MUSIC, AMBIENCE AND SOUND ART > Music Gearheads Tech Talk

Digital to analog converters

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I was thinking about getting one and I was wondering if they're really as good as some people say they are. I imagine that somebody here has one, or maybe almost everyone does except for me.

Will it make a drastic difference when recording or playing back music?  It seems like could help me a lot in terms of sound quality since I use my laptop to record a lot.

If you're recording real world sounds with your computer, then you already have a DA converter -- though if it's the one built into your laptop, then it's a very poor one.

What are you trying to record? If you're using a microphone, you might be better served by a pre-amp / DA converter combination.

Right now, just soft synths and various string instruments which I usually like to hook up to my computer (guitar, mandola, cura saz, maybe a zither) through my Lexicon Alpha and record in real-time.

If you're recording soft synths, are you outputting them from the computer and running them through FX and then inputting them back into the computer? Or are those just staying inside the computer the whole time?

It sounds like the bigger issue is the string instruments. There are a lot more variables with recording acoustic instruments into a computer. You have to worry about microphone, preamplification and AD/DA conversion. Your Lexicon Alpha is a mic preamp and AD/DA converter. For recording, it's the analog to digital conversion that matters. For playback, it's digital to analog. So strictly speaking the digital-to-analog converter will not improve your recording in any sense, other than possibly allowing you to monitor your own performance more clearly and maybe do a better job mixing/mastering.

The Lexicon Alpha may not be a high-end recording device, but it's certainly better than just sticking an analog microphone into the mic port on your laptop, and using the built-in mic preamp and AD/DA convers.

Maybe if you let us know what problem you perceive in your own recordings, somebody here can advise you whether your Alpha is worth upgrading, or if your efforts and money might be better spent on microphones and/or effects.

Converters matters, in a typical studio setup you use atleast 2 converters, one for the input signals from your pre amp, and one for the output signal to the speakers.
Both are very critical, but if you do mostly stuff inside your computer I guess your monitor controller/converter is more important, cause this will represent the true audio which your computer send.

But it looks like you use kind of a lot of external instruments so yeah... a good converter would really make a big difference.
but a great pre amp is a ls also good, of course you set the bar yourself what you are ready to pay for the best sound quality.
Antelope audio Orion 32 is good converters too..same goes with Prism Titan/orpheus, you can get lynx aurora second hand for good price.

Burl do the best converters right now, I will buy them I am saving up money to buy them


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