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Thread digital/optical inputs

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1 digital/optical inputs
hi ladies and gentlemen,

i have need of an interface to get tracks from my digital 8-track to my computer. the 8-track has both rca type and optical digital outputs. anyone know of a good card with one of these inputs or have suggestions on what i might need?

is the optical output of your recorder spdif or adat?
How much do you have to spend?
me too.
Ihave a fostex adat with spdif, rca and adat outputs.
Excellent soundcards with spdif inputs are the RME's. Probably the best soundcards for PCs.
A more affordable choice would be the M-audio Audiophile 2496
I have an M-audio firewire 410...It's quite pricy and but its external and may be of great use for quite a long time. It has an optical and coaxial digital in, and an optical and coaxial digital out. So a totat of 2 digital ins and 2 digital outs.

heres the specs.

4 x 10 FireWire audio interface

192kHz stereo out

2 x 8 24-bit/96kHz analog I/O (1/4” TS)

dual mic/instrument preamps (Neutriks XLR/ 1/4” TS)

global phantom power

66dB available preamp gain

S/PDIF digital I/O (coaxial/optical) w/ 2-channel PCM

digital I/O supports surround-encoded AC-3 and DTS passthrough

1 x 1 MIDI I/O w/ bypass for stand-alone use

2 headphone outs w/ individual level controls (1/4" TRS)

stereo monitor level control

low-latency software monitoring

direct hardware monitoring

8 analog outs can directly drive up to 7.1 surround

software-controlled mixing and routing

software-assignable level controller

powered via DC supply or FireWire bus*

2 convenient high-speed FireWire ports
i decided to jump in and buy the M-Audio Audiophile 2496 pci card. It seems the most affordable choice and people who have them generally seem to like them. It also has midi in/out, which is nice cuz now i can return the usb midi device i just bought and put the $40 toward the card.

I still wonder, is optical any better than digital? I imagine there should be no difference...

Also, what kind of processing would an optical input to a computer have to do? Is it important to get a really high quality soundcard with superb D/A A/D converters and 24 bit processing in order to get a digital data stream into the computer, or is it just a simple transfer that any card could do? Does that make sense?

Anyway, I'll post how I fare with the Audiophile 2496... it sure was hard to find someone with one in stock...

thanks for the replies...

ps, suddenly it occurs to me that the firewire version that someone recommended might be more flexible... I could bring it to a friends house or plug it into a new laptop if i ever get one.... oh well! It's lots more money anyhow...
Theoretically optical is the guaranty of minimal signal loss. But I do not think you'll notice any difference with you ears.

If you only transfer digital to digital the signal will not go through the soundcard's converters and they therefore make no differenece.