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Budget converters

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Budget converters

Postby Tim Harper » Mon Apr 22, 2013 10:39 pm

I recently switched over to an RME 9632 and am considering picking up a converter to make use of the SPDIF input but after looking up the price an AD converter for my Trackmaster (165 euro) it works out at about the same cost as the 4 input RME expansion board. I spotted a few cheaper consumer grade converters such as the link below but not having had any expereince using digital cabling before I thought I'd post here to see what more experienced folk would recommend?

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ex-Pro%C2%AE-An ... +converter
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Re: Budget converters

Postby James Perrett » Tue Apr 23, 2013 9:19 am

See if you can find someone getting rid of an old DAT machine or MD machine. Even if they're not working, it is usually the mechanics that fail rather than the convertors so you can often find people giving them away.
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Re: Budget converters

Postby Tim Harper » Tue Apr 23, 2013 8:27 pm

Nice un, I'll have a gander at the local classifieds, ta for the tip
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Re: Budget converters

Postby Jack Ruston » Tue Apr 23, 2013 9:02 pm

One way in which you can get a converter to punch above its weight is to use a higher sample rate...88.2kHz or 96kHz. Because while the design of the analogue stages and the power supply, clock etc play a large role in the sound of the unit, one of the tricky bits is the filtering that's required to prevent signal from exceeding the nyquist frequency. At higher rates, that filtering is moved way above what we can hear, so it ceases to become the problem that it might have been at 44.1kHz.

Just an aside

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Re: Budget converters

Postby Goddard » Wed Apr 24, 2013 1:37 am

No idea about that amazon converter, sorry, although I didn't see any specs given beyond a fixed 48kHz sampling rate, so wonder how many bits that is.

You might look for a s/h M-audio/Midiman "Flying Cow 24-bit", or perhaps a s/h Art "Dio", both quite decent and reasonably priced units in their day. Dunno why such standalone converters are no longer offered, suppose it's due to lack of demand.
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Re: Budget converters

Postby Tim Harper » Wed Apr 24, 2013 1:05 pm

Thanks for the replies. Had a look for the two but unfor no sign of the ART DIO and the Flying cow comes in at around the same price as the expansion board for the 9632. If my ADAT runs at 48khz, maximum, does that dictate the highest setting for the AD converter I'm looking for? (considering I'll need to use both at the same time to track a drum kit).

I came across a few more cheap alternatives on ebay such as below. Is there anything else I should look out for in the stats beyond sampling rate?

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/310575937637? ... 1423.l2649
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Re: Budget converters

Postby James Perrett » Thu Apr 25, 2013 9:45 am

Yes, you don't need to go higher than 48 kHz but, if you are using more than one convertor, you need some way of syncing them up. The convertor you link to has no way of syncing to anything else so it would need to be the master and everything else would be slaved to its clock. You need to use the 9 pin connector on your interface and connect it to the 9 pin connector on your ADAT (assuming the 9 pin connector on the interface can be used as a clock master).

Edit - just realised that it might be simpler to just use an ADAT out from the interface to the input on your machine as I have a hunch that the 9 pin on the interface is only a clock/position input.

James.
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Re: Budget converters

Postby Tim Harper » Thu Apr 25, 2013 12:37 pm

Thanks for the help James. Just to clarify, if I pick up a converter without a wordclock input I can still make the set-up work by setting it to master and the 9632 and ADAT unit to slaves (the ADAT unit can be slaved 'thru' the 9632 if both ADAT output and input are used)?
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Re: Budget converters

Postby James Perrett » Thu Apr 25, 2013 2:15 pm

Yes - that's exactly what I was trying to say
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