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Converters for Mix Printing with an API Console Digital Converters
Old 14th September 2015
  #1
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Converters for Mix Printing with an API Console

So I've toyed with the idea of buying an ATR 102 but just dont think it will get me where I want to be with everything. I have a 40 Channel API from the 70's and Lynx Converters. I love mixing through the console and do it for almost everything.

I at least set the console to unity and do my pans and print from there with my automation done in the box. But it seems like every time i print back to tools, I loss something. I know you always loose something when printing back if you're monitoring off of the console but I feel like I'm losing more than I want.

I want something to print through to give my mixes something unique. I'm toying with the idea of a Burl B2 AD, JCF AD8 and the HEDD converters, maybe Antelope but it seems like everyone is a fan of the Burl. JCF in its on right is very well respected but not spread around enough. I know Doug Sax's Mastering Lab swears by his stuff and I have had quite a few happy masters from them.

Im going to demo some units soon but I want some feedback! Whats your opinion?
Old 14th September 2015
  #2
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamburg58 View Post
So I've toyed with the idea of buying an ATR 102 but just dont think it will get me where I want to be with everything. I have a 40 Channel API from the 70's and Lynx Converters. I love mixing through the console and do it for almost everything.

I at least set the console to unity and do my pans and print from there with my automation done in the box. But it seems like every time i print back to tools, I loss something. I know you always loose something when printing back if you're monitoring off of the console but I feel like I'm losing more than I want.
For this type of problem, my favorite box is JCF Latte. Its AD is invisible, to my ears. One of the only ones I tried where the input-DA monitor sounded identical to the console's 2-mix out. I think this is my favorite for "mirror" image AD print box. The DAC is where all the color is on this box, so it kinda replaces a "desire" for a 2-track tape deck. You might end up with both at some point, but the Latte definitely compares, when you hear your mix back through the DMT section.

Quote:
I want something to print through to give my mixes something unique. I'm toying with the idea of a Burl B2 AD, JCF AD8 and the HEDD converters, maybe Antelope but it seems like everyone is a fan of the Burl. JCF in its on right is very well respected but not spread around enough. I know Doug Sax's Mastering Lab swears by his stuff and I have had quite a few happy masters from them.
Certainly Burl, Crane and others all good boxes!! All unique in their own way. The Burl sounds great. Very Sweet and open with high headroom. It is natural but imparts a weight that is desirable. its non-linear characters change with gain. The HEDD is also a great unit. Can be extremely neutral, however I think it is a little more round and silky sounding. With the processing you can really get wild with character if you want. It definitely shoots the mix out of the speakers. Not as much weight until you add it with the processing. Personally, My taste leans towards the JCF units, having used a number of these for Analog Mix print...Though at the end of the day I am sure I could walk away happy with any of them. Each inputting their own agenda.

I know there are a few mastering guys, who are loving the AD-8 for their work. This is telling, because I have tried it on the 2-mix print and I absolutely loved it. It definitely sounds unique, as it is a passive design, with no amplifier, just transformer input. This lends itself to a "pure" and "calm" ear pleasing response. It is soft but ultra high fidelity and clear. No artifacts. Beautiful weight and transformer "cream" to it. The sound is big and wide. Bottom is deep and firm. Top is open and comfortable. Then when you switch to PEP mode, a pristine playback curvature hits you without any hint of noise or junk. Right there on the AD converter...I'd say that makes the AD-8 pretty incredible for mixing the 2-shoot or mastering capture.

It has an "impossible to ruin" type of forgiving sound which, in turn, makes everything traveling downwind work and process, "differently" compared to another converter. You start to notice this right away when you sweep around an EQ or a squish with a compressor. You feel like you can get away with murder. Lets just say it does not sound "digital" in any way, it hearkens the sound of a multi-track tape recorder without noise or compression or distortion. Its all about "what you are not hearing" with the JCF units, as they don't sound like the others.

Compared to the AD8 the Latte AD is just super Clean and Wide. Though as I have said, the AD8 has also made its way to a few mastering guys who deploy it. So it is a versatile piece of gear. But the Latte was designed for mastering along with Doug, so chances are good this unit [or a portion of it] was used on your mastering work. Just speculation, but I know Josh spent 7 years developing this concept and is very close with the folks at the Mastering Lab.

With the AD-8, adding PEP into the fray, and the fact that it is Eight Channels wide, I think would be the best suggestion for you, since you are looking for a specialized tool for recording/mixing 2-track capture.

I hope this is of assistance,


peace
a.j.b
Old 14th September 2015
  #3
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I like the UA 2192, myself. The Burl is OK but I think that things start sounding small fast when you push it's transformers and, let's face it, you have plenty of them in the signal path anyway, right? Either way, I'd get my credit card out and order a few from a place with a good return policy and make sure that whatever you buy gives you what you want.
Old 14th September 2015
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AllBread View Post
I like the UA 2192, myself. The Burl is OK but I think that things start sounding small fast when you push it's transformers and, let's face it, you have plenty of them in the signal path anyway, right? Either way, I'd get my credit card out and order a few from a place with a good return policy and make sure that whatever you buy gives you what you want.
The UA 2192 was designed by Burl.. So it's kinda the same animal no ? Don't feel like the UA is as hi fi as some of the mentioned converters. Anyone want to expand on the UA?

Last edited by Hamburg58; 14th September 2015 at 09:53 PM.. Reason: Spelling
Old 14th September 2015
  #5
EDIT... this do to apply..i thought about DACs...

If you are looking for Transparency and not extra processing, additional color or strong footprint you really should check: The Dangerous Convert-2 - Dangerous Products - Dangerous Music

and can do many other things more than a excellent conversion.

Last edited by AMIEL; 16th September 2015 at 03:26 AM.. Reason: this do to apply..i thought about DACs...
Old 14th September 2015
  #6
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I didn't own the Burl and the 2192 at the same time so didn't A/B them. I like the sound of the 2192 and really like what it does to my Avid convertors when being used as the master clock (puts them sonically in between the Avid's on their own clock and the 2192 on it's own). If you're stemming out to your console, this alone is going to make a difference. Lastly, I love the features on the 2192 and love the used prices compared to the newer flavors of the day.

I think the Burl is a great convertor - I just thought that it sounded best open and not pushed when using material that already had some analog mojo (in my case, coming off an ATR-102 and in your case, coming off of the console). For that reason, you might find that a really transparent, hi-fi convertor suits you better as opposed to one that adds a bit of color which is why I'm suggesting demoing as you'll never know until you do some blind A/B's using your existing rig.
Old 14th September 2015
  #7
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I think the forsell converters deserve a mention here. Certainly worth looking into
Old 15th September 2015
  #8
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I'd demo a latte and Burl.
different but good.
Old 15th September 2015
  #9
I'm using an Anamod ATS-1 with ATR102 and a 351 emulation cards into an Antelope Pure2.. I think it's the closest you'll get to mixing to an ATR.. The ATS-1 is the closest thing to a master tape I've ever heard while the Pure2 is a very transparent converter, very focused, pristine and detailed hi frequencies and big, tight and defined low frequencies. No midrange honk or ring, it doesn't audibly degrades the sound going from A>D and it will beautifully preserve your analog chain.
I use the ATS>Pure2 to print all my mixes off the AWS console. Although it's a pretty expensive duo it worth every penny and I'm sure it will make you very happy!
Old 15th September 2015
  #10
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yeah I had the anamod w all the cards.
I used it for a bit when the real atr went to Spitz for repairs.it was fine until the real machine came back fixed up.
although similar to an atr print,it didn't have the size of the real machine.
Old 15th September 2015
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoundBadge View Post
yeah I had the anamod w all the cards.
I used it for a bit when the real atr went to Spitz for repairs.it was fine until the real machine came back fixed up.
although similar to an atr print,it didn't have the size of the real machine.
Yeah, size is the problem Im having with converters. No emulation is going to fix that. I'm going to demo the AD8, which is a cheaper solution than the Latte and includes PEP which I think may satiate my color quest. API is beautifully colored obviously, Im not sure if I'm looking for something tonally unique to give it another kick, or if I want something completely transparent to try and get more clarity/honesty out of the console mix.

I just know that printing back through the Lynx doesn't do it for me. It seems to lack a lot of "oomf" and power. It seems too tidy for me. Not open enough or wide.
Old 15th September 2015
  #12
Before making the decision, I'd stop monitoring from your board and start monitoring straight of protools. I felt like I lost something every time until I went straight into the avocet. They I realise it was just the monitor section of my Console (yes, mine is also API with Aurora converters - though I do have a hedd on the mixbus) which was fooling me into thinking my mix was bigger and better than it was. Since I made that change, I've been very happy.

Just my tuppence!
Old 15th September 2015
  #13
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Quote:
Before making the decision, I'd stop monitoring from your board and start monitoring straight of protools. I felt like I lost something every time until I went straight into the avocet. They I realise it was just the monitor section of my Console (yes, mine is also API with Aurora converters - though I do have a hedd on the mixbus) which was fooling me into thinking my mix was bigger and better than it was. Since I made that change, I've been very happy.
This is a good point. I have since stopped using the console monitor section when possible, especially on older desks.

Regarding the conversion, if you love the sound of the API, I wouldn't go the Burl, or Hedd route. The Burl has extra iron on the input which is going to change the sound you love. I've worked on an API connected with the Burl Mothership and things seem to get pretty hairy at time. For tracking the Burl can be fine, but the last thing I'd want is to send my mix through something which changed the sound without the choice to do so.

I use the Forsell MADA-2 and it is excellent. I also use it to track vocals and so far its the best converter I've tried.

Lastly, theres no point in monitoring the desk unless you suspect a problem. Whether its an ATR-102 or 31-32 on some AVID AD, I always just monitor after the input since no one will ever hear the desk out anyway.
Old 15th September 2015
  #14
Any problems with another Lynx Aurora? Or a Hilo? After hearing the world's biggest mix engineer recreate an iconic mix flawlessly on Lynx converters and a console he didn't call home, I stopped worrying about the quality of them.

For a frame of reference, I use MOTU 16a's. Love them and I legitimately get out what I put in
Old 15th September 2015
  #15
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yeah I wouldn't mess around with anything but the best w/ that console.
id bite the bullet and go with the JCF latte.
seriously one of the best AD's out there.[much preferred it to the Forssel].
that thing is natural-big open and wide.
it'll blow that Lnyx right out of the control rm.
you wont be disappointed.
Old 15th September 2015
  #16
ADCs

Quote:
Originally Posted by RoundBadge View Post
yeah I wouldn't mess around with anything but the best w/ that console.
id bite the bullet and go with the JCF latte.
seriously one of the best AD's out there.[much preferred it to the Forssel].
that thing is natural-big open and wide.
it'll blow that Lnyx right out of the control rm.
you wont be disappointed.
This may be off topic, but I've noticed you post on a ton of hardware threads. Mods feel free to delete this post if you feel it's detracting from the OP.

In regards to converters, what would your recommend in the $1500-$2500 USD category for clean conversion? I'd prefer to have my character pieces 'outside' of the converter.

To date, the nicest converter I have used is the Burl B2 ADC.

I'm really interested in following this thread, as I'd like a killer (but semi affordable) ADC for my hardware mix bus chain.

Cheers,
Phil
Old 15th September 2015
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Palaver View Post
This may be off topic, but I've noticed you post on a ton of hardware threads. Mods feel free to delete this post if you feel it's detracting from the OP.

In regards to converters, what would your recommend in the $1500-$2500 USD category for clean conversion? I'd prefer to have my character pieces 'outside' of the converter.

To date, the nicest converter I have used is the Burl B2 ADC.

I'm really interested in following this thread, as I'd like a killer (but semi affordable) ADC for my hardware mix bus chain.

Cheers,
Phil
For clean I think the Antelope pure would be good.
I had one side by side w/ the burl for a while.both good yet different.
the burl kinda thicker,tougher.antelope more open pristine delicate.
it comes down to taste really

then there's the really high end..like the latte.to me that's the one if you have the money.
Old 15th September 2015
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by RoundBadge View Post
For clean I think the Antelope pure would be good.
I had one side by side w/ the burl for a while.both good yet different.
the burl kinda thicker,tougher.antelope more open pristine delicate.
it comes down to taste really

then there's the really high end..like the latte.to me that's the one if you have the money.
and again, musical, clean, pristine, sweet top end and livid : Dangerous Convert 2. plus amazing metering and more
Old 16th September 2015
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by AMIEL View Post
and again, musical, clean, pristine, sweet top end and livid : Dangerous Convert 2. plus amazing metering and more
I'm not following you here? The Dangerous products you mention are DACs. This thread is about ADCs for the final mix print. I'd love this product, but it's complete overkill in my setup. I'm completely happy with the DAC I'm using. IMO, high quality ADCs are much harder to find.
Old 16th September 2015
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Palaver View Post
I'm not following you here? The Dangerous products you mention are DACs. This thread is about ADCs for the final mix print. I'd love this product, but it's complete overkill in my setup. I'm completely happy with the DAC I'm using. IMO, high quality ADCs are much harder to find.
Yeah I was pretty confused at why people were mentioning the Dangerous stuff. I'm sure it's great~ But I have 2 busses, from 1976. We cleaned out a lot of the 2520's in my monitor section from Pro Tools back so that sounds like what's coming out of the converters, there's a set of transformers that are not avoidable... But I honestly prefer listening to my mixes on the mix side instead of what is printing in Pro Tools. I adjust my mixes when I reference the Pro Tools print. I want to not be able to tell a difference from my mix bus and from what I am printing. Surely there's a converter out there that can make that so!
Old 16th September 2015
  #21
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Quote:
But I honestly prefer listening to my mixes on the mix side instead of what is printing in Pro Tools. I adjust my mixes when I reference the Pro Tools print. I want to not be able to tell a difference from my mix bus and from what I am printing. Surely there's a converter out there that can make that so!
I'm still not understanding why you want to monitor the desk when mixing? I understand that you prefer listening to the desk, but since the monitor of the desk will never be heard and the point is to address the mix... ???

As mentioned, a high end converter is the way to go to best overcome any shortcomings at present, but odds are the desk will always sound different to you and possible better than after the round trip of conversion.
Old 16th September 2015
  #22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Palaver View Post
I'm not following you here? The Dangerous products you mention are DACs. This thread is about ADCs for the final mix print. I'd love this product, but it's complete overkill in my setup. I'm completely happy with the DAC I'm using. IMO, high quality ADCs are much harder to find.
You are right...i do not why I thought was about DACs...
Got Dizzy...

and yes, Dangerous should make a ADC ..i was thinking about this today!

The Hedd is a great option...i do not want to color a mix with a ADC only if can be just an option...

Last edited by AMIEL; 16th September 2015 at 03:30 AM..
Old 16th September 2015
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Myles83 View Post
I'm still not understanding why you want to monitor the desk when mixing? I understand that you prefer listening to the desk, but since the monitor of the desk will never be heard and the point is to address the mix... ???

As mentioned, a high end converter is the way to go to best overcome any shortcomings at present, but odds are the desk will always sound different to you and possible better than after the round trip of conversion.
What I monitor is the Mix bus, like any mixing console. It's the sound of the mix bus... Which is the sound of the console.... Which sounds amazing. As I said before, the MONITOR/PLAYBACK section of the console has been cleaned up, taking 2520's out and replacing with CAPI chip based 2520's to make the color as transparent as possible when listening back, except for a pair of transformers.

Everyone knows the Mix bus always sounds better than what they print into Pro Tools, no not because of the PLAYBACK section of the console (because mine is cleaned up) but because you're listening to an analog console summing what is being put through it... I want to get as close to that as I can with a converter.

I just found this quote from Bill Schnee on JCF's site which kind of answers my question and think it may be the solution for me.

"I recorded a live jazz band directly through them to two track. I have had serious reservations about the sound of digital from the beginning. But for the first time in my studio, I could not tell the difference between the live buss and the 24/192 capture!" - Bill Schnee on a custom JCF converter
Old 16th September 2015
  #24
Gear Maniac
I have a JCF AD8 and I love it. It is in a different league than the Lynx. I am very happy printing mixes into it (not to mention tracking with it!). Like you I also have a Lynx.

Now it's time for new DA. The Lynx DA on the master bus insert is bugging me now that I've heard other things. It never ends.
Old 16th September 2015
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sam guaiana View Post
Any problems with another Lynx Aurora? Or a Hilo? After hearing the world's biggest mix engineer recreate an iconic mix flawlessly on Lynx converters and a console he didn't call home, I stopped worrying about the quality of them.

For a frame of reference, I use MOTU 16a's. Love them and I legitimately get out what I put in
Biggest mix engineer recreating an iconic mix flawlessly has nothing to do with it. That's super subjective. Lynx converters are fantastic and are the brains behind hundreds of studios. I love my Lynx and would take them above anything else for 40 channels in and out in a working/commercial studio.

This is about about a personal preference and exploring digital audio's technology in 2015 and getting the best it has to offer for certain applications.

Im sure the worlds best mix engineer could recreate an iconic mix on a Mackie 1604 and a 002.
Old 16th September 2015
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamburg58 View Post
Im sure the worlds best mix engineer could recreate an iconic mix on a Mackie 1604 and a 002.
Yeah... No.
Old 17th September 2015
  #27
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At one point I was in the same boat. I wanted no change when I mixed back to the ad converters. Roc Mixwell recommend me the latte well I love it. It is different it sounds like nothing there yet very pleasing. I am using the great river mixmaster to mix. And man same sound no change. I also have the ad8 I use it to track and use its clock as the master and having the latte as slave. I'm all set also you get 2 amazing preamps sounds very 70s. Anyway I am all set I hop you find what you were looking for.
Old 17th September 2015
  #28
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I also do my monitor straith from the console (SSL 4k) and love to do it. Especially for automation. Because when you monitor from PT returns you have a little delay...
I was using a HEDD and when mix was ready, switching to listen to Pro Tools I always had to do some minor adjustments. Since changing HEDD for the BURL I don't have to change anything now... Sometimes I lower the input and use the calibration button on the front panel to get to the same level back in. With lower levels BURL sounds sounds cleaner but you have the option to run it higher to get more color! Great unit! Love it.
Old 18th September 2015
  #29
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I have an API1608 (32)... The Antelope Orion32 was a jaw dropping experience hooked to this desk, displaying all the dynamics and nuances while capturing an amazing color. 32 to the Orion32 is a no brainer.
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