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Question about ADAT quality

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  • Question about ADAT quality

    Will I get better results by plugging in my 8 channel Digimax 96k preamp into the 4 analog line inputs of Apogee Ensemble than by connecting it to the Ensemble using ADAT?

    or will it be the same?

  • #2


    • #3
      There will probably be some quality difference, but depending on the rest of your signal chain it could be negligible. Try it and see how it sounds to you. Use it whichever way you think sounds best.
      Joshua L.Decatur, AL


      • #4
        I vote ADAT to avoid the extra AD/DA step.


        • #5
          I vote ADAT to avoid the extra AD/DA step.

          interesting, thanks nero


          • #6
            I vote ADAT to avoid the extra AD/DA step.

            What extra AD/DA step? Unless I misunderstood, he's talking about using the Digimax as a preamp only - no conversion would take place at that unit. He'd just be connecting the line outs from it to the Apogee. Am I missing something?
            Joshua L.Decatur, AL


            • #7
              The preamp is a digital preamp. A analog to digital process happens in this unit. I don't know if this is bypassed when you run it direct. But if it doesn't (no idea) then you would be taking an analog signal (mic) runing it into the preamp and a A/D conversion would take place then dump back out the back again being going through a D/A conversion. Of course then when you run it into your interface your doing this again.

              Now I have no idea (your probably right MrJoshua) if this occurs running this thing analog. I'm sure someone will pipe in with the right answer.

              If the above scenario exsists then the A/D conversion happens in the digimax and doesn't go through a D/A conversion till it hits the apogee.


              • #8
                The preamp is a digital preamp. A analog to digital process happens in this unit.

                It is an eight channel analog preamp that happens to have ADAT output.

                If you use the ADAT out the Digimax is working as a digital converter as well as a preamp.

                If you use the analog outs then it simply gives you the analog preamp outs.

                If the analog outs had anything at all to do with the digital part of the unit it would have to be converting the analog to digital and then back to analog.

                Unless you have an effects unit that has digital functions like a reverb for instance there is no point in an analog to digital and digital back to analog procedure.

                I would guess that the Apogee would have better conversion than the Presonus so it would make more sense to run out of the Digimax analog inputs and let the Apogee do the conversion but who knows? You could try it out both ways and see if you like one way better than the other but realize that it is very difficult to do valid comparisons like this. Different sounding takes and even the smallest differences in volume will throw any hope of real meaningful data right out the window here.


                • #9
                  Well, the thing is that I am trying to decide if I should go for the Digimax LT (48k max) or Digimax 96k.

                  I need 12 mic inputs to record my drums (4 from the Ensemble + 8 from the Digimax).

                  The Ensemble can only record at 48k max if you're using ADAT.

                  Sometimes I know I might use only 8 for other projects and not 12, thats why i've been considering the 96K because it has outputs and I can connect it to the analog ins of the ensemble or just use it with ADAT at 48k. The Digimax LT does not have outputs and it can be only used with ADAT.

                  But if the results will be the same using ADAT and the Apogee analog line inputs, then I will just go for the Digimax LT and save myself $500.

                  What do you guys say? LT or 96k?


                  • #10
                    I would say the Ensemble will destroy the quality of the Presonus.

                    Use the AD/DA converters on the Ensemble, if your unit has analog direct outputs.

                    Even at 44.1k the Ensemble will still sound significantly deeper than the Presonus electronics will.
                    Adam Brassadam@dspdoctor.comDSPdoctor


                    • #11
                      hey Adam!
                      So I should go for the 96k then?

                      If you read my last post you will understand my situation


                      • #12
                        Sure why not?

                        BUT, I am only saying that the converter quality and analog circuitry in the Ensemble will be substantially "better" than then the Digi-Max. So at any sampling rate, it would be a better choice for AD/DA.

                        Higher sample rates do not always attribute to "higher quality" recordings. They are higher in speed, yes, so the converter is "snap shooting" or taking more pictures of the waveform [with 96k] with twice as many samples written per second than 48k will write.

                        88.2 is twice as fast as 44.1..etc...etc...

                        Higher resolution is the goal, but again, it depends on the source and the analog stage of the converter, clock accuracy and the Nyquist filtering, etc...It really does depends on the source, as with 96k, you'll be capturing/recording frequencies as high as 48k,

                        Does you gear allow that amount of resolution though its frequency response? Microphones, Pre amps, processors? This is something you should try out and experiment with.

                        I actually prefer 44.1 for many styles of music. Just ask yourself, What is up there, that you need to be recording? Perhaps there are overtones that would not be produced through the recording when limiting to lower sample rates.

                        The debate goes on,

                        I like high speed recording, but driving too fast under the influence is not a good idea. Sorry for the dumb analogy.
                        Adam Brassadam@dspdoctor.comDSPdoctor


                        • #13
                          not dumb! I learned something.

                          I won't be recording higher than 48k.

                          I just placed an order for the 96k. I'll be using it at 48 or 41k with ADAT for drums, and without ADAT (outputs to Ensemble inputs) for my other projects (still at 48k or 41).

                          Right now is the time to tell me if I made the right decision...
                          I can cancel the order and go for the LT.


                          • #14
                            The Ensemble is a great interface!

                            Adam Brassadam@dspdoctor.comDSPdoctor