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Author Topic: Is it worth it.  (Read 4727 times)

A.J. McGlynn

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Is it worth it.
« on: February 11, 2009, 03:21:17 pm »

I have an M7 and 2 UX8800's Love them both. Great pieces of gear. For some reason the company who installed the system set the system up using the omni outs. My question is. Is it better for me to run my system all digital. I would have to buy an expansion card but I am thinking it might be worth it.

We are running a LCR system which makes it hard for me to use the 2 track AES outs on the board.

Also the processors are on stage which is about 100' worth of cable away. Can I run wordclock that far?

I have been thinking about doing a test by running my Left and right clusters with the digital outs.

I am just trying to see if this is worth the trouble or if I should just leave it as is.





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A.J. McGlynn, Technical Director
Grace Church
Erie, PA

Brad Weber

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Re: Is it worth it.
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2009, 06:15:12 pm »

Using AES would eliminate a D/A and A/D conversion and the related latency.  Im not clear on the word clock question as there is no separate word clock, only the clocking embedded in the AES3 signals, which should be fine at 100' with the right cable.  However, that may be an issue, since they have it setup as analog did they run cable rated for AES/EBU signals?  IF you have to replace the cabling or run new cabling that may enter into your decision.
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Brad Weber
muse Audio Video
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A.J. McGlynn

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Re: Is it worth it.
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2009, 06:25:43 pm »

Thanks Brad,

I wasn't thinking. I knew I didnt need wordclock because there is not wordclock on the UX8800. I just wasnt thinking that one through.

The cable is rated for AES. it has it written on the cable.

Thanks. I will try it tomorrow and see how it sounds.
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A.J. McGlynn, Technical Director
Grace Church
Erie, PA

David Sumrall

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Re: Is it worth it.
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2009, 07:15:02 pm »



Hey AJ,

Another thing to consider or at least plan to deal with is delay time.

The timing of the signal will more then likely change just a smidgen.

So you might need to plan for.....

1. Some overall system delay adjustments.

2. Some adjusts to allow for time alignment of any of the digital signals that "might" have to align with any analog signals if those are being used.

Like adjusting the analog Center to align with the digital LR.

ie...aux fed subs, front fills, hallway bgm

If any of these are coming into one of the dsps from other then the stereo omnis then you might want to consider getting more AES cards for those. Sorry I cant remember how many inputs the yammaha inputs cards have.

Levels differences will probably need to taken into account as well in the dsp inputs.

Also be sure to store the new routing in another scene on your desk so you can go back easily after your experiment. And don't write over your current setting in the dsp.

What is the PA??? What amps? are things digital from the dsp to the amps?? Those pieces will play some into how much of a difference you notice.

Cutting out conversions is definitely better.

We have experimented with this as well coming off an M7 AES into digital amps. It was a little better and seemed cleaner. Needing the card slots to stay flexible for our desks has led us to stick with the regular omnis.

Let us know how it turns out.

Good luck!

David

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David Sumrall
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Gateway Church
Soutlake Texas
GatewayPeople.com

A.J. McGlynn

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Re: Is it worth it.
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2009, 08:50:42 pm »

Yeah If I do it it will only be an experiment till I can get cards. I wont do it during a service. There are no front fills or anything.

The PA is

Amps (chosen before I came on staff and they are not right for the job. The DSP in the amps is bypassed)
9 XTI 1000 Tops
1 XTI 4000 Subs

4 EAW AX366
2 EAW AX344
2 EAW SB1000


3 of the xtis are stereo for the Highs
6 xtis Bridged for the lows

if I have time I am going to try this tomorrow. I am just not going to use the center cluster during my test so I dont have to worry about level differences. Thanks for the help guys. This should be way easier than I thought.

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A.J. McGlynn, Technical Director
Grace Church
Erie, PA

A.J. McGlynn

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Re: What I found
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2009, 01:31:03 pm »

Ok Here is what I did to test.

I setup my left cluster as AES and the right cluster analog. I A-B'd them and WOW there was a much bigger difference than I ever would have imagined only it wasn't the direction I would have thought. The analog route sounded so much cleaner, had punchy lows and crisp highs. The digital route just sounded thin and a little noisy.

Could I have done something wrong or is this what I should have expected?
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A.J. McGlynn, Technical Director
Grace Church
Erie, PA

Mac Kerr

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Re: What I've found
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2009, 03:06:00 pm »

A.J. McGlynn wrote on Thu, 12 February 2009 13:31

Ok Here is what I did to test.

I setup my left cluster as AES and the right cluster analog. I A-B'd them and WOW there was a much bigger difference than I ever would have imagined only it wasn't the direction I would have thought. The analog route sounded so much cleaner, had punchy lows and crisp highs. The digital route just sounded thin and a little noisy.

Could I have done something wrong or is this what I should have expected?

I think something was wrong. I have never experienced that kind of difference when switching between analog and digital with other gear. I have not used a UX8800, but would expect the digital path to sound no worse than the analog path.due to its inherent noise immunity it is usually better.

Mac
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A.J. McGlynn

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Re: What I've found
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2009, 03:18:24 pm »

Mac Kerr wrote on Thu, 12 February 2009 14:06


I think something was wrong. I have never experienced that kind of difference when switching between analog and digital with other gear. I have not used a UX8800, but would expect the digital path to sound no worse than the analog path.due to its inherent noise immunity it is usually better.

Mac



This is what I thought too. Hmmm... now to figure out what I did wrong. I will have to figure it out another day.
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A.J. McGlynn, Technical Director
Grace Church
Erie, PA

Arnold B. Krueger

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Re: What I found
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2009, 03:33:14 pm »

A.J. McGlynn wrote on Thu, 12 February 2009 18:31

Ok Here is what I did to test.

I setup my left cluster as AES and the right cluster analog. I A-B'd them and WOW there was a much bigger difference than I ever would have imagined only it wasn't the direction I would have thought. The analog route sounded so much cleaner, had punchy lows and crisp highs. The digital route just sounded thin and a little noisy.

Could I have done something wrong or is this what I should have expected?


Your general symptom could be a level match problem. This is not unusual in a quick digital/analog comparison.
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David Sumrall

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Re: Is it worth it.
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2009, 03:46:56 pm »

yep could be your level, as posted before in the things to check.

The digital signal level is going to be hotter, and gain structure might change as well.

Something might be clipping somewhere.

Or there might be some compression or limiting going on in the dsp that now has a hotter input.

Plus remember your dsp settings as far as eq etc were made to fix the analog sound. You might need different settings for the digi version.

Good luck!

David
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David Sumrall
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Gateway Church
Soutlake Texas
GatewayPeople.com

A.J. McGlynn

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Re: Is it worth it.
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2009, 03:51:41 pm »

David Sumrall wrote on Thu, 12 February 2009 14:46

yep could be your level, as posted before in the things to check.

The digital signal level is going to be hotter, and gain structure might change as well.

Something might be clipping somewhere.

Or there might be some compression or limiting going on in the dsp that now has a hotter input.

Plus remember your dsp settings as far as eq etc were made to fix the analog sound. You might need different settings for the digi version.

Good luck!

David



The weird thing was the digital signal was much lower than the analog. it was about 10db lower. I think I am going to try it tomorrow with pilot so that I have a better idea of what is going on. I wasn't able to use it today because I didnt have a PC available but will tomorrow.
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A.J. McGlynn, Technical Director
Grace Church
Erie, PA

David Sumrall

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Re: Is it worth it.
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2009, 04:23:51 pm »

hmmmm....

input or output??

remember digital zero is bad, very bad.

I'm wondering if something in the dsp in clamping down.

Also you said you have left as digital and right as analog... are the settings in the dsp split or linked together??


hmmm...
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David Sumrall
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Gateway Church
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Mac Kerr

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Re: Is it?
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2009, 05:33:00 pm »

David Sumrall wrote on Thu, 12 February 2009 15:46

The digital signal level is going to be hotter, and gain structure might change as well.

Why is that? Why wouldn't it be lower? Why not exactly the same?

Mac
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Arnold B. Krueger

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Re: Is it?
« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2009, 10:56:40 pm »

Mac Kerr wrote on Thu, 12 February 2009 22:33

David Sumrall wrote on Thu, 12 February 2009 15:46

The digital signal level is going to be hotter, and gain structure might change as well.

Why is that? Why wouldn't it be lower? Why not exactly the same?


Good question. A digital outputs of a M7 can reasonably be expected to put out digital FS when the analog outputs are at their design maximum output which is 12.28 v rms balanced per Yamaha's spec sheet.

The gain structure of the M7 is the same for analog and digital.

To understand the meaning of maximum signal and dynamic range in the analog domain, you need to know the rated input and output voltages. In the digital domain the maximum signal is digital FS.

Most of us don't walk around with those numbers on the tips of our tongues, so when we go from the analog domain to the digital domain we are likely to be surprised. Wink


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David Sumrall

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Re: Is it?
« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2009, 11:22:47 pm »

Ha! I guess i need more sleep.

Makes me wonder if our guys had pulled back the analog attenuation on the omnis before we did our trial for this.

Arnold you just went were I was about to go.

I was just digging thru the specs.

So the M7 Fs is based on the Smpte standard vs the EBU standard i guess?

And if it is true AES and it does not clip on the M7 then it should not be clipping on the AES of the dsp.

Hmmm... makes me wonder if some output compensation was done on the m7's omni out attenuation for the left right then to make the analog out hotter.

But what is making the digital side sound bad?? bad cable or terminations, settings in dsp?  Is that also affecting the level?

what dsp inputs are thing routed into? could there be an issue with trying to use the same pair of inputs split analog and digital?

any luck using pilot?

hmmmmmmmmmm

David



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David Sumrall
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Gateway Church
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Arnold B. Krueger

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Re: Is it?
« Reply #15 on: February 13, 2009, 09:25:35 am »

David Sumrall wrote on Fri, 13 February 2009 04:22


Makes me wonder if our guys had pulled back the analog attenuation on the omnis before we did our trial for this.




Quote:


So the M7 Fs is based on the Smpte standard vs the EBU standard i guess?



In the digital domain, I don't see how that could matter.

Quote:


And if it is true AES and it does not clip on the M7 then it should not be clipping on the AES of the dsp.



If there's clipping on the DSP side, it is probably clipping inside the DSP. A proper digital input cannot in of itself clip.

Quote:



Hmmm... makes me wonder if some output compensation was done on the m7's omni out attenuation for the left right then to make the analog out hotter.



I cold be wrong, but the most likely scenario would be that the analog and digital inputs on the DSP are somehow set up differently. Different gains?

Quote:


But what is making the digital side sound bad?? bad cable or terminations, settings in dsp?  Is that also affecting the level?



One of the general rule of digital is that cables strongly tend to either work or not work. Little if any middle ground. The middle ground will usually take the form of lost signal, clicks and pops, etc.  Levels definitely should not change in the cable, and tonal balance cannot change in the cable.





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A.J. McGlynn

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Re: Is it?
« Reply #16 on: February 13, 2009, 11:47:32 am »

Ok

Here is what I found today.

I setup the patching different today. yesterday I set it up this way. left channel of board setup as AES CH1 running the left cluster. I used the center channel to run the right cluster as analog. This gave me terrible results and I replicated them today.

Today I setup the patching like this.
Left output of console into left cluster as analog. Right output as AES CH2 into right cluster. This gave me good results and I could hardly tell a difference and Im not 100% sure I heard any difference at all.

These results got me thinking. Why dont I run both Left and Right clusters with AES and see if I get a difference between the 2 since I did in my previous tests. I ran them both and checked each cluster and they sounded the same.

I am baffled by my first test but it does seem to work in an actually working setup so I might consider getting a digital output card now.

Thanks for all the help!
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Grace Church
Erie, PA

Karl P(eterson)

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Re: Is it?
« Reply #17 on: February 13, 2009, 12:44:50 pm »

Why?

I have been on UX8800's that have been driven digital. I don't think there was any appreciable difference in sound quality over analog. If you need the analog omnis for something else then by all means use a digital card instead of an analog card. However if this is just for giggles why don't you spend the money on something else? A DPA headmic is something most churches don't have and could use (depending on the preacher).

Karl P


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David Sumrall

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Re: Is it?
« Reply #18 on: February 13, 2009, 02:08:15 pm »

Ok.. so the center cluster sounded different??

hmmmm, is it setup as a vocal only, or speech only routing thing, and maybe the dsp is setup to work for that purpose.

I've seen this before, and running music through the vocal processed center would make the music sound like dookie whether analog or digital.

Take a look in pilot and see if there is a high pass that is higher then the left and right, and if a parametric is severely tweaked vs the left and right.

This type of setup works well for some, while others prefer having all clusters processed the same.
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David Sumrall
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Gateway Church
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