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I want to update my "mix-down" setup for audio recording, and I'm unclear what equipment I need.

I currently have a Roland VS-1880 multitrack recorder. It offers an RCA SPDIF digital out. I ran the digital out into a Turtle Beach Montego II sound card on a Windows 98 box. The Turtle Beach card had RCA SPDIF digial ins. I used Sound Forge on the computer to record the input coming in from the VS-1880 and mixed down songs in real time.

Secondary, I would also convert audio cassettes to digital form using a Midiman Flying Calf A/D converter. ( Midiman is now M-Audio ). The converter accepted the analog RCA outs from a tape deck and gave me an RCA SPDIF Digital Out, which I ran into the Montego II Sound Card.

This setup worked great for many years; but the Windows 98 machine has outgrown it's usefulness. The Turtle Beach Sound card is long since discontinued and drivers do not exist for current operating systems. After a half day trying to get it working i a Windows 2003 box, I gave up.

It would be my preference not to have to replace the VS-1880, or the Flying Calf. I'd like to replace the Win98 computer with an old HP Laptop running Windows XP. This laptop has both Firewire and USB.

How do I get the RCA SPDIF Outs from my two devices into a laptop?

It appears that the Edirol UA-1D is exactly what I need, however the unit seems to be no longer available.

Most other units appear to offer digital inputs use Mini-Toslink. Two units I found were the M-Audio Transit and Edirol UA-1Ex.

So, onto the questions:

What equipment do I need to get the RCA SPDIF Digital out of my units into a laptop? Is it possible to get a cable from my RCA SPDIF outs to a MiniToslink in?

Reviews seem mixed as to whether USB devices like this are worthwhile. Are there alternative devices I should be exploring?

I'd prefer not to have to spend $5K on a high end recording / conversion unit.

Thanks; and I hope this question is deemed appropriate for this site. :-)

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migrated from serverfault.com Sep 9 '09 at 14:47

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2 Answers

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I was going to suggest to the M-Audio Transit. But, I also recommend the M-Audio Firewire Solo recording interface. It has rca spdif in and out. It is like $200 bucks new and you can find used ones for 100-150. I own one and it works great.

http://maudio.net/products/en_us/FireWireSolo.html

solo back

solo front

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On paper this sounds like exactly what I need, although I wish there was a cheaper option. If I were to go w/ M-Audio Transit, do you know what type of cable / connection I'd need to go from the RCA SPDIF to a 1/8" digital? –  Reboog711 Sep 10 '09 at 15:53
    
I ended up getting the M-Audio Fast Track Pro; which works except for the fact that I can't monitor the input through the computer's speakers. –  Reboog711 May 30 '10 at 19:35
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Well, we have a m-audio mbox 2 which has rca spdif input, and comes with protools. It's less than 1K usd (ours was about 800 to 900 singapore dollars) and should work i think. One craveat is the software needs at LEAST 1 gb of ram.

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The MBox 2 or MBox 2 Pro appear to have exactly what I want. digidesign.com/… For the sake of completeness, the MBox 2 Mini doesn't have digital I/O; and the MBox 2 Micro doesn't have any input at all. Thank you for the answer. –  Reboog711 Sep 10 '09 at 15:50
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