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Old 2005-08-15, 12:59 PM
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Lou Lou is offline
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Philadelphia, PA USA
Re: An urgent message about digital noise reduction

Originally Posted by guygee
I am curious, what is the manufacturer/model of your A/D unit? I have both a Motu 828 24/48 and a M-Audio Duo 24/96. Both of of these units have input level controls that you have to set yourself (e.g. you have to twist the knobs to the correct settings). I can guarantee you, from personal experience, that if you set the input levels too high on these units clipping does occur, the Motu unit even has that warning led that tells you that you have clipped. If I set my input levels to full setting, massive clipping will occur on anything but the weakest input signal (any such analog recording would be very poor, very much lacking in dynamic range).

Maybe your unit has some sort of "input level limiting" feature that prevents clipping? I do not think I would want to use such a feature, because the peak amplitude values are different for each analog recording, so such a feature could easily result in unintentional compression. I would rather have control myself, and I do not want to compress any shows.

I would be interested to know if there are any other methods to prevent clipping when A/D'ing a cassette, but I cannot think of any other possible ways other than what I mentioned above. With my A/D units, setting levels is just like what a taper has to go through, except the taper gets only one chance to get it right, while I can tweak to my heart's content until I get it just right.
I actually don't have any taping gear, I go to at most 2 concerts a year, it's just not worth spending hundreds of dollars to buy something when the likelihood is high nowadays that I'll be able to trade for it.

Converting analog cassettes to CDR however, I have a Sony RCD-W500C standalone burner which has a VU meter, letting you know immmediately if it's clipping. I always edit everything I transfer with Soundforge so I'll see the clipping there as well.

So I'm not talking from experience, but it's just something to consider that maybe the taper set the levels too high, so it's clipped not because some bozo edited it and made it that way, but because that's how it was taped.
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