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PCIe audio interface/AD/DA and other things I don't understand
Old 23rd January 2013
  #1
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🎧 5 years
PCIe audio interface/AD/DA and other things I don't understand

Hi guys,

I want to buy a PCIe card for recording. I don't need a lot of inputs. 2 would be OK but I'd prefer 4. Same for outputs.

I get confused when looking up PCIe cards. It seems like there are no XLR/Jacks 1/4 inputs. These cards come with some kind of breakout cable? Is it always included?

If I get a card like RME Raydat, do I need to buy a pre-amp also? Or anything else? Or does that card include everything needed already?

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Old 23rd January 2013
  #2
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jpchartrand ➡️
Hi guys,

I want to buy a PCIe card for recording. I don't need a lot of inputs. 2 would be OK but I'd prefer 4. Same for outputs.

I get confused when looking up PCIe cards. It seems like there are no XLR/Jacks 1/4 inputs. These cards come with some kind of breakout cable? Is it always included?

If I get a card like RME Raydat, do I need to buy a pre-amp also? Or anything else? Or does that card include everything needed already?

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
As far as RME's PCIe card goes (esp, HDSPe AIO and HDSPe Raydat), they don't come with preamps. In your case, HDSPe AIO is what you need (if RME is your favorite).

HDSPe AIO is 2 line in/outs w/ 1 headphone out card, which means you need preamps as a signal souce. It has ADC/DAC on the card. There are also expansion cards that allow 4 line ins or 4 line outs. Standard breakout cable is unbalanced version, so I recommend balanced version breakout cable (you need to buy separately).

HDSPe Raydat is a pure ADAT lightpipe 'interface' card which means it doesn't have even ADC/DAC. You need to buy dedicated converters (preferably 8ch), and preamps. ADI-8 is 8ch AD/DA and you still need preamps, but if that's too expensive route, Focusrite Octopre is a 8ch preamps w/ AD/DA. They all connect to Raydat via TOSLINK optic cables, and you can connect 4 units of 8ch pre/AD/DA. So, obviously it's overkill because you don't need that many IOs.
Old 23rd January 2013 | Show parent
  #3
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4 Reviews written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Masaaki ➡️
As far as RME's PCIe card goes (esp, HDSPe AIO and HDSPe Raydat), they don't come with preamps. In your case, HDSPe AIO is what you need (if RME is your favorite).

HDSPe AIO is 2 line in/outs w/ 1 headphone out card, which means you need preamps as a signal souce. It has ADC/DAC on the card. There are also expansion cards that allow 4 line ins or 4 line outs. Standard breakout cable is unbalanced version, so I recommend balanced version breakout cable (you need to buy separately).

HDSPe Raydat is a pure ADAT lightpipe 'interface' card which means it doesn't have even ADC/DAC. You need to buy dedicated converters (preferably 8ch), and preamps. ADI-8 is 8ch AD/DA and you still need preamps, but if that's too expensive route, Focusrite Octopre is a 8ch preamps w/ AD/DA. They all connect to Raydat via TOSLINK optic cables, and you can connect 4 units of 8ch pre/AD/DA. So, obviously it's overkill because you don't need that many IOs.

Thank you so much for explaining! :D

There's a guy willing to sell me an echo gina 24/96 for $100. Would it be wise to pick that up and buy a preamp? I found a ART TPS 2 tube preamp with soviet mod for $120.
Old 23rd January 2013 | Show parent
  #4
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jpchartrand ➡️
There's a guy willing to sell me an echo gina 24/96 for $100. Would it be wise to pick that up and buy a preamp?
Echo's cards are PCI, not PCIe, afaik. So, if your computer doesn't have PCI a slot, it won't fit. New motherboards have PCI slots, but use PCIe-PCI bridge, which causes some problems for PCI cards.

If you want rock solid driver stability RME wins. Used HDSPe AIO is not so expensive, and I got mine $350 and it's been working great.
Old 24th January 2013 | Show parent
  #5
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4 Reviews written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Masaaki ➡️
Echo's cards are PCI, not PCIe, afaik. So, if your computer doesn't have PCI a slot, it won't fit. New motherboards have PCI slots, but use PCIe-PCI bridge, which causes some problems for PCI cards.

If you want rock solid driver stability RME wins. Used HDSPe AIO is not so expensive, and I got mine $350 and it's been working great.
Thank you so much for the feedback. I ended up not buying the Echo and now I'm really happy. I'll get a used HDSPe AIO
Old 24th January 2013
  #6
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One more thing...Does the proper breakout cable come with the AIO or do I have to buy the balanced one?

And why in the world are breakout cables coming with RCA connectors??
Old 24th January 2013 | Show parent
  #7
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jpchartrand ➡️
One more thing...Does the proper breakout cable come with the AIO or do I have to buy the balanced one?

And why in the world are breakout cables coming with RCA connectors??
If you go used ones, seller might not include the breakout cable, so just ask and make sure. Most of sellers on ebay include the unbalanced breakout cable, when I was searching. IMHO, RME should attach balanced breakout cable, but it's been this way for long time. Probably they want to sell 'both', but some people are just okay with RCA connector cable, and hook up with PC speakers. To me, that's weird for this type of expensive professional device.

There is a seller making breakout cable for RME cards, in Israel.
I got one from him, and it's been working just great. Just a little cheaper, with Canare cable. So, check this out.
PCIe audio interface/AD/DA and other things I don't understandQuality Canare Dongle Breakout Cable RME HDSP 9632 | eBay

It'll take some time to come (shipping from Israel), but worth waiting for.
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