Topic: Switching from Babyface Pro FS to MADIface Pro

Hi,

I have a Babyface Pro FS, but I hit the limit of its' inputs and outputs. I have an external AD/DA converter connected via ADAT, which is also capable of talking MADI. It has 16 Inputs and 16 Outputs, so at the moment I can use just half of it. My idea is to switch to a MADIface Pro, but comparing the technical specs, the Babyface Pro FS has slighty better DA converters on the phones out. One of the main reasons I went for the Babyface Pro FS were its' phone converters as I am working with (high-impedance) headphones most of the time.

I wonder if it's worth waiting for an update of the MADIface pro, or if this will not happen in the near future (next 12 month or so).
Another option would be to go for a Digiface USB and continue using ADAT. However, using this solution I would have to create an Aggregate Device on macOS (Babyface + Digiface), so I would not be able to mix all the channels in TotalMix if I'm right, which is not ideal either.
The last option would be to just use the MADIface Pro and live with the slightly worse DA converters on the phones out.

Any comments/ideas/suggestions on that are appreciated smile

Thanks

2 (edited by ramses 2020-12-13 17:25:20)

Re: Switching from Babyface Pro FS to MADIface Pro

Digiface USB (for TotalMix FX)
- 16ch ADDA converter via ADAT1-2
- BBF Pro FS via ADAT3 in stand-alone operation
Optional:
- ARC USB
- later you could even add an ADI-2 DAC/Pro to the setup via ADAT4 (*)

(*) See also https://www.tonstudio-forum.de/blog/ind … our-Setup/ in terms of the integration of ADI-2 DAC/Pro into your setup.
By this you have the nicest phones preamp possible for an affordable price with unique RME features.

Digiface USB is very cost efficient and flexible by providing 4x ADAT I/O (all 4 ports are also switchable to SPDIF protocol).
And it also offers one additional phones output to the setup.

For comparing the specs of phones preamps, pls look here in the excel that I put together:
https://www.tonstudio-forum.de/blog/ind … B-MADIfac/
Excel direct link: https://www.tonstudio-forum.de/index.ph … 0-08-xlsx/

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

Re: Switching from Babyface Pro FS to MADIface Pro

Hey ramses,

thanks for your answer, I will take that option into account as well.

I wonder how much latency the Digiface USB would add to my setup? More advantages of the Babyface Pro FS is the ultra low latency, and the new SteadyClock FS. I guess I have to compromise at some point.

Re: Switching from Babyface Pro FS to MADIface Pro

In regards to "ultra low latency"...

Converter latency is lower compared to the RTL (Roud Trip Latency) via USB/FW/TB/PCIe.
The RTL is the time for audio routing from the recording interface to the PC/DAW and the way back.
The RTL is not much shorter between USB2, USB3, TB. The higher transfer speed simply enables for the transfer of more audio channels which results in higher bandwidth.

The higher the sample rate, the lower the converter latency in ms.
The higher the ASIO buffer size, the higher the RTL.

Converter latency @44.1 kHz:
BBF Pro AD       12.6 samples = 0.28 ms
BBF Pro DA         7.0 samples = 0.16 ms
BBF Pro FS AD    5.0 samples = 0.11 ms
BBF Pro FS DA    7.0 samples = 0.16 ms

RTL for UFX+ @44.1 kHz
TB     : 32 samples buffersize: 2,612ms
USB3:  32 samples buffersize: 3,061ms
TB     : 256 samples buffersize: 12,772ms
USB3:  256 samples buffersize: 13,220ms
TB     : 512 samples buffersize: 24,223ms
USB3:  512 samples buffersize: 24,829ms

As you can see, lower converter latency is maybe beneficial for ADM (ASIO Direct Monitoring), e.g. when audio is being routed on the recording interface from HW input to HW Output.

But if you compare converter latency with transfer times across USB/FW/TB/PCIe which depends much on the ASIO buffersize, then you can see, that RTL can be much higher compared to the fraction of a milisecond.

What does it mean for your setup with a Madiface  USB ? Well simple.
1. You will have about the same RTL between PC and Madiface USB
2. The digital connection between Digiface USB and connected devices (16ch ADDA converter and BBF Pro FS in standalone mode) will also only require a few sample, fewer than converter time
3. converter time for AD and DA about the same as above.

So the difference for ADM is, that you get only the time over TOSLINK additionally.
As this is in the range of converter latency (potentially even less) this adds again only a fraction of a ms, compared to RTLs which can have 24ms or even more if you use 1024 or 2048 for recording.

To sum up, I think it should be evident, that you do not need to worry much.

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

5 (edited by dsl 2020-12-15 00:54:11)

Re: Switching from Babyface Pro FS to MADIface Pro

Thanks for clarifying. I thought the converter latency has a relatively large impact on the RTL.

So you are saying that no matter if I use the BBF Pro FS or the Digiface USB, I would have about the same RTL, because the type of connection (USB in this case) has a much larger impact on the RTL than the converter latency?

I just checked my DAW settings. I set the buffer size to 512 samples @ 44.1kHz, which gives me an RTL of ~24ms, so it corresponds to your table (RTL for UFX+).

I actually do use TotalMix for patching/routing my gear (directly, without DAW), so I should watch the converter latency as well, but as you said, the difference would only be a fraction of a millisecond (the additional transfer time over TOSLINK) which is fine.

Thank you for your detailed answers! I have a much better understanding of converters and latency now. Getting an additional Digiface USB sounds like a good option.

Re: Switching from Babyface Pro FS to MADIface Pro

You're welcome.

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