Onyx Firewire

Schniapereli

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Nov 19, 2006
Location
Provo, Utah, United States
My dad is trying to hook up a mixer to a surround sound receiver with a distance of 200 feet, while using the least cables possible.

He has an Onyx 1620 from which the signal will be sent to a Denon AVR 2807. He has the optional firewire cord, but the Denon surround sound reciever does not have a Firewire input.

There are other surround sound recievers with Firewire input, but these are $4k, and we would like to find an alternative.

Are there any good Firewire to analog converters out there? I have found a lot that convert Firewire video, but none that convert Firewire audio.

Also, since the Onyx has only a Firewire 400 (6-pin) output, would we have to use a FW400-FW800 adaptor to let the signal travel 200 feet?
(FW400 has a limit of about 5 Meters, and FW800 has a limit of 100 Meters...right? Correct me if I am wrong.)

Or, is firewire the best way to do this? The speaker sytem is basically like a movie theater, but he is using a mixer with CD, and Microphone inputs.
 

mbenonis

Wireless Guy
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I don't know if this would work, but you might look into one of the many FireWire computer interfaces out there by MOTU, et. al.

As far as distance goes, just converting the connector won't work to extend range. That said, I bet if you used decent cable, you could get more than 5m out of your FIreWire connection.
 

koncept

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Mar 6, 2005
Location
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i thought the firewire interface on the onyx was only for connections to computers and not other audio equipment???
 

SHARYNF

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Sep 3, 2006
I think you will find that what you are trying to do simply will not work. There is a lot of confusion re firewire etc.

The most common firewire, is from camcorders it is either 4 or 6 pin, with the 6 pin version simply adding power, it sends a block of compressed date which has audio video timecode and control, it can either connect to another camcorder or to a device that has a firewire interface and can decode the blocks, typically this is a pc with a fire wire interface and video capture software.

the next most common firewire connection is a data device connection, this is for a hard drive or a dvd drive where instead of a paralled disk drive interface the system uses a firewire and connects the device as a peripheral, this is typically limited hard drives/cd/dvd etc

the next most common firewire connection is for networking, this was probably supposed to be more common, never really took off, but Windows etc will show our firewire connection as a net work connection, this is for data transmission between two network devices

The other firewire connection is for audio, where the system sends an audio packet with the imbedded tracks, RME was one of the early people to do this, and now more and more devices use this BUT and this is the BIG BUT you need to have their software on the other end to decode it, so for instance if you use RME you need their drivers for your audio ap, or if you use the Mbox or Digidesign or Onyx etc you need to have their software driver interface

Firewire is distance sensitive, there are long distance cables,but they typically ONLY work for video 100 meg version are very expensive and only work up to about 120 feet. The audio interfaces and the higher end data interfaces are typically 400 and up and cannot work over the distance youa re looking at

I do not believe that Mackie makes a device that can take the firewire output from the Onyx and convert it to analog line that you could use to transmit the signal.

Sharyn
 

soundlight

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Oct 27, 2005
Location
NJ & NYC
I also disagree with the idea that FireWire will work for this project. Unless you have a computer with a very good audio interface card to output the audio on the other end, and you decrease the distance significantly, you're not going to be able to make it work. FireWire is basically just a way to get the audio from the mixer to the computer, not from the mixer to anywhere else. I don't know if an AES/EBU or S/PDIF system would work due to distance limitations, but if so, you could get an AES/EBU interface, run it down that, and then break out through another AES/EBU box at the other end. Or Cobranet, but that's getting really pricey...
 

Eboy87

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May 3, 2004
Location
Chicago, IL
If you're dead set on using the mixer, run your inputs there, mix it down however you like, then get something to convert the analog signal to fiber-optic. I'm not sure if the Denon would accept the optical from a piece of pro audio gear, but I know ours does from a PS2 and the cable box, but if it does, it does, but it ain't practical.

No offence intended, but I really don't see this working out too well. Why is he adamit (sp?) about using the ONYX for this purpose? What is the purpose for the room? Is it a home theater? Movie theater that can be used for performances too? If you still want to use the mixer, there are surround sound encoders on the market that might work, but they are fabulously expensive. This might do what you want http://www.dolby.com/assets/pdf/tech_library/113_pa_sp_0403_EX_EU4_Spec.pdf I must confess that I don't know much about this sort of thing. I just read an article a few years ago about using these encoders for surround sound in a theater (read, plays), and have no idea how they'd stack up in the home market.

But like I said, I'm not exactly sure what you're trying to accomplish or why.
 
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koncept

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Mar 6, 2005
Location
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i would have to agree with eboy. fiber optics are the way to go. it will give you the distance you need with out any problems. but you may need some converters as mentioned above.
 

soundlight

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Location
NJ & NYC
You've got a third for optical fibers. They're really the way to do things these days, and you can run them for very long distances without signal loss.
 

Schniapereli

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Nov 19, 2006
Location
Provo, Utah, United States
...ya, I was thinking that the firewire was not really the way to go, but my dad doesn't take my opinion that seriously... it's nice to have professional backup...

But, I will talk to him about the fiber optics.

If others like Eboy are wondering, he is basically trying to make a space ship. Their website is iWorlds.com The footage is from an elementary school that started the program, called the Christa McAuliffe SPace Education Center (CMSEC). My dad has helped out a lot there, and is now starting up a business with it. (the fieldtrip video is like the only good video on there...)
 

SHARYNF

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Sep 3, 2006
I have to disagree
Fiber Optic is great IF you have the encoders and decoders. The optical input on the Denon receiver is looking for a dolby digital encoded signal AC-3 (assuming in all this that they whole reason you are looking for the answer to these question and interface to the denon is to be able to use the multi channel ability.

AC 3 dolby digital ENCODERS are in the multi thousands. The cheap encoders that you sometimes see on Ebay are the old two channel only versions.

Digital decoders are easy, digital multi channel encoders in real time are a totally different thing.

For 200 feet you could get a multi channel snake, and feed your signal back to the Denon, THEN you need to get a unit that converts balanced to unbalanced.

I too have to ask what is it that you are trying to accomplish, if it is to connect the onyx to the denon for doing a surround sound mix???

Sharyn
 

Schniapereli

Active Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2006
Location
Provo, Utah, United States
Yes, that is basically what my dad is trying to do. I told him that the mixer could only provide left and right channels. The speakers will all have sound coming out of them, but it won't be 5.1 surround sound.

He wants the Onyx to be in his little control room, and the denon (or maybe a different brand, or different model) to be 100 to 200 feet away, along with the rest of the speakers.

If you've seen the other post where I explained his job. (iWorlds) He is trying to make 6 ships, with 1 control room kinda in the center. (each ship will still have its own mixer, etc.)
 

chrizEHS

Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2007
i know nothing about high-end audio transmission interfaces, so let me throw my 2 cents in and you guys can shut me down. Use SPDIF coaixal (it seems in longer distances the coax is cheaper than the optical) Ok
 

SHARYNF

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Sep 3, 2006
The problem as I read it is that the need is to be able to send more than just a stereo feed down the connection, the reason for the denon (I think) is that it is really multi channel amp and the need is to be able to send different audio feeds all at the same time to the same amp but different speakers.


It is POSSIBLE and mackie might have tried it, to use a firewire to optical converter like the Gefen unit http://www.kvm-switches-online.com/ext-fw-1394b.html

But you are looking at about a 1000 dollar solution, and then you are going to need a pc with firewire by the denon, have audio software that can take in the 16 channels of audio in real time, and then output them in real time (or probably close enough real time allowing for some letency to then output it via a multi channel audio card, and then to the denon.

IMO MIGHT work but is really expensive. Problem is you already have the onyx, The onyx has 4 aux sends, and has direct out balanced. So if you got say 3 of the ART cleanbox and used these to convert your balanced feeds from the onyx to unbalanced rca at the denon it should work. you would then just run a 6 channel snake for the run from the onyx to the art boxes.

Basically what you are doing is setting up 6 channels of analog output from the onyx (you will not be using the firewire at all for this) run these balanced feeds back to the denon location but use the Art units to convert the long balanced runs to unbalanced rca connection.
Hope this might be a solution

Sharyn
 

BenFranske

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Jan 18, 2004
Location
Edina, MN
This all assumes the Denon has seperate analog inputs available for each speaker, something that is often not true. At this point I think it's fair to say it will be extremely expensive (in home theater terms) to do this so realistically you might want to look at just doing a stereo feed.
 

SHARYNF

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2006
If you look at the Denon AVR 2807 you will see that it has 8 analog inputs, allowing you full access to the 8 channels BUT you only have 7 internal amps, reason being that it assumes that you have a powered sub

http://www.usa.denon.com/ProductDetails/3038.asp

http://www.usa.denon.com/AVR-2807LitFinal.pdf shows clearly in the picture of the rear panel the individual rca inputs for the channels

As I am reading the request, my understanding is that the whole reason for the question is the need to have different audio for the different locations, so IMO going back to stereo is not what is required, in addition since the specific Denon receiver was listed along with the specific Onyx it is possible to give a recommendation based in the equipment that has been selected

Sharyn
 
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vlaho

Member
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Feb 21, 2007
Location
Zagreb, Croatia
Sorry, but Mackie Onyx audio mixer has firewire output after gain control just for recording input channels with computer ( nuendo or similar) + master L+R and have posibility to return 2 channels back from computer for monitoring purposes. Nothing else. For surround remixes with some AV receivers the best way is computer with multichannel sound card ( m-audio FW410) and posssibility to interconnect sound card with digital ( coax or optical cable)