Need Advice: How to Modernize Layla 24/96s?

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Crustlord666
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Need Advice: How to Modernize Layla 24/96s?

Post by Crustlord666 » Tue Nov 20, 2018 2:50 pm

Hi all, here's the topic I need advice on, as concisely as I can phrase it. Sorry for the long post.

My friend has an older recording machine running Windows and Nuendo in his "basement professional" style studio. He records everything from death metal to blues, but mainly music from our punk and metal community. His studio's analog/digital conversion is done with two Echo Layla 24/96, each of which is taking 8 inputs and sending them into a PCI card in his computer. In his DAW, he can see the tracks in two "banks" of eight channels, and select from which bank which channel he wants to assign to a track.

He wanted to modernize his setup, but doesn't know much about computers. He decided to get a new computer as his first step, and picked an ASUS gaming PC that was on sale for a nice price. Then he had to move and rebuild his studio, so the project was back-burnered for a year. Now, I'm trying to help. I pointed out that his new computer doesn't have any PCI slots, only PCIe x1 slots, and it's not likely that the old Layla PCI cards he has in his machine would even be supported in a modern OS (this is just a guess).

My thought is to ask the board's opinion about the best way for my friend to proceed. His priority is reasonably upgrade his capability and modernize from his old setup while keeping it very reliable & without spending more money than necessary. Here are some ideas of how to tackle it I thought of, but I don't know recording gear very well (I'm just a drummer!), and I need your help:

-Keep the outboard Layla 24/96s and find a new professional quality PCIe x1 card or cards that can take 16 channels in and make them individually available to a DAW, and has driver support in Windows 10, and would work as smoothly as the old Layla's did. Does this card exist? Would we be able to expect it to run as smoothly as a proprietary solution (see next)?

-Replace the Layla 24/96es: Get new outboard interface & matching PCIe x1 card(s). Which one is best? Is this the only way to guarantee reliability?

-Sell the gaming computer and rebuild him an upgraded computer on a motherboard featuring PCI slots so he can keep using his old hardware. I can do this, but I feel like there has got to be a better option, and finding reliable older boards with PCI slots is getting harder.

-Other options you guys may think of?

Thank you so much for the help!!!
Last edited by Crustlord666 on Sat Nov 24, 2018 3:28 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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Scodiddly
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Re: Need Advice: How to Modernize Layla 24/96s?

Post by Scodiddly » Tue Nov 20, 2018 6:37 pm

A Dante-based stage box and a copy of Dante Virtual Soundcard for the computer?

EDIT: Here's a relevant rant: http://analogindustries.com/b1960/Dante+Inferno/
Last edited by Scodiddly on Wed Nov 21, 2018 6:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

kslight
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Re: Need Advice: How to Modernize Layla 24/96s?

Post by kslight » Tue Nov 20, 2018 7:04 pm

My interpretation of modernizing that setup involves getting a modern supported interface (probably external). Making care to dot your I’s And cross T’s with all the appropriate windows and motherboard support. If 16 channels is the minimum requirement then he’ll need to spend some money to get something good that i would trust (I personally like the modern Motu AVB series but they aren’t the only choice). I don’t know much about the Layla’s but i don’t think there is any hope in keeping them when moving to a modern system...they are quite old.

Then again, if it ain’t broke...what’s the rush to move on to a new system at all?

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floid
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Re: Need Advice: How to Modernize Layla 24/96s?

Post by floid » Wed Nov 21, 2018 10:16 am

kslight wrote:
Tue Nov 20, 2018 7:04 pm
Then again, if it ain’t broke...what’s the rush to move on to a new system at all?
I'd run that thing into the ground.
Village Idiot.

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losthighway
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Re: Need Advice: How to Modernize Layla 24/96s?

Post by losthighway » Wed Nov 21, 2018 11:50 am

Just curious, why doesn't your friend do this research on here?

Also, the effort on your part is very kind.

MoreSpaceEcho
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Re: Need Advice: How to Modernize Layla 24/96s?

Post by MoreSpaceEcho » Wed Nov 21, 2018 11:56 am

Crustlord666 wrote:
Tue Nov 20, 2018 2:50 pm

-Keep the outboard Layla 24/96s and find a new professional quality PCIe x1 card or cards that can take 16 channels in and make them individually available to a DAW, and has driver support in Windows 10, and would work as smoothly as the old Layla's did. Does this card exist? Would we be able to expect it to run as smoothly as a proprietary solution (see next)?
Unfortunately, I don't think this will work. A 16 channel PCIe card is no problem, I use this:

https://www.lynxstudio.com/products/aes16e/

However, I don't see that there's any way to connect a Layla to this. And I'm pretty sure the Layla will only work with it's own PCI card.
-Replace the Layla 24/96es: Get new outboard interface & matching PCIe x1 card(s). Which one is best? Is this the only way to guarantee reliability?
This is probably the only way to go. Unfortunately it won't be cheap.
-Sell the gaming computer and rebuild him an upgraded computer on a motherboard featuring PCI slots so he can keep using his old hardware. I can do this, but I feel like there has got to be a better option, and finding reliable older boards with PCI slots is getting harder.
Forget PCI. It's outdated tech. Even if you can find a current mobo with a PCI slot, the performance will not be great. Paul at Lynx told me this: "The newer chipsets have much poorer PCI performance unfortunately.
In most cases, PCI is bridged into PCIe which is very inefficient. "

Sorry to not have easy answers for you. But welcome to the board!

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losthighway
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Re: Need Advice: How to Modernize Layla 24/96s?

Post by losthighway » Wed Nov 21, 2018 1:17 pm

MoreSpaceEcho wrote:
Wed Nov 21, 2018 11:56 am

Forget PCI. It's outdated tech. Even if you can find a current mobo with a PCI slot, the performance will not be great. Paul at Lynx told me this: "The newer chipsets have much poorer PCI performance unfortunately.
In most cases, PCI is bridged into PCIe which is very inefficient. "

Sorry to not have easy answers for you. But welcome to the board!
Interesting. How's everyone going to interface then in the near future? It seems so intuitive to have your audio card slip right into your mother board.

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Re: Need Advice: How to Modernize Layla 24/96s?

Post by MoreSpaceEcho » Wed Nov 21, 2018 7:59 pm

Sorry, I should've been more specific. PCI is the outdated tech, not PCI-e.

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Re: Need Advice: How to Modernize Layla 24/96s?

Post by losthighway » Wed Nov 21, 2018 8:37 pm

MoreSpaceEcho wrote:
Wed Nov 21, 2018 7:59 pm
Sorry, I should've been more specific. PCI is the outdated tech, not PCI-e.
Oh. I don't think this one's on you. If it wasn't clear from my question I bought "the thing" from Lynx that made my Aurora work with "my computer machine". A more tech savvy reader was probably able to infer what you meant.

Crustlord666
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Re: Need Advice: How to Modernize Layla 24/96s?

Post by Crustlord666 » Sat Nov 24, 2018 3:31 pm

Thank you all for the replies!

Do you guys have suggestions for new Analog/Digital converter interfaces that take at least 16 channels and Windows 10 driver support? Should he go back to Windows 7 on the new machine to get better driver support? Are there better linux-native solutions?

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Re: Need Advice: How to Modernize Layla 24/96s?

Post by digitaldrummer » Sun Nov 25, 2018 8:59 am

I really like my Universal Audio Apollo 16. It's the one with the firewire interface, and even when I bought it a couple years ago, firewire was considered long in the tooth... (thanks to Thunderbolt) but I'll tell you they ain't cheap. The Antelope Orion 32 has pretty stable USB interface -- it even uses USB 2.0 which is readily available on most any Windows system. But again, not a cheap interface. But it was really nice (I owned one for a short time) and sounded great, not to mention 32 I/O allows you to spend even more money on outboard stuff! Both support Windows 10.

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Re: Need Advice: How to Modernize Layla 24/96s?

Post by kslight » Sun Nov 25, 2018 1:12 pm

Crustlord666 wrote:
Sat Nov 24, 2018 3:31 pm
Thank you all for the replies!

Do you guys have suggestions for new Analog/Digital converter interfaces that take at least 16 channels and Windows 10 driver support? Should he go back to Windows 7 on the new machine to get better driver support? Are there better linux-native solutions?
Motu 16a is nice.

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Re: Need Advice: How to Modernize Layla 24/96s?

Post by MoreSpaceEcho » Mon Nov 26, 2018 9:31 am

Crustlord666 wrote:
Sat Nov 24, 2018 3:31 pm
Should he go back to Windows 7 on the new machine to get better driver support?
I prefer 7 to 10 by a wide margin, but 7 is 'old' and if he's already got 10 on the machine, just keep that. Driver support shouldn't be an issue, everything should work with 10.

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