Its DSP allows creation (law) a virtual mixer with all the classic elements, with onboard effects Soundscape format. We can do any kind of routing through the available interfaces between the card and Mixpander Alpha Link. For example, a configuration that allows streaming of 24 in + 24 out audio, while using the remaining 16 streams to access the ADAT. It should also be possible to route signals on the bus or virtual ADAT without going through the remaining streams (I have not tested).
In the original package are offered all the elements of building a mixer: slices, effect sends, phase, delay sample, but up to 4-band parametric EQ, chorus, delay and compressor (up by 1 + 3 expander compressors in series), and dithering plugins and MS decoding. Also note the 5.1 support among the proposed elements.
You can also buy plugin loaded on the card format Soundscape brand Aphex, Drawmer, SSL, TC, etc., on the site SYDEC ( http://www.sydec.be/Products/Plugins/ ) . However, these plugins seem to date, and I have not seen any way to have a license for evaluation before a possible purchase.
A fault sensitive, the maximum length of cable between the Mixpander and Alpha-Link makes one meter for technical reasons.
Question CPU power, I could make a configuration mixing comprehensive general (32 ins, 13 departures, a 4-band EQ per para 4 groups), I drift as needed. Switching from one configuration to another is almost instant.
Several important notes:
- The card is in PCI Mixpander full length, in other words it is best to check that the card can fit into the case, as all cameras do not allow the insertion of full length cards.
- It will provide a distance of one meter between the PC and Alpha-Link card. So if that is in the listening room / recording, it is better to have a silent PC (quite doable today)
The software installation was not really a problem. I had a little trouble the firmware updater from the Alpha-Link for some reason. Now it works without problem.
The creation of a virtual mixing console is fairly easy, provided you have read the doc. About doc I do not know if I had a misfires but I had no doc editing software console, soundscape mix, in the box. I had to download and print. If this is not a bug in the packaging, it is still light for a map to more than 1200 €.
No problem with the drivers.
No bug with the publisher console, Soundscape Mixer.
Truly minimal latency.
The few effects included in the package are very good. It is always possible to get VST plugins to insert them into slices the virtual console, price streams between the host PC and the card (the maximum is 64).
My default mixer operates the Alpha Link acquisition 24 A / N for the outputs of instruments and effects, and some of the outputs N / A departure to the effects hardware and sending on the monitors. My mixer contains default
- 29 slices, 13 mono, 12 stereo, 4 stereo groups
- On each slice of entry: a 4-band parametric EQ, adjustable delay and phase input, 13 FXsends
- I have enough CPU to add compressors, with only 47% of CPU used in 44.1. Cons by the fact to use as many slices and routing me consume 80% of the memory. That said it is a default console on which I can remove a number of elements to retrieve the CPU for other needs.
This map is essentially the link between an Alpha and a host PC Link. All Alpha-Link AX + Mixpander provides for about 3000 euros (about 600 € + DB25 cable to the I / O analog):
- A sound card 64 streams, selectable among 96 I / O (24 + 24 In Ana Ana Out + 24 + 24 In ADAT ADAT Out)
- A huge routing flexibility with the ability to create his mixer's image needs, subject of course to the DSP power
- Plugins embedded basic yet high quality, as équalo, chorus, delay and compressor
This card makes it possible to release the 24 ADAT I / O of the Alpha Link in the case of use as a converter to a host PC in addition to use as a mixer fully configurable.
While this card is very interesting, it seems to me that his design in 1996. Then a small revision to bring to current standards, better integration to reduce its size, more powerful DSP, and use the PCIe card would be perfect in every way.