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AnaMod : ATS-1 Tape Simulator
Old 5th April 2010
  #1411
theother
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by RoundBadge View Post
I'm still thinking a 16 track headstack for our 827..might still be cheaper than a bunch of ATS's
You are absolutely right. And I also think my 1/2" Studer is cheaper and less hassle than the ATS. The ATS can only be an approximation to the real thing. So why not have the real thing?

I spent £2,000 on our excellent A820 which never needed a day of service in the last 3 years. I put on tape and I'm ready to go. Takes maybe 1 minute longer than to load the plugin. And I don't have to drive myself mad thinking is the ATS really as good as the real thing. THIS is were you waste a lot of time that you thought had gained by not having a real machine.

And if you can't afford one roll of tape which is £40 and can take at least 4 songs, you shouldn't be making music on a professional basis anyway.

I don't even bother aligning the machine every time I used it. It doesn't drift at all and the RMGI tape we have is very consistent. So I really don't get what's so painful/difficult in using tape? I really don't.

If a tape machine would still cost £20,000 then I too would be looking into the ATS thing.

Now what I heard from many users that had the ATS is that they had more trouble with service and getting the unit to work (especially in Europe) than I ever had with my tape machine.

I don't get it why so many people waste their time with emulations and plugins these days when the real thing can be had for a reasonable price and you can close that chapter for good and get on with your life.

It's like chasing the horizon. But then some want to be kept busy with stupid things not having to face the real challenges of what to do with their lives. (I do count myself in)
Old 5th April 2010
  #1412
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Casey View Post
It has everything to do with the difference in continuous time vs. discreet time. Sampled audio (digital) is just wrong when it comes to nonlinear functions.

Digital systems that upsample dramatically can approach continuous time and simulate nonlinear processes well. I have argued on these forums that audio processed at 2mhz is about right. Most digital simulations do not upsample to this degree.

Until this is commonplace; Digital will not replace analog when it comes to the very best in nonlinear functions.



-Casey
when you run a plugin on a PC or Mac the MAIN reason (not the only) you have such a processing delay/latency is due to the layers of software level abstraction that common day computers go through. i.e. assembler/embedded software, -> kernels -> operating system -> upper level object orientated code etc.

DSP engineers deal with this problem by running dedicated embedded software (usually very low level on the back of a real time operating system ) on a custom piece of digital hardware usually a programmable device such as an FPGA or a derivative of this kind of hardware. this is how you increase efficiency through customisation.

Of course this is not a practical solution for many audio applications because such development/hardware and lack of economies of scale prevent a cost effective solution that will fit within the given budget. A perfect example of this is the UAD plugs/DSP. they have had to make massive shortcuts to the way they execute their software to keep developmental costs down.

With parallel computing, multicore processors and real time operating systems other industries/applications such as artificial intelligence and advanced control system implementation reliably and efficiently execute extremely non-linear applications. Whats more these digital systems are lighter, more reliable, cheaper, simpler to build not to mention upgradable than their analog counterparts. Even for these applications which have allot bigger budgets the development of a cheaper digital solution are only just justified at times.

Old 5th April 2010
  #1413
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by theother View Post
You are absolutely right. And I also think my 1/2" Studer is cheaper and less hassle than the ATS. The ATS can only be an approximation to the real thing. So why not have the real thing?

I spent £2,000 on our excellent A820 which never needed a day of service in the last 3 years. I put on tape and I'm ready to go. Takes maybe 1 minute longer than to load the plugin. And I don't have to drive myself mad thinking is the ATS really as good as the real thing. THIS is were you waste a lot of time that you thought had gained by not having a real machine.

And if you can't afford one roll of tape which is £40 and can take at least 4 songs, you shouldn't be making music on a professional basis anyway.

I don't even bother aligning the machine every time I used it. It doesn't drift at all and the RMGI tape we have is very consistent. So I really don't get what's so painful/difficult in using tape? I really don't.

If a tape machine would still cost £20,000 then I too would be looking into the ATS thing.

Now what I heard from many users that had the ATS is that they had more trouble with service and getting the unit to work (especially in Europe) than I ever had with my tape machine.

I don't get it why so many people waste their time with emulations and plugins these days when the real thing can be had for a reasonable price and you can close that chapter for good and get on with your life.

It's like chasing the horizon. But then some want to be kept busy with stupid things not having to face the real challenges of what to do with their lives. (I do count myself in)
A f**kn Men.
Old 5th April 2010
  #1414
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Casey View Post

That man never said that it would be OK to change the samples willy nilly and still be able to recreate anything at all based on the now corrupted samples.

Unfortunatly, this is also the basis of digital audio that is processed ITB.

In this discussion, willy nilly is shorthand for nonlinear functions. These include functions such as dynamics and saturation.

If the samples are changed just a little bit, things remain OK. Not great but OK. If the samples are changed dramatically, well then there is very little hope that they may ever be turned back into an analog signal that resembles the original signal, let alone the signal with the desired processing.





-Casey
the problems you are describing here are in essence system modelling issues. if you are trying to model a highly non-linear process and are finding that your model is only marginally accurate when close to the operating point and useless when further from it, then your model is simply not good enough for the task. there is no point talking about digital conversions and digital processing errors if you cant even get the model down pat. that the first thing to get right before you even think about moving forward.

i think this is why mixing in the box is such a let down, you've got an insanely difficult modelling task and then the difficult balancing act to deal with between a computational intensive accurate digital execution of these transfer functions and something that will work in real time.

when we design analog mixers no one really needs to know how the tracks superimpose on each-other exactly . its like an experiment, you build a mixer, test that it sounds good, make some adjustments based on some upper level mathematical knowledge you have of the mixing models, and then retest it until your happy with the result. but never at any stage do you actually need to model those interactions completely as part of the design.

with ITB its different, your trying to simulate/model a physical electrical process. this is SOO Difficult. forget about the actual digital processing, its the modelling that brings ITB down.
Old 5th April 2010
  #1415
Gear Guru
 
RoundBadge's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by theother View Post
You are absolutely right. And I also think my 1/2" Studer is cheaper and less hassle than the ATS. The ATS can only be an approximation to the real thing. So why not have the real thing?

I spent £2,000 on our excellent A820 which never needed a day of service in the last 3 years. I put on tape and I'm ready to go. Takes maybe 1 minute longer than to load the plugin. And I don't have to drive myself mad thinking is the ATS really as good as the real thing. THIS is were you waste a lot of time that you thought had gained by not having a real machine.

And if you can't afford one roll of tape which is £40 and can take at least 4 songs, you shouldn't be making music on a professional basis anyway.

I don't even bother aligning the machine every time I used it. It doesn't drift at all and the RMGI tape we have is very consistent. So I really don't get what's so painful/difficult in using tape? I really don't.

If a tape machine would still cost £20,000 then I too would be looking into the ATS thing.

Now what I heard from many users that had the ATS is that they had more trouble with service and getting the unit to work (especially in Europe) than I ever had with my tape machine.

I don't get it why so many people waste their time with emulations and plugins these days when the real thing can be had for a reasonable price and you can close that chapter for good and get on with your life.

It's like chasing the horizon. But then some want to be kept busy with stupid things not having to face the real challenges of what to do with their lives. (I do count myself in)
I here you.the A820 is a great machine.and we already have some tape machines here.[827,M79,ATR102]
one the thing I'll say is some clients won't pay for a rolls of "2 & "1/2 inch.
thats maybe an extra 6 -1k bucks..I'm not rich.
its not coming out of my pocket.
the majority of indie band budgets are CHEAP .almost non existent these days.

the other thing is our ATR went on the fritz a couple weeks ago.its in pieces at Mike Spitz shop..it will NOT be cheap to fix.and it is taking some time to get back..plus shipping $$
the ATS-1[don't know about the euro issues but is completely hassle free..never had an issue] is actually doing a great job of replacing it.

now my M79 ,thats another can of worms.
I love the sound of this machine.they can be finicky to say the least.
the tech here in town who really knows those machines is flakey.
hard to get him to show up/return calls in a timely manner.
other 150/hour guys like Charlie Bolois won't touch those things. .parts aren't easy to come by.$$$
Old 5th April 2010
  #1416
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dandeurloo's Avatar
roundbadge, what are the cards to get for the ATS? Are there any you could live with out pretty easily?
Old 5th April 2010
  #1417
Gear Guru
 
u b k's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajbianco View Post
the problems you are describing here are in essence system modelling issues.

with ITB its different, your trying to simulate/model a physical electrical process. this is SOO Difficult. forget about the actual digital processing, its the modelling that brings ITB down.

Cool post, I appreciate your perspective.

There's a part of me that wonders if there isn't something more to it, something deeper in the 'zeitgeist' of digital processing that prevents it from having the same life, the same electric quality to the sound that an analog circuit has.

The reason I'm having this doubt is because you would think, of all the models that have been done to date, of all the dsp in all the plugins and software ever made, someone would have at least randomly stumbled on a process that simply makes things sound better. Not radically so, not eye-popping or jaw-dropping better... just 'better'.

Almost all the hardware in my studio has this effect on sound, just from passing thru the box it becomes more alive, or smoother, or sweeter.

Not one single plug does this; when I process with dsp, I can certainly make a sound better behaved, or more mixable in the context of 20 other sounds. But it doesn't get better, it just gets different.

Seems kinda strange.


Gregory Scott - ubk
Old 5th April 2010
  #1418
Gear Guru
 
RoundBadge's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by dandeurloo View Post
roundbadge, what are the cards to get for the ATS? Are there any you could live with out pretty easily?
I pretty much use all the cards except the M79.my actual 3M machine has a bigger,more open sound with amazing low end extension.

the problem is they won't sell the ATS-1 minus the M79 or a800 cards..
and that kinda sucks.
doesn't make much sense to me.
it'd be much nicer to order the unit w/ JUST the cards you actually want to purchase.
Old 5th April 2010
  #1419
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mdjice's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RoundBadge View Post
the problem is they won't sell the ATS-1 minus the M79 or a800 cards..
and that kinda sucks.
doesn't make much sense to me.
it'd be much nicer to order the unit w/ JUST the cards you actually want to purchase.
+10000!!!
Old 6th April 2010
  #1420
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ELI-173's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RoundBadge View Post
I pretty much use all the cards except the M79.my actual 3M machine has a bigger,more open sound with amazing low end extension.

the problem is they won't sell the ATS-1 minus the M79 or a800 cards..
and that kinda sucks.
doesn't make much sense to me.
it'd be much nicer to order the unit w/ JUST the cards you actually want to purchase.
I couldn't agree more. I've been considering the ATS-1, but after reading so many people's experiences and seeing that some of the optional cards have been preferable, I'm a bit turned off by having to spend so much extra money to get the cards that would be my defaults. I think it would be a big positive for them to change this policy.
Old 6th April 2010
  #1421
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ELI-173 View Post
I couldn't agree more. I've been considering the ATS-1, but after reading so many people's experiences and seeing that some of the optional cards have been preferable, I'm a bit turned off by having to spend so much extra money to get the cards that would be my defaults. I think it would be a big positive for them to change this policy.
Yes, it would be preferable if they let you pick and choose.........but I agree with RoundBadge, the only card at issue here is the M79..............all the others will certainly be used. And I have used the M79, but not very often. So this is really not a huge deal, IMHO.
Old 6th April 2010
  #1422
Lives for gear
 
Quint's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by RoundBadge View Post
I pretty much use all the cards except the M79.my actual 3M machine has a bigger,more open sound with amazing low end extension.

the problem is they won't sell the ATS-1 minus the M79 or a800 cards..
and that kinda sucks.
doesn't make much sense to me.
it'd be much nicer to order the unit w/ JUST the cards you actually want to purchase.
I agree, if I were purchasing the ATS-1, the 351 card would be what I would order.
Old 6th April 2010
  #1423
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mdjice's Avatar
 

So Dave, Greg? whats your take on that? if I could order an ATS-1 with my choice of "stock" cards I'm would be ready to order Today !
Old 6th April 2010
  #1424
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ELI-173's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike H View Post
Yes, it would be preferable if they let you pick and choose.........but I agree with RoundBadge, the only card at issue here is the M79..............all the others will certainly be used. And I have used the M79, but not very often. So this is really not a huge deal, IMHO.
I hear ya. I should point out, that having not used the unit I don't know what my defaults would be. But based on people's reports and the vibe of the original machines, it would be great to be able to choose based on one's style of music etc.

I think Dave and Greg are obviously scary smart, and their products show that. I hope they'll open up the chance to chose cards on this unit. We'll see!
thumbsup
Old 6th April 2010
  #1425
Engagement Manager
 
Sniperschool's Avatar
personally i wouldn't have found anywhere near as much use for the ATS-1 if i had picked the machine up before the 351 card came out
but i never felt it was overpriced just expensive

i think most people contributing to this thread would agree it would have been nice to just purchase the cards you wanted once you had tried them out
but the other (less used) cards are not faulty or 'second rate'
they're just more subtle and therefore less popular than many of the later issued cards
either way i don't think anyone should feel like they've been hard done by with the stock cards that come with the machine

the ATS-1 threads have always been pretty hostile places
maybe we have made it hard for Dave/Anamod to revise the way they sell the units

some people that have supported might feel aggrieved if others now got to choose their cards (though i don't think they would)
and maybe some people would use that change to jump up and down and say 'i told you it was a rip off all along'

i still don't think it's a unit that you are going to know about until it's in your room and running your sounds through it
only then are you going to know if it does what you wanted it to do
and if it doesn't then maybe it's not the units fault but your perception of what tape actually sounds like

so Dave/Anamod try and sort out the 10 day trial in the EU somehow
because then a lot more people here can actually have an opinion based on having heard it in person

i think i would have passed on it based on the A/B samples i had found online

thumbsup
Old 6th April 2010
  #1426
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Fleaman's Avatar
 

Kinda in agreement with sniperschool here, he makes some good comments.

I too 'almost' returned the ATS-1 (before the 351 card was out), not because it didn't do as advertised, it certainly did, but it was a bit pricey for 'me'. If I was a little more high-end'ish, I would have kept it regardless of the 351 card.

So yeah, I waited for the 351 card, tried it and decided that even though it's still pricey for 'me', it was now unique and versatile enough that I just couldn't come up with a good enough reason to return it. So I kept it. Still hurt my pocket book though.

I too wonder about the 'backlash' of current ATS-1 owners if Anamod decides to offer the unit with custom ordered stock cards. I know I myself might return probably 1 card....and I would be a little pissed if I wasn't allowed to.

So sniper makes a great point....unfortunately.

But at the time, when I asked if I could return any stock card (back when the 351 just came out), i was told 'NO'. So I just accepted it.
Old 6th April 2010
  #1427
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Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k View Post
Cool post, I appreciate your perspective.

There's a part of me that wonders if there isn't something more to it, something deeper in the 'zeitgeist' of digital processing that prevents it from having the same life, the same electric quality to the sound that an analog circuit has.

The reason I'm having this doubt is because you would think, of all the models that have been done to date, of all the dsp in all the plugins and software ever made, someone would have at least randomly stumbled on a process that simply makes things sound better. Not radically so, not eye-popping or jaw-dropping better... just 'better'.

Almost all the hardware in my studio has this effect on sound, just from passing thru the box it becomes more alive, or smoother, or sweeter.

Not one single plug does this; when I process with dsp, I can certainly make a sound better behaved, or more mixable in the context of 20 other sounds. But it doesn't get better, it just gets different.

Seems kinda strange.


Gregory Scott - ubk
yeah and even if you where to up sample the crap out of digital versions of these hardware units, you still would not get that same sound.

i think sometimes people forget that as you take away the analog piece of gear you lose not only the device but the knowledge of how this device "effected the sound" with it.

designers know how to build analog equipment and they know a fair bit about how it works, and they can experiment enough to make something sound good.

but of course trying to model these things mathematically perfectly is just simply not possible in some circumstances, even when it is, buy the time you've gone through all the development you may as well just have made the real thing in terms of time/cost.

this is why i think things like UAD plugs etc are never really going to get any better than what they are now, they have already reached an equilibrium.... if they spends any more proportion of their budgets on modelling it will just eat into profits and the project just starts to get to financially risky. these companies know that if their software ends up costing to close to the real thing, then they are in a sh*t load of trouble cause no one will buy it.

Professional Audio is one of the very few applications i know where the absolute integrity of the analog signal is "mission critical".

there are some other applications like this i have seen like for e.g. the control of extremely sensitive lasers or the control systems that regulate the flow of molten iron/steel in smelters. funnily enough if you look at all these applications these engineers always just build the dam analog circuit and be done with it. when it all boils down to it systems modelling is one of the most costly, technically difficult disciplines in engineering. its a massive drainer on your budget and companies avoid it like the plague if they can. the ones that don't usually end up bankrupt.

if you look at applications like navigation systems and guided systems, where the budget is high and the need for accurate systems models is high you will still find that engineers use an array of other sensors to complete the task rather than simply relying on a system model. this is because humans generally suck at systems modelling because of the sheer complexity of it. We tend not to rely on it for mission critical application if we can avoid it across all applications.

im blabbing on a bit here but my point is, digital gear has never and will never replace analog gear.... not because it cant reproduce a given analog signal accurately enough but because once you take away the analog circuit you are forced to model it to the nth degree to maintain the character of the device.... and this is where is all turns to SH*T. sure there is always going to be a market and use for cheaper approximations, but it will never totally replace analog gear as long as there a musicians wanting to experience the sound and work with it.

also greg, you made a very valid point on so many levels about the "alive" sound of analog. well if you really think about it in an analog peice of gear the audio signal is "alive", its there, its tangible you might even be able to feel it if you touch the cable it runs through sometimes. the analog signal is in touch with the physical world and the physical world can effect it.


with plugins or digital effects units, it not really alive anymore, its just a concept representation, a mathematical model if you will of the real thing. it cant interact with its physical surroundings and its surroundings can't shape it. the only way it can be shaped is if we explicitly tell it to be changed through some kind of transfer function or whatever. Humans cannot replicate the physical world with any great detail, so your right about it not being alive.






Old 6th April 2010
  #1428
Gear Addict
 
C.Judd Karn's Avatar
 

I would be fine, but think about this

If they did make a change and allowed new buyers to select their "included" cards and save a couple hundred dollars I could not hold a grudge....the economy is different now compared to when I got the unit.

And more importantly with just the 351 card the unit has already payed for itself and is still getting a lot of love here. so I'm ok with itthumbsup

Had a funny thought:
The Anamod fits in a very small niche of the recording community.

The top engineers who make the records we love that get promoted well in the indie or pop relm (and who are the subject of many articles in mags as well as conversation on GS)...they would probably never give a unit like the Anamod a listen. They are in a position where if you want a tape vibe they turn on the multitrack that is sitting in the studio or rent one in, the budget lets this happen.

The guys in the trenches who are clawing their way up in this tumultuous business ( like myself and most of the posters on GS ) are not quite there where the use of a product is promoted due to their name. They may be doing great work, but the artists are not on top and not getting heard.

Just thinking of those 2 things really makes me think that the guys at Anamod have their work cut out for them....their real demographic has a ceiling until the day that someone like Nigel Godrich or Dave Sardy Name checks the Anamod in some public forum...and again, these guys (and gals too) have the analog machines in the studio so why should they listen to it?......

It's just crazy what this product is up against from the get go.

Still I love it
Old 6th April 2010
  #1429
Gear Addict
 
C.Judd Karn's Avatar
 

I agree with above

Gotta add that I agree with AJBIANCO

Ever since I got the Barefoot speakers I struuuuggglllleee with plug ins, they are not as close as I'd like to the real thing sitting next to me in the studio.

Even an A list mix engineer recently said to me, "you'll never get it the same with the plug ins".

Can't say who this was but boy did it sting.

I should also add that I have a 24 track machine from Fantasy studios in my garage. It was decommissioned years back and it would honestly cost me more than the Anamod to get it up, wired and running in my studio with the necessary patch bay, as much as I'd kill for it.......Sad

You can flame me for that boys and girls.....I am prepared for the pummeling
Old 6th April 2010
  #1430
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Fleaman's Avatar
 

Interesting posts by ajbianco.

I'm not sure how much if it is science fact, science theory, or a bit of both, but it's still interesting thumbsup
Old 6th April 2010
  #1431
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DONNX's Avatar
 

Yea plugs do hurt when you hear how they compare to hardware. Good monitors and a good room will definitely tell you the ugly truth.



I personally, try to avoid them as much as I can now, got enough digititis going on already.. Sometimes though, I get a cool vibe off certain plugs.

Well, fellas, just bought me a pristine condition Ampex AG 440C. Some easy listening radio station/ studio went out business. Had 12 of these sitting around. The guy I bought it from, got the best one out of the bunch. I am excited!! Get wait to get it in the room.

Picking which cards you want would be nice on the ATS-1. Will it better the sales? Probably so.





Quote:
Originally Posted by C.Judd Karn View Post
Gotta add that I agree with AJBIANCO

Ever since I got the Barefoot speakers I struuuuggglllleee with plug ins, they are not as close as I'd like to the real thing sitting next to me in the studio.

Even an A list mix engineer recently said to me, "you'll never get it the same with the plug ins".

Can't say who this was but boy did it sting.

I should also add that I have a 24 track machine from Fantasy studios in my garage. It was decommissioned years back and it would honestly cost me more than the Anamod to get it up, wired and running in my studio with the necessary patch bay, as much as I'd kill for it.......Sad

You can flame me for that boys and girls.....I am prepared for the pummeling
Old 6th April 2010
  #1432
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WunderBro Flo's Avatar
hmmm...I see this is going into a typical GS direction. Yes, most, almost all hardware classics do sound not only slightly different but also slightly better than their good plugin emulations. However I would never go as far as to join the choir and say the good plugins (or analog emulations like the ATS1) do not deliver fantastic results, in certain applications even equal in quality. To me it is not mediocre/semipro vs stellar. More like fantastic vs stellar. I also think many of the negative judgements about the plugins come from gut feeling, not from proper, fair testing plugins vs hardware. Seriously, if the plugins would be lacking quality, life, mojo, balls etc as much as the common rant goes, then no professional work would be done using them, no Charles Dye, no Tony Shepperd and all those other great engineers who do a MAJOR part of their work with plugins could do a good job. They do. They actually do much better jobs than many people here on GS who work on analog only. God knows how many embarassing sounding mixes I have heard that were done on SSLs, Neves and other LFACs and outboard analog processing.

Now some food for those who think I am a shizo, I think the concept of the Anamod ATS1 needs some defense against the "why not go with real tape" point. Both approaches have their pros and cons, but none is superior to the other in every regard. Having a real tapemachine is the real deal soundwise, yes, but it has many disatvantages compared against the ATS1. How often do you real tape users change the tape type for a signal that might sound better on a different brand? How many of you flip around the BIAS of your real tape machines to dial in the exact amount of harmonics that suit the signal best? How many of you patch their signals into 3 or 4 different machines to determine which suits the signal best within 10 seconds? How many can run some tracks on tape in the morning and another one in the afternoon and not change the timing and phase of the two signals against each other? None? Thought so....

Rock on!
Pat
Old 6th April 2010
  #1433
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fleaman View Post
Interesting posts by ajbianco.

I'm not sure how much if it is science fact, science theory, or a bit of both, but it's still interesting thumbsup
all engineers work using scientific theory. scientific theory by definition is taken as fact and its what you study at Uni. You may be referring to the term "scientific hypothesis".

if there are any specific questions or anybody wants to delve into whats been said please feel free i'm happy to explain further. its hard for me to go into too much detail cause id be doing 4000 word posts...
Old 6th April 2010
  #1434
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WildCowboys View Post
hmmm...I see this is going into a typical GS direction.
the typical GS direction i have noticed has always been digital verses analog without fully going to the detail of whats actually happening inside the gear.

if the Anamod is a good emulation device and people find it a valuable tool, i would say that is because the designers have modelled the circuitry well enough to give results that the consumer is willing to pay for.

personally i would also like to see a lot of this digital Vs analog BS cut out of GSlutz, cause its really not getting to the heart of the issues and it doesn't help people understand whats going on.

a tape emulator is no were near as hard to emulate as a mixing console, so yeah if we cant to this properly now then you can forget about ITB ever sounding better.....
Old 6th April 2010
  #1435
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feck's Avatar
The ATS-1 sounds as good as any tape machine I have used. And it works WAY better in my workflow. But outside of that, this thread (as with many of the Anamod threads) is constantly veering towards discussions of topics related to the innate nature of analog and digital, and future/current technology in relation to existing past technology. Which is great subject matter, although not necessarily appropriate to any one product thread. First of all, "forgetting about ITB sounding better" is just a nonsensical statement. That is not, has not been, and will not be the case. Secondly, "look at applications like navigation systems and guided systems" - really? We don't even have full 64 bit support in the pro audio community! Face it, pro audio is behind pro photography, which is behind pro multimedia, which is behind pro video in regards to technology. Comparing what we get in the audio business to guided systems is like comparing the "steak" at a Western Sizzlin buffet to a Mortons steak. So that is a non-issue as it will not lead to anything other than abstractions and false parallels. I personally don't use the stock cards as much as the 351. However, that is because I am conditioned to liking over-the-top sounds when I apply a piece of gear/software to my audio signal. Which certainly doesn't mean that the other cards don't have MANY instances in which they would be the better choice. But to get back to my original thought, it is this - a box is out that does tape as well or better than tape in the opinion of not just this user, but plenty of other professional users. And it doesn't require alignment, maintenance, physical space, calibration, new tape, and many more things I don't have to mention here. And what happens? People bitch about being able to pick the cards it comes with. Seriously, I don't know how people get on with themselves sometimes.
Old 6th April 2010
  #1436
Lives for gear
 
WunderBro Flo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajbianco View Post
a tape emulator is no were near as hard to emulate as a mixing console, so yeah if we cant to this properly now then you can forget about ITB ever sounding better.....
Three thoughts:
1 - I think that the emulation of a tapemachine is WAY more hard and complex than the emulation of a mixing console. Look at the SSL plugins, they sound much closer to the real deal than any software tape emulation to real tape (imho).

2 - You are aware that exactly statements like "...forget about ITB ever sounding better" are what I called typical GS behaviour, right? It implies that ITB (has to) sounds like crap or at least not fully professional whereas analog does. This implication could not be further from the truth but is what is constantly preached on GS and other forums.

3 - I think what is always coming short or not showing up in these discussions/comparisons is the threshold that when reached is GOOD ENOUGH for the listeners not being able anymore to percieve a quality difference. The ATS1, apart from the negative sides I mentioned, purely soundwise, imho has reached this threshold. I do not think any listener would be able to point out an ATS1 processed track in comparison with the same track processed by the tapemachine/formulation it was based on. Even if they sound different, the ATS1 won´t sound "worse". Same goes for plugins. When they are good enough that our audience cannot tell or feel a quality difference to an analog "original", it truly does not matter anymore which one is still "better" when zooming in more and more. As an example, 24bit is technically better than 23 bit, it can be measured, it is the truth. Now does anyone seriously think any listener will be able to tell a quality difference (blindtest) between such two files that are otherwise identical? As soon as the threshold has been crossed, our discussions are useless. And I dare to say that for many (not all) applications, some plugins/emulation have already crossed the threshold or are dancing on it as we speak.

Rock on!
Pat
Old 6th April 2010
  #1437
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by WildCowboys View Post
Three thoughts:
1 - I think that the emulation of a tapemachine is WAY more hard and complex than the emulation of a mixing console. Look at the SSL plugins, they sound much closer to the real deal than any software tape emulation to real tape (imho).

2 - You are aware that exactly statements like "...forget about ITB ever sounding better" are what I called typical GS behaviour, right? It implies that ITB (has to) sounds like crap or at least not fully professional whereas analog does. This implication could not be further from the truth but is what is constantly preached on GS and other forums.

3 - I think what is always coming short or not showing up in these discussions/comparisons is the threshold that when reached is GOOD ENOUGH for the listeners not being able anymore to percieve a quality difference. The ATS1, apart from the negative sides I mentioned, purely soundwise, imho has reached this threshold. I do not think any listener would be able to point out an ATS1 processed track in comparison with the same track processed by the tapemachine/formulation it was based on. Even if they sound different, the ATS1 won´t sound "worse". Same goes for plugins. When they are good enough that our audience cannot tell or feel a quality difference to an analog "original", it truly does not matter anymore which one is still "better" when zooming in more and more. As an example, 24bit is technically better than 23 bit, it can be measured, it is the truth. Now does anyone seriously think any listener will be able to tell a quality difference (blindtest) between such two files that are otherwise identical? As soon as the threshold has been crossed, our discussions are useless. And I dare to say that for many (not all) applications, some plugins/emulation have already crossed the threshold or are dancing on it as we speak.

Rock on!
Pat
(1) sorry i think you have misunderstood me, when i say ITB, i'm not talking about the channel strips i'm talking about the summing algorithms that model the analog summing of the consoles. this is where is gets very tuff.

(2) sorry you have misunderstood me, i dont think ITB sounds crap, i use it for 90% of the work i do. i was just saying the quality will not improve without system modelling improvements and am simply highlighting that the digital vs analog discussion is not really relevant anymore when talking about ITB as other issues are preventing improvement.

(3) i dont know about you but 7-8 times out of 10 i can tell if a track has been mixed on an analog console with analog gear than on a computer with all plugins and ITB. sure there are a huge number of excellent good value plugins out there and im an avid user of sonnox and uad.

Ive got no doupt this product brings value to its users, my posts are just there to talk about that some of the technical challenges and limitations when trying to model analog gear. Any company who delves into making these types of emulators will be well aware of these issues and risks when investing in the development of this kind of product.

peace.
Old 6th April 2010
  #1438
Lives for gear
 
JCRockit's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by C.Judd Karn View Post
The top engineers who make the records we love that get promoted well in the indie or pop relm (and who are the subject of many articles in mags as well as conversation on GS)...they would probably never give a unit like the Anamod a listen. They are in a position where if you want a tape vibe they turn on the multitrack that is sitting in the studio or rent one in, the budget lets this happen.
That may be true but these days it seems you can get a decent multitrack for as cheap if not cheaper than the Anamod with options. For me it's about wanting to have the flexibility digital recording provides along with the sweetness of analog, so the ultimite hybrid setup would be recording to PT but with plenty of analog/tape vibe.
Old 6th April 2010
  #1439
Gear Head
 

Anybody know how the Anamod compares to FerricTDS?
Old 6th April 2010
  #1440
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by WildCowboys View Post
hmmm...I see this is going into a typical GS direction. Yes, most, almost all hardware classics do sound not only slightly different but also slightly better than their good plugin emulations. However I would never go as far as to join the choir and say the good plugins (or analog emulations like the ATS1) do not deliver fantastic results, in certain applications even equal in quality. To me it is not mediocre/semipro vs stellar. More like fantastic vs stellar. I also think many of the negative judgements about the plugins come from gut feeling, not from proper, fair testing plugins vs hardware. Seriously, if the plugins would be lacking quality, life, mojo, balls etc as much as the common rant goes, then no professional work would be done using them, no Charles Dye, no Tony Shepperd and all those other great engineers who do a MAJOR part of their work with plugins could do a good job. They do. They actually do much better jobs than many people here on GS who work on analog only. God knows how many embarassing sounding mixes I have heard that were done on SSLs, Neves and other LFACs and outboard analog processing.

Now some food for those who think I am a shizo, I think the concept of the Anamod ATS1 needs some defense against the "why not go with real tape" point. Both approaches have their pros and cons, but none is superior to the other in every regard. Having a real tapemachine is the real deal soundwise, yes, but it has many disatvantages compared against the ATS1. How often do you real tape users change the tape type for a signal that might sound better on a different brand? How many of you flip around the BIAS of your real tape machines to dial in the exact amount of harmonics that suit the signal best? How many of you patch their signals into 3 or 4 different machines to determine which suits the signal best within 10 seconds? How many can run some tracks on tape in the morning and another one in the afternoon and not change the timing and phase of the two signals against each other? None? Thought so....

Rock on!
Pat
love analog but i agree with WildCowboys here.

the waves CLA classic package is a good example of plugs that to these ears at least, can hang with the real thing. we have the real thing (1176 F rev/vintage LA2A, etc.), and there are some plugs that do things now that no analog gear could dream of (eg. Paul Frindle's DSM).

though i also agree that most plugins don't live up to what their 'vintage' GUIs would suggest, i think it's only a matter of time before the reverse is norm. but even when this happens, tracking through hardware will be preferable because of the inherent latency issues in software, unless that can somehow be resolved.

as for the ATS-1, as mentioned earlier we haven't had a chance to A/B against the real deal but from memory it delivers 100% except for the M79, which from memory sounded more like the files Roundbadge kindly supplied of his machine vs. the card. for the record we never owned an M79 but did own ATR104 1/2", A800 and A80RC 1/2" - maybe Anamod will make an A80RC card?

it's worth noting that many M79s were modified even when they were current, so it wouldn't be surprising if the particular machine Anamod used sounds just like their M79 card. if Anamod were to sample Roundbadge's machine though, i would buy that card.

FWIW we've not experienced the buzzing issue, or any issue with the ATS.
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