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  #1  
Old 01-24-2021, 12:02 PM
kindkind kindkind is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 184
Default Which interface - upgrade to achieve more channels

Hi!

I have gotten to the point where my 10 channels is not enough. Current setup:

002R
PT10 HD - (on an iLOK2, and in my avid account)
Mac Pro 4,1 - 2009 base model 2.66 quad 12GB
OSX 10.7.5
API A2D on s/pdif

I want to record 16+ tracks @96k. Otherwise, i would just add an ADAT 8 channel pre like i used to have.

I am open to a compatible 3rd party interface, and i hope my computer would be able to handle tracking 16 channels @96:
  • Needs to have s/pdif in for my A2D
  • Mic-Pres are not major concern since i feed from my mixer direct outs
  • 16 channels analog i/o

I am also open to a compatible, used PT/Avid interface such as 192 and HD Native card:
  • It seems like a 192+HDNative card would run about $1K.
  • Would HD Native significantly lessen the load on my system, where a 3rd party interface will not?
  • Will 192 16x8x8 io allow simultaneous tracking of both s/pdif and 16 analog channels? (dumb question!)

I understand i would not need a digilink license since i am on PT 10 and digilink license is 10.12.6 and up.
Hope i did not miss too much. Would like to hear responses to the above. I know if kind people give suggestions i will also be looking at them in terms of future compatibility as well.
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  #2  
Old 01-24-2021, 01:10 PM
albee1952 albee1952 is offline
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Default Re: Which interface - upgrade to achieve more channels

I made a similar upgrade a few years ago so here are some important details:

1-(my opinion) An HD/Native card is probably a good option(add a pair of used 192 IO boxes for 16 analog inputs @96K)

2-All of #1 will work with PT 10 HD(which you already own)

3-Yes, a Digilink license is NOT required below PT 12.6 HD software.

4-A 192 IO is good for 16 TOTAL IO in any combination of analog and digital, so your API A2D should be able to work as 2 of the 16 inputs on a 192(no, you can't get 18 inputs from a single 192).

6-In theory, the HD/Native card should have little(if any) affect on the system load as it has no DSP, but since you are used to the 002, the next higher buffer setting(with HDN) will feel the same(re. latency) as the 002(upping the buffer MIGHT ease things on the system).

7-As for 3rd party options, UA Apollo and Focusrite are worth a look(but I am strong on HDN, having had very good luck with it)

Last 2 cents: Do you NEED 96K? Does it make better music? Does it make sense with your final deliverables(for me, 48K was fine for music releases and youtube videos). Do you want any newer plugins? Sticking with PT10 limits your options somewhat. Your computer is fairly weak(talking spec's) so would beefing that up(flash to 5,1 and install dual 6-core cpu's and more RAM) make sense? This is all just to make sure you think it all thru In any case, I recommend cloning your current system drive to a fresh SSD before making any changes that you're considering. That way, if things go sour, you can re-install the old system drive and still get work done with the current setup

BTW, you might also consider HD3 (or higher with a chassis)
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  #3  
Old 01-24-2021, 07:38 PM
kindkind kindkind is offline
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Default Re: Which interface - upgrade to achieve more channels

Thanks albee1952, i'm with you on all those points...

Quote:
Originally Posted by albee1952 View Post
1-(my opinion) An HD/Native card is probably a good option(add a pair of used 192 IO boxes for 16 analog inputs @96K)
I need 2 192io boxes for 16 @96k?? I was hoping to use the expansion bay for an extra 8AD. But i haven't been able to confirm in the literature that the 192 is able to do 16 AD @96k, nor that it cannot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by albee1952 View Post
7-As for 3rd party options, UA Apollo and Focusrite are worth a look(but I am strong on HDN, having had very good luck with it)
I have looked at Aurora 16, seems with LT-HD you can connect the aurora 16 to the HDN card, and the pci LT-HD is also connected in some way to the HDN card. PTHD recognizes it as 2 192io.

Or it would be possible to do one of these 3rd party interfaces without the Avid card and be limited to 32io, and no low latency DSP plugs, and the other drawbacks are? But the aurora 16HD would be $1500 used, much more than a used 192, and i would probably need a thunderbolt pci card or something like that and be running on CoreAudio. I wonder if the other compatible 3rd party options can do the 16 in @96k + s/pdif for the same $1K as the 192 + HDN route.

But then, if in the future i want to use my 192 with other DAWs, i can't practically, right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by albee1952 View Post
Last 2 cents: Do you NEED 96K? [...] Sticking with PT10 limits your options somewhat. Your computer is fairly weak(talking spec's) so would beefing that up(flash to 5,1 and install dual 6-core cpu's and more RAM) make sense? This is all just to make sure you think it all thru In any case
I hear you, the 96k is a want, its not a need, and that part of it is going to play into my final decision in the end. But i need to lay it all out in front of me.

I'm glad to hear your suggestion about the flash and dual 6 core install, i was wondering about that too.
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  #4  
Old 01-25-2021, 08:34 AM
albee1952 albee1952 is offline
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Default Re: Which interface - upgrade to achieve more channels

Hmm, lots to think about(still)
1-A single 192 can do 16 inputs at 96K. Adding an input card to a "standard" 192 covers that need(unless you have something that can connect to the AES inputs).
2-While some other hardware options may be considered "better" sounding, the 192 is totally capable of making great recordings.
3-Its nearly impossible to add Thunderbolt to a computer that wasn't built for it.
4-With an HDN card(which is what I would use with your Mac Pro), you will be able to get up to 64 IO as the max, with digilink interfaces connected(giving you future expansion options)
5-AFAIK, other DAW's can use the HDN card/digilink IO's(I know many folks that run both PT and Logic on the same system)

Hopefully, this fills in a few more blanks

Re 96K vs 48K, here's my 2 cents; Does 96K sound better? In a direct comparison, sure it does. Does it make better music? Nope Having recorded and mixed projects at 48K that got Grammy nominations and ICMA awards, I believe the gear has less to do with success than many think. Mostly, its down to the skill and taste of the artist(s), the engineer and the producer. The gear takes a back seat. Give me a killer performance of a great song done on an "average" system over a crap performance of a crappy song done in a million dollar studio I'm not saying great gear doesn't matter, just that its not going to make you better than you are. Aretha Franklin singing into an SM58 is miles better than me singing into a vintage U47
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