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Gigantoad
Joined: Aug 17 2011
Posts: 8

H8000FW routing limitations

August 21, 2011 - 05:57 am

Hi all

I'm having a little trouble with the routing. I invested quite a bit of time and at least I think I pretty much understood how it works in general by now, but I'm running into some limitations and want to confirm they really exist.

Prior to buying the H8000FW, I was lead to believe that anything can be routed to anything. I was also under the assumption that I could use the unit as a full firewire audio interface, utilising the analog inputs to connect instruments such as synthesizers, using the A/D with sources coming from my DAW (Ableton) to output a clean signal to my small mixer and the monitors, and of course also fully use both DSP's for adding effects via return tracks.

But this doesn't seem to be possible? The best thing I could come up with is this:


The obvious flaw here is only 2 DSP channels each. I wouldn't be able to use all those presets that use 4 or 8 channels, is that correct? Furthermore, no parallel use of the DSP's, so would be stuck with just one return track.

The big limiting factor here seems to be the Main-in and Main-out blocks. With firewire inputs and analog inputs forced to go through the Main-in with just 8 channels available, this kinda acts like a funnel for the whole system.

Am I stuck with this or did I just misunderstand something? Thanks for any help.

t_tangent
Joined: Sep 9 2008
Posts: 61
August 21, 2011 - 08:38 am

Hi Gigantoad,

You can use more than 2 channels each, and yes there are a variety of ways that things can be connected up. I take it from the picture you have posted that you have already downloaded and installed the Routing Utility. If not then definately get that as it allows you to quickly change settings and can store multiple routing templates that can be switched on the fly. There is a version for PC and for Mac on the support page http://www.eventide.com/AudioDivision/Support/Harmonizers%20and%20Rack%20Products/H8000%20Series.aspx

Have a look at the Routing Utiity manual. On the first page is an example of 8 inputs coming in via AES and then being routed directly to DSP A then back out to DSP B before all 8 channels being finally sent out to AES out ADAT out and Firewire out. That is just one example of many ways to route the ins and outs.

Page 24 of the H8000 User manual explains the routing rules.

Personally I have mine connected via ADAT and use the 8 channels in and out from that, but it can be connected in many other ways. Let us know how you get on.

Cheers

t_t

Gigantoad
Joined: Aug 17 2011
Posts: 8
August 21, 2011 - 10:58 am

Yes I have the routing utility. Couldn't get it to connect to my H8000FW yet but I guess I'd need a serial cable (didn't work with midi yet). That's another story though.

It is the utility that brings me to the conclusion: I cannot use all analog ins, 2 firewire ins to use in the DAW for clean A/D (cirumventing the DSP's) while still having a reasonable number of DSP channels for effecting. I have read the routing sections in the manual up and down but such a use case is nowhere to be found, even though I thought it would be the most commonly desired way of using the unit. Using it as the main audio interface (much like any other sound card). After all, that's what the firewire is for right?

Checked the page you mentioned in the routing utility manual. It neither uses firewire nor analog ins. I cannot use AES or ADAT, for that I'd need another audio interface and then drive the H8000FW from there. At that point there would be no reason to use it as a firewire audio interface anymore at all though. My goal was to use the unit as the main audio interface, connected directly to the PC through firewire.

nickrose's picture
Eventide Staff
nickrose
Joined: Jan 17 2008
Posts: 4320
August 21, 2011 - 01:11 pm

Orville, the H8000's more limited predecessor, was pretty much anything to anything. The H8000 has a few restrictions, mainly associated, as you observe, with the Main-in and Main out blocks.

But, it's not as bad as you think. There's no reason why in the above example you cannot connect all the dsp inputs, rather than just two. Equally, the Main-out block allows two inputs to eah channel, allowing the dsps to be run in parallel.

Similarly the FW,  AES8 and ADAT in can be connected directly to FW, AES and ADAT out, without going through the dsps. The main restriction is that the Analog in and AES4 inputs can only connect to Main-in, while Main-out is hardwired to Analog and AES4 out.

Gigantoad
Joined: Aug 17 2011
Posts: 8
August 21, 2011 - 01:52 pm

Hmm, something like this?

That's pretty confusing. Perhaps you could create a diagram showing the best way to do what I want?

Gigantoad
Joined: Aug 17 2011
Posts: 8
August 28, 2011 - 05:51 am
nickrose:

Orville, the H8000's more limited predecessor, was pretty much anything to anything. The H8000 has a few restrictions, mainly associated, as you observe, with the Main-in and Main out blocks.

But, it's not as bad as you think. There's no reason why in the above example you cannot connect all the dsp inputs, rather than just two. Equally, the Main-out block allows two inputs to eah channel, allowing the dsps to be run in parallel.

Similarly the FW,  AES8 and ADAT in can be connected directly to FW, AES and ADAT out, without going through the dsps. The main restriction is that the Analog in and AES4 inputs can only connect to Main-in, while Main-out is hardwired to Analog and AES4 out.

Can you explain the bolded part? I still don't see how to connect more DSP inputs in my first example if I need all analog ins and one clean pair of firewire.

Also you wrote that FW in can be connected directly fo FW out, which would really help, but the routing utility doesn't allow that. Once again I need to take the detour through the Main in and Main out funnel.

nickrose's picture
Eventide Staff
nickrose
Joined: Jan 17 2008
Posts: 4320
August 21, 2011 - 02:49 pm

Not quite sure what it is you want. It will be best if you can do it yourself on the Routing (for some reason I can't copy and paste graphics here.

What you have looks reasonable, except I'm not sure why you are feeding all the dsps from Main-in 7 and 8 only. The connections to FW1 out are also criss-crossed.

Gigantoad
Joined: Aug 17 2011
Posts: 8
August 21, 2011 - 03:27 pm

Is it really so unclear what I want? I'm so sorry :)

Let me try and explain slowly. Let's say you have a PC with your favorite DAW running on it. You have a bunch of external synthesizers. You now buy a H8000FW and you want to use it as both a firewire interface and an effects unit at the same time.

So it needs to do 3 things:

1. Act as an audio interface like any other soundcard. Signals from the DAW need to be sent out to it over firewire and from there be converted to analog and output to monitors, clean without effects (apparently this needs to be firewire 1/2 as I did not find a way to tell either Ableton or the driver which outputs are for the main audio).


2. It needs to receive signals from the synthesizers for recording into the DAW. So it goes the other way, converting the signal to digital. Again clean, without effects added.

3. Act as an effect processor obviously. This should be done by send/return tracks in your DAW. Have that return track output the signal to the H8000 DSP (say into H8000 firewire 3/4 in) and back again into the DAW (from H8000 firewire 3/4 out). Ideally, there would be 2 return tracks each sending to one of the DSPs. Like this you could have two separate effects added to any track you choose.

Sorry if it wasn't clear, it just that for me this is such no brainer and I'm suprised that it isn't the vast majority of people who would want to set it up like that. I feel this setup is the only reason why you would add firewire support to the H8000 in the first place.

To post images I just upload them to http://tinypic.com which needs no registration, copy the URL and then do "Insert Media > by URL".

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Eventide Staff
nickrose
Joined: Jan 17 2008
Posts: 4320
August 30, 2011 - 12:11 pm

Gigantoad:

Can you explain the bolded part? I still don't see how to connect more DSP inputs

Any or all the DSP inputs can be connected to any of the Main-in outputs, or any of the DSP outputs. Can you be more specific - exactly what inputs are you unable to connect to what outputs ? As far as I know, the routing program is correct - anything it says you can't do, you can't do.

Gigantoad:

Also you wrote that FW in can be connected directly fo FW out, which would really help, but the routing utility doesn't allow that.

Sorry - you are right here - I was wrong. There is some hardware restriction (which I never understand) that stops you from doing this.

robert
Joined: Sep 7 2010
Posts: 29
September 10, 2011 - 08:27 am

Hi Gigantoad, I think I have found a solution. I was looking for a portable live setup where the harmonizer is used both as an AD/DA and FX box. I came up with a routing setup that provides the following features:

DA: FW1 inputs 1/2 straight to Analog out 1/2 (for monitoring or main outputs of computer).

AD: Analog inputs 3/4 straight to FW1 out 3/4 (for recording analog gear).

FX: Four channels of firewire IO available for DSP processing. For example in two discrete send/return pairs, each taking their own DSP. 

I tested it, and it works. I'll try to upload pictures, but that seems to be a bit of a black magic here. ;)

Robert

robert
Joined: Sep 7 2010
Posts: 29
September 10, 2011 - 08:55 am

Well it all starts with this plain AD/DA routing:

[View:http://qwave.de/robert/pics/adda.tiff:550:0]

The FW1 inputs 1/2 are linked to the Main Input block, because they cannot be directly linked to the analog output block. From there they are linked straight to the Main Out block slots 1/2, and the default link to the analog outputs 1/2 provides your DA monitoring output.

The Analog inputs 3/4 are linked to the Main Input block, because they cannot be directly linked to the FW1 output block. Main In 3/4 are then linked to Main Out 3/4, and finally to FW1 out 3/4 for your AD work. Note that the default connection to Analog out 3/4 will echo this signal! Simply do not listen to Analog out 3/4. ;)

So the AD/DA functionality takes half the slots in the Main Input block. The rest of the slots are still free though, as well as both DSPs. You'd use FW1 inputs 5/6/7/8 to reach the DSPs, and route the processed signal back to FW1 outputs 5/6/7/8. One of the options is to have FW1 5/6 use DSP-A and FW1 7/8 use DSP-B. Such a routing is shown in the following picture:

[View:http://qwave.de/robert/pics/adda-dsp.tiff:550:0]

Hope this helps.

Robert

Gigantoad
Joined: Aug 17 2011
Posts: 8
September 10, 2011 - 11:03 am

Hi Robert, thanks for for your explanation. Indeed that is pretty much what I came up with as well, except:

You are using only 2 analog inputs and that frees up the 2 slots on the main in to send another pair to DSP B basically. If you had to use all 4 analog ins though you'd be stuck with 2 channels total for both DSP's just like me, allowing no parallel use.

Furthermore, as far as I know, you'd be stuck with presets that use only 2 channels of either DSP like that, so you won't be able to use these 4-8 channel ones. I mean, you will be able to use them, but they won't sound as intended. Or maybe I'm wrong and I just don't understand how these DSP channels work. 

I find it unfortunate that it seems impossible to use the unit as both a firewire audio interface with all 4 analog ins and a full blown effects processor with 2 parallel DSP's at the same time. I really think 16 main in channels would have helped a lot. Or remove these main in/out blocks entirely and let me route anything to anything, just like the product description says.

As it stands now I cannot use it as a DA unless I want to considerably limit the effects. So I really need to use another audio interface to handle my studio gear.

robert
Joined: Sep 7 2010
Posts: 29
September 10, 2011 - 12:41 pm
Gigantoad:

You are using only 2 analog inputs and that frees up the 2 slots on the main in to send another pair to DSP B basically. If you had to use all 4 analog ins though you'd be stuck with 2 channels total for both DSP's just like me, allowing no parallel use.

The 2 analog inputs are more than enough for me, since I either feed these inputs from an analog mixer, or directly from the source. I'm using these inputs only to sample/record analog sources, not for mixing analog live sources.

[quote]

Furthermore, as far as I know, you'd be stuck with presets that use only 2 channels of either DSP like that, so you won't be able to use these 4-8 channel ones. I mean, you will be able to use them, but they won't sound as intended. Or maybe I'm wrong and I just don't understand how these DSP channels work. 

Afaik the DSP presets using 4 or 8 outputs are designed for quad and surround setups. Your whole studio- or live setup would have to be that 'wide' in terms of output channels to make these presets useful. In my case I'm simply stereo all the way, so no loss.

No doubt though that some of these 'many-out' presets would do perfectly well in a stereo setting. Remember that I have 4 firewire IO channels available (5,6,7 and 8), and I have an alternative routing here where these 5 go into DSP A, which is connected to DSP B, which is connected to the four FW1 outputs 5,6,7,8. So that would give you a 4-channel wide bus to play with. Didn't post that picture, tell me if you need it.

Hi Gigantoad.

[quote]

I find it unfortunate that it seems impossible to use the unit as both a firewire audio interface with all 4 analog ins and a full blown effects processor with 2 parallel DSP's at the same time. I really think 16 main in channels would have helped a lot. Or remove these main in/out blocks entirely and let me route anything to anything, just like the product description says.

As it stands now I cannot use it as a DA unless I want to considerably limit the effects. So I really need to use another audio interface to handle my studio gear.

I see your pain, and it looks like you use your AD device as a mixer for your analog gear, so you need as many analog inputs as you can get. In that case there's a problem indeed. But like I wrote above, I'm totally happy with two analog ins and two analog outs, especially considering the quality. 

Robert

Gigantoad
Joined: Aug 17 2011
Posts: 8
September 10, 2011 - 02:03 pm

Check out the pitch shifters in the 54 bank, lots of 4 channels stuff there. But yeah I'll probably have to change my setup somewhat and do it more like you.

robert
Joined: Sep 7 2010
Posts: 29
September 10, 2011 - 05:42 pm

These 4-output presets can handled with the following routing:

[View:http://qwave.de/robert/pics/adda-dsp-series.tiff:550:0]

Again a variant of the original AD/DA routing with a different take on how to use those 4 free firewire channels. This one is 4 channels into DSP A, then sent to DSP B, and finally 4 channel back into FW1.

Note that you could go for a mixed variant, where FW1 inputs 5/6 go into DSP-A and FW1 inputs 7/8 go into DSP-B, and both DSPs have the first 4 of their outputs mixed together in Main Out block 5,6,7,8. Nothing wrong with having a couple of these routings available and switch when needed. This might even be doable with a MIDI program change message.

Robert

jhstark
Joined: Nov 22 2015
Posts: 9

follow up from long ago

May 14, 2019 - 05:24 pm

Gigantoad,

I realize these posts were from ancient history, but I am still struggling with the exact same issue. Were you ever successful in adding a second audio interface and using both of them with Ableton Live ? I have tried this confiuration using ASIO4ALL, and did not get the resuls I hoped for. I found with Windows 7, ABL 8, H8000FW, that the only working HW I/O configuration is with only the Eventide DICE driver selected, but I did not try multiple alternate ausio interfaces. It would be tempting to sell the H8000FW, but I'm very hesitant to jump into the H9000 after my experience with the H8000FW. For some reason, all the routing 'limitations' seem to interfere with my setup. I am an electronics engineer by trade, and I find the H8000FW to be very cryptic and also inconsistent. Unforunate indeed.

Gigantoad wrote:

Hi Robert, thanks for for your explanation. Indeed that is pretty much what I came up with as well, except:

You are using only 2 analog inputs and that frees up the 2 slots on the main in to send another pair to DSP B basically. If you had to use all 4 analog ins though you'd be stuck with 2 channels total for both DSP's just like me, allowing no parallel use.

Furthermore, as far as I know, you'd be stuck with presets that use only 2 channels of either DSP like that, so you won't be able to use these 4-8 channel ones. I mean, you will be able to use them, but they won't sound as intended. Or maybe I'm wrong and I just don't understand how these DSP channels work. 

I find it unfortunate that it seems impossible to use the unit as both a firewire audio interface with all 4 analog ins and a full blown effects processor with 2 parallel DSP's at the same time. I really think 16 main in channels would have helped a lot. Or remove these main in/out blocks entirely and let me route anything to anything, just like the product description says.

As it stands now I cannot use it as a DA unless I want to considerably limit the effects. So I really need to use another audio interface to handle my studio gear.

nickrose's picture
Eventide Staff
nickrose
Joined: Jan 17 2008
Posts: 4320

This is now a very old

May 15, 2019 - 09:01 pm

This is now a very old product (essentially almost 20 years) and is not  going to be able to meet expectations that were created long after it was designed.

That said, it has great sound quality and a huge range of effects, which are hard to match. Its ability to create original algorithms (more than just presets) is probably also unequalled. Horses and courses.

But, given its age, it has limitations in computer capability.

The H9000 is in its early days, but is light years ahead in both power and interface capability. Years of development and technology will do that.

 

 

jhstark
Joined: Nov 22 2015
Posts: 9

Mr. Rose,

May 16, 2019 - 12:21 pm

Mr. Rose,

Thanks for your reply. In addition to being an amature musician, I am an electronics engineer and appreciate your comments regarding the age and pedigree of the H8000FW. Perhaps Eventide should have never introduced the Firewire interface to the H8000. The FW I/F set the expectation that users would be able to fully exploit the capabilities with the ease of intuitive GUI's that would be developed for MAC/PC. Unforutnately, neither Eventide or third parties ever invested in developing these applications, which is understandable based on likely return on investment. I could envision a woderful set of SW tools that would enhanced user's satisfaction with the H8000FW, even given it's age and 'limitations'. It is sad such a capable product has became orphaned and will only truly be appreciated by those who have the time, knowledge, and expterise to learn all of the idiosynchracies and technical 'tricks' required to fully integrate the device in a current day DAW environment.

Regards,

Jack S.

tmoravan
Joined: Apr 19 2010
Posts: 59

IMHO a 20 year run is hardly

May 20, 2019 - 05:27 am

IMHO a 20 year run is hardly being orphaned.  I got many great years out of the H8000FW's that were here.

Now they are being sold on the used market for very attractive prices, so maybe picking up a second unit (or 3rd) would be a viable solution for you.

jhstark
Joined: Nov 22 2015
Posts: 9

I've only owned my H8000FW

May 23, 2019 - 12:01 pm

I've only owned my H8000FW for about 5 years, and there are merchants that still offer them new. Thanks to Mr. Italo de Angelis, I have new life for my H8000FW. Italo should still be on the Eventide payroll, he is likely the best resource out there for the user community. I purchased and loaded up his 80 patch "Time and Space Library', and it is exactly the kind of effects I really wanted from my unit that are not in the factory presets. I also was not interested in becoming a VSig expert algorithm developer (although that is really a compelling feature of the Eventide products that supprt it). I almost made the mistake of selling my H8000FW and upgrading to the H9000, then I found out it doesn't even have the Ultrashifters - most unfortunate. It should have had 'super' Ultrashifters at the time of offering, including the abillity to shitf an input format to any MIDI input note, The poor MIDI not implementation on the H8000FW should have been corrected to support this valuable function. In any case, I now have a truly useful set of presets and a fully Ableton integrated effects processor that meets my expectation - only took five years.