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Topic: MOTU 828 ADAT vs FX Teleport for VIs?

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  1. #1

    MOTU 828 ADAT vs FX Teleport for VIs?

    Hi Guys,


    I'm going to be adding another computer to my studio setup to function solely as a Virtual Instrument host.


    I'd like to have at least 8 channels piped into my main recording computer.


    The lowest latency possible for real time playing with a band is a big concern....as is budget.


    I have an opportunity to buy an original MOTU 828 FW interface for a song. I also was originally considering FX Teleport which is very budget friendly.


    So the question is will the 1st generation MOTU 828 give me lower real time playing latency then Fxteleport?


    If i only used the ADAT lightpipe out of the MOTU, what kind of latency could i expect on a either a 2.13 core2duo PC or a Dual 2.0 Mac G5 (PPC) as the VI machines?



    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2

    Re: MOTU 828 ADAT vs FX Teleport for VIs?

    The ADAT route will be much nicer. I used to run a setup where i had 8 channels of ADAT running from my PC(RME) over to the 2408 that was hooked to my mac. I monitered all the audio through the 2408, even if the Mac was off it worked that way. There was not any additional latency. The real latency comes at the time the signal is converted to analog. Basically, you're just deferring that until later. I can't promise that all ADAT cards will perform as well as my RME did though.

    One nice thing about that setup is that it just works. No funny software or wierd plugins to run and worry about network bandwidth, etc.. I experimented once with FX teleport. It was too much latency to do real time instrument playing that way. There is delay compensation, so you can use it to play back instrument tracks that you have already recorded into midi tracks or for reverbs, etc.. But the latency is actualyl pretty huge. It worked though. I'd still consider using that as opposed to spending a lot of money on lightpipe gear.
    "Music is a manifestation of the human spirit similar to a language. If we do not want such things to remain dead treasures, we must do our utmost to make the greatest number of people understand their secrets" -- Zoltan Kodaly

  3. #3

    Re: MOTU 828 ADAT vs FX Teleport for VIs?

    However there is one other thing to possibly concern yourself with if you start getting into an elaborate setup with digital connections everywhere, whether they be ADAT, SPDIF, etc.. that is word clock sync. You don't have that issue with something like FX teleport because that is all done in a buffered way and your main daw is the only real word clock. However if you want to send ADAT lightpipe from one place over lightpipe cables to another digital device that will receive it..then something has to syncronize their word clocks. The simplest way is to just syncronize by the sender. But what is your sender going to be? Is it going to ahve a stable word clock? The word clock stability is actually a huge factor in how good it will sound. If you start getting into that kind of digital studio I reccomend you pick up a Big Ben or other top shelf word clock master source. They are not cheap. But they will also make pretty good D/A's sound remarkable.
    "Music is a manifestation of the human spirit similar to a language. If we do not want such things to remain dead treasures, we must do our utmost to make the greatest number of people understand their secrets" -- Zoltan Kodaly

  4. #4

    Re: MOTU 828 ADAT vs FX Teleport for VIs?

    Thanks for the reply Dewdman42.

    OK, you convincd me that the hardware route is the way to go. I actually will be piping the VI computer via ADAT into my main sequencer which sports a RME Fireface 800. I already have one of the RME's ADAT ports used for 8 additional Mic Pre's. The 2nd ADAT port will be used for the VI's.

    I've been clocking everything off of the RME via BNC wordclock and have been very happy with it. I don't think the MOTU 828 has wordclock though, so I'll have to sync that via ADAT or SPDIF.

    That should work though right? Would clocking via ADAT or SPDIF be preferred in that situation?

  5. #5

    Re: MOTU 828 ADAT vs FX Teleport for VIs?

    dedicated BNC word clock would be better, but in the absence of that input o the 828, then the next best altnerative IMHO is to just send word clock along with the ADAT, which is usually the easy default anyway. With only two digital devices, this shouldn't really be a problem per say. If your digital network starts to get larger, then you're going to absolutely want dedicated word clock.

    FYI - using firewire definitely introduces a small amount of latency that is not present in the RME PCI interface. I think it will still not be anything like what you would have in FX teleport, but you might be dealing with a bit. I Bought a MOTU Traveler a while back, which I need to sell, because I went back to my 2408mk3 and found that I could get consistently better results in terms of latency. In my case, on my system, I was maybe getting a reliable 12ms on the taveler(Firewire) and I can get down into the 5-7ms range with the 2408mk3. I also read some other reports that the firewire audio cards do introduce a bit of latency just to go across the firewire.

    I think this is still a better route than FX teleport though. Plus, you can host stuff like Gigastudio or any other non-VST app over on your PC and stream the audio back to the main DAW...FX teleport is limited to only hosting VST plugins for you. If the two machines are connected via ADAT, then you can run whatever on the two machines... Another issue you have to figure out, though, is routing midi. There is midioverLan, which I would highly reccomend, or something like it. that seems to be the best but its kind of pricey. OR you can just run a midi cable between the two machines, but midi introduces a lot of latency and bottlenecking at many places along the path, especially when it has to leave one machine and then go over a serial cable slowly....and finally when it arrives at destination machine, wait for its turn to be read into the software that is running there. Using MidioverLan, sends it zipping over at much faster speeds via network protocol. One less cable to worry about too.

    of course if you use FX Teleport, the midi is handled already.
    "Music is a manifestation of the human spirit similar to a language. If we do not want such things to remain dead treasures, we must do our utmost to make the greatest number of people understand their secrets" -- Zoltan Kodaly

  6. #6

    Re: MOTU 828 ADAT vs FX Teleport for VIs?

    Oh another thing I just thought of, is that when you route ADAT between two machines that way, there is no automatic delay compensation. If your plan is to host a VI over on the remote PC and record its sound into tracks on your main DAW machine or just hear it playing while you lay other tracks in your main DAW..there is absolutely no automatic delay compensation. So if there is some latency, you will have to fiddle with sliding tracks around to make things sound right...if you can hear the 10-15ms difference.

    On the other hand, FX Teleport has automatic delay compensation built in. Like I said, its not really usable for hosting a VST plugin that you intend to control in real time with your midi controller because the latency is just too big (unless maybe you can get a pure gigabit network going, which I couldn't). However, regardless of how big the latency is, once the tracks are recorded into midi tracks, if your host supports automatic delay compensation, then FX teleport communicates all the right info about to your host so that its all compensated for automatically. Thus you can use the remove FX teleport to host reverbs or VI's for tracks that are already recorded into midi tracks, but its just that real time playing with a keyboard id dodgy. If I was going to use it, I would also use a VI on the main machine to record the midi part, but then I would shuffle parts over to the other machine. However at that point its little different than just freezing the track, so why bother.

    Anyway, good luck.
    "Music is a manifestation of the human spirit similar to a language. If we do not want such things to remain dead treasures, we must do our utmost to make the greatest number of people understand their secrets" -- Zoltan Kodaly

  7. #7

    Re: MOTU 828 ADAT vs FX Teleport for VIs?

    Thanks again for the good advice.

    I do alot of live improv tracking with a full band in the same room. We've been mostly using Ivory, NI B4, and the Scarbee Rhodes for our keyboard sounds. Due to the live nature and the always present bleed into the drum and amp mics, taking advantage of FXteleports delay compensation is not an option.

    I'm really going to check into PCI options over FW. It's madening to figure out what works with my G5 as it was from an era when Mac was changing the type and voltage of the PCI slot every week it seemed like.

    Also, thanks for the MOL tip. I did a MIDI loopback test with my current setup, and was less then blown away by the results. If I can cut down on latency a little more with MOL, then all the better!

  8. #8

    Re: MOTU 828 ADAT vs FX Teleport for VIs?

    Perfect rock band VI setup. Similar to mine. I host them in Brainspawn forte though. And I use TruePianos for live use. I'd like to get Ivory for the studio, but Truepianos is really phenominal for live and only takes 50MB of HD space.
    "Music is a manifestation of the human spirit similar to a language. If we do not want such things to remain dead treasures, we must do our utmost to make the greatest number of people understand their secrets" -- Zoltan Kodaly

  9. #9

    Re: MOTU 828 ADAT vs FX Teleport for VIs?

    Well it's more avant garde jazz that regularly break out the big muffs to keep things raw and rocking! But yes, the setup works very well sonic wise.

    It's amazing how far VIs have come over their hardware counterparts....as a matter of fact, the drummer I play with has a Korg Triton, that we now only use as a MIDI controller. We cut up a kraft Macoroni & Cheese box and took "The Cheesiest" banner from it and placed it right below the model name. Kind of an inside joke, but the VI's we've been using make the Triton sound like a Casio when directly compared.

    I just checked out MOL, and you were right, it's a bit pricey. Do you know of any other Cross Platform network MIDI solution?

  10. #10

    Re: MOTU 828 ADAT vs FX Teleport for VIs?

    Unfortunately I do not know anything else for midi over net. There is stuff out there, so do some searching. Even some free stuff, but i'm not sure which, if any, are cross platform or reliable or easy to use. Its kind of ridiculous what those guys are charging for MOL, really...it would not be a difficult application for someone to write and charge $10 for. But so far, nobody else has stepped up to the plate to do that.

    Anyway, please let us know if you find something else that works.
    "Music is a manifestation of the human spirit similar to a language. If we do not want such things to remain dead treasures, we must do our utmost to make the greatest number of people understand their secrets" -- Zoltan Kodaly

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