[LAU] Sample rate vs. SNR

Florian Faber faber at faberman.de
Thu Jan 24 07:53:14 UTC 2013

On 01/23/2013 11:10 PM, Len Ovens wrote:
> [..]
> I would suggest that any PCI(e) card that has ADC/DACs on the card is less
> than a great quality card, even dealing with sample clock (or power) on
> the card seems less than optimal. For audio quality, it seems FW, USB and
> ethernet _could_ give better results if designed right.

You seem to forget that the main problem is not transporting the audio
data, but interact with other equipment. And there are only so many
protocols to do that. Also you have a lot of real world problems like
clock distribution or simply broken implementations (it really doesn't
work pointing fingers at the broken end of a signal chain if 'other
devices *do* work'). In a studio or broadcast environment, reliability
is the main concern. The interfaces you have listed are ancient (MADI is
25 years old!) and there simply was nothing the like available at that time.

Tell you what: Assemble a system that is able to distribute 64ch audio
data transparently and an AES conforming word clock via ethernet between
two nodes using open standards and today's equipment, and we'll see if
it is cheaper than a MADI setup. You get bonus points if it runs on Linux.

I am not trying to defend MADI, but trying to put things a bit into
perspective. The price argument will change things rapidly in the near
future. But I'm not sure it does today.

Machines can do the work, so people have time to think.
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