don't need a patchbay.
I come out of the Orion, into the Effect and into one of the 8 channels of the mixer. I never go back to the same DAW! NEVER!

I put all my attention into great tracking quality and 2-bus (mastering level ) finishing. I bet I'm about 5 years ahead of what people are just starting to discover. We are going to see a big surge in hardware and new consoles but its going to be a total gong show to me. To my hears, the magic is between the analog 2-bus and the capture process, not round trip processing with racks of gear. Save your money and put it into key analog finishing tools.
In fact, I have now been able to mix better and much faster without any hardware while capturing to a second DAW. But, I'm also using Sequoia 12, which has an incredible mixer and mastering section so this may be part of it all. After getting thousands of $ in analog products over the last few years, I won't tell you what gear I think is useless to me now, but I will tell you what I think are essentials. Something like the Dangerous Master and Dangerous Monitor ST are essentials to me, And I hate saying that because they don't even support us here. (n)(n)(n)(n)
I hope someone builds similar products because they are the only show in town that gets this done for me.
But even then, the analog matrix is now becoming a questionable expense that I may just be ready to drop.. 2 DAW's and a few processing tricks are getting me really excited.

A patchbay that connects to your analog matrix which consists of high end tracking gear, which seconds as finishing level ( mastering gear) is all you need. And you don't need much! Basically a few excellent Comps, EQ are everything I need.
As you grow into this, I would expect you will find mixing into a master is where it all happens. and, round trip, patching gear like a plug-in, example, API 2500 on your drum bus and back again is pointless. Its a complete waste of money . In fact, the latency and smearing you get is unacceptable once you start hearing and cleaning up your chain like I am suggesting.
To my ears, Pro Tools and round trip sounds like smear. Its what everyone is doing. Its created an economy but imho, a losing battle. . When I get a mix, the first thing I notice is how bad the phasing is. smearing and swirl that people don't hear. Its ironic. Good for me though.

Anyway, yes, that patchbay will work. Looks perfectly suitable for what you are needing. The RME Madi interface has a superior mixer than the Orion. The Orion mixer is useless to me.

Hope that helps?

Tony Carpenter Wed, 08/20/2014 - 15:36

Phew, that's a lot of reading ;). Thanks mate. I am up on what you are talking about. The only reason I mentioned PT was for another session on top of what I use, Logic Pro X. It sounds like we are on the same thread of thought now. I just need to know how I can made the RME do the mixing for me without touching the Orions Mixer, which frankly I HATE with a vengeance. It's all theory until I finish the soundproofing, install it all and get at it.

Back when I was flying the VS1880 it was all done as I was recording, then out to DA20 via a DBX dual 31 EQ and a DBX Quantum. That was the extent of my pathing :). I have an RC500 a DBX 231S a DBX Quantum and Lexicon MX500 ver2, also a few other bits like a tascam VP and 3 TC Helicon voice units.

Here's how I *THINK* my path wants to be, Focusrites TRS - DB25 into Orion, Orion into RME MADI. RME MADI Back out to Orion, Orion DB25 to patchbay, outboard fx. Back in DB25, then out DB25 to summing. Or am I still missing the route. For now I am stuck with the one machine so doing out to a separate Mac or PC is not on my can haves. If I come back into a separate DAW program on the same Mac Pro would I get away with that, not ever tried it. I do have vienna ensemble pro by the way, if that helps the equation.

Many thanks and hoping I am not already straining your generous use of time on me.



audiokid Wed, 08/20/2014 - 16:57

no worries, its always a pleasure helping the sincere and passionate .(y)

Yes, you have it right. :)

Back to the capture,
This is very cheap compared to the alternative, which produces better results.
If or when you have a spare interface/converter ( USB, FW even!) and a cheap PC of any kind ( you don't need a powerhouse for mastering), download Reaper and mix into that for starters. But make sure you are well tuned into your new rig, not before. Mix round trip for a while until your ears start hearing the differences, which isn't much improvement once you really start listening. Yes, gear does change the stem but not in a way that I personally think can be had better ( without introducing accumulative aliasing and negative distortion and phase)
When you get this second DAW, mix into the second DAW and avoid the round trip completely.

The benefits are amazing. But these benefits aren't a sound as much as they are a definition that leads to size via less phase So, your quest becomes one that is searching and cleaning up, not adding. When you really start understanding and hearing this , you soon realize its not about oodles of gear and colour. Its big rails, headroom and the ability to capture it. You can't keep the size via round trip like you can a second DAW (IF) you are using analog gear.
If you are 100% ITB, you already have the size, but you still lack the ability to improve your 2-bus. The magic is in the 2-bus. Its having the ability to hear and control your 2-bus better. And, if you are using analog gear, you want to capture it without locking to the first DAW. Thus, why an external clock is a joke.

I'll stop after this but essentially, here is the drill.

You are tracking @ 96k ITB, right?
You DAAD back to the same DAW at the locked SR (sample rate) 96k. Does that make any sense though, think about this long and hard? I mean, your analog gear potential exceeds 96k by almost 500k or better! yet you limit your analog chain to only 96k and force it to remain constant and locked to the 96k itb mix lol.:whistle:
The smarter solution is to (DA) and mix a 96k (up sample via analog mojo) and save mojo which has now been transformed some what (oo la la) onto a capture DAW that is set at the destination SR, which ALSO isn't controlled (constant) and locked to the original DAW it came from. Does this make better sense now?

The benefits are something that grows as you develop your hearing for this. This is that 2% difference that makes all the difference. Less phase becomes size that upgrades your original crammed ITB sound to more.. You gain something just from allowing the analog to be "different" and not locked to the same source, This change adds a spacial size in a very musical way.

This is a long topic but simple to get there. Bos said it very well in a post some time back, which I believe I deleted it out of mistake.
If you take this route, you will never return to what most hybrid engineering are doing. You will learn things that I cannot explain but I will say this, its a lot less money than what most people are blowing.

anytime ;)


Tony Carpenter Wed, 08/20/2014 - 18:33

Good evening :). Another great reply.. I don't deserve it.. I feel like a noob at the moment on this. I actually have been living with 44k 24bit for a while now. Listening to a lot of people telling me 96k was a waste of time. And honestly, with my current setup I had, I wasn't hearing enough difference. Just realized BTW I can do what you're saying, newer laptop sadly doesn't have a firewire port at all.. however ! my PC which I use for games (used to be my Sonar X2 rig), has and is all installed. I do have a firewire MOTO Traveller MK3 around the place, was going to sell it, guess I can re purpose it and the PC and use the laptop for games etc LOL.

Now the final question, for now, I couldn't work out from Fabs videos (dangerous musics goto guy on youtube), The Dangerous Monitor ST, it only does 4 inputs no DA/AD summing on 8 at all right?. So, I would use the path you are talking about then the Dangerous Monitor ST. Trying to decide if the D BOX or Monitor ST are going to be on my current shopping list, I can stretch the extra $500 if it's THE way to go.

I can run a choice of Cubase 7.5?, PT10 (can get 11) or Sonar X2 Producer then on the PC BTW. Have licences for them all, sad I know... most familiar with Cakewalk, been using that since the early 90s.

Once again you are gracious, and I'll try to not stretch your time.



audiokid Wed, 08/20/2014 - 19:21

You are going to want to track at higher SR when you have a good hybrid system but, I also know ( not think) that really expensive ADDA sound better at lower SR than cheap ones at higher SR. So, A good converter sounds really sweet at 44.s and also saves your processing ( its a win win)
The ST is really cool. Ideal for hybrid systems like what I use. It connects 3 sets of speakers plus the subs to 3 difference DA inputs. (is there 4?) I can't remember?
Hopefully this makes sense.

Yes, you need additional DA's. Don't bother with the A.S.S., its such a cool idea but dated and I just don't get what they are doing there for my set-up. I got it and sold it within weeks. I'm beyond that step.

The reasons for this many DA I/O's on the ST is: you are using these to monitor your tracking, mixing and mastering on different hosts plus it has a very essential CD references and cue.
We all listen to CD's and our online mix's so that's where this comes in. Its an essential.

Some get all detailed over using matching pristine DA's but good is good enough to me.

An example of my ADDA's config for the Dangerous ST

  1. Orion 32/MADI for recording and mixing OTB. Your DAW and/or summing device sets the channel of both ADDA to ST in 1

  2. A 2 channel ADDA for the capture. I use Prism converters for my capturing which is also my USB ADDA for remote recording. Any (hopefully good) 2 channel will work. USB interface is no sweat for your capture. Even FW is great. The ADDA connects to the ST in 2.
  3. Aux in which I use for my online monitoring references connect to a Lavry Black DA11/ USB or, I can also use either of the other ADDA. Having a third ADDA makes moving audio around without changing SR PLUS, tracking off the web ( yes, I do it all the time for various reasons) a breeze.
    There are other features of the ST that are essentials as well but this is the ADDA part of it. Without the ST, I would be compromised. SPL make the 2381 which I've owned and really liked it as well. The ST is the Cadillac because its so transparent and complete. Nothing is better than this to my knowledge. For those reading this, a Console monitoring set-up is not even close to what this does. And remember, its all about hearing.

    Make more sense?

Tony Carpenter Thu, 08/21/2014 - 07:11

Thanks again!. Makes a bit more sense than trying to read it on my iPhone last night LOL. Honestly, until I have the gear all in one room and the wires in hand, I think I am going to have a lack of visual parity, if that makes sense?.

The main thing I NEED to know, is, should I be getting the DBOX AND the Monitor ST, or just the ST. If I am reading you correctly, (Post recording Orion into RME and back and patch bay) going 1 x DB25 - TRS into say the Mackie Traveller Mk3 with other DAW. Then 2 channel out into the Monitor ST. I apoligize if I seem to be slow, I am more a hands on guy when it comes to working/learning.

The reason I am confused as to what I need here, is, I see the back of the ST and see a DB25 in and a DB25 out, and an AUX, that is the sum of interface. Normally, in my current experience those DB25s are 8 channel each way. I am going to shut up now :-/.

audiokid Thu, 08/21/2014 - 08:40

The db25 on the ST are 4 L/R analog connectors each. In other words pins 1/2 = L/R, 3/4 = L/R, 5/6 = L/R, 7/8 = L/R (7/8 is you master sub).
Connector 1 is for the L/R analog outs to your 3 sets of monitors, sub,
Connector 2 is for your monitor ins coming from your DA's and computer aux
You need one 8 channel male db25 snake and one 8 channel female db25 snake.

The ST makes monitoring of all your ins and outs of your hybrid chain possible. This may seem like overkill to some but its the most critical piece of gear I've ever owned. If I was planning to downsize, 100% ITB, I would still use the ST for monitoring and comparing mixes.

If you plan to have a few sets of monitors and are planning to mix into a master (which is really the ultimate mixing process), the ST is for everyone. It will teach you what you need to be doing. It was designed by mastering guru Chris Muth.
Hybrid = serious monitoring and mastering level mixing. When used as a process to try and fix tracks in the mix, with modest ADDA's and round trip processing, I can do better 100% ITB. Its way over rated by the mass. If you how ever, use it like mastering engineers do, then its the bomb.

After reading my experience, ask yourself why you are still interested in hybrid. I really think most people are doing it because they aren't happy with their ITB sound and have read all the hype around how "hybrid" sound so much better. Then they start buying comps and EQ's of all flavours doing the round trip. Its my experience they should stop using plug-ins like raped apes running through the forest. The reason ITB sounds so crammed is because of your DAW, plugins and how you mix. If you don't hear well, you will suck no matter what you do. So, room acoustics and monitoring are where I put my goal, the rest follows.

I've probably really messed you up? But, I've done the complete circle here so this is my story. I've had manufacturers send me a lot of gear that I've been blessed to use for more than just a weekend. I've tested everything I could without bias and owing a favour to shill something. I don't have to like something because I bought it and was stuck with it.
I personally wouldn't bother with the DBOX but I haven't used it so I really can't comment on it.
SPL sent me a 2381 and I loved it, then Dangerous sent me the ST. I went straight to the ST and never looked back. Either of those are really cool. There are a few others but the ST is for me.
If you are thinking of the DBOX, also look at the Presonus Central Station.

Tony Carpenter Thu, 08/21/2014 - 09:32

I originally dived in here because I saw the comment about not shilling :). I appreciate the help, and honesty very much. And as I am trying to be honest still, I am almost totally lost at the moment. But again, I think part of it is the wiring still. I get that the (ST) DB25 is 4 pairs of stereo basically. I can see a custom snake in my future, and I can't make them still.. so time to pay the piper on that.

Watching an ST on Ebay at the moment that some poor bugger is having to sell... hoping to get it at a very discounted price over the new price. I have been slowly remembering why I didn't use a lot of ITB effects way back. And I have been chastised a few times in the past for overdoing COMP. I don't have a flotilla of gear, or plugins honestly. And I definitely have suffered with floating around the various DAW packages.

Fab does a great demo using the D-BOX to sum out and come back into a print track. That does in fact make it an analog trip for those stems, correct?. That was the only reason it was on my radar. I do have a JBL MSC1 and that may be lowish end, but I definitely heard a substantial difference in the room I was in with it. Not going to use it now, just pointing out I do know exactly your point of room and monitor prep. I am going to have 2 sets of main speakers, the Mackie HR824s I have had for a decade, and some KRK Rockit 10-3 for midfield. I do have some lo-fi speakers too.

Before I forget, with using the Orion 32, do you have it connected at USB at all now?. You had to tell the mixer what to do with the MADI routing initially etc right?.

Many thanks!


audiokid Thu, 08/21/2014 - 10:13

The wiring of hybrid, interfaces and all the connections was a complete maze to me. Its impossible to understand it all until you get what you need and start using it. You learn through un bias comparison via critical listening. Thus, why it is so important to hear all area's of your hybrid process but with your ear on the final capture.

As an example, people who monitor off a console are still guessing. You have to be able to hear your master transparently. This is why you need to hear the sum after it is captured. Having the ability to hear your tracking and mixing empowers you.

If you don't hear the sum on the DAW end before upload, you aren't really hearing it finished. Being able to hear cause and effect from tracking to capture removes the guessing. The ST has all the stages covered. So many of us get speakers and a monitor out and start recording. We buy into the hype that we need all this extra gear and plug-ins because we are believing others just as blind. Its quite the consumer racket. The goal is to educate yourself. Mixing gets easier and fun when you actually capture what you hear. We don't get there from all the plug-ins and extra gear people rave about, those are distraction. We get there because we can hear it and capture it.

I'm giving you a lot, I know. The stuff I share was the important parts for me. All the rest are toys and distrations that don't really help a song become better. I can mix ITB just as good as I can OTB. In fact, I'm pretty certain I can do it all better ITB as long as I have a good track to begin with and can capture it without too much unnatural change. The DAW has everything you need but a good monitoring system.

EM is easy to make HUGE because its all ITB. But, when we are tracking and mixing organic music, you need to be able to hear what happens as it goes in and out of the factory.

Before I forget, with using the [[url=http://[/URL]="http://www.antelope…"]Orion[/]="http://www.antelope…"]Orion[/] 32, do you have it connected at USB at all now?. You had to tell the mixer what to do with the MADI routing initially etc right?.

Yes, its still connected to USB but I'm told you can disconnect it but then you loose the ability to set Orion gains and updates. I may use the gain settings for overly hot tracks I get .Other than that, its a waste of a USB port once you are MADI.