High-end audio in-out module?

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KEVINSORBO
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High-end audio in-out module?

Post by KEVINSORBO » Sat Feb 08, 2020 11:11 am

Hi everyone
Any suggestions on a studio quality stereo audio in and stereo audio out module? Preferably jack.
So far the Intellijel audio interface seems to be nice and simple.
TAI-4 by Vermona seems to be good to offering xlrs in and out.

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Re: High-end audio in-out module?

Post by danishchairs » Sat Feb 08, 2020 11:21 am

KEVINSORBO wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 11:11 am
Hi everyone
Any suggestions on a studio quality stereo audio in and stereo audio out module?
Perhaps the WMD Pro Output?
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Re: High-end audio in-out module?

Post by cackland » Sat Feb 08, 2020 11:27 am

I was going to suggest the Joranalogue input and output modules

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Severed head
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Re: High-end audio in-out module?

Post by Severed head » Sat Feb 08, 2020 11:48 am

its probably best to make your decision based on what you need to come into the modular system and whats coming out of the modular system is going into. particularly in the case of the vermona. as its a bit more $ than the intellijel and the WMD pro,

but also
what do you mean by studio quality ?
isn't that a buzz word, in this day & age when the cheapest laptop & interface can capture audio that can be scrubbed to studio quality in any number of apps also another reason to base your selected module on the desired in/out signals

ive used the intellijel I/O( V1&2) in what would be consider a "professional" studio and ive use cheaper modules or just a VCA, the V1 was a bit funky but thats the UI of that thing (thats just a nightmare) but the V2 was fine for me, although I noticed you sorta need to sound check a vast array of sounds, in my case I notice it tends to get close to clipping a bit on the input when I have all my channels blasting. but the output stays safe so Id get an overdriven sound kinda (good and bad just preference).

each I/O ive used tended to have its own character that, again a preference thing but all seemed to send and receive pretty much what I played into it
in regards to quality.
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Re: High-end audio in-out module?

Post by oilpanic » Sat Feb 08, 2020 12:12 pm

It’s never going to be better audio than straight out of the last module in the patch. Any other transformer will make the sound worse. This includes pads, line boxes, passive attenuation. Last module straight into line level on the recording device is the cleanest if you can get the levels right, and in most cases it is absolutely possible.

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Re: High-end audio in-out module?

Post by BlackDoors » Sat Feb 08, 2020 12:16 pm

I’ve got a few, Joranalogue, Erica pico, and Intellijel.

I also go straight to my inputs from the modules where I can. And some euro modules work ok with line level signals going in. Of course with modular levels being so hot, that’s not always so easy with every input, FX box, sampler etc.

I didn’t do any technical analysis but the Joranalogue ones are my go-to I/Os to use when I need one. Sound great, LEDs for level, and I had no drama going to/from any equipment with them.

Wondering if I need another input/output pair now :hmm:

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Last edited by BlackDoors on Sat Feb 08, 2020 12:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: High-end audio in-out module?

Post by andybizarre » Sat Feb 08, 2020 12:19 pm

Be aware that the Vermona uses transformer isolation. When driven, it saturates beautifully and compresses the audio material quite a bit. And that is both ways, in and out. It`s not the best choice if you want a high level, clean and neutral output. Besides the Diyre project the Vermona is the only way to in-rack big console transformer sound, AFAIK. I love mine so hard, I had to get a second one :hihi:

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Re: High-end audio in-out module?

Post by gkalis » Sat Feb 08, 2020 12:56 pm

Real good pints and suggestions there
I guess the more people that used their modular system for processing external audio the more choices there will be.
I am using it in two ways ;
1) process stereo sounds or mixes out of the audio interface process in the eurorack world and then back out stereo out to the audio interface . That’s why 2 jack in and two jack out (L-R) is essential. Some great modules I use are also stereo ((magneto, morphagene, erbeverb)
2) since I am a pianist, I plug in two microphones (again left and right) in my overstayer modular preamp and stereo out in to the modular world again for some orciessing . And then of course back out stereo to record the results .
There seems to be some options out there but I guess for something like this we would be happy with some sort of metering , volume /gain on inputs and a sound as neutral as possible / no extra Colouring

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Re: High-end audio in-out module?

Post by billyk419 » Sat Feb 08, 2020 1:53 pm

As someone mentioned before, I would assess how many inputs and outputs you think you'll need.

I'm a huge fan of the nw2s stuff. Best bang for your buck I/O-to-HP wise, but 8in/8outs might be overkill for many
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Re: High-end audio in-out module?

Post by dubstephead » Sat Feb 08, 2020 2:00 pm

billyk419 wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 1:53 pm
As someone mentioned before, I would assess how many inputs and outputs you think you'll need.

I'm a huge fan of the nw2s stuff. Best bang for your buck I/O-to-HP wise, but 8in/8outs might be overkill for many
nw2s::io (balanced)
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Re: High-end audio in-out module?

Post by rew_ » Sat Feb 08, 2020 2:15 pm

oilpanic wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 12:12 pm
It’s never going to be better audio than straight out of the last module in the patch. Any other transformer will make the sound worse.
well this isn't true
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Re: High-end audio in-out module?

Post by Fleuw » Sat Feb 08, 2020 2:18 pm

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Re: High-end audio in-out module?

Post by KEVINSORBO » Sat Feb 08, 2020 4:20 pm

That ACL looks great. It also has the look of "sounding great" interface.
Price is a bit steep.. but ok.
In the add description it doesn't mention xlr, instead it says 1/inch jacks in out. Typo?

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Re: High-end audio in-out module?

Post by damase » Sat Feb 08, 2020 4:24 pm

anyone have experience with both the vermona and the acl?
vermona- i have other modules which i think are excellent quality, so tempting to lean that direction without any user experiences of the acl.

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Re: High-end audio in-out module?

Post by bemushroomed » Sat Feb 08, 2020 5:19 pm

rew_ wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 2:15 pm
oilpanic wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 12:12 pm
It’s never going to be better audio than straight out of the last module in the patch. Any other transformer will make the sound worse.
well this isn't true
How is it not true? if you mean you can add character, yes, you can also add reverb and whatnot, but that's not what he's saying.

Straight into the sound interface does not always work, if i put Plaits straight into my Tascam 20x20 sound interface it'll overdrive the signal like crazy because it's just way too loud. My X0X Heart i can put straight into the sound interface because x0x heart has a volume knob, most modules does not come with a built in mixer like that though.

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Re: High-end audio in-out module?

Post by rew_ » Sat Feb 08, 2020 6:39 pm

bemushroomed wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 5:19 pm
rew_ wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 2:15 pm
oilpanic wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 12:12 pm
It’s never going to be better audio than straight out of the last module in the patch. Any other transformer will make the sound worse.
well this isn't true
How is it not true? if you mean you can add character, yes, you can also add reverb and whatnot, but that's not what he's saying.

Straight into the sound interface does not always work, if i put Plaits straight into my Tascam 20x20 sound interface it'll overdrive the signal like crazy because it's just way too loud. My X0X Heart i can put straight into the sound interface because x0x heart has a volume knob, most modules does not come with a built in mixer like that though.
well aside from the multiple reasons you yourself list (lol), and the ridiculousness of the phrase "better audio," it puts lie to the idea of using pre-amps and analog mixing desks, which audio professionals spend many thousands of dollars and hours on.

it is possible that going from the last module out straight into an audio card will give you the most transparent recording, but that's far from saying an audio signal cannot be improved upon, for any number of reasons, after it leaves the modular.

this whole line of thinking also ignores the fact that there are also vast differences between VCAs and A/D converters. "Modular out --> A/D in" is not some blanket solution, as, uh, you yourself note.
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Re: High-end audio in-out module?

Post by bemushroomed » Sat Feb 08, 2020 7:26 pm

rew_ wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 6:39 pm

well aside from the multiple reasons you yourself list (lol), and the ridiculousness of the phrase "better audio," it puts lie to the idea of using pre-amps and analog mixing desks, which audio professionals spend many thousands of dollars and hours on.

it is possible that going from the last module out straight into an audio card will give you the most transparent recording, but that's far from saying an audio signal cannot be improved upon, for any number of reasons, after it leaves the modular.

this whole line of thinking also ignores the fact that there are also vast differences between VCAs and A/D converters. "Modular out --> A/D in" is not some blanket solution, as, uh, you yourself note.
Multiple? the 1 problem i have is that the signal is too hot, as we all know not uncommon for eurorack signals. If my interface managed euro levels i certainly wouldn't add a VCA for the sake of it "sounding better", which is what he meant.

And yes, music as a whole can of course always sound better through for example expensive EQ's and whatnot, there's a reason why music is EQ'd and used through expensive mixers in studios... i don't think anyone is arguing against that. It's also kind of on another level than the cheap eurorack modules that we have. I think for most of us a transparent sound with as little noise as possible is quite good to work with once it gets into the DAW and we can EQ etc.

So i'd say if you can put your module straight into the audio interface its as good as it will get if we speak in "high-end" terms (meaning transparency, low noise). If not i'm all ears which module you would suggest adds this high-end character you speak of, that big studios use ;)

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Re: High-end audio in-out module?

Post by thetwlo » Sat Feb 08, 2020 9:36 pm

L-1 mixer or Random*Source Serge Stereo mixer.
http://randomsource.net/serge_eurorack?mod=RS_SMX_E

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Re: High-end audio in-out module?

Post by oilpanic » Sun Feb 09, 2020 12:58 am

oilpanic wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 12:12 pm
It’s never going to be better audio than straight out of the last module in the patch. Any other transformer will make the sound worse. This includes pads, line boxes, passive attenuation. Last module straight into line level on the recording device is the cleanest if you can get the levels right, and in most cases it is absolutely possible.
I guess what I mean is that the s/n ratio, distortion and dynamic levels will never be better than the last step in the Eurorack environment. One can make it louder or better fitting in a mix, or gently saturated or all sorts of tricks that we know as recording techniques, but that’s not really improving on the actual sound, just shaping it to come out of a set of speakers in a nice way, or fitting it in next to other instruments in a mix. But for every additional step signal to noise, dynamics and distortion will be worse by most accepted metrics. We still use DIs because of convenience and we want to send audio signals balanced if we want to send it a long distance. So we have balanced output modules. But the module itself does not improve on the sound it is just a more or less faithful conversion.

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Re: High-end audio in-out module?

Post by KEVINSORBO » Tue Feb 11, 2020 5:16 am

The TAI-4 - VERMONA probably looks like the most high end option out there with transformers.
XLR in and XLR out does make it more sturdy also.
Then I guess could you just plug a mic in?
Otherwise this looks great for a single mic in with 48v - Expert Sleepers Little Mikey

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Re: High-end audio in-out module?

Post by Kattefjaes » Tue Feb 11, 2020 6:54 am

I had a 4ms Listen IO just because it looked like a nice way to avoid some fiddling. Sadly, the build quality wasn't there- the right input jack was hit and miss and the left one was totally borked. Brand new mod, so back to the retailer. It didn't look like the sturdiest build quality, so now I have a Ladik A-545 instead- which is a little deep for my little case, so it's up on a couple of mm of standoffs for breathing space. It seems to be an improvement in build quality terms, and uses beefier 1/4 inch jacks too.

That said, I haven't had a chance to do a bunch of critical listening to it yet, I did briefly plug a drum machine in to check it worked, but nothing too careful.

At the other end, I have an Intellijel Mixup connected to an adjacent Outs- I'm lazy and like the thing to be self-sufficient. The little headphone amp is a godsend. It means I can tuck myself in a quiet corner with the modular and headphones if I want to.

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Re: High-end audio in-out module?

Post by maxl0rd » Tue Feb 11, 2020 8:05 am

It’s loaded terminology of course, but this context might clarify a few things.

“Professional” equipment is largely the way it is to solve the problems that people have moving voltages effectively around a large studio or venue. This is a different problem than recording a euro rack on a small table.

One of those common problems is that the output of something is too hot for the next thing in the chain, and the solution you want there is called an inline pad, aka resistors. That will always be the most transparent solution.

If your interface has high impedance (instrument) inputs, and you are only using a few feet of cable, then padding your output down and going into that from almost any module should give good results. It demands less current from the last op amp in the output module.

If you are a good distance from the recorder, or in an especially hostile electromagnetic environment, then an output transformer is your friend. You exchange some level for isolation, and then make it up on the other end. The advantage of an actual transformer balanced “output module” here is that a well designed product will have level matched for you in a reasonable way. If you just patch into a random DI box, you may saturate it easily.

After that, there probably aren’t many products left to consider if you set the bar for pro at “drives a few hundred feet of cable into a low impedance input at least as well as a small mackie”.

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Re: High-end audio in-out module?

Post by Foghorn » Tue Feb 11, 2020 8:27 am

I simply pad down the last Eurorack output and go into a mixing board.
I think it should be passive padding, AKA.. voltage reduction.
.
I was doing this without a pad to drop the voltage, into a cheap Tascam mixer and burned it out.
Now I always reduce the hot Euro signal, before going anywhere else.
.
PS I did not like the quality when using transformers, but have had good luck using an Art-cleanbox Pro to balance the signal for input directly into amplifiers.

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Re: High-end audio in-out module?

Post by KEVINSORBO » Tue Feb 11, 2020 8:44 am

Well since we are on the subject, someone is selling a Befaco DIY out module for just 60euros on the Modular Synthesizer Sales and Trade (Europe) FB page :)

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Re: High-end audio in-out module?

Post by REcDeso12oi » Tue Feb 11, 2020 10:24 am

I have the ACL, it's fantastic. It's become a fairly integral part of my studio for processing sound through my buchla, 5u, and euro, as I use it a ton as a balanced to unbalanced converter for inserts in the box. Also it sounds great, saturates very nicely, and the routing options end up being a huge help. You get what you pay for with this one.
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