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  #1  
Old 2007-03-14, 06:51 AM
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ballsdeep ballsdeep is offline
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Rack System vs. cpu software

I've always pumped my analog masters through a dual 31 band, and a few other toys before recording directly to SF (.wav files vs. flac), then burning to disc.

that said, what are the taping community's feelings about this method, vs. using cpu software exclusively after recording a raw tape to the harddrive?

I'm totally satisfied with the results, and do it for myself, but there seems to be an, I don't wanna say obsession, but a sticklers attitude regarding "lineage"...my lineage is always the same, but it's basically Sonics to a Sony D-6, then play that through a $1000 Denon > toys > SF > (can't remember the name of the burning program, maybe CDWin, Golden Hawk Technologies) > cd

I use NO software other than SF for a db boost and fade ins/outs, and the burning software to put to cd...or, all of my sound "altering" is external before harddrive vs. internal.

I have the 3-way lo-cut but never wrote down what position it was in (out of three) before recording...does this make me a bad person.

I'd LOVE to throw up 10 of my masters, 9 analog and 1 digital (I only taped with a DAT once in my life), just to see who out there REALLY knows how to tell the difference between the 2...the artists would include:

-Natalie Merchant
-Metallica
-Steve Earle
-AC/DC
-Page/Plant
-Tesla
-Big Head Todd
-Black Sabbath
-Ani DiFranco

and one artist yet to be determined...only ONE is from a "DAT master", the rest are all analog masters, ALL pumped through the same system, ALL with the same lineage (other than potentially different brands of master tapes, virtually all are XL-IIS's)


anyhow, maybe no one cares, or maybe I should just go fuck myself, but figured I'd ask.

with love and aching loins,

-the Alaskan Assassin
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  #2  
Old 2007-03-14, 07:44 AM
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AAR.oner AAR.oner is offline
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Re: Rack System vs. cpu software

alot of folks feel you should leave the recording unaltered, other than to normalize & remove any DC offset...mainly because 99% of the people who use filters/gadgets/etc have absolutely no idea what they are doing and have not "helped" the recording...i've eq'd a few of my recordings before, but for the most part i leave em untouched...

that said, if its yer recording you can do whatever you want with it...but unless yer a professional engineer with years of mastering experience, i'd say leave em alone... if you do use any sort of filters/EQ/comp/etc, you should atleast give the details in the info text with your lineage ["toys" is not sufficient ]
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  #3  
Old 2007-03-14, 07:56 AM
TaterSalad TaterSalad is offline
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Re: Rack System vs. cpu software

I'd love to get my hands on that there AC/DC master, regardless of what you did to it.
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  #4  
Old 2007-03-14, 09:03 AM
mbself mbself is offline
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Re: Rack System vs. cpu software

Quote:
Originally Posted by AAR.oner
alot of folks feel you should leave the recording unaltered, other than to normalize & remove any DC offset...mainly because 99% of the people who use filters/gadgets/etc have absolutely no idea what they are doing and have not "helped" the recording...i've eq'd a few of my recordings before, but for the most part i leave em untouched...

that said, if its yer recording you can do whatever you want with it...but unless yer a professional engineer with years of mastering experience, i'd say leave em alone... if you do use any sort of filters/EQ/comp/etc, you should atleast give the details in the info text with your lineage ["toys" is not sufficient ]
I agree with AAAR.oner. The only problem with pushing your' master through a bunch of analog equipment is that each component colors the sound in ways that you may not intend. Even an EQ rack set to flat-- all sliders at 0--the combination of circuitry, additional power transformers, additional cable patches, etc... do nothing but add to noise levels and potentially take away from the clarity of the information on the tape.

I recommend using the best tape deck you can find---adjust azimuth--into the best AD converter you can get your hands on--connected with the best cables you have. Once you have a good transfer of what is on the tape--torrent the file and let all of the remasterers out there do what they wish with it.

In a professional setting with professional engineers there is a lot of stuff that is probably better off being done in the analog domain before capture to digital. But at this level, I think you are better served by doing a raw transfer and letting the source find its way to an experienced remasterist (what is the correct term for that anyway?).
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  #5  
Old 2007-03-14, 06:08 PM
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ballsdeep ballsdeep is offline
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Re: Rack System vs. cpu software

thanks for the info, this thread, again, was mainly started as I KNOW that I don't do things the way "most people" do, but I've studied sound (on my own, not schooled) for close to 15 years...my main "playback system" is

Denon DJ cd player >
2 1400 watt Crown CSL amps bridged "parallel mono" >
18" Yamaha subs >
15" Cerwins with midrange horn

etc...not terribly impressive, I'm aware some people spend more on cables than I spent on the entire system.

that said, whenever I've eq'd, I've ALWAYS used a 31-band VISUAL analyzer in addition to my ears, when you can SEE where the bass (40hz - 200hz) is overloading or the cymbals (6.3khz - 12.5khz) are underachieving, you can compensate to make an "even bouncing spectrum" vs. the original tapes flaws...10khz and 12.5khz seem to be the "hiss frequencies" when dealing with generated tapes (i.e. drag one them down to -12db and that usually fixes the problem), and 31 bands is "every 1/3 octave" (or so I've been told), or, supposedly the maximum difference the human ear can discern.

basically, I'm TOTALLY "self taught", and while open to learning new methods, I'm so satisfied with what I'm doing now that it'd take a bit to win me over to a new way of thinking?


or am I just fucked in the head? :dorky gay winkie here:

I don't use smilies, they're too limiting.


flame away, my shoulders are large...and wide.
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  #6  
Old 2007-03-14, 11:18 PM
mbself mbself is offline
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Re: Rack System vs. cpu software

Quote:
Originally Posted by ballsdeep
thanks for the info, this thread, again, was mainly started as I KNOW that I don't do things the way "most people" do, but I've studied sound (on my own, not schooled) for close to 15 years...my main "playback system" is

Denon DJ cd player >
2 1400 watt Crown CSL amps bridged "parallel mono" >
18" Yamaha subs >
15" Cerwins with midrange horn

etc...not terribly impressive, I'm aware some people spend more on cables than I spent on the entire system.

that said, whenever I've eq'd, I've ALWAYS used a 31-band VISUAL analyzer in addition to my ears, when you can SEE where the bass (40hz - 200hz) is overloading or the cymbals (6.3khz - 12.5khz) are underachieving, you can compensate to make an "even bouncing spectrum" vs. the original tapes flaws...10khz and 12.5khz seem to be the "hiss frequencies" when dealing with generated tapes (i.e. drag one them down to -12db and that usually fixes the problem), and 31 bands is "every 1/3 octave" (or so I've been told), or, supposedly the maximum difference the human ear can discern.

basically, I'm TOTALLY "self taught", and while open to learning new methods, I'm so satisfied with what I'm doing now that it'd take a bit to win me over to a new way of thinking?


or am I just fucked in the head? :dorky gay winkie here:

I don't use smilies, they're too limiting.


flame away, my shoulders are large...and wide.

Absolutely not! Again, these are just suggestions and opinions about what we think should be done. Most of it is sound (no pun intended) advice. Do what you wish with your source material....note all of the changes in the text file and torrent away. What is important is to share the shows. If, at some point, some of the purists want to track you down, pay for a trip to your' home and do it their damn-selves if they don't like it. However, the advice still stands, transfer as faithful to the source tape as possible and torrent that and then, if you want, work your' own magic in a second transfer and remaster as much as you would like. Then, torrent that and notate all that you did in the torrent text file.

Hell, if nothing else, it will give you one hell of a share ratio if you torrent each file twice.

Don't overdo any remaster and be careful to note methodology as well. I got hammered and pulled (by the way mod's...thanks for the beating, I probably deserved it) on my 1st (but hopefully not last) attempt at remastering and sharing. It happenned because my lineage was unclear and it looked like (admittedly so) that I had burned to CD-r and then ripped the entire file as a single .wav. This was assumed, and I would have made the same assumption in retrospect, because I listed EAC in my lineage. Actually, what I had done was used audacity to piece the waves extracted using FLAC front end. I had then compared that wave file created in Audacity by ripping the CD-r of the show I had burned and using EAC to compare the 2 files to make sure they weren't too dissimilar before I started tinkering with the raw audio. I know that sounds horribly naive, but what can I say? I then made 2 minor changes. I changed the speed because the original was played between 5 and 8 percent too fast. I then boosted the bass very slightly.

I said all of that to say this. The torrent was pulled because it looked like I had broken the "no torrents from CD-r rips" policy. It was totally my fault because my lineage was incomplete and caused there to be questions raised. After I torrented the file, I went on a vacation and was away from a computer for a while. When I returned the file had been yanked and I was embarrassed because I looked like the friggin noob I was to this stuff.

So be careful with any remastering, but these are your' source tapes, and if you want to tinker then do it.
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  #7  
Old 2007-03-15, 07:18 PM
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ballsdeep ballsdeep is offline
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Re: Rack System vs. cpu software

and that's part of the fun/game too, is deciding whether a tape actually needs equalization or not.

I'd say that 20% of my shows are run raw, no EQ, of that remaining 80%, I'd say the batting average is around .600 to .700, or, 6-7 out of every 10 EQ'd transfers I do I'm TOTALLY happy with...they sound better, brighter, not distorted, not muddy, etc...the ones that I'm not totally happy with are usually ones with a few generations on them, OR I couldn't get the EQ right in the sense that it sounded GREAT going in, but afterwards that initial signal just didn't transfer the right way.

a classic example of failure would be the 7/7/98 Pearl Jam show from Albuquerque...I recorded that fucker in FOUR different times (with 4 extremely different settings) before a satisfactory transfer was a reality...it kept coming out WAY too bassy, and I kept pulling down the wrong combination of two sliders (the correct ones were 63 and 160 way (-10db)down, with the ones between them slightly above 0)...sounded good recording in, but always came out too bassy until that final transfer...now it sounds "even" all the way across, or the low-end doesn't override the mids and highs.


my biggest fear sharing here is that I don't use any of the EAC/TLH/Nero stuff, and all my stuff was converted to .wav then burned to cd with minimal computer hari-kari, but the tape WAS pumped through an external rack system before recording into the HD.

I'd LOVE to throw someone my acoustic Steve Earle show from August of '05 here in Fairbanks as a "test case", so you folks can hear for yourself.

I'll come up with a "lineage train", so you guys can REALLY flame me.

'cuz it's cold up here in Alaska, we NEED the heat this time of year.
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  #8  
Old 2007-03-15, 07:38 PM
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direwolf-pgh direwolf-pgh is offline
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Re: Rack System vs. cpu software

too many people believe they are a sound engineer.

most suck - badly.
some suck so bad I'm embarrassed for them every time they seeded a show.
moving the sliders on an EQ is not remastering - its being a dumbass.

There are few who are amazing with a tape - TheNomadicSoul comes to mind.

on the other hand...sometimes you have a tape that is jacked up. if its your master - then knock yourself out - but again sliding EQs is a waste/joke.

leave it alone is the best idea

-just my opinion - doesnt count for shit.
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  #9  
Old 2007-03-16, 06:05 PM
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AAR.oner AAR.oner is offline
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Re: Rack System vs. cpu software

i say torrent a raw transfer and an eq'd version and let the peples speak ...at best, it could be a constructive learning experience--at worst, you could have fun arguing with all the haters
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  #10  
Old 2007-03-27, 08:24 PM
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ballsdeep ballsdeep is offline
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Re: Rack System vs. cpu software

so, any other insights, or am I merely beating the dead mule?
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  #11  
Old 2007-03-27, 11:11 PM
mbself mbself is offline
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Re: Rack System vs. cpu software

Quote:
Originally Posted by ballsdeep
so, any other insights, or am I merely beating the dead mule?

beating dead horses is kinda the specialty around here .

if the original question is rack system versus PC software then the answer is probably software because of the ability to configure parameters until you find the right combination to get the results you want. in the manipulation of sound the measurements and the ears are to work hand in hand and I think that you can get more immediate feedback out of software.

on mechanical issues (azimuth, speed, quality of linkage between playback device and AD convertor) then obviously these things can best be done pre-capture and in the analog domain.

with some sweet studio quality gear there may be some EQ/signal processing tasks best left to the outboard rack gear. but, today there are so many great audio packages available that you should be able to do anything (aside from the afore mentioned mechanical corrections) in software. in the end it is probably cheaper and better than buying a bunch of good quality/studio grade outboard gear.

now i am going to beat a dead horse.........it is your' source material. share it raw or cooked-----just share it. just because some here prefer their vegetables raw doesn't mean they won't eat them cooked. just don't overcook them. we are not old enough for nursing home food.
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  #12  
Old 2007-03-28, 10:32 PM
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paddington paddington is offline
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Re: Rack System vs. cpu software

Quote:
Originally Posted by ballsdeep
so, any other insights, or am I merely beating the dead mule?
simplified:

1) strive to transfer the tape exactly as it is with no tweaking - analog or digital. If you have a master of a show, it ought to circulate untampered.

2) regarding the question about 'remastering' the sound with analog equipment or doing it on the computer, use your analog stuff if it's any good. If you are able to run the master through good equipment, the modifications to the signal will be more natural than modifying in the digital domain. If it's already in the digital domain, obvioulsy it's better to modify there - rather than loop out to analog chain and back in.
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  #13  
Old 2007-03-29, 04:11 PM
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Re: Rack System vs. cpu software

^what he said

try your hardware vs your software and the better of the two will be revealed very quickly. but share the raw source for sure, then after that see if there is any interest in your remaster.
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