SPOTLIGHT Hardware Thread: Recording Quad to the Desktop PC - What do you use?

QuadraphonicQuad

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leeherman

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Hi all, another n00b question for the group.

I too am looking for an A/D converter to digitize quad sources (SQ records, Q8, and quad RTR). The Motu UltraLite mk4 looks like a good place to look for A/D conversion.

My quad components are currently connected to a DD 7.1 home theater receiver through its analog multi-channel inputs. With that setup I can't use my subwoofer with the quad sources. I'm hoping to find a device which could send a digital signal into my receiver to allow me to take advantage of my receiver's bass management capabilities.

The UltraLite offer ADAT optical out, but that's not compatible with SPDIF inputs in my receiver.

Does anyone here have any suggestions for hardware that can do what I'm looking to do, convert quad sources to digital via USB and output to a receiver through a digital input?

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

LH
 

JonUrban

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How about some updates for this thread? I am still using a MOTU but I've had it for years.

What is the best choice for today's Windows 10 x64 owner who wants to archive his Q8's and Q4's (and other stuff)
I am curious as to what's out there at what price point...
 

quadsearcher

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I put some suggestions in another thread, but to answer leeherman's question from 2017, the device won't send a sub signal to the receiver, a 4.1 file (or 5.1 file with empty center channel) created with processing in a digital audio workstation will do that. There are other ways. Have four full range speakers.
 

JonUrban

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Well, members have used M-Audio and other interfaces, but when people PM me about what to use in 2021 I am afraid I have no clue? A lot of the stuff referred to in this thread is no longer made and hard to find.

That's why it would be nice to update this thread with more current recommendations.
 

sjcorne

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I've been using a Behringer UMC404HD to record in old quad stuff--not 'pro' by any means, but it's cheap and gets the job done.
 

JonUrban

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jimfisheye

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First thing: Line level is made to be very easy and forgiving for circuit designs and components! Literally the premise. The tiny trickle of a signal from microphones and phono cartridges are the critical difficult to work with signals that require extra effort in the preamp circuits and staying linear way down into the decimal dust.

In the last 10 or 15 years especially, just about any professional audio product aimed at studio use is going to have very solid line level ins and outs. The cheapest units are probably much better than ANY consumer AVR out there (although those too are going to be improved the same way).

MOTU may not have the reputation of Apogee or RME (or Weiss, Prism, and the like) but they will be closer to any of those than any AVR.

I think it's still true that the more boutique units' AD and DA converters perform better at SD than more budget stuff and pretty much equal their HD performance. You will NOT hear any degradation in audio at SD in an Apogee unit or the other more boutique units. You just may not be able to hear any difference in the newer MOTU products either. (I haven't bought any of their newer units. Still going strong with my two 838mk3 units. My Apogees are better sounding. Not night and day or anything but it's there.)

The bottom line is MOTU, Presonus, and Focusrite (the cheap ones of the bunch) are going to be an upgrade to most AVR output DACs as well as letting you capture analog inputs professionally. Shopping used for an older Apogee unit is another option if you want better too.
 

DuncanS

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First thing: Line level is made to be very easy and forgiving for circuit designs and components! Literally the premise. The tiny trickle of a signal from microphones and phono cartridges are the critical difficult to work with signals that require extra effort in the preamp circuits and staying linear way down into the decimal dust.

In the last 10 or 15 years especially, just about any professional audio product aimed at studio use is going to have very solid line level ins and outs. The cheapest units are probably much better than ANY consumer AVR out there (although those too are going to be improved the same way).

MOTU may not have the reputation of Apogee or RME (or Weiss, Prism, and the like) but they will be closer to any of those than any AVR.

I think it's still true that the more boutique units' AD and DA converters perform better at SD than more budget stuff and pretty much equal their HD performance. You will NOT hear any degradation in audio at SD in an Apogee unit or the other more boutique units. You just may not be able to hear any difference in the newer MOTU products either. (I haven't bought any of their newer units. Still going strong with my two 838mk3 units. My Apogees are better sounding. Not night and day or anything but it's there.)

The bottom line is MOTU, Presonus, and Focusrite (the cheap ones of the bunch) are going to be an upgrade to most AVR output DACs as well as letting you capture analog inputs professionally. Shopping used for an older Apogee unit is another option if you want better too.
Rupert Neve of Neve mixing desk fame founded Focusrite if I remember correctly
 

J. PUPSTER

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I'm using either an oppo 103D or a Technics SL-1200 MK7 TT/Rotel RQ-970BX -> analog into an Involve Surround Master v2 (SQ or QS; currently using an AT-15S cart.) (or CD-4 via Sansui QRX-8001) -> out to the MOTU UltraLite-mk4 then out -> to my Win. 10 computer via USB 2 -> and record with Adobe Audition 3.0.1.

I don't care much for the MOTU software however.
 

jimfisheye

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I always thought the MOTU Cuemix software was a little klunky too. The control panel is matter of fact though and the routing ability is really on point!

The Cuemix feature set depends on the interface model. Different sets of hardware and all. I understand some of the newer ones are more full featured and the Cuemix is more meant to be used in a live sound setting for those. (Like the X32 stuff.)

Does this even come up though for just recording line in direct audio at home and home theater playback?

I used their Digital Performer DAW for a spell in the early 2000's for remote recording. Then they failed hard on the transition from OS9 to OSX. (I stayed in OS9 for an extra bit.) I dropped them finally when I found Reaper DAW which ran circles around everything. Including Protools HD for studio work! Never looked back.

I've got an RME ADAT interface now. Their cuemix (sorry, Total Mix) software is klunky too IMHO. Better than MOTU perhaps. It's like there's some rule that cuemix software for the built in low latency mixers in interfaces has to be cryptic and stupid! I still think the X32 systems nailed it. But this is more of a live sound running or studio overdub live monitoring discussion!

You use your favorite DAW app for just capturing inputs to file. It's an available audio device to your OS for playback with your favorite media players.
 

kap'n krunch

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I actually liked the "old" MOTU CueMix software quite a bit.
It has taken me quite a while to get used to the "Pro Audio Control" software and I still don't understand it 100% but I can deal with it...I just saw my prehistoric post on the previous page and my gear has not changed THAT much from my "Madrid" setup.
I have ANOTHER Technics SL-QL1 with the same Ortofon cart BUT with the OM30 stylus upgrade. I left the "Akiyama" mixer in España but it still works quite well; I substituted it for a now discontinued ProJect "Phono Box" TT preamp and I still work with Logic Pro. I do not use the Art DuSon liquid anymore though...
I can highly recommend the MOTU 828es or a cheaper 828 model without the AVB option (about $100 less). They are tough and quite reliable and have some great AD/DA converters; you just can't go wrong!
 

MidiMagic

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Since I was encoding the mix to QS/DS with my mixer, I just recorded the encoded tracks to a CD burner and then put the CD in the computer drive.
 

jimfisheye

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Corrupting as all hell QS destruction and then that reduced to 16 bit and burned to a CD? Just shoot the poor thing already! Good grief.
 

jimfisheye

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"Pro Audio Control" software ...

I don't have any of their newer interfaces. Still going strong with my two 828mk3 units. So... I don't know what Pro Audio Control is! Is this a new version of Cuemix for controlling the built in low latency mixer in the newer interfaces? I guess I'm finally out of the loop!

I use the built in mixer to monitor live inputs when recording overdubs to a DAW. Like you do when you might have so much dialed up in the DAW session that running the DAW low enough latency for live work would be a hassle. SOP. When I first started running live sound with a DAW rig (back in 2009) the latency of that system was 9ms. (Which actually time aligned the drums with the PA speakers. Ha! :D) So I used the Cuemix mixer for monitors. The cuemix mixer is only relevant for live scenarios like that.

If you're ripping albums, that's not a live real time scenario. Like performing with an instrument live and requiring the output of a digital mixer to not have any perceptible lag at the same time. That would only involve your favorite DAW software, right?
 

MidiMagic

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Corrupting as all hell QS destruction and then that reduced to 16 bit and burned to a CD? Just shoot the poor thing already! Good grief.

You may be a nut about lossless formats, but I want something that actuallty plays in an ordinary CD player.

Most of the sounds came from synthesizers anyway.

I used the computer to master the recording.
 

MidiMagic

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My question is: What percentage of the public can use any of these new formats? I am talking about those who have any players other than a turntable, a CD player, and a DVD player.

For archival purposes, special formats are needed. I would suggest preserving copies of the original multitrack along with mixing plots and copies of the original master.

Actually, the longest lived format for archival purposes is the vinyl record. If it is not physically damaged, it is known to last unchanged for at least 50 years. All other know storage media have expected lives of around 25 years. The Library of Congress is using 12-inch vinyl stereo 78 rpm records for sound archival purposes.
 
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