Author Topic: Digital to analog converters  (Read 42364 times)

Scott M2

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 735
    • View Profile
    • dreamSTATE
Re: Digital to analog converters
« Reply #80 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!

El culto

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 382
    • View Profile
Re: Digital to analog converters
« Reply #81 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?

Paul Vnuk (Ma Ja Le)

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 332
    • View Profile
    • Paul's Myspace
Re: Digital to analog converters
« Reply #82 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.
"I liken good ambient to good poetry ... enjoyable, often powerful, and usually unpopular" APK

Seren

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1133
    • View Profile
Re: Digital to analog converters
« Reply #83 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.....

mgriffin

  • Hypnos Founder
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7124
  • Life is a memory, and then it is nothing.
    • View Profile
    • www.hypnos.com
Re: Digital to analog converters
« Reply #84 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!
[ Mike Griffin, Hypnos Recordings ] email mg (at) hypnos.com | http://hypnos.com | http://twitter.com/mgsoundvisions

Castleview

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 408
    • View Profile
Re: Digital to analog converters
« Reply #85 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.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2013, 11:30:18 AM by Castleview »
http://castleview.bandcamp.com/
New album, Elemental Wave, available now on Black Dingo Records:
https://duffegan.bandcamp.com/album/elemental-wave

mgriffin

  • Hypnos Founder
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7124
  • Life is a memory, and then it is nothing.
    • View Profile
    • www.hypnos.com
Re: Digital to analog converters
« Reply #86 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.
[ Mike Griffin, Hypnos Recordings ] email mg (at) hypnos.com | http://hypnos.com | http://twitter.com/mgsoundvisions

ffcal

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1086
    • View Profile
Re: Digital to analog converters
« Reply #87 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
« Last Edit: November 27, 2013, 03:45:10 PM by ffcal »

ffcal

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1086
    • View Profile
Re: Digital to analog converters
« Reply #88 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
« Last Edit: November 27, 2013, 04:29:17 PM by ffcal »

ffcal

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1086
    • View Profile
Re: Digital to analog converters
« Reply #89 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

« Last Edit: November 27, 2013, 04:59:53 PM by ffcal »

ffcal

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1086
    • View Profile
Re: Digital to analog converters
« Reply #90 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

Paul Vnuk (Ma Ja Le)

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 332
    • View Profile
    • Paul's Myspace
Re: Digital to analog converters
« Reply #91 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!

"I liken good ambient to good poetry ... enjoyable, often powerful, and usually unpopular" APK

Castleview

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 408
    • View Profile
Re: Digital to analog converters
« Reply #92 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.
http://castleview.bandcamp.com/
New album, Elemental Wave, available now on Black Dingo Records:
https://duffegan.bandcamp.com/album/elemental-wave

El culto

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 382
    • View Profile
Re: Digital to analog converters
« Reply #93 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...)

Im 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