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DACs It Is What It Aint

Posts 1 - 8 of 8
  1. 111346
    Planetjazzbass : Wed 5th Jul 2017 : 1 year ago

    Whoa I feel like I've been listening to music underwater for the last 10 years, I've always had reasonable audio gear nothing ultra high end and nothing el-cheapo either, usually I'll buy stuff second hand after lots of perusing and waiting for the right product and deal to surface, this is why I'm totally blown away after upgrading to a Universal Audio Apollo Quad interface (pristine second hand condition, great deal), I'd been using Presonus gear for years and was very satisfied with it, however after about the first note through the Apollo it became clear that the DACs within it (digital audio converters) where on a totally different level, talk about hearing things with uber clarity this is going to take my productions to the next level, I'm like a pig in...well you know!...Anyone else experienced sound nirvana when changing to a different brand or product ?

  2. 186161
    Spivkurl : Wed 5th Jul 2017 : 1 year ago

    Not to pick nits, but DAC is a "digital to analog converter," the opposite of an ADC. DAC's in an audio interface will effect monitoring and outputs which are routed from a DAW.

    I suppose that switching to a MOTU Traveler (also second hand) gave me a similar feeling. I'm generally far more concerned with ADC's and input preamps than the DAC.

    With monitoring, whether speakers or headphones, I find comfortability and practice to be the most important things. A lot of people seem to run out and spend hundreds of dollars on a pair of headphones, only to release things which sound like rubbish. It's somewhat akin to changing the brand of food that you feed your cat... it might be higher quality or more expensive, but it will still take quite a while for it not to make them sick.

    So, I guess what I'm saying is that moving to the MOTU was an obvious step up in quality and clarity, but it still took quite a while for my ears to adjust when mixing. The only real reason which I got this one as an upgrade from the scarlett 2i2, is that it was 8 in/8 out, ADAT compatible for expansion, and DC coupled I/O for CV/Gate/trigger playback and recording.

  3. 630386
    JosephFunk : Wed 5th Jul 2017 : 1 year ago

    Assuming that he meant the Apollo 8: The Apollo 8 UAD is both ADC (with inputs) and DAC capable and very costly. The sound is truly phenomenal. And the plugins included are quite comprehensive! This Universal device is a must have for me once I get my finances in order. I have also been looking at their cheaper in price DAC offerings for a while, the UAD-2 Satellite, which is geared more towards high-end studio quality production mixes only.

  4. 186161
    Spivkurl : Wed 5th Jul 2017 : 1 year ago

    All audio interfaces have ADC's and DAC's... that is what they are for. I was only picking nits regarding the "digital audio converters" being referenced as what DAC is an abbreviation for. Both DAC's and ADC's are used for far more than audio applications.

    So, I was just looking at the specs for the Apollo quad... Does it really not have direct monitoring? For the price point, it seems like it would. Weird.

  5. 994534
    Neomorpheus : Wed 5th Jul 2017 : 1 year ago

    I'm not familiar with a lot of what you guys are talking about here, but are you mainly referencing the "colored" or "tuned" headphones used for optimum listening OR those designed for mixing and recording?

  6. 186161
    Spivkurl : Wed 5th Jul 2017 : 1 year ago

    It is an audio interface, essentially. DAC's and ADC's are components in these and other devices. In an audio situation, a DAC converts digital information from the software into analog information which can drive an amplifier/monitor/headphone setup (as opposed to just ones and zeroes). In audio situations an ADC converts analog audio inputs (instruments, microphones etc...) into digital information which can be used in software.

    My referencing headphones was simply an example of one area where colorful advertising or stigma can lead to a less than desirable experience. That is not to say that the Apollo Quad is in this realm, as I have not used it. The thread is not about headphones at all.

  7. 111346
    Planetjazzbass : Wed 5th Jul 2017 : 1 year ago

    This unit is the silverface model and I use it with a firewire 800 connection to a windows 10 pc, though it has thunderbolt connectivity which I doubt I'll ever use, everything in my setup is geared towards absolute zero audio colouring in any shape or form, coupled with a dedicated monitor amplifier (ex Australian Broadcast Commission) it's dead quiet not even a whisper when idling, as Spiv pointed out correctly the A/D and D/A converters are top shelf in this unit with real time processing of up to 192 kHz at 24 bit with 18 ins and 24 outs, once I get my head around the software console functions properly I'll be rocking.

  8. 308224
    theHumps : Fri 7th Jul 2017 : 1 year ago

    Hey Dave, sounds like your music is going to sound even better, if that was even possible. Good luck figuring it all out. I just upgraded to the Focusrite Saffire Pro40, 20 ins and 20 outs, 8 analog ins though, doubt I'll use the optical and spdif. Pretty amazing piece of hardware and it took some time to figure out the control panel, you tube to the rescue.

    I use the thunderbolt connection, Apple's firewire basically, and I started recording my tracks at 96,000 hz. Of course using Ableton, it automatically synced up in the preferences to match the input on the control panel. I did run the test of checking for latency that Ableton includes and made any adjustments. The pre-amps in this unit, from my understanding, are award winning and instantly was a noticeable upgrade from my Lexicon Lambda.

    Having also upgraded to Rokit 8 from Rokit 6 monitors that also made a difference. Because of how different it sounded I had to back track and start from the beginning as to how I processed each track and how the effects chain on the master track was set up. Totally happy and pleasantly surprised at how different the individual tracks and simple rhythm tracks mixed sound.

    Enjoy the new gear!

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