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Author Topic: Out of curiosity: analog to digital converter  (Read 958 times)
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I'm studying and using a few analog to digital converter lately, stuff like the MCP3208.

I've seen this on eBay:

Nothing like I'm using right now but it makes me wonder.

It's an analog to digital converter that looks like something used in the music industry. Those connectors look to me like Mic inputs. I wonder what kind of digital signal comes out of it, what's it generally used for and how could I use it in an Arduino project. Those 24bit resolution are pretty interesting :-)

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There are various high-end digital audio formats, but internally its probably I2S, since that's what a lot of chips use.  The ADCs in it are v. likely to be of the sigma-delta type.

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Yes, that's an audio ADC.   It's normally used for recording.     It's basically the input-half (A/D) of a soundcard.  You can run the output from an analog preamp or mixer into it, and the digital output goes into a digital audio recorder, or into a computer.

Or, you could run it into a home theater receiver with digital audio inputs.  But, there is not much advantage of converting analog to digital, only to run it into your receiver's digital-to-analog converter...  In fact, the estra processing will theoretically degrade the signal.

For you computer, you'd need a sound card with a digital audio input (electrical RCA, not optical Toslink).    Since it has "consumer format options",   I assume the thing puts-out S/PDIF, which is the standard for DVD players and other home audio.

The inputs are balanced, which is standard with pro audio.  But they are not mic-level, they are line-level.  In general, you can mix and match balanced & unbalanced connectons.  This page shows the various wiring options.

24-bits is standard for pro and high-end consumer equipment.    CDs and regular-cheap soundcards are 16-bits.  But, don't expect a big improvement with from 24-bits.  The people who do blind ABX tests have found that you can rarely hear a difference between 16 and 24 bits (all-else being equal).   

However, you might get better recordings with this device, since it probably has a much better (lower noise) analog stage than a standard soundcard.

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