So, so confused... (i/o and converters)

Discussion in 'Converters / Interfaces' started by ErikFlipside, Jun 15, 2005.

  1. ErikFlipside

    ErikFlipside Guest

    Here's my situation:

    I'm currently using an Aardvark (RIP) Q10 and Nuendo 2 and would like to upgrade to something with far better converters. In short, the Q10 converters are cloudy, indistinct, foggy, mush in the low end, uh...unclear..I can't think of anymore descriptors. It's frustrating. The Q10 has treated me well for almost two years now and the I/O is great, but the converters are clearly not very good. That's problem with most all-in-one interfaces - it's going to sacrifice something to meet a certain pricepoint. I have good mics, a decent room, a great computer, good monitors, a few years of experience, and soon to be great preamps.

    My needs:
    I need 16 inputs and probably only a pair of stereo outs. I'm not sure what advantage more outputs would give me because I can split the stereo out to my Presonus headphone amp and my monitor selector switch (flips between NS-10s and Mackie HR824s.) Most of our recording is done at 24/48, but I'd strongly prefer a max of 96k for "mastering" situations. Budget should stay under $1500.

    What I've been thinking about:
    Two LynxTWO C cards. I know that's only 12 analog inputs, but damn...that's still a lot of money for 12 ins. I could afford these if I whore myself out to 2000 fat chicks for a dollar a piece...or two -really- fat chicks for $1000 a piece.

    RME - Probably the way I'll end up going for high quality converters, but I'm VERY confused about how to set up an RME system. Any suggestions? It sounded like I'd need one HDSP 9652 card and two of the AEB8i expansion cards. That's 16 inputs and very good converters (i think,) but the AEB cards max at 48kHz and I have no idea what to do about outputs for monitoring. I've read over their products many times and still don't quite understand it. The Fireface 800 sounds cool (really wish this was available when I got the Q10,) but since it's an all-in-one I'm not sure what they skimped on and how expandable the unit is. Ayudame, por favor.

    Any other options I'm overlooking?

    With a LynxTWO system, can the XLR outputs of my mic preamps be plugged directly into the XLR inputs of the Lynx breakout cable? Is that the A/D? This is kind of a non-issure since there doesn't seem to be any way for me to afford enough of the Lynx cards. Still curious.

    Can I use the HDSP 9852 card at the same time as the Q10? This actually would be the best way to go at this point, if it's even possible. Nuendo 2 seems like it could handle it, but I don't know what hardware conflictions would arise.
  2. ErikFlipside

    ErikFlipside Guest

    I just realized the HDSP 9652 can have two input and two output expansion cards. That would give me the 16 inputs (unbalanced?) and however many outputs I'd want, but the current AEB8 cards only go up to 48k. Are there 8 channel 96k cards?
  3. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    Interesting. That's the first time I have ever heard anyone say that .... most people think the converters in the Q10 are the best thing about it.

    Perhaps the pres you are using are the source of your bad sound :?: Before you blame your converters, (IMO) you should deal with your pre amps ... great converters are worthless if you are feeding them a compromised signal in the first place (cart before horse, blah-blah-blah). :roll:
  4. Midlandmorgan

    Midlandmorgan Active Member

    Jul 21, 2002
    I'm agreeing with Kurt this time...most folks seem to think the converter is the low man on the totem pole in the signal chain anyway (unless you are in the Mytek/Lavry which case we could not be having this conversation...)

    I have a pair of Aark24s that sound GREAT! The Q10s are as I recall from my brief encounters with them even better than the older 24s....

    If you are dead set on gettting some upgraded ADDA, may I recommend that before blowing $15K on a whole set, invest in a higher end final DA/clock (Apogee, Benchmark, yadda yadda)... you may find your inbound sound was just fine all along, but the outbound stuff wasn't giving you a clear picture of just what was REALLY happening....
  5. ErikFlipside

    ErikFlipside Guest

    Thanks guys, I've been busting my brain over this for the past few days. I'll rent some APIs or 1272s and run them through the Q10 and see what happens. I suppose I'll have to run through 1/4" inputs on the Q10 with the gain set to '0'? That's what I've done in the past with external pres. I've had my suspicions that the preamps and converters weren't worth much. :sigh: Let the process of elimination begin...
  6. radioliver

    radioliver Guest

    You should send the signal from the external pre's in the 4 inserts on the back of your Q10, This completly bypasses the Q10's preamps! The downside is 4 channels max using this method. But much better than goin through the preamp set at 0.

    By the way, I use a Q10 and I'm looking into a Seb 4000e. Once you'll have tried external pre's, tell me if the converters of the Q10 really are that good.
  7. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    I am with Midlandmorgan on this as well ... a lot of well known producers and engineers like Nathaniel Kunkel have used Aardvark converters and clocks on projects for James Taylor and others. What are you recording to and what is the master clock? That is one question to consider. Your solution may be a simple as designating the Q10 as the master source for clocking.
  8. ErikFlipside

    ErikFlipside Guest

    We only have one Q10, so it's the master. All tracking is done through the Q10 straight to the computer. Once it's in the digial domain, it stays there. I'll try radioliver's suggestion of tracking channels 1-4 via the rear inserts. Anybody ever use a Tascam M-312?
  9. ErikFlipside

    ErikFlipside Guest

    Sonically speaking, are the converters on an 828mkII better or worse than the Q10's?
  10. DeeDrive

    DeeDrive Active Member

    May 30, 2005
    I just gotta say I loved the family guy reference. Anybody else get that?
  11. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

    Apr 7, 2001

    giddity giddity giddity...will you go to the bathroom already! :D
  12. ErikFlipside

    ErikFlipside Guest

    You guys were right. The Q10 converters are good but the preamps are $*^t, maybe worse. The rear inserts are the way to go until we can pick up a Fireface. Biggest downside is that there's only channels 1-4 have inserts...
  13. Xzavier

    Xzavier Guest


    How much does a used lynxtwo card go for and where can I get one? :roll:


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