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  #1  
Old 06-08-2007, 08:29 AM
The Dougfather The Dougfather is offline
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Default Outboard Effects Via SPDIF, whats the deal?

Hi all, i'm aware that using outboard gear via analogue incurs latency where you would have to nudge the track back to compensate. What about if you go via SPDIF where theres no AD>DA conversion, how does this pan out in terms of latency. Ideally i'd like to hear the outboard gear in real time without latency but i guess the term for that is Pro Tools HD, any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers

I'm using an 002R by the way.
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Old 06-09-2007, 12:26 PM
The Dougfather The Dougfather is offline
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Default Re: Outboard Effects Via SPDIF, whats the deal?

Anybody?
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Old 06-09-2007, 01:06 PM
Slim Shady Slim Shady is offline
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Default Re: Outboard Effects Via SPDIF, whats the deal?

There is still latency when using the S/PDIF connections, dependant on your H/W buffer settings. It's not as bad as when using Analog connections for outboard gear since as you mentioned you don't have to wait on the D/A/D conversions, but still enough to make reverbs sound a little funky etc. If you're just printing the effects you can always nudge them back, but if you were hoping to do use it as a realtime effects loop you might still be a bit dissapointed as there will still be some latency present.
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Old 06-09-2007, 01:15 PM
The Dougfather The Dougfather is offline
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Default Re: Outboard Effects Via SPDIF, whats the deal?

Thanks Slim, would low latency monitoring help as bypassing plugs wouldn't matter with outboard.

Cheers
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Old 06-09-2007, 01:27 PM
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EGS EGS is offline
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Default Re: Outboard Effects Via SPDIF, whats the deal?

Slimshady is right. What hardware device are you wanting to use via SPDIF? Sell your hardware, buy more plugs, and stay ITB. My 2 cents.
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Old 06-11-2007, 02:38 PM
The Dougfather The Dougfather is offline
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Default Re: Outboard Effects Via SPDIF, whats the deal?

I disagree, many pro mix artists still favour outboard gear to internal, also staying in the box is too easy and i don't want to lose sight of what sound engineering is all about and how it's developed. It's equally an experience thing as well.

I'm just finding plugins to be such a rip off compared to say a lexicon Fx unit and i'd just like to try something new. However if latency cannot be combated by SPDIF on an LE setup then i thinks it gonna be little use due to the amount of time that will consumed printing all the tracks.

Cheers
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Old 06-11-2007, 03:17 PM
peppertree peppertree is offline
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Default Re: Outboard Effects Via SPDIF, whats the deal?

Low latency monitoring won't help as the audio won't go to the mix bus.

The way to deal with this is to create delay-compensated busses. Route the tracks with the longest latency to one stereo bus that doesn't have any delay compensation. Route the tracks with no added latency to another bus that has a time delay plugin on it that is set, in samples, to your system latency (you can measure this via test signals and nulling by phase inversion). Any intermediate latencies get their own busses.

You will get different latencies for different hardware buffer settings (Playback engine dialog). So decide what is best for mixing on your system and stick with it so you can set these once and forget them.

This, of course, takes a half-hour or so, and then you create a template for it and always load that with each new session. And even more of course, it's all silly make-work that every. other. DAW. out. there. already does AUTOMATICALLY. This is what we refer to when we complain about LE not having "ADC"...it's not analog-to-digital conversion we're talking about, it's Automatic Delay Compensation. HD has this but we're treated as ghetto.
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Old 06-11-2007, 04:13 PM
stoneinapond stoneinapond is offline
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Default Re: Outboard Effects Via SPDIF, whats the deal?

Quote:
I disagree, many pro mix artists still favour outboard gear to internal, also staying in the box is too easy and i don't want to lose sight of what sound engineering is all about and how it's developed. It's equally an experience thing as well.

I'm just finding plugins to be such a rip off compared to say a lexicon Fx unit and i'd just like to try something new. However if latency cannot be combated by SPDIF on an LE setup then i thinks it gonna be little use due to the amount of time that will consumed printing all the tracks.

Cheers
Despite what others have said here, you are right to want to use external hardware with your setup. There is NO reverb plug-in in the world that can compete with a hardware unit, even the less expensive ones.

I run three external boxes, a Roland R800, a Lexicon PCM80 and a Yamaha SPX990. These boxes allow for editing, so if its only reverb or delays, I edit the boxes to perform in a way that is consistent with the way I want it to sound.

So if the predelay is too long because of latency, I shorten it until it sounds right. Same with the delays.

Now admittedly, there are some effects that require syncing, and if the outboard can't do it, I will go to a plug-in.

For things like harmony pitch shifting, you will have issues with latency, but I don't use those kinds of effects. The performer has to perform them.

So don't listen to the calls for getting rid of your hardware. Use your ears and you should be fine.
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Old 06-12-2007, 10:11 PM
nedorama nedorama is offline
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Default Re: Outboard Effects Via SPDIF, whats the deal?

Staying ITB is fine for many, but for me, the Lexicon MPX500 gives me a better reverb and frees up the processor for more EQ, soft synths, compressors, etc. I use Amplitube 1 & 2, and Izotope Trash, but I also still have my Mesa Boogie v-Twin rack pre, ADA MP1 rack pre, and Microcab speaker emulators.

I'd recommend not selling the rack stuff just yet - you won't get that much for it, and you'll have seller's regret afterwards. On the other hand, you can pick up some nice lexicons, etc. cheap now to add that sound you were lusting after 10 years ago... To each his own.
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