Is it time to give up on the Echo Layla 24/96?

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Rodan
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2013/10/27 04:23:08 (permalink)

Is it time to give up on the Echo Layla 24/96?

I've been using this extremely versatile audio/midi interface for 15 years.  It has always performed well and I truly enjoy the 8 in/8 out analog and 8 in/ 8 out digital interface.  It uses a PCI interface card and frankly, finding motherboards with PCI slots is becoming difficult.  It's other limitation, at least for me, is the lack of "modern" preamps.  I don't do a lot of condenser mic recording, but when I do, I have to use an analog mixer for phantom power and pre's.  I wonder if it's finally time to move to a new interface.  I use an M-Audio Firewire interface for mobile recording.  It's great but limited to 2 ins and 2 outs.
 
So, what is the consensus?  Stick with the Echo, use the M-audio and swap cables every once in a while, or go with something new that has similar in/outs to the Layla?  I'm constrained by price (aren't we all...) so used gear is also an option.
 
Thanks all!
Dan

Dan Sanders
Sonar X1, X2, X3
Windows 7 - 64
Gigabyte X58a-UD3R. Intel i7-950, 12Gb DDR3 ram
M-Audio Firewire 410/Echo Layla 24/96
/Novation ZeRO SL MK II some PartsCasters I've built and lots of Basses

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    RJN
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    Re: Is it time to give up on the Echo Layla 24/96? 2013/10/27 09:34:09 (permalink)
    I had an Echo MIA (also a PCI card connection) and it worked great until I got a 64-bit computer.  I liked Echo Audio, they were very responsive and made quality hardware.
    When I decided to replace it my main concerns were (1) low price and (2) long-term compatibility.  I decided that a USB interface was the most likely to be hardware-independent and most compatible over the long-term.  I know many favor firewire, but USB is more common and still upgrading standards (w/ USB 3, currently).
    I went with a Roland Quad-Capture and have been happy with it so far.

    Rob
    --------
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    #2
    Beepster
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    Re: Is it time to give up on the Echo Layla 24/96? 2013/10/27 09:57:33 (permalink)
    If it's still working on your system (which is pretty modern) there's no real reason to get rid of it. I have one and I keep it for my old system and/or if I want some extra channels. The ADAT/Optical in would allow you to connect an external pre amp unit (like a Focusrite Octopre) or another interface provided the extra unit has an optical out. Also the Layla has an optical out on to of the optical in so if you got a more modern interface that has an optical in (I'm not sure if the Fast Track has optical in) then you could use the Layla as the expansion unit and get some extra channels. Going either way ADAT/Optical connectors give you and extra 4 channels at 96khz or 8 extra channels at 48khz if the master unit has that many channels set aside for ADAT connections on top of it's regular inputs/outputs. For example my Focusrite 18i6 has 8 analogue inputs and an ADAT/optical in (no output though unfortunately). In theory if I connected the Layla up to the 18i6 I would all of a sudden have a 48khz 16 channel or 96khz 12 channel studio which is nice if I ever want to record a full band with a fully mic'd drum kit.
     
    That doesn't take into account the extra spdif connector either.
     
    What I don't understand is the Phantom Power issue. Mine has phantom power on the multi ins which is pretty standard for an interface. Does your not have this? The only interfaces I see with PP on all channels are rather costly. If that is what you are looking for though you can get a really nice Focusrite unit for under a grand which can be expanded to even more channels with an Octo pre.
     
    Two other reasons I'm going to hang on to my Layla is the 18i6 only has two analogue outs for the monitors where as the Layla has 8. So if I want to run multiple outs to a board or something I can. The other reason is the resale value isn't very high. I paid over $500 for mine about 8 years ago and the most I see them selling for now is about $200. Usually less. Not nearly enough money to warrant losing all that extra functionality.
     
    There are still MOBOs on the market with PCI but you have to make sure that the legacy PCI slot is Native not Bridged support otherwise the data is being handled by the PCIe chipset which can choke things up... which is why I ended up buying a new interface.
     
    Cheers.
    #3
    bruckner2
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    Re: Is it time to give up on the Echo Layla 24/96? 2013/10/27 10:24:10 (permalink)
    idk if you know but Echo Audio made a PCI-X replacement card for a while. they don't make them any more (i called recently and confirmed this) but you might find 1 on ebay??
     
    also there's always stand alone phantom power units http://www.amazon.com/ART-PHANTOMIIPRO-Phantom-II-Pro/dp/B003S7LTI4 
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    Beepster
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    Re: Is it time to give up on the Echo Layla 24/96? 2013/10/27 10:30:18 (permalink)
    bruckner2
    idk if you know but Echo Audio made a PCI-X replacement card for a while. they don't make them any more (i called recently and confirmed this) but you might find 1 on ebay??
     
    also there's always stand alone phantom power units http://www.amazon.com/ART-PHANTOMIIPRO-Phantom-II-Pro/dp/B003S7LTI4 




    I had been wondering about that. Thanks. Maybe they could pressured into releasing a PCIe card. The breakout box is fine. It's just the card connections that are getting outdated.
    #5
    aleef
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    Re: Is it time to give up on the Echo Layla 24/96? 2013/10/27 10:46:46 (permalink)
    yeah it sucks that PCI is getting phased out. The 24/96's are solid work-horses. There is hope! if the Layla is still going strong, Asus and Gigabyte still have 2011 X79 MB's with 1 pci slot. Go ahead and get a mid/pro level preamp first man!! all you need is just one good signal chain. outboard control will always be better than software control.

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    #6
    Beepster
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    Re: Is it time to give up on the Echo Layla 24/96? 2013/10/27 10:50:54 (permalink)
    aleef
    yeah it sucks that PCI is getting phased out. The 24/96's are solid work-horses. There is hope! if the Layla is still going strong, Asus and Gigabyte still have 2011 X79 MB's with 1 pci slot. Go ahead and get a mid/pro level preamp first man!! all you need is just one good signal chain. outboard control will always be better than software control.




    I bought a high end ASUS MOBO because it had a PCI slot. Unfortunately I was not aware of the bridge issue when I did. Still a very nice board and I can hook up pretty much anything imaginable but that one little thing reduced the stability of my Layla. Ticks me off because I really did try to do my homework when choosing the board.
     
    It still works after some system tweaks but if I push it too hard it craps out. :-/
    #7
    StarTekh
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    Re: Is it time to give up on the Echo Layla 24/96? 2013/10/27 12:28:01 (permalink)
    Rodan: I would stick with firewire as we  well know it runs very solid ! Interfaces start here...
     
    http://www.behringer.com/EN/Products/FCA1616.aspx
     
    about 280.00 and they go up for better box's
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    Rodan
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    Re: Is it time to give up on the Echo Layla 24/96? 2013/10/27 12:30:37 (permalink)
    Thank you everyone for your replies.  You've given me a lot to think about.  I'm leaning to leaving the Layla in place and if/when I need to record microphones, I'll switch over to the M-Audio in ASIO settings in Sonar.  Now, I need to figure out if my MB uses bridged PCI or not.  And the eBay search for the PCI-X interface card is about to begin!
     
    Again Thanks,
    Dan

    Dan Sanders
    Sonar X1, X2, X3
    Windows 7 - 64
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    M-Audio Firewire 410/Echo Layla 24/96
    /Novation ZeRO SL MK II some PartsCasters I've built and lots of Basses

    #9
    Beepster
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    Re: Is it time to give up on the Echo Layla 24/96? 2013/10/27 12:57:13 (permalink)
    Firewire is slowly being phased out and without the correct chipset can cause problems. I have some supposedly good FW connections on my MOBO but would probably drop the extra $20-30 to get a TI FW PCIe card anyway if I happened to introduce a FW device to my studio.
     
    As far as switching back and forth between the Layla and a new interface that hasn't seemed to cause any problems for me (I didn't do much of that though). I just made sure the correct drivers were selected in Sonar (in ASIO mode of course) and I think I'd disable the device not in use in Windows Control Panel as well IIRC but I don't think that was necessary.  I have however uninstalled the Layla on my new system because I needed it to snag some tracks off my old rig which required some listening and export to waves and I doubt the crummy soundblaster or whatever is installed on that relic would have handled it very well.
    #10
    aleef
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    Re: Is it time to give up on the Echo Layla 24/96? 2013/10/27 13:08:49 (permalink)
    Beepster
    aleef
    yeah it sucks that PCI is getting phased out. The 24/96's are solid work-horses. There is hope! if the Layla is still going strong, Asus and Gigabyte still have 2011 X79 MB's with 1 pci slot. Go ahead and get a mid/pro level preamp first man!! all you need is just one good signal chain. outboard control will always be better than software control.




    I bought a high end ASUS MOBO because it had a PCI slot. Unfortunately I was not aware of the bridge issue when I did. Still a very nice board and I can hook up pretty much anything imaginable but that one little thing reduced the stability of my Layla. Ticks me off because I really did try to do my homework when choosing the board.
     
    It still works after some system tweaks but if I push it too hard it craps out. :-/


    Beep in this day in time, you should not be  crappin out. Why are you pushing it?? even the hardest of rock has a unwritten rule.

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    #11
    Beepster
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    Re: Is it time to give up on the Echo Layla 24/96? 2013/10/27 13:34:22 (permalink)
    @aleef... When I first installed Sonar (X1 Pro) on my freshly built (but untweaked) system while using the Layla just adjusting PC parameters caused dropouts/crackling. Something was definitely screwing up. Once I got the 18i6 things were much smoother and after some optimization the Layla seemed to work better but still wasn't as stable as the 18i6 so I just didn't bother with it anymore.
     
    I'll be doing a complete overhaul of the system now that I know (much) more than I did back then so maybe it'll be more useable but the 18i6 is my go to. It's sounds better anyway and it's just me fiddling with stuff at home. I'd be more concerned about it if I was trying to record bands.
     
    Sadly I think if I was using something other than Sonar I probably wouldn't have so many problems. My gear is solid but I will have to continue tweaking to get it to play nice with the DAW.
    #12
    codamedia
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    Re: Is it time to give up on the Echo Layla 24/96? 2013/10/27 13:36:51 (permalink)
    I would not drop an audio interface because of a lack of modern features.
    If it's performing well, keep it - just ad a dedicated pre-amp or two to your setup.

    Don't fix it in the mix ... Fix it in the take! 
     

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    #13
    Cookie Jarvis
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    Re: Is it time to give up on the Echo Layla 24/96? 2013/10/27 14:28:48 (permalink)
    I run an Echo Layla 3G here and it works great! I too built my own machine with an ASUS MB but have never had any problems with the soundcard. The only problem I have is knowing at some point I will replace the Layla and I don't see any viable alternatives other than maybe Rednet which will be very costly. Nobody is making PCI or even many PCIx interfaces any more, Firewire is becoming extinct, and USB is nothing I would ever consider....I still have a Pentium 3 450mhz running Linux...but it's a scsi 3 system. It seems whenever there is an excellent protocol it will be replaced with something cheaper with less functionality ;)
     
    Bill

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    Beepster
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    Re: Is it time to give up on the Echo Layla 24/96? 2013/10/27 14:44:48 (permalink)
    Cookie Jarvis
    I run an Echo Layla 3G here and it works great! I too built my own machine with an ASUS MB but have never had any problems with the soundcard. The only problem I have is knowing at some point I will replace the Layla and I don't see any viable alternatives other than maybe Rednet which will be very costly. Nobody is making PCI or even many PCIx interfaces any more, Firewire is becoming extinct, and USB is nothing I would ever consider....I still have a Pentium 3 450mhz running Linux...but it's a scsi 3 system. It seems whenever there is an excellent protocol it will be replaced with something cheaper with less functionality ;)
     
    Bill




    If you intend to run it on the same system and are only concerned the Layla itself might gack out you can pick up PCI 3Gs on Ebay for peanuts these days. If your current breakout box is still good then you could daisy chain them. If it's just the box or card conking out seems quite a few people are selling either component separately. I would mind picking up an extra box because with some maintenance my old system would be fine for tracking.
     
    On a new system PCIe should be even better than PCI and quite a few companies offer them.
    #15
    Featherlight
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    Re: Is it time to give up on the Echo Layla 24/96? 2013/10/27 15:21:14 (permalink)
    Fond memories of our old Layla 24/96 all the way around. That interface was really the beginning of the digital end of our business almost 15 years ago. Swapped it for an AudioFire Pre 8 about 5 years ago and it still sits in the mix room to this day, working without a hitch.
     
    Echo always made the best drivers, even when they were writing them for Mackie products. I don't know that I would say Firewire is becoming extinct however, perhaps for the consumer end of audio interfaces but, for the pro market, there are many manufactures that still embrace the interface ( Presonus, Mackie, Steinberg, MOTU, Avid, Focusrite, Universal Audio, ect ) Your not likely to find any version of Firewire on a MOBO that will work well with most manufactures products anyway so, you will be buying a separate PCIe adapter board and those are widely available.
     
    Laptops/Tablets are definitely all USB but if your transitioning from a Layla 24/96, It doesn't sound as if that's where your headed. While it may be possible to do multi-track audio on a phone/tablet, it's not very practical once the novelty wears off lol!!

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    #16
    StarTekh
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    Re: Is it time to give up on the Echo Layla 24/96? 2013/10/27 17:18:52 (permalink)
    About Firewire :)
     
    Its far from over !...The following PCIe-to-FireWire 800 adapter cards are qualified for use with Apollo and UAD-2 Satellite on Windows 7 64-bit systems.
     
    Till Thunderbolt !
    #17
    Silicon Audio
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    Re: Is it time to give up on the Echo Layla 24/96? 2013/10/28 15:30:10 (permalink)
    Cookie Jarvis
    Nobody is making PCI or even many PCIx interfaces any more

    MOTU do a line of audio interfaces that use either their PCIe-424 or PCIX-424 card.  They are the 2408 Mk3, The 24I/O and the HD192.  I personally run the 2408 Mk3 and the 24I/O in my studio - very stable interfaces.
     
    The other cool thing about the MOTU gear is that the original 2408 from about 15 or 20 years ago still runs on the newer PCIe-424 with the latest drivers.  So they have got around the obsolescence problem by making old rack units compatible with the newer cards.

    "One of the great and beautiful things about music and recordings in general is that legacies live on" - Billy Arnell - April 15 2012
    #18
    Lanceindastudio
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    Re: Is it time to give up on the Echo Layla 24/96? 2013/10/28 16:31:30 (permalink)
    My Echo Gina3g works beautifully with my hardware listed below in my signature.

    Asus P8Z77-V LE PLUS Motherboard   
    i7 3770k CPU
    32 gigs RAM
    Presonus AudioBox iTwo
    Windows 10 64 bit, SONAR PLATINUM 64 bit
    Lots of plugins and softsynths and one shot samples, loops
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    Presonus Eureka
    Mackie HR824's and matching subwoofer
    #19
    Rodan
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    Re: Is it time to give up on the Echo Layla 24/96? 2013/10/30 23:37:06 (permalink)
    Great insight and info guys.  Thank you very much.
     
    Dan

    Dan Sanders
    Sonar X1, X2, X3
    Windows 7 - 64
    Gigabyte X58a-UD3R. Intel i7-950, 12Gb DDR3 ram
    M-Audio Firewire 410/Echo Layla 24/96
    /Novation ZeRO SL MK II some PartsCasters I've built and lots of Basses

    #20
    mixmkr
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    Re: Is it time to give up on the Echo Layla 24/96? 2013/10/31 00:18:15 (permalink)
    I believe RME and Lynx...two top end companies still make PCI card interfaces.  Also the custom builders (that frequent this site) use motherboards with PCI slots in them, with current processors, etc.
     
    I was just looking at Echo's site today, as I own a 3G (after a Gina and two Layla20) and want to upgrade my setup all around and am trying to decide if the 3G is in the game plan.  Should StudioCat or ADK makes a custom build, then, my question is answered, as mentioned their motherboards have at least one PCI slot.
     
    I've only read a lot about Echo products, since I've owned their products, but have nothing to compare with.  But reading I've always got the impression their drivers are top notch and the audio quality is equal to stuff costing twice.   But admittedly, wondering if the RME Hammerfall stuff would really make a difference.
     
    Btw I NEVER use the preamps on any of my Echo stuff, and actually wish my 3G didn't have input 1/2 on the front with those cheesy knobs.  I've tried the preamps with some mics like a Beyer M160, and they didn't have enough gain to cut it with that mic. That and other reasons lead me to believe outboard pres will ultimately get the best sound and choices.  A good quality hardware chain into a decent card seems to be the route.
     
    Then there's the Dangerous D summing box coming out of the computer.........
     

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    #21
    mixmkr
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    Re: Is it time to give up on the Echo Layla 24/96? 2013/10/31 00:26:56 (permalink)
    oh one other thing... the latest drivers they have are for Win7.  Echo is good about updating their drivers for older stuff, but they've scaled down what they now sell quite a bit and I haven't seen anything with Win8 drivers.  In their Facebook page or somewhere, people have asked, but it hasn't had any current answers.  

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    #22
    stratman70
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    Re: Is it time to give up on the Echo Layla 24/96? 2013/10/31 00:53:35 (permalink)
    Is that different than the Layla3G? That's what I have with a very good Asus MB P8Z77 and it's rock solid. MB can take 32 GB Ram, which I have. etc.
     
    But I don't use the mic pres so I guess that's a good thing.I picked up a Warm Audio WA12 Mic Pre (actually from some advice here and it's nice. I'll be keeping the Layla3G for a while-just built this PC a few months ago-couldn't be happier.

     
     
    #23
    mixmkr
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    Re: Is it time to give up on the Echo Layla 24/96? 2013/10/31 01:03:56 (permalink)
    Stratman...what drivers are you using for your 3G?

    some tunes: --->        www.masonharwoodproject.bandcamp.com 
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    #24
    marcossponchiado
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    Re: Is it time to give up on the Echo Layla 24/96? 2015/11/02 18:00:20 (permalink)
    Hi for all,

    Today, installed windows 7 ultimate 64 bit , and apparently seemed okay happened, but I can not release the sound, I get an error "the device is being used by another application please close any devices que are playing audio" ...
    I've tried all possible and visible solutions in all forums that thought , and nothing worked .
    You think the hardware of my computer to be incompatible with Layla ?

    For the record , I am Brazilian and here in Brazil is very expensive to buy a current board

    Thanks for listening
    #25
    sven450
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    Re: Is it time to give up on the Echo Layla 24/96? 2015/11/02 18:08:41 (permalink)
    I had a 3G for many years and loved it.  I finally moved on to a Roland Octacapture.  Not only are the preamps markedly better, but some of the features like built in DSP for recording dry and monitoring wet were really nice.  I was sad to see the 3G go, but it was time.  If you have the money, I say go for it.  New toys can be a source of inspiration too!

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    #26
    MArwood
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    Re: Is it time to give up on the Echo Layla 24/96? 2015/11/02 19:07:18 (permalink)
    I still use a Layla 24 with a Focusrite Octopre and a second Layla with a  PreSonus DigiMax D8!  Both work great 16 channels!. But I also have a Millennia HV-3D running into a Layla 24!  
     
    Max Arwood
     

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    #27
    Beepster
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    Re: Is it time to give up on the Echo Layla 24/96? 2015/11/02 19:11:35 (permalink)
    This is an ancient thread revived by the feller' (or lass) from Brazil looking to sort out how to keep the Layla from being overtaken by other programs on the system.
     
    I'm guessing maybe Windows sounds or other such things but my brain ain't in troubleshoot mode at the moment so I'm jsut gonna eat my macaroni.
    #28
    robert_e_bone
    Moderator
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    • Location: Palatine, IL
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    Re: Is it time to give up on the Echo Layla 24/96? 2015/11/03 08:55:21 (permalink)
    Yes - this sounds like the Windows Default audio Device is set to use the audio interface, and SOME application (or even Windows) is using it right now, or just has it tied up, and Sonar cannot get at it.
     
    For MY preferences, I NEVER let anything but Sonar or stand-alone music programs like Dim Pro and such point to using my audio interface.
     
    For MY situation, I have a 2nd set of speakers available, and set the Windows Default Audio Device to go to THAT set of speakers (actually they are in the HDTV I use as my computer monitor, and my HDMI cable send both video and audio to the TV).
     
    I NEVER have any problems with things conflicting with my ASIO drivers for my audio interface, by running as I do as listed above.
     
    Bob Bone
     

    Wisdom is a giant accumulation of "DOH!"
     
    Sonar: Platinum (x64), X3 (x64) 
    Audio Interfaces: AudioBox 1818VSL, Steinberg UR-22
    Computers: 1) i7-2600 k, 32 GB RAM, Windows 8.1 Pro x64 & 2) AMD A-10 7850 32 GB RAM Windows 10 Pro x64
    Soft Synths: NI Komplete 8 Ultimate, Arturia V Collection, many others
    MIDI Controllers: M-Audio Axiom Pro 61, Keystation 88es
    Settings: 24-Bit, Sample Rate 48k, ASIO Buffer Size 128, Total Round Trip Latency 9.7 ms  
    #29
    Resonant Serpent
    Max Output Level: -81 dBFS
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    • Location: Austin, Texas
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    Re: Is it time to give up on the Echo Layla 24/96? 2015/11/03 09:49:18 (permalink)
    Lynx makes PCI cards, and they have excellent sound quality and support. Several motherboard manufacturers still make products with PCI slots. I use the Lynx Two-C in my main computer and L-22 in the other here in the studio. Why PCI? Much lower latency and stability than all the usb interfaces I tried. The PCI bus simply moves more data than the usb, and leads to less problems. I picked both of mine up second-hand on Ebay, and couldn't be happier.

    A deep chesty bawl echoes from rimrock to rimrock, rolls down the mountain, and fades into the far blackness of the night. It is an outburst of wild defiant sorrow, and of contempt for all the adversities of the world. - Aldo Leopold
    #30
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