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MUSIC, AMBIENCE AND SOUND ART => Music Gearheads Tech Talk => Topic started by: Castleview on November 20, 2013, 03:47:10 PM

Title: Digital to analog converters
Post by: Castleview on November 20, 2013, 03:47:10 PM
I was thinking about getting one and I was wondering if they're really as good as some people say they are. I imagine that somebody here has one, or maybe almost everyone does except for me.

Will it make a drastic difference when recording or playing back music?  It seems like could help me a lot in terms of sound quality since I use my laptop to record a lot.
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: mgriffin on November 20, 2013, 04:02:14 PM
If you're recording real world sounds with your computer, then you already have a DA converter -- though if it's the one built into your laptop, then it's a very poor one.

What are you trying to record? If you're using a microphone, you might be better served by a pre-amp / DA converter combination.
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: Castleview on November 20, 2013, 04:12:01 PM
Right now, just soft synths and various string instruments which I usually like to hook up to my computer (guitar, mandola, cura saz, maybe a zither) through my Lexicon Alpha and record in real-time.
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: mgriffin on November 20, 2013, 04:23:29 PM
If you're recording soft synths, are you outputting them from the computer and running them through FX and then inputting them back into the computer? Or are those just staying inside the computer the whole time?

It sounds like the bigger issue is the string instruments. There are a lot more variables with recording acoustic instruments into a computer. You have to worry about microphone, preamplification and AD/DA conversion. Your Lexicon Alpha is a mic preamp and AD/DA converter. For recording, it's the analog to digital conversion that matters. For playback, it's digital to analog. So strictly speaking the digital-to-analog converter will not improve your recording in any sense, other than possibly allowing you to monitor your own performance more clearly and maybe do a better job mixing/mastering.

The Lexicon Alpha may not be a high-end recording device, but it's certainly better than just sticking an analog microphone into the mic port on your laptop, and using the built-in mic preamp and AD/DA convers.

Maybe if you let us know what problem you perceive in your own recordings, somebody here can advise you whether your Alpha is worth upgrading, or if your efforts and money might be better spent on microphones and/or effects.
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: Ekstasis on November 20, 2013, 04:37:04 PM
Converters matters, in a typical studio setup you use atleast 2 converters, one for the input signals from your pre amp, and one for the output signal to the speakers.
Both are very critical, but if you do mostly stuff inside your computer I guess your monitor controller/converter is more important, cause this will represent the true audio which your computer send.

But it looks like you use kind of a lot of external instruments so yeah... a good converter would really make a big difference.
but a great pre amp is a ls also good, of course you set the bar yourself what you are ready to pay for the best sound quality.
Antelope audio Orion 32 is good converters too..same goes with Prism Titan/orpheus, you can get lynx aurora second hand for good price.

Burl do the best converters right now, I will buy them I am saving up money to buy them

http://www.burlaudio.com/products/b2-bomber-adc (http://www.burlaudio.com/products/b2-bomber-adc)
http://www.burlaudio.com/products/b2-bomber-dac (http://www.burlaudio.com/products/b2-bomber-dac)
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: Castleview on November 20, 2013, 04:38:09 PM
If you're recording soft synths, are you outputting them from the computer and running them through FX and then inputting them back into the computer? Or are those just staying inside the computer the whole time?

It sounds like the bigger issue is the string instruments. There are a lot more variables with recording acoustic instruments into a computer. You have to worry about microphone, preamplification and AD/DA conversion. Your Lexicon Alpha is a mic preamp and AD/DA converter. For recording, it's the analog to digital conversion that matters. For playback, it's digital to analog. So strictly speaking the digital-to-analog converter will not improve your recording in any sense, other than possibly allowing you to monitor your own performance more clearly and maybe do a better job mixing/mastering.

The Lexicon Alpha may not be a high-end recording device, but it's certainly better than just sticking an analog microphone into the mic port on your laptop, and using the built-in mic preamp and AD/DA convers.

Maybe if you let us know what problem you perceive in your own recordings, somebody here can advise you whether your Alpha is worth upgrading, or if your efforts and money might be better spent on microphones and/or effects.

With the soft synths, I usually use just one main laptop and record within that, with the soft synths and FX all in it. Sometimes, I use another laptop with soft synths that goes through some external FX, then through the Lexicon Alpha and into my main laptop.

When I'm recording, I just don't feel like I'm getting a clean enough sound with the soft synths, even with effects off and the volume up enough. I feel like it's just a tad bit off. It might even be my external speakers, which aren't exactly high end but I was thinking it might have something to do with recording primarily through a laptop. I never upgraded the soundcard on it, so it probably is pretty lousy.

Maybe it's just me though.
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: Ekstasis on November 20, 2013, 04:47:08 PM
well I would not expect much of the Lexicon Alpha, it is a very cheap interface with the price of like 5-6 pizzas.

I think when it comes to analog recording there is not much shortcuts.. every part of the signal chain is important. 
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: Castleview on November 20, 2013, 05:02:53 PM
I should also note that for acoustic instruments, plugging them into the laptop is not my only option available for recording. I do have a Tascam DR 2D portable recorder that I can use. I do find the recording quality to be better from that but that's still not ideal either. I thought about upgrading from that too.
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: mgriffin on November 20, 2013, 05:06:52 PM
Immersion, I don't think you should insult somebody because their budget for equipment is lower. I don't want to discourage people from asking questions here if they are just starting out, or if they aren't able (or ready) to spend thousands of dollars per item.

When I started out, I used cheap Hosa cables, a Mackie 1202 mixer (which I still have, and use as a secondary mixer), and inexpensive ART compressor and multi-FX. I recorded everything to a portable Sony DAT, and monitored on Sony headphones that I still use about the half the time.

After that, I upgraded gradually, and in steps.

I have some more expensive pieces of gear in my studio, like Avalon 747 or Lexicon PCM91, but I also have some good and useful pieces of equipment that cost hundreds rather than thousands. I have gotten rid of some esoteric or extremely expensive gear (such as the Cranesong HEDD 192 AD/DA I had for a couple of years) because the high cost simply wasn't worth it.

Of course, if a device costs $4,000 everybody will be very impressed, and nobody would ever suggest that my choice in gear was "wrong," but lately I am more impressed with a solidly-made and reasonably-priced piece of equipment. Every place you save money, and find gear that will allow you to do what you want to accomplish and spend less money, saves money for something else.
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: Castleview on November 20, 2013, 05:17:34 PM
I'm in grad school so I don't have a lot of money.  :(

I'm definitely looking for something that's not going to run me broke.

Also, I wasn't offended by Immersion's post at all, so it's no big deal.
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: mgriffin on November 20, 2013, 05:21:57 PM
Also, I wasn't offended by Immersion's post at all, so it's no big deal.


That's good -- and I didn't think Immersion's comment was all that bad, but I hope we won't get started telling people their equipment choices are terrible. Also, if someone says they're thinking about upgrading from their entry-level audio interface, I don't know if $2500 devices are the best suggestion. That's so many steps above what you're using now, I think you'd be better served by a recommendation for something by Presonus or Focusrite or maybe M-Audio.
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: mgriffin on November 20, 2013, 05:39:38 PM
I would definitely agree -- if you have some money to spend, buy a really good reverb. That's most important.

And I also agree, I have heard more ambient recordings lately that sound like they were made with cheap gear, especially poor reverbs.

I remember being surprised when I first got started making ambient music that most of the other people I knew had very nice gear -- expensive mixers, high-end Lexicon reverbs, good monitors, and that sort of thing. Now lots of people just buy an audio interface for their computer and use the default effects built into their DAW software, and that's it -- they don't pay for any effects, either outboard, or higher-quality plugins.
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: Ekstasis on November 20, 2013, 05:54:41 PM


I remember being surprised when I first got started making ambient music that most of the other people I knew had very nice gear -- expensive mixers, high-end Lexicon reverbs, good monitors, and that sort of thing. Now lots of people just buy an audio interface for their computer and use the default effects built into their DAW software, and that's it -- they don't pay for any effects, either outboard, or higher-quality plugins.

well, I am a part of the  younger more "forward thinking" generation,  about 10 years ago when all software plugs did look to have a promising future and also computer performance was getting better and better I did kind of look down at the old things, I wanted to replace as much as possible with software plugins,  I felt smart, and I thought other where "stupid"  why pay so much money when you can just have a cheap plugin that sounds the same... I think most younger ambient artist is still stuck in this kind of "mentality" that software is the cutting edge in audio and that everything sounds best and can be down "in the box" with software.  No need for expensive mixers or expensive analog outboard gear now when you can use high quality plugins.

As I said I did grow up under this software "revolution"  about 10 years later I realize not much has happen in the last 10 years when it comes to creating music with software, the development has slown down extremely.. only more of the same..   analoge still sound superior even so many years,  you only get close with plugins in that use between 50-80% on the latest intel cpus overclocked you get close the analgoue "essence" of the sound. 

Yeah so personally I have changed radically, I am going away more and more from software "in the right places". I still use soft synths for instance, it is ok if your other signal chain is high quality, for instance analgoue outboard gear can make even a digital soft synth glow to life.
I am not anti software but I do not compromise in sound quality. I realize its strength and weaknesses.  The weaknesses is 100% due to the lack of CPU power, almost all plugins compromise in audio quality in favor of less cpu usage, all this are hearable... CPU needs a lot of power to crate those complex and precise harmonics that analogue gear make..it just kills the cpu... this is the reason I buy more and more external gear, to get more power cause the CPU can't do all processing on it's on... The lack processing power is one of the main reason why all ambient produced "in the box" sound so cheap..  however there is expectations of plugins that sound incredible with minimal cpu power, Lexicon PCM native is one of them, but I think one reason of that is because the algorithms have been refined for about 30 years the algorithms where made for a different time with a lot less processing power then what we have today...so with the right miracle could is probably possible but extremely hard craft to program such things.. most virtual analogue stuff consume the cpu totally...the plugins I use that I think sound good, such as digital slate, SPL, SSL, D16,  etc they all have one thing in common..the use a lot of cpu..

I will still use both software and hardware...
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: Castleview on November 20, 2013, 05:59:08 PM
Thanks for all the advice guys. I'm definitely going to take these recommendations into consideration.

I'll admit that I've probably been guilty of too much reverb (some of it probably too cheap in quality) in the past. I did buy ValhallaRoom recently and that's definitely a huge improvement over almost every plugin I have. I was blown away TBH. I'm definitely going to be more conscious of reverb when I record in the future.
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: Castleview on November 20, 2013, 06:26:37 PM
I had never heard of Toraverb before but seeing you mention Robert Rich's endorsement and the fact that it's a bargain at that price, I might buy that really soon. It seems like it would also probably be different enough from the ValhallaRoom.

The other ones seem like they would be awesome too but they're noticeably more expensive.
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: APK on November 20, 2013, 06:48:26 PM
Hopefully some more people will jump in on this topic, with other recommendations too.

I will certainly look though my software tomorrow and see if I can suggest something in the reverb line. I think reverbs can be very personal, in the sense that they must, to your ears, fit your sound, and also operate in a way that makes intuitive sense.

Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: Castleview on November 20, 2013, 07:15:25 PM
Also, everyone here can feel free to recommend me any other kinds of effect plugins that aren't reverb but are really nice (and preferably affordable).
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: Seren on November 21, 2013, 01:59:04 AM
I think we have to be open to learning about 'stuff', but we all have to start somewhere and not all of us have the financial resources to launch into the high end products.

I have recently not bought something I really wanted that would have added range and quality to my music because I am trying to save for something that will enable me to do something different - not even sure what that difference will be yet, but that's for the exploring when I finally get it......this really was not a choice I was happy to make (throws toys out of pram type image).....

I first started recording in the late 70's with a cassette portastudio and the spring reverbs on my (I think) Marshall amp - the quality was not great by current standards, but the excitement was very high as it was the first tiime 'ordinary' people could record music rather than rely on the record labels, perhaps an apsect of music we have become too used to in some ways.

This time round I started with a second hand Korg D16 portastudio - then upgraded to a second hand Roland VS2480. Each of which has it's pluses and minuses as far as quality etc go - though the VS2480 does burn red book standard CDs and can record at high sample rates.

We also have to consider what we and our peers are trying to achieve in our music before making suggestions or decrying what facilities they have. If we are not wanting to create music that is 'true to source' then what we are looking at and why changes.

I don't record to a desktop or mac computer at all - just not my cup of tea. I only use my computer for certain things - import some sounds on Cdr and then 'flay' them with Sonar 5 and the odd VST - such as Glaceverb - then pass them back for further transformation...

We have sort of wandered into discussing reverb rather than the A/D (which I have to be honest and say I know nothing about as I rely on those in the Korg and Roland - assuming that as they were intended as recording equipment they will be up to the task). It is good to read other peoples experiences and preferences, even if I may never use them myself.

As for reverbs I managed to get a TCM3000 a few years back - not in the level of the Lexicon high end or Eventides, but once i got a sense of how I want to use it I can create the sounds I want on my other effects etc and then pass it through the TC to get the final quality and sound I want.

My sense within Hi-fi is that if you want to achieve a recogniseable increase in quality you have to treble the price of what you already have - I dont know if this is the same within recording equipment - unfortunately I've never had the money to try and find out.
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: petekelly on November 21, 2013, 02:47:17 AM
On a recommendation note, Valhalla UberMod

Very deep delay / modulation / reverb plug-in. I liked it so much, I wrote a mini-review of it:
http://igneousflame.wordpress.com/2013/11/08/valhalla-ubermod-mini-review/ (http://igneousflame.wordpress.com/2013/11/08/valhalla-ubermod-mini-review/)
Very good for 'delay smearing' and general ambient goodness.
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: Julio Di Benedetto on November 21, 2013, 06:12:03 AM
I dont use software reverb much within the DAW.....if I were looking for good reverb plugin I would certainly check out the Lexicon PCM Native Reverb bundle.  Its not cheap at $600 but from what I have heard its the best of Lexicon sound without the hardware cost which is somewhere at $2000 new.  At one time you could buy individual plugins within the bundle, not sure if thats still available

http://www.lexiconpro.com/en-US/products/pcm-native-reverb-plug-in-bundle (http://www.lexiconpro.com/en-US/products/pcm-native-reverb-plug-in-bundle)


I had the demo of Aether which I did like but never did buy it for the reason I mentioned but I was impressed.

http://2caudio.com/products/aether/#_overview (http://2caudio.com/products/aether/#_overview)


T.C. Electronics Vss3 reverb which was original part of their Powercore platform is a plugin ported over from TC's 6000 system.  I used it alot when I had a powercore pci card in my old Mac G5 so the software is no longer.   I miss it and would put it up against any high end reverb hard or soft.  For those in the Pro Tools dominion you can still get it as a TDM plugin

http://www.tcelectronic.com/vss3-tdm/ (http://www.tcelectronic.com/vss3-tdm/)


As for other software plugins for processing audio......the one and only Sound Toys native bundle.  I recall Paul Vnuk saying on this forum that a good software reverb and the Sound Toys bundle of fx plugins you can come very close to the sound palette of an Eventide Eclipse.  As an Eclipse owner and Sound Toys user I would agree with this.   

http://www.soundtoys.com (http://www.soundtoys.com)


As to converters....the title of this thread.  There are so many options.  I dont think today there are really any bad converters out there.  It seems a very competitive market where manufacturers cannot afford to put out inferior products.  An all in one box would be my choice. Pre amps, converters monitoring etc under one hood.  Im actually looking at a Metric Halo ULN8 unit as a possible option for myself.  Its high end with a price tag to match but I would be selling high end gear to make the purchase as I consolidated my studio.

I would advise to buy right the first time and have it for life so to speak. :)
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: ffcal on November 21, 2013, 11:35:12 AM
Though this strays off of the D/A topic, I agree with Seren that it's important to have some sense of what you are trying to achieve, especially if you are just getting started, before accumulating too much expensive gear.  I actually stuck with open reel four-track recording for a very long time before I finally felt ready to make the shift into digital in the early 90s with the purchase of an ADAT.  The economics of it can also be a big factor if you don't have the means to maximize the potential of the gear you are acquiring or if the gear doesn't really address the core of what you sense you need.  Who hasn't at least once purchased an instrument or a piece of gear and later felt buyer's remorse?  Though electronics has been a big part of my sound, I've always been partial to acoustic instruments, so I've never felt the need to acquire the biggest and baddest modular synth or processor.  But everyone has different needs, so one size doesn't really fit all.

Forrest
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: APK on November 21, 2013, 01:35:33 PM
I agree with Forrest, and was also going to mention Seren's line:

"We also have to consider what we and our peers are trying to achieve in our music
before making suggestions or decrying what facilities they have. If we are not wanting
to create music that is 'true to source' then what we are looking at and why changes."


If you are recording a vocal or acoustic instruments, then pristine clarity and realism is what you probably need, and you need the gear that will achieve it (great mics, preamp,  etc), but not too many of us in the ambient-electro realm are actually doing that. So consider what it is you are creating and match the gear to the expected musical product. Not a lot of reasons for expensive purity if you are going to overdrive, lo-fi, or glitch it up later, for example. Why spend $2000 when $250 will do and leave you money for other things. Plus of course there is the old adage: having the best equipment in the world does not mean you will now create better music.

On reverbs, I'm not sure what all the fuss is about. I very rarely use the things except built in as part of a synth patch.
Way back I found Ambience to be a very good free one: http://magnus.smartelectronix.com/#Ambience (http://magnus.smartelectronix.com/#Ambience)
I have used Breeze by 2CAudio. It's great if you need some very long reverb. But has delicacy too.
My favourite is probably WizooVerb. It's very flexible. It was bought buy some other company, digidesign I think.

APK

Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: APK on November 21, 2013, 01:44:11 PM
On AD/DA converters, I also think that the technology has improved greatly over the years so that the basic integrated circuits used in even the inexpensive converters is now on par with what used to be considered top of the line. Such is the nature of electronic advancement. We see if with today's computers and cameras for example. What was once top of the line is now matched by relatively cheap lower-end electronics. And at some point there is simply not much to be gained by spending a ton more money on one piece. That gain may not outweigh putting the money to use buying more equipment or software you currently don't have.
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: petekelly on November 21, 2013, 01:49:26 PM
Very good advice here from Forrest and APK, I think this is one of the advantages of this forum, there are people here who know their onions and give informed advice on technical stuff.

I would go as far as saying these days, most modern gear is good enough (mostly), it's very easy (I speak from experience !) in trying to find the 'best' reverb or whatever. Time spent learning the things that you have is time well spent, in my view. 
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: El culto on November 21, 2013, 01:54:27 PM
My 2 cents about that…

Agree with most APK said before! Also use Wizooverb W2 and it´s great

But it´s really a matter of what you want to archive…for me any reverb work for ambient (even a lot of freeware…still use Sanford a lot). For me it´s quite funny making a fuss about reverb and then to look for plugins sounding like tape-emulations or trying to archive an old sound (i.e with bit reduction) :-D

Is anyone really believe the audience will hear the difference which reverb is used and judging then the music by this then in another way? In my opinion this is just a marketing gag of the audio industry…otherwise, how it possible to have great albums in the 80´s just made with a D-50 (incl the internal effects)?

Lets say it this way…the audio industry in today simply needs this "higher and better" just for selling their products. And beside that, most people starting with music today are just confused by all the "the best" options.

Cheers,
Tomas
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: Castleview on November 21, 2013, 02:36:27 PM
Wow, I didn't expect this many responses. I think I'm still leaning toward getting a DAC for my main laptop in the near future since the quality probably isn't that good from the laptop but I'll stay within my budget on that. Also, I did buy Toraverb but I haven't tried it out yet.

Really appreciate all the responses so far.  :)
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: Castleview on November 21, 2013, 02:54:28 PM
I've got my sights set on the Modi USB Digital to Analog Audio Converter:

http://www.amazon.com/Modi-USB-Digital-Analog-Convertor/dp/B00CICPN0K (http://www.amazon.com/Modi-USB-Digital-Analog-Convertor/dp/B00CICPN0K)

It's made by Schiit Audio, which has a good reputation from what I've heard, and the reviews on Amazon and elsewhere are unanimously positive, which isn't always common for audio equipment that cheap. And it's well within my grad student budget.

Even if it's not the best on the market, it should still be an improvement over what I've got now.
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: mgriffin on November 21, 2013, 03:00:54 PM
This is home stereo DA converter, not for recording. It doesn't have analog-to-digital conversion, which is something you would get with a pro audio converter. This could certainly be a good device, but just for listening, not recording.
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: El culto on November 21, 2013, 03:01:57 PM
My 2 cents about that…

Agree with most APK said before! Also use Wizooverb W2 and it´s great

But it´s really a matter of what you want to archive…for me any reverb work for ambient (even a lot of freeware…still use Sanford a lot). For me it´s quite funny making a fuss about reverb and then to look for plugins sounding like tape-emulations or trying to archive an old sound (i.e with bit reduction) :-D

Is anyone really believe the audience will hear the difference which reverb is used and judging then the music by this then in another way? In my opinion this is just a marketing gag of the audio industry…otherwise, how it possible to have great albums in the 80´s just made with a D-50 (incl the internal effects)?

Lets say it this way…the audio industry in today simply needs this "higher and better" just for selling their products. And beside that, most people starting with music today are just confused by all the "the best" options.

Cheers,
Tomas

It seem you are not a big fan of tape sound, and it sounds also like you have got wrong idea of what good tape sound is. Great tape sound will not in any shape or form destroy the audio it will just make it sound all better when it it is done right, it might just give the reverb the the final saturation which many reverbs lack,  Lexicon has beautiful satuartion and colour.   The highest quality converters such as  Crane song HEDD like Mike was talking about or BURL have both try to make the best from high quality tape sound.   It seem you worship the sound of cold sterile and "clean" digital sound.
problem is it is dead boring to listen to.. no interesting complex details and harmonics which you get from analogue sound by nature.
Especially synths in ambient need all saturating that you can get to make them sound good in my opinion,  tape saturating make everything sounds right in many cases and make beautiful harmonics so lets not talk down about tape sound, many of the absolute top producers use tape sound to summarize mixes, tape sounds does not need to be bad sounding "old scool" sound, it can also be super clean with just beautiful saturation and harmonics, this is the reason people adore the BURL transformers which is considered to be the best converters right now those transformers add "tape like" qualities.

will the audience here the difference which reverb is used ? if you asked me a couple of years ago, I would say no.  But since that time I have tried many different reverbs, and all reverbs have a different character same goes with synths,  I have some days ago received my Eventide H8000fw, looking forward to hear the reverb, but it is the pitch shifting reverbs with eventide that is very hard to not hear... if you have heard it.
I

I find quite often I hear what reverbs that is used,
But of course often it is really hard to tell.. some times more obvious...steve roach sound is unmistakably lexicon, I know he use eventide H3000 on some (darkest before dawn). But almost all of the time I am just surprised how bad reverbs people use, a lot of people use probably the internal effects of the soft synths which is always useless.  I have not heard one synth with good internal effects, omnisphere included.  Of course everyone decide what bar of sound quality they want.  but there is so many factors invovled if you have speakers that colour the sound that most people probably have a bad sounding reverb might sound beautiful,  all I can say is with my new Trident HG3 speakers I find it way easier to hear clear difference between good and bad reverbs.  The biggest problem with most reverbs is that they do not represent the full frequceny spectrum, they are capped ofteh the thigh end gets lost in the mud,  I am allergic to muddy reverb , and unfortunately this artifact is very common in the ambient scene today.

Before talking too much about "better" "best" etc…what about making an example on your side so anyone can hear the differences you are talking about? By seeing and haring all the gear you have I´m now really curious, so please give us the chance to understand the difference! So, can you please provide some examples/clips? Only that would be really helpful to understand what you are talking about!

Cheers,
Tomas
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: Castleview on November 21, 2013, 03:03:08 PM
This is home stereo DA converter, not for recording. It doesn't have analog-to-digital conversion, which is something you would get with a pro audio converter. This could certainly be a good device, but just for listening, not recording.

Thanks for clarifying. It wasn't really clear at all to me from the descriptions.
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: Ekstasis on November 21, 2013, 03:12:33 PM
I've got my sights set on the Modi USB Digital to Analog Audio Converter:

http://www.amazon.com/Modi-USB-Digital-Analog-Convertor/dp/B00CICPN0K (http://www.amazon.com/Modi-USB-Digital-Analog-Convertor/dp/B00CICPN0K)

It's made by Schiit Audio, which has a good reputation from what I've heard, and the reviews on Amazon and elsewhere are unanimously positive, which isn't always common for audio equipment that cheap. And it's well within my grad student budget.

Even if it's not the best on the market, it should still be an improvement over what I've got now.

If you do not have a big budget, please try to buy something second hand, it is really the only way to get something substantial for a very low budget. Newer is not better. 
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: El culto on November 21, 2013, 03:31:16 PM
My 2 cents about that…

Agree with most APK said before! Also use Wizooverb W2 and it´s great

But it´s really a matter of what you want to archive…for me any reverb work for ambient (even a lot of freeware…still use Sanford a lot). For me it´s quite funny making a fuss about reverb and then to look for plugins sounding like tape-emulations or trying to archive an old sound (i.e with bit reduction) :-D

Is anyone really believe the audience will hear the difference which reverb is used and judging then the music by this then in another way? In my opinion this is just a marketing gag of the audio industry…otherwise, how it possible to have great albums in the 80´s just made with a D-50 (incl the internal effects)?

Lets say it this way…the audio industry in today simply needs this "higher and better" just for selling their products. And beside that, most people starting with music today are just confused by all the "the best" options.

Cheers,
Tomas

It seem you are not a big fan of tape sound, and it sounds also like you have got wrong idea of what good tape sound is. Great tape sound will not in any shape or form destroy the audio it will just make it sound all better when it it is done right, it might just give the reverb the the final saturation which many reverbs lack,  Lexicon has beautiful satuartion and colour.   The highest quality converters such as  Crane song HEDD like Mike was talking about or BURL have both try to make the best from high quality tape sound.   It seem you worship the sound of cold sterile and "clean" digital sound.
problem is it is dead boring to listen to.. no interesting complex details and harmonics which you get from analogue sound by nature.
Especially synths in ambient need all saturating that you can get to make them sound good in my opinion,  tape saturating make everything sounds right in many cases and make beautiful harmonics so lets not talk down about tape sound, many of the absolute top producers use tape sound to summarize mixes, tape sounds does not need to be bad sounding "old scool" sound, it can also be super clean with just beautiful saturation and harmonics, this is the reason people adore the BURL transformers which is considered to be the best converters right now those transformers add "tape like" qualities.

will the audience here the difference which reverb is used ? if you asked me a couple of years ago, I would say no.  But since that time I have tried many different reverbs, and all reverbs have a different character same goes with synths,  I have some days ago received my Eventide H8000fw, looking forward to hear the reverb, but it is the pitch shifting reverbs with eventide that is very hard to not hear... if you have heard it.
I

I find quite often I hear what reverbs that is used,
But of course often it is really hard to tell.. some times more obvious...steve roach sound is unmistakably lexicon, I know he use eventide H3000 on some (darkest before dawn). But almost all of the time I am just surprised how bad reverbs people use, a lot of people use probably the internal effects of the soft synths which is always useless.  I have not heard one synth with good internal effects, omnisphere included.  Of course everyone decide what bar of sound quality they want.  but there is so many factors invovled if you have speakers that colour the sound that most people probably have a bad sounding reverb might sound beautiful,  all I can say is with my new Trident HG3 speakers I find it way easier to hear clear difference between good and bad reverbs.  The biggest problem with most reverbs is that they do not represent the full frequceny spectrum, they are capped ofteh the thigh end gets lost in the mud,  I am allergic to muddy reverb , and unfortunately this artifact is very common in the ambient scene today.

Before talking too much about "better" "best" etc…what about making an example on your site so anyone can hear the differences you are talking about? By seeing and haring all the gear you have I´m now really curious, so please give us the chance to understand the difference! So, can you please provide some examples/clips? Only that would be really helpful to understand what you are talking about!

Cheers,
Tomas

My studio is incomplete my signal chain is not complete,  also I am going to sell my Lynx converter and buy a BURL converter instead, I am still need a pre amp, to plugin my guitars, synths and microphones,  I use mostly software right now.. the things I use in my studio so far is only my HG3 speakers and dangerous audio source monitor controller. Most people would probably just buy something cheap But I prefer to buy the good stuff direcely life is too short to waste time with gear you do not like I am tired of it.  I hope in a few months I will be able to show you some examples of my gear if you want.

That would be helpful!…Just wondering how someone can talk about all the differences and how good/great/better it sounds like if he still haven´t got a ready made setup to provide any example?
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: Julio Di Benedetto on November 21, 2013, 05:07:13 PM
My head is spinning from all this :o    Castleview next time you should put up some sort of specific parameters so us gear heads keep our big guns in the cabinet.....like what was your first studio setup  ;)  because just the sight of the word converters or ad/da brings out the hoarding mass.  This sounds familiar...must have seen it in another threads somewhere.
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: Castleview on November 21, 2013, 06:24:18 PM
My head is spinning from all this :o    Castleview next time you should put up some sort of specific parameters so us gear heads keep our big guns in the cabinet.....like what was your first studio setup  ;)  because just the sight of the word converters or ad/da brings out the hoarding mass.  This sounds familiar...must have seen it in another threads somewhere.

But I love how this thread turned out. I should get an award from mgriffin for stimulating all this discussion.
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: Julio Di Benedetto on November 21, 2013, 06:57:41 PM
Yes...its been an interesting read and hopeful educational.

 
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: Castleview on November 21, 2013, 09:01:56 PM
I've learned more from this forum in a short amount of time than I have from anywhere else on the internet about recording ambient music.

I've only been recording for a year and it's been all at my house. I've never been inside of an actual studio and I don't know anyone else in my area who makes this type of music. This forum has really opened my eyes to recording and also, more ambient music that I hadn't even heard of.
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: Paul Vnuk (Ma Ja Le) on November 21, 2013, 11:12:10 PM
I have tried to make sense of this thread and it seams like there are two trains of thought here...converters and reverb.

For converters my question really is what is your realistic end goal? If you are just getting started I would actually say, be conservative.

Do you want to learn sound design? Compose? Release CD's? Put up music on youtube and soundcoud?

I ask because there are folks out there doing great stuff with very conservative set ups. For around $200 there are some great 2 in and 2 out boxes from Event, Focusrite, and others that are more than fine for what you may want to do as it sounds like right now you are working in the box entirely.

Sure, Lynx, Orion, Apogee, Burl, Lavree, Benchmark and more make some great pro converters that are stellar, but each of these multi-channel boxes will set you back $2-3k or more. So its kind of like telling a starting guitarist to go buy a high end Les Paul to learn on.

The gear should serve you, your ideas and needs, not the other way around. If you have the skill and the ears which come with time and practice you CAN make killer high end and professional recordings with cheaper gear. Good gear only makes it easier.

My 1st two albums here on Hypnos from 1999 and 2000 (I think) both were done on an ADAT XT, a Mackie 1604/later a Yamaha 01V, with Shure SM-81, CAD E100 and Audix mics and mixed down through  TC M3000 and Alesis Wedge reverbs. A lot of my work prior to that done in a computer was done with a sound blaster soundcard.

My point being that I have long since moved way beyond most of that gear (still have a wedge laying around) and none of it was state of the art. But I still had to start somewhere and I am quite proud of the albums I made with all of it. In fact sometimes I miss the days when it was harder and I had to really push the gear's limits and problem solve to get my results.

So, again just start somewhere with what you can afford.

Now reverbs...

This is a huge issue of taste and I am as snobby as anyone when it comes to reverb. Up until just two-three years ago I would have told you that no plug-in reverb will ever equal high-end hardware. Well now two years later I almost never turn my hardware lexicon on and I traded my Eventide HW8000 for 2 high ticket microphones as I found I could do everything it could do in the box, especially with SoundToys (the ex-eventide program team) and PSP and others...with the one exception being pitch shifting, and that should change soon.

Reverb wise though the new Spark Verb is incredible and capable of black hole like reverb, The Lexicon PCM bundle sounds virtually identical to the hardware PCM96, Softube's TSAR is great for rooms and my absolute go to reverb for big ECM and spacemusic spaces is the Lexicon 224 available by UAD (not cheap, as you need a DSP card to run it, but its still software).

Point being there are tons of choices in the computer now that can do great things. Many others listed elsewhere here.

Pick some starting tools, push them until you know you their limits and beyond and enjoy your self.

Oh and be very wary of advice on internet forums (yes this is an odd place to say this), my point is that on an audiophile forum or on gearslutz  or where ever, opinions become facts! Never treat any of it as empirical data. There is no best mic pre, or best converter or best reverb. In any situation you need to hear it, touch it and use it in your space and then you can decide if its best for you.

To bring this back to your original question...yes better converters can clean up your sound and as I said there are some great $200'sh to $400'sh boxes that might be a nice step up from your Lexicon. If you can swing $500 or so street the Apogee Duet 2 is amazing in terms of sound and function, and it can actually turn the soft synths on your iPad into a real serious sounding instrument.

Ok...I will muddy the water a bit more, and will challenge you with the thought that maybe the lack openness and mud  or whatever you feel is sonically lacking in your mixes is not the converters, but could be cleaned up in better mixing techniques IE equalization, compression, and even synth programing.

I am not attacking your skill, but you have only been at this a year I think you said? Audio engineering, synth programing, performing and sound design are all skills to be learned and mastered over time and in many cases each one is a separate skill, you don't need to master all of them at once.

Paul
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: Seren on November 22, 2013, 01:35:50 AM
I've never been inside of an actual studio and I don't know anyone else in my area who makes this type of music. This forum has really opened my eyes to recording and also, more ambient music that I hadn't even heard of.

You may be surprised to find you are not alone in this....... :o
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: APK on November 22, 2013, 08:23:17 AM
Quick note on reverbs.
- Interesting to hear Paul say he has forsaken the hardware for software reverbs.  8)
- Just been demoing the Valhalla reverb plugins. Damn good !!! At $50 these are a steal. And looks like the guy making them knows exactly what he is doing, technically. I think if these were released by a company with overheads and staff to maintain they would cost a LOT more.
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: petekelly on November 22, 2013, 09:04:29 AM
APK,
Yes, absolutely regarding these Valhalla plugs, reading the developers blog, it's obvious he really knows what he's doing - studying and developing all those 'classic' algorithms that actually make digital reverb (which is inherently 'fake' in itself, compared to say, a real plate reverb). It's those actual algos that are creating the reverb, not all those esoteric components on the circuit boards in these esteemed hardware verbs ? (correct me if I'm wrong)

I've spent a long time with UberMod and even as reverb (which it isn't marketed as) it's much deeper than other things I've looked at.
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: Castleview on November 22, 2013, 01:21:32 PM
I decided to start read through the Lexicon Alpha manual today to see if I overlooked anything and I think I overlooked two things: the monitor mix and the line-outs.

What I don't understand completely is how it works as an external soundcard if I'm working only within my laptop itself.
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: APK on November 22, 2013, 02:04:58 PM
I decided to start read through the Lexicon Alpha manual today to see if I overlooked anything and I think I overlooked two things: the monitor mix and the line-outs.

What I don't understand completely is how it works as an external soundcard if I'm working only within my laptop itself.

I think what you are missing is that the Alpha (and soundcards generally) is simply an AD/DA converter. It is the interface between your computer and the real world. All it does is convert analog input (from a mic or external synth for example) to the digital signal required by the computer. You work with that digital material in the laptop, but when you want to actually hear the result of what you are doing it has to be converted back to analog (D/A) again to be fed to headphones or speakers. You listen to your work either by its headphone out, or you feed the line outs to an amp and then speakers (or to amplified speakers).


Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: APK on November 22, 2013, 02:08:52 PM
Little addition.
That is what was odd about your very first post in this thread. You spoke of wanting a D/A converter, when you actually already have one in the Alpha. I assume you have been listening to your work using the headphone out on the laptop, when you should be using the headphone (or line outs) on the Alpha.
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: Castleview on November 22, 2013, 02:49:33 PM
Yeah, I actually didn't realize that when I first made the topic. That's my big mistake I guess but if it wasn't for me making this thread to begin with, I wouldn't have figured out that I was even making this mistake.

Now it's starting to make sense to me.

Thanks.
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: APK on November 22, 2013, 02:52:02 PM
 :)

I wouldn't have discovered the Valhalla plugins if not for this thread.
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: Castleview on November 22, 2013, 05:21:09 PM
I decided to record today after figuring out how to properly use the Alpha and I noticed an improvement in the sound quality already. I think I'm going to stick with my setup for now.

Also, Toraverb is great.
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: Ekstasis on November 22, 2013, 05:22:11 PM
I decided to record today after figuring out how to properly use the Alpha and I noticed an improvement in the sound quality already. I think I'm going to stick with my setup for now.

Also, Toraverb is great.

Remember one important thing to change the quality to "highest" it is useless in it's default setting
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: ffcal on November 22, 2013, 09:43:26 PM
"Also, how much are you ready to pay for a more "effortless" experience when creating music, or do you prefer to work really hard
to make your cheap gear sound expensive, personally for me I am tired it, I want an inspiring setup that sounds amazing, not spend endless
time and energy to make something as I want when I can do that the on the fly with good equipment, that is the thing for me I want an effortless
way of expression and not have to deal with "crap"  just to save some money, cheap gear and most plugs does not inspire me I want that extra..."

Ah, but that's the rub.  For each new piece of complex piece of gear you add to the system, you steepen your potential learning curve and things can become harder, not more effortless.  It's much like the difference between going into a neighborhood grocery store that chooses its items wisely and going into the Costco warehouse.  I hope you're able to find your own bliss with your new aggregation of gear, but I would think that at some point, you would run the risk of getting diminishing returns out of the complexity of your setup.

Forrest
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: Julio Di Benedetto on November 23, 2013, 06:14:25 AM
You have come to understand and know the sound and its quality from this high end gear and this is not something that is base on how much money a person has to spend....Burl converters on uneducated  ears within the home project studio would be a colossal waste of money.  This sound has to be learned.  Sort of like asking a person to taste a Chateau Lafite Rothschild Bordeaux when they are use to drinking sweet blush zinfandel wine.  Odds are they would spit it out.

I will always push the envelope for my self and go for the best gear I can afford and sometimes more than I can afford.  The complexity that Forrest suggest can be  an issue.  A great converter feed by a crappy pre amp or front end signal path will give what on the other side.....exactly.  So generally if say Burl which is the converter most talked about in this thread is your choice then the rest of the signal path should be of a similar quality or it is a pointless venture.  There can be a good deal of maintenance involve as well.

Ive mentioned this story before and like to when too much lofty high ended - ness dominates.   Bruce Springsteen's Fans consider his album "Nebraska" his best which was recorded on an 4 track cassette deck will the "Boss" was on tour way back when.  What the fans heard was not the tape hiss and poor quality record but the heart felt words and emotion he expressed. Certainly anyone would want to be able to capture every single subtle nuance of a performance that brilliant gear can do so well but the listener at the other end will be moved by the emotion not the the converters, pre amp or microphones used.

P.S......Great post Paul!
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: Altus on November 23, 2013, 08:04:02 AM
What the fans heard was not the tape hiss and poor quality record but the heart felt words and emotion he expressed. Certainly anyone would want to be able to capture every single subtle nuance of a performance that brilliant gear can do so well but the listener at the other end will be moved by the emotion not the the converters, pre amp or microphones used.

This right here hits the nail on the head for me. I know of musicians who have studios bristling with gear, yet rarely do I hear actual music output from them. I personally know a few people who fall into this category. They enjoy collecting the gear, building and perfecting the studio, yet don't use it for its purpose. When they do, I find myself rarely moved by the music.

Other musicians with limited budgets who rely only on software to produce their music (or simply prefer the simpler workflow of software-based solutions), or just play guitar with some reverb/delays, can produce some amazing music. Music that deeply moves me. They don't care about perfection. They're just using the tools they have to express themselves through music, and that passion shines through brighter than any music created in a pro studio.

Immersion: I'm sorry, but I'm going to single you out here. El culto called you out on this as well. Your advice is good and well-meaning, but in some of your posts you come across as elitist, which I think is fair to say, nobody really appreciates. The impression you give is: "If you're not buying top of the line gear, why bother make music at all? You're wasting your time." or "I suppose you could buy that budget-priced gear, but it's going to sound like shit." I'll blame this impression partially on the fact that we're missing vocal intonation, which makes a world of difference.

All that said, as I was reading through this thread, your clear passion for sonic perfection was obvious. I thought to myself: "I really want to hear this guy's music." (I'm assuming you're male, correct me if I'm wrong)

I suppose I wasn't terribly surprised to find out that you've never actually released anything . . .

Then you go on to say you're mostly using software, which you were poo-pooing earlier. Kind of hypocritical, don't you think?

I applaud you for not releasing the first thing you ever completed. Too many people do that now, resulting in a glut of mediocre content. (I started in 93 and didn't release anything to the public until 98 with a tape release.) You're working toward perfection in your sound design, and no one can judge you badly for that. This is what YOU want. Excellent. Go for it!

But until you can provide proof to your words, you need to dial it back a bit. Realize that not everyone has tons of cash to spend on high-end gear. And if you judge music or the musician purely by the tools that were used, you're missing out!
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: APK on November 23, 2013, 09:11:06 AM
I just want to say that I like analog as much as the next guy.
(http://www.dataobscura.com/odd_things/daphne.jpg)
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: Castleview on November 23, 2013, 09:29:02 AM
LOL at that picture.

I actually do have access to reel-to-reel tape recorders at my university but I'm not sure if they even work because that studio they're in is garbage. The computers are well over 10 years outdated and barely even work.
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: chris23 on November 23, 2013, 09:46:22 AM
I haven't done anything serious with music in over 20 years, but I'm really enjoying this thread. There is a lot to learn here even for those of us who are mere listeners and fans of ambient music.
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: mgriffin on November 23, 2013, 10:07:07 AM
I'm pleased to see how many people feel as I do, that the endless pursuit of the most expensive gear is actually a distraction from the preferable goal of understanding your gear, and doing something interesting with it.

My photography professor in college used to talk about his friend who spent all his income on Leica and Hasselblad and other exotic cameras, and had all the available lenses of the highest specifications. The guy kept them in perfect condition, and gradually stopped taking photographs. For him, the point became the collection of camera gear, rather than the art of photography.
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: El culto on November 23, 2013, 05:20:11 PM
Quote from: Immersion
But I can't simply find any driving force to create the music I have in my visions unless I get that dream sound I want my driving force is to take things one step further and the general production is for me for my own inner satisfaction a lot in the sound itself, ..and I am very close now in my studio where the equipment gives me really all the tools I need to realize my visions.  This was the only way for me..

Do you have some examples of music/albums on the market you would call it has this "dream sound", "clean" and "great production" you are looking for? Just 2 or 3 example i would like to hear from you so I can understand it better.



Quote from: Immersion
One of the main reason I bought my H8000 was cause I play guitar and it is just easy and inspiring tool.. one of the reason I want more outboard gear is cause I want to be less dependent on plugins I just want to be able to record more easy in real time and have things ready to record all the time, not dealing with plugs more then I have too, when I record I am always more of guy who prefer to record longer takes in real time. I am not a cut and paste guy.  Cause I want to sit down and express myself and let my mind drift away with the music.

So, you are saying you can´t record in realtime without hardware? As you have to setup software for that first, the same goes for hardware.

Quote from: Immersion
I prefer the analogue sound I use almost only virtual analogue plugins, and it is quite obvious that the real thing will sound even better then these plugins.

You should really bring concrete examples (so we can listen to the differences) instead of claiming facts all the time…."it is quite obvious" is such a meaningless phrase for instance.
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: El culto on November 23, 2013, 05:41:43 PM
Quote from: Immersion

To hear any difference you need first of all get the best monitors possible, I think no one can really can deny that expensive monitors sound better then cheaper ones, and I am telling you, that my new HG3 speakers have open up new dimensions. Difference that was very very subtle before now gets very clear...I think the better monitors you have the more picky you will automatically become with the rest of your chain, and maybe the stuff you have now does not sound as good as it did before.

I just have some Neumann´s and they aren´t expensive….but they are more expansive than Behringer…..but not as much as expansive than yours. So it seems like expansive is relative - right? So in your theory your monitors are better then mine just because they are more expansive - thats a funny logic….I always thought monitors are working tools and not a replacement for libido fixation  ;D
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: mgriffin on November 23, 2013, 05:48:04 PM
I'm pleased to see how many people feel as I do, that the endless pursuit of the most expensive gear is actually a distraction from the preferable goal of understanding your gear, and doing something interesting with it.

Or maybe we all have different bars of sound quality ?
I do not buy your argument that cheap equipment can sounds as good as expensive (more good equipment) it is nothing then a plain lie and that is attitues like that
I think is the last thing ambient artists needs...


WTF, who are you talking to?

"A plain lie?" First of all, I never said cheap equipment sounds as good as higher-quality equipment. Nobody else said that, either -- the closest was Paul saying it's possible to make good-sounding recordings with less expensive gear if your really know what you're doing.

The nearest thing I said was that it's more important to use good equipment and understand how to use it, than to endlessly chase the most expensive item in each category. I guarantee you haven't heard a decrease in the sound quality of recordings I've mastered since I sold the Cranesong and started using a Presonus Firestudio as the interface with my computer. One box cost $4,000, the other was less than $1,000, yet the switch from one to the other does not result in worse-sounding recordings coming out of my studio, either my own work or the albums I master here. You might argue that the newer recordings MUST sound worse, because they went through a less expensive converter, but that simply isn't how it works in the real world.

Seriously, Immersion, I appreciate your intention to argue in favor of using good gear, but your tone is extremely condescending toward several people who certainly know more about audio recording than you do, and who have been using that knowledge to release ambient recordings into the world for many years. You're entitled to your opinion, but philosophies dreamed-up in a studio that doesn't actually record or release any work, no matter the price tag, simply don't match up to philosophies derived from practical experience.
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: El culto on November 23, 2013, 06:40:51 PM
Quote from: Immersion
Why I have not released anything is ONLY because of economical reasons I would say, it has taking me a lot of time to save up, first for a new computer 2009, I had a really slow computer before…

Well, then it´s definitely time for a new computer also….i mean, a machine from 2009 isn´t really the BEST!

Sorry, but I couldn´t resist  :D

BTW: Releasing music isn´t depending on economical reasons - plenty of labels out there!
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: El culto on November 23, 2013, 07:26:23 PM
Quote from: Immersion
I am very sorry that I stood up to defend good sound quality.
 I understand most people have tight budgets I have too but I prioritize..
But it is really sad that one have to defend himself about good sound quality, it is sad that it is only about getting away as
cheap as possible, it is ok but what is not ok is when they say that it sounds as good as more higher end equipment.
To compare soundtoys with the H8000FW is like night and day..
I stand what what I say that soundtoys is more of sound mangle tools. But with that said it can still be useful..just don't say compare with the H8000..
that can be seen like an insult to some I can imagine...the same goes with all other equipment that is "nonsense" to buy it is also and insult of people
who invested in it... 

And it is too much talk about converters, pre amps, microphones, summing, and effects all make more difference then converters,
there are marginal difference, unless you buy a BURL which I intend to do it has a transformer which you can drive with optional level..
This kind of converter makes difference but it is really the transformer that makes the difference, but some converter might ad some kind of colours while
most are made to be discreet.

Alright I am tired now, of defending myself and sound quality as I said I find it sad that people do not have more respect for the sound and treat it as the cosmic phenomenon  it is... and try picture it on a sub atomic level in your mind...it is beautiful.

Immersion, i think you have a fundamental misunderstood about what people complaining!

Nobody is saying, that good quality isn´t appreciated - but it might be helpful to re-read your posts again and to understand how you express yourself! The problem is, that you speak about FACTS (!!!!) to whatever issue it comes. Examples from your latest post?

"To compare soundtoys with the H8000FW is like night and day.."

"I understand most people are more interested how to cheat the best possible sound with cheaper stuff and mask it in different ways with mixing technique"

As long as you speak only for your opinion then express it this way and don´t include ALL the others with your FACTS…you know as it is…opinions are like assholes…anybody has one  ;)

If you believe in what your are searching for…go for it but it´s a mistake to tell others what is the BEST, as the BEST does´t exist AT ALL….you can have the "best" gear but may fail to make music or to end up to be just a gear collector. At the end of the day, no one of the audience cares if you have Lexicon, Avaton, UAD or whatever…..for them ONLY the whole content, message and mood of the music is important - they give a shit about converters, bit rate and if the source is analogue or 100% digital. The only person who has a problem with this is actually YOU as you claim to be the "sound police".

Here are plenty people with enough experiences and they know very well what and how to archive results….if you talk ultimate about X or Y then at last prove it in some ways…either by audio examples, links or whatever…but just speaking ultimately about something without any example isn´t valuable - neither for professionals nor for starters in this forum.
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: El culto on November 23, 2013, 07:33:47 PM
Quote from: Immersion

Regarding albums it is simply too much to mention  and what style of music are we talking about ?

I don´t mind at all - i´m open to many styles!

If there are so many to mention, then it´s very easy for you to tell me just 3!

Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: Castleview on November 23, 2013, 08:52:42 PM
I can understand why Immersion would be passionate about having the best sound quality. However, like Tomas and others have said, music is ultimately subjective and most people can't tell the difference between the best quality and something that's just average or below that. For example, there are people out there that probably can't tell the difference between FLAC and MP3.

I think I'm going to stick with my setup for the most part and just try to improve upon using the things that I have, like Paul and I think some others suggested. I'm sure there's a lot than I can improve upon in terms of recording and production. I feel like I have good ideas and a distinct sound, so I think I can definitely build off of that and get better.
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: El culto on November 23, 2013, 09:54:33 PM
Quote from: Immersion

…. your list….

I think i give up…

I wasn´t asking for your favorite albums, but to show just 3 simple examples where I and other interested people (following this thread) can hear the great sound and quality you are talking about! Then me and others can listen to it and make up their mind….very simple!

But, by bringing this huge list makes anything completely relative (again, i was NOT asking about your favorite albums NOR if you sometimes like lo-fi sounds)….so it really seems like you don´t want to answer my question!

I will ask again (and maybe albums are in this list): Are there 3 albums and/or tracks which represents the great sound by this special sound (clean, analogue etc) you are talking about all the time?

Quote from: Immersion
Well I was hoping about have a discussion about how creating the best sound quality possible, of course, what is best for me does not fit all,  the main argument here is that is not worth to invest money in "too expensive" equipment, cause you can mask it with eq and different mixing techniques.

You are clearly the master of presumptions! Please quote the person who said such a statement in this thread!….i´m sorry to say, but you won´t find anyone!
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: Castleview on November 23, 2013, 10:01:17 PM

Quote from: Immersion
Well I was hoping about have a discussion about how creating the best sound quality possible, of course, what is best for me does not fit all,  the main argument here is that is not worth to invest money in "too expensive" equipment, cause you can mask it with eq and different mixing techniques.

You are clearly the master of presumptions! Please quote the person who said such a statement in this thread!….i´m sorry to say, but you won´t find anyone!

If I had to take a guess, he might have been referring to Paul's post but even that doesn't exactly fit what Immersion seems to be referring to.
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: El culto on November 23, 2013, 10:06:31 PM
I can understand why Immersion would be passionate about having the best sound quality. However, like Tomas and others have said, music is ultimately subjective and most people can't tell the difference between the best quality and something that's just average or below that. For example, there are people out there that probably can't tell the difference between FLAC and MP3.

I think I'm going to stick with my setup for the most part and just try to improve upon using the things that I have, like Paul and I think some others suggested. I'm sure there's a lot than I can improve upon in terms of recording and production. I feel like I have good ideas and a distinct sound, so I think I can definitely build off of that and get better.

If it sounds right for you, it´s right! You know better than anyone else what you are looking for….and IF there is something you want to improve, you always have the chance to adjust your sound to a specific "reference" by tweaking the material or (if necessary) to update your gear. And - for the latter - there is no hurry in today as gear improves constantly and also gets cheaper in price….if you buy the same sound card now (i.e. which was 3 years ago the top notch) no one can say it´s crap just because newer stuff is available now  ;)
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: mgriffin on November 23, 2013, 10:48:03 PM
Well I was reading it before, by more then one person, saying that the with the right "craft" you can make cheap equipment sound better then expensive equipment if you do not have the "craft".

Dude, nobody said this. Repeat it as many times as you like... nobody said cheap sounds better than expensive equipment. Most of us have very expensive recording studios, probably more valuable than our automobiles. I have a nice new Audi, but my studio gear was more expensive than my car. I am not arguing in favor of cheap gear. Nobody is arguing in favor of cheap gear.

The argument is that "more expensive" is not the highest goal.
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: Julio Di Benedetto on November 24, 2013, 06:22:41 AM
I think I'm going to stick with my setup for the most part and just try to improve upon using the things that I have, like Paul and I think some others suggested. I'm sure there's a lot than I can improve upon in terms of recording and production. I feel like I have good ideas and a distinct sound, so I think I can definitely build off of that and get better.

Thats the best advice Ive heard.....and you said it yourself. ;)

In time as your sonic ideas & skill grow you will find that the equipment you use will advance along with you.
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: mgriffin on November 24, 2013, 11:43:13 AM
My last post reads like I'm boasting about having expensive things -- I'd like to add a note of clarification, just to say that wasn't the point of my post. My studio has been a cumulative expenditure over almost 20 years, a little at a time.

I was just expressing frustration about the mis-characterization of my earlier argument, to say that I believed cheap equipment was just as good as expensive equipment, trying to point out that I have plenty of expensive equipment and wouldn't have spent the money if I believed cheap equipment to be just as good.
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: hdibrell on November 24, 2013, 04:05:15 PM



[/quote]

Well I am sorry to tell you, but I find some kind of time pressure, I am reaching 30, I am starting to realize you do not live forever, and life is short.
I also know artistic creativity is not exactly something that gets easier with the years, I still have it in me, but let see how it is when I am starting to reach 40.
So it feels like a battle against the time... I wish I could slow down time...
[/quote]          Hopefully you will still be able to dress and feed yourself by the time you reach 40.  ;)
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: Castleview on November 24, 2013, 04:13:12 PM
Well I'm only 23 so I've got plenty of time.  :)
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: Altus on November 24, 2013, 04:45:56 PM
I'll be turning 36 soon. I don't need a cane yet, but I'm sure I will soon enough.  ::)
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: hdibrell on November 24, 2013, 05:56:47 PM
Well, I'm 62 and I still remember where I live a lot of the time.
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: Seren on November 25, 2013, 02:31:00 AM
wow, it is always interesting to return to something after a few days away and find a thread has been burning 'very hot'.

Immersion, I'm not sure why but you seem to missread people's posts and what they are trying to communicate - at the same time your own posts sound quite 'harsh', and I would be surprised if that was your intention.

Such levels of seeming judgement do not go down well in general.

I too had not read anybody saying that 'cheap' equipment is better than 'expensive' equipment - What I was reading is that everyone has to find their own way with what they can afford and what they can do.

Unfortunately I don't have the finances to even consider the equipment you are buying. You are very lucky to be able to do so and I hope that the equipment brings you the enjoyment and satisfaction you are chasing.

You mentioned Oophoi in your list of examples of good music - Oophoi released my music (and I've never shared this before) because he was amazed with the creativity with which I used the equipment I had - a Korg D16 and almost nothing else. Oophoi also described to me his favourite source and effects chain and surprisingly it did not include the high end equipment I or others might have expected.

Personally I value that sort of support and interaction from experienced and longstanding musicians more than anything else.
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: Seren on November 25, 2013, 05:46:58 AM
further thoughts.

Immersion, your enthusiasm and energy is very obvious in all your posts, these are qualities that everyone on the forum appreciates and will happily support in discussion and with any advice they can muster from their own experience.

Your commitment and focus to your own vision is also very clear. Again I believe these are qualities also valued here, especially as many of us will have already needed to show similar level of commitment to bring into reality that which we have dreamt of manifesting, in whichever field of endeavour is important to us.

A couple of years ago I spent (for me) a considerable sum on a pair of headphones for both listening and monitoring purposes. I always appreciate the increase in quality that improvements in my gear bring. But for me having the 'best' equipment is a dream and the challenge is making the best of what I actually have.

I think you would find that no one here looks down on good equipment....(please correct me everyone else if I am wrong....)

You come across as very 'driven', and this creates a feel to your language that comes across as an attack because you appear to allow no other viewpoint than your own - which makes it very hard to have an open discussion, considering pros and cons, ups and downs. It makes people feel that if you already think you have the answers, why bother asking the question and then belittle the answers that people give you.



I find my ears are the best equipment I have and that no gadget of any form actually recreates the sounds I hear when I am in a natural environment, such as deep in the forest, where there are few intrusions of 'human sounds'.

My most used piece of equipment? The drummers stool I sit on when in the studio - it is an essential part of every recording I have made and at £30 or so was a bargain.

One thing I have not understood from your posts is that you are focussed on 'clear' and 'true' sound - but you did mention that you like to "color and saturate sound, driving transformers hard, create harmonics etc" - how do you relate these 2 things as they appear contradictory at first read.
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: Julio Di Benedetto on November 25, 2013, 06:12:45 AM
Well, I'm 62 and I still remember where I live a lot of the time.

LOL  ;D
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: Julio Di Benedetto on November 25, 2013, 06:52:46 AM

You mentioned Oophoi in your list of examples of good music - Oophoi released my music (and I've never shared this before) because he was amazed with the creativity with which I used the equipment I had - a Korg D16 and almost nothing else. Oophoi also described to me his favourite source and effects chain and surprisingly it did not include the high end equipment I or others might have expected.


A poorly made Katana Sword in the hands of a skilled Samurai is just as deadly as one perfectly crafted by a master swordsmith.......not a poetic image but something that was once said to me.
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: El culto on November 25, 2013, 06:54:18 AM
Quote from: Seren

I think you would find that no one here looks down on good equipment....(please correct me everyone else if I am wrong....)

Just had a quick look around and I think i disagree!  ;D

(http://www.justhottoys.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Vtech-KidiJamz-Studio-2528.jpg)
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: Seren on November 25, 2013, 07:30:38 AM
 8)
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: Castleview on November 25, 2013, 09:23:57 AM
Somebody here should make an album with just that keyboard.
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: APK on November 25, 2013, 11:10:47 AM
That beast is way out of my price range.
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: hdibrell on November 25, 2013, 02:40:32 PM
That beast is way out of my price range.
;D
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: Scott M2 on November 25, 2013, 08:11:49 PM
This is a good example where having so many sonic options becomes a barrier to finishing your music!
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: El culto on November 26, 2013, 04:21:37 PM

One thing I have not understood from your posts is that you are focussed on 'clear' and 'true' sound - but you did mention that you like to "color and saturate sound, driving transformers hard, create harmonics etc" - how do you relate these 2 things as they appear contradictory at first read.

I said earlier,  that if your system provide a "clear" sound you have more control if you want to color it. That was my argument.  If there always is a certain color, you will be stuck with it.  Also all these so called coloring do of course benefit if your system is clean sounding otherwise colors will be mixed in maybe an unwanted way.
Both my Pre amps and converters I intend to buy are veristile and you can yourself choose the amount of color from very clean to saturated.

OK, i have a question:

What is a clear sound?….. and more important how it sounds like?
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: Paul Vnuk (Ma Ja Le) on November 26, 2013, 10:12:25 PM
Ok...time to wade back into these waters.


- Interesting to hear Paul say he has forsaken the hardware for software reverbs.  8)

You know, 3 years ago I would have been one of the snobs scoffing at computer/software reverbs and claiming that in no way could a software reverb ever compete with hardware. This is why I had an H8000FW a few Lexicon units ranging from the MPX-1 on up to the PCM's , I also had a TC M3000, a Roland SRV-330 and an Eventide Eclipse.

Then a switch was flicked and companies got it. In my opinion the Lexicon PCM collection is equal to the hardware PCM-96 and is easier to program. Universal Audio got the rights and the white papers and even worked with the original developers to put THE EXACT algorithms of the Lexicon 224 and the EMT240 into the UAD-2 card. The only thing lacking is the original low bit D to A converters and even that was modeled. There are countless others that are amazing.

The H8000FW is an amazing and perhaps the most amazing multi-fx box ever made, but as Immersion pointed out (or Mr. Roach told him) it is a way of life. As a father of 3 and a full time working audio engineer, I do not have the luxury to dig into a box that deep. Plus its programing is very archaic. You need a corse in hieroglyphics. If it had a good computer editor I may have kept it, but at $5500 it sat unused in my room unless I was playing live...IE not a good use of $$$ So I traded it to the owner of a high end mic company for two of his mics, one which I the sold, and one that really made a bigger difference in my studio than any mic before it. Win, win!

Immersion sorry to refute you but I CAN do everything the H8000FW did inside the computer with my various reverbs, and SoundToys plugins, UA plug-ins and PSP plug-ins. I can also do all of that with the same stunning sound quality and sonic integrity. This is not bragging, its just a fact of how I work and what I can do. The H8000FW is a sound-mangling effects box first and a reverb unit second. To buy it as a reverb box alone is a colossal waist of money in my opinion. Also pulling up effects plug-ins in the computer and chaining them is way easier than working with the Eventide. Again this is my opinion and how I prefer to work.

Please don't take this as bragging but I have had a 15 plus year career (you know where you get paid money for your work) of doing sound design libraries for various companies and in reviews of said product, as with my albums sound quality has always been mentioned as stellar.

I really am not trying to be rude, really I am not and if we were talking face to face maybe I would not sound like such a jerk but I just need to point out as Mike has more politely than me tried to point out, there are actual working pros on this thread who are staggered by your empirical statements of what is the best pieces of gear for "ambient" music. I actually find it demeaning to myself, and to many of the others here when you say things like "purity of sound and ultimate clarity and quality may not be as important to us as it is to you"...or what ever, I know I am paraphrasing. I mean seriously...my gut reaction is "do you know who you are talking to?" Most of the folks here have 10x the experience you do and you may do well to chill and listen a bit! You may just learn something.

I just ask, where are you getting all of your advice from??? Gearslutz??? The reason I ask is, you have all of your facts of whats great and what is the best...but I have mine, Mike has his, APK has his, so maybe just tone it down to "I am thinking about getting this or that because its what I want and its what I think or have been told will do a good job for me, what do you guys think" Rather than the assumed, "everyone knows this is the best, or that is the best widget in all of creation."

You see a conversation is when one party says I like this and here is why, what do think? Then the other says, I am not sure, I have always like this better, maybe you should check it out, but I am curious about what you just brought up...and so on."

Dude trust me I have been there, right where you are, I have! I chased sound purity for years, I have driven collaborators nuts with my obsession for scrubbing out noise and the clarity of gear, and in the end it got in the way of the music more often than not.

The two best pieces of advice that I have ever received over the years are:

1. NEVER BUY ANYTHING ON REPUTATION ALONE!!! ALWAYS WHEN POSSIBLE TRY IT FIRST!
2. NEVER BUY MORE THAN ONE OR TWO PIECES OF GEAR AT A TIME! IE-learn one, master it learn its strengths and limits and THEN add more.

Dude you already have great converters, nice monitors and the king of effects boxes...STOP NOW!

Learning the what the H8000 can do should take quite some time, enjoy that time. the think about compressors or other effects and synths or converters.

Lastly one other bit of factual nonsense...

3-Way monitors are a very poor choice for monitoring unless your room is big enough to have the throw where they can do their job, so telling others that everyone knows 3-ways are the best, is inaccurate if their rooms cannot accommodate them.

I once asked a respected person in the audio industry, a person who has demoed, used, reviewed and tried literally 100's of monitors, what his favorites were, and his answer was like a zen master. He told me "The best ones are the ones which YOU can mix on".

In my room I use a 2.1 KRK E8b set up, I also have a pair of smaller 5" Genelecs, and a small set of $40 computer speakers and I mix on all 3. In my editing suite at my day job doing audio for videos, podcasts and streaming I use a set of MKIII KRK Rockit 5's and at home I have Ribbon Tweetered Emotiva Pros. I can mix on any of them. Do I prefer my E8's ??? Yep. Do I wish I had Barefoot's Yep!

I do agree with you that monitors and converters are of utmost importance and often, because they are not fun toys most people leave them till last and I do think that is a mistake if you want to be a studio engineer. If you just want to be a musician, then get some instruments that inspire you! Even before getting great monitors and converters here is a Gearslutz mantra I wholeheartedly agree with treat your room!!! Treat Your Room!!! Treat Your Room!!! Spend $500 to $1000 making your room acoustically sound and it will make all of your gear sound better. Some may disagree, but when I converted my studio from a room with some gear in it, to a balanced and treated workspace it was night and day, and my work became easier.

Ok, I am done for now in this thread. Sorry if you think I am a jerk of the highest order, not my intention, but there it is.
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: Seren on November 27, 2013, 01:40:21 AM
Great Post Paul.

I hope, one day, to have a room for a studio good enough to treat...I now know where to come for advice if I achieve it - start a thread.....
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: mgriffin on November 27, 2013, 09:51:13 AM
I think of technical discussion and gear recommendations as being, ideally, a fun and positive exchange of ideas and suggestions. It's unfortunate when things should turn unpleasant, or when someone else's ideas are dismissed.

Personally I to see insight into the tools and working methods of some of the more experience forum members -- Paul, APK, Loren, Forrest, and many others. Rather than being frustrated or annoyed when one of them does something in a different way from how I have always done it, instead of thinking "Why do they do it like that? Everybody knows it's better to do it like THIS!" -- I think to myself, "That's interesting. It's different from how I work, so what can I learn from it?"

Many of the instruments, recording devices, effects, pieces of computer hardware and software that I use, I can remember back to when I first heard a friend or fellow recording artist or engineer mention it, or show it to me.

The only negative aspect to discussions like this should be that occasionally, they inspire "gear lust" and make us spend money on equipment we might not otherwise buy!
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: Castleview on November 27, 2013, 11:28:47 AM
I think of technical discussion and gear recommendations as being, ideally, a fun and positive exchange of ideas and suggestions. It's unfortunate when things should turn unpleasant, or when someone else's ideas are dismissed.

Personally I to see insight into the tools and working methods of some of the more experience forum members -- Paul, APK, Loren, Forrest, and many others. Rather than being frustrated or annoyed when one of them does something in a different way from how I have always done it, instead of thinking "Why do they do it like that? Everybody knows it's better to do it like THIS!" -- I think to myself, "That's interesting. It's different from how I work, so what can I learn from it?"

Many of the instruments, recording devices, effects, pieces of computer hardware and software that I use, I can remember back to when I first heard a friend or fellow recording artist or engineer mention it, or show it to me.

The only negative aspect to discussions like this should be that occasionally, they inspire "gear lust" and make us spend money on equipment we might not otherwise buy!

Well, it could have turned out a lot worse. Yeah, Immersion was a bit elitist here but I don't think he was being malicious. I've seen much worse on other forums, usually about more polarizing topics though.

If this is the nastiest and most vicious discussion to ever happen here, this forum is in great shape.
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: mgriffin on November 27, 2013, 11:49:40 AM
I didn't mean to say that Immersion said anything very bad. I just wanted to remind people here that exchanging information is supposed to be an enjoyable, reciprocal learning experience.
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: ffcal on November 27, 2013, 03:29:25 PM
Immersion said:

"There is a lot of talk about 10 years of experience, and 15 years of experience it is really  not anything that is revelation to the discussion there is a lot of artists that have life long careers, as a musician and producer is a lot about your taste and sense of audio , some one have it some have not.  Of course I understand you did might not say it directely but indirectly, the whole general attitude seemed to be that you could get away with bad equipment with the right skills.. I told many times this correct but to a certain level, to beyond a certain thresold you really need more then good skills you also need good tools and equipments."

Seems like you haven't been reading with others have been saying.  As Mike and others have said already, no-one is advocating the use of "bad" equipment with the "right" skills.  You seem to be getting lost in the details and are not attuned to what some of the more experienced musicians are trying to say to you.  One of things I have learned through the years is that you will learn more if you approach your craft with more humility and appreciate that will always be much that you don't know and possibly will never know.  The alternative is to resonate within your own echo chamber, but I suspect that that is not the result you're seeking.

Good luck.

Forrest
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: ffcal on November 27, 2013, 04:16:10 PM
Immersion said:

You seem to be getting lost in the details and are not attuned to what some of the more experienced musicians are trying to say to you. 

I think if some one said that to you you would consider such statements proactive.
I wish we could have a coequal discussion, where all people are equally worth, and not people riding on high horses saying things like "I have better experience then you"  it really kills the discussion, and is not really constructive and right.

I said that the years of experience is of no relevance, some people have it in them some have not, so to make this into some kind of competition who has released most albums and how have been working with certain audio in certai amount of years I find really provocative and arrogant.  People use it as their main argument that they have certain years of experience so for that reason everything they say is above others,  there is so many artists out there who have been working all life so years of experience say really zero to be honest.  Some one achieve the same results in 1 year then the other person achieve in 30 years in terms of sound quality  and production.

I think the people responding to your thread have for the most part been very restrained and I think most of the fire has been coming from your direction.  I certainly haven't been talking down to you and tried to give you constructive feedback on a piece you posted to the forum.  The only biting comments seem to be coming from people who seem frustrated by the generalizations in your responses.  Did you ever consider that maybe in your defensiveness you're overcompensating for insecurities about your own inexperience?  The best defense is not always an offense.

One other nontechnical word of advice--getting some musical training in performing or music theory, if you don't have some already, will benefit you in the long run.

Finally, while I know you're trying, some of your sentences do not flow well grammatically and at times it can difficult to understand what you're saying.

Forrest
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: ffcal on November 27, 2013, 04:47:17 PM
I think people who have disagreed with you in this thread have said quite a bit more to you than "I have more experience," but you seem not to process what they're saying or just dismiss it out of hand.  Maybe you should re-read some of the responses, especially Paul's detailed ones.  There's no secret society here, but if I were you I wouldn't be too proud about being a contrarian for contrariness' sake.  And no, your tone throughout this thread has been offensive.  If you're seeking some help, you're going about it the wrong way.

Forrest

Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: ffcal on November 27, 2013, 05:22:38 PM
[I guess since most people are artists here they have the  need to some kind of self censorship in order to portray their own reputation. So as I said within a certain circle of people in this forum there will never ever been any arguments cause they do not want to risk to to create tension between relations.

Here's a good example of what I'm talking about.  This is just gratuitous and, frankly, speculative junk.

Forrest
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: Paul Vnuk (Ma Ja Le) on November 27, 2013, 11:44:43 PM
Immersion, you seam to hear only what you want to hear. Seriously!

I never said the Sound Toys was BETTER than the H8000FW. In fact I believe I said that the H8000FW is perhaps the best multi-fx processor on the market today. Its freaking incredible! What I did say was it is a cost that I could not justify. For the way that I work I can do everything I was doing with the H8000FW with the Sound Toys Plug-ins. I don't care if they sound exact because functionally as sound manglers and sweeteners they do everything I need them to do. I also feel the same way with the PSP plug-ins and more.

Next thing you don't seam to get. To state that all 2 way monitors are horrible shows your complete lack of knowledge on the subject. Some 3-ways are awesome. I HAVE heard the Tridents, they sound great, Harvey knows his stuff!!! He actually did a great and ingenious job of creating a 3-way that works awesome in a near field space.

However there are also great, not good, not passible but freaking amazing 2-ways as well. Interesting how the dozens of studios I have been in across the country over the years almost ALL seam to use and own a good set of 2-way 8" monitors be it Genelec, KRK, Focal, Dynaudio, Yamaha, Adam and more. Oh wait you don't like experience and usage as proof.

I was simply stating that to truly utilize the clarity and power of many sets of full size  3-ways or even large 2-ways for that matter, you need a good room that is big enough to get a nice distance from your monitors. To tell someone who mixes in an average bedroom, den or small basement space to go get large $3,000 to $5000 monitors is, in my line of work, misleading and irresponsible.

Did you know that they make 5" and 4" monitors so you can get closer to your speakers in a small space and often get better results? Did you know that for the most part if you don't spend some decent cash and treat your room for early reflections and trap some of your bass frequencies, you are by and large wasting your money since your speakers won't give you all the clarity and accuracy that you spent so much money on in the first place?

Did you know that most really good engineers can mix on anything and trillions of great sounding albums have been mixed on Yamaha NS-10's as a reference.

In our genre I know of many great sounding albums which have been mixed using the old Mackie speakers (the model escapes me) which I find harsh and fatiguing personally. But if a person can mix on them and get the finished product that they have is all that matters in the end. Of course that will be interpreted as me telling folks that good results can be had on cheap gear again.

The thing is, while I have alluded to it, it is true to a point. People can get great and professional (whatever that really means) results on less expensive gear. There are countless big label releases that have been recorded and mixed without 3-ways, Eventides and such.

Its also true that high end gear can give amazing results and make getting them easier than cheap stuff can. Wisdom lies in knowing which is best for you. My point is why would you go and buy a Ferrari when you are just learning to drive??? Other than because you can I guess.

Now having said that, I do agree with you that it is just as much of a trap to fall prey to the cult of good enough. Buying every cheap piece of crap that comes along with an arrogant attitude of "this is just as good as the pro stuff" can also yield disastrous results, but in this thread no one has said that.

However if someone like the original poster comes in with, "this is what I have, this is my budget, please help!" and you essentially imply, "what you have is crap, spend crazy $$$ like I am or you CAN'T make good music". Well someone needs to balance that with a reality check of, "do the best you can with what you have, despite the cost and save up for better stuff one step at a time".

If a person can only afford $200 - $300 and asks my opinion of what is the best microphone for $200 -  $300 I owe it to them to point out what is the best value in the price range they have mentioned. Its even ok to point out $400-$600 microphones that may be better if they are patient and wait a few more months. But, if I come at them with the usual gearslutz attitude of..."if you don't drop $2-5k on a mic then you can't make good music"...that would make me a jerk of the highest order.

I mean dude...can I call you dude?

I cannot find any fault with your gear list. Eventide, Dangerous, Burl, Trident all make killer stuff! Great gear of the highest order. Any studio with that kind of gear should have no excuses for poor recording quality.

The problem here is, as others have tried to tell you again, and again, and again...you present these items as the holy grails of gear, nothing can be better. Nothing...NOTHING!!! You also present it as a fact that everyone in the universe has accepted as a sonic purity law!

Sorry to tell you that there are other great monitor choices than the HG-3 and other great compressors than the Bax and so on...the one unit you have that even in my opinion cannot be bested and has no true competition in its world is the H8000FW. Still does not mean everyone needs one, and you are not some kind of artistic genius cuz you own one.

If you started a post like "hey I just got an H8000 and its blowing my mind!" I would guess folks here would respond with, "really? Wow, thats cool, what do you like it on? How are you using it?" and so on and so on. Its a much better presentation than what you have been doing.

Lastly, really I do think its cool and encouraging to see someone pursuing music and engineering with this kind of passion who is willing to go all the way and get some of the best gear out there to accomplish sonic goals which it seams you are setting for yourself! Bravo!

I know you refuted this before, but its actually what I did when I started out. I drew a line in the sand, decided on the quality and level of seriousness I was after, and then set goals both financially and educationally to make these dreams reality. 12 years ago I saved up for two years so I could afford my 8-channel Millennia Media HV3D Preamp. I still have it today and use it all the time.

So seriously, enjoy your gear. Enjoy and be challenged in your pursuit of music, but stop coming across as Mr. Know-it-all!

Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: Castleview on November 30, 2013, 06:59:24 PM
Is there really a good reason to continue this argument? Not that I'm against a good debate, but I feel like it's going in circles at this point.
Title: Re: Digital to analog converters
Post by: El culto on December 01, 2013, 11:44:29 AM
Is there really a good reason to continue this argument? Not that I'm against a good debate, but I feel like it's going in circles at this point.

+1 Thought the same (even i did response earlier too...)

I´m just waiting now for the day hearing some stuff by Immersion! Then we all can compare what makes the difference in audio quality with all the gear he owns then.

Cheers,
Tomas