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Gazzamundo



Joined: 15/04/08
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Loc: West Kirby, Wirral, England
Audio card or interface with s/pdif
      #1028282 - 12/01/13 04:30 PM
Hi, my current set-up is a mid-range preamp - the Audient Mico - and a lowish range audio interface - the Alesis io26 Firewire. I was thinking about upgrading my signal path by replacing the Alesis, so I just need a good quality audio card or stand-alone interface that has an s/pdif input to take the signal from the Mico preamp.

Any suggestions?

Thanks
Gary

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ef37a



Joined: 29/05/06
Posts: 6397
Loc: northampton uk
Re: Audio card or interface with s/pdif new [Re: Gazzamundo]
      #1028288 - 12/01/13 04:53 PM
Quote Gazzamundo:

Hi, my current set-up is a mid-range preamp - the Audient Mico - and a lowish range audio interface - the Alesis io26 Firewire. I was thinking about upgrading my signal path by replacing the Alesis, so I just need a good quality audio card or stand-alone interface that has an s/pdif input to take the signal from the Mico preamp.

Any suggestions?

Thanks
Gary



Native Instruments Komplete Audio 6. My work here is done.

Dave.


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Gazzamundo



Joined: 15/04/08
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Loc: West Kirby, Wirral, England
Re: Audio card or interface with s/pdif new [Re: ef37a]
      #1028292 - 12/01/13 05:25 PM
Ooh! That looks nice!

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James PerrettModerator



Joined: 10/09/01
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Re: Audio card or interface with s/pdif new [Re: Gazzamundo]
      #1028325 - 12/01/13 08:45 PM
Any reason why you can't just use the spdif input on the Alesis?

I'd stick with the Alesis, ignore the analogue I/O and just use the digital I/O. If you need more inputs add an Audient ASP008 if you can afford it, or a Behringer ADA8000 if money is tight.

James.

--------------------
JRP Music - Audio Mastering and Restoration.
http://www.jrpmusic.net


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Gazzamundo



Joined: 15/04/08
Posts: 19
Loc: West Kirby, Wirral, England
Re: Audio card or interface with s/pdif new [Re: James Perrett]
      #1028354 - 13/01/13 08:31 AM
Hi James, I AM using the s/pdif on the Alesis at the moment, I guess I'm just not sure what happens when the digital output from the Audient goes through the Alesis. Is there any processing happening at this stage within the Alesis, or is the output from the Audient simply passed along into my DAW?

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il Padrino



Joined: 29/03/05
Posts: 130
Re: Audio card or interface with s/pdif new [Re: Gazzamundo]
      #1028389 - 13/01/13 02:18 PM
I purchased the Mico for the same reason, and alongside it I went for the Roland Octacapture.

However, you've not mentioned your budget?


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ef37a



Joined: 29/05/06
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Re: Audio card or interface with s/pdif new [Re: James Perrett]
      #1028391 - 13/01/13 02:36 PM
Quote James Perrett:

Any reason why you can't just use the spdif input on the Alesis?

I'd stick with the Alesis, ignore the analogue I/O and just use the digital I/O. If you need more inputs add an Audient ASP008 if you can afford it, or a Behringer ADA8000 if money is tight.

James.


Hi James. I had assume Gaz wanted to be shot of the Alesis because,
A) He wanted better and
B) he wanted rid of Firewire? I have read a little bit about driver issues with Alesis interfaces.
Gaz: I too have always understood that S/PDIF is S/PDIF no matter whether it is bolted onto an RME or a bog s Creative SB? Very low latency solution, M-A 2496. 60quid. But the Ka6 has about a 5dB better noise floor. Academic tho' I know!

Dave.

Edited by ef37a (13/01/13 02:38 PM)


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Gazzamundo



Joined: 15/04/08
Posts: 19
Loc: West Kirby, Wirral, England
Re: Audio card or interface with s/pdif new [Re: il Padrino]
      #1028400 - 13/01/13 04:23 PM
My budget? Well, no more than a few hundred quid. I've considered desktop boxes like the TC Electronic Impact Twin, M-Audio Profire 610, always fancied the look of the MOTU Ultralite, though I guess if I'm using the Mico as a front end, all I need is a means of getting the s/pdif signal into my PC.

By the way, the Alesis works fine, I think it's only coz it didn't cost that much per channel that I'm thinking of upgrading. Also, a smaller box would free up some space on my desktop.

Thanks for all the responses so far, by the way.

--------------------
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www.garystewartsmith.com


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ef37a



Joined: 29/05/06
Posts: 6397
Loc: northampton uk
Re: Audio card or interface with s/pdif new [Re: Gazzamundo]
      #1028408 - 13/01/13 05:20 PM
" Also, a smaller box would free up some space on my desktop."

Well, a 2496 would appear to clear up ALL the space on your desk! "Appear" is the operative word since you would still need some form of monitor control.... Like the knob atop the Ka6!

But as James says, if you are otherwise happy with the Alesis why change? You could put the dosh toward a better mic? Even a bit more room treatment (yeah, I know. B.O.R.I.N.G.)

Dave.


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James PerrettModerator



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Re: Audio card or interface with s/pdif new [Re: Gazzamundo]
      #1028409 - 13/01/13 05:23 PM
Keep the Alesis if it is working because it gives you plenty of expansion potential and should'nt degrade the sound on the digital inputs.

--------------------
JRP Music - Audio Mastering and Restoration.
http://www.jrpmusic.net


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Gazzamundo



Joined: 15/04/08
Posts: 19
Loc: West Kirby, Wirral, England
Re: Audio card or interface with s/pdif new [Re: James Perrett]
      #1028414 - 13/01/13 05:46 PM
Do you know, with these type of audio interfaces, if the data from the s/pdif input is just passed on to the DAW without any processing/computation/number crunching?

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James PerrettModerator



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Re: Audio card or interface with s/pdif new [Re: Gazzamundo]
      #1028437 - 13/01/13 09:01 PM
There are certain multimedia and built-in interfaces where the audio goes through some 'sound enhancement' but anything for the home/pro recording market should be accurate bit for bit. I believe that the Alesis is based on the Wavefront DICE or DICE II chipset which is found in a variety of professional interfaces and has never been reported to have problems in this respect. It should be fine to partner it with the highest quality convertors.

James.

--------------------
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http://www.jrpmusic.net


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Skerrick



Joined: 10/01/13
Posts: 262
Loc: Sydney NSW
Re: Audio card or interface with s/pdif new [Re: Gazzamundo]
      #1028463 - 14/01/13 02:46 AM
FOCUSRITE 2i4! nuff said.

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Goddard



Joined: 04/04/12
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Re: Audio card or interface with s/pdif new [Re: Gazzamundo]
      #1028465 - 14/01/13 03:21 AM
Perhaps a better way to "upgrade" the signal chain would be to shorten it, by going with a motherboard with onboard S/PDIF input and output. Not many motherboards available with S/PDIF input (in addition to the more common S/PDIF output), but they are out there if you look (look at provided onboard "header" connections, not just back panel jacks). Should be able to get quite low latency and cpu loading using WaveRT drivers, and should not need to go through the onboard audio mixer. Current onboard audio chips and drivers can typically handle S/PDIF I/O at 24-bit/192kHz, with a direct dedicated connection to the system chipset.

Next best might be a PCIe/PCI interface card with S/PDIF I/O (PCI card only if motherboard has "native" PCI support).

Either of these would bypass/eliminate the Firewire/USB legs (and buffers and protocol conversions, etc.) in the signal chain, giving a shorter and more direct signal path.


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Skerrick



Joined: 10/01/13
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Re: Audio card or interface with s/pdif new [Re: Goddard]
      #1028466 - 14/01/13 03:41 AM
as far as i know youre better off with an outboard soundcard.. i had an onboard one and ended up selling it, you get sound coming off the cpu communication coming through in the mix. like a crackling sound.. i had the 512mb creative soundblaster recon... but i dont know if there are decent onboard cards or not tbh.. i use the focusrite 2i4 and its pretty incredible. but im no authority on the matter by any means...

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ef37a



Joined: 29/05/06
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Re: Audio card or interface with s/pdif new [Re: Skerrick]
      #1028472 - 14/01/13 06:35 AM
Quote Skerrick:

as far as i know youre better off with an outboard soundcard.. i had an onboard one and ended up selling it, you get sound coming off the cpu communication coming through in the mix. like a crackling sound.. i had the 512mb creative soundblaster recon... but i dont know if there are decent onboard cards or not tbh.. i use the focusrite 2i4 and its pretty incredible. but im no authority on the matter by any means...




Bit of a myth this IMHO. The oft repeated tale that the inside of a PC is a coruscating inferno of RF and so any audio board in there MUST be noisier than an outboard one. My 2496's both return a noise floor of around -97dBFS in two very different MOBOs. I do not think results from a Creative S(of a) B can be regarded as typical? But even if the idea of mixing digital and audio in close proximity was a bad one there are many compact and bijoux AIs to prove it CAN be done AND incorporate quite high gain mic amps to boot!

Never tried the Focusrite but I am happy with my Ka6 and I got two extra ins and outs for me money!
Dave.


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Pete Kaine
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Re: Audio card or interface with s/pdif new [Re: Gazzamundo]
      #1028498 - 14/01/13 10:15 AM
Is this just for playback to a HiFi or does it need ASIO drivers as well?

Regarding onboard... proper onboard (i.e. the chip is wielded to the motherboard) can be crummy. I used to have a well respected fairly highend board in my gaming rig that was so murky it was annoying. S/PDIF from an onboard should come off better as it's being relayed bit for bit but I've never had the urge to try it in a proper listening enviroment. So that said if you can attempt what Goddard suggests, give it a go before spending out any large chunks of money.

On board cards are fine (i.e. ones that get put into a slot) without the noise issues of the onboard which for me rules out RF (as Dave says) and puts the internal noise more down to the signal flow and design of the motherboard in regards to where noise comes into the path.

If this is just for playback and you don't need decent ASIO then take a look at the ASUS Xonar range. The flagship STX (around the same cost as the KA6) lives in my gaming box now and sounds amazing (possibly even better than the RME in the recording box next to it) and from what I remember the are cheaper editions with the digital support you need.

--------------------
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James PerrettModerator



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Re: Audio card or interface with s/pdif new [Re: Pete Kaine]
      #1028499 - 14/01/13 10:26 AM
Quote Pete Kaine:

The flagship STX (around the same cost as the KA6) lives in my gaming box now and sounds amazing (possibly even better than the RME in the recording box next to it) and from what I remember the are cheaper editions with the digital support you need.




If it sounds better through SPDIF than the RME then you've got a problem somewhere Pete. I'm not sure that I would trust the SPDIF output on a gaming card to be bit accurate as that's the sort of market that is looking for 'enhancements' in the audio.

James.

--------------------
JRP Music - Audio Mastering and Restoration.
http://www.jrpmusic.net


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Pete Kaine
Scan Computers


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Re: Audio card or interface with s/pdif new [Re: James Perrett]
      #1028510 - 14/01/13 11:51 AM
Quote James Perrett:


If it sounds better through SPDIF than the RME then you've got a problem somewhere Pete. I'm not sure that I would trust the SPDIF output on a gaming card to be bit accurate as that's the sort of market that is looking for 'enhancements' in the audio.





No, sorry, I should have been clearer, I was talking about the analogue path as I'm not using SPDIF and the STX isn't exactly a gaming card!

The Xonar range are designed more for media playback funtionality over everything else. If the OP just wants playback without the grubbins via SPDIF then that would be where I would look for that purpose... As soon as someone mentions ASIO I'll retract my statement

In fact just found this interesting thread discussing the STX and the joys of switchable opamps and comparing it to few others units.


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James PerrettModerator



Joined: 10/09/01
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Re: Audio card or interface with s/pdif new [Re: Pete Kaine]
      #1028531 - 14/01/13 01:09 PM
The OP was wanting to preserve the signal quality from an Audient Mico preamp so ASIO is probably involved somewhere.

The article discussing the changeable opamps is also totally missing the point - if the output circuit is properly designed, a competent opamp will have little bearing on the sound as it goes nowhere near the output. It is the output circuit that has the difficult job to do. If changing the opamp is changing the sound then those cards are poorly designed.

I'll bet most of the difference is a placebo effect though...

James.

--------------------
JRP Music - Audio Mastering and Restoration.
http://www.jrpmusic.net

Edited by James Perrett (14/01/13 01:15 PM)


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Magic Matt



Joined: 17/09/10
Posts: 141
Re: Audio card or interface with s/pdif new [Re: ef37a]
      #1028544 - 14/01/13 02:15 PM
Quote ef37a:


Gaz: I too have always understood that S/PDIF is S/PDIF no matter whether it is bolted onto an RME or a bog s Creative SB? Very low latency solution, M-A 2496. 60quid. But the Ka6 has about a 5dB better noise floor. Academic tho' I know!





Just to address this point directly - no, sadly that is not the case.

If you have an interface that can lock onto an external clock, then it's going to be a perfectly acceptable duplicate. Similarly, if your device can output a clock for the other device to use as a clock input, you can achieve the same.

Sound Blaster cards always used to be locked at 48kHz, and could not sync to an external clock - in fact, even standard CD playback was resampled to 48kHz, which is why CD playback through Sound Blaster if you were using the digital playback often sounded worse than the analogue out from the CD player.

Similarly, if your device is not able to use an external clock input, you'll get jitter etc. which can affect the sound. If you're going to use the S/PDIF inputs, always make sure you are also able to sync the clocks.


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Pete Kaine
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Re: Audio card or interface with s/pdif new [Re: James Perrett]
      #1028552 - 14/01/13 02:49 PM
Quote James Perrett:

The OP was wanting to preserve the signal quality from an Audient Mico preamp so ASIO is probably involved somewhere.





Ahh right, I read pre-amp and assumed for some reason the signal was leaving the box not entering... should have had a look at the product. I shouldn't let myself on here on Monday mornings sans coffee, yeah, overall point taken!

Quote James Perrett:


The article discussing the changeable opamps is also totally missing the point - if the output circuit is properly designed, a competent opamp will have little bearing on the sound as it goes nowhere near the output. It is the output circuit that has the difficult job to do. If changing the opamp is changing the sound then those cards are poorly designed.

I'll bet most of the difference is a placebo effect though...





I don't disagree with that at all. Sounds awesome out of the box through in A/B testing was the original point before all of that. Anyhow I misread the original post, looks like I've gone off tangent altogether, sorry OP!

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Gazzamundo



Joined: 15/04/08
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Loc: West Kirby, Wirral, England
Re: Audio card or interface with s/pdif new [Re: Gazzamundo]
      #1028553 - 14/01/13 02:52 PM
Thanks for all the responses so far - and it's nice to find a really active recording forum full of people willing and able to contribute.

Further info on my recording set up. I've a quad core PC and run Sonar X1 (using ASIO). I originally bought the Alesis io26 for the wealth of inputs it had. The Audient Mico was purchased later, searching for that elusive acoustic guitar sound (let's not mention room treatment - I'm aware of all that - or mic placement). And as an excuse to squander some of my redundancy cheque! My monitors are Focal CMS40s (pretty decent, I hope you recognise), my main mic is an SE Z5600A (ditto).

I'm in the midst of selling off a load of studio gear on eBay and like to recycle some of the cash in an upgrade (rather than blowing it all on beer). The io26 performs fine, but I'm aware that it's kinda low end, component-wise and kudos-wise. I've only ever used all 8 analog inputs once, and the way my music "career" has gone, I'm unlikely to be recording a full band any time soon.

So I guess I'm looking to scale up quality-wise and scale down desk space and connectivity-wise.

As for clocking, the Audient has wordclock (not that I fully understand the concept), the Alesis doesn't, and most of the gear I've been looking at doesn't either. They seem to work fine together, though I wouldn't say I've noticed any increase in quality since I introduced the Audient.

Hope I've made my situation clearer!

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ef37a



Joined: 29/05/06
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Loc: northampton uk
Re: Audio card or interface with s/pdif new [Re: Magic Matt]
      #1028554 - 14/01/13 02:52 PM
Quote Magic Matt:

Quote ef37a:


Gaz: I too have always understood that S/PDIF is S/PDIF no matter whether it is bolted onto an RME or a bog s Creative SB? Very low latency solution, M-A 2496. 60quid. But the Ka6 has about a 5dB better noise floor. Academic tho' I know!





Just to address this point directly - no, sadly that is not the case.

If you have an interface that can lock onto an external clock, then it's going to be a perfectly acceptable duplicate. Similarly, if your device can output a clock for the other device to use as a clock input, you can achieve the same.

Sound Blaster cards always used to be locked at 48kHz, and could not sync to an external clock - in fact, even standard CD playback was resampled to 48kHz, which is why CD playback through Sound Blaster if you were using the digital playback often sounded worse than the analogue out from the CD player.

Similarly, if your device is not able to use an external clock input, you'll get jitter etc. which can affect the sound. If you're going to use the S/PDIF inputs, always make sure you are also able to sync the clocks.



Err? Every S/PDIF device I have ever used IS the clock? If I feed my 2496 from the digital out of my Ka6 or Fast track pro,(or MDisc) one of those MUST be the master. No sync'ing to worry about. Don't work otherwise.

Dave.


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Goddard



Joined: 04/04/12
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Re: Audio card or interface with s/pdif new [Re: James Perrett]
      #1028559 - 14/01/13 03:02 PM
Quote James Perrett:

The OP was wanting to preserve the signal quality from an Audient Mico preamp so ASIO is probably involved somewhere.




The onboard (built on-motherboard) HDA (High Definition Audio) audio chips on recent motherboards (since Vista) can use supplied Windows "WaveRT" low latency/load drivers. No ASIO drivers are available for onboard audio afaik, although the ASIO4ALL wrapper should work with the WaveRT drivers to provide ASIO compatibility if desired.

On-motherboard S/PDIF has been around for years, and many motherboards feature coax and/or optical S/PDIF on the back panel, which can be used for home entertainment and gaming surround sound (in surround sound "passthrough" mode) as well as for pro audio output. As well, more recently the on-motherboard S/PDIF is often made available via a header located on the motherboard, for enabling connection to an HDMI-capable graphic card for routing digital audio output via HDMI.

S/PDIF input headers were at one time commonly found on motherboards, for connecting the digital output of a CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive, but are less commonly offered on motherboards these days although many on-motherboard audio chips do still include support for S/PDIF input.

The E-MU 1010 add-in PCIe card interface is as good as RME for ADAT and S/PDIF (and AES) I/O, at a fraction of the cost:

http://us.store.creative.com/EMU-1010-PCIe-Audio-Interface/M...

And the 1212M version with analog I/O daughterboard isn't too shabby either:

http://www.creative.com/emu/products/product.aspx?category=505&pid=19169


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Gazzamundo



Joined: 15/04/08
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Re: Audio card or interface with s/pdif new [Re: ef37a]
      #1028578 - 14/01/13 04:17 PM
Damn you and your suggestion of the Komplete Audio 6, Dave! I DO find it very attractive, I might have to buy one for the looks alone!

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Skerrick



Joined: 10/01/13
Posts: 262
Loc: Sydney NSW
Re: Audio card or interface with s/pdif new [Re: Gazzamundo]
      #1028633 - 14/01/13 11:39 PM
honestly, get the focusrite scarlett 2i2 or 2i4, i cant emphasise enough, if youre after a really decent and cheap soundcard hit it up. the 2i2 is about $180AUD and i go the 2i4 for $240AUD. honestly the preamps are really good.
my pc came with the creative soundblaster recon soundcard (onboard) but i found that most of the onboard cards are geared for gaming and entertainment so they boost the low and hi frequencies for like explosions and the sounds of bullet casings landing, theyre fully geared towards more of a listening experience, i found that using one for production was a huge drag because i constantly had crackling CPU/signal processing noise coming through the audio.. sorry if this whole thread has gone over my head, in regards to the question "Audio card or interface with s/pdif" my answer is definitely to get an audio interface, i didnt have one for months, and since ive got one ive had zero issues with sound quality, monitoring and recording. the focusrite scarlett interface is soooo easy and its usb, none of that firewire crap. plus their preamps have won awards and feature in tons of other interfaces. PLUS focusrite just teamed up with Novation - so keep your eyes peeled for some cool gear thats no doubt on the way haha

Edited by Skerrick (15/01/13 12:31 AM)


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Skerrick



Joined: 10/01/13
Posts: 262
Loc: Sydney NSW
Re: Audio card or interface with s/pdif new [Re: Gazzamundo]
      #1028638 - 15/01/13 12:34 AM
Quote Gazzamundo:

Damn you and your suggestion of the Komplete Audio 6, Dave! I DO find it very attractive, I might have to buy one for the looks alone!



the komplete 6 isnt what its cracked up to be. i find that NI make their stuff look really cool which helps them a lot in respect of sales and marketing, and im not discounting them really.. just honestly.. the focusrite scarlett is where its at. its a sexy box
do some comparisons and make sure you include the scarlett 2i2 or 2i4 in there when youre looking at others. im not just repping it because i own one, i own one cos i did a lot of research and found it the best hahaha

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Skerrick



Joined: 10/01/13
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Re: Audio card or interface with s/pdif new [Re: ef37a]
      #1028640 - 15/01/13 01:14 AM
Quote ef37a:

Quote Skerrick:

as far as i know youre better off with an outboard soundcard.. i had an onboard one and ended up selling it, you get sound coming off the cpu communication coming through in the mix. like a crackling sound.. i had the 512mb creative soundblaster recon... but i dont know if there are decent onboard cards or not tbh.. i use the focusrite 2i4 and its pretty incredible. but im no authority on the matter by any means...




Bit of a myth this IMHO. The oft repeated tale that the inside of a PC is a coruscating inferno of RF and so any audio board in there MUST be noisier than an outboard one. My 2496's both return a noise floor of around -97dBFS in two very different MOBOs. I do not think results from a Creative S(of a) B can be regarded as typical? But even if the idea of mixing digital and audio in close proximity was a bad one there are many compact and bijoux AIs to prove it CAN be done AND incorporate quite high gain mic amps to boot!

Never tried the Focusrite but I am happy with my Ka6 and I got two extra ins and outs for me money!
Dave.




correct me if im wrong but this is the way i was led to understand it;
when the sound signal is running through the CPU, and its a heavy load of maybe 20 or 30 channels or more that youre using, the CPU gets crossover between the signal carrying the sound, and the signal thats running the DAW and the midi interfaces and the OS etc, which causes the clicking/clipping noise. so youre actually hearing a part of the signal interference thats running through the computer at CPU level, youre HEARING your computer processing tasks.
therefore having an outboard card (with its own sound processing CPU unit inside) frees the computers CPU from taking the load/signal of the sound and lets it concentrate more on the operations of the programs etc. so even so, youre helping speed up your system by owning an outboard card, its less CPU load.
again, i could be wrong, but nearly all onboard cards are geared towards gaming and entertainment etc and they utilise the computers CPU to process their sound rather than their own CPU (this is all just my general understanding) - as far as i know, for music production, there isnt really a suitable onboard soundcard on the market, which is why interfaces exist, im led to believe..

i hope that made sense, and if im wrong, i hope to be corrected, i like learning. hahaha!
peace.

--------------------
www.soundcloud.com/skerrick


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ef37a



Joined: 29/05/06
Posts: 6397
Loc: northampton uk
Re: Audio card or interface with s/pdif new [Re: Skerrick]
      #1028658 - 15/01/13 06:21 AM
Quote Skerrick:

Quote Gazzamundo:

Damn you and your suggestion of the Komplete Audio 6, Dave! I DO find it very attractive, I might have to buy one for the looks alone!



the komplete 6 isnt what its cracked up to be. i find that NI make their stuff look really cool which helps them a lot in respect of sales and marketing, and im not discounting them really.. just honestly.. the focusrite scarlett is where its at. its a sexy box
do some comparisons and make sure you include the scarlett 2i2 or 2i4 in there when youre looking at others. im not just repping it because i own one, i own one cos i did a lot of research and found it the best hahaha




What, is it cracked up to be? And in what regard does it fall short of these non-specified claims?

Dave.


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Skerrick



Joined: 10/01/13
Posts: 262
Loc: Sydney NSW
Re: Audio card or interface with s/pdif new [Re: ef37a]
      #1028659 - 15/01/13 06:32 AM
"Damn you and your suggestion of the Komplete Audio 6, Dave! I DO find it very attractive, I might have to buy one for the LOOKS ALONE!"

^
ive used one, i found it FELT cheap with the dials and mechanics etc, just lightweight and plasticy to the touch.. it has cool aesthetics, but for the price, youre better off getting a focusrite scarlett 2i2. compare the price and the stats yourself man, i dont wanna rattle off a bunch of regurgitated stats, but the information is there.
the komplete 6 is a good unit, dont get me wrong, but i find that NI spend a lot of time making their stuff LOOK the part and therefore a lot of people buy their products because they have a vibe for it more than for their actual technical capabilities.
if youre just starting out, get a focusrite scarlett. the 2i2 model has drastically dropped in price since the slightly larger 2i4 came out, id say theyll probs discontinue the 2i2 and just produce the 2i4 because theres such a small difference in what they do and such a large differenc in price.
but thats just my opinion.

--------------------
www.soundcloud.com/skerrick


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ef37a



Joined: 29/05/06
Posts: 6397
Loc: northampton uk
Re: Audio card or interface with s/pdif new [Re: Skerrick]
      #1028660 - 15/01/13 06:42 AM
I won't quote you Skerrick because I shall get wrapped (fix this please!) but you SEEM to be arguing two contradictory things at once?

Certainly usb interfaces (as I understand, imperfectly, these things)uses CPU power and this was a bit of a problem in the earlier days of usb AIs but Mr Walker and other grandees has told us many, many times that you do not need very much computer grunt to run several dozen tracks (assuming you don't put 3 plugs on each one!) IF the computer is properly setup for audio and, even bigger if(!) in those early days, the AI drivers are up to the job.

Firewire does have its own onboard processing but again came with its own baggage and was certainly not a slick solution!

I have no idea how PCI cards work but since they are connected directly into the computers gizzards they are surely fastest of all? This humble 3.0G P4 always returns a Dpclat latency well under 250muSecs max.

But surely the original point was about PCI cards picking up noise, not CPU/latency crackles? In my limited experience they don't.

Dave.


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ef37a



Joined: 29/05/06
Posts: 6397
Loc: northampton uk
Re: Audio card or interface with s/pdif new [Re: Skerrick]
      #1028661 - 15/01/13 06:51 AM
"ive used one, i found it FELT cheap with the dials and mechanics etc, just lightweight and plasticy to the touch.."

I really don't know what you got hold of there S! My unit is very solid. It feels as though I could chuck it at a stud wall and only the wall would suffer!

I shall investigate the prices for the i2 since I might get one for my son. However he does need very low latency and the Focusrite range have not excelled here I understand.

Ooo! Just looked. No S/PDIF no MIDI (that I can see) so not that big a bargain.

Dave.

Edited by ef37a (15/01/13 06:58 AM)


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Skerrick



Joined: 10/01/13
Posts: 262
Loc: Sydney NSW
Re: Audio card or interface with s/pdif new [Re: ef37a]
      #1028668 - 15/01/13 08:52 AM
dont know what you looked at then, the focusrite scarlett 2i4 or 2i2. stands for 2 in 2 out and vice versa. mine has 2x 1/4" & 2x xlr cable inputs on the front with phantom power and gain dials with like a nice led that lets you know when its clipping. also line/instrument choice for the front inputs. theres 2 midi inputs on the rear and 2 red/white outputs on the back. plus 1/4" rear outputs for direct monitoring with a direct monitor volume dial and a main volume dial and a solid aluminium shell. my latency is at like 3ms. and its s/pdif. its boss.
anyway, hope you find what youre looking for. man focusrite should be paying me after that one haha i swear to god!

and im not arguing at all man theres two sides to this, its a double edged sword. i find it interesting discussing this stuff because its a bit of a hobby of mine and i learn new things from talking to you guys, but yeah dude i just reckon theres benefits to having both an onboard card AND an external but both are going to pose some sort of problem either way at some stage. i just had a crappy experience with the quality of the onboard card i had and my usb interface has been like a godsend haha!
peace.

--------------------
www.soundcloud.com/skerrick


Edited by Skerrick (15/01/13 08:57 AM)


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Gazzamundo



Joined: 15/04/08
Posts: 19
Loc: West Kirby, Wirral, England
Re: Audio card or interface with s/pdif new [Re: Skerrick]
      #1028678 - 15/01/13 09:52 AM
Hi Skerrick, just to clear up any confusion, the question is PCI Audio Card with s/pdif OR Audio Interface with s/pdif. So the first unit in the Scarlett range that would match those requirements is the Scarlett 8i6, as it is the first in the range with s/pdif. I don't need MIDI on the audio card/interface, my Arturia Laboratory is USB.

Also, I'm not new to this game, I started of with a Yamaha SW1000XG, then had an EMU 1212M, then a Mackie Satellite and now have a Alesis IO26. Also please note the last two are firewire devices - firewire seems to get a slagging off on a lot of forums, but I've never had a problem with either device, and certainly have a latency in single figures.

Thanks you all for all your input so far. You know what it's like when you decide you really need an upgrade, even though your system is working just fine as it is!

--------------------
Gazzamundo
www.garystewartsmith.com


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Pete Kaine
Scan Computers


Joined: 10/07/03
Posts: 3501
Loc: Manchester
Re: Audio card or interface with s/pdif new [Re: Skerrick]
      #1028682 - 15/01/13 10:16 AM
Quote Skerrick:

Quote Gazzamundo:

Damn you and your suggestion of the Komplete Audio 6, Dave! I DO find it very attractive, I might have to buy one for the looks alone!



the komplete 6 isnt what its cracked up to be. i find that NI make their stuff look really cool which helps them a lot in respect of sales and marketing, and im not discounting them really.. just honestly.. the focusrite scarlett is where its at. its a sexy box
do some comparisons and make sure you include the scarlett 2i2 or 2i4 in there when youre looking at others. im not just repping it because i own one, i own one cos i did a lot of research and found it the best hahaha




The KA6 has quite possibly the best performing drivers under £200 along with some very well regarded Cirrus Logic converters and build quality that will do more damage to the floor than the unit if you drop it... Not quite sure where your finding it falling short.


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ef37a



Joined: 29/05/06
Posts: 6397
Loc: northampton uk
Re: Audio card or interface with s/pdif new [Re: Skerrick]
      #1028727 - 15/01/13 02:32 PM
Quote Skerrick:

dont know what you looked at then, the focusrite scarlett 2i4 or 2i2. stands for 2 in 2 out and vice versa. mine has 2x 1/4" & 2x xlr cable inputs on the front with phantom power and gain dials with like a nice led that lets you know when its clipping. also line/instrument choice for the front inputs. theres 2 midi inputs on the rear and 2 red/white outputs on the back. plus 1/4" rear outputs for direct monitoring with a direct monitor volume dial and a main volume dial and a solid aluminium shell. my latency is at like 3ms. and its s/pdif. its boss.
anyway, hope you find what youre looking for. man focusrite should be paying me after that one haha i swear to god!

and im not arguing at all man theres two sides to this, its a double edged sword. i find it interesting discussing this stuff because its a bit of a hobby of mine and i learn new things from talking to you guys, but yeah dude i just reckon theres benefits to having both an onboard card AND an external but both are going to pose some sort of problem either way at some stage. i just had a crappy experience with the quality of the onboard card i had and my usb interface has been like a godsend haha!
peace.



http://us.focusrite.com/usb-audio-interfaces/scarlett-2i2/specifications
That, ^ is what I looked at


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Trevor Johnson



Joined: 15/05/10
Posts: 79
Re: Audio card or interface with s/pdif new [Re: ef37a]
      #1028824 - 15/01/13 11:29 PM
Quote:

Hi Skerrick, just to clear up any confusion, the question is PCI Audio Card with s/pdif OR Audio Interface with s/pdif.




I have had an Audient Mico for about a year and found that using the inbuilt A-D converter it works very well using either S/PDIF, Toslink or AES. That is the case irrespective of whether it is a PCI/PCIe card, USB interface or directly into a digital recorder. The choice of interface is more important than whether it is internal or external, or a combination of both.

I also have an NI KA6, which I bought for portable use, and is an excellent interface for the reasons already stated.


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Gazzamundo



Joined: 15/04/08
Posts: 19
Loc: West Kirby, Wirral, England
Re: Audio card or interface with s/pdif new [Re: Trevor Johnson]
      #1028883 - 16/01/13 12:24 PM
Hi Trevor,

I was trying to make the question clearer for Skerrick there. I've got a Mico, and am looking to pair it up with something of a higher class, with better internal components, and better build quality (if possible) than my current Alesis IO26. The IO26 is working fine, but I feel the urge for an upgrade.

Do you use the Mico with the KA6? If not, what are you currently pairing it up with?

--------------------
Gazzamundo
www.garystewartsmith.com


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Skerrick



Joined: 10/01/13
Posts: 262
Loc: Sydney NSW
Re: Audio card or interface with s/pdif new [Re: Gazzamundo]
      #1028993 - 16/01/13 11:48 PM
Quote Gazzamundo:

Hi Skerrick, just to clear up any confusion, the question is PCI Audio Card with s/pdif OR Audio Interface with s/pdif. So the first unit in the Scarlett range that would match those requirements is the Scarlett 8i6, as it is the first in the range with s/pdif. I don't need MIDI on the audio card/interface, my Arturia Laboratory is USB.

Also, I'm not new to this game, I started of with a Yamaha SW1000XG, then had an EMU 1212M, then a Mackie Satellite and now have a Alesis IO26. Also please note the last two are firewire devices - firewire seems to get a slagging off on a lot of forums, but I've never had a problem with either device, and certainly have a latency in single figures.

Thanks you all for all your input so far. You know what it's like when you decide you really need an upgrade, even though your system is working just fine as it is!





i find this interesting because i have the scarlett 2i4 interface and it runs through USB, but in the sound settings on my pc when i select it as an input source/speaker output it says its set an "s/pdif input".. the 2i4 model cost me $250 but the 2i2 model is about $130 since the 2i4 came out.. as far as i know the only difference between them is the number of inputs/outputs..?
the unit has only been on the market a year or so as far as im aware, but im pretty sure if you havent used/tested one then you might want to because theyre real good, but yeah my technical knowledge is quite limited, i just do lots of reading on forums and research via google and such.. so if anyone wants to explain to me a little bit about the connection setup that i have, id be greatly appreciative, upon reading about s/pdif it appears that its a specific cable, yet my pc is picking it up as an s/pdif connection through a usb cable? could this maybe be happening via the driver that came with the interface? i dont know..

and yeah i know what its like man, although its expensive and time comsuming, researching and improving your own setup is one of the best feelings once youve got what you want right were you want it!

--------------------
www.soundcloud.com/skerrick


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