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AD/DA converter plus monitor controller?

SoundSloth

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I’m on a mission to find an AD/DA converter and monitor controller. I would prefer an all in one solution, but am fine splitting between two units if needed. Looking to keep in a budget of ~$2500, but am able to get 20% off a fair amount of stuff, so this helps the budget go a bit further.

I’m trying to feed one set of speakers and an analog processing chain simultaneously and return the processed signal back into my DAW via the same unit. I very much want dim and mono controls on the physical unit itself and not have to dig in software for this function. The Amari seemed dang near perfect for this, but I just found out the analog outputs are not separate like on the Pure 2, so the dim, mono, mute and volume functions would also affect the signal going to processing.

On the AD/DA converter I would like USB, AES and Analog in with two separate analog outs. As I mentioned I’d wouldn’t mind splitting this up between two units, but I’m not sure it would be possible on my budget.

Any one have any thoughts on this?

Thanks.
 

Roger285

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Perhaps the motu m4? No aes in though. I use one with a mackie big knob for volume, dim, mono and basic switching between sources and outputs.
Bob
 

aedagnino

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Hi! Just asked ChatGPT for this, maybe it helps:

Absolutely, finding the right AD/DA converter and monitor controller is crucial for maintaining high-quality audio in your home studio setup. Given your requirements and budget, here are a few options to consider:

  1. Antelope Audio Pure 2 AD/DA Converter: You've mentioned this one already, and it's a solid choice if you're primarily looking for high-quality conversion with separate analog outputs. While it lacks the separate monitor controller functions you desire, it excels in conversion quality.
  2. Dangerous Music D-Box: This unit combines an AD/DA converter with a monitor controller. It features separate analog outputs, USB connectivity, and includes physical controls for dim, mono, mute, and volume. It might stretch your budget a bit, but it's a versatile solution.
  3. RME ADI-2 Pro FS: RME is known for their high-quality converters, and the ADI-2 Pro FS is no exception. It offers USB, AES, and analog inputs, along with two separate analog outputs. While it lacks dedicated monitor controller functions, its pristine conversion quality makes it a strong contender.
  4. Focusrite RedNet AM2: This unit might be an unconventional choice, but it could fit your needs. It's primarily a networked audio interface, but it offers analog I/O, and it can function as a monitor controller with dim and mono controls. It might require some additional setup in your DAW, but it could be a cost-effective solution.
  5. Splitting Between Two Units: If you're open to splitting your budget between two units, you could consider pairing a dedicated AD/DA converter like the Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 with a standalone monitor controller like the Mackie Big Knob Studio. This approach gives you flexibility and could potentially fit within your budget.
Ultimately, it comes down to prioritizing your needs and finding the best balance between features, quality, and budget. Make sure to research each option thoroughly and consider how it will integrate into your existing setup.
 

jrosser

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For that kind of budget you could be looking at RME Fireface UFX II or III depending on if you can get a discount, plus https://www.rme-audio.de/arc-usb.html. You get the mono and dim buttons right there on the controller.

The Amari looks much less capable at a similar price point and doesn't seem to have anything like RME TotalMix which you should definitely check out.
 
OP
S

SoundSloth

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Perhaps the motu m4? No aes in though. I use one with a mackie big knob for volume, dim, mono and basic switching between sources and outputs.
Bob

AES input is a must.

I’m a little skeptical with the lower end monitor controllers with transparency, nonlinearities with volume and L/R tracking. The new Radial Nuance has piqued my attention though.

The biggest bummer was to find the Amari didn’t retain the separate analog output function like the Pure 2. It would be perfect otherwise. Seems like a big oversight from Antelope. While they market it as a mastering converter, why would the put the monitor control functions on it if it cannot do both? I simply do not understand that.
 
OP
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SoundSloth

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For that kind of budget you could be looking at RME Fireface UFX II or III depending on if you can get a discount, plus https://www.rme-audio.de/arc-usb.html. You get the mono and dim buttons right there on the controller.

The Amari looks much less capable at a similar price point and doesn't seem to have anything like RME TotalMix which you should definitely check out.

I don’t need any preamps, tons of I/O and all the functionality of total mix. I just need in and out, no fancy routing, and need a couple high quality AD/DA converters. It seems like that added controller would do a thing, but it looks like it’s just a controller for the software, not a true hard ware controller. That’s a bit of a turn off for me.
 
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