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Is the AEA rpq 2 a good all around choice for hybrid workflow?

Profile picture for user kmetal

@audiokid @Boswell @everyone

Having spec'd most of the new system I'm down to the summing section. The rolls folcrum seems like a great no nonsense box, that allows for creativity with color or transparency, because it's completely passive and requires a pre amp / make up gain stage.

A gear seller brought this pre amp to my attaention and it seems to be pretty cool. Clean gain clean sound di for my guitar/eleven rack, and switchable line in/out for external processing or summing. The eq could be useful for subtle tuning and can be bypassed by a switch for capturing both processed an unprocessed signal.

Overall it seems like one of the best all around choices for di/pre and capture/summing makeup gain.

Just wondering about any thoughts in general.

One particular concern is that since the line ins (line mode) and outs bypass the pre amp stage, that leaves 'only' 19db on the output gain avaialable. Is this enough gain for use w the folcrum?

Tape op cited 'only' need about 32db of gain in their folcrum review.

Normally that wouldn't be an issue but with the pre amp gain unavailable it might be a concern...

The big thing I liked about this was being able to leave the Mics and capture plugged in permentaly to the back and just flipping a switch and turning the detented knobs, when switching duties. I'm looking to avoid patch bays and ideally not fussing with plugs at all.

This thing does a fair amount for the price but the gain issue, if it is an issue, may be a deal breaker, since its essentially making the line functionality useless to me.

Thoughts??

http://www.ribbonmics.com/preamps/rpq2

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/RPQ2

Comments

Profile picture for user kmetal

kmetal Wed, 11/09/2016 - 16:05

Boswell, post: 443182, member: 29034 wrote: I can see how some of the posts in this thread can be interpreted as saying that the converter gains are capable of being changed. In practice, I think the references were about adjusting the gain of the amplifer feeding the A-D converter. Also mentioned were summing boxes like the Folcrom that had no way of adjusting the individual levels of the signals being fed to it from the D-A converter outputs of a DAW.

Would alternative way to adjusting the gain on the converter itself be pulling the fader/gain down in the daw feeding the da converter and summing mixer?

Also isnt a passive summing box by nature very difficult to overdrive/distort. Wouldn't the DA be clipping long before you'd have to worry about levels into the summing box?

I'm trying to figure out exactly how imperative gain selection on a DA (AD) is in the decoupled capture scenario. Ie whether it's a deal breaker or not, or just something good to have. Ie essential or optional.

Also, does the adda actually have any amplification or is the gain selection just how much attenuation or not your doing??

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kmetal Wed, 11/09/2016 - 16:20

@audiokid

Looks like the mytek's current incarnation doe not have digital trim for the adda. According to them the trim 'doesn't effect audio quality', i guess only the ears could verify this.

I'm going to contact them to see if digital trim is something they're planning on the new update to the unit out next fall.

I'm still trying to figure all this out, but one thing I like very much about this unit is there's 2 dedicated monitor/speaker outs (L/r) in addition to then 8 line outs. This gives me 7.1 and stereo monitoring from the same converter unit feeding the monitor controller.

The hunt continues...

Here's the excerpt from their manual

audiokid Wed, 11/09/2016 - 16:25

kmetal, post: 443220, member: 37533 wrote: @audiokid

Looks like the mytek's current incarnation doe not have digital trim for the adda. According to them the trim 'doesn't effect audio quality', i guess only the ears could verify this.

I'm going to contact them to see if digital trim is something they're planning on the new update to the unit out next fall.

I'm still trying to figure all this out, but one thing I like very much about this unit is there's 2 dedicated monitor/speaker outs (L/r) in addition to then 8 line outs. This gives me 7.1 and stereo monitoring from the same converter unit feeding the monitor controller.

The hunt continues...

Here's the excerpt from their manual

If you are following the two DAW approach, I would pass on this converter. You want trims and you want simple. The monitor controller is best independent.

audiokid Wed, 11/09/2016 - 16:43

Kurt Foster, post: 443189, member: 7836 wrote: ok. i was thinking that they were adding gain on the output. i have to think this out a bit more.

No disrespect intended but if you don't have a hybrid workflow, you can't fully grasp or see logic in some of this. I'm not saying this to insult. Its just the way it is. I didn't get any of this until I actually starting mixing OTB. Its all so different from our old way of recording. There are more capture points and ways to adjust gains

@kmetal or others for that matter
Understanding hybrid starts with the monitor control section. This is not my words. I am repeating what others say too.

There is a reason hybrid monitor controllers are designed and people like me use them.
Lets use the Dangerous Monitor ST. Does the majority get what this monitor controller is all about? Not likely. I call it the truth teller.

Even when I had my first hybrid system, before I had the monitor controller... I didn't I understand the value of 3 DA inputs. To most people that controller is just another gizmo with too many buttons.
Why 3 DA inputs?

  1. Recording,
  2. mixing OTB,
  3. Capturing SR in real time.
  4. And 4 (use the talent in), for online monitoring. Each section of the monitor controller is connected to the capture side of a step in the workflow.
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    To your question Kurt... why would I want gain control (trims) on converters. Well, if you set up two DAW's, add an analog mixing or summing section in the middle, you will hear a difference when using converters output or input trims along with analog gear on the capture. Hearing is believing.

    Why would RME, Antelope , Lavry etc... add that into the design if it wasn't useful. Or better yet, how can anyone actually do hybrid mixing without those options. I would never invest in converters without adjustable trim.

    I came from the tape deck and console days`. The monitor section was on the console. Tape captured a smaller bandwidth which ended up on vinyl. The severely compromised recording was played through a sound system that had a volume control, EQ of some degree and a bass boost on it. Pretty simple in comparison to hybrid. If all I was doing was, recording to a DAW, how simple is that. But once you start summing OTB, AD> DA> AD> then uploading to the web.... if you can't hear and find ways to control those captured points better, stay ITB.

    My advise:
    Find a good DAW system you like, invest in excellent converters, invest in the best analog front end, get acoustic treatment and mix ITB. Digital audio is way better and cheaper than the hybrid analog mixing thing.
    But if you do take that extra step. Its a good idea to put your attention on a monitoring system that connects each point of capture.

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kmetal Wed, 11/09/2016 - 17:09

audiokid, post: 443221, member: 1 wrote: If you are following the two DAW approach, I would pass on this converter. You want trims and you want simple. The monitor controller is best independent.

The dangerous monitor st is the only one that does 7.1 + at a price I can afford, so as far as the controller goes that's the one.

It's the conversion and summing box that's still up in the air. I need to make sure as I add these things it works with no (unexpected) compromise. That's why I'm doing all this blathering on paper...

So the non digitally adjustable trim is a deal breaker in your eyes as far as hybrid workflow goes?

For conversation we can assume I will be using the dangerous st.

audiokid, post: 443222, member: 1 wrote: Even when I had my first hybrid system, before I had the monitor controller... I didn't I understand the value of 3 DA inputs.

So you've got three sets of comverters running simultaneously?

@Boswell would a preamp with digital gain control like the one from millennia for instance be comparable to something with switched gain for then make up gain section of a passive summing box.? As far as accuracy and recallability.

Also out of curiosity what do you use regularly as far as summing boxes go?

audiokid Wed, 11/09/2016 - 17:28

kmetal, post: 443223, member: 37533 wrote: So the non digitally adjustable trim is a deal breaker in your eyes as far as hybrid workflow goes?

When it comes to advanced hybrid (which in my opinion is really the only way to do it) yes.

kmetal, post: 443223, member: 37533 wrote: For conversation we can assume I will be using the dangerous st.

(y)

The MTC 2381 by SPL is another option for 1/3 the price of a ST. There may be others. ST is the one I choose.

kmetal, post: 443223, member: 37533 wrote: So you've got three sets of converters running simultaneously?

2 converters are perfect. 3 allows you to independently study a mix online in a more clinical workflow. 2 is fine.

  1. Monitor analog input 1 > multi-channel ADDA converter
  2. Monitor analog input 2. > 2 bus summing analog output. (summing amp, console)
  3. Monitor analog input 3 = 2 bus ADDA mastering converter> DAW2
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kmetal Wed, 11/09/2016 - 17:59

audiokid, post: 443224, member: 1 wrote: The MTC 2381 by SPL is another option for 1/3 the price of a ST

It's my second choice. I'm not having any sort of desk in front of me, I'm going for a completely unobstructed sight/sound line between the speakers and I. So I'll be shoving a little table on wheels out of the way that holds the qwerty keyboard, and master volume control.

So the remote for the dangerous allows me to do so without mashing around all my speaker cables all the time.

Also the mtc is not expandable so requires me to buy a separate unit for surround. Also no subwoofer out(s) on that if I remember correctly.

That's why I'm aiming at the dangerous. It ends up 2-3k cheaper than the grace and the cranesong, which are the two other mastering level units.

audiokid, post: 443225, member: 1 wrote: Folcrom doesn't have the ability to monitor an analog out. This is a problem for me which I will remedy. Not sure yet. I like to be able to monitor the analog sum before it goes to the second DAW.

This is the exact reason I just signed back in, I was wondering how you monitor the sum. I was gonna ask if you had parallel outs on something in the sun chain, or had a special splitter made...

audiokid, post: 443226, member: 1 wrote: PS,

I'm most likely going to get either another MixDream or Dangerous Master. The Folcrom may not be something I want on my entire mix. Its an effect that I may end up loving in its simplest form or I may only use it for a part of a mix. Not sure.

Those are my other two selections as well. I like the idea of using pre amps for something besides tracking... but not being able to monitor at the sum box seems almost like a deal breaker. There's got to be some audible diff between the sum box out and the daw 2 out.

How does the mixdream and dangerous accomplish this? (lol I could just look I guess.. but I'm curious about your integration)

Also on "monitor analog in 1-multichannel ADDA" what are your monitoring, the daw bus? Or various things assigned/unassigned to those 2ch on a case by case basis?

If I've got to make compromises that's life, just don't want surprises.

audiokid Wed, 11/09/2016 - 18:00


This is ideal, had one and loved it most. Its all I want but out of my price range now. This keeps your imaging dead tight while giving option to insert gear before in M/S and after.
See mon out. That is again, what you connect the ST input to. Allows perfect monitoring of gear in the analog section.

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kmetal Wed, 11/09/2016 - 18:08

Mix dream is speaking my language with these two statements.

"

  • Channel adjustments and automation (level, panorama etc.) remain controlled from the DAW so the user loses no digital efficiency
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  • Surround capable (from up to 3 MixDream units)"

    Although I'm not sure about the built in limiter. It's something I wasn't too keen on in the RMR adi either...

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