May 4, 2006

Opinions are like assholes...

by Chris Randall

Okay, I need to be a Decider. With the release of the new API A2D, and the probable price reduction of the Neve 1073DPD, I can see the writing on the wall. It's time to get rid of my MOTU 896 and get an all-AES solution. (The 896 only has one AES I/O, which I'm using for the Rosetta 200. I'm going to shortly need more.)

The card I keep coming back to is the Lynx Studio AES16, which is $625 from Mercenary. Is there any reason I should not be looking at this card? Is there another solution with at least 8 AES I/O that is worth a shit? I like the fact that it has 16 I/O, and you can add a lightpipe daughter card if you're feeling sparky. I also like the fact that there are two separate headers, so I can use one header for 8 channels of XLR AES, and the other header for a DB25 cable if I get an Aurora 8 or Rosetta 800 or something.

I'm open to ideas, though. My budget for this operation is no more than $1.3K, as that's the current total of my cash on hand, plus the perceived value of the 896. (Note that if you're interested in purchasing the 896, I'm accepting offers. However, I can't actually let it go until I get my Germanium.)

UPDATE: In searching, it seems the only other PCI card with 16 AES I/O is the Hammerfall DSP AES-32. This costs $125 more than the Lynx, and doesn't come with breakout cables. (The Lynx card is $675 with one set of cables.) So total cost is at least $850, which makes it $175 more than the Lynx. Now, I had a Hammerfall 9652 for years, and thought it was an excellent card. So, my question is thus: is the fact that I know and am comfortable with the RME brand, plus the MIDI I/O built in, worth the extra $175?



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May.04.2006 @ 2:24 PM
the casiotone
RME is simply amazing. It has a brutal clock and pratically no jitter. I've 20 audio cards and RME always beat all the others. And no, i'm not endorsed by them (unfortunately).
Well, at least that's my arse.

May.04.2006 @ 5:36 PM
I spent a fair amount of time looking at AES cards, though I've not pulled the trigger yet:

Lynx always has had a solid rep, but one thing that I noticed in the AES16 was its somewhat limited/funky routing options.

The RME TotalMix has always provided a pretty full featured and flexible routing control.

That is the one aspect I'd spend some time comparing and thinking through how it may or may not affect you.

Otherwise, the both seem to be rock solid devices back by good support.


May.04.2006 @ 5:42 PM
Chris Randall
Interesting point. However, I never _ever_ route anything outside of Nuendo, which doesn't rely on whatever dumb-ass "mixer" software the vendor provided. So I don't think that would affect me at all. I generally don't install anything but the driver for whatever sound card/interface I'm using.

I think I'm leaning to the Lynx. I can always return it if it isn't for me, I suppose. Are there any other high-end cards besides the RME and the Lynx?



May.04.2006 @ 5:46 PM
Chris Randall
Man, you weren't kidding. That Lynx mixer is fugly.



May.04.2006 @ 5:55 PM
I agree with avoiding the gerally horrific mixing / routing software that comes with interfaces. That being said, TotalMix is quite useful for setting up zero latency monitoring if you aren't able to in your DAW. This has been great for use with Logic Express. There may be something built in, but I've never found and/or configured it. TotalMix keeps my guitar player from being irritated and yelling at me. It can also be useful for one off routings when playing around.

May.04.2006 @ 5:59 PM
Chris Randall
"TotalMix keeps my guitar player from being irritated and yelling at me."

You know what else is good for that? Porn.



May.04.2006 @ 6:21 PM
Totalmix isn't for 'mixing' as much as its for 'routing'. Its useful far beyond just setting up a monitor mix... I use my totalmix to allow me to freely route inputs & outputs to & from the rest of my studio (external mixer, external gear and a second PC running creamware dsp cards connected via adat & aes/ebu). I don't know of another soundcard that has routing that is as flexible (with the possible exception of the CW cards).

May.04.2006 @ 6:39 PM
Speaking of totalmix and Logic, I've been running the outs from my RME fireface 800 through the Rolls music Folcrom summing box, into my Brent Averill 1272's back into a stereo pair in the fireface. Here's the question: I still haven't set up thing one in the totalmix, and still have no good way of monitoring my mixes after the summing chain while I'm working, or even while I'm printing mixes. I keep the stereo input pair muted while working and recording the final mixes back in, and the result is like opening a gift when all is said and done. Can anyone recommend a good way to use totalmix to monitor just my stereo input pair (preferrably out of the headphone output). Thanks for your help in advance.


ps- sorry to get off topic from the original thread, but it just seemed like a good place to throw it out there, ya know?


May.04.2006 @ 6:41 PM
get the lynx, man

i know sooner or later i'll be talking you into an Aurora, so just get the AES16 now.



May.04.2006 @ 7:11 PM
RME is really cool.
i had a multiface and have 2 fireface 800, that sits beside a full protools hd system. They work really well.
Driver support is amazing,
Routing fast enough (shitty interface, though).
also dsp analyzing is nice.
it's also well built...
I'd buy RME

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