Dual stereo S/PDIF output USB/FireWire interface: 4 ch?

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Joined: 03/23/2005

Your guide to Firewire and USB audio interfaces is a great resource! I have been doing some research looking for something like the GigaPort AG with S/PDIF outputs. Here is what I am looking for...

USB or Firewire Audio Interface
Support for Mac OS X
USB or Firewire connection to Macintosh
Multiple stereo S/PDIF Digital Coaxial Audio Outputs
(2 Stereo Outputs would be enough)

For use with a muilt-channel audio application (e.g. Traktor)

The GigaPort AG is the perfect form factor, just replace the Analog RCA pairs with S/PDIF outputs. I looked at the Edirol UA-1X and UA-1D which looked promising but a sales rep told me via email that I shouldn't run two of them on the same system. I wonder if he knows what he is talking about and if there would really be a problem or if it would only be a problem on a Windows Based computer. Each UA-1X/D features only one stereo S/PDIF port. I figured you could just hookup two of the devices and select them in your software application like Traktor.

Quote:I cannot recommend using multiple UA-1D's as they were not designed to cohabitate on your computer.  Honestly, you can get it to work, but it's about the most irritating thing on earth to keep working properly, so the official word is that it is "outside of the intended scope of the device."

Do you or does anyone know of a product like this? There are a ton of Firewire and USB audio interfaces out there and a lot of them support S/PDIF but none, at least that I can find, support more than one (stereo) channel.

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Joined: 02/12/2009

I'm interested to know why you need both of your stereo outputs to be digital. I suppose that you are using an external digital mixer which has 2 stereo S/PDIF digital inputs? If not, going analog might save you a lot of grief. Or maybe use the built-in output on your mac (some macs even have a digital output) plus the S/PDIF output on an external interface.

I don't think any FireWire or USB device has two stereo S/PDIF outputs. (Some units have both S/PDIF and optical, but I don't think any of those can send a separate signal to each.) One workaround would be to use a multichannel interface with ADAT optical output, and send that 8-ch ADAT output to a device which can translate ADAT to multiple S/PDIF outputs. Or, just use the analog outputs of any interface and find a box which can do analog-to-S/PDIF.

To search out these devices, do a search on my interface guide for the test "ADAT" or "PDIF":
http://www.silentway.com/interfaces

Traktor DJ Studio can see multiple interfaces (kinda). To find real-world examples of compatibility, peruse the Traktor users' forum:
http://www.native-instruments.com/en/forumindex.php/

But in the end you'll have to bite the bullet and test it out yourself. Make sure you can return whatever you buy; get that 30-day guarantee!

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Joined: 03/23/2005

Thanks for the reply. It sounds like it will be a headache to get working and I may just go with the Gigaport AG. My mixer has S/PDIF inputs on every channel and I just thought it would be nice to take advantage of that. My CD players already come into the mixer on S/PDIF connections and I thought it would be nice to do the same from the laptop. If and when I do end up getting started, I'll probably just use analog. Probably won't even be able to tell the difference either. :)

There are a number of other issues that need to be worked out with Traktor before I will even consider trusting it in a live situation anyway.

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