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 @ 7:19 PM
"TotalMix keeps my guitar player from being irritated and yelling at me."

You what else is good for that? A y-cord. It's the biggest mystery to me why everyone freaks out about zero-latency software monitoring when all you gotta do is take the out of whatever preamp you're tracking with, split it, send one side to your DAW input and the other to your mixer, and voila, zero-latency monitoring. Cheap.

And if you're a real high tech kinda character like me, you put your DAW A/D ins on a patchbay that mults (like my super high end dbx, cough) and hard wire two cables behind it to a couple of adjacent jacks on the back of the patchbay (non-normalled ones) and then you have two monitor outputs for whatever's being sent into your DAW A/D. Zero latency. No CPU load. Cost= two extra TRS patch cables.

Don't say I never gave you anything.



May.04.2006 @ 7:22 PM
BTW, speaking of lame DSP card mixers, I sure wish my RME 9652 mixer and prefs software wouldn't automatically fire up on startup of my G5. I NEVER use the mixer, as there's this neat new app I have called LOGIC AUDIO that appears to have a similar mixer-looking device. Seems to work well with the mixer-looking devices in front of me that say "Mackie Control" on them.



May.04.2006 @ 7:22 PM

True Cost = your headroom and signal to noise ratio

i would recommend a transformer balanced splitter over a Y cable or patchbay splitting.


May.04.2006 @ 7:35 PM
Chris Randall
I agree. There's absolutely certain to be impedance problems using a Y-cable. Simple laws of physics. However, that is a relatively crafty solution.

Personally, I find the 3.855 ms of latency my system has to be quite livable. In the event that the feel is a little off once I've recorded, I just slide the track a bit until it feels right. Nothing to it. All this by way of saying I don't really care about zero-latency monitoring.



May.04.2006 @ 8:46 PM
1. Get rid of your Rosetta 200 and forget about the 8 extra channels! (you can get 16 of 'em for $625 at anytime).
2. Add an extra $400 to your budget.
3. Rosetta 800 + X-Series Firewire = 3K, Go for it...



May.04.2006 @ 9:39 PM
Chris Randall
Well, that'd be sweet, except I need at least four stereo AES/EBU I/O. If I thought the Rosetta 800 would get me there, I'd have already purchased it and we wouldn't be having this conversation.

If I _did_ get the Rosetta 800, it'd be for external summing, so I'd still need another pair of analog outs, which means I'd still need the Rosetta 200. And considering the Lynx card, which gives me 16 AES channels in and out, and can accomodate a Rosetta 800 plus all the extra AES I need, is only twice the price of the X-Firewire card, it's just not a logical course of action.

Which brings me full circle back to either the Lynx or the RME. I've pretty much decided on the Lynx, truth be told. If I don't like it, I'll trade up to the RME.



May.05.2006 @ 12:20 AM
Ok, it seems I need to justify my statements. First off, my guitarist has been known to show porn to his extended family at christmas dinner. More porn won't help. Secondly, it's not so much the need to hear just himself, as much as the need to hear himself and whatever crap I have conned him into playing on top of. So, it's nice to be able to pipe a backing track, and his own amp back to him without a 5-10ms delay on his playing. I was only meaning to point out uses for TotalMix other than what Chris said he was already doing in Nuendo.

May.05.2006 @ 2:47 AM
heads up... semi related...

the Lynx Aurora 8 is on sale at americanmusical

link []">link []



May.05.2006 @ 5:38 AM
>>I agree. There's absolutely certain to be impedance problems using a Y-cable. Simple laws of physics.

I could most definitely be wrong about this, as I'm not the impedance master (contrary to what my fine DIY summer construction skills would have you believe!). But I've read various posts on gearslutz saying that you can split line-level signals many many times before you actually saw any degradation of fidelity. I wouldn't split a mic level signal... I can see where that would be bad for business.



May.06.2006 @ 3:50 AM
We use Lynx cards at both the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and the SBS (yes, I have two jobs) and FWIW they provide top-notch sound quality and I've never even heard of anyone having any 'issues' with them ever.

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