How will the SQ-5 deal with 48KHz audio from the DAW…?

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This topic contains 10 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of n13L5 n13L5 4 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #87707
    Profile photo of n13L5
    n13L5
    Participant

    Will SQ-5 force an up-sample to 96KHz, or will the audio be routed through undisturbed?

    #87710
    Profile photo of Alex A&H
    Alex A&H
    Keymaster

    Hi n13L5,

    The SQ USB B interface is fixed at 96kHz, so any 48kHz audio sent from a DAW will be upsampled in the DAW (if the DAW supports it) before reaching the SQ. This can add more processing usage on your computer and may not be a suitable solution on all systems.

    To avoid upsampling the audio, you can sample rate convert your stems in the DAw, or use an option card such as Dante or Waves which supports streaming 48kHz audio.

    Thanks! Alex

    #87716
    Profile photo of n13L5
    n13L5
    Participant

    Hi and thanks for the answer!
    Since I haven’t touched a DAW or a mixer since 2001, I have only a rudimentary concept of Dante and Waves.

    Could you give me a concrete example of how I could specifically bind an SQ-5 into this type of setup?

    In the studio, I will have a very simple setup: Computer hooked up to mixer – active speakers hooked up to mixer.

    I should add, that I mainly want to avoid upsampling 48KHz content, since it would effectively cut processing, memory and storage on my DAW system in half.
    On the other hand, maybe 96KHz audio isn’t such a problem on a 2019 computer. Do you think I can manage 32 tracks of 96KHz audio playing back from the DAW on an i7-9700 with 32GB of RAM? Or if not, would going to 64GB sort it out?

    #87720
    Profile photo of n13L5
    n13L5
    Participant

    Looking at Dante Cards and such, they seem to be so pricey, I could build a monster Threadripper PC for the same money, keep everything at 96KHz and call it a day…?

    #87729
    Profile photo of Alex A&H
    Alex A&H
    Keymaster

    Hi n13L5,

    In terms of using a Dante or Waves system instead of the USB B interface, the physical connection is still just one cable between the computer and the mixer. There are differences in terms of set up as this system is a more flexible solution.

    The internal processing of the SQ remains at 96kHz, so there will always be some sample rate conversion, either in the DAW or the Dante/Waves card, if playing 48kHz audio through the SQ. Whether your computer can handle 32 tracks at 96kHz largely depends on how the DAW handles this and if your computer is optimised for real time audio streaming. You can find information on how to optimise your computer here: http://support.allen-heath.com/Knowledgebase/Article/View/troubleshooting-issues-with-the-sq-usb-b-interface

    Thanks!
    Alex

    #87774
    Profile photo of n13L5
    n13L5
    Participant

    Hi again, Alex – I had lost the tab, so it took me a while to re-find this…

    I understand the parameters of the USB connection and its limitation being 96KHz only.
    If the mixer doesn’t “like” 48kHz, I can accept that – and like you suggest, fix it with a different protocol, or in the daw system by upgrading it suitably –
    My preferred solution would be an SQ-5 add-in card, that can connect to Waves Soundgrid, because I can use that in the future to add value to the studio with a DSP server or other devices.

    I want to avoid any expensive digital detours over other protocols and I did see in a video, that someone had a WAVES Soundgrid add-on card in their SQ-6 mixer, so that type of card must exist, apparently ^^
    But it would seem best to get one directly from Allen&Heath for obvious reasons.

    Thomann was zero help in finding that so far, they seem to consider the SQ-5 a LIVE mixer only and insist that you can only talk to the PA department about it. But the PA department considers Waves Soundgrid not as part of THEIR job, so I never even got to a yes or no on whether they have a Waves add-in card they can sell me or not. We never even got to the SoundGrid card that would have to go into a PCIE slot in the computer, the relevant person had already left the chat.
    Not enough with that, I asked WAVES about that, as well as a digital to analogue box for Waves Soundgrid, with an RJ45 connector on the back – and apparently, the rep didn’t have / didn’t care / didn’t need the sale. I’ve talked to far more eager sales reps than Thomann and WAVES – still shaking my head over this…

    Either way, it seems best to come back to you with this question. ^^

    #87776
    Profile photo of Andre S
    Andre S
    Participant

    I have the Allen & Heath M-SQ-WAVES3-A in my SQ5, set to 48kHz. The card does the sample rate conversion, so my trusty old MacBook can record relaxed the audio streams. Up to 64 channels on one ethernetcable.

    https://www.thomann.de/de/allen_heath_m_sq_waves3_a.htm

    #87785
    Profile photo of n13L5
    n13L5
    Participant

    Haha, great! Thank you so much!

    Just the card I was looking for.
    After checking out some people on Youtube, who chose to record at 96kHz or even 192kHz, I might still get that card, but keep things at 96kHz anyway.

    Apparently, there’s good reason to keep audio at higher sample rates, while you’re still processing, mixing, etc.

    Having a high resolution mater seems like a pretty good idea too – Record companies must be doing that for a reason too.
    And before investing in any DSP servers, I’m going to beef up my DAW system with that new Ryzen 16 Core 3950x CPU… see how much local processing we can do before we need to farm stuff out…
    16 cores with excellent memory bandwidth and single core speeds to match Intel. Be fun to build!

    Does SoundGrid need another expensive specialty network card for the PC or does a second RJ45 port do the trick with the right driver installed?

    #87786
    Profile photo of n13L5
    n13L5
    Participant

    On second thought – for what that Waves card costs, I could upgrade my purchase plans from the SQ-5 to the SQ-6, putting just 100 Euros on top.

    Greed reigns supreme with those specialized network cards..

    #88007
    Profile photo of Hugh
    Hugh
    Participant

    I know there is a clear advantage of cat6 VS USB 2 connectivity and dependability based on the difference I have experienced between my QUsb and Digigrid/WavesLV1 systems recording protocols. I am working my way through replacing my QUsb with a SQ5 and a waves Card: My existing server one and LV1 license will enable this high quality hybred system that will fit in the trunk of my Toyota. (that is a big deal for an old dude like me doing a one man show with a Flea 47 next Tube mic.
    Hugh

    #88015
    Profile photo of n13L5
    n13L5
    Participant

    I already felt pretty good, when I “upgraded” from Fire-wire to USB…
    Because Fire-wire was a nightmare to keep working… You’re actually supposed to start all your equipment and software in a certain order…
    That reminded me of 1989, when every part of a video system was a booby-trap, just waiting to go off.

    USB was quite the luxury in that regard. You plug it in first, it works, you plug it in last, it works and you can power up anything whenever.

    At any rate, I’ve ordered the SQ-5 in the meantime and its on its way to me…

    Since I have a pretty strong computer, I don’t really see the overall benefit of the waves system for now, because its more pricey than the value it would add to what I have. I don’t really need a dsp server to handle my effects, it would be a duplication… Especially with the SQ-5 taking over dynamics processing.
    Should I start from scratch at some point, I will re-evaluate if the expense is worth it beyond the wow effect of using an RJ45 cable.

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