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Best way to add more inputs to RME ff800

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Best way to add more inputs to RME ff800

Postby IAA » Sat Jan 19, 2013 11:11 am

Hi,

I need probably 4 more line inputs for some old synths I have. I've considered octopre, but wondered whether anyone has other ideas. I'd like neutral sounding rather than characterful and conversion quality no worse than ff800,

Oh, about £250!, but I'm happy to look on eBay, (if I have to)...

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Re: Best way to add more inputs to RME ff800

Postby Exalted Wombat » Sat Jan 19, 2013 11:25 am

That should work, if you're sure you need ALL your keyboards (and other stuff) available for simultaneous recording. Otherwise, maybe a patchbay?
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Re: Best way to add more inputs to RME ff800

Postby IAA » Sat Jan 19, 2013 11:42 am

I don't need to use them simultaneously, (would need spangly cape to do it justice anyhow...). but I've avoided patchbays because my last experience was some noise, maybe I was unlucky, I'm really keen to plug direct to interface unless good patchbay recommendation?
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Re: Best way to add more inputs to RME ff800

Postby The Elf » Sat Jan 19, 2013 12:32 pm

I also have a whole boat-load of keyboards and modules that I connect to a FF800.

I used to use a pair of Behringer ADA8000, but I swapped to a Creamware A16 Ultra. Unfortunately the A16 is no longer produced, and is very hard to find these days. Mine came in slightly over your budget.

Behringer are releasing a new version of the ADA8000, so that will be worth a look.

All my synths arrive (via multicore/stageboxes) on patchbays, which are normalised to FF/A16 inputs (and a rack mixer too - because I still don't have anywhere near enough inputs!) but my plethora of inputs is only to enable me to monitor all of my synths as I compose. When I record any synth I patch it into my most trusted inputs. I use several Samson S-Patch that, unlike my previous bays, have been 100% reliable, and have the added benefit of front panel normalisation switching.

So don't dismiss patchbays on the basis of past experience. They make for a much more flexible system; it just depends on getting bays you can trust. I've found mine!
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Re: Best way to add more inputs to RME ff800

Postby Exalted Wombat » Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:33 pm

IAA wrote:I don't need to use them simultaneously, (would need spangly cape to do it justice anyhow...). but I've avoided patchbays because my last experience was some noise, maybe I was unlucky, I'm really keen to plug direct to interface unless good patchbay recommendation?

The simplest "patchbay" of course is a cable plugged into the back of the FF800 with the other end labelled "Input 6" or whatever. I agree, cables plugged and ignored can get noisy and intermittent. Ones that are re-plugged regularly don't so much :-)
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Re: Best way to add more inputs to RME ff800

Postby IAA » Sun Jan 20, 2013 8:06 am

Thanks both of you, I've quickly looked at the ADA8000, read Paul Whites review and frankly it looks just the ticket.

Elf you say you traded up, was that a quality or functional decision?

It will be for a couple of analogue synths.

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Re: Best way to add more inputs to RME ff800

Postby The Elf » Sun Jan 20, 2013 10:03 am

I didn't need the mic pre's, and the useful gain range in the ADA8000 was all bunched up in the last two clicks (in fact I couldn't get sensible gain for my Hammond - last click was far too loud and next to last too quiet - I had to arrive a bit of a compromise), so I prefer having line inputs with no gain control.

I still use a pair of ADA8000s in the 'other place', where I need more mic inputs for drums and the like, so I haven't abandoned them entirely, but in my own keyboard heaven the A16 makes more sense.
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Re: Best way to add more inputs to RME ff800

Postby Goddard » Sun Jan 20, 2013 12:20 pm

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Re: Best way to add more inputs to RME ff800

Postby IAA » Sun Jan 20, 2013 4:20 pm

Wow that A16 ultra reads very nicely, more than my ff cost though!

narrowed it down to Beheringer, I guess I can manage gain if I'm careful, mostly with synths a set and forget I assume.

Anyway thanks.
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Re: Best way to add more inputs to RME ff800

Postby Matt Houghton » Fri Jan 25, 2013 1:24 pm

The cheapest 8-channel option is a used ADAT machine. You see 20-bit ones on Fleabay go for less than the ADA8000, and even if the tape side of things isn't working, the converters usually are. Next cheapest is an ADA8000. Then used Focusrite Octopre LE + ADAT card. Then there are various other options. Like Elf, I'm using an A16 Ultra and very happy with it. But it sounds like overkill for what you need, and the Ferrofish one more so, nice as it is.

You could also think about buying a second F800 to use as additional IO and have a backup in the event of failure.

If you can get away with only two extra channels, you could instead buy a digital FX unit like the (excellent) TC Electronic M300 or M350 and add that to your FF800 via S/PDIF. Then bypass effects to use as a converter only. The effects are actually really good on that, so it would be a nice bonus.
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