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Users' Opinion - MaxiSound HS 64

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No hesitations, the Guillemot. Why ?

  1. This is a real 64 tracks (the SB has 32 in hardware + 32 in software)
  2. It has reverb and chorus effects (warning ! the effects affects the polyphony, even if it is not
  3. Sounds are in RAM
  4. 4. Memory can be extended with standard SIMM memory
  5. RCA ins/outs
  6. Four outs for 3D sound
  7. 7. The DREAM processor (new generation, the old one is now on the Quasimidi synthesiser...)
  8. The software, with which DtD can be immediately done.

Sebastien Hubert.

Here are my commentaries about the Maxi 64 Home Studio 2 or Pro (they are the same).

This soundcard has a lot of advantages. First, it is not expensive (about 1200 to 1600 francs for the pro version). Then, it has sound bank which is very loyal to the Roland SC55 (the 4Mo sounds in Ram were made by Roland). It has a sampling function, with a memory which can be extended to 20Mo, but the sample size won?t exceed 256ko.

Now, let?s see the recording part.

This card manages 16 tracks thanks to a DSP without using the processor, which is very advantageous to use effects at the same time, but we can make it play 32 tracks easily! Moreover, because of an excellent configuration of the ASIO drivers, 8 virtual groups are available, which is really noticeable !

The frequency used is 44.1kHz, but it can play a 48kHz master if necessary. The sound quality and the dynamic are excellent : signal-to-noise ratio = 89dB and 91dB on the daughterboard !

It has nevertheless a drawback : there is a background noise at -60dB. You still have to hear something at this level...

Be careful ! The daughterboard digital in can?t be synchronized on another device (the frequency is blocked on 44100Hz). This can produce clicks on the frequencies near 8kHz if your DAT (or other) sends its signal at a frequency of 44098Hz for example...

Tips : the main card has jumpers behind the mini-jack ins, which correspond to other further ins? I made a rack with XLR and 6.35 jack ins? far better than the mini-jacks... ARKONIS.

No problem with this card. I principally record a guitar through the line in of the motherboard with a Shure SM58 and a tape-recorder in order to amplify the signal. I use the midi for the rhythms and some synth chords. I notice a time-lag in the midi note length when I play the audio at the same time. This time-lag can be suppressed by transforming midi into audio track by track. I can apply an effect (reverb, eq, chorus) created by the soundcard without recording this effect on the HDD. The 20 Mo are used for the samples, which are unhappily limited to 256 ko each. Jean-Rémy.

I just throw my Gold64 away, and I put instead a Guillemot Home Studio 64 Pro. The soundcard is actually made of two soundcards more or less fitted into each other! The card is perfectly installed, no configuration problem, etc?

After the reading of the installation manual, I still don?t understand how this soundcard works. In the ?mixing device properties?, we can choose ESS or DREAM. ESS is the standard soundcard, which is on the main card, and DREAM is the additional card, with RCA and S/PDIF ins/outs.

The mixing board is not handy: we can mix the output of one card to the other (what is the use?) and there are four windows to set the playing and recording options. With the fact that some settings have an influence on others! The real mess. And only one track can be recorded at the same time (mic or line or cd). That?s a pity.

Well, I don?t lose hope. I send a mail to Guillemot, they answer me that a new mixing board is being developed and that for the moment we have to use this one. Despite this, it works well.

I try to configure the card on Cubase VST, and it upset me, since I wanted to use every combination. Actually, only one works, here is the setting:

In ?presets?, choose ?Windows Full Duplex?. In ?output?, choose ?Dream 9407 (number 1) and in ?input? choose ?Bream 9407 Wave Record?. Don?t forget the ?detect buffers size?. The synchro reference has to be ?DAM Block Output? and that?s all. After that, we can control the synchro and memorized the preset. I didn?t manage to use any combination with ESS, that?s a pity. Despite all these problems, this solution works well and the converters keep their promises. Nosing about, I found another mixing board (in Quartz Audio Master (sndvol64) that allows to switch on the Dream ins by clicking on the hq daughter ins, but all the rest is switched off (including the monitoring on ESS). Here we are, all is said. With Cubase, the whole works perfectly well, but I?m disappointed we cannot use the ESS standard card easily, and not at all with Cubase.

PS: the synth sounds are not wonderful, more or less the same as the Gold?s. Jean-François

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