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Old 10-13-2021, 02:12 PM
rjbee rjbee is offline
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Default Digital audio cable question

I was about to buy a s/pdif to xls cable to go from my tonelab desktop multi effects unit to my Focusrite 2i2 audio interface, then to Pro Tools First. It occurred to me that it may not be any better than the phono to phono connection since the signal may be converted to analog at the 2i2, negating the advantage of the s/pdif digital audio cable. Am I correct?
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Old 10-13-2021, 02:32 PM
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Default Re: Digital audio cable question

Don't get confused. Digital is not converted to analog just by adapter cable. You need DA converter for it.

SPDIF to XLR cable would mean you connect to AES/EBU digital input (unbalanced single wire), the signal itself is compatible between the two but the both are digital.

If you think you can connect SPDIF to analog XLR you are wrong in so many ways.
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Old 10-13-2021, 03:23 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is offline
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Default Re: Digital audio cable question

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Originally Posted by rjbee View Post
I was about to buy a s/pdif to xls cable to go from my tonelab desktop multi effects unit to my Focusrite 2i2 audio interface, then to Pro Tools First. It occurred to me that it may not be any better than the phono to phono connection since the signal may be converted to analog at the 2i2, negating the advantage of the s/pdif digital audio cable. Am I correct?
What model Tonelab? I have no idea what you mean by "desktop", these were all floor units AFAIK. The base model blue one? Or the ST? Or the LE? Or? If its an ST then you can use it as the audio interface to your Mac, but it has no S/PDIF so not likely the one you are talking about.

To reinforce what Janne is saying, your 2i2 has no digital I/O. No S/PDIF (or any other kind of) digital inputs or outputs. So you would need to use an outboard converter to go between analog or digital so lose any practical advantage, so just go analog. I think the Tonelab and LE (non ST) only has S/PDIF out which might handicap you if you want to reamp through it digitally. If you want to use the S/PDIF output of the Tonelab you would want to upgrade your interface to one with S/PDIF input (preferably S/PDIF on optical/TOSLINK to match what I think the Tonelabs have).

There are amp and effects sims within most DAWs which likely surpass the quality of what is in the Tonelab. Unfortunately Pro Tools First does not include decent amp and effects sims, such a totally bad product management decision for a beginner DAW, and in First you can't add third party plugins, only Avid ones. The Eleven family amps sims are pretty good.. and available in the nice "Avid Complete Plugin Bundle"... but this is all a confusing mess and getting off track. Ask if you want more help understanding amp and effects plugin options you have. Or change to a different DAW (including Garageband (!)) most other DAWs all have a wide offering of third party plugins. And if you are playing around with stuff post-tracking it's likely easier to play with in the DAW. And may be you know and just love the Tonelab and it's best for you to keep using that. That's a personal and artistic choice, and there is no right or wrong.

It's not clear what you are doing, tracking guitar though the Tonelab, using it for effects only or amp sim as well, if you are wanting to reamp through it etc. If you want suggestions from folks it may help to describe what you are trying to achieve, both artistically and technically. The *one* thing that I think is less open to personal choice is the benefit of tracking a dry guitar signal along with the wet (e.g. processed output of the Tonelab). I'm not sure if your Tonelab provides a dry output or if you will need to separately split that off before the input.

Alright, back to trying to program Fractal footswitches...

Last edited by Darryl Ramm; 10-13-2021 at 09:21 PM.
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Old 10-13-2021, 03:43 PM
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Default Re: Digital audio cable question

Long time no see, nice to see you back Darryl
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Old 10-13-2021, 04:37 PM
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Default Re: Digital audio cable question

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Long time no see, nice to see you back Darryl

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Old 10-13-2021, 10:49 PM
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Default Re: Digital audio cable question

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... my tonelab desktop multi effects ...
Is this your unit? http://www.voxshowroom.com/us/misc/tonelab.html
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Old 10-14-2021, 07:53 AM
rjbee rjbee is offline
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Default Re: Digital audio cable question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darryl Ramm View Post
What model Tonelab? I have no idea what you mean by "desktop", these were all floor units AFAIK. The base model blue one? Or the ST? Or the LE? Or? If its an ST then you can use it as the audio interface to your Mac, but it has no S/PDIF so not likely the one you are talking about.

To reinforce what Janne is saying, your 2i2 has no digital I/O. No S/PDIF (or any other kind of) digital inputs or outputs. So you would need to use an outboard converter to go between analog or digital so lose any practical advantage, so just go analog. I think the Tonelab and LE (non ST) only has S/PDIF out which might handicap you if you want to reamp through it digitally. If you want to use the S/PDIF output of the Tonelab you would want to upgrade your interface to one with S/PDIF input (preferably S/PDIF on optical/TOSLINK to match what I think the Tonelabs have).

There are amp and effects sims within most DAWs which likely surpass the quality of what is in the Tonelab. Unfortunately Pro Tools First does not include decent amp and effects sims, such a totally bad product management decision for a beginner DAW, and in First you can't add third party plugins, only Avid ones. The Eleven family amps sims are pretty good.. and available in the nice "Avid Complete Plugin Bundle"... but this is all a confusing mess and getting off track. Ask if you want more help understanding amp and effects plugin options you have. Or change to a different DAW (including Garageband (!)) most other DAWs all have a wide offering of third party plugins. And if you are playing around with stuff post-tracking it's likely easier to play with in the DAW. And may be you know and just love the Tonelab and it's best for you to keep using that. That's a personal and artistic choice, and there is no right or wrong.

It's not clear what you are doing, tracking guitar though the Tonelab, using it for effects only or amp sim as well, if you are wanting to reamp through it etc. If you want suggestions from folks it may help to describe what you are trying to achieve, both artistically and technically. The *one* thing that I think is less open to personal choice is the benefit of tracking a dry guitar signal along with the wet (e.g. processed output of the Tonelab). I'm not sure if your Tonelab provides a dry output or if you will need to separately split that off before the input.

Alright, back to trying to program Fractal footswitches...
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  #8  
Old 10-14-2021, 07:58 AM
rjbee rjbee is offline
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Default Re: Digital audio cable question

If you Google tone lab desktop you’ll see that it was the original effects unit that started their line. It came from the blue amp engines then morphed into the SE Le etc. Years ago I used the tonelab se with cakewalk and had incredible results. I found the desktop online relatively inexpensive and bought it and wanted to use it with ProTools first. I was not impressed at all with 11 light and the plug-ins that were offered and I realized since it was a free product I couldn’t expect much more. When I saw the digital out on the back I thought that might be an advantage but you’ve all answered my questions and I appreciate it. Thank you.
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