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TERRATEC PRODUCTS

 
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Max



Joined: 01 Jul 2004
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2004 8:08 pm    Post subject: TERRATEC PRODUCTS Reply with quote

Hi, guys!
first of all i'm eager to say some word of appreciation to all of you - i mean this is really a fabulous discussion board. Thanks for doing it.

To my question:
is anyone out there using/ have been using TERRATEC products (multi I/O interfaces). I'm thinking about TERRATEC PHASE 28. Tried to search through Internet for the reviews on it but couldnt find anything real. So what do you know about the TERRATEC brand overall, about it's reputation/sound quality/target group (so to say)?

Thanks in advance.
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Mike Zee



Joined: 20 Mar 2001
Posts: 766
Location: NY, USA

PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2004 1:32 pm    Post subject: TERRATEC PRODUCTS Reply with quote

ok, Max, I don't have personal experience with TerraTec products. From what I know in general the overall quality of their pro products is very good. I can't tell anything about consumer products at all.
Here's the deal thou.... you need to make sure that the features of PHASE 28 is what you personally need and actually are going to use. I mean do you really need midi-interface included in your card? Do you really need balanced analog in/outs (are you going to get/use balanced cables and use balanced in/outs on your other eqipment (mixer/effects/recorder etc). Now if you don't need these features, then you simply are going to pay extra cash for nothing :)
So as alternative, I would recomend to you at least to take a look at M-Audio D410 24 Bit 96kHz Digital Audio System. Well, not much for a "system" :) there...heeh heh , but it has about what you may need (2 ins/ 8 outs unbalanced, digital in/out, no midi interface). I've seen this card on sale for $89 here: D410 at AMS.
Now, here's a nice positive review about one of TerraTec cards, well, something positive for you to read about quality of TerraTec: EWX24/96 review
Also, when buying any computer hardware, you really need to make sure that it is 100% going to work with your computer system and to make sure that the hardware supports your software , or your software supports the hardware your are buying ...which ever way you want to look at it.
So here as example, I am going to just past a somebody's bad experience with Phase 28. But this does not mean that the card is bad, but you may have some specific issues here and there, and then the quality of technical support of the compony becoms important.
Now, how do you know? - You don't, untill you actually deal with it.
Here's the example:
"buy from this company at your own risk!"
I purchased 2 of these cards last summer to do film scoring work with Gigastudio. I specifically wanted them for the digital outs. It took me 4 months to find out that the digital outs are not supported for gigastudio, and I only found out because I tracked down the product rep at the LA NAMM show. They will not respond to emails. I finally worked out a deal with them (through Fostex help here in the US) to upgrade me to the next card that would support Gigastudio as advertised. That was two months ago. They never sent the cards as promised and will not respond to email. It is inexplicable to me....I\'m an industry pro and it\'s very bad business in my opinion. I finally decided my only recourse is to spread the word....buy from this company at your own peril. If you have problems or the product does not perform as advertised, you're screwed....

again, as you see, some people get into specific situation and get very very mad, when they can't figure something out or can't find any help.
You should not rely on such "reviews", but don't forget, that facing problems is just the way it goes with computer software/hardware...

good luck,
/respects,
/Mike Zee aka Dr ZEE
ZEE DUB LAB

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ZEE DUB LAB
Dr ZEE WORKSHOP
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Max



Joined: 01 Jul 2004
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2004 5:18 pm    Post subject: TERRATEC PRODUCTS Reply with quote

Yeah, thanks Mike, i just reconed my problem is i dont really understand what is balanced I/O and what is unbalanced.

I only understand it this way - the connectors. We got jacks 1/4'' and then we got RCA. So if i got the jack on the output end (sound card)and jack on the input end (mixer) - i just get a "jack/jack" cable and plug it in. Then, if i got jack on the output end and RCA on the input end (multitrack like alesis XT20)- i get myself jack to RCA cable and plug it in.

I really dont know much more about the issue. And for the worst of it - i dont know where to start learning about it. There's so many type of connectors - i just got lost.

As for MIDI - yeah, i was thinking about plugging MIDI keybord to this "MIDI interface" of the product. Again, i was only thinking in terms of connecting wires.

thanks,
Max
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Mike Zee



Joined: 20 Mar 2001
Posts: 766
Location: NY, USA

PostPosted: Sun Sep 12, 2004 1:21 am    Post subject: TERRATEC PRODUCTS Reply with quote

Max, here's a very short but to the point explanation about the idea of using balanced connection: Balanced vs Unbalanced audio connection,
now, of course you may jump to conclusion that you sure better 'go balanced' , right? :)
Well, not so fast, I must say. This depends on your studio set up and actual practicality.
If you have a large studio set up with allots of gear all 'ON' at the same time pluss allots of cables in the studio connection allots of gear which are 'ON' plus cables are pretty long (i'd say longer than 6ft), then you may start experience noise problems at some point, and then using balanced connections will be the way to go to fight it.
But then there's another issue. You also need to have all your connections balanced, and so all your gear must actually have balanced in/outs (which only higher level pro gear have, not all of them). So what it all comes down to, that overall to have a complete 'balanced' studio is a VERY VERY expansive luxury. Just for example: good quality blanced recording snake, like 8 channels 12 ft 1/4 TRS - to 1/4 TRS may cost you about 2-3 times more than unbalanced, which for example (depending on brand/quality) can go for unbalanced 12 ft - $20-60, while for balanced $40-$200 !!!!! (Your cables may cost you more than actual gear in your studio ..heh heh heh :))
Now, again, if you have just somewhat few pieces of gear at your studio (say mixer, computer, few effect processors, couple synth) and your cables are 6 feet or so for the most, maybe some longer), then you hardly ever will need to deal with cable noise, well at least not to the scale when you really have to do something about it. Also if you experience some noise problem, it well may be due to other problems, like bad connections, ground loop, simply poor quality of your cables or simply some noisy equipment. And having all your cable balanced will not deal with this kind of noise at all.

well, man, you've got the idea...

/respects,

/Mike Zee aka Dr ZEE
ZEE DUB LAB

_________________
Mike Zee aka Dr ZEE
ZEE DUB LAB
Dr ZEE WORKSHOP
MZEntertainment.com
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Mike Zee



Joined: 20 Mar 2001
Posts: 766
Location: NY, USA

PostPosted: Sun Sep 12, 2004 6:04 am    Post subject: TERRATEC PRODUCTS Reply with quote

Max, here's another page to read plus some extra basic info on 'connections' in general. Make sure to scroll down to the page to read the bottom - it explains shortly and well the 'theory' behind balanced system: What's all this about High & Low Impedance, Balanced & Unbalanced, Mic & Line Level?
Now, again, read all this, but don't jump to fast conclusion that for 'better' result you simply MUST go 'balanced'. There you can read lines like "all professional systems are balanced" and "you have to replace with balanced system". This is not 100% true. There are 'grey' and questionable areas there from simply practical point. Also there are ton of unbalanced and very useful gear which many pros use. But it is true, thou that 99% of large professional recording/production studios have their main and longer lines as balanced systems. If you run 50-100 ft of 24-48 channels recording snakes and plus bunch of other connections around, then you sure will face the cable noise pick-up problem.
But for a smaller studio you most likely never have to deal with it.

/respects,
/Mike Zee aka Dr ZEE

_________________
Mike Zee aka Dr ZEE
ZEE DUB LAB
Dr ZEE WORKSHOP
MZEntertainment.com
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Max



Joined: 01 Jul 2004
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2004 5:31 pm    Post subject: TERRATEC PRODUCTS Reply with quote

Thanks Mike Zee. I appreciate.
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