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Subject: Firewire Audio Vs PCI cards w/ breakout


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Original Message                 Date: 20-Feb-06  @  03:34 AM   -   Firewire Audio Vs PCI cards w/ breakout

Xino

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Hi all !!

Can anyone tell me whats thew best choice in terms of quality , sound editing and durability between the :
HERCULES 16/12 FW
Edirol FA 66 FireWire Audio

I really really would appreciate sincere opinions and sugestions related to this type of audio soundcards . I produce music but becoming more in depth of the vast needs of producing audio i've reach a point were i need multiple channel soundcard with optical I/O for sincro. performing live . So my doubts reside on the more reasonable/affordable Soundcards solution for home and live production and performing keeping in mind that the material will need to be subjected to usage on the road .

If you have sugestions please reply

Thks in advance
X!no




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Message 11/14             24-Feb-06  @  12:01 PM   -   RE: Firewire Audio Vs PCI cards w/ breakout

k

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trust me, the 1820m fx suck, they are useless in practice even if some of them sound ok in isolated audition (such as the compressor and the reverb sounds like lo-fi old-style tacky dub reverb).

trouble is, if you add ANY emu effect into your sequencer it delays all other channels, so you then have to go and add an e-mu 'delay compensator' plugin to EVERY other track!!!... it takes ages, and i've found when you reboot a song the delay plugin has dissapeared and you have to add them all over again, it's hopeless tbh unless they fixed this, but i cant see how cos thats the whole way it works - I too was interested in this feature when i got it, thinking it'd be cool to use hardware dsp FX, but..... lol

Also - Like the edirol, the emu 1820m reduces it's in/out count to 8 i/o when run at highest sample rate. The additional 8 i/o are on ADAT connectors, so they cant be used without adding an ADAT conversion unit - Like I said, I own one and it's sitting there un-used - The E-mu routing applet is ok tho once you get to grips wiith it (it's complicated and unclear) but it is a total headf*ck

tbh, the output from either edirol or hercules will be pretty much the same I'd say in real-life conditions, you're problems seems to be lack of proper monitoring!!... you can have the best audio i/o in the word but monitoring thru a PA while great for club mixing, isn't decent enuff for prep-ing TV and CD work i dont think.

anyways bottom line..... the difference between the two soundwise would be negligable if it is even noticeable at all....

finaly, this whole 'pro' thing again..

remember you ONLY use the card IN's for recording, so, ok, that CAN effect quality of course, but between the two choices of units you list, any subtle differences between them is NOT going to mean as much as the choice of pre-amp, mic & the actual recording space ambience etc, which will all effect the recorded sound much more than miniscule possible subtleties between different audio-input converters.

as for the outputs - they are ONLY used for MONITORING the mix... your final rendered file is NOT passing thru the converters, so they dont come into the equation in terms of the final file quality... they only effect how you hear it for mixing, and with your current monitor setup the cards subjective output quality is immaterial

___________________________________

I had an idea for a script once. It's basically Jaws except when the guys in the boat are going after Jaws, they look around and there's an even bigger Jaws. The guys have to team up with Jaws to get Bigger Jaws. I call it... Big Jaws!



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Message 12/14             24-Feb-06  @  05:48 PM   -   RE: Firewire Audio Vs PCI cards w/ breakout

k

Posts: 12268

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quote
trouble is, if you add ANY emu effect into your sequencer it delays all other channels, so you then have to go and add an e-mu 'delay compensator' plugin to EVERY other track!!!.


sorry, that should have said:

it delays the track it is added to, and all the toher channels need to be also delayed with a delay-compensator plugin

as a standalone audio device tho it is ok once you get to grips with the routing applet which is not easy to grasp

___________________________________

I had an idea for a script once. It's basically Jaws except when the guys in the boat are going after Jaws, they look around and there's an even bigger Jaws. The guys have to team up with Jaws to get Bigger Jaws. I call it... Big Jaws!



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Message 13/14             27-Feb-06  @  02:19 AM   -   RE: Firewire Audio Vs PCI cards w/ breakout

Xino

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Can you check the Hardware monitoring section on the review you've seen on Sound On Sound http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/feb05/articles/hercules1612fw.htm , and tell me what does it mean when they speak regarding the hardware monitoring being able only two channel at a time ?? ~In practical terms , we have a ultra di 800 box from behringer , for monitoring , and for playing in your opinion what should be the routing ? This hardware monitoring is confusing me , i'm not sure if this is as bad as i think on proving me with the solutions i need



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Message 14/14             27-Feb-06  @  10:03 PM   -   RE: Firewire Audio Vs PCI cards w/ breakout

k

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at this point the best way forward is you must now write down for us what exactly you will want to do with the setup - think of all the possible job's you want to do and list them.



quote
Even before I received my review unit, several SOS readers had asked me to investigate the Hercules' zero-latency monitoring, and I can see why. Unlike most Control Panel utilities, the Hercules' has no level meters, and indeed the unit itself has no onboard DSP mixer for monitoring purposes, in contrast to interfaces from the likes of Echo, Emu, M Audio and Terratec. Instead, you can choose a single input channel pair to be routed to hardware outputs 1/2 with 'zero' latency (the actual latency value is that of the converters, plus that set by the buffer size in the Audio Transfer page, which defaults to 1ms but can be dropped to 0.5ms).

This two-input limitation probably won't bother those recording racks of synths, while those recording with more than two mics will need additional preamps anyway, and may therefore require a small mixer and be able to use that for monitoring purposes. However, if you intend to record more than two simultaneous inputs and need to monitor them simultaneously through your computer, you'll need to disable hardware monitoring and rely on the higher-latency path through your DAW's buffers.



regarding the sos thing, dont worry too much about that, when eh says higher-latency path, it'sa not really noticeable, it's just that for thru-the-hardware monitoring 'direct thru', it can only do that with one pair of input channels, but trust, that's not a problem, if your pc is decently quick you'll be able to monitor thru the s/w DAW at latencies which will be negligable.

See, lets say you want to record a band.. drums, bass, 2 guitars... 8 mic's.... you'll then dub extra guitars layers & motifs, vocals, BV's and odd bits and mix

ok, so tbh, i personaly dont use s/w insert type fx on recording, because there is now (not like in tape days) alot of dynamic range to play wth, so gating & compressing i do afterwards on mix personaly, it doesnt make any difference to how 'separate drums sound with gates for example, and there's enuff dynmaic range for me peronaly to just set levels with room to spare for peaks and compress afterwards.

so that leaves additive fx for monitoring... reverbs, delays, etc... well they are additive fx and are 'added' in to the original signal. Reverb and dleay fx by teh bature of what they are (reflections returning) are by their nature delayed anyways, so any latency ( a few MS) added with 'Thru The Software' monitoring as opposed to 'Direct thru - zero latency monitoring' is ok cos time fx are slightly behind the original anyways... in practice, adding reverb to a vocal and singing with mebbe 5-7 MS doesnt sound odd

anyways dont worry about it in terms of recording a band

The main thing is to define the jobs you wanna do. so you can evaluate what the unit CAN do in terns of your needs

___________________________________

I had an idea for a script once. It's basically Jaws except when the guys in the boat are going after Jaws, they look around and there's an even bigger Jaws. The guys have to team up with Jaws to get Bigger Jaws. I call it... Big Jaws!



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