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5.1 Analog Input to PC - How?

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HomerJAU

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I'm now the proud owner of a Surround Master (2nd hand from Jon). I plan to use it to upmix many of my favorite stereo albums to 5.1.

Question: How do I get 5.1 analogs into my PC to record my Involve Mode up mixes. I have a spare AVR with 5.1 analog ins so maybe I just need to add an HDMI input card to my PC?

I think some Graphics Cards have HDMI with ARC (Audio Return) -. I wonder if anyone has tried one? SM to AVR via analog - AVR to PC via HDMI

What are others doing? I don't want to spend a fortune.
 

Sonik Wiz

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And I have been very happy with my M-Audio 1010. The main difference between this and the LT is my unit has a 19" rack mount interface. I won't list a link since this is a legacy product. I bet you can find a good deal on Ebay. I think the unit mentioned by georgeshannon is current & I can vouch for the sound quality & good operating GUI of M-Audio.
 

HomerJAU

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Thanks for all the replies including some PMs too.

I've gone ahead and ordered a Behringer (German) UMC-404HD quad to USB audio device from Amazon for $89 USD. This will handle all standard sample rates from 44.1 to 192kHz with included software to save as 4ch wav:
https://www.amazon.com/Behringer-UMC404HD-BEHRINGER-U-PHORIA/dp/B00QHURLHM/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1522269394&sr=8-3&keywords=behringer+u-phoria+umc404hd

This appears to be an easy to install/configure and use solution at an affordable price to experiment with quad conversions from the SM.

I'll provide feedback once it arrives and setup in a couple of weeks.
 

J. PUPSTER

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Thanks for all the replies including some PMs too.

I've gone ahead and ordered a Behringer (German) UMC-404HD quad to USB audio device from Amazon for $89 USD. This will handle all standard sample rates from 44.1 to 192kHz with included software to save as 4ch wav:
https://www.amazon.com/Behringer-UMC404HD-BEHRINGER-U-PHORIA/dp/B00QHURLHM/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1522269394&sr=8-3&keywords=behringer+u-phoria+umc404hd

This appears to be an easy to install/configure and use solution at an affordable price to experiment with quad conversions from the SM.

I'll provide feedback once it arrives and setup in a couple of weeks.
Glad I found this thread, I'm planning on doing similar up-mixes once I buy the Involve Surround Master V2. So HomerJAU what about 5.1?
 

jimfisheye

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The device is called an audio interface. You connect it to the computer with one of the following: pci (literally a pci card), USB, firewire, thunderbolt, or HDMI.

There are many small USB models to choose from. They range from frugal budget models that still have reasonable modern specs on the analog stages to high end boutique models with class A analog stages. The firewire and thunderbolt connecting models are usually the more pro audio models and usually include more connections, routing, built-in mixing ability, and a host or more pro audio and recording related features. HDMI connecting models should be a last choice. Consumer gear with HDMI connections runs into a lot of products with "copy protection gone wild" approach and can really be a PITA. There's always a better choice in some USB model. PCI cards... well, you'd need a desktop tower machine with a PCI card cage to begin with. The PCI cards are usually either on the ratty cheap end (Sound Blasticator, etc) or the extreme high end (going for minimum latency in live sound systems and that kind of thing). Again, USB connecting devices are where the most choices are going to be available today. And unless you're streaming 32 or more channels back and forth at extreme low latency for live show production, USB will be just fine. :)

Here are a couple budget models with 8 analog inputs and 8 analog outputs. That covers up to 7.1 surround going both in and out analog.

Tascam US-16x8
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1086777-REG/tascam_us_16x08_usb_audio_midi_interface.html/?ap=y&gclid=CjwKCAiAmO3gBRBBEiwA8d0Q4qc5t_gKEu4Uwp1gT5U5Wkw1dm5BPMYKPf0h_lq8M2rhaCxje_G7ABoCBcgQAvD_BwE&lsft=BI:514&smp=Y

Behringer Firepower FCA1616
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/862514-REG/Behringer_FCA1616_Firepower_FCA1616_16x16.html/?ap=y&gclid=CjwKCAiAmO3gBRBBEiwA8d0Q4tzQOMKEawgsq6th-XjioLfLFdq9uoVltsyZUr2J9cy4hNCmvbrJ7hoCMC4QAvD_BwE&smp=Y

OK, normally I don't recommend B-word products (Behringer). This is one of the newer generation of Midas designed units though. The budget version gets the B-word name instead of Midas. It's not junk! If you don't take it on the road and constantly patch in/out the jacks daily it will be good. (The "cheapness" is it's not robust enough to tour with.)
Both of those products include built-in digital mixers which would allow you to downmix and speaker manage with the unit itself. (Bypassing the computer OS features.) Probably a moot point for any Mac user but it might save the day with a Windows system that doesn't play nice.

Don't buy M-Audio products. Ratty cheap with no redeeming value! Avoid HDMI connecting devices. Too many shenanigans with HDMI with 'copy protection gone wild' style of disabling functionality.

If you want more boutique analog connections (specifically the AD and DA conversion) - maybe you're trying to preserve an old analog recording to the highest potential - look at a used Apogee Rosetta 800 (8 analog ins, 8 analog outs). I've seen them going for as low as $500 on Ebay. You'd need to pay $2500 or more for a new unit of this level of boutique. I've got one of these. Note that this one is firewire only. If you have a newer generation computer with no firewire port but a thunderbolt port, the thunderbolt to firewire adapter would just work. But if you have one of those budget computers with only USB, this would be a PITA to adapt.
 

J. PUPSTER

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The device is called an audio interface. You connect it to the computer with one of the following: pci (literally a pci card), USB, firewire, thunderbolt, or HDMI.

There are many small USB models to choose from. They range from frugal budget models that still have reasonable modern specs on the analog stages to high end boutique models with class A analog stages. The firewire and thunderbolt connecting models are usually the more pro audio models and usually include more connections, routing, built-in mixing ability, and a host or more pro audio and recording related features. HDMI connecting models should be a last choice. Consumer gear with HDMI connections runs into a lot of products with "copy protection gone wild" approach and can really be a PITA. There's always a better choice in some USB model. PCI cards... well, you'd need a desktop tower machine with a PCI card cage to begin with. The PCI cards are usually either on the ratty cheap end (Sound Blasticator, etc) or the extreme high end (going for minimum latency in live sound systems and that kind of thing). Again, USB connecting devices are where the most choices are going to be available today. And unless you're streaming 32 or more channels back and forth at extreme low latency for live show production, USB will be just fine. :)

Here are a couple budget models with 8 analog inputs and 8 analog outputs. That covers up to 7.1 surround going both in and out analog.

Tascam US-16x8
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1086777-REG/tascam_us_16x08_usb_audio_midi_interface.html/?ap=y&gclid=CjwKCAiAmO3gBRBBEiwA8d0Q4qc5t_gKEu4Uwp1gT5U5Wkw1dm5BPMYKPf0h_lq8M2rhaCxje_G7ABoCBcgQAvD_BwE&lsft=BI:514&smp=Y

Behringer Firepower FCA1616
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/862514-REG/Behringer_FCA1616_Firepower_FCA1616_16x16.html/?ap=y&gclid=CjwKCAiAmO3gBRBBEiwA8d0Q4tzQOMKEawgsq6th-XjioLfLFdq9uoVltsyZUr2J9cy4hNCmvbrJ7hoCMC4QAvD_BwE&smp=Y

OK, normally I don't recommend B-word products (Behringer). This is one of the newer generation of Midas designed units though. The budget version gets the B-word name instead of Midas. It's not junk! If you don't take it on the road and constantly patch in/out the jacks daily it will be good. (The "cheapness" is it's not robust enough to tour with.)
Both of those products include built-in digital mixers which would allow you to downmix and speaker manage with the unit itself. (Bypassing the computer OS features.) Probably a moot point for any Mac user but it might save the day with a Windows system that doesn't play nice.

Don't buy M-Audio products. Ratty cheap with no redeeming value! Avoid HDMI connecting devices. Too many shenanigans with HDMI with 'copy protection gone wild' style of disabling functionality.

If you want more boutique analog connections (specifically the AD and DA conversion) - maybe you're trying to preserve an old analog recording to the highest potential - look at a used Apogee Rosetta 800 (8 analog ins, 8 analog outs). I've seen them going for as low as $500 on Ebay. You'd need to pay $2500 or more for a new unit of this level of boutique. I've got one of these. Note that this one is firewire only. If you have a newer generation computer with no firewire port but a thunderbolt port, the thunderbolt to firewire adapter would just work. But if you have one of those budget computers with only USB, this would be a PITA to adapt.
Thanks for all the great info, this should really get me going in the right direction, I have a Win. 7 desktop that has firewire and USB 3.0; I'd like to know if one is preferred (for speed & ease of use) over the other? The Tascam looks to be about the right price range for me up to $500; with 96/24 being what I feel is plenty of resolution. I also have a TEAC A-2340 in great shape which I may use if I can find quality tapes to work with. Pretty sure there are other threads in here I need to check out on this subject also.
Thanks again jimfisheye; any additional knowledge or direction would be very much appreciated:)
 

jimfisheye

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Yesterday: OMG firewire all the way! Don't even consider USB bla bla bla...
Today: Meh. Six of one, half a dozen of the other.

I still live in firewire land here. Haven't had any reason to upgrade to thunderbolt devices. Would be a moot point sideways kind of move that would be expensive for no benefit. (I'll probably evolve to network audio moving forward. The Dante stuff.)

The USB interfaces pretty much use USB 2. USB 3 is backwards compatible there. Any complaints surrounding USB or Windows you might read on audio forums are more centered around running such a system at extreme low latency for live sound use. And I'm not convinced even those are anything beyond configuration missteps most of the time. (FYI, low latency operation - making the processing time you give the computer between the input and the output below the threshold of human perception - is only relevant if you are running live sound.) For just recording or playing back, set the latency high (eg 1024 samples) and let the computer breath.
 
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