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#1652460 - 04/10/20 04:11 AM Coax out to new audio interface
Seff Offline
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Registered: 03/06/14
Posts: 32
Loc: California
Researching a new audio interface for a MacBook I just got. Was thinking I could use the coax out (vs2000) into the new interface, into MacBook...any advice on potential probs I could run into, or specifics to look for in the interface? Thanks.
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#1652470 - 04/10/20 05:29 AM Re: Coax out to new audio interface [Re: Seff]
uptildawn Offline
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Registered: 12/15/01
Posts: 9097
Loc: on land
The coax out will be 2-channel stereo spdif. Make sure you scour the manual for everything you can find about its digital In and Out - There doesn't appear to be much, though and it's scattered all over the manual, so you'll have to dig deep.

The 2000 doesn't have word clock for digital sync purposes, but supposedly it can receive word clock over the spdif in put from another digital device. You will need to decide how important that feature or lack thereof is to your needs.

If you haven't already found your interface of choice - make sure it has a good reputation for solid driver support and of course, the necessary interface format for your mac (I use pc, so I have no idea what macs use the most these days). You will also need to make sure it has at least coaxial (spdif) rca in and out, as well as midi (or at least be sure to have some way to get midi in and out of the mac for timing sync, when and if you make multiple passes of 2 tracks to transfer multiple tracks for a single project, or you will experience drift between the sets of tracks and it's a very time-consuming and tedious process to try to edit the tracks afterwards to get them back in sync.

You might also want to strongly consider the fact that you can pass multiple tracks from the VS to the mac through the VS' analog direct outputs. Personally, I think this method is fairly equal to passing digital and worth the time savings, when you have more than a few tracks to transfer in a project. In that case, it would be worth it to have an interface that has more than 2 decent analog preamps onboard with line level input capabilities.

Of course, the VS2000cd also has the ability to transfer wav files back and forth through usb - that can be as useful as transferring digital spdif in real time and possibly as fast (although my knowledge of the VS's copy speed of wav files is not firsthand at all - but I've used other machines who's usb wav file transfer was adequately fast - not fantastic by any means, but highly useful.

You will need to read up on any and all details of any of these features I mention in whatever source material you can find and make determinations of what combination of features and methodology will suite your needs best.
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uptildawn

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#1652478 - 04/10/20 07:36 AM Re: Coax out to new audio interface [Re: uptildawn]
Seff Offline
Planeteer


Registered: 03/06/14
Posts: 32
Loc: California
Thank you so very much! Yes Iíve read the pertinent sections in the manual and I also considered that the analog outs and/or usb transfer may be what I end up doing.

My first thought was really just using the vs 2000 as a two channel preamp into the audio interface, through the coaxial, as Iíve always liked the vs8f3 card sound options. I was assuming this would be the best audio quality, but perhaps the analog out would be similar. Iím guessing I wouldnít need a word clock sync for this scenario? Thank you again for the informative reply.

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#1652503 - 04/10/20 03:11 PM Re: Coax out to new audio interface [Re: Seff]
uptildawn Offline
Planeteer


Registered: 12/15/01
Posts: 9097
Loc: on land
If you are not passing more than two tracks per song, then you certainly wouldn't need the analog outs or the direct outs for that.....
Your idea of using the coaxial would certainly be a good choice in that case - and I can understand why you would be thinking along those lines.

I know what you mean about favoring your VS effects sound. So that would eliminate the analog transfer through the direct outs method, since that sound (although allowing multiple channels at one time) - the sound would be strictly "dry", unless you took the time to make some comp tracks of the original plus effect bounce first, or made some effect only tracks - a lot of extra work there.

The analog outs would still be a viable solution in my book, if you can't make the coaxial happen. I have not personally found the digital transfer in real time to be all that much different than the analog transfer in a typical band-style mix. Your effects, especially reverbs and delays, will easily mask any low level "noise" that could pass through the analog transfers, too.
The most important aspect to consider in the analog transfer is how you set your gains - using the highest average output level from the VS, without any clipping (unless the sound appeals to you, since it would not be digital clipping) - setting the input gain on your interface (hardware and software) to capture the VS output without adding distortion (again - unless you want it) - and keeping a close eye on the levels at both the VS and the software, to avoid levels that are both way too low and way too hot. Essentially the way you would record any original analog source to the VS.......


I can see where it might be more critical with solo or strictly acoustic small ensemble mixes, or hugely dynamic tracks that go from a whisper to blazing - and the digital "purity" of the coaxial transfer could count more then.

In that case, if it were me, I might even consider taking the time to bounce a pre-mix version of the tracks complete with effects, or just effects track pairs (to preserve any stereo effects) and then use the usb transfer method. Even if slower than real time, the transfer avoids the possibility of adding
any noise floor at all - the purest form of transfer you could manage between the two units.
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uptildawn

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#1652759 - 04/12/20 05:12 AM Re: Coax out to new audio interface [Re: uptildawn]
Seff Offline
Planeteer


Registered: 03/06/14
Posts: 32
Loc: California
Right. Well at least thereís still options to keep em around still👍😎. Thanks again for the advice. Iíll post back once I do some experimenting. Take care.
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