[LAU] New hardware setup for recording (not same as existing threads)

Martin Cracauer cracauer at cons.org
Mon May 25 21:23:13 UTC 2015

I am also looking to have a conversation about recording hardware, but
not quite the same as the PCI one.

Short story:

If I wanted to have a combination of two separate devices,
analog->ADAT unit and ADAT->Linux at computer, what would I buy?

Long story:

The way that I did quality recordings so far:
- use a quality preamp from mic to S/PDIF optical
- use a USB soundcard with (under Linux) working S/PDIF in
- jackd of course
- depending on hardware there might be a separate piece in front that
  converts symmetric microphone level to line out, but right now my
  first thing does both mic level and line level well

I really like how this is separating out the [analog part, A/D
converter] and the [thing that needs a Linux driver].  Now I can
change one or the other and don't get utter breakdown on software
changes.  I have hardware pieces for which this works great... ish
except for some USB unreliability.

Now, the careful observer will notice that this is limited to 2
channels due to S/PDIF.  While I could have more USB soundcards that
does not satisfy synchonization since the stupid things with S/PDIF
don't take world clocks.  My attempts to link multiple jackds have
been, well I think everybody here knows that this exactly working

So I want to get the concept of separating this out further.  Now I
- analog part is a few line in or mic level inputs to ADAT
- a "soundcard" that takes binary ADAT and gives me Linux-able input.
  Ideally I would like this to be 24 bit capable (I don't need > 48
  MHz but I'd like > 16 bit)
- once there I could add more sync ADAT takes a world clock

I wonder whether somebody has recommendations for these two parts.
Digital part with great Linux support, and what do I use for analog to

My computers still have native PCI, but... well to be honest PCI
sucks, USB sucks, Firewire is old.  Is anything Thunderbolt out yet
that does ADAT to Thunderbolt with open source Linux drivers? Haha,
very funny.  Can we make one?

Sorry for the long post.  I hope the concept makes sense.  I really
like this more modular setup that allows you to toss one thing at a
time and don't sit there with nothing on changes.

Martin Cracauer <cracauer at cons.org>   http://www.cons.org/cracauer/

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