Topic: Help needed - "My road to external summing via an RME Audio Interface"
I'm new to this list, so hi everyone !
My name is Bas, and I could use some insights of you pro's in the field of recording and sound engineering.
I am a part-time electronic and acoustic musician, not professionally, but passionately, so I enjoy playing around with equipment in my home studio hoping to add new (more professional and powerfull sounding) flavours to my sounds. I own a Multiface for 6 years already, and even though tempted byu new stuff, I did not have any need so far to upgrade to something new, so this Multiface has proven to me that RME is definately a way to go regarding new equipment as well, very happy with the product, and the way they keep thinking of new boxes that seem to be just-right.
That said, I have been working in-the-box mostly for the last 10 years or so, so forgive me if my wisdom is not up to par regarding external consoles and interfacing, but humour me please, without trying there is no learning
SO, here we go, let's drop my questions:
I lately have been intrigued by external summing mixers because I have read reviews about them where they claim to have a more balanced, warmer, open and separated sound compared to in the box summing. I decided there is only one way to find out, and that is to give it a go. Basically I would like to see IF it makes a difference to my sound and/or workflow, and whether that difference is something that suits me well or not. If it does not provide me with a noticeable positive difference, I can always sell it and accept a small loss because I had fun trying them out. So, this is what I am set out to do.
I have decided on a short list of external summing mixers (some are more than just summing , and also do some distinctive 'colouring' I have read, but that could be a plus in itself for me as well) to try out, just based on raving reviews (ignoring red lights and 'hype-alert!') by others and limited by 2000$ (if you have others i should consider, let me know):
1. Tonelux OTB16
2. Dangerous 2-BUS
3. Speck XSum
4. SPL MixDream
Now , apart from the above shortlist, and its possible shortcomings, I am firstly puzzled by a very basic question:
When thinking about interfacing with these units, I am a bit puzzled. I currently own a RME Multiface which alows me 8 outputs via analog, and 8 ADAT outputs. Now for instance the Tonelux OTB16 above offers 16 channel inputs for summing, and offers this via 2 dSub interfaces. Now my question is, is it possible to connect my 8 analog outputs and my 1 ADAT output (with another 8 channels over it) from my Multiface to the 2 dSub inputs of the Tonelux unit? I.e. will I be able to hook up my multiface to this Tonelux OTB16, or would I need some other sound card to be able to do that (and if so, which RME card WOULD support connecting to this unit?).
Secondly, I am a complete nono when it comes to these pro-interfacing types, and had not heard of dsub before, so what is this connector, and where is its place in the interface-world (for instance, what is its relation to say ADAT or SPDIF?). Are DSUB and ADAT the same? is Dsub jus a connector type instead of a protocol? Is it just a hardware difference or is it a completely different interface ? And then, are there converters between for instance ADAT and DSUB?
Thirdly, overall i am wondering, how do I get get from my in-the-box recordings to interfacing with external 16-24 mixers? What are usual setups in studios if people use 16/24 channel analog mixers with their DAW and soundcard, and what is needed between soundcard and the analog mixers, to make it all work together?
Sorry if these are dumb questions, educate me please?