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  • ADAT Channel Strip?

    I'm considering an ADAT channel strip to increase the channels on my Focusrite 18i20. I had thought about the Focusrite Scarlett OctoPre, as it has the same preamps, and is basically a like for like expansion. This is something I'll only use once a year when the band is together for the yearly recording session, but I definitely don't want to go down in quality. At around $400, it's not free, but not the biggest investment in the world. The question is, should I be considering a different solution in that price range?
    http://thekiltlifters.com

  • #2
    Originally posted by MrHarryReems View Post
    I'm considering an ADAT channel strip to increase the channels on my Focusrite 18i20. I had thought about the Focusrite Scarlett OctoPre, as it has the same preamps, and is basically a like for like expansion. This is something I'll only use once a year when the band is together for the yearly recording session, but I definitely don't want to go down in quality. At around $400, it's not free, but not the biggest investment in the world. The question is, should I be considering a different solution in that price range?
    It's been a while since I've scoped out the latest in ADAT lightpipe equipped multi-mic preamp units, but I'm not aware of anything significantly better in that price range than the OctoPre.

    Other alternatives at the same price (or less) would include the PreSonus DigiMax D8, the Behringer ADA8200, and the ART TubeOpto 8.
    **********

    "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."
    - George Carlin

    "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."
    - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

    "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."
    - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

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    • #3
      Interesting, the ART was on my radar, but I don't know anyone who has used one.. I'm not a fan of PreSonus preamps, I think they're a bit too hot and definitely color the sound. Behringer isn't exactly known for their high quality, so I hadn't considered going that route.

      I've recently heard that an channel strip connected to the 18i20 via ADAT is limited to 92k sample rate. I'm not sure if that's specific to the Focusrite, or just an ADAT thing. Either way, it makes me want to consider a new interface, and if I have to buy a new interface, it may as well be one with 16 channels.
      http://thekiltlifters.com

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      • #4
        In my previous post, I mentioned that I've never been a Behringer guy, but I have to admit, the X air X18 looks intriguing. I was poised to buy a QSC Touchmix to replace my Yamaha mixer simply due to size and weight, when I came across the Behringer unit. It's a digital mixer that doubles as an 18 input interface. If the preamps don't suck and it doesn't have silly latency, it might just work to replace the Focusrite 18i20, have more than double the inputs without a reduction in sample rate for the additional inputs.

        Thoughts?
        http://thekiltlifters.com

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        • #5
          Originally posted by MrHarryReems View Post
          In my previous post, I mentioned that I've never been a Behringer guy, but I have to admit, the X air X18 looks intriguing. I was poised to buy a QSC Touchmix to replace my Yamaha mixer simply due to size and weight, when I came across the Behringer unit. It's a digital mixer that doubles as an 18 input interface. If the preamps don't suck and it doesn't have silly latency, it might just work to replace the Focusrite 18i20, have more than double the inputs without a reduction in sample rate for the additional inputs.

          Thoughts?
          I too, haven't really been big on Behringer in the past, having suffered a couple of failures with their gear... but the new stuff like the new DAW controllers and mixers, seem to be getting very good reviews from people. I'd certainly be willing to consider one, although I have not really tested them myself, so I can't give you any details or specific thoughts.

          The QSC TouchMix is also very good based on the user reports and reviews I've seen.

          Which Yamaha were you using?
          **********

          "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."
          - George Carlin

          "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."
          - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

          "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."
          - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by MrHarryReems View Post

            I've recently heard that an channel strip connected to the 18i20 via ADAT is limited to 92k sample rate.
            92kHz? That would be weird - are you sure it's not 96kHz?

            I'm not sure if that's specific to the Focusrite, or just an ADAT thing. Either way, it makes me want to consider a new interface, and if I have to buy a new interface, it may as well be one with 16 channels.
            ADAT Lightpipe was originally designed back in the 16 bit ADAT tape deck days. It can handle 8 channels of 24 bit audio at up to 48kHz. After that, you start getting into S/MUX; with it, Lightpipe can transmit up to four channels of 24 bit audio at up to 96kHz, or two channels at 192kHz.

            Personally, an interface with less than 16 simultaneous inputs would be of little use to me - I consider that the bare minimum necessary to track a rhythm section simultaneously, which is my preferred way of working.

            **********

            "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."
            - George Carlin

            "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."
            - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

            "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."
            - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Phil O'Keefe View Post

              I too, haven't really been big on Behringer in the past, having suffered a couple of failures with their gear... but the new stuff like the new DAW controllers and mixers, seem to be getting very good reviews from people. I'd certainly be willing to consider one, although I have not really tested them myself, so I can't give you any details or specific thoughts.

              The QSC TouchMix is also very good based on the user reports and reviews I've seen.

              Which Yamaha were you using?
              I'm currently using an MGP16X, which has been a great, problem free board aside from the size and weight in its road case. I have some familiarity with the TouchMix, which is compact and weighs almost nothing. I found the Behringer when I was looking for competing products. With it doubling as an 18ch interface at 1/2 the price, well, that's definitely intriguing. There is an unending stream of information about folks using it in a live setting, which seems a good fit in that regard, but very little in regards to its capabilities as an interface. The best I've found so far is a latency test someone did that showed something in the 5ms range.



              ADAT Lightpipe was originally designed back in the 16 bit ADAT tape deck days. It can handle 8 channels of 24 bit audio at up to 48kHz. After that, you start getting into S/MUX; with it, Lightpipe can transmit up to four channels of 24 bit audio at up to 96kHz, or two channels at 192kHz.
              The idea of degraded quality for the second bank of inputs just doesn't sit well with me.

              Personally, an interface with less than 16 simultaneous inputs would be of little use to me - I consider that the bare minimum necessary to track a rhythm section simultaneously, which is my preferred way of working.
              I'm with you there. I just don't understand why there are so few options with more than 8 inputs. I see time and again companies coming out with yet another expensive interface with only 2 inputs. I have no idea what I'm even supposed to do with that.
              http://thekiltlifters.com

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              • #8
                The idea of degraded quality for the second bank of inputs just doesn't sit well with me.

                What sample rate do you normally run at?
                **********

                "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."
                - George Carlin

                "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."
                - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

                "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."
                - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Phil O'Keefe View Post


                  What sample rate do you normally run at?
                  I just took a look and realized I'm actually running it at CD quality, or 44k. In that regard, looks like a light pipe connected strip would be just fine.

                  I did order an X AIR X18 yesterday. I'll see how it stacks up against the Focusrite. Overall, I've been pretty satisfied with the focusrite, save for melting gain knobs and input shortage. The other downside of living in Hawaii is that some rubber compositions tend to break down in the environment here. The gain knobs are a gooey mess.
                  http://thekiltlifters.com

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