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converters anyone?

Member for

21 years 3 months
I'm here to get advices, as usual ;-)
I'm shopping for A/D converters for teh studio MAC/MOTU rig.
I got a 2408mkII with a G4/400, and we run DP 3.0.
So far the sound I got out of this setup doesn't please me so much.
The more the tracks, the worst the sound.
The last 8 project recorded in our new studio has been all done on analog and after that transferred to DP. Even doing this improves a lot the sound of the tracks.
Bt unfortunately I'm facing the usual, tedius stuff like:
how much for a 2" reel?

So, I'm looking to get an 8 channel converter to see if I can improve a good bit the sound quality of both the direct-to-digital recording and the trasnfer from the 2".
So far I've found:

Lucid ADDA
Swissonic AD24

The best prices I've found are one mutiple the other:

Lucid $2000
RME $1000
Swissonic $500

This means that with teh price of a Lucid I could buy 4 swissonic.
Not bad, but I'm not in heaven, so I obviosuly now that the quality will suffer too.

Any usefull tips on the upmentioned converters?
Which is the most pristine sounding? Any flaws?





Member for

21 years 3 months

archived member Tue, 09/18/2001 - 06:44
I would take a closer look at the Lucid 8 channel ADDA.

I've worked with a number of our clients with similar setup and they've always been happy with the results of the Lucid converters. They tend to clarify everything from the mids to the highs.

Samara Krugman
Mercenary Audio
"this is not a problem"
[url=(dead link removed)[/url]

Member for

20 years 9 months

atlasproaudio Tue, 09/18/2001 - 11:46
Lucid is nice, RME is also very nice. Again, weigh your goals because although A/D/A conversion is very important, there are things that are more important in the signal path such as great mics and preamps first and foremost. If you have those taken care of then depending on whether this is a job or hobby for you (or a hobby that is moving into a job...all things are in transition), then you must decide cost versus quality. Both brands that I mentioned are good quality with high value, but if you wish for higher quality (I am speaking of the top 5-10% quality increase) then you are going to shell out the big bucks. But that might be worth it to you. The old cliche' "A recording chain is as good as it's weakest link", cannot be justified. Someone with only a mackie and a couple of ADATs as compared to someone with an API and a couple of ADATs, the later are going to get significantly different results. YOMV

Member for

21 years 3 months

Guest Wed, 09/19/2001 - 05:51
Originally posted by atlasproaudio:
The old cliche' "A recording chain is as good as it's weakest link", cannot be justified. Someone with only a mackie and a couple of ADATs as compared to someone with an API and a couple of ADATs, the later are going to get significantly different results. YOMV

That cliché can most certainly be justified. An API going into an adat will indeed sound better than a Mackie going into an adat...but the API going through a Lucid 8824 into the adat will sound significantly better than the same API going through a set of RME converters to the adat. The difference will be night and day from the stock adat converters.

The weakest link may not be the lowest common denominator in terms of affecting the tone, but it will certainly bear it's influence upon the tone. Then again some folks really dig a small soundfield, in which case, some of the inferior hardware will be a bonus. Reckon it depends on the application, not everything really wants to sound large and opulent.

Member for

21 years 3 months

archived member Wed, 09/19/2001 - 07:32
Originally posted by Fletcher:

but the API going through a Lucid 8824 into the adat will sound significantly better than the same API going through a set of RME converters to the adat. The difference will be night and day from the stock adat converters.

Hi Fletcher,
I've always found your advcie very usefull, so far that I bought an RNC from you and I use it everyday and a lot of stuff. Unfortunately beeing in Italy, force me to buy most of my stuff here or in Europe, so a lot of stuff you suggest I bought here (Royer for example), but that's another story.....

Anyway, I know that you dig the Lucid stuff a lot, if I'm not wrong you said that it was teh first time digital pleased you.
Have you tried side by side the Lucid and the RME?
Which difference there was??
I'm very curios to if you can help, it would be much appreciate.


Member for

20 years 9 months

alphajerk Wed, 09/19/2001 - 14:42
dont rule out the 1296 since you are running a motu system, it ties in REALLY nicely. it also KILLS the 2408 converters and shits all over the ADAT converters... they have a nice smooth sound to them and A/Bing between the I/O there is negligable difference if any at all.

i havent heard the lucid converters or the RME's but the 1296 is the only way you can record 96khz into DP that i know of with the motu card [if that might be a requirement] i use them at 48khz and i say if you cant get a great sound with the 1296... it AINT the converters.

Member for

21 years 3 months

archived member Wed, 09/19/2001 - 19:44
The new Apogee converters look pretty nice. 16 ins for one unit and 16 outs for the other. all 16 can be used at 96k, but you need 4 optical ins and outs respectively. But I have been checking out the Lucid and 1296 as well. I currently have the 2408mk2 clocked by a Apogee Rosseta.

Fletcher, I have read somewhere that you thought that the spider had real good converters. Care to give you're opinions about differences between them and the Lucids? Also what out there do the actual mic pres compare too? for $6k (8 pres/tape character/10 converters) might be a better deal than going with just a couple of converter boxes.


Member for

21 years 3 months

Guest Thu, 09/20/2001 - 03:59
A couple things, Amighetti, I don't come here to pimp gear, I come here as an engineer, I come here to share my engineering experiences. If you can get the stuff we talk about here in Europe, by all means you should be getting it in Europe!! There are warranty issues that you need to take into account, there are support issues you will need to factor in, not to mention language (your english is a hell of a lot better than my Italian...though I can call you some pretty nasty shit in that language :D ). Thanks for picking up the RNC from us, but seriously, don't make a habit of shopping for things overseas that you can get in Europe. It'll only lead to headaches in the long run.

With that off my chest...yeah, I have played with the RME v. Lucid stuff lately, so far I haven't been too impressed with the RME stuff. It seems to fit the bill of having an outboard converter, but it doesn't seem all that much better than most of the "inboard" converters I've heard. It seems to me to be a step sideways as opposed to a step forward.

As for the "Spider"...yowsa. I only got to try this thing one evening, on one session, and I was floored. It's no secret that Crane Song converters (and all the other shit they make) are some of my favorite equipment made. The Spider is no exception. When I was done playing with the Spider, all I could think was "whelp, there goes analog". I have never heard as much depth and detail from digital audio as I heard when using the Spider. The tracks were being summed internally in "DP", and monitored via the MOTU D/A, and still sounded like nothing I'd ever heard before.

So far, only two have shipped, a third is expected at our place any day now. In theory, the first 10 units will be shipped to the US only just in case there is a problem with any of them (being in the US where the factory is will lead to a quicker repair should one be required).

Hopefully, the next one we see will have an "adat optical" output for the 8 individual outputs. The first two that were shipped were shipped AES/EBU and SP/DIF outputs only on the 8 individuals, the 2-bus has an optical out, but it's not an 'adat optical' output. The "adat optical" outputs are pretty much done with the development stage. Subsequent to the "adat optical" outputs being finished, a "T/DIF output" option will become available, and hopefully within the year, a D/A unit will also become available.

It's a long process, but from the little I've heard of it, more than worth the wait!

Member for

21 years 3 months

Guest Thu, 09/20/2001 - 05:14
Heres a thing, I set a chum up with a 2408 / Rosetta combo.. he is rockin on it presently.

He just wants more OUTS..he is covered for in's via the Rosetta, (should he need to track drums, well he can hire an AD8000SE off me)

Adding that new 16 ch Apogee D/A is one way...

Any other JUST D/A units out there?

Strikes me project studios have MOSTLY 2 in, MANY out requirements...

How bout them apples?



Member for

21 years 3 months

archived member Thu, 09/20/2001 - 15:15
Yea, I heard the Flamingo is kick ass, though I couldn't quite afford one so I got the Great River MP-2NV from Mercenary instead, it definitely doesn't suck.
By the way as far as ADA's go the MOTU 1296 doesn't suck either. Perhaps the Lucids are better but my guess is that the difference isn't huge.

Member for

20 years 4 months

Todd Farone Sun, 09/23/2001 - 00:19
I recently picked up the Lucid ADA 8824 for Pro Tools mulching... I just got around to using it for the first time a couple days ago... Am I extremely happy or what? Totally! Tonight, I had a friend over... dude rolls up with his new HEDD 192 and a Fatso... I wish I had more friends like this... Anyway, I was pleased with how well the Lucid converters sounded compared to the HEDD... I really felt the 8824 held it's own! Would I be wrong to believe this machine is in a league with the HEDD? It's possible that I'm still in shock from the first tracks I did with the Lucid a couple days ago... I really like the 8824! While we did clock the Lucid with an Aardsync, we let the HEDD stand it's own... The HEDD is very sweet! So is the Lucid machine... I was afraid I was going to hear something in the HEDD that was going to make me puke, but that didn't happen...The Lucid 8824 is a force. The processing power in the HEDD, along with it's bitchin' converters is awesome! Basically, everybody over here is thrilled with their converters! I hope everybody else makes the right converter decision! Flush

Member for

20 years 3 months

sjoko Wed, 09/26/2001 - 10:10
and if you really want to shock yourself - swap the Aardsync for a Lucid GEN6 - listen to the difference that makes.

Stephen - as someone involved in testing converters, let me tell you some very interesting peculiarities about them, without going into technical detail.

First, it is entirely feasible to design and build a converter with an amazing spec reading - better than almost anything else on the market - and for it to sound like absolute scheit. Just look at what's on the market, a majority of them are like that, cheap and nasty (or expensive and still nasty).
A converter is not just a chip, it is a delicate integration of an analog and a digital section. Herein lies, IMHO, the key to the problems of most and the success of some. Most converters are designed by electronic engineers / companies accustomed to digital technology only, not accustomed to analog design, not accustomed to working IN AUDIO and LISTENING.

Second - and logic after the above - 2 the same chips in 2 different brand converters, one might be brilliant, the other scrap.

For example, Apogee and Lucid do use the same chips, but they sound very different, to the extend that one brand I'd use, the other I'd never use.

Member for

21 years 3 months

archived member Sun, 09/30/2001 - 16:20
I am trying to find info/opinions comparing the Lucid 8 channel version to the RME ADI8 -DS (Sjoko, have you compared these head to head?) I am leaning towards the RME as it is 96/88 capable and I dont believe the Lucid is. I am in St. Louis and unfortunately there is no place here to set up a listening comparison. Anyone know of a place that could do this near me, Chicago perhaps?
Thanks, Steve