i want to make a hi end AD convertor where do i start? - diyAudio
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Old 11th March 2015, 08:48 PM   #1
mateus is offline mateus  Portugal
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Default i want to make a hi end AD convertor where do i start?

i'm starting on eletronics, i'm making costom mics and a preamp,i realise that my audio interface dont have a line in witout a preamp, i want to make a hi end AD convertor where do i start? so i can conect the mic and the preamp. and make comparisons, my audio interface ia a focusrite 4i2
thanks.
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Old 12th March 2015, 03:54 PM   #2
DF96 is offline DF96  England
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Learn enough about audio electronics so that you can define what you mean by "hi end". That is where you should start. Then you need to learn about how to design and make mixed-signal (i.e. analogue and digital) circuitry.

Or buy a kit.
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Old 12th March 2015, 04:29 PM   #3
00940 is offline 00940  Belgium
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Or buy an evaluation board from TI. A PCM4222EVM is 152$ at digikey. You need to add a power supply and maybe an interface to get the I2S data to usb.
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Last edited by 00940; 12th March 2015 at 04:33 PM.
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Old 12th March 2015, 06:38 PM   #4
mateus is offline mateus  Portugal
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thanks, Ad convertors are to much expencive, honestly I do not understand why
i'm just starting with the div mics, in the future i will share some sound samples.
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Old 12th March 2015, 07:04 PM   #5
00940 is offline 00940  Belgium
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Well, you asked for "high-end". There are cheaper options. With eval board I suggested, you pay less for the parts than for the expertise of TI's engineers.

Are you using a desktop or a laptop ? Some soundcards have extremely decent ADC built in.
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Old 12th March 2015, 07:12 PM   #6
mateus is offline mateus  Portugal
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if the PCM4222EVM is a high-end soluction that is what i was looking for, I'm still trying to understand the difference that ADC makes in terms of sound,
my sound interface is a focusrite Scarlett 2i4 people say great things about it,
I am a musician and my goal is to record best possible sound without spending € 2,000 or more in an Ad / DA c , unfortunately do not have that kind of money available
Thanks for your interest
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Old 12th March 2015, 08:13 PM   #7
kukynas is offline kukynas  Czech Republic
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mateus: in such case just buy new or second hand asus xonar essence STX II, it has one of the best ADC chip (CS5381) on the market and pretty decent implementation...
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Old 12th March 2015, 09:08 PM   #8
00940 is offline 00940  Belgium
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The Asus xonar is fine but I'd rather have a look at the ESI soundcards. They offer balanced inputs that could be of use for interfacing your gear. They also have software geared towards recording, which could matter a lot.

For desktop, the Juli@ is pretty decent. It offers 192khz/24bits if it matters to you. For laptop, maybe the dr. dac prime but the manual is pretty scarce about the digital inputs and the usb transfer. Looks like you get 96khz/24bits.
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Old 12th March 2015, 09:29 PM   #9
mateus is offline mateus  Portugal
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i'm now on div mics then i will try a div preamp and if I cant find a way to bypass the focusrite Scarlett 2i4 preamps I will try the PCM4222EVM kit and see what can be done with it
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Old 12th March 2015, 09:45 PM   #10
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First, Scarlett 2i4 is excellent interface as such (though don't know exactly the performance of the line level input via instrument/line input on combo XLR/phone jack, there are some RMAA measurements on web but some are removed). The codec used is CS4272, and the RMAA measurements I found show about 103 dB SNR (means not much though). It uses XMOS asynchronous USB 2.0 implementation which is known to be excellent. Getting clocking right is probably the most difficult thing (emi, jitter, crosstalk etc. must be avoided).

Now, if you want to improve on that the best you could do is to get one of the XMOS USB audio dev kits and build your own ADC + DAC board using better PCB layout (>= 4 layer), better circuits and better components - I would say in that order, the components doesn't really have to be better than what circuits and PCB layout are capable for. Study analog circuits a lot (Douglas Self has some good books like "Small Signal Audio Design" which after you have read them makes you wonder some things like how difficult it is really to implement a low-noise balanced line input). Study mixed signal desing and RF, and if nothing else follow good practice, evaluation modules are good source for knowledge. Measure. After a couple of years you'll notice it's really difficult art of science. Good luck anyway.

Last edited by mhelin; 12th March 2015 at 09:53 PM.
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