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Should I change my Scarlett 18i20 3rd for better quality card

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Re: Should I change my Scarlett 18i20 3rd for better quality card

Postby Dniss » Tue Jan 26, 2021 5:16 am

uselessoldman wrote:If I were adding audio inputs in the numbers you are considering I think I would rethink my strategy and go down another route rather than a audio interface with ADAT type extensions.

I have the Liquid 56 and ADA8200 which is great for vocals guitars etc but you are adding/wanting a lot of inputs that may or may not be utilised all the time sat idle taking up input space/slots?? I have my gear in a small cabinet and I added the MS800 to my setup which goes into the back of my Liquid 56. AS its inputs are on the front of the cabinet I can swap out the input source/xlr without going to the back of the interface. But I also bought a snake box that goes from the MS800 and ADAT8200 to anywhere I want and from there xlr cables to the source. Add into that I added a Samson x-Patch plus that sits between the audio interface/ADAT and the MS800 and a Di-Pro I can also use that to break add in mix the channels in any way I want. SO I have potentially a lot of inputs available if only 16 in use/available at any one time.

If I were doing it all again from scratch I would probably get the Behringer X-Air 18 or X32, which I am seriously thinking about buying as a control surface and mobile recording desk.

To tell you the truth I will have to read this a few more time to figure it out. :crazy:
I was thinking of getting an ASP800 and eventually sell my focusrite to get a 2nd ASP800 with the Audient IDxx. I doubt I will need more inputs at once, so I figured I'll add a patch bay and call it a day.

What do you think?
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Re: Should I change my Scarlett 18i20 3rd for better quality card

Postby Dniss » Tue Jan 26, 2021 5:25 am

The Elf wrote:Reducing the budget option a little, my second choice would be an RME Fireface and something like the Ferrofish A16. And if the Ferrofish doesn't suit, then down to the Behringer ADA8200. The good thing is that you can later add another ADA8200 for 8 more inputs to a Fireface.

You've already maxxed out your current input count. I can almost guarantee it won't be long before you max out 16 inputs!

Bear in mind I filled the inputs with synths I had for many years, already. Got rid of a mixer. And I figured I could prolly manage with 16 inputs, tha'st like 8 synths with stereo outputs at once. I could get a patch bay and change the mix if I get more synths.

But I like the suggestion. I don't understand why u would mix a fairly (relatively) expensive interface with (apparently) lower quality ADA8200 though. The AD matters less?

Thanks for your inputs.
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Re: Should I change my Scarlett 18i20 3rd for better quality card

Postby Dniss » Tue Jan 26, 2021 5:27 am

James Perrett wrote:
blinddrew wrote:I see the 18i20 has two ADAT inputs on the back but am I right in thinking it can still only take 8 additional inputs, even at base rates?

That's what the panel label seems to imply. Looks like Focusrite want you to buy the Rednet range if you want high channel counts.

Yes 8 additional inputs only. From what I understood you have to use both ADAT at once to acheive 96khz with the second unit, I think.
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Re: Should I change my Scarlett 18i20 3rd for better quality card

Postby CS70 » Tue Jan 26, 2021 8:58 am

Dniss wrote:I don't understand why u would mix a fairly (relatively) expensive interface with (apparently) lower quality ADA8200 though. The AD matters less?

It's more that the quality of even a cheap one is reasonable enough, so long it outputs nominal 24 bits. After all, you probably listen thru different A/D/A converters all of the time nowadays and don't notice any difference (TV, DAB radio, Spotify, conversations on the phone, video meetings, cat videos on Facebook, YouTube channels, you name it) and some of them are dreadful by comparison (i.e.. much shorter word lengths, less stable clocking, cheap analogue front ends and the likes). Within reason, it also matters less.
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Re: Should I change my Scarlett 18i20 3rd for better quality card

Postby uselessoldman » Tue Jan 26, 2021 11:46 am

Dniss no problem it can confuse myself sometimes if I am half asleep. The issue I had was the inputs for my Liquid 56 are on the back and the thought of continuously swapping XLR/TRS cables just sounded like one bad nightmare.

https://1drv.ms/u/s!AtrL6c85OL0UpkzKkJvtI9p5xeMJ?e=lEwtQf

I should have bought a bigger rack cabinet but since I got this one cheap I cannot complain too much. Its also all nicely cabled up at the back with patch panels - not finished.
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Re: Should I change my Scarlett 18i20 3rd for better quality card

Postby Tomás Mulcahy » Tue Jan 26, 2021 12:29 pm

Alternatives: if you're recording each synth as an overdub to the DAW, you don't need as many inputs as you have synth outputs. So:

1. You could use a patchbay and simply patch in whatever you want to record to the inputs (it's what I have here).
2. Analogue mixer with enough channels for all the synths. Just bring up the fader for the ones you want to record (Paul Hartnoll of Orbital does this).

Also note:
If you've a Mac, you can connect several USB interfaces and make an Aggregate Device.
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Re: Should I change my Scarlett 18i20 3rd for better quality card

Postby The Elf » Tue Jan 26, 2021 2:48 pm

Dniss wrote:But I like the suggestion. I don't understand why u would mix a fairly (relatively) expensive interface with (apparently) lower quality ADA8200 though.
It's just an option for you, depending on budget. That said, the ADA8200 is much better than you might imagine - and to get something significantly better you'll have to pay significantly more. Money being no concern I'd go for the Ferrofish A16.

Just be aware that the A16 has no gain controls.
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Re: Should I change my Scarlett 18i20 3rd for better quality card

Postby James Perrett » Tue Jan 26, 2021 3:19 pm

Dniss wrote:To tell you the truth I will have to read this a few more time to figure it out. :crazy:
I was thinking of getting an ASP800 and eventually sell my focusrite to get a 2nd ASP800 with the Audient IDxx. I doubt I will need more inputs at once, so I figured I'll add a patch bay and call it a day.

What do you think?

Two Audients feeding an audio interface will be a good system for someone who needs mic inputs. I'd use an RME Digiface USB instead of the Audient interface. However, the Audients use 25 pin connectors for line inputs so you'll either need to have all your synths close together or you'll need a patchbay to run the cables to. Another issue with running multiple Audient preamps together is that you need some way to synchronise their digital clocks. They only have word clock input so, with a Digiface USB, you need a way of generating word clock.

In your situation I would keep your existing interface as it will keep life simple and just use one additional ASP800 with it.
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Re: Should I change my Scarlett 18i20 3rd for better quality card

Postby Dniss » Tue Jan 26, 2021 9:59 pm

Tomás Mulcahy wrote:Alternatives: if you're recording each synth as an overdub to the DAW, you don't need as many inputs as you have synth outputs. So:

1. You could use a patchbay and simply patch in whatever you want to record to the inputs (it's what I have here).
2. Analogue mixer with enough channels for all the synths. Just bring up the fader for the ones you want to record (Paul Hartnoll of Orbital does this).

Also note:
If you've a Mac, you can connect several USB interfaces and make an Aggregate Device.

Yes thanks I will get a patch bay. With 16 inputs and a patch bay I should be ok for a while.
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Re: Should I change my Scarlett 18i20 3rd for better quality card

Postby Dniss » Tue Jan 26, 2021 10:00 pm

The Elf wrote:
Dniss wrote:But I like the suggestion. I don't understand why u would mix a fairly (relatively) expensive interface with (apparently) lower quality ADA8200 though.
It's just an option for you, depending on budget. That said, the ADA8200 is much better than you might imagine - and to get something significantly better you'll have to pay significantly more. Money being no concern I'd go for the Ferrofish A16.

Just be aware that the A16 has no gain controls.

Oh ok, the reviews are really not that great. But you know, compare to what, top on the line?
That Ferrofish is really nice. That would certainly do the trick.
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Re: Should I change my Scarlett 18i20 3rd for better quality card

Postby Dniss » Tue Jan 26, 2021 10:03 pm

James Perrett wrote:
Dniss wrote:To tell you the truth I will have to read this a few more time to figure it out. :crazy:
I was thinking of getting an ASP800 and eventually sell my focusrite to get a 2nd ASP800 with the Audient IDxx. I doubt I will need more inputs at once, so I figured I'll add a patch bay and call it a day.

What do you think?

Two Audients feeding an audio interface will be a good system for someone who needs mic inputs. I'd use an RME Digiface USB instead of the Audient interface. However, the Audients use 25 pin connectors for line inputs so you'll either need to have all your synths close together or you'll need a patchbay to run the cables to. Another issue with running multiple Audient preamps together is that you need some way to synchronise their digital clocks. They only have word clock input so, with a Digiface USB, you need a way of generating word clock.

In your situation I would keep your existing interface as it will keep life simple and just use one additional ASP800 with it.

Thanks James, I really appreciate the heads up. I thought the ASP800 was only an AD converter. I don't want to spend more than I have to, to get good results.
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Re: Should I change my Scarlett 18i20 3rd for better quality card

Postby The Elf » Tue Jan 26, 2021 10:23 pm

Dniss wrote:Yes thanks I will get a patch bay. With 16 inputs and a patch bay I should be ok for a while.
A patchbay is one of the best investments you can make in your studio. Just make sure that you plan it out very carefully. Get it right and you will smile every time you look at it - get it wrong and you will wonder why the heck you bothered! :!:
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Re: Should I change my Scarlett 18i20 3rd for better quality card

Postby CS70 » Tue Jan 26, 2021 10:36 pm

Dniss wrote:Thanks James, I really appreciate the heads up. I thought the ASP800 was only an AD converter. I don't want to spend more than I have to, to get good results.

Yeah from all I've read, the answer to your question (the title thread) is a resounding "no" :)
Your Scarlett and a patchbay and you're set, with all the quality you'll ever need.
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Re: Should I change my Scarlett 18i20 3rd for better quality card

Postby uselessoldman » Wed Jan 27, 2021 12:00 am

The reason I bought the Samson patch plus was cos its relatively cheap and it has Normal/Half Normal and Thu with a nice small switch on the front that is hard to accidently knock.

The ADA8200 is really quite a good bit of kit for the money. 8 TRS (line) and 8 XLR (mic) in and 8 XLR out but I only ever use it when I mic up the cabs. Do not get the older ADA8000 it is in comparison rubbish and is prone to power supply issues.
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Re: Should I change my Scarlett 18i20 3rd for better quality card

Postby Dniss » Wed Feb 10, 2021 9:58 pm

Hi everyone, for the record I decided to buy the Focusrite Octopre.

Cheers!
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