Topic: ADI-2 Pro FSR: All Channels Active preamp (via USB multi-channel mode)

As with many others, I'm a HiFi person who has converted to using pro-audio equipment instead "audiophile" gear.  Which is to say, I'm a novice in areas that most RME users have decades of experience :-)

Case in point:  I purchased an RME ADI-2 Pro FSR because the USB Multichannel Mode would allow me to off-device mix the RME's analog and two digital inputs before sending the RME's output to my KH-120A speakers and headphones.  But, I have no idea what software I should use in conjunction with the Pro's USB port (6 channels out, 8 channels in).

Question 1:  Any recommendation on software to provide Digital Stereo Mixing board -- 3 x 4 stereo mixer on shared USB port?

  • 3 stereo channels input (6 mono, grouped) from USB port

  • Level set the input channels (to match volumes across devices)

  • 4 stereo "buses" output to the USB port

Question 2:  What hardware / OS / USB driver mode is recommended for the device processing the USB channels?  E.g., PC Win 10, RPI4 (which OS?), Mac, iPad

I've searched the forums, but the posts are primarily geared towards music production applications.  In my case, I simply need the ability to transform the USB port's 6 input channel streams into 8 output channel streams.  The DAW packages seem overkill; but I have not found any that are simply provide digital mixer functionality.   Thanks.

Re: ADI-2 Pro FSR: All Channels Active preamp (via USB multi-channel mode)

Get a RME recording interface with TotalMix FX.
Then integrate your ADI-2 FS R BE into this solution.
See my blog articles, how to do this:

https://www.tonstudio-forum.de/blog/ind … ort-DE-EN/
https://www.tonstudio-forum.de/blog/ind … our-Setup/

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10Pro20H2, Cub11Pro, UFX+ (v0.9734), XTC, 12Mic, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE

Re: ADI-2 Pro FSR: All Channels Active preamp (via USB multi-channel mode)

Ramses,

Thanks.  I've looked closely at your diagrams previously, but hadn't realized they might also apply to my situation.  I am intrigued, but also a novice here... I could use a bit more help in understanding how this relates to my solution since your diagrams seem to be more focused on ADAT / AES connections.

I can try to create a better diagram later; but let me see if I replicate my understanding of your solution well enough in ASCII for now:

Analog  Digital  Digital
Source  Source   Source
(TRS)   (AES)    (SPDIF)
[1/2]   [3/4]    [5/6]
  v       v        v
  v       v        v
  v       v        v
*RME ADI-2 PRO FSR BE* <<<USB [6/8]>>> PC/RPI4 (running TotalMix FX Server) <-USB-> REM ARC USB
  v     v     v     v
  v     v     v     v
  v     v     v     v
 XLR    PH   AES   SPDIF
[1/2]  [3/4] [5/6] [7/8]
THX887 HD600       (MiniDSP-2x4)
                   KH120A(L,R)/Sub(X)

+ PC/iPad running TotalMix FX Remote +

The goal is to loop the 3 inputs from the ADI-2 Pro out via USB ("6 channels in") to a PC / RPI4 running a digital stereo mixer, which then passes the stereo audio back into the ADI-2 Pro via the same USB ("8 channels out").  I have no need for recording to external devices, so the PC or RPI4 computer only needs the singular USB port for the live mixing of the 3 stereo inputs across 4 stereo buses.

If this diagram is correct, that seems like it matches exactly what I am looking for.  I would use TotalMix FX as the digital stereo mixer running on PC / RPI4 (as opposed to Ableton Live, or some other open source digital mixer solution).

In which case, a few questions:

  • Where do I download TotalMix FX server software to run on a PC?  I think this is the download page (https://www.rme-usa.com/downloads.html), but it is only giving me the option to download Drivers or Flash when I tell it I have an ADI-2 Pro FSR BE

  • Can TotalMix FX also run on an RPI4 instead of a PC?

  • Is the ARC USB required, or is that an optional control for enhanced functionality?

Thanks,
Craig

4 (edited by KaiS 2020-12-25 16:15:20)

Re: ADI-2 Pro FSR: All Channels Active preamp (via USB multi-channel mode)

Most DAW's that support ASIO are capable of doing what you want, without additional hardware.

Run the trial-versions to find out.
This one, Reaper, is quite popular, but there are others too:
https://www.reaper.fm

Steinberg Cubase/Cubasis in it's several "Lite ... etc."-versions is available on different platforms and widespread too.

5 (edited by ramses 2020-12-25 09:49:34)

Re: ADI-2 Pro FSR: All Channels Active preamp (via USB multi-channel mode)

rcstevensonaz wrote:

since your diagrams seem to be more focused on ADAT / AES connections.

But only for two reasons

a) to have a lossless / "bit perfect" connection between recording interface and ADI-2 Pro
    with the aim to have AD/DA conversion happening only one time at the ADI-2 Pro

b) in the diagram with the RayDAT: to demonstrate scalability of such a solution
    and because the RayDAT is a full digital card without analog I/O.

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10Pro20H2, Cub11Pro, UFX+ (v0.9734), XTC, 12Mic, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE

6 (edited by rcstevensonaz 2020-12-26 23:39:16)

Re: ADI-2 Pro FSR: All Channels Active preamp (via USB multi-channel mode)

KaiS wrote:

Most DAW's that support ASIO are capable of doing what you want, without additional hardware.

Run the trial-versions to find out.
This one, Reaper, is quite popular, but there are others too:
https://www.reaper.fm

Steinberg Cubase/Cubasis in it's several "Lite ... etc."-versions is available on different platforms and widespread too.

Thanks; that was what I was looking for.   I wasn't sure if there was software that just focused on Digital Audio Mixing (DAM); but seems that the right course is to start with a DAW package and just use its DAM module.  Another package I saw referenced was Non Mixer (https://non.tuxfamily.org/wiki/Non%20Mixer) which can run on RPI4.

A key consideration will be which mixer can run well on a Raspberry Pi 4 (RPI4).   But, that may shift if I take Ramses suggestion and add a PCIe card to the mix...

7 (edited by rcstevensonaz 2020-12-27 01:23:00)

Re: ADI-2 Pro FSR: All Channels Active preamp (via USB multi-channel mode)

ramses wrote:
rcstevensonaz wrote:

since your diagrams seem to be more focused on ADAT / AES connections.

But only for two reasons

a) to have a lossless / "bit perfect" connection between recording interface and ADI-2 Pro
    with the aim to have AD/DA conversion happening only one time at the ADI-2 Pro

b) in the diagram with the RayDAT: to demonstrate scalability of such a solution
    and because the RayDAT is a full digital card without analog I/O.

In my context, my goal is HiFi home office stereo with all channels active — doesn't have to be "bit perfect" as long as audio remains very high quality (i.e., effects are inaudible to my aging ears).  That said, I agree the fewer AD/DA conversions, the better.

I have about 4 to 8 stereo sources with various interfaces (analog, USB, SPDIF optical, and SPDIF coax).  Currently, I bring everything into an Ashly LX-308B analog mixer with 8 stereo channels that I would then feed to an ADI-2 Pro FS R.  But that requires a high quality DAC (e.g. Topping E30 / Topping D90) per digital audio source.

Rames is causing me to re-think my approach — especially the potential to eliminate the need for the mid-stream DACs since nearly all of my sources are digital to start with.  I have a 16U rack next to my desk, so rack-mount form factor is no issue.

Q1:  Quality of the DAC on the Fireface devices vs. ADI-2 DAC/Pro FS?
Functionally, it looks like I could just use a Fireface UFX+ / UFX II / 802 instead my Ashly analog mixer + ADI-2 Pro FS.  The Fireface would provide all the inputs and outputs that I need.  However, from Rames description, it sounds like the DAC on the ADI-2 is superior to the Fireface units.   Can someone provide insight on which ADC and DAC chips are used on the Fireface units vs. the ADI-2 Pro?  And equally, insight on the quality of the analog opamp implementation (main out, headphone out) vs. the ADI-2 Pro?

Q2:  Is the HDSPe AIO Pro PCI Express interface essentially the same as the ADI-2 Pro FS?
Based on the description (https://www.rme-audio.de/hdspe-aio-pro.html), it sounds like this PCIe card has the same ADC, DAC, and opamps as the ADI-2 Pro FS devices.  So if I wind up using a PC card such as the RayDAT, could I then just use this PCIe card instead of the ADI-2 Pro hardware device?