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Computer Hardware Audio interfaces, MIDI interfaces, control surfaces, MIDI controllers & USB MIDI keyboards (not motherboards or system components)

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Old 6th October 2008 , 10:47 PM
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Question Where can I go to test cards?

Okay... so every music shop that I've been to, it's rare that I can test DSP cards or audio interfaces.

I understand it's difficult for stores to set up a bench test for an indecisive customer; but how can I compare otherwise? How do I judge?

I've heard good stories about Powercore; UAD; Duende; but how do I know they do what I need? I might go for the Focusrite Liquid Mix if I knew what it might do.

It's the same with audio interfaces. What's got the lowest latency? The best compatibility with my software? The most flexible DSP mixer? Etc.

Can anyone help? Is there anywhere I can go for these demos?

Cheers

Matt
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Old 6th October 2008 , 10:52 PM
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i know one place that can arrange these demo's but the guys at DV are normally quite helpful setting up demo's, have you asked in store?
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Old 6th October 2008 , 10:52 PM
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I guess I may be a bit too far away (North Kent), but if you're ever over this way you are welcome to pop in and see/hear/compare my UAD-1, UAD-2, Powercore PCI MkII, Powercore PCI Express amd LiquidMix 32.
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Old 6th October 2008 , 11:49 PM
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With that Much DSP dave...

what do you even use your computer for. A foot rest ?

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Old 7th October 2008 , 12:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EdRyan View Post
With that Much DSP dave...

what do you even use your computer for. A foot rest ?

LOL! Well, I do have each for specific reasons... The PoCo is, IMHO, the best for reverbs... I especially like VSS3, but that consumes one of the 4 DSPs on a PoCo by itself and the other reverbs can use quite a bit of DSP resource also, hence I have 2 PoCos. I found myself getting to the limits of my UAD-1 which I use mostly for "character" compressors and the Cambridge EQ (also sometimes use the Plate Reverb), so adding the UAD-2 Duo was a no-brainer. The LiquidMix I bought some time ago as I had the chance to buy one at a silly price I couldn't say "no" to... I find it very useful to add particular "colours" given the wide range of available EQ and compressor models.

I do still push my QuadCore CPU too, I use native Sonnox plugins a lot... the Sonnox Dynamics is my "work-horse" compressor/limiter and I run a good selection of soft-synths and drum libraries (Toontrack Superior 2/ BFD2/ Jamstix 2)

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Old 7th October 2008 , 07:36 AM
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[QUOTE=mrfracas;11840]Okay... so every music shop that I've been to, it's rare that I can test DSP cards or audio interfaces.

I understand it's difficult for stores to set up a bench test for an indecisive customer; but how can I compare otherwise? How do I judge?

I've heard good stories about Powercore; UAD; Duende; but how do [I]I[/I] know they do what I need? I might go for the Focusrite Liquid Mix if I knew what it might do.

It's the same with audio interfaces. What's got the lowest latency? The best compatibility with my software? The most flexible DSP mixer? Etc.

Can anyone help? Is there anywhere I can go for these demos?

Cheers

Matt[/QUOTE]

Hi Matt,

Justin at the DV Retail Warehouse in Romford Essex is yer man.

Give him a call. We're also hosting [URL="http://forums.dv247.com/dv-tours-events/1320-uad2-autumn-tour.html"]UAD2 [/URL] sessions this month in most locations.

Cheers,

Jeremy
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Old 7th October 2008 , 08:35 AM
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It's a case of research

Top Tip: Download the manual - most brands have them on their sites.
You know exactly what's what and if it covers your needs.

Watch their own videos on it.

Forums & Youtube

I think you can narrow it down to 2-3 and then it's a bit of leg work.

Look for known problems on websites - google 'error and < the equipment you're looking at > - also go on the dedicated forum.

Trusted makes are getting more consistent. If you want the latest, wait until it's been out over 6 months - the known problems are exposed by then.

It's hard to do tests because it won't be linked to your computer and won't be handling the same stuff you will be using.

Then it's a case of getting down to the finer details of what you need -the I/Os, top drivers, monitoring, on-board software, do you have the system requirements........ it's never ending and yet you tend to be fairly certain at an early stage.

My bets is you'll get down to two and something will tip in the favour of one.

I generally don't recommend soundcards as there's a good choice with different I/Os and there's so many. I would certainly say if there is any to avoid, but the latest seem quite good.

Just remember firewire can be funny with the 'wrong' firewire port. They like these up-to-date IEEE1394 TI Chipset port thingys.

And have a word with your supplier about taking stuff back, if you feel something is not right. It's too vital a part of recording to have not working for you.

Avoid false economy.
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Old 7th October 2008 , 05:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sureno View Post
i know one place that can arrange these demo's but the guys at DV are normally quite helpful setting up demo's, have you asked in store?
Where is this place that you speak of, Paul?

I think I'd like to just try out some of the plugins that come with the cards; so it'd be a case of wiring up an external unit for demo. Once that's over, I can assume the rest of what I need to know from spec. I'll ask when I'm in Bristol next Mon.
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Old 7th October 2008 , 05:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Boulden View Post
I guess I may be a bit too far away (North Kent), but if you're ever over this way you are welcome to pop in and see/hear/compare my UAD-1, UAD-2, Powercore PCI MkII, Powercore PCI Express amd LiquidMix 32.
Hmm... might be a good opportunity to see some family again. I'm from Gillingham originally you see.

Thanks for the offer; I might do so if I'm down that way.
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Old 7th October 2008 , 05:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremy Lumsden View Post
Justin at the DV Retail Warehouse in Romford Essex is yer man.

Give him a call.
Thanks Jeremy,

Romford's a little far away for me (I'm in Somerset); but if I'm down seeing my mum, I might head over there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremy Lumsden View Post
We're also hosting UAD2 sessions this month in most locations.
Yeh, I know. Unfortunately, when it's in Bristol, it ties in with a day that I can't miss work! Sucks, but what can I do?

Thanks for the reminder though.
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Old 7th October 2008 , 06:47 PM
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[QUOTE=mrfracas;11944]Thanks Jeremy,

Romford's a little far away for me (I'm in Somerset); but if I'm down seeing my mum, I might head over there.



Yeh, I know. Unfortunately, when it's in Bristol, it ties in with a day that I [I]can't[/I] miss work! Sucks, but what can I do? :rolleyes:

Thanks for the reminder though. :thumbsup:[/QUOTE]

My apologies, I thought you were based in Kent for some reason. Yer man is Paul Wyatt at DV Bristol in Clifton Village.
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