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shipshape
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11th June 2004
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Pyramix etc

Has anyone tried the Pyramix system ?. I remember getting a demo of it while I was working in Switzerland and it was amazing sounding , the best digital audio I think I've heard as we ran it up against all the competitors. Any one else tried it ?
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I've heard about how good the sound of PMX can be! But it is WinXP only and I hate it so much. Mike, did you work witd DSD hardware along with PMX? Who is using it in CH? Must be Mutt again, isn't he? :-)

Let's hope some day PT will be DSD too...
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Well , we were struggling with sound of Protools and just wanted to try all the options as always and Pyramix really had more "depth" than anything else we tried. When we recorded an acoustic piano for example , there was nothing that came close. Yes it has DSD hardware.
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What about mixing with PMX? Could it be efficient, fast, enjoyable? Did you try those plugs?
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Mike,

When you were auditioning other systems did you check out Paris? And what were your thoughts on it...
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Mike

Did you think all the rest of the systems were all similar sounding while pyramix was a cut above the rest? or were the others you felt sounded better then the Standard (PT)?
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I always liked the Euphonix R1 and it was early days in the editing fuctions when I tried it so it wasn't too happening but I bet it's all sorted now. I'll have to ak MW about it.
I remember hearing the "Paris" years ago and thought it sounded good, but didnt investigate too far. But yes when we had a bunch of systems to A/B the Pyramix seemed to be quite ahead of the pack. I have no idea how practical it is to use full time etc, but it was an interesting experiment.
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PMX.... yet another beta VS VHS

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12th June 2004
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Mike you heard the Pyramix with the DSD converters?

didn't get that DSD part

thanks Jo
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12th June 2004
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Re: Pyramix etc

Quote:
Originally posted by shipshape
Has anyone tried the Pyramix system ?. I remember getting a demo of it while I was working in Switzerland and it was amazing sounding , the best digital audio I think I've heard as we ran it up against all the competitors. Any one else tried it ?

I agree about the sound. I picked Pyramix out of the 3D Audio test, blind, without knowing what anything was. That and Paris were my two faves from a blind listen to the ~30 tracks, and I actually thought Pyramix sounded better on the test material.

When I checked into it I found that though Pyramix is marketed for many purposes, including a DAW, the focus seemed to be Mastering, then Post, in that order.

The concern I had was that latency was about 3ms for a single card, but if you needed more than 64 tracks (and I do) the latency doubles to about 6.5-7ms in the digital domain, plus analog I/O. That's too much for me. They may have addressed that, since this was about a year ago when I investigated.

But I'm with you on it sounding good. Good enough for me to nose around a bit.

Also, the Euphonix converters are excellent. I have a set of the 28 channel ins and outs here. The best drums I've ever cut straight to dig were through those converters at the Tracking Room. I'd heard Michael Wagner go on about them so I gave them a shot. He was right on the money. They sound great and that's where the R1 is a winner. Now OTOH, the R1 editing...........
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Ship,

Thanks for mentioning this platform. It's in line with the message I shot you yesterday, and gives me another option to consider. I'm going to hop over to the Pyramix forum to see what the general consensus is. One thing I gather is that it hasn't caught on in the US as well as it appears to be catching on in Europe.

PT is great. I can't knock it for what it is...but I want a different system. I'm not as interested in being the king of plugs as I am in having a system that sounds f***ing amazing.

Thanks again
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13th June 2004
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No problem Enharmonic , let us know if you find anything useful on the Forum , I'd like to hear what your thoughts are.
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Hi Ship,

After pulling just about an all-nighter researching Pyramix and DSD vs. PCM, here's my initial impression.

DSD - I don't think we'll see a better way to capture an audio signal in the digital world for quite some time. Having said that, It's a PCM world for the working engineer.

I see the benefit being this. Capture your audio in DSD, downsample to a PCM-friendly file in any number of formats, and it's off to the races with your favorite editor / plugs. God forbid anything happen to your files along the way in your DAW of choice, you still have the DSD master, which is apparently audibly superior according to just about every opinion out there.

Pyramix - I like that you can import and export just about any type of file, and can enjoy the benefit of the 32 bit floating point architecture. Limited processing, but what's there is allegedly quite impressive. I would be interested to find out how a PMX crossfade would hold up if exported into another DAW though, since opinions on crossfades in some DAW's seem to be a bit of a touchy subject.

Overall, I think that Pyramix is on the right track, but without a greater proliferation of SACD, I can't see a DSD-based DAW making the kind of impact that PTHD has. In addition, after digging around a bit, I found an interesting piece of imformation in an article from Pro Audio Review in which Phillips and Merging agree that hi res 32/352.8 kHz PCM is transparent for DSD conversion to PCM...Hmmmmmm

I do believe that Pyramix would be a viable option for me...another platform to add to my short list (currently considering Nuendo or Logic in conjunction with Live 4).

I hopethat my observation/opinion is useful to you in some way.
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14th June 2004
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14th June 2004
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I have 2 friends using Pyramix. One is a Grammy
wining classical guy who swears by it. He gave me a pretty good overview but it seems like a huge commitment in both dollars and time.

The other is a Grammy winning mastering engineer who seems ambivilant, at best, about Pyramix.

His feeling is that the learning curve is prohibitive.
He was less evangelical about the sound of it than Classical Guy but he did like the sound.
I'm very curious about it but have yet to hear it myself.
best,
chap
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Quote:
posted by enharmonic:
DSD - I don't think we'll see a better way to capture an audio signal in the digital world for quite some time.
Hmmm...I believe we already have seen a "better way."

DSD is single-bit audio, which cannot be dithered, hence its inherent distortion.

So a "better way" would be multi-bit conversion instead, would it not?

Quote:
Having said that, It's a PCM world for the working engineer.
When you are working with DSD it still will be. DSD is single-bit PCM.
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15th June 2004
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Quote:
posted by enharmonic:
Is the distortion caused by the DSD, or the limitations of the hardware?

And surely you understand that I was using DSD and PCM for sake of simplicity, just as you have done yourself

http://www.musicplayer.com/cgi-bin/...ic;f=3;t=002225
enharmonic,

If you had read that thread, you would know the answer to your first question is:

DSD is by definition the 1-bit conversion hardware.

The limitation of 1-bit conversion is inherent for several reasons which are discussed on that thread.

Most of us struggle to attain 24-bit dynamic range. And peeps bitch about how commercial CD's are only 16-bit??

That's why I was curious to know why you think DSD is a "better way" to record than PCM. Not that there's necessarily a difference between the two, it's just a matter of different types of A/D convertors: DSD has a bit depth of 1, and the others do not.

Let's discuss this in a current context, and keep old arguments archived. As the gear changes, and the mindsets evolve, we can always find something new to say about our craft. We all know what we said in the past. Today is what's relevant.
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Quote:
Originally posted by Curve Dominant


Let's discuss this in a current context, and keep old arguments archived. As the gear changes, and the mindsets evolve, we can always find something new to say about our craft. We all know what we said in the past. Today is what's relevant.
if that is truly the case what makes us want to hear your opinion now on the subject?...next week you might say the samething about this post...i'd say at least recognize your past error instead of tryna 'wow' people with your proper english and 'multi-syllable' words, but as always IMHO so YMMV.
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Quote:
posted by Teacher:
if that is truly the case what makes us want to hear your opinion now on the subject?
My opinion is not the issue here. If you had been following the discussion, that would be clear.

Quote:
i'd say at least recognize your past error
Specifically in regards to DSD, which error? I didn't invent DSD, I only seek to learn about it, so I don't see your point.

Quote:
instead of tryna 'wow' people with your proper english and 'multi-syllable' words
Mr. Shipley has been generous enough to take time from his busy schedule to moderate this forum. Let's not turn it into a circus. This isn't PSW.

The question I originally asked enharmonic, is how he comes to feel that 1-bit conversion is better than multi-bit conversion.

On-topic, please.
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i'm not enharmonic but i think he feels DSD is better then PCM because it sounds better, which everyone else whose heard it believes as well(I haven't so I dunno)....shoot me if i'm wrong enharmonic....
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Quote:
posted by Teacher:
i'm not enharmonic but i think he feels DSD is better then PCM because it sounds better, which everyone else whose heard it believes as well(I haven't so I dunno)...
Teacher,

This thread discusses Pyramix, a system which functions in multi-bit mode as well as DSD. That said, some people do apparently find the inherent distortion in DSD signal "pleasing." But that's not what I was asking about.
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Curve,

No one said DSD is the new kid and better as such, we all know it is just a brute force holding of all the oversample data coming out of a convertor. Here is the argument for DSD as a recording/production/archiving medium:

Part one: the point of DSD is that you can make it anything else you want it to be down the road- you aren't chucking data to stick to a single level of PCM. As computers get faster, and the methods for decimation/reconstruction constantly improve, why wouldn't you go with a format that will allow a current recording to take advantage of future technological advancements, even if you don't want to listen to straight DSD conversion.

Part two: any theory about why DSD is inferior to PCM is just that- theory. There aren't a lot of people who've really worked with DSD, but a huge number of those who do have had their jaws drop. Two years ago, most people, never having used it, flamed when anyone said they were working at 96k and found value in it. Flash forward, and, all theory aside, working at 96 has many benefits for a lot of people now that they are using it.

Again, don't shoot the baby.
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Quote:
posted by robdarling:
any theory about why DSD is inferior to PCM is just that- theory.
Rob,

There is nothing theoretical about the fact that DSD is single-bit conversion, or that a 1-bit signal cannot be dithered.

There is also nothing theoretical about the fact that the 3rd-order harmonic distortion inherent in DSD conversion cannot be removed later by any means.

Which is why I find the following statement baffling:

Quote:
the point of DSD is that you can make it anything else you want it to be down the road- you aren't chucking data to stick to a single level of PCM.
You can convert DSD to multi-bit signal, but that does not remove the distortion inherent.

Why suddenly is everybody jumping on me for asking why you want to record at 1-bit??
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No jumping, just pointing out the virtues of the system at a time when it is still in its early stages and should be looked at as a possibility instead of being just dismissed out of theory. Let it grow and use it before making judgements.

The fact is that PCM has just as many theoretical problems as DSD and a whole lot of people find that they are finding the sound better enough to look at it. At a time when our craft and industry is under constant downgrading of quality in the face of consumer mediocrity, anything that raises the discussion of maintaining the highest standards should be given a fair shake.
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Quote:
posted by robdarling:
At a time when our craft and industry is under constant downgrading of quality in the face of consumer mediocrity, anything that raises the discussion of maintaining the highest standards should be given a fair shake.
Agreed.

Which is why I find the desire to commit a recording to 1-bit conversion so bewildering.

You still speak of DSD and PCM as if they are different. The only difference is the single bit conversion of the DSD delta-sigma modulators.

I agree that any problems with PCM should be minimized. But recording at 1-bit doesn't seem like a good way to do that, from a purely practical standpoint.

Constantly throwing the word "theory" at me is not a sound engineering argument. I would honestly and sincerely like to know why you feel 1-bit conversion is better for audio than multi-bit conversion. Assume that my mind has not been made up, and seek to convince me.
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You guys already know this, I'm sure....
But I figured I'd provide a link so the small folks llike me can follow the thread and research the hardware and software and at least garner an understanding of the specifics of the application.

http://www.merging.com/

a good tour of the software
http://www.canadapromedia.com/sales/...mix%20tour.htm

Apparently, the full-blown Pyramix is just like ProTools in that it only runs with it's own proprietary hardware connected. Is that true? I realize there's the native version (starting at $600) but it seems severely limited.
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Quote:
Originally posted by flexoffset
Apparently, the full-blown Pyramix is just like ProTools in that it only runs with it's own proprietary hardware connected. Is that true? I realize there's the native version (starting at $600) but it seems severely limited.
Yup, that is true... You need the Mykerinos cards to provide DSP. As it was explained to me at one point, some functions for the DAW (higher order DSP) happens on the card... Other functions happen on the computer for a somewhat "hybrid" approach. When you get into high trackcount situations, though, you better have multiple cards in your system or you can run out of DSP on a mix- just like in ProTools.

The native version looks pretty cool, but compared to the "real" system it is indeed pretty limited.

I've looked at Pyramix a few times, but every time I've decided to stick with my current rig (a Sequoia system) as it seems to fit my workflow a bit better.... It is a great DAW, though.

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Oh no, there it is again...
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Hey Curve,

Maybe we are misunderstanding each other, but my point about DSD being future proof is that at this point, the ADC's you are buying all create a single bit data stream that is then decimated to create PCM. By using DSD, you hold on to all the data, and when decimation systems improve, so does the audio you've recorded. That is it.

And back to the topic. The website is pretty fuzzy in terms of really outlining what everything does and what the limitations of the system are- and it seems that they are not so interested in being in the convertor game. The latency thing is something I'd really like to know more about- it doesn't seem anywhere near as short as Digi's, but doesn't have any asio direct monitoring type option either.

After reading the manual, I have to say I like the editing paradigm- as a Nuendo user, it seems very natural.

Any Pyramix users out there at all?
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