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Nielsbeard
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10th August 2010
Old 10th August 2010
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Re: PT vs. others and analog tape vs digital threads

Attached is a link to my latest blog where I explain some of the misconceptions about PT being better than other DAW's and Analog Tape being more accurate than digital.

I know that these have been beat to death on here and I've learned alot from the recent threads (that are always entertaining to say the least) and my own personal experience of course. But I wanted to write it down so every time someone looks at me so confused that I charge my clients, but don't use Pro Tools, and for musicians that want to record to tape just because some other engineer told them some BS analogy like analog vs digital is like a Rolex vs clock where the second hand jumps to next second, I can point them to it.What is the difference between analog and digital signals? | Answerbag

I want to get some input/comments from you professionals on the validity of my statements to make sure I'm not leading anyone astray or lying to myself.

Heres the aforementioned blog:

The Endless battle of Misconceptions about Pro Tools and Tape Recorders

Cheers,
Niels
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10th August 2010
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Re: PT vs. others and analog tape vs digital threads

- you miss mentioning the advantages of dsp assistance during tracking - the guarantees it gives you that native systems can't.

- you've started from a position of bias, and used the facts that suit you ("pt can do 99% of what everything else can do" - what, like the advanced time code sync options of logic, the one window operation of cubase, the stability of dp and so on) to justify your opinion.

- your 32bit summary is just plain wrong. PT LE processes in 32bit float, pt hd at 48bit fixed. The fact pt can't import 32 bit files is irrelevant - there's no reason to store files themselves at 32bit.

- you've taken quite a lecturing tone ("now you've learned") when actually all you've shared is your opinions. All that's been learned is where YOU stand on the issue - no less valid than any other viewpoint, but it is only one view, and as has been pointed out, partially based incorrect facts.

I would rewrite this asap to at least get rid of the technical inaccuracies. As it stands, you're just adding to potential confusion not helping it.
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Re: PT vs. others and analog tape vs digital threads

One vital point - read your bit about turning down audio after clipping converters, ask yourself if this is really correct, then remove it from your website NOW when you realise that even amateur home recordists know this is not the case - before you lose all your clients as they realise you don't understand digital audio!
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10th August 2010
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Stop embarrassing yourself.

This is the High End Forum. Mod please delete!!!!!!!!
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If it's on the internet it must be true, right?




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Mod please delete!!!!!!!!
Yes, PLEASE.

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11th August 2010
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W-T-F
Nielsbeard
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Thanks Psycho monkey for the helpful response, this is why I posted it. Chances are, there are others that might have made similar assumptions, and will be more knowledgeable after reading this.

I'll check into the 32 bit thing, but I was simply referring to 32 bit fp tracking 32-bit Recording in Cubase 4

How could I fix the starting with a bias problem?

Keep in mind this is meant to be kept simple (for the layman), and simply state fact like PT is not the end all be all.

PT HD is not high end? references to high end is not high end? Come on people!

Oh, and nobody but you has read this blog, don't worry I checked the stats. My (new) blog isn't googleable yet. I know, its a huge sigh of relief, for some of you. I'll delete the errors for now, till I can fix it up.

The rest of you could be a-little nicer.
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Hi there OP,

I think we should clear up your misconceptions of your misconceptions !

Cheers

John NYMO Nyman
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Quote:
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Hi there OP,

I think we should clear up your misconceptions of your misconceptions !

Cheers

John NYMO Nyman
Well I put myself out there knowing the flood of bashing would surely come, as it's commonplace here. But I did it knowing I'd learn something.
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Hi there,

Well lets just say, if you overload an A/D converter you WILL have digital distortion and clipping if you turn it down after the fact or not.

Cheers
John NYMO Nyman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nielsbeard View Post
Well I put myself out there knowing the flood of bashing would surely come, as it's commonplace here. But I did it knowing I'd learn something.
I don't think psycho_monkey was bashing. Just disproving what you call facts.
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I tend to avoid commenting on these sorts of threads...but man you are playing in what I believe in baseball terms is called "Deep Deep Left Field".

Get a grip.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nielsbeard View Post
Oh, and nobody but you has read this blog, don't worry I checked the stats. My (new) blog isn't googleable yet. I know, its a huge sigh of relief, for some of you. I'll delete the errors for now, till I can fix it up.

The rest of you could be a-little nicer.
Or maybe you could just blog about the weather or something. (that's as nice as I can be).

-R
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NYMo View Post
Hi there,
Well lets just say, if you overload an A/D converter you WILL have digital distortion and clipping if you turn it down after the fact or not.

Cheers
John NYMO Nyman
But it was on here that I was informed about the ability to export digitally distorted media in 32 bit and restore it on input by simply trimming the gain. It was digital overs that I was talking about. Not quite left field, I was closer than that. But... my mistake.

Tony, I know he wasn't bashing me, thats why I thanked him for the input. But I Can't say the same for others. But you have to admit aside from the 32 bit mixup everything else stands up. If not speak up!
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you need to use spell and grammar check...
Nielsbeard
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Lets get back on track here.

[QUOTE=psycho_monkey;5673271]- you miss mentioning the advantages of dsp assistance during tracking - the guarantees it gives you that native systems can't.

What guarantees?
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To the OP:

You have a rare gift for combining ignorance, arrogance, and bad grammar. Use your gift wisely. It could get you into trouble if you're not careful.
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Why hasn't anyone mentioned that Pro Tools can cause cancer?
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Why hasn't anyone mentioned that Pro Tools can cause cancer?
this thread is going to exponentially multiply
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
- you miss mentioning the advantages of dsp assistance during tracking - the guarantees it gives you that native systems can't.

What guarantees?
Have you ever tried to overdub at minimal buffer settings, 120 tracks, multiple plugins on tons of tracks? I would imagine you haven't, because it would not be pretty on a native system. You'd have to raise the buffer, thus creating a delay. If you use a system with direct monitoring coming from the card or interface, you could do this at higher buffer setting but you'd have to control using a different interface on screen or outboard.
In PTHD the DSP system makes sure that it all seamlessly work no matter what the host CPU is doing. That's the guarantee.
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jesus christ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbjp View Post
Have you ever tried to overdub at minimal buffer settings, 120 tracks, multiple plugins on tons of tracks? I would imagine you haven't, because it would not be pretty on a native system. You'd have to raise the buffer, thus creating a delay. If you use a system with direct monitoring coming from the card or interface, you could do this at higher buffer setting but you'd have to control using a different interface on screen or outboard.
In PTHD the DSP system makes sure that it all seamlessly work no matter what the host CPU is doing. That's the guarantee.
That's what's cool about Cubendo and ASIO direct monitoring too. Even without direct monitoring you can record with well over 200 tracks in the pool @ 96/24 ... All w/ a buffer size of 64 which is about 1.5ms.... W/ direct monitoring there is no delay is zero latency. Then add 1 or 2 UAD cards handling the plug-ins its a whole other level of power at a pretty cheap price. I paid $199 ea for my UAD cards. Sure they are a little outdated being the UAD-1 but still pretty good. I'm not downplaying the power of Accel cards or whatever they are called now, but Cubendo can compete with HD believe it or not. The difference must be its audio engine is faster in the way it utilizes the cpu(s).... then w/ UAD and say a nice 6gbs raid card and it's perhaps equal if not actually outperforms, all for well under $1000 not including the cost of Nuendo or Cubase of course.

It's not that it's better than HD, I'm by no mean implying that, but it is a viable option for people on a budget to gain a similar level of performance as HD. Not to mention VSTi, which is arguably the most powerful virtual instrument interface on the planet. I would say HD still has some much better plug-ins compared to VST for sure, but the gap may be closing.
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Well!

Perhaps this should be the title as it would add to the comedic flavor of your article quite a bit.
"Rabid Socialism and Todays Recording Studio"
What it shows to me is that your experience has to be very recent in this industry because logically computers CPU and software development that
has made track/ plug-in counts in native systems rise to a competitive level
against the proprietary dsp based system. which incidentally was delivered to me at studio 3 Abbey Road sporting: smpte slave driver, 16 channel simultaneous record playback with the all brand new bridge farm card, taking up one of my precious nubus slots required for dsp farms for waves version 2 plugins)
What you have done in your article is what we Brits would call "an exercise in inverted snobbery".
There was no choice at all at one time, nothing else would do what it did and reliably chase the tape machines.
Once you have made a decision about what to do, stick to it like glue Eh Sonny! I know I did!
I still like some of the recordings I made before digital toys became the only affordable solution in a global recession.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nielsbeard View Post
Thanks Psycho monkey for the helpful response, this is why I posted it. Chances are, there are others that might have made similar assumptions, and will be more knowledgeable after reading this.
No probs - I don't doubt you can make a good recording, but you don't really have a sound enough grasp of the concepts of digital audio to go "clearing things up" for others.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nielsbeard View Post
I'll check into the 32 bit thing, but I was simply referring to 32 bit fp tracking 32-bit Recording in Cubase 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nielsbeard View Post
But it was on here that I was informed about the ability to export digitally distorted media in 32 bit and restore it on input by simply trimming the gain. It was digital overs that I was talking about. Not quite left field, I was closer than that. But... my mistake.
you misunderstood I'm afraid. The "turning things down" works internally - if you're getting overs on your master fader, turning the master fader down will prevent the mix bus, and thus your converters clipping. But when actually recording, you can't get any louder than "all bits on" ie 0DbFs. Anything over this - by half a dB or 20dB - will be recorded exactly the same (a clipped signal, or a flat line) and so turning it down just results in a flat line at -1dBFs or whatever you've turned it down by.

There are ways to reconstruct the waveform (up to a point) through restoration programs, but the results will never be as good as just recording it properly to start with!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nielsbeard View Post
How could I fix the starting with a bias problem?

Keep in mind this is meant to be kept simple (for the layman), and simply state fact like PT is not the end all be all.

PT HD is not high end? references to high end is not high end? Come on people!
PT may be high end, but neither your experiences nor your advice would appear to be I'm afraid. Yes, PT is not the world, that's fine - but it's just an opinion. If you need to be told how to write without bias, you're not in a position to write an unbiased "factual" blog! write it from opinion instead - "I think" rather than "now you've learnt the facts" - since you've not put across any facts, just what you think about PT.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nielsbeard View Post
But you have to admit aside from the 32 bit mixup everything else stands up. If not speak up!
No, it doesn't stand up at all. It's opinion - maybe a valid opinion in places, but not the fact you claim it to be.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nielsbeard View Post
Lets get back on track here. Guarantees?
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbjp View Post
Have you ever tried to overdub at minimal buffer settings, 120 tracks, multiple plugins on tons of tracks? I would imagine you haven't, because it would not be pretty on a native system. You'd have to raise the buffer, thus creating a delay. If you use a system with direct monitoring coming from the card or interface, you could do this at higher buffer setting but you'd have to control using a different interface on screen or outboard.
In PTHD the DSP system makes sure that it all seamlessly work no matter what the host CPU is doing. That's the guarantee.
Quote:
Originally Posted by robertshaw View Post
That's what's cool about Cubendo and ASIO direct monitoring too. Even without direct monitoring you can record with well over 200 tracks in the pool @ 96/24 ... All w/ a buffer size of 64 which is about 1.5ms.... W/ direct monitoring there is no delay is zero latency. Then add 1 or 2 UAD cards handling the plug-ins its a whole other level of power at a pretty cheap price. I paid $199 ea for my UAD cards. Sure they are a little outdated being the UAD-1 but still pretty good. I'm not downplaying the power of Accel cards or whatever they are called now, but Cubendo can compete with HD believe it or not. The difference must be its audio engine is faster in the way it utilizes the cpu(s).... then w/ UAD and say a nice 6gbs raid card and it's perhaps equal if not actually outperforms, all for well under $1000 not including the cost of Nuendo or Cubase of course.

It's not that it's better than HD, I'm by no mean implying that, but it is a viable option for people on a budget to gain a similar level of performance as HD. Not to mention VSTi, which is arguably the most powerful virtual instrument interface on the planet. I would say HD still has some much better plug-ins compared to VST for sure, but the gap may be closing.
dbjp gets it. Try tracking an orchestra or full rock band on native. It's possible, but a bit nerve wracking - remember, any time the system grinds to a halt on an orchestral session, every musician in the orchestra is being paid £30/hr - 90 piece orchestra? who won't go over their 3hr session time?

Or get to a finished itb mix on a native system, and go overdubbing. It's possible in a native system, but requires a bit of working around. TDM systems, it's as simple as just dropping into record. No buffer juggling, no bouncing parts - just go.

UAD is great, and takes some of the strain off the computer, but it's not really much use in tracking - you can't track through UAD plugins on inserts due to latency. They also don't hold the DSP for the mixer, so it's not the same thing at all. Pyramix, Soundscape, Fairlight, I guess even Radar are equivalent systems with additional DSP for processing.

Sorry Niels - not having a go at your abilities, I just don't think you have the digital audio expertise to go advising others. I like cars, I enjoy driving, I don't make a habit of crashing them....but I'm not going to go out and advise loads of people who make the best cars, how to drive them well or why you should drive a particular way. My experience is simply too limited.

Crap analogy, but you get the idea.
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11th August 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbjp View Post
Have you ever tried to overdub at minimal buffer settings, 120 tracks, multiple plugins on tons of tracks? I would imagine you haven't, because it would not be pretty on a native system. You'd have to raise the buffer, thus creating a delay. If you use a system with direct monitoring coming from the card or interface, you could do this at higher buffer setting but you'd have to control using a different interface on screen or outboard.
In PTHD the DSP system makes sure that it all seamlessly work no matter what the host CPU is doing. That's the guarantee.
To save 10 grand, it doesn't bother me to increase the buffer size. With automatic delay compensation this has never been an issue for me. I use a mixer for monitoring.

Quote:
Originally Posted by robertshaw View Post
That's what's cool about Cubendo and ASIO direct monitoring too. Even without direct monitoring you can record with well over 200 tracks in the pool @ 96/24 ... All w/ a buffer size of 64 which is about 1.5ms.... W/ direct monitoring there is no delay is zero latency. Then add 1 or 2 UAD cards handling the plug-ins its a whole other level of power at a pretty cheap price. I paid $199 ea for my UAD cards. Sure they are a little outdated being the UAD-1 but still pretty good. I'm not downplaying the power of Accel cards or whatever they are called now, but Cubendo can compete with HD believe it or not. The difference must be its audio engine is faster in the way it utilizes the cpu(s).... then w/ UAD and say a nice 6gbs raid card and it's perhaps equal if not actually outperforms, all for well under $1000 not including the cost of Nuendo or Cubase of course.

It's not that it's better than HD, I'm by no mean implying that, but it is a viable option for people on a budget to gain a similar level of performance as HD. Not to mention VSTi, which is arguably the most powerful virtual instrument interface on the planet. I would say HD still has some much better plug-ins compared to VST for sure, but the gap may be closing.
Thanks for this post. I was beginning to think I was flying solo here. You other folks, don't be afraid to shake the tree a little. Its all in good fun and learning. I love my two UAD-1 cards!

Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
No probs - I don't doubt you can make a good recording, but you don't really have a sound enough grasp of the concepts of digital audio to go "clearing things up" for others.


you misunderstood I'm afraid. The "turning things down" works internally - if you're getting overs on your master fader, turning the master fader down will prevent the mix bus, and thus your converters clipping. But when actually recording, you can't get any louder than "all bits on" ie 0DbFs. Anything over this - by half a dB or 20dB - will be recorded exactly the same (a clipped signal, or a flat line) and so turning it down just results in a flat line at -1dBFs or whatever you've turned it down by.

There are ways to reconstruct the waveform (up to a point) through restoration programs, but the results will never be as good as just recording it properly to start with!

PT may be high end, but neither your experiences nor your advice would appear to be I'm afraid. Yes, PT is not the world, that's fine - but it's just an opinion. If you need to be told how to write without bias, you're not in a position to write an unbiased "factual" blog! write it from opinion instead - "I think" rather than "now you've learnt the facts" - since you've not put across any facts, just what you think about PT.

No, it doesn't stand up at all. It's opinion - maybe a valid opinion in places, but not the fact you claim it to be.

dbjp gets it. Try tracking an orchestra or full rock band on native. It's possible, but a bit nerve wracking - remember, any time the system grinds to a halt on an orchestral session, every musician in the orchestra is being paid £30/hr - 90 piece orchestra? who won't go over their 3hr session time?

Or get to a finished itb mix on a native system, and go overdubbing. It's possible in a native system, but requires a bit of working around. TDM systems, it's as simple as just dropping into record. No buffer juggling, no bouncing parts - just go.

UAD is great, and takes some of the strain off the computer, but it's not really much use in tracking - you can't track through UAD plugins on inserts due to latency. They also don't hold the DSP for the mixer, so it's not the same thing at all. Pyramix, Soundscape, Fairlight, I guess even Radar are equivalent systems with additional DSP for processing.

Sorry Niels - not having a go at your abilities, I just don't think you have the digital audio expertise to go advising others. I like cars, I enjoy driving, I don't make a habit of crashing them....but I'm not going to go out and advise loads of people who make the best cars, how to drive them well or why you should drive a particular way. My experience is simply too limited.

Crap analogy, but you get the idea.
32 bit- Thats just BS, I know for a fact that I can export 32bit audio well over 0dbfs and sounding horrible, super distorted and import that media into a 32 bit project lower the trim and the distortion is GONE. If there is way to upload 32 bit files, I'll gladly show you.

bias- I was making a point. I consider it truth, you consider it valid opinion. We are both biased. I never said Cubase was better, just that Pro Tools isn't better either.

tracking- I track full rock bands all the time, no problem. Overdubbing, like I said, is easy, never needed to do anything more than change buffer size.

As far as questioning my experience, my music speaks for itself. If I can make my clients happy being as ignorant as I am, imagine what I could do when I actually know something about it. As far as the blog goes, I'll compromise. We'll call it valid opinion based on the truth.
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11th August 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nielsbeard View Post
To save 10 grand, it doesn't bother me to increase the buffer size. With automatic delay compensation this has never been an issue for me. I use a mixer for monitoring.


.
I wasn't talking about delay compensation for audio coming in. The mere fact that you admit to using a mixer and monitor through a mixer is an admition in this instance that you can't seamlessly do what protools can do without having an external device. That's what having dsp can do for you.
That's just one example.
I don't really understand you. You're asking people for their opinion yet don't seem to want to listen, nor do you seem to be reading the posts properly.
Your reply about 32bit is totally off the mark too. Read his post properly and try to understand his explanation on clipping.
How can you make objective comparisons between DAWs when you have no experience with one of them?
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11th August 2010
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Re: PT vs. others and analog tape vs digital threads

You said you can track through a 24bit converter, clip the recording, lower the level internally and the recording will be fine. This is not true. It is also not your example above, which kind of doesn't make any sense. You can clip the da conversion by increasing the gain to a perfectly well recorded file, then stop it by turning the gain down again. That's essentially what your 32bit export does. Clip it on the way in, and you can never get rid of the clipping without some serious surgical attention.

Does that make sense?

As for bias, whatever my own views, I don't state them as fact. If you write a blog aiming to educate you have a duty to distinguish between fact (eg there are many daws on the market) and opinion (I like this one best). Your blog does not do this, and at it's worst is technically incorrect - not even opinion, it's plain wrong.

Large scale tracking - I think we have different needs, client bases and expectations. I've tracked native many times too, buy I still want a tdm rig for sessions where I answer to someone else, or where there's a budget at stake. Fiddling with buffer sizes simply isn't an option in some circumstances.

You asked for opinions - if nothing else remove the technical errors for your own sake.
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#30
11th August 2010
Old 11th August 2010
  #30
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Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 67

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbjp View Post
I wasn't talking about delay compensation for audio coming in. The mere fact that you admit to using a mixer and monitor through a mixer is an admition in this instance that you can't seamlessly do what protools can do without having an external device. That's what having dsp can do for you.
That's just one example.
I don't really understand you. You're asking people for their opinion yet don't seem to want to listen, nor do you seem to be reading the posts properly.
Your reply about 32bit is totally off the mark too. Read his post properly and try to understand his explanation on clipping.
How can you make objective comparisons between DAWs when you have no experience with one of them?
Can't do? or don't need to. There's a big difference. I'm listening, and I want to thank you guys again for the input. No harm in some misunderstanding if we can take the time to clarify.

Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
You said you can track through a 24bit converter, clip the recording, lower the level internally and the recording will be fine. This is not true. It is also not your example above, which kind of doesn't make any sense. You can clip the da conversion by increasing the gain to a perfectly well recorded file, then stop it by turning the gain down again. That's essentially what your 32bit export does. Clip it on the way in, and you can never get rid of the clipping without some serious surgical attention.

Does that make sense?

As for bias, whatever my own views, I don't state them as fact. If you write a blog aiming to educate you have a duty to distinguish between fact (eg there are many daws on the market) and opinion (I like this one best). Your blog does not do this, and at it's worst is technically incorrect - not even opinion, it's plain wrong.

Large scale tracking - I think we have different needs, client bases and expectations. I've tracked native many times too, buy I still want a tdm rig for sessions where I answer to someone else, or where there's a budget at stake. Fiddling with buffer sizes simply isn't an option in some circumstances.

You asked for opinions - if nothing else remove the technical errors for your own sake.
32 bit tracking- at the time I was going from memory of reading about it and didn't explain it like I should have. I already stated that the fault lies in my confusion, and didn't consider the fact that you can't actually track in 32 bit floating point, (or at least I can't) because the converter does 24 bit fixed point. Thats why it was removed immediately. What I said was "if you record too hot..." what I should have said was "if you import or export too hot...".

I have a related question. Does any gear that has digital output have a 32 bit fp output? Because if so then my original statement would be valid. I think it would be a huge milestone if we could work without constraint by the 0dbfs limit.


But Like I said I can export above 0dbfs and restore resolution on import. One benefit that PT doesn't have. Which, now that I can explain what I meant, I plan on putting it on the blog. This wouldn't this be very useful in circumstances where I might want to send a file to mastering and wanted to hold off on brickwall limiting but still print it hot. This way headroom and noise floor aren't negatively affected at all and it would be no big deal if you get a few (or many) overs.

Please tell me whats technically incorrect at this point. Thanks!

-Niels
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