Helpful ReplyCan you use two Firewire Audio Interfaces with Sonar?

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jlizerbram
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2009/05/27 14:13:02 (permalink)

Can you use two Firewire Audio Interfaces with Sonar?

I was just wondering if any of you successfully use two or more firewire audio interfaces (not daisy chained, but both directly connected to computer), for the purposes of gaining more ins and outs?

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#1
Fog
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RE: Can you use two Firewire Audio Interfaces with Sonar? 2009/05/27 14:17:04 (permalink)
assuming they are the same brand / make / model? some makers allow for such things in their drivers.. e.g. combine 2 of the same unit's to work under asio.

like with the motu's years ago.. they had a pci card slot, but you could plug 3 into that card.

or at worst you could use wdm more.. you'd have to contact the maker to make 100% .. remember sonar and any other sequencer is only using what it's given to work with.
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ohhey
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RE: Can you use two Firewire Audio Interfaces with Sonar? 2009/05/27 14:53:28 (permalink)

ORIGINAL: jlizerbram

I was just wondering if any of you successfully use two or more firewire audio interfaces (not daisy chained, but both directly connected to computer), for the purposes of gaining more ins and outs?


You should be able to. But there are some things to consider. If they are the same brand you need to find out from the vendor if their drivers will operate both as one system and if their software mixer covers both. Also, if you need a sample rate clock connection or if the driver is custom made to provide for this.

If they are not the same brand there are a few things to consider. First you can't use ASIO as your driver type. ASIO only supports one driver active at a time. This is not a Sonar limit, it's an ASIO limit. So you will want to use WDM. Next you will need to make sure only one of them is the source of Sample rate clock and set Sonar to use that as it's record and playback timing master. Then connect some type of digital connnection to the other one and set it to get clock from that input. Word clock is made just for that or you can use SPDIF, ADAT, or AES/EBU... what ever both devices have. All those are single direction only so you would connect the "out" of the main one to the "in" of the one that gets clock from the main one.

The next task is how to set up monitoring. You can use an analog or digital connection from one to the other just like you would with two mixers in a live setup. If you use input monitoring you won't have to do this but if you use the software mixer of the devices to setup zero latency monitoring you will, at least to get sound (sub mix) from the second one to the main one.

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Fog
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RE: Can you use two Firewire Audio Interfaces with Sonar? 2009/05/27 15:01:34 (permalink)

ORIGINAL: ohhey
First you can't use ASIO as your driver type. ASIO only supports one driver active at a time


Frank, there are a few exceptions to that rule though.. but the "norm" is one card, but others allow chaining.. (obviously the same make / model of card)
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Roflcopter
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RE: Can you use two Firewire Audio Interfaces with Sonar? 2009/05/27 15:18:57 (permalink)

Frank, there are a few exceptions to that rule though.. but the "norm" is one card, but others allow chaining.. (obviously the same make / model of card)


Yep, there are a few multi-device ASIO drivers out there, but normally it's one at a time.

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ohhey
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RE: Can you use two Firewire Audio Interfaces with Sonar? 2009/05/27 15:29:43 (permalink)
ORIGINAL: Fog


ORIGINAL: ohhey
First you can't use ASIO as your driver type. ASIO only supports one driver active at a time


Frank, there are a few exceptions to that rule though.. but the "norm" is one card, but others allow chaining.. (obviously the same make / model of card)



Yeah... I like to be crisp and say the limit is one "driver" at a time not one "device" at a time. So yes... in the case where one driver can operate more then one deivce you can do that. I think ASIO4ALL can do that with some cards and some vendors offer that in their line of deivces, at least for some models.
post edited by ohhey - 2009/05/27 15:52:30
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CJaysMusic
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RE: Can you use two Firewire Audio Interfaces with Sonar? 2009/05/27 16:23:35 (permalink)
I was just wondering if any of you successfully use two or more firewire audio interfaces (not daisy chained, but both directly connected to computer), for the purposes of gaining more ins and outs?

Daisy chaining would be the correct way in most cases and they need to be the same make and model. If all you want is more inputs, get a pre-amp with digital outs and hook it up to your digital input of your sound card. Its an easy way of adding 8 preamps with no headaches.
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jlizerbram
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RE: Can you use two Firewire Audio Interfaces with Sonar? 2009/05/27 18:25:07 (permalink)
Well, I tried it, and the results were not pretty. This was done by connecting two same-make Presonus Firestudio Projects. The Firecontrol application did show both units, but only allowed control over the master. And Sonar allowed me to select any of the 20 inputs and outputs, which at first, I thought was great! However, upon playback, it became very unstable. No dropouts, but very distorted, motoboating sound. Not on every project, but on about 1/2 that I opened. This was done in WDM mode. ASIO just didn't work at all.

The next task is how to set up monitoring.


Also, Frank was right about the monitoring challenge. While I could record the input from the second device, there was no output through the main monitors from the first obviously, because I did not have them digitally connected.

I will try daisy-chaining method with ASIO as presonus suggests.

By the way, of you forum members, what is the most amount of simultaneous discrete channels have you have recorded, and what kind of audio interface(s) did you use to accomplish that? I'm trying to gain more simultaneous channels for full band live recordings - all I have really is 8 channels now with the presonus fs project.

thanks, guys.

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CJaysMusic
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RE: Can you use two Firewire Audio Interfaces with Sonar? 2009/05/27 18:31:50 (permalink)
how many channels is determined on your pc and if your using effects with input monitoring. with straight recording and a good pc, you can get 16 discrete channels at one time. There are allot of variables to this. If your recording a band, you wont need low latency, so set it higher to relieve the strain of your cpu when recording a band and not using input monitoring with effects

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dug dog
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RE: Can you use two Firewire Audio Interfaces with Sonar? 2009/05/29 20:54:50 (permalink)
Has anyone tried to use the ASIO4ALL driver to accomplish this task? A buddy hooked up 2 different firewire devices and successfully recorded multiple drum tracks but said that the recorded audio offset was different for each of the 2 devices. Once he manually aligned the tracks using obvious transients (as there was some microphone bleed) he was good to go.

Edit for clarification. Buddy had a firewire card with 2 inputs. Not sure if that's what the OP meant by "not daisy chained", but I think it's really the same thing.
post edited by dug dog - 2009/05/29 21:06:39
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mudgel
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RE: Can you use two Firewire Audio Interfaces with Sonar? 2009/05/29 21:25:44 (permalink)
I have used SONAR 8 with a Fireface 800 (10 channels and an ADA8000 (8 channels) to record live for as long as 7 continuous hours with a total of 18 tracks simultaneously.
The 2 devices were connected via Wordclock with the FF800 providing the timing as the Master Clock device. This project was set to 24bit 48 khz.

I used a 16 channel mixing desk for the live mix. It had a level adjustable (pre fader) direct out on each channel feeding 8 inputs on the FF800 and 8 on the ADA8000. The other 2 channels on the FF800 were a "Control room" (copy of the live mix) mix, from the desk. So I had 16 channels of individual instrument and vocal tracks and a 2 track (not stereo) live mix recorded.

Because I knew the format of the concert and there were breaks for setting up different performers, I preset a number of projects with my (previously made) live mix template and took advantage of the breaks to quickly save and load a new project. This provided redundancy in that saved projects were generally safe from corruption should a severe crash occur or power failure etc. Remember SONAR was only acting as a digital recorder not a live mixer or monitor. It could have been but my priority was providing a live mix while recording it was of secondary importance.

When sampling at 48,000 times each second (just as an example) its important for the 2 devices to be timed from the same clock.
You can imagine the problems if the sample rates aren't exactly the same and the timing of those samples is also not precise. There will be timing differences occurring between 2 separate input paths and any drift that occurs may also not be at the same rate on each device.
There'll be problems lining tracks up and maybe even phase issues etc.

I used a DELL Laptop, Core2Duo 2.66 ghz CPU 4 GIG RAM WIN XP Pro SP2 using external eSATA 160GIG Samsung 7200rpm HDD.

The FF800 comes with a mixer software interface called TotalMix. Most sound cards have a mixer applet as well as a control applet. When you use 2 separate firewire devices, even connected in a daisy chain they don't really see each other.
When you use, like I did, a sound card with an ADAT device connected, then the devices appear as one. The computer sees the (in my case) FF800 and the ADAT connected to it as a number of identifiable inputs and outputs without even needing SONAR to tie it all together. Hence I could record and or mix and even monitor with Zero Latency if I chose not to use SONAR.
post edited by mudgel - 2009/05/29 22:18:11

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mashU2BITs
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Re: RE: Can you use two Firewire Audio Interfaces with Sonar? 2018/11/05 04:51:51 (permalink)
i use the motu 896mkv2 and with light pipes add two 8-pre units for 24 channels up to 96khz. never had a problem in 7 years.  with new SDD hardware its been amazing, load and save times are instant. sonar x2, build a good system to support your datastreams and encoding.
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Kalle Rantaaho
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Re: RE: Can you use two Firewire Audio Interfaces with Sonar? 2018/11/05 12:48:18 (permalink)
mashU2BITs
i use the motu 896mkv2 and with light pipes add two 8-pre units for 24 channels up to 96khz. never had a problem in 7 years.  with new SDD hardware its been amazing, load and save times are instant. sonar x2, build a good system to support your datastreams and encoding.


Ok. That thread was two years old already when you started with your system seven years ago :o)

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bitflipper
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Re: RE: Can you use two Firewire Audio Interfaces with Sonar? 2018/11/05 16:24:45 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby Steev 2018/11/07 11:57:20
Kalle Rantaaho
Ok. That thread was two years old already when you started with your system seven years ago :o)



And yet the question - and answer - remain relevant 9+ years later.
 
So many questions persist year after year, and it's surprising how rarely their answers have changed over time. 


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Matt
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Re: RE: Can you use two Firewire Audio Interfaces with Sonar? 2018/11/05 16:57:48 (permalink)
Fog
like with the motu's years ago.. they had a pci card slot, but you could plug 3 into that card.



This is great.  From 2009 and the motus are already "old".  Well it's 2018 and I'm *still* using my 3 MOTU 2408s for 72 channels digital I/O no problems.
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