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Does my studio need A/D or D/A converters?


One would think I'd know this by now, but anyway:
We make records using DA-88s and DP. We have a Digital Timepiece and a 2408. We use the DA-88s analog inputs and monitor off the analog outs to prevent latency. When we mix from the G4 we use the DA-88s as outputs, and, I guess, converters, We use an analog board and mix to a Masterlink.
In this chain, what and where are the converters? The 2408, or the DA-88s? Would one be better than the other? Would an Apogee or other converter make a big difference, and where would it go? And is the Digital Timepice just a synch device to lock up the DA-88's and DP? Or is it a converter and/or clock source? And what about the Masterlink? Should we be converting the analog source through better converters, and is that a separate machine from the multitrack D/A? In other words, how many of the converters do I need to make a significant upgrade?
We might upgrade to ProTools. Same questions?
You guys are great- I'd appreciate your help.
September 30, 2005 @06:27pm

You are using the DA-88's converters if you are going thru the analog in's. I have about the same setup, but I use Cakewalk 9 and use an Ardvark II sync. I bought an Apogee 800 A/D converter. I record thru the Apogee analog ins. I come out of the Apogee via the adat outs into Cakewalk via the 2408MKII adat ins. I monitor thru the Apogee. Then I transfer that audio, after I clean it up, into the DA-88's via the 2408MKII TDIF outs and monitor those tracks off of the DA-88.
The Digital Timepiece is a sync and clock source I believe, but it's not a converter. The 2408 has converters in it. My guess would be that the 2408 would have better converters than the DA-88 simply because of the age difference between them. I haven't heard a huge difference but those that use them say that the big difference is in the multi track mix. There is better seperation and clarity.
You can mixdown thru your analog board and come out of the stereo outs back into the Apogee and go out of that via adat, SPDIF or AES/EBU which ever the masterlink takes.
October 1, 2005 @03:57am

You don't need converters because right now you have converters in both the MOTU and the DA88's. You could certainly benefit from better conversion, but it is not necessary. In your case, I actually recommend that you use the converters in the DA88's unless you want to rewire to go straight through the MOTU. My reasoning here is that any way you look at it you are using the DA88 converters. If you send your signal from the DA88's and then use the Tascam's digital outs to pass it to the MOTU while you record than you are doing 1 A/D conversion. If you send your signal straight to the MOTU and bypass the DA88's, then that would be the one A/D conversion, and may sound a little better, but no real major change in my opinion. On mixdown, you could get your signal's to your board in one of two ways. The way I would reccomend is to send 8 signals straight from the MOTU to your console, and the rest through the MOTU's digital outs to the DA88's. However, by doing this you need to be more careful with your clocking and such, and the slight increase in quality may not be worth the extra effort. The thing to really avoid however would be sending the signal through the MOTU's analog outs to the DA88 analog inputs. If you do that than you are doing 2 D/A conversions and one A/D conversion. Watch out for the same type of loop while tracking too. It is important to remeber that DA88's are digital whether you use the analog i/o or the digital. The difference is that when you use the anlog i/o you force a conversion process to get in or out of the machine. In your setup the best thing to do is to make absolutely certain that you do as little conversion as possible:)
October 1, 2005 @04:31pm

What is the need to do D/A converting after mixer ( only for digital out ? )
What's happens if we do double converting ( A/D or D/A ).
Adding a separate converter ( A/D ) before digital mixer ( already with converting ) , that is bad ?
Thanks for your advice
October 4, 2005 @07:08am

What kind of mixer do you have? I have a setup that works great with a DA78HR recorder.
analog - analog in of DA78HR -> TDIF -> Yamaha 01V96 -> ADAT -> RME Hammerfall 96/52 audio card into Cubase SX2.
I also have an Apogee Rosetta 200 that goes into the 01V96 via spdif.
For mixing, I change the card in the Yamamha to an MY16AT card and have 24 tracks of ADAT to the mixer and then into a Masterlink. All of my clocking comes from a Apogee Big Ben.
With this type of setup I can record to the Tascam or to the computer. The thing here is only one A/D conversion at input and none after.
October 12, 2005 @08:56pm

Thanks for your info.
I have a mixer Yam 01x and i88x . I am using an UA LA2x610 and a Vintech Audio 473, connected to "analog in" of my mixer.
My question is , if I can use a Rosetta 800 to bypass the mixer converter trough digital in ? That will not be a double conversion ?
Do the Big Ben will make difference ?
October 14, 2005 @10:10am

No, that would still be a single conversion. A Big Ben should make a difference in your system. I would guess that it will have a larger impact right now than it will after you add a Rosetta.
October 14, 2005 @03:02pm

Thanks Xstatic,
Appreciate your comments.
Will go for Rosetta 800 and big ben ASAP.
October 15, 2005 @07:12am