Academy Dashboard Forum Studio Gear Talk What converters do you use?

  • This topic has 16 replies, 15 voices, and was last updated 7 years ago by aka setkya.
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  • #2774

      There's lots out there! So what do you use? What do you like/dislike about it.

      This past summer I upgraded to Avid HD I/O. My Motu died for the second time so figured I was due for a change. I found a killer deal on a used avid on eBay. no way was I buying that thing new. I'm super happy with it so far. Sounds transparent to my ears. I like not having the separate motu mixer. One less thing to have to mess with. Only thing I don't like is it doesn't play nicely as a stereo input/output for non daw stuff like iTunes, Skype, etc. For that I just wire my computer's stereo out to my monitor controller.

      Lee Hawkins

        Getting a used Avid is the way to go Timmymac. Let someone else take the hit on the depreciation. Smart move indeed.

        I use the RME FF 802 with a Ferrofish A16 MK2 Madi/ADAT for addition I/O. RME pre's are super clean and the A/D,D/A and clocking so far has been fantastic. Testing the Blacklion Micro Clock at the moment.

        • This reply was modified 8 years ago by Lee Hawkins.
        Steve A

          Yeah timmymac, good choice indeed, going the pre-owned route
          I went round and round with this just recently, and heard enough comparisons to make me not want to listen anymore..ha!
          I really liked the sound of the Apogee stuff like the symphony, but that would have destroyed my budget having to switch over to a mac, and buy more pre's.
          The converters in my 003 were very flat and lifeless sounding to my ears, so I had to do something.
          The Apollo seemed the smartest choice for being able to both stretch my budget, and having better sounding converters (too my ears)
          I listened to clips done with an Apollo vs a Symphony and DID like the Apogee better, but the Apollo was "close enough" for me to finally make my choice.


            I have a few different sets of converters for various activities.
            Main multichannel converters are an Apogee Symphony I/O with 16x16 and an 8x8x8 cards installed.

            I also have some 2 channel converters:
            Dangerous Music Convert-2, Burl B2 Bomber ADC, and an Antelope Audio Pure 2.

            What I like about the converters is that I have some flavor options. The Pure 2 is really clean and the B2 is colored. The Dangerous DAC is pretty awesome transparent and open. The Convert 2 and B2 also have nice big meters which is hard to live without 🙂


              Yeah I heard the apogee and liked it especially on rock stuff, not so much on jazz. don't recall exactly why now?. might have just been the material. I've also heard the Burl which is really cool. But since I got a killer deal on the avid it won out.
              @LEE HAWKINS - is the 1ms latency referring to a low latency mixer built into hardware? Not the round trip through your DAW?

              @nhamiel - are you analog summing then going through the 2ch adc?

              @3rdstone - yes those apollos are quite popular. And you get the dsp for their plugs. I'd love to try out those plugins but a satellite at $1000 just seems too much cash for just the hardware. They should give that thing away for a couple hundred bucks to easily get more people hooked on them.


                @nhamiel – are you analog summing then going through the 2ch adc?

                @timmymac It depends on the activity. When mixing I'm using the multichannel outs of the Symphony summing through my API console and recording the 2 Track returns through either the Burl or the Pure 2.

                If mastering the audio goes out the Convert 2 to a Dangerous Music Master and Liaison with gear attached. That acts as my mastering console. The return of the master then goes through either the Burl or the Pure 2 depending on which sounds the best.

                I like to have options when it comes to gear and colors or even lack of color if I choose 🙂

                Steve Dandrea

                  I monitor through a TASCAM UH-7000 (which is a 2 channel USB interface with Burr Brown converters). I don't use it as an interface though, so it's USB connection isn't even hooked up to my PC. It is being fed via and SPDIF to AES/EBU digital cable from my Focusrite Saffire Pro 40, which is my main interface. The conversion on the Tascam unit is just light years ahead of the Focusrite. Switching over was one of the best moves I've made, and at $350-400 depending on where you look for the Tascam unit, it is on par with MUCH more expensive units. If you're currently in the market for converters, I urge you to read the reviews on this bad boy before plunking down 3X as much cash for something else.


                    I would also recommend looking into Audient products, which also use Burr Brown converters that Steve mentioned. Both of their interfaces, id14 ($299) and id22 ($599), and also their unit with 8x mic preamps, called ASP800 ($799). The preamps on all units mentioned come straight from their pro console.

                    I personally don't own any of their products yet, but making plans to get the id22 soon, I hope.

                    Christopher Feeney

                      Big fan here of used gear and scooping up early adopters' old stuff as they move up. Picked up a FocusRite Saffire Pro 40 for $250 from a bass player who thought he was going to be the band's recording engineer but didn't end up liking the responsibility. It was such a good deal I almost felt guilty (almost). I love it!

                      Also, I agree with Rosti, I got a good deal on a demo unit of an Audient MiCO two channel preamp with a harmonics and variable phase adjustment controls. It's nice.

                      I would love some discussion on where and how to find quality used gear and dos and don'ts. My process has been to think first about what will make my recordings improve and enhance workflow. Then I research a lot, especially around price vs features vs quality. Then I am patient. I determine for me what is a good deal range and I search, scan, bid and wait. I also find locally - "I have the cash right now and can meet you" closes deals.

                      • This reply was modified 8 years ago by Christopher Feeney.

                        3x Prism Atlas + 1x Prism Orpheus in ADAT -> RME RayDat
                        + Forssell MADA (that clock them all).

                        I thought the Prism clock was good until I heard them clocked by the Forssell 😉

                        The Prism are sweeter sounding, they round off the highs a bit - very nice sound overall.
                        Forssell are more open in both the highs and lows direction, a bit more solid and energetic sounding.

                        Alex Wilson

                          I am also using the Avid I/O. I actually really like it a lot, and as soon as I made the switch, I could here the difference (specifically in the lower frequencies). I actually don't have an issue with it not doing iTunes and Skype like timmymac. For my standard computer audio I use a Presonus Firestudio. As such, once I go to record or mix, I switch completely over to the IO, which is nice because all the computer noises (notifications and such) go away (alowing me to stay focused, as long as I can remember to turn my phone off! hahahahah).

                          In contrast to the Avid IO, I often use a laptop and a $40 interface to capture ideas. Saw a sale for an Art 2 channel USB duel Pre, and I have to say it works pretty well!



                            I was using a Saffire Pro 40 for years until I upgraded to an Apogee Symphony last year. I really want to get the PCI-E card and an expansion to 16x16. I have the 8x8x8 at the moment which is great but I tend to do summing out of the box so I'm relying on a Focusrite LE Octopre for some of my outs (Apogee - lightpipe - focusrite). I can really hear the difference in the convertors but it's not financially possible to move up.

                            Highly recommend the Apogee. My mixing has improved a lot just because I can hear more.

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