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Author Topic: Does P-T lose bottom when you transfer from tape? Testing Mixerman's premise  (Read 19435 times)

Ron Steele

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Al-righty, because of this tread in the marsh:

http://marsh.prosoundweb.com/index.php/mv/msg/8158/0/0/

and other countless threads scattered around the www for a # of years I thought it was time for a test that could shed some light to this on going debate.

I have consulted with Fletcher and Brad on this topic and have there permission to post this here. They both have given a positive response. Also, out of courtesy, I have notified the the moderators of this forum  and have received no objections from them, and I'd like to thank them all for allowing this into the "what ever works" forum.


The tests will be conducted here:

http://www.chicagorecording.com/music/music.htm

The CRC is one of the most professional and reputable facilities in the country, and there  staff is good as it gets anywhere. I have spoken with the studio manager, and he has expressed an interest in this as well. I have know direct ties to them, and they will be able
to provide an impartial and professional execution of the test.

So the first question is, what is the test?

Seeing there has been so much debate regarding all this, I thought it would be a good idea to have all of you participate in what it should or shouldn't be. I'm also hoping REP moderators will also participate and help determine the process and methodology.


1.My contact at CRC first thought would be to track a short 4 piece rock based thing to 2" and PT HD at the same time. This would allow for a comparison of the effects of tape versus straight to digital.

2.Once a track was recorded, we would also transfer the 2" to PT HD to see how the transfer holds up in PT HD against the original 2".

3. We could then test the summing of PT stemmed thru a neve or ssl, versus PT ITB summing.

As for other formats?

I could see RADAR in the mix for a converter test, and I've heard nothing but great things about RADAR from a lot of reputable sources, but CRC's unit is currently on tour with someone and RADAR would add nothing to the summing part of the test.

I could compare the PT ITB bounce to a logic ITB bounce? I like this one.

Maybe we could test other summing boxes versus the neve or ssl?

Let's discuss.
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Mixerman

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Re: The big Transfer/ Summimg comparison Test Thread.
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2005, 12:04:05 pm »

You can do any experiments, or tests you like and I encourage many of them. But the one that both Slipperman and I told you was the most obvious and telling test, is to transfer some recorded drums from 2" into Alsihad. Then compare the playback of both machines, through the same console. You have to make absolutely certain that you are inputting and outputting the precisely same level from Aslihad, and the preciesly same level that the tape machine is outputting.

Play back your recordings.

While I'm quite certain that you will discover the Alsihad low end problem in a variety of crcumstances, this one is the easiest and most telling. And most importantly, this is the only test you can use to dispute mine.

Comparing a recording into PT vs. a recording made into 2" is ludicrous and is not a fair comparisons, unless you get your tones while the tape machine is in record, like anyone who truly understands analog tape does. If you're determining your levels by ear, and by how the tape reacts, then you are using the benfits of tape, as you should. If you don't, then what exactly are you comparing? A poor use of tape v. a digital recording?

I'm not saying you won't notice low end problems in this. But you'll notice problems with the 2" tape as well, because you did a shit ass job in recording to the 2".

If you use 2" right in rock music, it will always smoke Alsihad. The advantages of Aslihad have more to do with manipulation.

You must be able to A/B a source, directly with Alsihad. This isn't for you to hear tha Alsihad doesn't perfectly reproduce the 2". I don't expect it to. The Radar certainly doesn't. But I don't expect it to be completely different either, and missing an entire bottom octave of low-end.

Again, if you want to do the test, do it as Slipperman laid out.

Otherwise, don't come back to me.

Mixerman

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wavdoctor

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Re: The big Transfer/ Summimg comparison Test Thread.
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2005, 02:04:20 pm »

This is not to be construed as a negative but...Then What?
how many will go out and buy a 2" machine? if you can find one?
I just don't get all the hoopla about this platform or that, They all work, And soon they will be all we have. As an mastering engineer for the past 12 years, I say work on the technique not the tools. I have heard stuff on roland vs-880 sound better than 2" in the right hands.
devils advocate here... Evil or Very Mad

Harry
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Harry Brookes

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Re: The big Transfer/ Summimg comparison Test Thread.
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2005, 02:44:14 pm »

Ron,

I think that it's a great idea always to run such tests to separate fact from fiction (realizing that what sounds *good* to one person may sound *bad* to another).  I followed your link to the Marsh thread, but there were too many pages to read, so I didn't read any of the arguments made there.  BUT, years ago, I did an informal *sum in PT vs sum in analog console* and was more than a bit surprised by what I found.

I gather from Mixerman's post above that there was some dialog about transferring 2" into PT and then it sounding different in PT.  Well, I wouldn't be surprised about that, but I've never done that test and if anyone does such a test, I'd put my headphones on to hear the resultant files.  I love tests in general and think they're good for all of us.

I can say that I have used most of the major formats and feel that from a sonic perspective, RADAR is probably, to my ears, the best *all around* format.  I might even prefer it to 2" tape, simply because of the lack of tape hiss.

Perhaps for those of us too lazy to read through the entire Marsh post to find the test that Mixerman and Slipperman were referring to, you could post their proposed test here?  I'm just trying to figure out what you're trying to accomplish, because I believe that it's best to keep your testing to only 1 or 2 tests.  Otherwise, it becomes cumbersome to perform and you're likely to make mistakes which invalidate your tests.  So I would recommend that you don't try to answer *too many* questions with whatever test you perform.  Just give us a couple of well done tests of your choice, and then post the files.  And I wish you good luck and appreciate your time and effort.  Good stuff.
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The Resonater

RKrizman

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Re: The big Transfer/ Summimg comparison Test Thread.
« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2005, 03:27:02 pm »

Ron Steele wrote on Fri, 28 October 2005 09:15

Al-righty, because of this tread in the marsh:

http://marsh.prosoundweb.com/index.php/mv/msg/8158/0/0/

So the first question is, what is the test?


1.My contact at CRC first thought would be to track a short 4 piece rock based thing to 2" and PT HD at the same time. This would allow for a comparison of the effects of tape versus straight to digital.

2.Once a track was recorded, we would also transfer the 2" to PT HD to see how the transfer holds up in PT HD against the original 2".

3. We could then test the summing of PT stemmed thru a neve or ssl, versus PT ITB summing.

As for other formats?

I could see RADAR in the mix for a converter test, and I've heard nothing but great things about RADAR from a lot of reputable sources, but CRC's unit is currently on tour with someone and RADAR would add nothing to the summing part of the test.

I could compare the PT ITB bounce to a logic ITB bounce? I like this one.

Maybe we could test other summing boxes versus the neve or ssl?

Let's discuss.



Of course, whoever is doing the work can decide to do what they wish, but here's my 2 cents.  #3 has been done to death.  #1 is a little more interesting, although it was pointed out that maximizing the response in one medium may not maximize it in the other.

#2 is the opportunity to test that whole low end loss issue that some are hanging onto.  Do one pass of drums only.  Compare the multitrack outputs.  I doubt if you'll find anything drastic, and would guess that every converter you use will sound a little different, if only because it's a different analog chain.  Still, it would probably be instructive.  By all means, toss in  RADAR.  In fact, try recording in with an HD 192 and playing back through RADAR, to see if RADAR actually just perserves things better or adds something after the fact.

If I were a person who thought that a certain mass marketed converter was fundamentally broken and could demonstrate it in the course of my day, I certainly would have laid some down to tape, circulated it widely and used it as a club to flog the offending manufacturer.  But as it stands now, I think you're being sucked into revivng a dead issue, right up there with "My cousin knows the nurse who admitted Richard Gere...."  In any case, having also been banned from the Marsh as a suspected Digi troll it's wonderfully nostalgic to be able to address the issue yet again in this bastion of free speech.

-R
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dsuycott

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Re: The big Transfer/ Summimg comparison Test Thread.
« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2005, 04:17:57 pm »

wavdoctor wrote on Fri, 28 October 2005 13:04

This is not to be construed as a negative but...Then What?
how many will go out and buy a 2" machine? if you can find one?
I just don't get all the hoopla about this platform or that, They all work, And soon they will be all we have. As an mastering engineer for the past 12 years, I say work on the technique not the tools. I have heard stuff on roland vs-880 sound better than 2" in the right hands.
devils advocate here... Evil or Very Mad

Harry


10-4

with all the banter back and forth about the digital vs. analog thing some people seem to get all hot and steamy about, for me the funniest part of this discussion was that know one seemed to ever actually do a test with the tracking/transferring and post it in the forums. with that in mind we decided to approach some folks here in chicago to do the tracking then fletcher and brad to see if we could use a forum to post the results.

i'm with you on the technique not the tools thing this just seems to be a fun thing to do and might provide some good chatter hopefully not a bunch of bitching.

Ron Steele

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Re: The big Transfer/ Summimg comparison Test Thread.
« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2005, 05:56:43 pm »

Hey Resonater,

here is the test splipperman suggested.
------------------------------------------------------------ -----------------------------------
Why don't you gents just dupe a full rock band on 24x multitrack off the 827 in Studio 4 to the HD192 @ 48k/24bit. Then set up an 'apples to apples overpatch' and just roll the same basic scratch mix down to the Studer 2x in two seperate passes?

Toss it up on the mains.

Play.

That should basically cover it.
------------------------------------------------------------ -----------------------------------

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The Resonater

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Re: The big Transfer/ Summimg comparison Test Thread.
« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2005, 09:15:34 pm »

I like Slipperman's idea.  I'd be interested to hear the resulting files.  If RADAR is unavailable, then limit your tests to just that.  A 24 track, 2" file dumped into a 192, with each format level-matched and played back through a common medium (console) and recorded to 24/96 mix format.  Post files.  That's surely a test that one could easily handle in a long afternoon.  Look forward to hearing the files!

I agree with Kriz, the summing buss issue has kinda been flogged to death.  
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RKrizman

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Re: The big Transfer/ Summimg comparison Test Thread.
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2005, 11:05:25 am »

The Resonater wrote on Fri, 28 October 2005 21:15

I like Slipperman's idea.  I'd be interested to hear the resulting files.  If RADAR is unavailable, then limit your tests to just that.  A 24 track, 2" file dumped into a 192, with each format level-matched and played back through a common medium (console) and recorded to 24/96 mix format.  Post files.  That's surely a test that one could easily handle in a long afternoon.  Look forward to hearing the files!

I agree with Kriz, the summing buss issue has kinda been flogged to death.  


I did it yesterday afternoon with some drums.  Can I post a few segments here?

-R
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Ron Steele

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Re: The big Transfer/ Summimg comparison Test Thread.
« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2005, 04:29:37 pm »

Quote:

 did it yesterday afternoon with some drums. Can I post a few segments here?

-R


Please do Rick. I'd love to hear them.

Ron
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malice

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Re: The big Transfer/ Summimg comparison Test Thread.
« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2005, 09:54:58 am »

I know some of you don't go to the MARSH that often, but the two last posts from Bob Ohlson are interesting and may offer an explaination to what we (Mixerman, Bob, Slipperman, me, and number of professional AEs) experienced in all good faith.

http://marsh.prosoundweb.com/index.php/m/116278/


Do any test that you wanna invest in, make sure you do it properly, I have no doubt you will come to the same conclusions.

But this opinion from Bob, whom couldn't be suspect to be dishonnest, is interesting because it gives a valid, technical explaination to the problem.

Krizman, I appreciate the help, but reading your posts doesn't put me in a total confidence that you are totally objective. And if I may reveal a bit about your experiment, I don't think the converters you used to capture the mix buss are sufficient to make a good evaluation.

I think that we need at least something like Lavrys, latest apogees or Mytek to do the test.

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bblackwood

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Re: The big Transfer/ Summimg comparison Test Thread.
« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2005, 10:27:48 am »

Hrmm, good point, Mouse. Perhaps the test should be expanded to include listening to the transferred files through outboard converters (specifically comparing the bottom end). If I'm not mistaken, Mixerman's assertion that PTHD dropped the bottom end was when using the stock HD converters...

Ron?
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Brad Blackwood
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mwagener

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Re: The big Transfer/ Summimg comparison Test Thread.
« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2005, 10:46:45 am »

Ron Steele wrote on Fri, 28 October 2005 08:15

...1.My contact at CRC first thought would be to track a short 4 piece rock based thing to 2" and PT HD at the same time. This would allow for a comparison of the effects of tape versus straight to digital.


IMO in order to maximise any recording platform, different treatments of the source signal have to be used on the way in. If you just record the same signal to each medium, one of them will suffer as not being recorded "properly". You have to treat the recording chain for digital different than the the recording chain for analog, in order to make them both sound good. "Good sound" is different in the ears of different listeners, so that test would end up just being an opinion not a result.

just my

Ron Steele

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Re: The big Transfer/ Summimg comparison Test Thread.
« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2005, 11:39:37 am »

Quote:

But this opinion from Bob, whom couldn't be suspect to be dishonnest, is interesting because it gives a valid, technical explaination to the problem.



Malice, Bob's opinion on this topic are more consistent with Terry Mannings suggestion of tracking with lower levels when recoding to any DAW.  

In his post, Bob did'nt mention anything about HD's converters lacking a -6db roll-off at 50hz.

He said:

Quote:

The problem is one of dynamic headroom when operated at +4 average levels.


If he means that this is what causes the roll-off, roll-off MM and Bob have 2 different reasons for it.

So my question to you malice is, which is it?  Confused

Record levels or HD's converter?

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Ron Steele

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Re: The big Transfer/ Summimg comparison Test Thread.
« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2005, 11:55:25 am »

Quote:

Hrmm, good point, Mouse. Perhaps the test should be expanded to include listening to the transferred files through outboard converters (specifically comparing the bottom end). If I'm not mistaken, Mixerman's assertion that PTHD dropped the bottom end was when using the stock HD converters...

Ron?


Brad, unless I misunderstood your post, while I think that would be a very interesting thing to test, that's just an output test. In the particular situation MM  speaks of, he used the HD converters on the way.... in.... and out, so the input needs to be considered aa important part of the equation when doing a transfer test.  

Now one thing I thought would be cool is to eliminate the input all together by creating a reason track with a lot of low end, import into protools and then listen to the stock HD converters as well as other 3rd party converter outputs.
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