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Add external converters to HD24

Hello there,

I've just got an HD24 (stock version, non-XR) and thinking about adding some external converters for at least 8 tracks.

My current setup is the following one :

  • Synths / Samplers / drum machines go into a patch bay, then into an A&H Zed14 mixer
  • From the Zed14, inserts / aux are going into the HD24 analog inputs
  • The HD24 is then linked via ADAT to a RME Digiface USB (this way i can monitor all via the A&H)
  • Monitors are a pair of Genelec (small 8020D)

For the moment, i am not yet into the mic pre-amp / 500 format rabbit hole. ;)

From my first tests with this setup (using the HD24 to record), I can already feel the difference in terms of sound definition when i playback the recorded tracks.

So, I'm searching for ways to improve this, which can be :

  • Adding an 8 external converters unit (hooked to the HD24 with ADAT) :
    • RME FF800 (used only for its 8 converters)
    • RME Audio ADI-8 DS 
  • Adding some "quality pres" to the tracking chain before the HD24

Since i'm just a passionated Home-studist, recording my analog synths & samplers, budget is a concern, so I tend to search for used second hand units.

So few questions here :

  • Which move would be the smarter one ? Adding correct converters or stay with HD24 stock ones and add some quality pres ?
  • Does the RME FF800 & ADI-8 converters still considered ok in 2022 ?
  • Any proposition for a good 8 voices converter box under 1000€ ?

Comments are welcome ! Thanks! 

Comments

audiokid Sun, 11/27/2022 - 06:18

Your chain mentioned are imho average converters which are good enough. To step up to better AD you need to spend a lot more money. 

If you feel you have enough converters for your session requirements I'd look for a really good preamp. Good preamps would be my move. 

Boswell Mon, 11/28/2022 - 03:18

My suggestion for making a substantial improvement to your recording quality is to use an Audient ASP880. This unit has 8 channels of high-quality pre-amps and converters, and punches well above its weight. It can be got for under your €1000 figure.

The pre-amps and ADCs in the ASP880 can be used together or separately on a channel-by-channel basis, as it has both analogue outputs and ADAT lightpipe outputs. A single lightpipe would feed your HD24 recorder with 8 channels at rates up to 48KHz, or up to 96KHz using two lightpipes and switching both units to higher-rate sampling mode. The analogue outputs and ADC direct inputs are available via the balanced inserts.

I have had an RME FireFace800 / HD24XR combination for over 10 years, and they continue to give me great service, especially the FF800 as an electronic patchbay. I thought the FF800 pre-amps and converters were above average quality, but was amazed by the improvement when I got an ASP880 a few years ago and put my "money" channels through it.

Davedog Wed, 11/30/2022 - 12:15

I have never found the HDR24 converters to be 'lacking' in terms of fidelity. When I had an HDR24 and I was moving into Pro Tools I used the Alesis as my converters until I moved into an HD PT system. As has been mentioned the addition of quality preamps will improve noticeably anything you wish to capture on your HDR24. I'm unsure, but I don't think you ever bypass the converters in the HDR24????  Boz?  If thats the case then it seems counterintuitive to put another set of conversion after the Alesis.   

sequentialmood Thu, 12/01/2022 - 07:37

Thanks for you comments ! 

I've made some tests with my inline level machines directly in the HD24 inputs, the recorded tracks seems to sound a bit more accurate and nice.

Bypassing the gain level stage of the mixer (which were badly set i guess) seemed to resolve my issue.

No other converters needed (for the moment)! ;)

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