Old 04-09-2020, 06:35 PM   #1
Lucian
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Default Need suggestions on how to update recording path Equipment

I currently have a Delta-66 with DMP3 preamps which work fine on an I7 Win7 pro system but I want to investigate better gear. I am leaning towards getting a pair of Cranborne Camden 500 preamps in a small lunchbox. From here on out it gets confusing. There are so many choices for external AD converters, I would like to spend < $1000 for a stereo setup if possible. Then the choices get more complicated in terms of cards to use. Do I use AES or ADAT? I don't need converters or onboard preamps. Is such a thing possible? I am leery of all in one cards and like discrete components. I would like to keep the card price under $1000 which should be doable I would think but I am having alot of trouble. Any advice?
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Old 04-09-2020, 08:49 PM   #2
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I am leery of spending money on things without a reason. You didn't mention anything that you are trying to improve in this signal chain.. what problem are you trying to fix?

Quote:
I don't need converters
If you're going to skip your Delta-66, you do. You need an audio interface.
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Old 04-10-2020, 07:48 PM   #3
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Although this Delta-66 system is a tank and it has paid for itself many times over. I find I use a mix of various saturation plugs as recordings can get sterile and I started thinking why build and use various track templates of vst simulations when hardware can fix it at the source. So no, nothing is necessarily broken and how it performs is my baseline now. I think I would get the biggest bang upgrading my preamps which lead me to want to investigate the Camden 500 series and I will run those into the Delta-66 and see how it sounds.

But then I was thinking about the future and I like components so I started looking at AD converters and it is a can of worms with choices. Prices vary a lot with hi-end stuff over $2K. I wouldn't think the gains/advantages would be that noticeable if at all and yet these companies are still in business. I am currently looking at the Resonessence Herus on the low end. It looks like I would need 2 to run stereo, but the cables for hookup suck. Still, opinions seem the sound is worth it. I am also looking at the Chord Electronics Mojo or the RME ADI-2 DAC, plus a couple others.

Next is how to get the data into the DAW. AES or ADAT seem the prevalent choices. This is where I meant I do not need preamps or converters as I would be using external hw for both. I guess the Delta-66 has S/PDIF ins and outs but here is where my brain hurts trying to guess how to hook this up and what card to use so it would work.

So I am not leery of making bad choices, if I buy a DAC and can't hear an improvement, I will then know but will still wonder why 2K+ dollar DACS sell. I do not have golden ears nor perfect pitch but I know how I like things to sound. I think the preamp upgrade will be noticable but was also looking for advice/opinions on external converters and then what card to use.
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Old 04-13-2020, 02:36 AM   #4
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I am still using an i7 box that grew out of a core 2 duo originally with the same used RME HDSP 9652 I bought years ago. Only thing I have upgraded is the number & speed of hard drives & the amount of memory. I also have a buddy who is still running Deltas (3 of them on 3 different old computers) & his stuff sounds at least as good as mine.

I dont know if you are able to work on your room itself or not (rented or owned?) but the one thing that made the biggest change to my recording experience was adding bass traps & diffusion to my small studio. I also bought a reflection filter, but to be honest it didn`t do THAT much to improve my vocal recording.

Unless you really have golden ears, I honestly doubt that changing dacs etc or for that matter preamps will change anything you are hearing by enough to justify the expense.

As a matter of interest, how much of your recording actually uses mic preamps? You might do better re-examining what you use in the way of microphones.
I have two "colour" mic/line/instrument preamps but use the plain ones in my focusrite Octopre 90% of the time. But I have some decent mics.
the Rode Classic Mk1 which is a valve mic is what I use all the time on my own vocals, as it absolutely suits my voice. Worth deciding if this is where you need to spend money.

One large expenditure that you might want to consider if you are really serious about all this is hiring someone to do an analysis of your room and make recommendations as to what treatment you should use.
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Old 04-17-2020, 09:28 AM   #5
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^^^This.
Biggest improvement for the fewest dollars.
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Old 04-21-2020, 07:10 PM   #6
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Well, acoustic treatment can get pricey unless you DIY it all (and then, you are spending time instead of money). But I agree that it will reap far more dividends than buying a better A/D converter or something.

And I doubly agree with not spending money just because you think something will be an improvement. You really want to maximize your return on investment, because this shit gets expensive REAL quick.

I'd recommend doing some blind shootouts of ADCs before spending a ton of money on a new one. You might not even hear the difference. Certainly nowhere near the difference that better mics or preamps would make.

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Old 04-21-2020, 08:30 PM   #7
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I am all set on sound treatment, designed and built 6 years ago.
I would say 60% of recording using mics/pre-amps.
I have a dozen or so mics I use, like-wise with my partner so we have a decent mic locker.

I do appreciate the advise and intent.

So are there any opinions on external converters? Currently looking at RME's ADI series but more interested in Pre-amps. I want to put together a 500 series box and am also open to opinions.
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Old 04-22-2020, 01:06 AM   #8
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Unless you or your partner are among the tiny minority of folks with Golden Ears,* I suspect that changing your A/D converters etc is not going to make a big enough change to justify spending the money.


* Oops I just repeated myself!

Since you have already treated your room, maybe you should look at your monitoring system?

Obviously several things affect the end result that you hear but If you really are determined to change your actual interface, I have to agree with you on choosing RME. My 2 systems are rock solid after many years, despite buying BOTH of them used.

Over the years, the things that have made audibly significant changes for me have been room treatment, buying my Rode Classic I valve mic, buying the RME interfaces & buying a pair of Unity Audio The Rock II monitors.
Marginal improvements have come from a reflexion filter & changing from Behringer ADA8000 to Focusrite Octopre, but these combined with an old JoeMeek Studio Channel and a GAP 73 have given me everything I have needed in terms of clean - to - character preamps without spending an arm and a leg.

Coincidentally I have been recording in a pro studio recently & was interested to see that the few outboard pres they had were all midrange to high end focusrite. Mostly they use the pres in their desk. I also made me realise that my stuff doesnt sound as good as theirs primarily because they have LARGE well treated rooms. Most of them bigger than the whole ground floor of my house. *sigh*

Another thought: When you say you have a good range of mics, what exactly are we talking about here?
I have a bunch of the usual Shure & Sennheiser dynamics, plus 3 different stereo pairs of SDCs & my Rode Classic, a lightly modded Oktava 319 & a couple of generic LDCs. 99% of vocals (mine) I use the Classic alone, or the 319 with the GAP 73, although if I want a more 50`s 60`s sound I use the JoeMeek. Excellent character preamp & a classic compressor sound.
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Old 04-22-2020, 05:52 AM   #9
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Well if you really want to spend some money, I can recommend the Lynx Hilo as an interface/converter.
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Old 05-12-2020, 09:29 PM   #10
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I use Unity Audio Rocks as well, love them. Also have KRK R6's with a sub, an old pair of Infinity Studio Monitor 1s, and a pair of Polk Audio Monitor 70s.

We decided on 4 ADI-2 FS ad/da converters and with a lunchobox of preamps, we can do location recording.
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