How to use external converter with system?

Discussion in 'Converters / Interfaces' started by WDavidW, Apr 24, 2004.

  1. WDavidW

    WDavidW Guest

    Hey guys,

    I'm in the process of updating all my gear piece by piece (like most of us :D ) and I have a few questions. Right now I'm running windows 2000, Athlon 1800XP, with 2 internal hard drives and I use Cubase SX along with an MAudio Delta 44 sound card. Well, I'd like to update my converters and get something like the Apogee Rosetta 200. Has anyone seen one yet? So far, most of my recordings are done with only one musician at a time (that'd be me) so I don't need too many channels right now. Right now I go through the Maudio and onto the hard drive and playback all of my tracks (which is usually under 20) through the 2 stereo tracks on the MAudio and I use the computers soundblaster card for midi in outs.
    My questions are:

    What do I need if I want to get an Apogee 200 and run firewire? (Besides a lot of cash)

    Will I need another soundcard in my computer such as an RME to use the Apogee or do I do all the converting both ways through the Apogee?

    I know that the quality will be great when I record but will I lose it once I start mixing and burn to CD?

    How many tracks will I be able to playback through a 1 or 2 channel apogee?

    Does the Apogee determine this or would a card like the RME be the thing that controls all playback and burning?

    How does this whole process work?
  2. mjones4th

    mjones4th Active Member

    Aug 15, 2003
    You could get the optional X-Firewire card built in to the Rosetta 200, and connect directly to the computer using firewire. You would need either WinXP or Mac OS X, and an available firewire port. This way, the Rosetta would act as your audio interface, and you wouldn't need another. Of course, this would only give you two channels in and two out. Using your software mixer inside your DAW app of choice, you could mix inside the box and send your entire mix through the Apogee to your speakers. This is fine if you record one (stereo) or two (mono) tracks at a time.

    Another option is to get a card with a digital I/O (either AES/EBU or S/PDIF) and connect the Rosetta to that. this has the advantage of giving you full use of all the channels of the sound card itself, plus one stereo "gold channel" of A/D/A of the Rosetta. This is great if you multitrack, and (for instance) need better quality on your vocal tracks.
  3. WDavidW

    WDavidW Guest

    Thanks. It makes more sense now. So it sounds like the second option would be better- to use the Rosetta to record with and a good sound card to mix with and then run back out to the Rosetta. Would I lose any sound quality by doing that if the quality on the card is not as good as the quality of the Rosetta? Also, if I record with the Rosetta, then mix inside the computer using the sound card and then run it back out through the Rosetta for my stereo mix..then how do I loop it back into the computer so that I can save it to file and burn to CD? And again, would sound quality be lost because of the mixing within the sound card and not the Rosetta?
  4. mjones4th

    mjones4th Active Member

    Aug 15, 2003
    The mixing actually doesn't happen on the soundcard itself, it happens within your DAW software. The soundcard is only used for passing audio from the software to the outside world (in your case that would be to the rosetta, then on to the speakers to your ears, to your neighbor's bedroom.....) and vise versa. The only ways your soundcard will affect the quality of your music is when recording through it, or monitoring through it. But that's a big only, of course.

    If you stay in the digital domain from the Rosetta to the soundcard into the DAW software, then the only way you lose signal quality is if your soundcard has a sub-par clock. However, a unit like the Rosetta will have an excellent clock, and if you lock your soundcard to the Rosetta's clock, you'll be able to mitigate that problem. But you would probably want a soundcard with reputable digital circuitry (clock, converters, etc.) like RME's stuff.

    If you record into your computer and mix inside the box, and run the mix out to the rosetta for monitoring purposes, then you won't have a need to run that signal back into the computer to record. You would simply do a digital bounce from within your DAW software. This will capture the same signal that you're sending out to the Rosetta, but before it ever gets there.

    Another option for you is to skip the external converters route all together. I hear that Lynx has soundcards whose converters rival top of the line Benchmark and Apogee converters. And from what I understand, RME is not that far behind. And the LynxTwo card is much more economical, at $1000. Or... if you only need two ins and outs you can get the L22 for $600
  5. WDavidW

    WDavidW Guest

    Well, you've given me a lot to chew on and some excellent info! Thanks! I'll read up on that Lynx card.
  6. mikecornett

    mikecornett Guest

    I'm in a similar boat. Although I need to track with 16 live channels. I'm quite interested in the RME Fireface 800, and would be getting 2 of these daisy chained. I'd like to use an Apogee AD-16x or 2 Rosetta 800s for the converters. How would I go about doing this without losing any quality or being limited to something like 48k that ADAT seems to usually bring.
  7. bubblegum

    bubblegum Guest

    On the subject of the Rosetta 200...

    Does anyone know if the S/Pdif input be used at the same time as the analog inputs, allowing you to record 4 channels simultaneously?
  8. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Mar 8, 2004
    Tacoma, WA

    I think you're planning on spending way too much money...

    The AD 16x would allow you to take 16 channels directly into the pc via firewire (as would the rosetta 800s). You would therefore not need the RMEs. Or, if you look at it the other way, the converters in the RMEs are VERY good. Not quite as good as the Apogees, but the difference, in most cases is negligable. However, you only need to get half the gear you're asking about. Spend the other couple thousand dollars on good preamps...


    mJones4th has some great points. The Lynx card would be a great option. Their converters are better than many outboard converters and it would save you tons of money. Not to mention, they're pretty scalable, so if you decide to grow the studio a bit, they'll grow with you.


  9. mikecornett

    mikecornett Guest

    Yes, I figured that one out, thanks ;) AD16X w/ the firewire card is all that is needed for standard input. I appreciate it.

Share This Page