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Roland Octa-Capture as 8 Channel Expansion with Apollo Twin?

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I've got an old Roland Octa-Capture and just learned that it can be used as a stand-alone 8 channel expansion with some "VS" Roland equipment. I want 8 channels to record my Alesis Strike drum module withe the drums split into 8 separate tracks. I've been trying to get it to work with my Apollo Twin that connects via Thunderbolt 3 to my Windows PC.  No luck so far even though I am able to boot the computer with both the Roland and the Apollo connected simultaneously as I have the Roland set to "VS Expand" and digital to "AUTO", so there is no conflict as to which unit is the "soundcard".  I was hoping to see the Octa-Capture show up in the inputs list in "Preferences" but I don't see it nor do I see any movement of the led's in the Apollo mixer console, however it does show up as a MIDI input device in Cakewalk.  Also, I see it in Device Manager under "Sound, video and game controllers", so windows does recognize it and it looks like I'm close to getting it to work but I'm stuck at this point.

Has anybody done this?

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I don't think this is possible, not in a reliable way.

Here's why:

If you're using ASIO as your driver mode, you can only use one device at once (this is a restriction of ASIO within Windows, not a Cakewalk restriction).   If your Octa-capture had an ADAT output,  then you could plugin that in to the apollo's optical input, but the Octa-capture (AFAIK) has no such output.

If you're using WDM you can  use more than device, but you need to ensure the wordclock's are synchronised.  The Octa-capture has an coax input, which could be used to slave to another device, however the apollo doesn't have a corresponding coax output.

If you used WDM and ignored the fact that the wordclock's aren't in sync, you'll probably get timing issues - i.e. the tracks recorded through the Apollo won't line up with the tracks recorded through the Octa-capture.  I guess you could manually adjust them afterwards,  but that might prove tedious.

The other issue with WDM is that the latency is going to be far worse than it is with ASIO.

For your specific use case though, there is another way to do this which I used to do with my Alesis DM5:

1. Record your drums  to a MIDI track.
2. Use the SPLIT NOTE TO TRACKS.cal to separate the drums to separate tracks.
3. Solo each track in turn, and record the audio from your Alesis Strike module through your Apollo (assuming that's your main interface).

The other advantage of recording your performance as MIDI, is that you're not tied to using your Alesis sounds. You could route the MIDI to another drum VSTi such as Superior Drummer 3, Addictive Drums 2, Melda MDrummer etc.. (or use a combination of them for each drum sound).

Another option would be to get something like a Behringer ADA8000 or ADA8200 to give you 8 new inputs to your Apollo. The mic pre's aren't the best, but the line-in's are (IMO) pretty much flawless. 

If you need better mic pre's you can obviously pay more and get something like a Focusrite OctoPre, or Audient ASP800, but if you're just using the Alesis Strike's line outs, then the ADA8000/ADA8200 will be fine.

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On 9/16/2020 at 12:17 PM, msmcleod said:

If you're using ASIO as your driver mode, you can only use one device driver

fixed

The limitation is the driver not the interfaces using the driver.

Some manufacturers have drivers that allow more than one interface to share the same ASIO driver. AFAIK, the manufacturers who do this only support their own hardware, such as Roland with the Octa-Capture and the VS-100/VS-700.

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Thanx for the response Mark,

The Octa-Capture does have a coaxial RCA SPDIF output that I forgot to mention I have connected via a small adapter box that allows one to connect the RCA on one side and an ADAT optical cable on the other side and then into the optical input on the Apollo, which I've done, but I'm not getting any signal.

Also, thanx for the info on MIDI but I already know how to do that. In fact, I just bought an Alesis strike and have converted many of my VST's (SSD5.5, EZ Drummer, Addictive Drums 2) into samples via software called SDSE.  I've loaded the samples onto the Strike and then recorded the audio from that whilst simultaneously recording midi and then using the VST's  to listen to both versions of the same drum kit, one is "LIVE", and the other midi,  and they sound about the same to me so now I have some very nice drum sounds coming out of the Strike. Pretty cool.

I'm currently trying out a Fucusrite Octopre Dynamic that works perfectly but I realized I had this Roland Octa-Capture collecting dust and want to see if I can save some money and re-purpose it. If this experiment fails, I'll likely get the Focusrite 18i20 which can be used stand-alone (it essentially becomes an Octopre) and connected to my Apollo via optical. It's a little more affordable and can double as it's own interface if the Apollo bites the dust.

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Only two Octa-Captures will work together. I do believe the same driver works with the VS700 so I have heard one Octa will work with that, too.

I also found one Octa-Capture and one Studio-Capture does not work. So can't mix those.

The Roland driver only works with 2 interfaces if the USBs are on the same 'hub'(?), even if they are all in your PC. So I have 5 USB sockets on my laptop and I have to remember which ones will work together. Even two together on one side is no guarantee.

On the other hand, I often use my Tascam interfaces together in WDM mode, but they MUST be different models. I have the US-1641, 1800 and 16x08, all in CbB and recording simultaneously. By using modified Behringer mini mixers I have 44 microphone channels at a budget price.

After recording it is necessary to realign the tracks but the offsets apply to all tracks of one interface so it's not such a big deal.

Unfortunately the Roland Octa/Studio-Captures do not cooperate with other WDM drivers - well, not with my Tascam, Edirol or Presonus ones.

On the plus side, the Roland drivers work down to Win XP and have so far been kept up-to-date with the latest Win10.

Edited by twelvetone

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Update: Roland responded wrong. They said just unplug my Apollo and use the Octa-Capture to do 8 drum input, duh. I clearly asked them if there is a way to use it as a stand-alone, connect it via ADAT like the Focusrite Octpre, blah blah blah. Guess I'll try again ..........🤨

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I totally forgot about this solution:


What this does is make a thin wrapper around your Apollo ASIO driver, wraps around your Roland WDM driver, and presents both as a single ASIO driver.

The downside is it's a total PITA (and very cryptic) to set up, but you can save / reload the profile once you have.

There are options for delaying samples etc, so you may be able to get around the lack of a common wordclock to some extent... it won't be perfect, but may get close.

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I have one. Works over ADAT with my Tascam US-20x20.

The LEDs fall into the box if you accidentally press on them but it works and sounds OK for what I do which is record a whole band at once.

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Yes, I've been looking at that one and I own several Behringer products and they all seem very good. But, for me, I like the options of the 18i20 Focusrite Scarlett as it can be used as the main sound-card, or as a stand-alone connected to the Apollo Twin and I want most of the inputs on the back-side but really like 2 on the front, plus it has that "Air" setting which I'm curious about. I've noticed that none of the higher priced units of these type have any compressors at all which I've read on SOS are not really needed these days. So the 18i20 looks like a nice match for me, a recently retired geezer with all day to record and tinker.

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7 hours ago, user390096 said:

Yes, I've been looking at that one and I own several Behringer products and they all seem very good. But, for me, I like the options of the 18i20 Focusrite Scarlett as it can be used as the main sound-card, or as a stand-alone connected to the Apollo Twin and I want most of the inputs on the back-side but really like 2 on the front, plus it has that "Air" setting which I'm curious about. I've noticed that none of the higher priced units of these type have any compressors at all which I've read on SOS are not really needed these days. So the 18i20 looks like a nice match for me, a recently retired geezer with all day to record and tinker.

I've been using the 18i20 (1st gen) for a few years now and I love it. 

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Better is better, for sure.

I have an Audient asp 880 for my expansion unit and i like it.

With that said, most of the time i do not require it.

I have used Focusrite tools in the past and found them excellent. I love their liquid pres.

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