Facts on A/D and D/A conversion

Discussion in 'Converters / Interfaces' started by amoretam, Jun 28, 2010.

  1. amoretam

    amoretam Active Member

    Jun 20, 2010
    I just need to make some things clear for me.
    I am about to upgrade my recording studio and need to know the following before choosing equipments to buy with a limited budget:

    Could I add an external D/A like the presonus central station to a 003 rack and use the A/D of the 003?

    Is the RME ADI-2 a good option to record 2 channels at the same time and have good conversion back to analog??

    This is it for now, sorry for the possible stupid questions, i just need to know what are the possibilities I have with the 003rack (4 preamps) in terms of disabling its converters and addding an external one.

    I am thinking on the studio central for D/A conversion, or the RME ADI-2 for both A/D and D/A.

    Any recomendations welcomed, thanks a lot...
  2. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Apr 19, 2006
    Home Page:
    If you use the ADAT or S/PDIF inputs and outputs of the Digidesign 00x series of interfaces, you can by-pass their so-so pre-amps and converters and still track up to 10 channels with PT.

    If you have your heart set on a Presonus Central Station as your monitoring D-A converter, I don't see why you couldn't feed it via an S/PDIF connection from the 003 rack, but I don't know of anyone using it that way.

    In the other direction, you have a fairly wide choice of 2- or 8-channel digitizing pre-amps to front-end the S/PDIF and ADAT inputs of the 003, and there have been several threads in these forums about these products. If you wanted to stick with Presonus and are not concerned with 88.1/96KHz sampling, the Digimax D8 has received a reasonable press. The Focusrite OctoPre Mk II is in a similar price bracket and will run to 96KHz.

    For a 2-channel S/PDIF unit, I really like the Audient Mico, and I make good use of the many features it has, maybe with the exception of the crunch distortion knob. The RME ADI-2 you mentioned is a similarly high-performance product, but with D-A conversion included, so would replace the need for the converters in the Central Station, allowing you to use instead something like an SM Pro Audio MPatch-2 for passive volume control and speaker switching at a much lower cost.
  3. amoretam

    amoretam Active Member

    Jun 20, 2010
    hey thanks a lot, the audient mico seems like a good option here, but there some things i don't
    quite understand here:

    Is the mico going to use its internal a/d converters and let the 003's d/a converters do the analog to digital conversion?

    Is there any way i could use the mico as a front end directly to the 003, bypassing its a/d converter? how's this achieved?

    Is it mandatory to use the converters of any equipment (like the presonus digimax d8 or digimax fs, or Focusrite OctoPre Mk II ) you connect via adat or spdf to the 003?

    Could I use the mico and the presonus D8 or Focusrite OctoPre Mk II at the same time, daisy chained or something??

    Could i use the mico as my a/d converter and the presonus central station as my d/a converter?

    Wait a minute, can i use the mico connected via spdif and the focusrite or digimax connected via adat to the 003 and use them at the same time??
    Which converters are then enabled??

    Why is this A/D and D/A stuff so confusing? I just want a great sound coming out of my speakers.!..
    And great sound coming in to the converters.!

    Thanks a lot, i hope you people have the patience to explain me with details and please, would you be so kind to answer the questions one by one?

  4. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Apr 19, 2006
    Home Page:
    Take care to get A-D and D-A the right way round when you are thinking about it all.

    You would use the A-D converters in the Mico and (I thought you wanted to) use the Central Staion D-A converters. Neither set of converters in the 003 would be used in this case.

    Yes, as above.

    In this context, yes.

    Yes, I believe the 003 supports input from its ADAT (8 channels) and its S/PDIF (2 channels) ports simultaneously, but you would have to take care with clocking the combination.

    Yes, as above.

    Yes, as above, but another 003 user should confirm that. All 18 channels of conversion are enabled (including the 8 in the 003), but you need use only those you like the sound of.

    It's not really - you are getting there!
  5. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Apr 4, 2006
    Blacksburg, VA
    I have an 002R and a Focusrite OctoPre with the A/D card lightpiped to channels 9-16. I also have a Bass Pod Pro XT fed through channels 17-18 through SPDIF. I don't want to discourage you from getting more info on this subject, but I don't think it's a good idea focus too much on converters at the home/project/weekend warrior studio level.

    I have a feeling that there is a lot of talk about the converters in the 002/003 that is generated by people with very strong signal chains for whom the converter ARE the weakest link. My take is that until I have 18 channels of top quality preamps and microphones the converters are the least of my worries. I have a couple of good quality preamps: API 3124 and Langevin DVC. If you switch them from the line ins on the 002 and the Focusrite you can use that as a comparison of the converters. Yes there is a difference, but it is nowhere near the difference between the 002 preamps and the good preamps. Its not even as large as the difference between the API and the DVC.

    Now, you need to buy something with A/D conversion to be able to use the full capacity of the 003. If you need more than 8 channels you should get the best conversion you can afford. But from what I have been able to hear, most people are better off living with the converters they have and upgrading the analog elements of their chain. YMMV.
  6. dbooo7

    dbooo7 Active Member

    Jan 20, 2011
    Hey bro, wasnt a member but figured Id help to this dated post...

    I run a Digi 002 [no clock connection :( ]
    RME ADI-2{connected via coax} for AD/DA... AD dedicated to mics and DA goes out to the
    Central Station[connected analog TRS from the ADI2] for monitor switching and control DA on the CS I have a CD player used for refs in the spdif and for additional AD I use>
    RME ADI-8 DS {connected via light pipe](Plan on getting a QS) This is routed to my patchbay for inputs.

    The only thing I ever used th AD on the 002 for is send/returns from my Lexicon.

    If you havent solved your dilemma by now any advice you need I'd be happy to help....

    PS... A good simple combo for you would be RME Octamic and a Central Station - Roughly $1,800 for both

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