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RADAR users - what's the alternative??? Digital Converters
Old 22nd August 2007
  #1
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RADAR users - what's the alternative???

During the past couple of months I've totally fallen in love with RADAR sound (capturing & AD conversion). I have never been so happy with front-to-back depth, even when doing ITB mixing and using RADAR as the front end. I'm not even talking about the Nyquist, just RADAR 24 at good old 44kHz sample rate. The biggest difference is after mastering (or pseudo mastering if you will). There's soooo much original depth to the sound, that even some "crappy" ITB limiting can't get rid of it .... - really, really impressed!

While not always having access to RADAR, I also use Lavry Blue, Apogee Rosetta and so called "mid level" RME stuff. So thinking that out of these options - Lavry would be the so called "highest" option (compared to apogee and RME it is - to my ears). Lavry Blue is also what I use for my daily work. Did a quick test tracking through the same chain, same vocalist - could not believe my ears. Lavry didn't give back what put in "depth wise". Now the sound is totally "acceptable", but the depth - is gone - I did it 4 ways - with digital, analog saturation, with both, and totally clean. I matched the levels and listened that much of the natural "body" is gone. Now I would have never noticed it (or thought this is supposed to be normal) until I heard the RADAR in comparison. At first I thought I had done a better mix etc. - but then I realized I was using 50% less eq and compression on the RADAR captured files. Same room, gear, performers. I don't think it's a coincidence. I repeated this several times and now I'm hooked .

OK - since some of my productions get fairly large (I do 50% ITB and 50% OTB analog board mixes these days) I can't use RADAR for some heavy track count projects (R&B etc.) Just wondering - have any of you been in the same boat - looking for a converter capturing the DEPTH of RADAR? (for the purpose of doing heavy ITB editing like backing vocals etc.)

Apogee is flat and coloured to my ears, Lavry is lacking the depth, but good - RME is not in the same leauge by far, - what are some of the direct comparisons you have done? RADAR vs. LAVRY Gold? vs. PRISM? Anyone?

Thanks,
Joho

P.S. And yes, I did do a search before posting this. I would appreciate anyone's experiences who have actually worked on RADAR, and done the comparisons - and not get into - this converter is good, or - oh you're trashing Lavry & apogee - this is not what's this thread is about. Thanks
Old 22nd August 2007
  #2
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Drumsound's Avatar
I mixed a record recently the about half of the songs had more than 24 tracks, multiple keyboards, multiple horns etc. What I did was make simple ruff mixes of the basics and vocals and then took that into another project on the RADAR and then made stereo mixes of the multiple things. I'd then import those files back into the originalproject

Basically like working with a slave reel in the tape days.

Another option for you would be to use the RADAR as converters and master clock to the DAW and stem out 24 outs to the console/outboard.

And you can link multiple RADARs together for more tracks (like and ADAT only good sounding).
Old 22nd August 2007
  #3
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I have a client or two that have switched to Nuendo and high quality converters. They are thrilled. The editing is far better, and well... the sound is equal or better depending on the converters you use.

I use 48 channels worth of Lynx Aurora's and I am complimented at every gig (even by hard core Nyquist Radar guys), that this sounds every bit as good, if not better than Radars. And then of course... you have so much more to work with since it's a full DAW software.

JMTC of course... heh
Old 22nd August 2007
  #4
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indie's Avatar
 

Here's what I do when mixing songs with lot's of tracks:
drums, bass, loop or anything time based that has to be butt cheek tight, rhythmic acoustics, lead vocal, main electrics ...all on radar.
Everything else left in PT locked via MTC back though Radar converters via spdif in radar DA out to board.

heh, but it sounds great... I'm going back to this even though it's a pain. Lately I've been stemming out 8 to 12 channels via radar converters, but it doesn't sound as good as the way I described above.
Old 23rd August 2007
  #5
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I've always been mystified by the sounds i hear from RADAR. The sound comes from the accumulation of everything being made high quality and to work together, clock, D/A, software. I am assuming here (as i have not test driven a system) that the bulk of the sound comes from some decent converters. Unfortunately, they don't sell the RADAR A/D for DAWs, it's all prepriotory. I read the RADAR bwavs that RADAR records in are just modified time stamp information so there shouldn't be a difference digital being digital... sooo... it sounds like your looking at top of the line stuff. If no A/D at the top is currently is taking your fancy stick with the RADAR.
Old 23rd August 2007
  #6
Here for the gear
 

An ex-coworker of mine works for IZ. He was talking about a new PCI card with converters. This was a few months ago. I should call him and ask where they are with that project or if they have shelved it.
Old 23rd August 2007
  #7
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Yep... the RADAR is a great piece of work. I just can't seem to part with my RADAR II that has the classic converters 44.1 and 48K. For the most part I will use for its converters to go in and out of my DAW that is connected to an analog console. I also have Symphony 16AD & 16DAx for the Mac. Different flavors depending on the vibe I'm looking for.
Old 23rd August 2007
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by midnightsun View Post
Yep... the RADAR is a great piece of work. I just can't seem to part with my RADAR II that has the classic converters 44.1 and 48K. For the most part I will use for its converters to go in and out of my DAW that is connected to an analog console. I also have Symphony 16AD & 16DAx for the Mac. Different flavors depending on the vibe I'm looking for.

Kind of OT--

I predicted this about 2 years ago. Converters are gonna become like preamps..."I gotta have different flavors for different instruments/songs/vibe etc..."
Old 23rd August 2007
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grooveagent View Post
An ex-coworker of mine works for IZ. He was talking about a new PCI card with converters. This was a few months ago. I should call him and ask where they are with that project or if they have shelved it.
I've heard the rumor too somewhere - is this true?
Old 23rd August 2007
  #10
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joho's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by crypticglobe View Post
I have a client or two that have switched to Nuendo and high quality converters. They are thrilled. The editing is far better, and well... the sound is equal or better depending on the converters you use.

I use 48 channels worth of Lynx Aurora's and I am complimented at every gig (even by hard core Nyquist Radar guys), that this sounds every bit as good, if not better than Radars. And then of course... you have so much more to work with since it's a full DAW software.

JMTC of course... heh
I have never heard the Aurora's - I'll find a way to test-drive this combo. After all they clame to be really uncolored (which I like in a converter). Have you personally worked with RADAR?
Old 23rd August 2007
  #11
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A set of converters is in the pipeline (I hear) but they will be expensive!
Old 23rd August 2007
  #12
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crypticglobe's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by joho View Post
I have never heard the Aurora's - I'll find a way to test-drive this combo. After all they clame to be really uncolored (which I like in a converter). Have you personally worked with RADAR?
Yes, quite a bit. And they are outstanding sonically. I am honestly not missing anything with this Aurora/Nuendo combo though.

I actually like what I get with the UA 2192 I have (2 channels of i/o) quite a bit better than what I have ever gotten with anything, ever. If I had the money... I would just buy a bunch of 2192's.
Old 23rd August 2007
  #13
Hummmmmm.... this thread sounds familiar.... I wonder why?

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/so-mu...dar-radar.html

LOL

So I think the question for me is how does the Radar stack up against a Lavry Gold? That would be the big question.
Old 23rd August 2007
  #14
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sada10's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Byre View Post
A set of converters is in the pipeline (I hear) but they will be expensive!
What is expensive-($3,000., 4K)?
Old 23rd August 2007
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crypticglobe View Post
I actually like what I get with the UA 2192 I have (2 channels of i/o) quite a bit better than what I have ever gotten with anything, ever. If I had the money... I would just buy a bunch of 2192's.
Can you describe what you're getting different from the 2192? Is is colored? For what reason do you feel it's best of the best you've tried? Just curious.
Old 23rd August 2007
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joho View Post
Can you describe what you're getting different from the 2192? Is is colored? For what reason do you feel it's best of the best you've tried? Just curious.

I would recommend doing a search on "2192". I do not find it be colored at all. Just the most realistic conversion I have ever heard. It has "class A" analog circuitry, and I do notice that if I push signal into, or out of it at a much higher level than would normally be recommended (that would normally clip) it will give a VERY pleasant "warmth". I think this "feature" has led many to say it's "colored". Under normal circumstance, and at normal levels it is FAR, FAR from colored. Just very natural and organic.

Definitely do a search and read others opinions as well. For me... I have yet to hear anything that sounds better, at any price.

JMTC..
Old 24th August 2007
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crypticglobe View Post
I would recommend doing a search on "2192". I do not find it be colored at all. Just the most realistic conversion I have ever heard. It has "class A" analog circuitry, and I do notice that if I push signal into, or out of it at a much higher level than would normally be recommended (that would normally clip) it will give a VERY pleasant "warmth". I think this "feature" has led many to say it's "colored". Under normal circumstance, and at normal levels it is FAR, FAR from colored. Just very natural and organic.

Definitely do a search and read others opinions as well. For me... I have yet to hear anything that sounds better, at any price.

JMTC..
Thanks for all the replies,

Did a quick search and found some interesting info about the 2192. Now all I have to do it try it. Thing is - I have neverd heard anything better than Radar - so I still have to try mytek, prism, HEDD, and UA 2192. Something really bothers me about Lavry - it sure can take a hell of a beating level-wise, so for mastering I have found it useful - but for tracking - the high end is soo - I don't know - sterile I guess - that I'm afraid to even use any good quality eq while tracking. With radar it's always nice, as well as the lows being much tighter and firmer. Like I said earlier - in 50% cases there's no need for eq or compression for my tastes (acoustic jazz, pop, rock). The thing is that I don't feel RADAR is colouring anything, rather representing with best depth I've heard - now I'd like to find out what the closest second option is - for ITB work capturing to DAW.

Any opinions on Lavry Gold, Prism?

Thanks
Old 24th August 2007
  #18
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Check out the Alesis HD24XR (new version - the old version has different converters) to use for it's converters going into your DAW. Lots of posts about it right here on slutz, do a search. I think it has the best bang for the buck for decent converters, 24 channels of converters for around $1600 new. You just have to get around the name Alesis or put a sticker over it's label if it bugs you. Jim Williams does an upgrade to them which in his words makes them sound like a Radar.
Old 24th August 2007
  #19
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IIRC he does not upgrade the new Alesis machines, only the old ones.

And are you really sure he said he makes them sound like RADAR's?
Old 24th August 2007
  #20
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Thought it was the other way around and he only upgrades the NEW HD24XR's and takes a pass on the older HD24's as a modifcation of those units would only bring it up to the sonics of the new unit so it's much easier/cheaper just to get the new unit. I remember that post of Jim's comments somewhere but why put words in his mouth, he's a regular poster here and if he doesn't catch this thread and chime in you could just PM him about it.
Old 24th August 2007
  #21
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I guess my memory is still working today LOL

Did a Google search using "Jim Williams Radar HD24XR" and came up with this:

San Diego Recording Studio

"Alesis HD24 XR Hi-Definition 24 Track Recorder. (This recorder has more depth and detail than ANY other digital recorder available, including the Otari Radar! We A/B'd them all. The converters are excellent! Check it out for yourself. Or call Jim Williams @ Audio Upgrades, Hollywood. (818) 780-1222. He'll explain it to you)."


HD Recorder/Mixer question - 3dB

"I'm in the process of selling my adat's because I bought an Alesis HD24XR. What I really wanted was the radar unit..but it was out of reach. Jim Williams from Audio Upgrades raved over the XR's converters and I think that is what swayed me to finally buying it. So far so good. I'm very pleased with the unit. Sounds great. Transfers from the adats were a piece of cake. The fan was a bit noisey so I replaced it with one that Jim Williams had suggested. It works like a tape machine. If you need to do lots of editing 'PT style' this thing might not be for you. There is a Yahoo group (HD24)if you poke around there you will see the good bad and the ugly. Not sure what the story is with Mackie..I thought those units were being phased out. I got a flyer from Musicians Friend the other day and saw a big price drop on the HD24 and the HD24XR. ARRGH."

Re: Lucid 9624 AD vs RME ADI 8 DS??

"Going from memory the ADI's I've worked on were the 48 k version.
The converters were AKM, but not their best stuff. The M-DAC's used
for gain adjustment cloud the audio as well. I know the Myteks as I
did some analog design for Michal, they are top notch, but expensive.
If I were in the market for any of these, I would rent them all and
line them up. If you're looking for good quality converters in mass, I
like the Alesis HD24XR 96k. It uses the same A/D's as the $13k Radar
96, and I like the AKM 5393 D/A converters in there better than the
rough sounding Analog Devices AD1855 dac's in the Radar. $2500 for 48
channels of 96k converters, oh, and they throw in a hard drive
recorder in for free!

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades"

RADAR vs. other stand-alone HD recorders

"I should also add that I did a comparison with the modified HD24XR with
a Radar 96 tracking drums. The Radar does sound very good, real creamy
mids, BUT, the HD24 has better top end details and much better low end
depth, it really did make the Radar sound thin. I'm also enjoying the
$11k I saved. I also tried the Tascam unit, but it sounded worse than
the 48k version HD24. I don't do the "M" word here.

One reporter's opinion.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades"

RME vs Apogee Converters [Archive] - SAWStudio User Group

RECORDING - Why is Motu considered the orphan stepchild of A/D/A's? - Digital Audio Recording

I think if you go the Alesis route then use the Alesis for it's converters only going lightpipe to a RME 9652 card ($300 used on ebay) in your computer and record/edit in the box (then mix analog LOL). This makes one of the best bang for the buck configurations that I can think of if you need lots of channels. They make a firewire interface to make speedy transfers from the Alesis to the PC if you record into the Alesis's hard drive (or when you use the Alesis as a remote location recorder). As with all things, there are some negatives to the HD24XR so do some research (a noisy fan that you will need to replace if you don't have it in a machine room, and it will not do full duplex on the converters - you have to switch select in pairs which way the converters are working (analog in or out).
Old 30th August 2007
  #22
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Thanks for the replies

I've been away and busy several days (no gearslutting)

Thanks for all the replies. It seems like the Alesis HD24XR unit is indeed highly praised because of it's converters - although the alternative I was looking for was PCI based Mac/Pc solution (standalone converter straight into the computer). Just for the projects that have a million tracks edits etc. (modern pop-rock, r&b etc.).

So far I would like to try the UA 2192 - but would like an opinion if the prism, Lavry Gold or let's say HEDD have the front to back depth that I have experienced with RADAR. Thanks for any first hand experiences, comparisons.
Old 30th August 2007
  #23
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Bubbagump's Avatar
 

Sort of as a side note, if you want to mix ITB, Reaper has a direct RADAR import feature. If you want to use Reaper fine, if not, you can then export to an EDL and use Samplitude or whatever.
Old 30th August 2007
  #24
Lives for gear
 

Use the HD24XR lightpiped to a RME 9652 card (PCI) in your computer. The big thing with any computer interface that alot of guys don't take into consideration is how good are the drivers with that interface. The RME drivers are rock solid which cannot be said about some others but most importantly is that the RME drivers will do real LOW LATENCY under FULL LOAD which most the others won't. Others will claim low latency but when you load up the tracks or plugs they will start to pop and click. You can put in 3 of these RME cards (24 I/O adat lightpipe + 2 I/O SPDIF each card) and the RME software mixer will handle it. The RME analog cards/converters are truely mid range and the Alesis unit is a big step up soundwise, so by using the RME 9652 card you are just moving digtal data in and out of your computer to and from the Alesis converters using the superior and MOST importantly low latency under load RME drivers. Make sure you get the newer version of the 9652 that has midi, the old version has no midi. Even if you end up with a more expensive set of converters than the Alesis, the RME 9652 is one of the better ways to get I/O to-from the computer/DAW.
Old 31st August 2007
  #25
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by joho View Post
I've heard the rumor too somewhere - is this true?
Apparently so. An external converter box is in the works but it could take up to a year to be released.
Old 31st August 2007
  #26
Gear Nut
 

On the Alesis unit, besides the noisey fan, what are its pitfalls?
Someone had mentioned something about all of the I/O is not available at the same time.... Is this only at the higher than 48k sample rate?
I want something to do at least 12 to 16 tracks i/o.

I have a 96/52 card. Maybe it works different when you are monitoring thru the RME card as opposed to directing Ins to Outs directly at the Alesis unit?

(That is what you get when you read something fast and dont remember where you saw it)
Old 31st August 2007
  #27
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Quote:
On the Alesis unit, besides the noisey fan, what are its pitfalls?
There's a quiet fan that can be bought for like $15.00 , the info is on the HD24 group. I have mine in my machine room so it's not an issue.

Quote:
Someone had mentioned something about all of the I/O is not available at the same time.... Is this only at the higher than 48k sample rate?
I want something to do at least 12 to 16 tracks i/o.
You get all 24 I/O at 44.1 and 48. It gets cut in half for the higher rates. Also if you need to you can change the I/O in pairs to analog or digital which is handy when your using it as stand alone convertors with a DAW.

FWIW I replaced my Motu HD192 with a HD24xr and am very happy I did. The HD24xr has less smearing and a better top end than the HD192 had. I would love to hear it with the JW mod.
Old 31st August 2007
  #28
Gear Nut
 

Thanks D
I did not mean to hijack the thread. I am at a point to make some decisions right now.
I wonder what the approx cost of the mods are?

I am off to find the users group, hopefully a google search will work.
Old 31st August 2007
  #29
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Quote:
I wonder what the approx cost of the mods are?
I think it's somewhere around $800.00. From what JW has said definitely puts it in Radar territory sound wise.
Old 31st August 2007
  #30
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Fletcher's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by not_so_new View Post
So I think the question for me is how does the Radar stack up against a Lavry Gold? That would be the big question.
It would be a huge question... and while I've played with both I must say I've never seen a dozen Lavry "Gold"s in one place [which is what you would need to do a true comparison].

In our joint we're running Apogee AD-16x's with an Apple Logic system right next to our RADAR [with DA-16x's for the output of the Logic System]. While we generally use the RADAR for recording the actual material the Logic system is running the entire time of the session [when there is a break in the action the assistant will end the Logic session, name it and start a new session at the end of the break]. By doing this we are able to capture any miscellaneous ideas that happen to come up in the process of getting sounds and we're able to document all the changes that were made during the process of getting sounds.

On more than one occasion we've found that some "jam" that occured during the "getting sounds" process has turned into a song... and I've found very little quality difference between the Apogee/Logic system and the RADAR in terms of tone and texture.

I prefer the RADAR because the remote functions like a tape machine [with like actual "Play", "Record", "Stop", "Fast Forward" and "Rewind" buttons!!] but on a purely sonic level... while I still prefer something about the RADAR's tone I could certainly live with the Apogee/Logic rig as my main system should the need ever arise.

As always... YMMV.

Peace.
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