RME ADI-8 DS MkIII – Why this could be part of the world's best audio interface

The RME ADI-8 DS Mk III is announced today, with 8 analouge ins and outs, ADAT and AES-32 digital connections.

So what makes this so very special?

Well, it’s not the 120dBa dynamic range, even though that makes it sit in the absolute top 0.1% of interface specs.

Its not even RME’s Steadyclock that gives an unbelievably low jitter rate, meaning the waveforms are the shapes that they should be and not distorted due to timing errors.

It’s simply the fact the the unit has been re-designed with the latest generation of A/D converters.

Now before you all snooze off, i’ll explain why this is so important. The current generation of conversion (with the exception of the horrendously expensive ESS Sabre chips, which seem to have sacrificed latency in exchange for accuracy) have not made any leaps and bounds advances in dynamic range or harmonic distortion performance, the only thing they have really managed to do is to reduce the latency of the signals being converted.

How can I make the statement that this could be part of the world’s best audio interface?

Well, RME’s ADI-8QS, used in conjunction with thier HDSPe-AES pcie card was the best performing interface tested using the DAWbench software, with it being the benchmark that every other interface has been tested against by DAWbench’s creator Vin Curigliano. Vin (with a bit of help from ourselves on a compatible system) has tested most common interfaces, and if the major improvement is in conversion latency in the latest ADI-8 DS mkIII, then this must surely take the crown.  The RME UCX did the same thing compared to the UFX that it was based on, shaving a few ms off the conversion time, so i would completely expect this to do the same to the previous ADI-8 generation.

In RME’s own words…

The new RME ADI-8 DS Mk III is the latest addition to the ADI series. The ADI-8 DS Mk III is an 8-channel high-end AD/DA converter with a unique and incredibly versatile collection of very useful features. The RME ADI-8 DS Mk III combines excellent analogue circuit design with the very latest generation of outstanding low latency AD/DA converter chips.

What does “best performing” actually mean? 

It simply means that at the same latency, you will be able to run more plugins and have more notes of virtual instrument polyphony than with any other interface.

 

How much difference is there in performance? 

 

Here’s the results from another couple of interfaces, the UFX (apart from the UCX, the best preforming USB interface) and the now discontinued USB1 Saffire 6 from Focusrite

(In the intrests of nuetrality, The Saffire replacement (Scarlett 2i4) perfoms signifcantly better, and although doesn’t share the same buffer sizes, so cant be be directly compared, has an average LLP rating of about 5, which is respectable for USB 2.0)

The Buffer size shows how many samples big the buffer is, the RXC is how many RXC compressor plugins can be run before breaking up (to demonstrate DSP perfomance) and the CV and NCV fields show how many notes of polyphony can be run inside Kontakt before the audio starts to break up.  The I/O column is the latency times reported by the ASIO driver and the RTL is the Round trip latency (ms) of a signal coming in and going back out of the interface. The overall LLP rating is derived from a calculation of performance against latency time.

 

So, we wait with baited breath to see how the unit will perform when we actually can get our hands on one, as well as definitively finding out how well it can compete with competition from the likes of Lynx’s Hi-Lo and Lavry’s converter range, although as an 8 in / 8 out option it’s in a class of it’s own.

A CHRISTMAS MESSAGE TO THE WOMEN IN THE LIVES OF GUITARISTS….(and a couple of gift idea's for xmas…)

A CHRISTMAS MESSAGE TO WIVES, GIRLFRIENDS, MUMS and DAUGHTERS OF GUITARISTS……

 

This little piece is aimed at the aforementioned women in the lives of Guitar Players.

Long suffering wives and mothers, who have long cursed the heavy black amps secreted away in hallways, the never ending trail of guitar cases littering hallways and landings, girlfriends who sit patiently in dirty, cold rehearsal rooms, listening to repeated offerings of half written songs and long guitar solo’s, before sitting in a pub gig listening to the same stuff again, and all the time offering encouragement and support in the way, only they can.

Well, on behalf of guitarists everywhere,

Thank You. We love you.

After over 30 years as a professional guitarist, I have been more than dependent on the charity and good will of many females over my time.

And I was reminded the other day of conversations I’ve had, where various mothers, wives etc have confessed their frustration at not being able to by Christmas gifts that were ‘guitar related’ because they felt they didnt know enough about what they were buying, or were afraid to buy something that was ‘wrong’.

Well, as a little thank you from me personally, I thought I’d share a couple of ideas for christmas presents that are going to be well received, and the thought processes behind them.

 

 

 

1) A nice new pristine Jack to Jack cable.

Now before you shout, ‘he’s got loads of them littering up his gig bag….’, thats the point.

Every guitarist has a bag full of battered leads that line the bottom of a gig bag, or pocket of a guitar case, and not all of them are always in best working order.

So buy him one of these  (LN38929), and tell him not to open it, but to keep it somewhere safe in his guitar bag or gig bag, until one day, when theres only minutes to go before he’s due on stage, and he realises that one of his normal leads has failed, he’ll be able to break out his shiny new cable, and he will love you forever………

 

2) Music Stand.      

If your guitarist doesnt already own one of these (LN41473), then buy him one this christmas. Depending on what sort of music he plays (classical guitarists tend to already have these…) he may very well wonder about your thought process. He may say ‘I dont use music!’, but remind him, this is for practise time.

Every guitarist I know has heaps of reference material, old magazines with obscure scales and chord shapes, various method and technique books they’ve bought over the years, and usually, they’ll slob about with the said text either sliding off their knee, or slung on the couch or floor, making reading very uncomfortable. All of a sudden, to be able to have this stuff in front of you, at a friendly distance to both back and eye, and your guitar man will realise what a very useful invention this is (it also holds pens, picks, bottlenecks, capos, phones etc) and he will again love you for thinking about him………

3) Tuner.                               

This is actually an obvious thing to buy a guitar player, but you’d be suprised how many don’t actually own one.

Its one of those things that when you have some money to spare, there always seems to be something else just that little more important. But once you’ve owned one, you’ll never be without one.

(If you want to find out whether or not he already owns one, just ask him casually ‘how do you tune a guitar?’ If he starts on a long story involving the 5th fret of each string equalling the same note as the previous one etc. its probably safe to assume he doesn’t own one.)

There are a couple of different prices available, the new KORG Pitchblack tuner for instance, is the latest in very fancy tuners which allow you to use different modes of tuning i.e. strobe meter etc.  Its compact  and tough and any guitarist would be overjoyed to receive it (LN47215).

If its a little out of your budget, or if you’re just looking for a stocking filler, try the KORG clip on tuner (LN41707)

Either way, your guitar fella will thank you for your thoughtful gift, and whenever he uses it he will think of you. (and this is likely to be many, many times a day….)

 

4)  VOX Amplug.                   

Again, this is something that he’s never likely to buy himself, but once he’s used it he’ll love you forever. These are basically a mini headphone amp, with an authentic tone, and mp3 in, and best of all, YOU can’t hear him while he practises!! You could sit happily watching Strictly Come Boring or whatever, and he can sit beside you on the sofa, widdling away to his hearts content. There’s one for most styles as well. (LN44407)

 

5) VOX Wah Wah Pedal.

He may already have a Wah Wah pedal, but unless it says VOX on it, he doesn’t have a VOX wah wah. And a VOX wah wah is a very special wah wah, because its

a) the one Hendix used, and b) the one they used on the film score of  ‘Shaft’.

(This is a good thing..)

Buy him one, he will love you (chicka wah wah wah………) (LN46664)     

 

6) KORG Pandora Mini

Almost done, (and he will be blown away by this), the Korg Pandora Mini is a veritable Pandoras box for a guitar player. He can use this with headphones, so again, he can sit alongside you and practise, while you watch the Telly in peace, and it has so many features, he’ll be constantly telling you of what else he’s discovered it does….

Oh, and he will love you forever…… 🙂                                 

(LN46696)

 

7) Nice New Headphones

And finally, to work alongside some of the other gifts on this page, or just to make his iPod or iPhone a nicer experience, how about a nice new pair of headphones.

We have some VERY high end phones here at Scan, but either the Behringer HPS5000 or the Audio Technica M20’s are great value for money, and he will love you…..

 

(LN48260)                                                                                          (LN48030)

 

So, I hope this offers food for thought to the loved ones of our nations guitar players….

All of the above are available from the ScanPro Audio site, and here’s hoping whatever you decide to buy him,  that you and yours have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy 2013.

 

A Quick First Look at The Electrix Tweaker

Tweaker – Live Performance Controller for Ableton, Traktor and Serato.

Today at Scan we were given an exclusive chance to quickly have a bash with the new Tweaker by Electrix, a Live Performance Controller for Ableton, Traktor and Serato.

As three of us on the Pro Audio team use each one of those programs we were all keen to have a go.

Firstly I tried setting it up with the Ableton overlay and to make this change  you lift off the fader pots and switch the overlay which can then be quickly put in place.

The first most noticeable aspect of the controller is its build quality. It’s clearly aimed at the live user in clubs/on stage, the casing is very robust and will definitely take some wear and tear expected from regular gigging.

For installation, all I needed to do was to download the Ableton script/template from the Electrix website. The device is plug and play for both Windows and Mac and on starting up Ableton, Tweaker could be seen in the Midi device list and was ready to use.

Have a look at the video to see Simons first impressions and look out for a more function and feature based video soon.

Electrix TweakerAll Electrix Hardware At Scan

Steinberg Announce Cubase 7

Steinberg have announced their latest revision of the Cubase family in the shape of Cubase 7 and Cubase Artist 7 with a street date E.T.A of December 5, 2012

Highlights In Cubase 7

New Mix Console

The completely new MixConsole excels not only in terms of usability, look and feel, but also sounds better than anything before it! Featuring full-screen mode, total scalability and quick in-place access to the parameters most relevant to the task, MixConsole adjusts seamlessly to notebook screens and large-scale displays.

With its extremely flexible channel layout, 12 dB boost and dedicated processing power per channel, an exceptional feel to the controls and comprehensive online and offline automation tools, MixConsole provides uncompromising audio quality and routing flexibility from the outset, with plenty of pristine headroom and a fundamentally transparent sonic signature.

Cubase 7 Mixing console

Improved Workflows

Dedicated to our diehard users, Cubase 7 brings extraordinary workflow improvements to the table, delivering a genuine benefit to professionals working regularly with the mixer. Highlights include A/B comparison and global bypass for all audio effects, a plug-in search function as well as drag-and-drop support throughout.

Plus, dynamic sends and inserts provide a streamlined overview, whereas the professional meter bridge lets you keep track of your signals. Aiming on providing barrier-free accessibility to the blind and visually impaired, MixConsole is compatible with screen reader software and can be operated using only the computer keyboard.

Channel Central And The New Channel Strip

The brand-new channel strip in Cubase 7 offers that epic pro-console sound that lets you turn your songs into a hard-hitting, radio-ready production. Along with this the redesigned Channel Settings window gives you lightning quick access to all channel parameters, including input metering, routing assignments, the new channel strip with premier equalization and dynamics modules and essential aux as well as cue sends to create individual cue mixes. There’s no need for scrolling — the display follows you automatically wherever you are and updates each time you adjust controls on a different channel.

Cubase 7 Channels

New Song Writing Tools

The new global Chord Track allows for easy working with chords within your Project window and provides transform and harmonize functions throughout the application. Cubase detects the harmony structure of your song and feeds back all chord and scale information to both MIDI and audio tracks processed with VariAudio. All tracks engaged to follow will automatically reflect any harmonic adjustments made with the Chord Track! Advanced voicing options are used to transform existing parts in a harmonically correct and ear-pleasing way.

Alongside this thanks to the Hermode tuning technology, the intonation of your synthesized notes are changed dynamically on the fly for utmost compatibility with well-tempered scales, while retaining a high degree of purity for third and fifth intervals. Especially when combining non-fixed-intonation instruments, like brass and woodwind, and fixed-intonation instruments, such as guitars and piano, entire orchestral arrangements sound immediately clearer and more brilliant than before.

Global collaboration with VST Connect SE

Steinberg VST Connect SE allows musicians to connect directly to Cubase 7 users, giving you the freedom to collaborate and produce together, even when you’re not in the same studio, town or country. Talkback and chat functions as well as video and audio stream in real time give you limitless possibilities. Collaborate with your musical partners when they are not using Cubase, thanks to the included standalone version, which is available as a free download.

Bulletproof ASIO-Guard

The Steinberg Audio Engine has also been extended with the brand-new ASIO-Guard technology. Rely on our intelligent dropout-prevention algorithms and focus only on your sound — just like in the analog days. With this bulletproof technology our goal is to help Cubase users get the maximum performance out of their systems.

 The New Cubase Mix Console

More Musical Than Ever

Makin Your Life Easier

All this and we’ve only scratched the surface of the announced updates and improvements in the package so check out the link down below for all the rest of the info on this new version.

Cubase 7 – Whats New?

To see which version is right for you consult the Steinberg Comparison Chart

Copies of Cubase 7 will be landing with us around the start of December. Anyone purchasing a copy of Cubase 6.5 after 25th October will qualify for a free upgrade to Version 7 via the Steinberg Licensing center.

Steinberg Products At Scan

Scan News : Free Shipping Now On Pro Audio Items Over £50!

Since the launch of the Pro Audio arm of Scan we’ve had a policy in place where we offer free shipping on any Pro Audio section products over the £150 mark. After listening to feedback and giving it some discussion in store, we’re now proud to announce that we’re extending this offer and reducing this limit to only £50, meaning that anything over that price point in the Pro Audio store section is now shipped out free of charge.

We are still using DPD so your still assured the same great service with an hourly delivery slot, so you can order and track your items  and know exactly when to expect it. We want to offer the best service and value in the audio retail industry and we think that making this change should now put us up there with the very best.

The only exception that we have to make to this rule are products in our acoustic treatment section, which due to their large bulky nature it means we can’t make this same great offer on those items. For items under £50 our normal charges of £4.16 / 9.15 (ex vat) apply depending upon size and weight which are indicated on the product pages.

The Scan Pro Audio Shop

Komplete Audio 6 Now With A Free Copy Of Guitar Rig For A Limited Period.

We have a  special offer running  from 1st November to 31st December which now includes a free download of Guitar Rig 5 Pro (worth £160) upon registration.

The Komplete Audio 6 is one of our personal faves here in office with it’s great build quality, features and drivers its a great recording interface for any budding producer.

Guitar Rig is the renown amp and speaker simulation from Native Instruments which offers far more than just simple guitar effects. In fact it has a full compliment of modular channel dynamics and effects alongside it’s regular drive and distortion stomp boxes making it a great addition to any studio and can prove just as effective when you want to create a speaker pounding synth lead as well as when you just want to rock out with a guitar.

To claim your free copy just make sure you register your Komplete Audio 6 within the allotted time frame with Native Instruments and a code shall be made available to apply to your account giving you access to the full Guitar Rig 5 package.

Native Instruments Komplete Audio 6 and Guitar Rig offer

The Komplete Audio 6 with Guitar Rig 5 is available from Scan for £179