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Author Topic: 2 track master recorders...I'm curious...  (Read 4512 times)

SirDonut

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2 track master recorders...I'm curious...
« on: January 05, 2007, 06:51:16 pm »

As to why there are boutique preamps, eqs, consoles, effects boxes, but when it comes to acquisition formats for two track audio you essentially have a choice between the alesis masterlink or a tascam CD Burner.

Has in-the-box mixing on computers stifled the demand for hi-res digital two-track recorders? Does it have to do with the fact that at that level you're dealing mainly with chips that only the large companies like alesis, tascam, hhb etc only have the means to produce and install? I think I understand why it is how it is with two-track recorders (and multitracks) but I'm just curious as if anyone has insight to the larger picture here....and honestly I dont have experience with these boxes...but are they "good enough?" Do they "Get the job done?" or are they lacking?
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Fletcher

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Re: 2 track master recorders...I'm curious...
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2007, 08:16:39 am »

Fow whatever it might be worth I've found the "stand alone" units superfluous at best, and their converters at best lacking.

At our joint we go through either the Weiss converters, Crane Song [HEDD-192] converters or Apogee AD-16X converters and store the mixes on the computer.  Seems to work pretty well, seems to not be a problem to print CD's from the mixes we print [I say "seems" because my assistant does all that... I can't make head or tail of the damn thing]... we have to have the damn computer anyway and don't have an analog 2 track deck so its actually the only way we can print mixes but after all is said and done it seems to be a pretty efficient method.

As always, YMMV.
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CN Fletcher

mwagener wrote on Sat, 11 September 2004 14:33
We are selling emotions, there are no emotions in a grid


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wwittman

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Re: 2 track master recorders...I'm curious...
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2007, 02:06:32 pm »

Agreed.

I found the Masterlink sounded like crap, basically.

Personally, I try to mix to tape whenever possible, but my second choice is to mix back into the computer or to a second computer (at 96/24) with the best A-D available.

ProTools at 96k sounds a LOT better than a Masterlink to me.


you also don't need "boutique preamps"
just one GOOD one.
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compasspnt

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Re: 2 track master recorders...I'm curious...
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2007, 04:09:43 pm »

No need for dedicated 2 tracks dig rec's.

If you can't mix to good tape, much better to put together your own dig 2-tr with a GREAT A>D and any small interface @96/24.  Then the computer can do other tasks as well.

Never cared for the Masterlink and similars.
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SirDonut

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Re: 2 track master recorders...I'm curious...
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2007, 04:43:09 pm »

I get what you're saying guys, but maybe I didnt make myself clear.

My question is mainly a political one, not a technical one.

Why doesnt such a product exist? (A two track master recording device with great specs.) I'm not saying it SHOULD. As someone who doesnt work in pro audio sales/recording who doesnt fully understand why someone wouldnt make such a product, I'm just curious.


There's a larger issue at hand here for me.

I understand that a 24 track analog recording which is digitally  transferred to a compact disc is never going to sound as 'analog' as one printed to a well maintained 1/4 mastering deck. But since digital is here to stay, where do we begin to draw the line on what the next good digital standard is. I've heard DSD and SACD thrown around but when are we going to make that next leap and what is it even looking like these days?

I feel like I'm just repeating all you old timers' arguments against digital. But I'm starting to wake up as to how the digital 'problem' is a big issue for archiving.....Hell, A lot of the recordings I made on CD-Rs in college are unplayable now due to the crappy CD-Rs I used leaking through....
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Mike Troolines

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Re: 2 track master recorders...I'm curious...
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2007, 01:13:04 am »

DSD SACD?
I'm still waiting for people to rip cd's at CD quality onto their ipods instead of MP3.

SirDonut

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Re: 2 track master recorders...I'm curious...
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2007, 09:52:54 am »

Mike Troolines wrote on Mon, 08 January 2007 06:13

DSD SACD?
I'm still waiting for people to rip cd's at CD quality onto their ipods instead of MP3.
 well. there's always going to be corner cutting...
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Trumpetman2

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Re: 2 track master recorders...I'm curious...
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2007, 10:16:00 am »

Fletcher wrote on Sun, 07 January 2007 08:16

Fow whatever it might be worth I've found the "stand alone" units superfluous at best, and their converters at best lacking.

At our joint we go through either the Weiss converters, Crane Song [HEDD-192] converters or Apogee AD-16X converters and store the mixes on the computer.  Seems to work pretty well, seems to not be a problem to print CD's from the mixes we print [I say "seems" because my assistant does all that... I can't make head or tail of the damn thing]... we have to have the damn computer anyway and don't have an analog 2 track deck so its actually the only way we can print mixes but after all is said and done it seems to be a pretty efficient method.

As always, YMMV.


Fletcher:  But for someone like me who doesn't want to get into computers, the Masterlink is the ONLY answer.  If I buy a better A/D Converter...should it go into the digital "in" of the Masterlink, or can it also go into the RCAs...?  Will it be that much better than the Mlink's converters...?
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Tomas Danko

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Re: 2 track master recorders...I'm curious...
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2007, 10:23:06 am »

Trumpetman2 wrote on Mon, 08 January 2007 15:16


Fletcher:  But for someone like me who doesn't want to get into computers, the Masterlink is the ONLY answer.  If I buy a better A/D Converter...should it go into the digital "in" of the Masterlink, or can it also go into the RCAs...?  Will it be that much better than the Mlink's converters...?


If you get a good A/D converter and go into the digital in of the Masterlink and stay away from any DSP processing inside it, it's not going to have an impact on your sound at all. It'll just be a stand-alone recorder, and will be doing a proper job.
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Fletcher

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Re: 2 track master recorders...I'm curious...
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2007, 12:18:21 pm »

Mike Troolines wrote on Mon, 08 January 2007 01:13

DSD SACD?
I'm still waiting for people to rip cd's at CD quality onto their ipods instead of MP3.


With all due respect, MP-3, as "eh" as it sounds is still a hell of a lot better sounding than cassettes [which began to outsell "albums" with the Police's "Syncronicity" recording].

From my perspective it is our job to deliver the best possible sounding master for distribution.  On our end of the master delivery process there should be few, if any compromises... in other words, from my perspective, the "its going to be delivered via MP-3" argument is an invalid perspective.

As always, YMMV.
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CN Fletcher

mwagener wrote on Sat, 11 September 2004 14:33
We are selling emotions, there are no emotions in a grid


"Recording engineers are an arrogant bunch.  
If you've spent most of your life with a few thousand dollars worth of musicians in the studio, making a decision every second and a half... and you and  they are going to have to live with it for the rest of your lives, you'll get pretty arrogant too.  It takes a certain amount of balls to do that... something around three"
Malcolm Chisholm

Trumpetman2

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Re: 2 track master recorders...I'm curious...
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2007, 03:37:13 pm »

Tomas Danko wrote on Mon, 08 January 2007 10:23

Trumpetman2 wrote on Mon, 08 January 2007 15:16


Fletcher:  But for someone like me who doesn't want to get into computers, the Masterlink is the ONLY answer.  If I buy a better A/D Converter...should it go into the digital "in" of the Masterlink, or can it also go into the RCAs...?  Will it be that much better than the Mlink's converters...?


If you get a good A/D converter and go into the digital in of the Masterlink and stay away from any DSP processing inside it, it's not going to have an impact on your sound at all. It'll just be a stand-alone recorder, and will be doing a proper job.



Tomas:  Thanks.  I'll try it.  Any recommendations (other than the Weiss which is way over my budget...) Sad
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Tomas Danko

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Re: 2 track master recorders...I'm curious...
« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2007, 03:44:59 pm »

If you make a search you'll find lots of information and opinions here. The usual suspects I take it, Mytek, Lavry, Apogee, Universal Audio, Lynx and others.
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compasspnt

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Re: 2 track master recorders...I'm curious...
« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2007, 03:55:29 pm »

I can see using the ML if (and only if) you do have or acquire great converters.

Otherwise, why even bother?
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SirDonut

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Re: 2 track master recorders...I'm curious...
« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2007, 04:48:25 pm »

compasspnt wrote on Mon, 08 January 2007 20:55

I can see using the ML if (and only if) you do have or acquire great converters.

Otherwise, why even bother?



So as I'm gathering the answer to my question is...screw the idea of a two track box. if ya got pro tools and good outboard converters...that's as good as we're getting with digital for now.
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Trumpetman2

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Re: 2 track master recorders...I'm curious...
« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2007, 05:59:51 pm »

Tomas Danko wrote on Mon, 08 January 2007 15:44

If you make a search you'll find lots of information and opinions here. The usual suspects I take it, Mytek, Lavry, Apogee, Universal Audio, Lynx and others.



I take it that the "lowly" Lucid ($800) is no improvement over the stock ML converters...? Confused
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rnicklaus

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Re: 2 track master recorders...I'm curious...
« Reply #15 on: January 08, 2007, 06:07:09 pm »

Trumpetman2 wrote on Mon, 08 January 2007 14:59

Tomas Danko wrote on Mon, 08 January 2007 15:44

If you make a search you'll find lots of information and opinions here. The usual suspects I take it, Mytek, Lavry, Apogee, Universal Audio, Lynx and others.



I take it that the "lowly" Lucid ($800) is no improvement over the stock ML converters...? Confused


Here (hear) is my take on this.

If you print your mix to a "format" with "a" converter and when you play it back, to the client and yourself it sounds the same as the output of the mix, it's good.  Of course none of this takes into account monitoring accuracy, etc, but still....

Everything on top of that is opinion, but worth learning to improve you ears and your gears. (groan)

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Tomas Danko

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Re: 2 track master recorders...I'm curious...
« Reply #16 on: January 08, 2007, 08:34:56 pm »

Trumpetman2 wrote on Mon, 08 January 2007 22:59

Tomas Danko wrote on Mon, 08 January 2007 15:44

If you make a search you'll find lots of information and opinions here. The usual suspects I take it, Mytek, Lavry, Apogee, Universal Audio, Lynx and others.



I take it that the "lowly" Lucid ($800) is no improvement over the stock ML converters...? Confused


Actually, it is.
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Fletcher

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Re: 2 track master recorders...I'm curious...
« Reply #17 on: January 09, 2007, 08:29:02 am »

From what I've been able to gather the stand-alone boxes just store the data and burn it to CD... with a computer you're just storing the data for a transfer to CD... or to email to the mastering house... or to convert it to MP-3 and post on "MySpace", etc.  The stand-alone boxes will require a chassis [just like a computer], a power supply [just like a computer], memory [just like a computer], a read out [screen, just like a computer], audio I/O [just like a computer], a CD drive to burn CD's [just like a computer], and software to run it [just like a computer]... so seeing as the stand-alone things have kinda shitty converters and will need outboard converters [just like a computer] it seems pragmatic to me to just get a computer.

As always, YMMV.
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CN Fletcher

mwagener wrote on Sat, 11 September 2004 14:33
We are selling emotions, there are no emotions in a grid


"Recording engineers are an arrogant bunch.  
If you've spent most of your life with a few thousand dollars worth of musicians in the studio, making a decision every second and a half... and you and  they are going to have to live with it for the rest of your lives, you'll get pretty arrogant too.  It takes a certain amount of balls to do that... something around three"
Malcolm Chisholm

Neal Ward

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Re: 2 track master recorders...I'm curious...
« Reply #18 on: January 10, 2007, 09:28:11 am »

I agree that the Masterlink sound horrible on it's own.  I use mine as a storage device with a PSX 100 converting both the inputs AND the outputs.

As far as Boutique 2 track recorders...  I was talking to the folks at RADAR several years ago at AES who said they were looking into an 8 channel hi-res mixdown machine.  I have never heard anything from them about it since.  It seems to me that would be a strong selling avenue for RADAR who already have a solid reputation for their "sound".  Especially if you remember when studios were paying 10-12k or more for good condition Studer A820's and Ampex 2 tracks.

This has got me thinking.  My RADAR sounds more like 2" than my Pro Tools rig. And even when mixing in the box I'll use analog gear on inserts (especially on 2 mix insert)...  so why not use the RADAR in place of a 1/2" 2 track.  If I slave it to code I can print multiple mixes in the same time location at higher sample rates than the original session.   Hmmmm..
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