Avid Pro Audio Community

Avid Pro Audio Community

How to Join & Post  •  Community Terms of Use  •  Help Us Help You

Knowledge Base Search  •  Community Search  •  Learn & Support


Avid Home Page

Go Back   Avid Pro Audio Community > Pro Tools Hardware > Eleven Rack

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #11  
Old 10-15-2013, 07:44 AM
nst7 nst7 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Cincinnati OH
Posts: 9,775
Default Re: Eleven Rack as mixing interface?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay_uk View Post
Can i ask..Does this apply even without room treatment, because i have seen it repeatedly stated that better conversion D/A is questionable without proper room treatment.

Yes, it very much applies. I have only very minimal treatment in my room. But I do have a large room which makes things a little better, in that sound must travel farther before it bounces off anything and comes back to the listening area to cause comb filtering, etc. So when music is played at low volumes, there's not a whole lot getting messed up, although I still struggle with the low end.

But having better converters has definitely helped me hear better what's going on, even in this environment. I went from a 003, and got to try an Mbox 3. Within 1 second, I was blown away by how much better it was. Now I use an HD Omni, which another big leap yet again.

Even without treatment, you will notice much more precise imaging in the stereo field, as well as high end detail, and even more low end.

Having said all that, all this is helped by having halfway decent monitors. I have the KRK VXT8's, which are very nice. There are some less expensive ones like the Yamaha HS8's which are also very good. Try not to go too cheap on the monitors.

But I have had the same monitors through all these listening tests, so that has been consistent, and would not throw anything off.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 10-15-2013, 08:30 AM
Jay_uk Jay_uk is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,227
Default Re: Eleven Rack as mixing interface?

^^^ Thanks for your explanation based on your experience.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 10-15-2013, 01:34 PM
Pinball Wizard Pinball Wizard is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Silver Spring, Maryland USA
Posts: 181
Default Re: Eleven Rack as mixing interface?

Let me throw in a few more things to confuse the situation even more. I have owned a Mbox 3, a Mbox3 pro, and an 11R for several years.

First, all 3 of them suffer from low mic preamp gain. If you do rock and use condenser microphones this isn't a problem. If you do quieter things like folk or chamber music and you like to use ribbon microphones, this can be a significant problem.

In some ways, the 11R is actually better for mixing than either the Mbox3 or the Mbox3pro. It has a detented "volume" control with a readout of the position. This allows a calibrated monitoring situation...something that you can't do with the Mboxes. Also, whoever designed the 11R got the line levels correct. +4 into the +4 inputs or -10 dBV into the -10 inputs comes out as -18 dBfs in Pro Tools just like it is supposed to. The Mboxes are far enough off that you need to build up pads so you don't end up with a noisy gain structure violation.

I guess you would like me to comment on the converter quality too. I do agree with nst7 that the Mboxs have better converters.....I think. The problem is that most of the time when I use the 11R, I am using an effect that really makes any fine evaluation impossible. I never really took the time to evaluate the thing straight. So you really can't value my opinion on quality. For monitoring IMO it is certainly not bad enough to make a problem that would affect the mix. As previously stated, using the digital inputs isn't a problem either. That leaves the analog inputs while recording as the consideration. That may be a 'deal killer' but I'm sorry, I really can't help you there.

btw, ...and this leads me to one of my hot button issues. All of this would be a little easier if Avid would publish the schematics. Yeah, you can't compare subtleties by reading a circuit diagram, but you can easily spot gross problems.

At any rate, good luck and be comforted in knowing that none of these things are really bad. Whatever you choose will be ok.
__________________
Main Workstation: Pro Tools 2018, Windows 10, HP Z440 Xeon 6 core Broadwell 3.6GHz, 32 GB DDR4, Omni, Sync HD, UAD 2 PCIe card

Edit Room: Pro Tools 8LE 8.0.5, Windows 10, HP Z400 Xeon 6 core 12 GB DDR3, Eleven R, UAD 2 PCIe card

Both systems old & previously Avid qualified
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 10-15-2013, 10:39 PM
Jay_uk Jay_uk is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,227
Default Re: Eleven Rack as mixing interface?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinball Wizard View Post
Let me throw in a few more things to confuse the situation even more. I have owned a Mbox 3, a Mbox3 pro, and an 11R for several years.
Have you integrated any external mixer/control surface?
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 10-16-2013, 07:33 AM
Allbaldo Allbaldo is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Tulsa, OK
Posts: 285
Default Re: Eleven Rack as mixing interface?

Thanks for the continued discussion about these units. I'm learning much.

I've read Craig Anderton's Pro Review of the Mbox 3 Pro, which had almost entirely good things to say about it. Build quality, specs, etc rated very highly with him. On the message boards, the opinions are mixed.

He also reviewed the 11R, and liked it very much as well, but didn't go into the depth of detail about the specs, quality of conversion, etc, choosing to focus (rightfully) on it's usefulness to guitarists, and not so much on it's usefulness as a mix interface. If I were convinced the specs and conversion were on par with the MBox Pro, I'd go with it and save myself a few hundred bones.

It seems like the MBox Pro 3 is going to make more sense in the long run. I've seen 11R's going for between $300 and $400, which is very cheap, and they're plentiful. Maybe I can save up, and add this to my setup later. I've been using a borrowed one for a few days, and it works well. I think what I really enjoy about it is the very low latency when playing guitar. My computer is a Mac Mini Server, which is adequate for most of the mixing I do (rock with little or no VI's), but as soon as I start introducing several instantiations of the Eleven plug in, it's shortcomings become apparent.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 10-16-2013, 08:39 AM
Pinball Wizard Pinball Wizard is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Silver Spring, Maryland USA
Posts: 181
Default Re: Eleven Rack as mixing interface?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay_uk View Post
Have you integrated any external mixer/control surface?
Not really but I will comment on interface and then describe what I am doing.

First of all, you will have no problem interfacing an 11R with any professional equipment. It operates at industry standard levels and even has the nice touch of both AES & S/PDIF digital connections. As I said before, if you do choose to use the front panel control for your monitor level, that is easy to calibrate and works just fine.

The Mbox3pro is a different matter. The line inputs have too much gain. They will not work properly with conventional +4dBu equipment. Even with the lower levels (often -2 dBu) at desk insert points, there is too much gain. You will need to construct pads or compromise the noise of the mixer. Please understand that the line inputs are NOT adjustable with the gain controls....they are fixed gain. Even if you are using home style equipment, the RCA inputs which should accept -1 dBV also are wrong. The S/PDIF inputs & outputs do work properly but there is no AES. If you need to use AES, you may be able to trick it.....here is a discussion of that:

http://www.rane.com/note149.html

The good news is that IMO the converters are excellent if you will use them.

So, here is what I have been doing. I have a 500 'Lunchbox' and I have packaged some old API 312 preamp cards to work in it. I only use one of the secondary windings of the output transformer. I put a front panel gain control in the feedback loop. I use these preamps running into the line inputs of my Mbox3pro. I am VERY happy with this arrangement. Even though I believe the Mbox3pro mic preamps are of good quality, I can't use them as they have too little gain (the opposite of the line input problem). I use a pair of the analog outputs of the Mbox3pro with LLM to feed some old Neve DAs which drive studio headphones. I use the S/PDIF outputs for my main loudspeaker monitoring. I have the output level fixed and don't use the front panel large fader. I run the S/PDIF into a home theater style preamp that has calibration/repeatability capability with a readout of attenuation. That works really well but does have the disadvantage of being rather large and taking up a lot of space. The preamp is just used as a volume control and D to A converter...it sends an analog signal to my power amp and on to the loudspeakers.

My other room just uses the 11R. Again, I use the digital outputs for monitoring but the front panel control works fine as a monitor level control.

I hope this helps some. What you do need to know is what I can't really tell you. That is if the converters in the 11R are of adequate quality for you. They are fine for me but as I said in my previous post, I am not really the one to ask about that.

Again, I repeat. Good luck.

PS: Before you buy an Mbox3pro, please familiarize yourself with the firmware update bug that disables the DSP. That's not a problem at all for me but might be a deal-killer for you. It is covered by other threads here at the DUC.
__________________
Main Workstation: Pro Tools 2018, Windows 10, HP Z440 Xeon 6 core Broadwell 3.6GHz, 32 GB DDR4, Omni, Sync HD, UAD 2 PCIe card

Edit Room: Pro Tools 8LE 8.0.5, Windows 10, HP Z400 Xeon 6 core 12 GB DDR3, Eleven R, UAD 2 PCIe card

Both systems old & previously Avid qualified
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 10-16-2013, 12:35 PM
Deansy Deansy is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: New York
Posts: 76
Default Re: Eleven Rack as mixing interface?

I don't have specific knowledge of how good or bad specific A/D converters but EMU advertises their pro/consumer grade interfaces as having "the same A/D converters used in Digidesign®'s flagship ProTools® HD I/O Interface". When it comes to D/A conversion for mixdown, I think the speakers used have more effect on the result than the variation in the quality of D/A conversion. If you're using speakers that color the sound by adding bass or highs having good converters won't help much.

I think the weakest link in many home/professional studio is not the recorder anymore, but it's the quality of the mics and pre-amps used.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 10-16-2013, 08:52 PM
nst7 nst7 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Cincinnati OH
Posts: 9,775
Default Re: Eleven Rack as mixing interface?

If you had the chance to work with high quality converters, I don't think you'd change your mind about some of those things.

And regarding the converters, many companies use it as marketing speak.

There are only a a few companies that actually make A/D and D/A converters. All the various manufacturers use the few that are made. What makes all the difference in the world is the design around those converters.

Just like in the television world, there's only a few companies that make the actual screens/displays, and all the manufacturers buy from them, but each company's design can get vastly different results from those panels.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Eleven Rack as mixing interface? Allbaldo FireWire and USB Audio Interfaces (Mac) 4 10-17-2013 08:10 AM
Eleven Rack as Interface Dopamine macOS 10 02-02-2013 11:35 PM
Eleven rack with another interface ? oplatner Eleven Rack 11 05-30-2012 07:33 AM
Eleven Rack vs. Eleven Rack to another interface petesteen Eleven Rack 1 02-05-2012 02:53 PM
Eleven Rack + Another interface? Kaigne 003, Mbox 2, Digi 002, original Mbox, Digi 001 (Win) 6 12-01-2009 06:49 PM


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:40 AM.


Powered by: vBulletin, Copyright ©2000 - 2008, Jelsoft Enterprises Limited. Forum Hosted By: URLJet.com