Topic: HDSPe Pre Sales Questions

I’m steadily building out my plan for a new main interface/ computer system for my studio.

Since the existing computer  (2012) and new computer (2020/ 2021) will both be mac pro’s I’m thinking why not go PCIe. Historically it’s been a stronger performer.

Next issue is which HDSPe card. Ideally I want at least 4 x Adat IO as I absolutely love the new 500 series Adat Chassis by Cranbourne Audio - 500 Adat. I already have one but am planning on a second one as apart from being a reliable low noise rack their converters are nice and it offers a built in summing mixer. With 2 of these racks, 4 Adat IO will allow me to still run 16 channels at 96Khz.

If I went MADI I would team it with either the ADI-648 or a Ferrofish Pulse 16MX. The FF is around half the cost of the RME and even though converter quality of the FF is a step down from the Cranborne Audio racks those extra 16 analog IO could come in handy and it would mean that even at 96Khz I could still maintain a 32 IO system. Downside is that I would not have a spare stereo digital port to attach an ADI-2 Pro FS which I intend to add for stereo mixdown and monitoring. I rarely need more than 20 IO so all those extra analog IO’s is not that important.

Considering the HDSPe RayDat, it would give me 16 Adat IO at 96Khz and enough digital ports for the ADI-2 Pro FS. So while the RayDat would only offer around 20 IO at 96Khz it’s combination of IO is better for me and doesn’t require a MADI to adat bridge.

You can probably tell I’m leaning towards the RayDat but the big question is is other than number and types of digital IO, is the digital performance including latency and CPU overhead of the HDSPe RayDat equal to the HDSPe MADI?

For comparison does the RME USB interfaces offer as low latency and low CPU overhead as their PCIe offerings?

One final question, if I went with the RayDat can I add a second HDSPe card like the new AIO Pro and have both cards act like one bigger system within Totalmix?

All comments welcome thanks...

__________________________
Paul Najar
Jaminajar Music Production
www.jaminajar.com

Re: HDSPe Pre Sales Questions

Also wanted to ask for some clarification around which expansion boards are available and compatible with the HDSPe Madi and HDSPe RayDat.

Kind regards

__________________________
Paul Najar
Jaminajar Music Production
www.jaminajar.com

3 (edited by ramses 2020-10-12 12:57:58)

Re: HDSPe Pre Sales Questions

What is your maximum budget for
- recording interface
- ad/da converter
- ADI-2 Pro * for monitoring ?

The API-500 housing is quite expensive, €1500 for the housing alone but there is no I/O module in it yet...

I think I would go for the combination of UFX+ and ADI-2 Pro FS R BE (via ADAT or AES) and then you have a lot of flexibiltiy by MADI.

And if you get one of the new RME products, then they support even MADI and AVB. Shall you have a demand in the future to switch to AVB, then you can do easily.

UFX+ offers USB3 and thunderbolt. Thunderbolt is expernal PCIe.
And DURec for standalone or backup recording.

If you compare RTL, then you will see, that RME driver are so well written, that there is not a lot of difference between USB and PCIe, see excel in my blog article: https://www.tonstudio-forum.de/blog/ind … 8-RME-UFX/
Which is this here:
https://www.tonstudio-forum.de/index.php/Attachment/2343-UFX-UFX-RayDAT-Latencies-v2-jpg/

HDSPe MADI FX is the only PCIe card with a (full) implementation of FX chip.
One expansion card is for MADI with BNC connectors for the 3rd MADI bus, optionally you can get an expansion board or optical MADI. Thats it.

The RayDAT is a full digital card and you can get an optional WC module for it.

An ADI-2 Pro for "nicer" monitoring (according to certin features) can be added to many RME recording interfaces as it requires only one digital port (ADAT, SPDIF (opt/coax), AES), see here in my blog:

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

HDSPe MADI FX is also a nice card with a good feature set, see my other review here. https://www.tonstudio-forum.de/blog/ind … Pro-FS-BE/

My current setup / use cases for recording:
https://www.tonstudio-forum.de/blog/ind … Rec-EN-DE/

UFX+ gives a nice flexibility in combination with the other RME equipment plus a "hook" to HiFi.
And I personally regard it as an advantage, that the UFX+ supports
- mobile use cases with stand-alone recording (DURec)
- backup recording (DURec)
- two different to connect to a PC (TB which is expernal PCIe, USB3/2)

If Apple should break USB stack again in the future, then most likely you have a chance to work via TB and vice versa.

At the end you have the choice wink

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10 Pro 20H2, Cubase 11.0 Pro, UFX+, XTC, 12Mic, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE

Re: HDSPe Pre Sales Questions

ramses wrote:

What is your maximum budget for
- recording interface
- ad/da converter
- ADI-2 Pro * for monitoring ?

The API-500 housing is quite expensive, €1500 for the housing alone but there is no I/O module in it yet...

I think I would go for the combination of UFX+ and ADI-2 Pro FS R BE (via ADAT or AES) and then you have a lot of flexibiltiy by MADI.

And if you get one of the new RME products, then they support even MADI and AVB. Shall you have a demand in the future to switch to AVB, then you can do easily.

UFX+ offers USB3 and thunderbolt. Thunderbolt is expernal PCIe.
And DURec for standalone or backup recording.

If you compare RTL, then you will see, that RME driver are so well written, that there is not a lot of difference between USB and PCIe, see excel in my blog article: https://www.tonstudio-forum.de/blog/ind … 8-RME-UFX/
Which is this here:
https://www.tonstudio-forum.de/index.php/Attachment/2343-UFX-UFX-RayDAT-Latencies-v2-jpg/

HDSPe MADI FX is the only PCIe card with a (full) implementation of FX chip.
One expansion card is for MADI with BNC connectors for the 3rd MADI bus, optionally you can get an expansion board or optical MADI. Thats it.

The RayDAT is a full digital card and you can get an optional WC module for it.

An ADI-2 Pro for "nicer" monitoring (according to certin features) can be added to many RME recording interfaces as it requires only one digital port (ADAT, SPDIF (opt/coax), AES), see here in my blog:

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

HDSPe MADI FX is also a nice card with a good feature set, see my other review here. https://www.tonstudio-forum.de/blog/ind … Pro-FS-BE/

My current setup / use cases for recording:
https://www.tonstudio-forum.de/blog/ind … Rec-EN-DE/

UFX+ gives a nice flexibility in combination with the other RME equipment plus a "hook" to HiFi.
And I personally regard it as an advantage, that the UFX+ supports
- mobile use cases with stand-alone recording (DURec)
- backup recording (DURec)
- two different to connect to a PC (TB which is expernal PCIe, USB3/2)

If Apple should break USB stack again in the future, then most likely you have a chance to work via TB and vice versa.

At the end you have the choice wink

Thanks for you detailed reply Ramses! I've enjoyed your posts a lot around here and the work you're doing to document some fine specifications of the RME gear is to be commended.

My budget is not fixed. My plan is to make future purchasing decisions scalable so I don't necessarily have to buy all of it at once - for example even without ADI-2 Pro I will still have a pair of converters available for mixdown.

I already own one Cranborne Audio 500Adat with 6 of 8 slots full. This particular product is a bit special since it offers much more than simply a 500 chassis. It also offers excellent 8 channel AD/DA conversion via Adat with converter RTL of 0.4ms at 44.1 and balanced XLR IO, 2 very powerful headphone amps and a very high quality 8 channel analog summing mixer. It's for these other features that I am keen to get a second one. Apart from building my collection of preamps, compressors and EQ's a second unit will give me true 16 channel analog summing for mixdown back to digital via the ADI-2 Pro.

Regarding the UFX+, all the points you make I fully agree with and I would buy one straight up but for one shortcoming. It only has 2 pairs of Adat ports which means I could not get 16 Adat IO channels at 2x sample rates. Having to go to a MADI bridge just to get 2 extra pairs of Adat IO seems a punishment. The 12 analog IO's of UFX+ is a big plus too and to be honest a RayDat and 16 500 slots would not give me enough utility IO for things like headphones and live synth inputs. The other competing interface in this area is the Metric Halo LIO-8 3d and it has the ability to fit a 4 x Adat pairs add on card in addition to it's standard IO - but I have not been able to reliably confirm what it's RTL performance is. It too has some future proof interfacing options.

Currently and for 10 years my interface has been original UFX, UC before that and Multiface before that. Even with existing UFX I can add a second 500 chassis and ADI-2 Pro as discussed. This alone wold give me a significant fidelity upgrade and my RTL via these Adat converters improves by 0.5ms to about 3.5ms at 32 buffer. The UFX+ I know would improve that by around 1ms - so great. My target is to get2.5ms rtl at 32 buffer or better.

My current computer is a 2012 Mac Pro with 12 core UAD system. Other than the most simple projects I never work at 2x sample rates now but with an upgrade to current model Mac Pro and all that extra power I feel this is something I will want to explore.

So it's for all these background reasons that I think the PCIe solution may be best because then I am not paying for anything I don't actually need. Yesterday I said I was leaning towards the RayDat but then I realised I might not have enough analog IO for things like headphone mixes on bigger band sessions. Today I feel maybe the HDSPe Madi + Ferrofish PulseMX - but this system leaves me with one problem - nowhere to connect up an ADI-2 Pro - thus my question is it possible to have more than one HDSPe card in the same computer and have totalmix see both like one big interface? I've read somewhere this is possible but I would love some confirmation on this.

Kind regards

__________________________
Paul Najar
Jaminajar Music Production
www.jaminajar.com

5 (edited by ramses 2020-10-13 09:40:39)

Re: HDSPe Pre Sales Questions

BTW .. was not sure from your writing whether this Cranbourne Audio is already fix part of your setup...

In terms of connecting an ADI-2 Pro FS R BE. Get the HDSPe MADI FX then, it has an AES port (also analog output port for phones) and you can integrate the ADI-2 Pro.

Other advantages
1. the optimized driver allocating resources only for those audio channels that are active (in groups of 8). Only if at least one channel in such a group of 8 audio channels is active, then the driver allocates computer resources.
2. the only card with FX chip
3. optional module to get a 3rd optical MADI bus.

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10 Pro 20H2, Cubase 11.0 Pro, UFX+, XTC, 12Mic, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE

Re: HDSPe Pre Sales Questions

Yes 3 hdspe cards possible. In 1 totalmix session but in 3 tabs. Your daw will see it as one interface, but you can not route audio latency free from one card to the other in totalmix without a connection (you can use adat or spdif for that) . You can route from and to all cards and outputs from your daw (with latency set by the buffer).
Hope this helps
Vincent

Vincent, Amsterdam
https://soundcloud.com/thesecretworld
HDSP9652+ADI-8AE  2X HDSP9632
Cubase pro10

Re: HDSPe Pre Sales Questions

Ramses and Vinark. Thank you both for your replies.

Ramses, good suggestion about the HDSPe MADI FX except it really is so many more channels than I would ever need:-) - particularly since Vinark confirms that I can do multiple HDSPe cards in the one system.

Vinark questions for you. Does having more than one card affect overall RTL assuming my computer is up to the task?

Other question is how would MIDI remote work with multiple Tabs in Totalmix? Currently I get a lot of TM edits done via SSL Nucleus sending Mackie Control Protocol.

With this news it really is looking like a race between:

2 x RayDat cards + 2 x Cranborne Audio 500 Adat + ADI-2 Pro + keep original UFX as adat expansion utility IO

or

HDSPe MADI and ADI 648 + 2 x Cranborne Audio 500 Adat + ADI-2 Pro + keep original UFX as adat expansion utility IO

The second system would cost a bit more but I think would deliver better overall, use only 1 PCIe slot and I don't need to run 2 cards which would simplify things and I would also get a full implementation of RME FX chip.

What do you think?

__________________________
Paul Najar
Jaminajar Music Production
www.jaminajar.com

8 (edited by ramses 2020-10-14 08:41:37)

Re: HDSPe Pre Sales Questions

Working with two TM FX instances is possible.
I personally regard it as limitation, not being able to route channels between two recording interfaces.

Additionally it might be nice to have the optimizing driver of the HDSPe MADI FX.

Having two MADI busses can be an advantage, because then you can distribute devices according to the way how you remote control them. If I recall right, then i.e. AUXDEVICE (shall you get an XTC or 12Mic) and MIDI Remote can not run on the same MADI bus. So you could distribute the devices then between the two MADI busses according to that remote management you choose.

Leave out the daughter card and you will have two optical MADI busses.
But this daughter card has WC, shall you need it in the future.
I don't have the time now, but I think in your setup you will distribute clock by MADI and AES to the ADI-2 Pro.

If you do not want to see all channels, then you can use the TM FX feature in "channel layout", to hide the not used channels.

Pls cross check with RME to validate the setup with the RME ADI 648 and Cranborne Audio 500.

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10 Pro 20H2, Cubase 11.0 Pro, UFX+, XTC, 12Mic, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE

Re: HDSPe Pre Sales Questions

RTL is not affected. I don't use midi remote at all so can not answer that question.

Vincent, Amsterdam
https://soundcloud.com/thesecretworld
HDSP9652+ADI-8AE  2X HDSP9632
Cubase pro10

Re: HDSPe Pre Sales Questions

Thanks again Ramses and Vinark. You've both been a big help for me to get my head around this.

Yes that optmising driver from the MADI FX card seems worth it and with so many channels even in the non FX card I can see how that would free up CPU resources meaningfully.

Kind regards

__________________________
Paul Najar
Jaminajar Music Production
www.jaminajar.com