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Korg mr-1 and AudioGate software--Opinions?
wshaw
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#1
16th June 2007
Old 16th June 2007
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Talking Korg mr-1 and AudioGate software--Opinions?

Hey all--

I'm loooking for a portable 2-track rig at a good price. The mr-1 offers ample storage and, supposedly, good a/d conversion, so all I'd need are a couple of preamps. But I'm concerned about the AudioGate software that's supposed to convert the DSD files into RCM sao they can be processed by existing ITB programs.

That "conversion" strikes me as a potential pitfall. But I haven't tried it.

Anyone with experience with the AudioGate software care to give an opinion?
#2
16th June 2007
Old 16th June 2007
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I have an MR-1000.

I like Audiogate. To my ears the conversion is pretty good.

I can hear a difference between the full DSD and the dithered to PCM file, but it still sounds much better to me than a straight PCM recording.

Put me in the "happy with it" camp for now.
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16th June 2007
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Audiogate offers a very high quality conversion.

The whole package of the KORG MR-1000 and the battery operation and the ac adaptor and the soft are first class.

The price of the unit is amazing and the sound quality is very very good.

one drawback:
hard drive is a little small
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16th June 2007
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If you're worried about the Audiogate software, there are several other available. DiscWelder and Weiss Saracon come to mind.
Or you could send them to someone that works in DSD and manipulate all the tracks you need with NO conversion. I'm doing this all the time for folks that have bought the Tascam and Korg units.

Regards,
Bruce
#5
17th June 2007
Old 17th June 2007
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Hello Bruce,

Your suggestion is almost a good one.

I am NOT worried about the Audiogate soft.

Saracon does not convert DSD to pcm but your work station does.
Weiss has yet to develop the DSD to pcm functionality although it does do pcm to DSD.

Still, should I require DXD editing, I would certainly consider your studio.

best from Chicago,

Plush
#6
17th June 2007
Old 17th June 2007
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Great for final mix too

Quote:
Originally Posted by wshaw View Post
Hey all--

I'm loooking for a portable 2-track rig at a good price. The mr-1 offers ample storage and, supposedly, good a/d conversion, so all I'd need are a couple of preamps. But I'm concerned about the AudioGate software that's supposed to convert the DSD files into RCM sao they can be processed by existing ITB programs.

That "conversion" strikes me as a potential pitfall. But I haven't tried it.

Anyone with experience with the AudioGate software care to give an opinion?
Three months ago I was sending a copy of the stereo mix to the Korg unit - in parallel with the old Masterlink for CD master - but after repeated parallel listening sessions of the downsampled Korg output and the direct CD output I have done away with the Masterlink step and now send the master mix only to the Korg. Downsampling to most sampling rates that I have tried takes a few minutes with DFF tracks of about an hour length. The sound quality is simply superb.

I have just purchased our second Korg MR-1000 for use exclusively as a two track mastering machine. As PMMoshay has said in another thread about this machine, "Sounds like a well aligned Studer without the hassle ..."

My only wish now is that I am not able to play the DFF masters easily. Audiogate downsamples it for playback. I hope Korg puts out a player for PC/Mac that can play the recordings at native resolution.

Meanwhile, Has anyone tried whether this advertised capability on the new Sony notebooks actually works ??

Baithak
wshaw
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17th June 2007
Old 17th June 2007
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I thought Audiogate converts the DSD stream into PCM at whatever resolution you set it for. Is that wrong?
#8
17th June 2007
Old 17th June 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wshaw View Post
I thought Audiogate converts the DSD stream into PCM at whatever resolution you set it for. Is that wrong?
Yes Audiogate downsamples the DSD into PCM files (or upsamples it to DSD) as needed. However at this point no playback at DSD resolution is possible through the Audiogate software. For this, the file has to loaded into a Korg Machine or as rumor has it, into one of the newer Sony Machines.

Baithak
#9
20th June 2007
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Quote:
Meanwhile, Has anyone tried whether this advertised capability on the new Sony notebooks actually works ??

Baithak

Which notebooks ? I've heard so much about these Viao 's but i can't seem to find the right one . do you have a link ? is there some kind of editing software involved.
#10
21st June 2007
Old 21st June 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baithak View Post
Yes Audiogate downsamples the DSD into PCM files (or upsamples it to DSD) as needed. However at this point no playback at DSD resolution is possible through the Audiogate software. For this, the file has to loaded into a Korg Machine or as rumor has it, into one of the newer Sony Machines.

Baithak
To hear your recording in DSD, just play back from the unit analog out on the xlr connectors. As an alternative, listen to the headphone out. KORG unit includes a quality dsd d/a.

I have been using the unit to record binaural orchestra recordings, so headphone listening is de riguer for binaural recordings. The results are spectacular.

I have been investigating the somewhat murky capabilities of the Sony Sonicstage Mastering Studio included on some VAIO computers. The info on the mastering studio does say it has some editing capability, and it does say it will edit DSD. However, what type of editing possibilities are provided is kept a mystery.

It does say that it will also output to a "dsd disk" (Tascam does include SDIF inputs on bnc connectors, but the VAIO will not output in this format. KORG does not include any digital inputs on the unit.) and that Windows Media Player will play the DSD files. I did not know that.

Sony aims the mastering studio as those transferring vinyl records and cassettes into a digital library. Perhaps they really mean that you can maintain an archive on your VAIO in DSD format. I know of no DSD soundcards, so playing back, your archive would be converted to pcm. Back at square one.

To edit DSD natively, use Sonoma or SADiE DSD2 or DSD8 (both SADiE machines are dicontinued) To edit in DXD, choose Pyramix--also an excellent system.
I suppose it you're really a swashbuckling adventurer, you could also edit DSD with a Sonic machine.
#11
21st June 2007
Old 21st June 2007
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Quote:
I have been using the unit to record binaural orchestra recordings, so headphone listening is de riguer for binaural recordings. The results are spectacular.
Is your final release SACD or CD, and if it is CD do you use the Audiogate software to downsample to 16 bit and if so are you pleased with the results ?.



Quote:
I have been investigating the somewhat murky capabilities of the Sony Sonicstage Mastering Studio included on some VAIO computers. The info on the mastering studio does say it has some editing capability, and it does say it will edit DSD. However, what type of editing possibilities are provided is kept a mystery.

I think the SSMS is a waste of time.
#12
21st June 2007
Old 21st June 2007
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Look for the Sound Reality Chip

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sinewave View Post
Which notebooks ? I've heard so much about these Viao 's but i can't seem to find the right one . do you have a link ? is there some kind of editing software involved.
I think that is what Sony calls this capabillity. At this point I am only interested in playing back native DSD not editing it.

And Plush, my question is not if I can play it back on the Korg; I know I can. It is that once the files are off the machine on a computer somewhere there seems to be no easy way to play them back.

Why does Audiogate have to downconvert to play it back?? What does the Korg machine have that can't be accomplished on a Dual CPU box DSP wise???

Baithak
#13
21st June 2007
Old 21st June 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baithak View Post
Why does Audiogate have to downconvert to play it back?? What does the Korg machine have that can't be accomplished on a Dual CPU box DSP wise???
A DSD D/A stage.

If your soundcard doesn't support 5.6mhz DFF audio (which they don't), you can't use it for playback. It can only play back at it's highest capable resolution. In my case it's either 24/96 or 24/192, depending on which machine I'm playing from.
#14
23rd June 2007
Old 23rd June 2007
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i personally was extremely impressed by the MR-1 presentation: great build (doesn't feel like a toy like some of its competitors), the most intuitive menu system i've seen in a handheld recorder, and the sound quality is great for the price. my big cons are the 1/8" inputs, i was hoping to see a handheld recorder with true XLR preamps, like the Marantz PMD660, but with much higher quality and smaller profile. looks like i'll have to keep waiting... shucks.

we did some spectrum analysis to MR-1 recordings, compared against files transferred off a Sound Devices 744T. despite Korg's marketing lingo, it did not compare too kindly. it had a much higher noise floor, with lots of [mostly] inaudible but present high-frequency noise. granted, this was not DSD format, but a 24bit/192kHz file (which we used for the 744T recording too). i'd love to do the same analysis to the DSD file to see if this noise exists internally from the components, or is only present when recording in PCM.

still, that one con does not really take away from the pro's, which are: great sound quality for the price, beautiful design and usability, and a fresh new take on recording. i give it one and a half thumbs up (other half may arrive later after further DSD testing)
#15
21st July 2007
Old 21st July 2007
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are the korg mr1 preamps any good?

i was going to get an edirol r09 for convenient portable use, and a fostex fr2le for posher use (but more hassle).

is there any sense that the korg mr1 can fill both these roles?

the r09 is sooo convenient for something in your pocket.

there's a real blind spot online for reviews of audio quality of the higher end of handheld recorders, there are no sample files or preamp discussion for either the posh nagra with the mics attached or the mr1...
#16
22nd July 2007
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The MR-1 doesn't have phantom power, so in a comparison with the PDM660 or FR2-LE it seems you'd be talking about the MR-1000 right?

I just bought my first field recorder an FR2LE but haven't received it yet. On one hand, the potential hassle(s) of a non universal file format of DSD and fact that the MR-1000 costs twice as much and is a bit larger size, maybe a bit more delicate with the hard disk, were the things that kept me away for now. It seems hard not to make some sort of compromise in the field recorder market. The reports about sound quality and the use for mastering are really intriguing though. I'd love to demo one of these units or would consider upgrading to one if I seem to outgrow the fostex.

If you need the special DSD hardware / converters to hear that kind of file format, is it a time consuming process to transfer the file back and forth from the PC to the Korg via USB? The only other possibility it seems would be some other specialized DSD soundcard or hardware piece. When DSD is converted to 16/44.1 PCM does the resulting PCM file still retain the clarity of the DSD to such a degree that it outperforms non-DSD recorders? I guess I'm trying to understand how the benefits of DSD play out in a mostly non-DSD studio environment, and if there are hassles or workarounds, what those are, so I'm curious to hear more of this discussion.
#17
22nd July 2007
Old 22nd July 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewsc View Post
the potential hassle(s) of a non universal file format of DSD
Just want to point out that the Korg does 24 bit PCM at all the typical rates up to 192k as well, if you were so inclined to not fool around with DSD at the present time.
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22nd July 2007
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Yes, that's true. Then I suppose it would just be a sound quality / noise floor comparison between the various devices, well also functionality and design. I must say the korg units do look very well put together, especially the MR-1000.

I wonder if a DSD recording downsampled through audiogate to 24bit would sound better or different than the same recording made on the Korg set at 24bit to begin with.
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23rd June 2008
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Anyone know if there are issues with Audiogate and Intel Macs running 10.5?

Thanks

Jim
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23rd June 2008
Old 23rd June 2008
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Just to put things a bit in perspective:

I did a comparison running an external preamp (DAV BG2) into both a SD722 and a Korg MR1000. Y-cables directly from preamp to both machines. Same microphone, recording a symphony orchestra in a not too good acoustical space ( a church).

Running the MR1000 at 5.6MHz. The 722 at 96/24. Afterwards using Audiogate to convert the 5.6MHz into 96/24.

On repeated listening tests it was impossible to say which recording was which.

What was immediately obvious though was that the headphone amp in the MR1000 sounded much better than the one in the 722. So much better indeed that I am suspicious that some kind of spectral massaging and compresisng is done to the headphone output of the MR1000. If I ever find the time I will try to look into this part of the machine.

Gunnar
#21
23rd June 2008
Old 23rd June 2008
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I wonder if there will be a *nix FOSS version of audiogate. My main OS is Linux. And my current editing of sorts is done in audacity. And sox for conversions (16/96 and lower). For some reason sox doesn't handle the Korgs 24/96 and 24/192 formats. And the Korg can't playback 16 bit at rates higher than 48kHz.

I think a DSD d/a conversion for PCs would be awesome. But I know that support for it in the FOSS community might be a little lacking. As it is I've got to use audacity to convert from 24/96 to 16/96. So I can use sox to convert it to 16/44.1 to burn it to CD. Playback on my PCs only happens at 16/48 or 24/96, the highest rates of my PC soundcards, depending on the machine. Playing back 24/192 on my 16/48 machine takes more cpu clocks than the resultant audio in realtime. For all of the above reasons, I only record at 24/96, so I can load/edit/convert the files with the least amount of headaches.

It would be nice to be able to do DSD editing and conversion in linux. If only to clip and normalize the recordings to put it right back on the Korg MR-1000.
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23rd June 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluzzi View Post
Anyone know if there are issues with Audiogate and Intel Macs running 10.5?

Thanks

Jim
Anyone?
#23
1st July 2008
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My Recordings/Credits

If I were to use an external preamp, should there be any quality difference between the Korg MR-1000 vs the Korg MR-1? Obviously the MR-1000 is the better choice mated directly to mics, but does anyone know if the units' capabilities are identical with line level sources?
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1st July 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
I have been using the unit to record binaural orchestra recordings, so headphone listening is de riguer for binaural recordings. The results are spectacular.
Hi Plush, it is always interesting to read your posts. I was wondering something, are you using the built in pre amps on your Korg MR 1000 when making these binaural recordings or are you using an external pre?

Also what set up are you using mic wise.

Is Fritz in the hizzy?


Thnx
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1st July 2008
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Mission control to Plush, do you copy - over?

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2nd July 2008
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I am always using an external mic amp when I record with the KORG. I plug in line level on the 1/4" TRS ins. The mic amps on the KORG are good, but since I have better ones available in the recording room, I just use others. Right now, I am recording the Neumann KU100 dummy head through a Crookwood Paintpot.

Other good mic amps I have used with the KORG include DAV electronics BG#1 and an EAR tube mic amp.

Use whatever mic amps you have lying around for the KORG. In fact, use the mic amps in the KORG---no big deal---they sound good. (no ribbons though)


best from Chicago,
BlussshBHONic
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2nd July 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
I am always using an external mic amp when I record with the KORG. I plug in line level on the 1/4" TRS ins. The mic amps on the KORG are good, but since I have better ones available in the recording room, I just use others. Right now, I am recording the Neumann KU100 dummy head through a Crookwood Paintpot.

Other good mic amps I have used with the KORG include DAV electronics BG#1 and an EAR tube mic amp.

Use whatever mic amps you have lying around for the KORG. In fact, use the mic amps in the KORG---no big deal---they sound good. (no ribbons though)


best from Chicago,
BlussshBHONic
Thanks Plush, I really want the DAV BG#1. I think I'm gonna get it.

EAR stuff sounds nice also and I love tubes, I bet that sounds great.

Let me know of any orchestral recordings you've made that you especially like that are available on CD on Amazon and I'll pick one up.

Cheers
#28
16th March 2011
Old 16th March 2011
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minus 16dBu XLR

Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post

Use whatever mic amps you have lying around for the KORG. In fact, use the mic amps in the KORG---no big deal---they sound good. (no ribbons though)

best from Chicago,
BlussshBHONic
Absolutely agreed on the mic amps in the Korg—they sound great. We liked our first MR-1000 so much we bought a second.

Word to the wise: observe the max mic input level stated in Korg's manual, which is minus 16dBu XLR (balanced). The mic amps start to clip not much above this.

So, if you're using the MR-1000's fine internal mic amps, make sure to pad your mics for those really loud sources.

Also discussed here:

Korg MR-1000 / 1bit-5.8MHz DSD portable recorder
#29
26th August 2011
Old 26th August 2011
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I have connected the DAV BG1 preamp to the Korg and the result is better than with the internal ones which sounded nasal and tight to my ears. There was more spaciousness and sweetness with the Dav.
#30
31st August 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobkeiser@ieee.o View Post
Absolutely agreed on the mic amps in the Korg—they sound great. We liked our first MR-1000 so much we bought a second.

Word to the wise: observe the max mic input level stated in Korg's manual, which is minus 16dBu XLR (balanced). The mic amps start to clip not much above this.

So, if you're using the MR-1000's fine internal mic amps, make sure to pad your mics for those really loud sources.

Also discussed here:

Korg MR-1000 / 1bit-5.8MHz DSD portable recorder
That's funny, I experienced this recently with mine. I was miking some drums and even with the level very low I was still getting clipping with the built in mic pre amps on my Korg MR 1000. I think they are kind of the weak link on that unit. It's better to use a dedicated outboard pre of higher quality. The DSD recordings with the filter off are the highest quality digital recordings I've ever heard.
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