I run SPDIF out of the FM3 and Axe III to my Focusrite 8i6. Just works best for my workflow needs.
I have an audient ID14mk2 and it has the same adat input. I had to get a cheap spdif to toslink box from Amazon to take the spdif out from the axefx2 and into that digital input on the audient. I prefer to use this method over the axefx USB because my headphones and monitors are plugged into the audient and I don’t want to have to juggle cables every time I record on the axe.Wait....there's actually two different kinds of SPDIF? I actually think my Audient has the optical one.
It says on description "2 ADAT inputs and outputs for digital expansion"
So does that mean I have to go with XLR's then?
I have an audient ID14mk2 and it has the same adat input. I had to get a cheap spdif to toslink box from Amazon to take the spdif out from the axefx2 and into that digital input on the audient. I prefer to use this method over the axefx USB because my headphones and monitors are plugged into the audient and I don’t want to have to juggle cables every time I record on the axe.
You can definitely just use xlr outs from the axe units but if you want 0 loss (digital signal) then spdif via toslink is a great solution.
One thing to have into consideration... If your interface has XLR/TRS combo inputs check if the XLR can be set to line level. My Focusrite Scarlett is set to Mic level whenever an XLR is plugged, only the TRS jacks can be set to either Line or (in case of the front inputs) Instrument level. If your Audient works like this, I'd recommend getting a XLR to TRS cable or going out via Output 2 (set to copy Output 1)
As others have mentioned, if you like the color your preamps gives to the sound that's good. I like S/PDIF better for the convenience of using a single cable for stereo signal, avoiding one extra stage of AD/DA conversion and setting my levels directly in the FM3 instead of messing with the interface's gain and struggle balancing the level of the two inputs.
I'm in Australia and this is the one I ordered, I'm sure they all have the same circuitry inside (at a glance yes your one would be fine) - https://www.amazon.com.au/gp/product/B08B89D3T2/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
I'm not sure what the actual latency is, but to me its no different than playing over USB. Latency is something that usually cheeses me out, but I don't notice anything on this SPDIF method (or USB). The only times I've noticed latency is when I've chucked a limiter or some other plugin in my session which is the offender. I'll just bypass those and continue tracking.
S/PDiF and ADAT are both real-time audio connections as are AES and MADI. USB is not. I’d always opt for those over USB.
Though, if you connect any of those (or analog XLR or TRS) to an external I/O that is connected w/USB to the computer, the connection will only be as fast as that last USB connection.
It just makes more sense to connect the FM3 to a computer directly w/USB.
Only benefit of using an external I/O would be using a Universal Audio one with a DSP accelerator in it to run their plugins during tracking…. OR:
You’re recording more than 2 tracks at a time and you’re computer can’t pair with two different digital I/O’s at the same time.
The Audient does have combo inputs but I can't see if it's possible to change between line level or mic level when using XLR. But why would it matter? Just wondering.
Also, I'm not quite following you here: If your Audient works like this, I'd recommend getting a XLR to TRS cable or going out via Output 2 (set to copy Output 1)
Can you elaborate? Thanks!
The FM3 sends a Line level signal via the Output 1 XLR, if you interface's XLR input is hardwired to Mic Level, then your signal coming out of the FM3 will be too hot for the preamp. The best way is to use a XLR to TRS cable so you can connect to the TRS part of the input so it can expect the correct level (if set to Line level, some interfaces have a switch for line/instrument in the TRS input) and avoid saturating the input stage of the interface's preamp. You can use a normal guitar cable all along if you set the FM3's Output 2 to copy Out 1 in the I/O menu so you don't have to do any additional configuration per-preset. Just plug your cable and you're set.
I see. After further inspection I don't think it would be a problem in Audient's case because there's a minus 10 db pad on each channel. And in the manual it says:
"Microphone Input - Maximum Input Level: +22 dBu"
"Line Input - Maximum Input Level: +32dBu"
So I take it if I engage the pad, the Mic input goes to the same level as the Line input? But perhaps it's not as simple as that.
"You can use a normal guitar cable all along if you set the FM3's Output 2 to copy Out 1 in the I/O menu so you don't have to do any additional configuration per-preset. Just plug your cable and you're set."
But then I wouldn't have stereo in, right?
USB is in and out so you can monitor through the FM3 on playback. If your DAW sees it on the input you should be able to route playback to the FM3 on the output. Just make sure sample rates line up. But yeah, if you're in a session with other instrumentalists/vocals... you'll want to use the same i/o as everyone else. In that scenario if the I/O allows you to input via S/pdif... definitely use that for the most transparency and least latency.Well, yes, if you are monitoring your sound from inside the Daw which would be Fm3 > Audio Interface > Daw > Speakers, but if you are monitoring straight from the Audio Interface like most do, then you're just going Fm3 > Audio Interface > Outputs, with no usb involved slowing the sound down.
But yeah I guess USB is always an option as well. I guess I just overlooked it as I thought of latency and some earlier troubles regarding Fm3's usb. But of course that is all ironed out now, and the latency is probably undetectable.