looking for advice using 2 Delta 44s

So, I just installed the second card, and I’m planning to do some transfers from a Tascam 688 to mix in N Track. Does anybody have any advice on system configuration settings?

Specifically, I’m looking for advice in how to sync the two cards, does anybody think I will have trouble doing this? I would like to record 8 tracks simultaneously. Does the “Multiple Card Sync” option in the Delta Control Panel insure that the two cards will record in sync?

Which drivers, ASIO or WDM, are the other Delta 44 guys using? Originally I thought ASIO was best…

If anybody wants to share other general advice or experiences with this configuration, I would appreciate it. Thanks.

Ideally you would sync them using an spdif link but as the Delta 44 doesn’t have this connection thats not an option.

see this thread for an interesting discussion.
http://www.audiomastersforum.org/amforum/post-35090.html

If you were very handy with a soldering iron you could try and run them both from the same crystal. With a wire link between the two boards.

I’ve been using 2x Delta44 cards in a W2K system for a couple of years now, and have had no noticable sync problems when recording 8 tracks at once, even over a 30 minute period.
But I’ve never been sure whether this was by design, or by luck, as over the years, none of the discussions on forums, or anything I’ve read on the m-audio webpages etc. has ever said conclusively that they are, or are not ‘synched’. I’ve even spoke with m-audio support, by phone, on two seperate occasions, and had the two different answers.
So, whilst my setup is working fine, I’ll carry on using it in blissful ignorance.

Hi Pasher,
I’ve wondered about this issue for a few years and like yourself I’ve never found a definitive answer.I think I once read a post that suggested Asio drivers would somehow sync them. I’ve just bought a secondhand 1010 to get round this problem!

Nick

thanks for the link nick, thats interesting, but I’m not quite handy enough with a soldering iron…

I didn’t think I was gonna be able to test this for a few more days because my buddy is not bringing the tascam 688 until later this week, but today I tried transfering from my 4-track, and I plugged two tracks into each card. It seemed to work just fine, no synch problems (that I could hear) after over 20 minutes continuous recording…

I was using the ASIO drivers, with the newest build… it seemed to run well for a while, it finally got hung up and crashed on me, due to playing around with too many plug-ins I think… I think I’m having some problems with n-track stability, it seems to crash more than it should, especially once CPU usage gets pretty high, say over 70%, so I’m still experimenting with my system configuration, including soundcard settings…

you could route 1 signal to 2 inputs (1 on each card), record for a while, then after recording, invert the phase on 1 track and see if it cancels. you aren’t likely to get full cancellation just due to hardware limitations, but I would think it should be close if it is sync.

You could also use a wave editor to create a wave file and draw in some spikes (like say a 5 sample wide square wave every 5000 samples or so) then route the output to 2 inputs and do the same test as above, just zoom way in on the recordings, and see if they start at the same sample position. I would think this would be the most reliable test, and you wouldn’t have to record for more than a few minutes. If after 3 minutes, you still have sample accurate sync, then I would think it would be ok.

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you could route 1 signal to 2 inputs (1 on each card), record for a while, then after recording, invert the phase on 1 track and see if it cancels. you aren’t likely to get full cancellation just due to hardware limitations, but I would think it should be close if it is sync.


I used my drum machine to do this for me when I was experimenting. Nice short hi-hat. Left it running for a few minutes.

Instead of using the “invert” method, I actually zoomed-in on the waveforms and compared the time differences after 1 min, 2 mins, 3 mins etc. I could see the sync difference building.


Mark

From the M-Audio website:
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The Operating Systems Windows 2000/XP support “KernelSync” and do not necessarily need the external connection using S/PDIF. Delta 44 can only be stacked in these Operating Systems, since this card does not have a S/PDIF connector. For this type of Operation, all cards have to be set to “Multiple Card Sync”.

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In Windows, up to 4 Delta Series cards can be used at the same time.


Also, looking at the history of the drivers I’ve got, the driver readme files show ‘improvements in multi-card sync in v.27 and v.29 for both ASIO and WDM’. However, v.31 specifically states as an improvement:
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2) Multiple card sync with ASIO applications and the Delta 44 without need for external hardware SPDIF lock. This added feature is an advantage of ASIO architecture. This is not available for WDM due to limitations within WDM architecture.


I guess it’s not 100% clear, but I’d read it that you can have pretty good sync using 2 44s in 2000 or XP but may run into issues, and that using post v.31 drivers with ASIO it should be problem free.

I know someone around here started using 2 44s with the ASIO lock when they brought that feature out and had no problems.

Personally I’ve used both ASIO and WDM without problems with a single card. I generally use WDM in n-track, as you can then change the buffers without restarting the application.

-Daniel