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[?] Which preamp (or AD box) to mix in the box
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Eurorack Modules  
Author [?] Which preamp (or AD box) to mix in the box
killkrt
Hi,

My beast has grown and now I have some VCOs/Voices and I have also a Pico DSP with stereo output.

Since I am not thinking to make live music in front of thousand people, I'm going to mix everything in my DAW (Studio One) where I have already lot of good mixing plug-ins (Slate Digital and UAD).

Since I have a good, but poor of analog inputs, Audient ID22, I was considering to expand it with an external preamp with ADAT, but I am not sure if I have to look for something specific (dBU tolerance, DC coupling or other black magic stuff hmmm..... ), I was wondering if you could help me on choosing the right gear.

Basically I'm looking for a box with one ADAT output and 8 analog inputs 48KHz@24bit.
I don't know if they make something like that. I wasn't able to find a simple AD converter with many inputs and no outputs. For example Scarlett OctoPre looks nice, but I don't care about all those outputs.

ES-8 could be an interesting alternative, but it has only 4 inputs. meh


Thank you.
j259
If sound quality is what you're after then the best value is probably a kmix and best overall buy MOTU 8A, or if you have the budget and a Mac an older gen 8x8 Apogee Symphony.

Motu 8A has recent Cirrus ADC and Sabre DAC converter chips but also analog outputs. The cost vs quality ratio is good, even with the analog outputs you say you don't need. You don't really need preamp gain for modular since the signal is so hot.


There is also 8pre and newer/more expensive 8m.
You can't bypass the cheap 8pre preamps, and for the best ADC specs e.g. dynamic range the newer gen 8A is definitely the option to go with for a reasonable cost.

The DAC will also kill your Audient for monitoring, and you'll have the option down the line of getting a piece of hardware to integrate, like a GSSL bus compressor, or fx box, for example.
killkrt
Wow, it seems a nice interface (good DAC), but a little extra budget, I was thinking/hoping to spend less than 400€/450$, and my ID22 is pretty new (less than one year), so it was not my intention to substitute it, but just to expand it.

It would be great if there was a ADAT interface with no preamps and outputs, but I can guess that it would be such a market success.
j259
killkrt wrote:
Wow, it seems a nice interface (good DAC), but a little extra budget, I was thinking/hoping to spend less than 400€/450$, and my ID22 is pretty new (less than one year), so it was not my intention to substitute it, but just to expand it.

It would be great if there was a ADAT interface with no preamps and outputs, but I can guess that it would be such a market success.


Yeah, there are such things but they tend to be built for highest quality location recording with external preamps or are part of modular systems for studios, so are very expensive.

Selling ID22 could be the right move if best sound quality is the goal. Although if you're also recording vocals, you'll need a preamp of course.
killkrt
Consider that I find ID22 ADC/DAC as high quality converters, so I am not looking for something with better quality, but record the various voices of my synth in good quality and then mixing with my DAW.

It is because of that I was thinking about Scarlett OctoPre. It is half the price and I could maybe keep my ID22, since I read that ID22 has better ADC/DAC than Scarlett. So I could keep it to control my speaker and record voice.

Anyway I am tempted with MOTU 8A now (or MOTU 624) d'oh!
nimmen
I use modded behringer ada8000(op-amps and black gate caps), hard to beat it for the price.
Funny and interesting article/results here
https://www.gearslutz.com/board/gear-shoot-outs-sound-file-comparisons -audio-tests/335267-lynx-aurora-16-vs-behringer-ada8000.html
Johnnyfive
+1 on ada8000 (or the updated ada8200).

in my own experience with it i've never found the sound quality to be lacking, and the thread linked by nimmen shows that it is very well received in blind tests
j259
I'm just going to say that the dynamic range and sample rate of ADCs does make a difference but also the line stages with which these converters are coupled.

The difference is mainly in the sense of acoustic depth, which is particularly noticeable with true stereo recording using microphones, in the raw files without signal processing like compression, not doing loop back tests. Also different line stages will have different colorations. Some have softer or instead more crystalline highs and some tighter or looser lows, measurable distortion, etc

It is not a subtle thing, but probably matters less for direct electronic sources without captured acoustic soundstage and the more predictable level of electronic sources to begin with, without the inverse square law to worry about.

Beyond that, the difference with a DAC and good monitoring is fairly obvious in terms of tight or loose bass response and a good DAC system will absolutely kill a laptop one in terms of depth.
Ears
I use a UMC1820 for similar duties. Cheap. ADAT to talk to my ES8. And lots of inputs that work fine with modular audio outs ( CV outs go thru the 4 ES8 ins)
Not sure if I understood your requirements but worth a look.
grep
Check out the last 1/4 of this video. Some insight on what your are looking to do.
killkrt
Thank you all for your comments.

I'm reading lot of good reviews and opinions about the ADA8200. There also some interesting blind tests.

It has nice specs considering its price, +26dBU as max input, so it should manage the hot signal from gears, ADAT I/O, decent converters, front panel with gain knobs on each channel.
It cannot sample at 96KHz, but anyway for good mic stuff I will still use my ID22.

Uhm... I think it could narrow down my research.
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