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I have been researching these two terms, and am slightly confused! I understand that S/PDIF is more or less a consumer grade version of AES/EBU. They are both a means to transfer digital audio between two devices, correct? Assuming I've got that part right, I'm having trouble finding out what type of modifications I would need to make to a PC to use either one of these connections. I assume I would need to add a component to accept the cable coming into the PC from the preamp. What I'm looking at here, is how to get directly into the PC from an M-Audio Tampa unit, which I think has both S/PDIF and AES/EBU outputs. I'm going to go dig some more now. Thanks for any advice anyone can offer!


drumist69 Mon, 08/15/2005 - 12:00

would this work?

It looks like that card would provide what I need, but the question is what would it do to sound quality? I know the Tampa isn't pro quality all the way, but would this card do a good job getting the signal into the PC from a Tampa? Seems kind of off to run through a $400 preamp into a $100 card. Does anyone have any reason to think this would be a good idea or bad idea? Peace!

TeddyG Mon, 08/15/2005 - 14:10

Any sound card with SP/DIF should do, far as it goes. Some mother boards on-board sound gadgets even include SP/DIF. My choice is the Lynx and it's AES/EBU, but I also chose a pre with AES/EBU, just incase there was the slightest quality difference(I'm not tech enough to actually know.)... The Lynx would be fairly pricey, but it does have SP/DIF too, as well as very fine analog converters - which with your pre's analog out may work better than it's SP/DIF? And if you decide to upgrade your pre, you wouldn't have to upgrade the Lynx no matter what you went with. It's converters will handle it all. First class!

I tried to edge my way into things, too, but it does, sooner or later, get to the point where we have to bite the bullet... Best thing about having the best is just having less to worry about... More time to concentrate on the project at hand than the technicalities of whether something is "good enough" or not......


drumist69 Mon, 08/15/2005 - 15:58

edging in!

I too have tried to edge into home recording. The setup I have works for now, but I will need more options soon. I have an M-Audio DMP3 preamp. Its 2 channels. The Tampa is a single channel with compression built in. I like that M-Audio card because it would take my DMP3 as two "regular" inputs, then take the Tampa as an S/PDIF input. I'm looking at using the Tampa as a vocal pre, and guitar and bass DI. I would record drums using the DMP3 to preamp two Kel HM-1 mics, and the Tampa to preamp a nice Groove Tube LDC (not sure which model...its older, and it kicks ass). Obviously, I prefer more of a "room" sound on drums! Thanks for the input on the soundcard!

dpd Fri, 08/19/2005 - 19:47

AES/EBU uses balanced differential signaling and is great for long runs and/or noise immunity. SPDIF is single-ened signaling over a coaxial cable and is, as you said, more consumer-oriented.

BTW, you can get converters - I think M-Audio C03 is still available. I don't think you'll find AES/EBU on any PC motherboard. Lots of good AES/EBU cards on the market (Lynx, Digigram, etc)



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