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  #11  
Old 01-01-2020, 03:40 AM
uptheoctave uptheoctave is offline
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Default Re: MTRX-> HDX or MTRX->Dante

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Originally Posted by ArmyofLight View Post
Thank you for reminding me of the Red16 line. I'm used to looking at the pure Ethernet boxes in their line. That would be my least expensive route to connecting my existing studio to an HDX card. I don't get any preamp consolidation/rack space reclamation from it, but having a bunch of Rupert Neve pre's is hardly something to complain about.
Three things to know about the Red line of interfaces.

1. Only the Red 16 Line has matched input/output alignment.
If you buy a Red 8 or Red 4 and use a lot of hardware inserts you will have to compensate for 9db loss with a trim plugin. I upgraded from the Red 8PRE to Red 16 Line because of this.

2. The Red series is not sample accurate with HDX.
That may or may not be an issue for you.
It isn't for me- I track with HDX and mix natively- the Red 16 Line is great for that, switching between Pro Tools and Thunderbolt mode keeps all my routing.

3. The Red 16 Line only had 32 channels of Dante so it is a maximum of 48 channels of IO unless you want to use the optical ports, then it is a maximum of 64 channels. I'm right on the limit of this device- I would appreciate Focusrite releasing an updated Red 16 Line that had 64 or 128 channels of Dante and I would add a couple more A16R's.

I know I could use the Rednet PCIe card but that would see me lose hardware monitoring, which I use all the time.

Finally, one HDX card is often insufficient- most people I know have 2 or 3.
Depends on how much processing you use and your workflow.

I have considered moving to the MTRX but just the base chassis is £5k here.
For me to get 48 channels of IO it would be something like £30k so that isn't going to happen.

I had considered getting an MTRX with 8 channels of DA and Dante and keeping my A16R's but it is still £9kish and I would lose the convenience of Thunderbolt.
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  #12  
Old 01-01-2020, 05:07 AM
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paulo m paulo m is offline
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Default Re: MTRX-> HDX or MTRX->Dante

I recently build a studio with a MTRX with the internal 64 channel Dante card and a Focusrite Red4, that handles the DA/AD via Dante, instead of having the AD/DA options for the MTRX, which cost way more. Not the same league of conversion, but for our purpose is more than adequate. The Red 16 is also a good option if you need more than 8 DA/AD.

We also have an HDX card connected on the MTRX. The advantage of having a MTRX is that it comes with 16 AES I/O builtin, so it was a breeze to interface the Genelec´s 7.1.4 setup via AES. Another advantage is that DADman monitoring controller software comes included. It´s a great matrix for whatever you want to do in terms of routing and monitoring using all the options you have installed on the unit, Dante included and can also be controllable from the AVID Control app that you can install on a Dock or S1 tablet. Using it on the Dock, you can use the hardware lateral rotary buttons to control certain functions and also the volume knob can control the volume that goes to your Genelec´s. I find it more adequate and quick than using the soft fader on the GLM software, even if on a touch surface. The disadvantage here is that the GLM SPL calibration is overrided in this scenario.

Having one of the Focusrite Red range units also has the benefit of being able to use it in either Protools mode(Digilink) or Thunderbolt mode. Switching is very fast. So if you keep using your Nuendo/Cubase or indeed any other Core Audio software along with Protools, this is a great way of handling signals from all DAW´s. You can even run diferent DAW´s at the same time if your CPU handles it. For instance you can have Cubase and Protools running at same time.
I would stay away of using the HDX card for interfacing Nuendo/Cubase and go the Thunderbolt route instead. The HDX card is important to have if low latency for tracking is important for you and also for using AAX DSP plugins. If not and native latency via Dante is good for you as is,you can either buy the Thunderbolt Native box from AVID and connect via Digilink to either a MTRX or a Focusrite Red interface.

Happy New Year
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Regards,

Paulo M

Last edited by paulo m; 01-01-2020 at 05:12 AM. Reason: Missing word and more info
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  #13  
Old 01-01-2020, 10:31 AM
ArmyofLight ArmyofLight is offline
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Default Re: MTRX-> HDX or MTRX->Dante

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Originally Posted by paulo m View Post
We also have an HDX card connected on the MTRX. The advantage of having a MTRX is that it comes with 16 AES I/O builtin, so it was a breeze to interface the Genelec´s 7.1.4 setup via AES. Another advantage is that DADman monitoring controller software comes included. It´s a great matrix for whatever you want to do in terms of routing and monitoring using all the options you have installed on the unit, Dante included and can also be controllable from the AVID Control app that you can install on a Dock or S1 tablet. Using it on the Dock, you can use the hardware lateral rotary buttons to control certain functions and also the volume knob can control the volume that goes to your Genelec´s. I find it more adequate and quick than using the soft fader on the GLM software, even if on a touch surface. The disadvantage here is that the GLM SPL calibration is overrided in this scenario.

Having one of the Focusrite Red range units also has the benefit of being able to use it in either Protools mode(Digilink) or Thunderbolt mode. Switching is very fast. So if you keep using your Nuendo/Cubase or indeed any other Core Audio software along with Protools, this is a great way of handling signals from all DAW´s. You can even run diferent DAW´s at the same time if your CPU handles it. For instance you can have Cubase and Protools running at same time.
I would stay away of using the HDX card for interfacing Nuendo/Cubase and go the Thunderbolt route instead. The HDX card is important to have if low latency for tracking is important for you and also for using AAX DSP plugins. If not and native latency via Dante is good for you as is,you can either buy the Thunderbolt Native box from AVID and connect via Digilink to either a MTRX or a Focusrite Red interface.

Happy New Year
Paulo, Thank you for sharing your experience. It is highly relevant. I would also plan on using the built in AES interfaces to my Genelec setup, so this is quite helpful. Today I do this with a Rednet D16R.


My research turned up the same conclusion re: HDX for non-Avid apps - it just isn't worth the hassle. Use HDX for Avid, use other interfaces for other programs. Noted and will make sure that is part of the plan.
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  #14  
Old 01-01-2020, 10:49 AM
ArmyofLight ArmyofLight is offline
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Default Re: MTRX-> HDX or MTRX->Dante

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Originally Posted by octatonic View Post
Three things to know about the Red line of interfaces.

1. Only the Red 16 Line has matched input/output alignment.
If you buy a Red 8 or Red 4 and use a lot of hardware inserts you will have to compensate for 9db loss with a trim plugin. I upgraded from the Red 8PRE to Red 16 Line because of this.

2. The Red series is not sample accurate with HDX.
That may or may not be an issue for you.
It isn't for me- I track with HDX and mix natively- the Red 16 Line is great for that, switching between Pro Tools and Thunderbolt mode keeps all my routing.

3. The Red 16 Line only had 32 channels of Dante so it is a maximum of 48 channels of IO unless you want to use the optical ports, then it is a maximum of 64 channels. I'm right on the limit of this device- I would appreciate Focusrite releasing an updated Red 16 Line that had 64 or 128 channels of Dante and I would add a couple more A16R's.

I know I could use the Rednet PCIe card but that would see me lose hardware monitoring, which I use all the time.

Finally, one HDX card is often insufficient- most people I know have 2 or 3.
Depends on how much processing you use and your workflow.

I have considered moving to the MTRX but just the base chassis is £5k here.
For me to get 48 channels of IO it would be something like £30k so that isn't going to happen.

I had considered getting an MTRX with 8 channels of DA and Dante and keeping my A16R's but it is still £9kish and I would lose the convenience of Thunderbolt.

Octatonic, thank you for the relevant details. I just went and counted and have 30 analog channels coming in between Rednet2 and SQ-5. Additionally, I currently have 8 ch of digital I/O to and from an Eventide H9K over Dante. That could swell to as much as 32ch depending on what I chose to use. My studio is higher on the input than output side since I don't do analog mix or summing here - all ITB. So, its 38ch in - which I don't know that I was fully aware of. The Dante PCIe card makes it so I just don't have to care - there's always plenty of room to add things, and it "just works". I have been quite happy with the move to Dante.


Adding a Red 16 + HDX card would accommodate all my inputs at a substantially lower price point than MTRX. But part of the appeal is being able to simplify down to a single I/O box. Today I have two Focusrite boxes, a digital mixer, 3 preamp boxes and a 500 rack full of pres - all that would disappear into a single MTRX.



I was thinking that if I kept the Rednet PCIe card, that would allow non-PT software to access the I/O and speakers that are connected to the MTRX.



This thread and the posts from people using other Focusrite and Genelec digital products has been very helpful to me as I work out what direction will work best.
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  #15  
Old 01-01-2020, 10:58 AM
ArmyofLight ArmyofLight is offline
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Default Re: MTRX-> HDX or MTRX->Dante

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Originally Posted by octatonic View Post
I know I could use the Rednet PCIe card but that would see me lose hardware monitoring, which I use all the time.

Finally, one HDX card is often insufficient- most people I know have 2 or 3.
This is how I ended up with a Dante connected digital mixer in the monitor path.... I basically just have AD/DA delay. The SQ.5 is .7ms, so the latency is very low. Low enough that I haven't had any drummer complaints. My thought was that an HDX card is roughly the same cost as the digital mixer, so a wash. Both do zero latency FX, etc. Different devices, but they serve the same function.


Needing several HDX cards would have me counting PCIe slots... and my budget. Good things to think about. I suppose it is apparent that the HDX cards are indeed several years old at this point. What Behringer and others have done with digital mixers is quite impressive, and shows what can be done at the price point of a single HDX card - lots of I/O and 48ch of full processing at 96Khz.



It is a good time to making music. Audio hasn't gotten any harder to process, but processing power continues to advance. The new MacPro, for example, offers near limitless capability for audio processing.
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  #16  
Old 01-01-2020, 02:44 PM
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paulo m paulo m is offline
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Default Re: MTRX-> HDX or MTRX->Dante

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArmyofLight View Post

Adding a Red 16 + HDX card would accommodate all my inputs at a substantially lower price point than MTRX. But part of the appeal is being able to simplify down to a single I/O box. Today I have two Focusrite boxes, a digital mixer, 3 preamp boxes and a 500 rack full of pres - all that would disappear into a single MTRX.
Just a brief note: it´s all fine regarding concentrating everything in one box, but that comes at a price. And it´s a bit risky if something goes wrong with it too. Considering the inputs you say you need (assuming they are all analogue), that´s 4x8 channel AD cards to the MTRX, so around 8.000 dollars on top of the base unit. If you want some or all of those cards to have mic preamps, count on more money, around 700 dollars more per card. The 64 channel internal Dante card is also around 500 dollars. The 128 Dante channel card that fits into one of the 8 available slots on the back of the MTRX is way more, but considering your needs, I think it would be overkill. Also consider that even if you plan on having the mic pres on the MTRX AD cards, they won´t be the same as your 500 series preamps (don´t know which ones you have) in terms of "flavour". So depending on your taste and needs, you may find it would be nice to keep them and add less mic pres on the MTRX, so that you may have more options. Also, the physical control of the MTRX mic pres won´t be the same either. You can control them via Protools/S1/Eucontrol, but I´m not sure about other DAW´s.
Also, remember that if replacing your digital mixer by a controller like one or more S1´s, all audio will be dependant of your interfaces and associated routing, so a good choice is essential so that things run smoothly.

Considering your setup and your initial idea and not knowing your budget, I would go for an MTRX base unit with 64 channel Dante card, plus two Focusrite Red 16 line that interface via Dante to the MTRX. Two S1´s with an AVID Dock, 3 Android tablets running AVID Control app. Your Genelecs connect via AES to the MTRX. All analogue I/O connects via the Focusrite´s. AVID HDX card or Thunderbolt Native, depending on your latency requirements. Protools Ultimate.

Keep the 500 pres, ditch the two existing Rednet units and the PCIe card and also the mixer. Just an opinion, of course.
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Paulo M

Last edited by paulo m; 01-01-2020 at 03:02 PM. Reason: More info
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  #17  
Old 01-02-2020, 09:44 PM
ArmyofLight ArmyofLight is offline
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Default Re: MTRX-> HDX or MTRX->Dante

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Originally Posted by paulo m View Post
Just a brief note: it´s all fine regarding concentrating everything in one box, but that comes at a price.
.....

Keep the 500 pres, ditch the two existing Rednet units and the PCIe card and also the mixer. Just an opinion, of course.

Thanks again for helping me think it through. I hadn't really thought about the redundancy bit. You are right, of course about the physicality of the gain knobs, etc. I had mostly just rationalized it as something that is done at the front of a session and not so much afterwards, but it I do have 1:1 knobs already.



I'll do some latency testing with native and see what that is like and make the decision.



I agree on the S1/Dock portion and that is what I was planning to do. The easiest way for me to dip into it is with an HDX card and a Red 16 line box. That gives me HDX and the Red 16 bridges onto Dante up to 32ch, plus the 16 I/O which is fine. The MTRX really is a different decision than the native/HDX and and I can consider it in that light. I have not had any complaints about the conversion quality of the Focusrite system or my Rupert Neve preamps. It's all very high quality gear.
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  #18  
Old 01-03-2020, 04:47 AM
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paulo m paulo m is offline
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Default Re: MTRX-> HDX or MTRX->Dante

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Originally Posted by ArmyofLight View Post
Thanks again for helping me think it through. I hadn't really thought about the redundancy bit. You are right, of course about the physicality of the gain knobs, etc. I had mostly just rationalized it as something that is done at the front of a session and not so much afterwards, but it I do have 1:1 knobs already.



I'll do some latency testing with native and see what that is like and make the decision.



I agree on the S1/Dock portion and that is what I was planning to do. The easiest way for me to dip into it is with an HDX card and a Red 16 line box. That gives me HDX and the Red 16 bridges onto Dante up to 32ch, plus the 16 I/O which is fine. The MTRX really is a different decision than the native/HDX and and I can consider it in that light. I have not had any complaints about the conversion quality of the Focusrite system or my Rupert Neve preamps. It's all very high quality gear.
You´re welcome. Just keep in mind that the monitoring page on the AVID Control app that you can install on either a Dock or S1 tablet, only works in full when running with the DADman software and the MTRX. Otherwise, you can only use the volume knob.

Have a look at these vids that show what you can do with the MTRX:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJNC...1JQIl6&index=1

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rt2u...1JQIl6&index=2

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x8A1...1JQIl6&index=3

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DVf5...1JQIl6&index=4

All in all, the MTRX/Focusrite Red16 line combo via Dante works great and is very versatile. Depending on your workflow, needs and budget, having also the MTRX base unit with just the 64 channel Dante card is a great step to take fully advantage of all your gear integration. Without the MTRX, you´ll have to drive your Genelec´s in AES from somewhere or use it in analogue.
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Paulo M
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  #19  
Old 01-10-2020, 02:01 PM
DHS DHS is offline
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Default Re: MTRX-> HDX or MTRX->Dante

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Originally Posted by LukeHoward View Post
Just beware the latency on the AM2 may be too high for tracking. You likely want a KLANG:quelle. The latter uses a different and more expensive Dante chipset that can provide sub-ms latency.
UI have an MTRX and a AM2 running cue send and I don't notice any latency.
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  #20  
Old 01-10-2020, 07:47 PM
ArmyofLight ArmyofLight is offline
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Default Re: MTRX-> HDX or MTRX->Dante

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UI have an MTRX and a AM2 running cue send and I don't notice any latency.

This is my experience as well. My current monitor path goes from Rednet 2 AD conversion onto the Dante network, from there to the SQ-5 where monitor mixes happen, and then out to AM2's in the room. The SQ-5 has .7ms fixed latency A-D-A, and I'm not asking it to do any AD or DA. The transport latenty on the Dante network is negligible (sub 1ms). So the overall latency is about 3ms or so - which is how far the snare is from a drummers ear. I have not had anyone complain. Its a 100% hardware path, and not notionally different than MTRX or an HDX card - its all DSP.
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