Every once in a while I find myself creating something with a guitar that I wouldn't mind actually having for future listening pleasure. My issue I have right now is as follows:
I've owned a Fostex VF160EX multi-track recorder for about 10 years or so. I've managed to record quite a bit using this unit as a standalone. However, anyone familiar with this unit will know that it's not the most user-friendly to mix/finalize on, especially with all the available DAWs these days. With DAWs mentioned, I also own a license for Reaper and have fiddled around with that a bit.
So the purpose of this thread is, I'd like to continue to use the Fostex for my input (either direct or using mics) and connect it to my computer for recording through Reaper. The Fostex has ADAT lighpipe I/O. Can anyone make a recommendation for a cheap, but sufficient, PCI card I can install in my computer to do this? I've done a little searching and some suggestions seem to be something along the lines as an E-MU 1212.
At the moment I don't need the full 8 or 16 track capability of the Fostex, but it's always nice to have room for expansion or nuttiness which is why I went "big" on the first recorder purchase. Plus I invested quite a chunk-o-change in it so I don't want to do away with it and I believe it's still a nice, capable, piece of gear. Thanks for any directions.
Edit: My OS is Windows 7.
Last Edit: Aug 16, 2013 15:39:05 GMT -5 by haydukej
I have a Steinberg VSL2020 that I use to connect 16 tracks worth of lightpipe from my Fostex D2424LV to my machine. That's how I tracked most of Sunless Port, actually. It's no longer in production (works in XP, not sure about your operating system...), and probably more than you need, but it might give you another something to look out for.
Note that lightpipe is also sometimes called "Toslink", and is used by Playstations and some home theater equipment for 7.1 surround connections. (That's also a hint on where to look for the cables) 7.1 = 8 channels. EMU seems to have been acquired at some point by Creative, and they have a number of SoundBlasters with toslink in and out for a bit less than I'm seeing for the one you linked. I have never used any of them, so can't tell you what it will take to get all 8 channels to show up individually in your DAW, but there has to be a way!
Last Edit: Aug 16, 2013 15:24:25 GMT -5 by ashcatlt
Wanted to point this out so any other interested parties don't stumble down a wrong path or at least dive into something prematurely.
In the little research I've done I read that the terms "optical, Toslink,lightpipe, and ADAT lightpipe" are somewhat interchangeable speaking strictly for cables as Ash has stated. However, I read that the actual input and format on a piece of equipment is much more specific. If one is looking to get an ADAT signal into their computer, make sure the piece of equipment states ADAT capability and not just S/PDIF (Sony/Philips Digital Interconnect Format).
ADAT can carry 8 channels/tracks in a specific format, to be more specific ADAT format with 24 bits. A piece of equipment with only S/PDIF or "optical I/O" is generally only capable of 2 channels. Again, that's just from what I've researched briefly.
Posted by ashcatlt
38 minutes ago . I have a Steinberg VSL2020 that I use to connect 16 tracks worth of lightpipe from my Fostex D2424LV to my machine. That's how I tracked most of Sunless Port, actually.
The mix is very good on Sunless Port and I see that the Steinberg VSL2020 does support ADAT I/O, so I'll keep one of those in mind for options. Thanks Ash.
Edit:looks like that model does not have drivers that would support my OS of Win 7 64-bit so that's out. But all in all, that's a nice card.
Last Edit: Aug 16, 2013 16:11:26 GMT -5 by haydukej
Well I think I'm eliminating any E-Mu products from the potential list. From what I've read on the Creative forums (who've acquired the E-Mu line) they've only released a beta driver for Windows 7 and that was back in 2010. It appears support for E-Mu is dead going past any OS after XP. Which is a shame as most reviews are glowing about E-Mu products.
Most of the USB interfaces I've seen with ADAT capability are a bit pricey for my budget right now. I was hoping to get something for around $100, but that is starting to look a bit too hopeful to find something in that range either USB or PCI.
It looks like finding a PCI card with ADAT to run on Win 7 (64) on my budget is not going to happen. I think I'm now leaning towards getting something to connect via USB. I've come across the following potentials so far.
Focusrite Scarlett 18i20: $500 new. Quite a bit more than wanting to spend, and really probably a dream at the moment. Would provide up to 16 simultaneous channels for future proofing.
Tascam US1800: $200 new. I believe would not be able to connect to my Fostex, but would still have option of 8 inputs. Essentially would replace my Fostex and lose some flexibility.
Behringer FCA 1616: ~$250 (tbd). Release is scheduled for this September, decent price, could connect fostex. Has USB and Firewire capabilities.
Right now I'm leaning towards waiting for the Behringer to come out and hopefully find a deal on it. I know the Focusrite gear is all the buzz right now, but I imagine the Behringer would give me all I need.
Those looks like a decent box, but, I'm wanting something with ADAT in/outs so I can connect my Fostex if needed. I think I'm going to wait around and see what reviews come in on the Behringer FCA 1616. Seems like the best bang for the buck provided Behringer puts out decent drivers.
although limited in scope... they are a great 'simple' interface. i would love a firewire but i am not going to pay that much extra for it. i have no real use except the faster transfer speeds and to be honest... USB 2.0 ain't that damn slow and usually will suffice unless maybe recording live with multiple inputs. i will add that presonus is a high quality mic preamps w/ 48v phantom power (not usually found on this range of price point) interface and they don't make much better. not trying to sell the unit to anyone... but for the money... you can't find much better. not in that price range.
i also have the lexicon alpha usb which is not bad for guitars and hot inputs but compared it to the presonus mic inputs and it is night and day.
bump... for anyone interested in the adventures of Hayduke, I finally pulled the trigger on the Focusrite 18i20. I haven't spent much time playing with it yet but so far it has met my expectations as noted below.
1.) Provided me a better I/O system to connect to the PC and work with in Reaper than my old Fostex. and 2.) Succeeded in prompting the mrs. into asking "what the hell is that?" Hayduke: "It's my new toy?" Mrs.: "How much did it cost?" Hayduke: " $60 and some gift cards I had laying around" Mrs.: "um, ok"