I/O - what do you use your SPDIF 2 in/2 outs for?


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I have a UMC 1820 paired with the ADA 8200. I would like to run an external analog bus comrpressor The UMC has plenty of outs on the back - but the only way to get back in on the back is to use the SPDIF.
I tried buying an old SRC2496 - but I don't think that unit worked correctly. I don't really see any 'affordable' AD/DA converters that would work to really utilize the SPDIF connection on the back. So, I thought I would ask the question to see what others are using -
Whether you have a UMC 1820 or not, if your interface has 2 sends and 2 returns, but they are SPDIF (digital), and you use them - can you share how?



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Is the issue that you want the connections on the back rather than the front? I was going to suggest using the ADA8200 but then realised that its inputs are on the front. As you have found, there aren't many affordable AD/DA convertors around unless you go right to the bottom of the market or towards the top of the market. At the bottom there are lots of no-name A/D boxes like

and there are lots of D/A convertors to serve the hifi market like

Towards the top of the market you have something like the RME ADI2 or the Sonifex Red Box RBADDA range (which is what I use) but these are around £600. You can go up further than this to the RME ADI2Pro or units from the likes of Prism at over £1000.

One possibility in the middle of the market would be to use a Zoom U-44 which has a stand-alone AD/DA mode as well as its normal audio interface mode. The only issue is that its line output can't work at full professional levels so, if you have a device that expects peaks up to +24dBu, the Zoom won't drive it fully whereas the Sonifex will.
Thanks. I have thought of those little boxes - but I didn't know how they would sync. I have never seen anything about they using a WC or if they just use the SPDIF in. But you would need two of them to get what the SRC2496 could do - and then how do the two boxes sync... ?
Its a toss up.... I could just kiss the $$ that I spent on the SRC2496 good bye, toss it in the recyclers bin and buy a RME... but that is an EXPENSIVE two inputs.
Or, I could send the SRC2496 in to a Behringer repair house - again EXPENSIVE. But from what I have read - when those units worked, they worked well. Probably less than the RME - and not as good quality - but workable.... still expensive... ;-(

but how do folks use their 2 outs and 2 ins that are SPDIF on the back of their units. I'd like to know how others might be using them.

Sync wouldn't be a problem with the DAC because it just syncs to the digital input but you would have to set your interface and ADA8200 to sync to the A/D convertor as budget A/D convertors don't have word clock inputs.

I don't know where you are in the world, but there is a Sonifex RB-ADDA1 on Ebay at the moment for £300 in the UK and various others for a similar price in other parts of the world. The SRC seems to be available for slightly less.

In contrast, you could pick up a Zoom U-44 for £125 from Thomann which would get you a set of decent, brand new A/D and D/A convertors which don't sound very different to the Sonifex when I did a comparison.

And you get a spare audio interface thrown in.
SPDIF devices generally sync to the incoming digital stream. In some cases you have to specify what device is master (internal clock) and what is slave (external clock).

I use SPDIF to transfer DAT tapes to the computer.
SPDIF OUT from my interface went to a Grace Headphone amp SPDIF input....it was nice and the Grace would light up the LED for which file it was 44.1 or 48 or 96k ....
(my old ears couldnt hear a difference but the visual led was confirmation)

SPDIF INPUT was from the SPDIF OUT of a preamp adding 2ty Digital Inputs to the Interface. (again I couldnt really hear a difference of digital SPDIF invs a Analog Line In...but it did add a couple channels.)
These work great:

My dad has hearing problems. I bought one of these to take SPIDF out of his TV and send it to headphones. Worked like a charm.
I have the same thing with a different name on it. Mine takes RCA digital from my 40" FSTV (I want a 50incher!) and feeds it to a Behringer Xenyx 1202 and thence to my Tannoy 5A monitors. There is also a feed to my M4 so I can record TV sound and replay the MOTU back through the mixer.
The S/PDIF feed from the TV is independent of any TV controls. Sounds great!