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Interfaces: define "ins" and "outs"

Posted: Thu Nov 15, 2018 8:11 pm
by mixyguy2
Dummy question I thought I knew the answer to, but now I'm not so sure. Internet search didn't provide a quick answer as I assumed it would. Enlighten me o experts...how exactly are these "counted?"

Re: Interfaces: define "ins" and "outs"

Posted: Thu Nov 15, 2018 9:47 pm
by Ian Craig
mixyguy2 wrote:Dummy question I thought I knew the answer to, but now I'm not so sure. Internet search didn't provide a quick answer as I assumed it would. Enlighten me o experts...how exactly are these "counted?"
To the best of my understanding they are counted thus -
(1) stick an obscure connector on the device that no-one has ever had a cable for i.e. SPDIF and claim that it is a 10 input/2 output connector
(2) stick 4 mono inputs on the front and 4 on the back
(3) stick 2 RCA connectors on the back for output to monitor speakers and 2 stereo headphone sockets, i.e. 4 outputs, on the front -
--- Therefore
"18 in, 8 out"
Yours sincerely
The Walt Disney Corporation :wink:

Re: Interfaces: define "ins" and "outs"

Posted: Fri Nov 16, 2018 3:26 am
by skarabee
he he!!
I recognize a Focusrite user here :wink:
Walt Disney audio-interface, you made my day!
Same things with other brands, be it Donald, Goofy or Daisy (chain)...

Re: Interfaces: define "ins" and "outs"

Posted: Fri Nov 16, 2018 8:23 am
by dpaterson
Ian Craig wrote:
mixyguy2 wrote:Dummy question I thought I knew the answer to, but now I'm not so sure. Internet search didn't provide a quick answer as I assumed it would. Enlighten me o experts...how exactly are these "counted?"
To the best of my understanding they are counted thus -
(1) stick an obscure connector on the device that no-one has ever had a cable for i.e. SPDIF and claim that it is a 10 input/2 output connector
(2) stick 4 mono inputs on the front and 4 on the back
(3) stick 2 RCA connectors on the back for output to monitor speakers and 2 stereo headphone sockets, i.e. 4 outputs, on the front -
--- Therefore
"18 in, 8 out"
Yours sincerely
The Walt Disney Corporation :wink:
Nah. Not a dummy question at all. Trust me. I got caught nicely with this one myself (and, as I note every time this subject comes up, it does my head in!!!).

If you're going to buy another interface don't look at the specs. and promotional material!!! Look at the pictures!!! In other words (and to answer your question directly): look at the pictures and count the number of inputs and outputs shown in the pictures. The specs. and promotional material are there to "sell you down the river".

If this Focusrite stuff wasn't so good .........

Regards,

Dale (another Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 sucker!!!).

Re: Interfaces: define "ins" and "outs"

Posted: Fri Nov 16, 2018 9:48 am
by Ian Craig
skarabee wrote:he he!!
I recognize a Focusrite user here :wink:
Walt Disney audio-interface, you made my day!
Same things with other brands, be it Donald, Goofy or Daisy (chain)...
Yeah :lol:

Re: Interfaces: define "ins" and "outs"

Posted: Fri Nov 16, 2018 3:38 pm
by mixyguy2
So nobody else knows either. Thx I feel better. :wink:

Re: Interfaces: define "ins" and "outs"

Posted: Fri Nov 16, 2018 4:16 pm
by Acoustica Greg
Hi,

I think Dale's "look at the pictures" suggestion is the way to go, along with looking at the list of inputs and outputs on the Specs page for the device.

Greg

Re: Interfaces: define "ins" and "outs"

Posted: Fri Nov 16, 2018 5:59 pm
by mixyguy2
Thx Greg, I guess what I mean is there apparently is no real or consistent way to define what is considered an "in" or an "out." e.g. I always thought "in" meant "input with a pre-amp." But (for ex.) some use ADAT to say they have many more I/Os, which I can see in one way but IMO is misleading.

Re: Interfaces: define "ins" and "outs"

Posted: Sat Nov 17, 2018 1:42 am
by dpaterson
Nooooooooo.........
along with looking at the list of inputs and outputs on the Specs page
If you cannot see it in the pics. it doesn't exist (at least not without having to buy an additional module).
That's my main point. I bought my second Focusrite, the 18i8, because I needed two more mic. inputs. Looked at the specs. The specs. clearly detailed the number of mic. preamps. (four) so no problem there. But the specs. ALSO detailed SIX analog outs. so I thought GREAT. Well: turns out there are only TWO analog outs (L/R) and TWO stereo HEADPHONE outs. That is misleading to say the least. But had I actually bothered to look at the pictures of the darn thing I would have seen and counted the only TWO analog outs. (L/R) on the back of the unit and, well, maybe made a more informed decision. It's not that the 18i8 is not a fantastic interface or that it's not serving me well. It is (on both counts). It's just a feeling of getting conned that pees me off. Know what I mean??? It's a fantastic interface and all my stuff goes into a mixer anyway (and from there to monitor speakers and PA and whatever else). And yeh: the SPDIF out/in is handy (posted about using this for routing to external devices, analog or other, on another thread). Would I have paid more to get a Clarett just so that I had an additional two analog outs.??? Probably not i.e. could not justify the difference in price just for an extra two little holes in the back. But still: it's a feeling of being conned that's the issue as I've said. Worse still there's no standard when it comes to their model numbers. My other interface, the 2i4, actually does have TWO ins. and FOUR outs. (there's actually SIX outs. if the truth be told) and these in ADDITION to the stereo headphone out. And the Clarett 4Pre (18 in, 8 out) actually does have EIGHT outs. (two of which are, however, stereo headphone outs.) (but still: at least I can COUNT to the 8 outs. on the Clarett) and one has to then ask well why with the Clarett did they not count the SPDIF and ADAT as another few ports and have done with it???

Regards,

Dale.

Re: Interfaces: define "ins" and "outs"

Posted: Sun Nov 18, 2018 6:08 pm
by shayneoneill
Often the better interfaces include ADAT(sometimes called a "lightpipe") which typically includes 8 input and 8 outputs per ADAT connector. These are important if your planning on recording drums, or a full band live recording. You then add something like the 8Pre or Octopre, or if your not so worrried about quality and just need cheap channels the Behringer ultragain 8 ch adat preamp. This is a *really* useful option if you just need 4 or 8 channels but think you might need to go up to 12, 16 or 24ch later on.

At the really high end often the interfaces are ADAT only (RME and some MOTU stuff)

Sometimes you'll see SP/Dif. Not sure why they include these to be brutally honest.

Theres a few other standards, MADI etc , you'll see on the really high end stuff like the Avid HD systems (or whatever the newer iterations are called)

Oh and quick tip;- Old ALESIS blackdace DAT recorders can be a cheap source of ADAT channels , you can pick these up for dirt cheap on Ebay if you already have decent pres to put in front of them. Sometimes you'll find mixing desks with ADAT too

Re: Interfaces: define "ins" and "outs"

Posted: Mon Nov 19, 2018 12:12 am
by dpaterson
Hello.

The point is though: sometimes these manufacturers will note that an interface has an ADAT port and then proceed to "count" ins. and outs. that are only available if you buy the additional hardware required to connect via ADAT (this 18i8 being a typical example). That's not honest. And for the sake of interest I just went to Focusrite's website to look up the specs. for the 18i8 in order to prove this point and guess what??? Their website has been updated and the specs. that are now detailed are certainly NOT the specs. that were detailed about two months ago.

Now:

https://focusrite.com/usb-audio-interfa ... rlett-18i8

Then (about two months ago) (this taken from the manual this morning but these were the specs. detailed on the website about two months ago) (and I see the manual cannot be downloaded at this time either so I'm guessing that's being updated too as I type this):
18i8 Specs.JPG
18i8 Specs.JPG (97.72 KiB) Viewed 1387 times
Anyway. This not meant to be a "Focusrite bitching session (thread)" (sorry for that). Point is: BE CAREFUL OUT THERE.

Regards,

Dale.

Re: Interfaces: define "ins" and "outs"

Posted: Mon Nov 19, 2018 7:59 am
by mixyguy2
dpaterson wrote:The point is though: sometimes these manufacturers will note that an interface has an ADAT port and then proceed to "count" ins. and outs. that are only available if you buy the additional hardware required to connect via ADAT (this 18i8 being a typical example). That's not honest.
Exactly.

Re: Interfaces: define "ins" and "outs"

Posted: Mon Nov 19, 2018 11:38 am
by Thomas
The point is though: sometimes these manufacturers will note that an interface has an ADAT port and then proceed to "count" ins. and outs. that are only available if you buy the additional hardware required to connect via ADAT (this 18i8 being a typical example). That's not honest.
A suggestion for these companies. Let's call it (as in the case of the referenced interface), 18 input ready or 8 output ready. Like my car radio that is satellite ready and needs a satellite module to make it function as such. This way we immediately know the difference between a product that actually has the feature and a product that can be expanded to include it.

Re: Interfaces: define "ins" and "outs"

Posted: Tue Nov 20, 2018 2:29 am
by dpaterson
Now that is indeed a good suggestion.

And another suggestion: headphone outs. are NOT to be counted as "outs."!!!

Regards,

Dale.

Re: Interfaces: define "ins" and "outs"

Posted: Tue Nov 20, 2018 11:33 am
by Thomas
Now that is indeed a good suggestion.
Now if only the AI makers could all agree to do it, so no one has the unfair advantage over the others in the specs race.