[LAU] Most stable / best 16+ channel audio interface / mixer?

Arnold Krille arnold at arnoldarts.de
Wed Sep 22 13:32:11 UTC 2010

On Wednesday 22 September 2010 15:03:54 Michał Sawicz wrote:
> I hope this is the best place to ask this question. I'm looking for a
> most stable / best value audio interface / mixer with at least 16 input
> channels.
> Until now I'm using a Phonic HelixBoard 18 FireWire (mainly on AVLinux),
> but it's getting less and less stable. I'm having difficulties keeping
> jackd running, the firewire connection breaks too often.
> I've verified that the same happens on Windows, so it's jack/Linux's
> fault.

There is a 'not' missing in this sentence, either it happens on windows too 
and is not linux' fault, or it does not happen on win and is linux fault.

If the first is true, it would be interesting to know your controller and 
setup. If the later, well, the phonic devices are only 'reported to work'...

> And so here comes the question - can anyone please advise me on what
> hardware do they use that is stable and useful under Linux?

Fireware based solutions runs stable for several hours here :-)

> An alternative would be to use ADAT, but it seems a bit overkill and
> rather pricey solution. Unless there's some good and combination that I
> should look into?

ADAT is not the technology for computer->interface communication (so its not 
alternative), its only a technology for different audio-devices to communicate. 
You could use it to have the converters placed on stage and only run a bunch 
of fiber to your mixing-pc at the foh.

You still need an audio-interface in your computer that has ADAT io. There is 
a rme card that has three adat io, which would give you a total of 24 inputs 
and 24 outputs.
There are also firewire devices that have adat io ports.
The actual adat->analog converters range from ~120€ to >1000€ and you get what 
you pay for quality-wise. But I think you already know that from your phonic 

Have fun,

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