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32x32, thunderbolt 2... other than Antelope Orion 32+?

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32x32, thunderbolt 2... other than Antelope Orion 32+?

Postby ore_terra » Wed Mar 03, 2021 9:04 am

I'm looking to get something with the above number of I/O's and with thunderbolt 2. is there any other option around the same price range than the Orion 32+ in the market?

also, I'm seeing the gen 2 orions at a quite good price 2nd hand. I've seen the improvement in the converters in gen 3, but is there really a significant jump in quality and features from gen 2 to 3? (I know this typical "VS" question is more typical of another forum... sorry guys)
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Re: 32x32, thunderbolt 2... other than Antelope Orion 32+?

Postby The Elf » Wed Mar 03, 2021 9:24 am

My high input count solution was an RME MADIFace and a pair of Ferrofish A32 (it's possible to add a further 2 A32s). I'd also say to take a look at Dante and AVB solutions.
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Re: 32x32, thunderbolt 2... other than Antelope Orion 32+?

Postby Eddy Deegan » Wed Mar 03, 2021 10:13 am

Does it have to be Thunderbolt? USB2 is perfectly capable of more tracks than you're likely to need.

I've been wrestling with the need to increase my I/O for a while but wanted to keep things simple, without the need for breakout cables and multiple protocols involved. After much research I settled on a Presonus StudioLive 32R.

A 2U rackmount digital mixer, USB2 to the DAW, furnished with Neutrik XLR/TRS line/mic combis with mic preamps for all inputs, and TRS jacks for the 16 flexmix outputs.

It also supports AVB. I've only had mine for a couple of days so haven't got to grips with anything other than 32 inputs and the stereo output yet, but the specs cite 64x64 USB channels internally.

Very reasonably priced too. I'm planning to complement it with a StudioLive desk later and to run the 32R as a stage box to up the inputs to 64 or 96 depending on which model of desk I settle on. The one limitation I'd mention is that the sample rates supported are limited to 44.1k and 48k.
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Re: 32x32, thunderbolt 2... other than Antelope Orion 32+?

Postby The Korff » Wed Mar 03, 2021 10:20 am

I can vouch for the TB2 PreSonus Quantum interfaces: outstanding latency and generally very unfussy. This one would fit the bill...

https://www.presonus.com/products/Quantum-4848

You don't get any DSP processing or mixer frills (the software that comes with it is only really used for changing sample rates!), but the latency is low enough that that doesn't really matter (see my review of the 2626 here: https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/pr ... antum-2626)

Cheers!

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Re: 32x32, thunderbolt 2... other than Antelope Orion 32+?

Postby ore_terra » Wed Mar 03, 2021 12:08 pm

thanks Chris. I wasn't considering the quantum (I didn't even know it, I must say :lol: )

I also like you dont have to "mess" with internal routing softwares...

I'm also looking at the converter specs and, despite a bit lower than the Orions and even my current apollos, I don't think I should be worried... and honestly it's cheap enough to save for a nice stereo "mastering grade" converter to impress customers :lol:
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Re: 32x32, thunderbolt 2... other than Antelope Orion 32+?

Postby jaminem » Wed Mar 03, 2021 12:36 pm

Eddy Deegan wrote:Does it have to be Thunderbolt? USB2 is perfectly capable of more tracks than you're likely to need.

There is a subtlety to this Eddy, the challenge is that when connecting via USB2 some drivers limit the track count that is addressable, so even tho its likely you wont exceed the bandwidth of USB2, you wont be able to 'see' all of the inputs and outputs which can be a bit of a faff.

My Fireface UFX+ works this way, so although its USB3, if you plug it into a USB2 socket, you cant see the MADI I/O, which I like to have permanently patched into my patchbay

Im sure I would never exceed the bandwidth via simultaneously using all the I/O but I do want to be able to accesss a lot of external hardware and instruments direct from my DAW hence USB2 isn't sufficient without repatching.

For the OP I settled on the Fireface UFX+ and a Ferrofish A32 like Elf. I looked at the Orion a lot, but was loathed to move away from RME being a long time user, and just heard too many worrying stories about build quality, repair frequency (admittedly from a pro studio) and the driver/app stability.

I'm glad I went this, since I couldn't get Thunderbolt to work on my Coffee Lake based system so having the USB3 alternatively was a lifesaver!
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Re: 32x32, thunderbolt 2... other than Antelope Orion 32+?

Postby ore_terra » Mon Mar 29, 2021 10:30 am

I finally went for the Quantum 4848.

I've done the 1st full band recording session with it this weekend, and so far all I can say is... FAST FAST FAST.

monitoring through cubase @64 samples, with Soundtoys little plate and Cubase stereo delay as tracking verb/slap. Cubase was displaying overall latency as 1.40 ms or so. I dont remember but the numbers were already good per se.

routing wise: I had prepared a JDK 8Mx2 (8 preamps with mixing capabilities) to sum 2 kick mics and 2 snare mics, just to try (I was also recording the single mics) as I was also using it for first time in a recording session. I decided to try how fast would be summing these 2-2 in cubase after some corrective EQ, out of the Quantum as a mono feed to a Klark Teknik EQP and back to Cubase.

listening there was no apparent latency to my ears; then I zoomed in to see the waveforms and the gap after 3 trips through the converters plus all the routing in cubase was more or less similar to the gap between snare top and snare bottom :crazy: :crazy:

at this point I got bold as you can understand :lol: , and yesterday for guitar overdubs I tried to go a bit further just for the fun of it:

guitar --> amp head --> UAD OX box, one of the output asas DI output (we'd been using the other output Saturday morning to track the whole band) --> converter in to get the DI'd head track ---> converter out to a power stage ---> guitar cab with 2 mics ----> converter in, some corrective EQ in both tracks, sum to mono ----> converter out----> outboard EQ ---> converter in

total: 5 trips through the converter, and I can assure the feel playing that guitar and hearing on headphones was absolutely real time playing for me (I tried it myself during lunch break) :bouncy: :bouncy: :bouncy: :bouncy: :bouncy:

I can't talk on the sound quality yet. for the moment all I can say is I havent heard anything "better" or "worse" than with my previous converters (UA apollos), but I still havent spent much time mixing with the new interface.

to sum up, so far very impressed with the Quantum: everything is easy, everything is "there", you only have to focus in your Cubase windows and your patching.

1st time with an analog pres + converters configuration after being with Apollos for a few years, and it is also the 1st time I dont have any "why there is no sound here" problem in a session.
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Re: 32x32, thunderbolt 2... other than Antelope Orion 32+?

Postby CS70 » Mon Mar 29, 2021 10:55 am

Whoa 1.40ms roundtrip at 64 samples? That's pretty amazing!

Sounds like it was great fun, and great with not having to play lost sound detective!
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Re: 32x32, thunderbolt 2... other than Antelope Orion 32+?

Postby ore_terra » Mon Mar 29, 2021 11:05 am

CS70 wrote:Whoa 1.40ms roundtrip at 64 samples? That's pretty amazing!

Sounds like it was great fun, and great with not having to play lost sound detective!
I cant recall the exact figure, to be honest. all I remember is that it was amazing :lol: :lol: I'll go later to the studio and check
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Re: 32x32, thunderbolt 2... other than Antelope Orion 32+?

Postby ore_terra » Tue Mar 30, 2021 9:40 am

1.4 ms each trip, not roundtrip :headbang:
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Re: 32x32, thunderbolt 2... other than Antelope Orion 32+?

Postby CS70 » Tue Mar 30, 2021 10:39 am

Right. What a relief, I won't be tempted to change my setup and can happily go lurking at these two three things which I'm already thinking of buying. :lol:

Still impressive speed, however!
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Re: 32x32, thunderbolt 2... other than Antelope Orion 32+?

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue Mar 30, 2021 10:54 am

64 samples at 44.1kHZ = 1.4 secs. I guess you have to add the D/A and/or A/D convertor latency but it's just maths innit?
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Re: 32x32, thunderbolt 2... other than Antelope Orion 32+?

Postby n o i s e f l e ur » Tue Mar 30, 2021 11:30 am

The Quantum stuff looks really good, it has to be said. Very impressive latency numbers.

It also has to be said they achieve this by foregoing any onboard hardware mixing or routing facilities - which as has already been noted both here in the thread and in the SOS review can actually be a blessing, as it allows you to keep all your routing within your DAW environment.

But I'm gonna throw this into the mix (ahem). RME also offer this mode of operation on their devices. You can go into the settings of Totalmix and switch modes, whereupon the Totalmix mixer changes to show you just the hardware I/O without all the fancy (and sometimes lifesaving!) hardware internal routing and mixing and loopbacks etc.

So if that particular facet of the Presonus Quantum line appeals, rest assured you can still take the "nobody ever got fired for . . ." route of RME as the interface to the computer and whatever converters you fancy hooked up to that.

As fast as the Quantum are over TB2 I'd be surprised if they outperform RME on the same interconnect.

Basically, there's no need to sacrifice some very handy facilities, and at least for RME there didn't seem to be a neccesity technically to ditch them to reach this level of performance.

It's bloody admirable that PreSonus have managed to turn this into a marketing point mind you. I suppose it reads better than "We Can't DSP So We Don't DSP LOL!" :P
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Re: 32x32, thunderbolt 2... other than Antelope Orion 32+?

Postby ore_terra » Tue Mar 30, 2021 12:20 pm

well... I guess I am that potential client that does not want to pay for DSP if the box is fast enough to allow DAW monitoring.

never tried RME stuff so I cant talk.
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Re: 32x32, thunderbolt 2... other than Antelope Orion 32+?

Postby n o i s e f l e ur » Tue Mar 30, 2021 12:39 pm

Well there is that argument definitely - they can bring the price down by omitting the DSP / FPGA stuff.

I'm being pretty tongue in cheek with my dig about "can't DSP". I'm sure they could if they decided to put enough effort and money into it - they seem to have done a good job with the TB drivers after all, and the sound quality is supposedly quite good.

Mostly I just wanted to inform or remind people that the RME kit can be set up to completely bypass its internal hardware mixer and do the direct DAW thing too. And if you've enough I/O hooked up to make that feasible it's a great way to do it, for sure. :)

I should note that the RME stuff doesn't suffer from any extra latency by using its hardware routing, mixing and / or DSP lest anyone think so.
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