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Will an Aurora render a Weiss pointless?
Old 7th May 2006
  #1
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Matthew Murray's Avatar
Will an Aurora render a Weiss pointless?

Lets say I'm using the DA from a Lynx Aurora 16 for summing my mixes to a Nicerizer 16. And let's say I'm using a Weiss ADC2 for most of my tracking. Will summing stems out of the Aurora's DA devalue the benefit of tracking with the Weiss?

Or does it not work like that? I'm hoping it doesn't.

After all, not many people could afford 8 Weiss DAC-1 D/A's to sum at the same level of quality as the A/D.
Old 7th May 2006
  #2
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natpub's Avatar
I cant answer your question, but have another---isnt that weiss design quite a few years old? im sure that if you have the weiss, arranging a test drive and comparrison with the lynx would be relatively painless
Old 7th May 2006
  #3
Summing or ITB mixing strategies/results is a unique issue.

Your AD converter is another.
Old 7th May 2006
  #4
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GYang's Avatar
Excellent ADC as Weiss will definitely add more quality to your mixes, as AD conversion is arguably even more critical for the further work on tracks.
Lynx conversion is high quality, too, so you are already equipped to make great sounding song.
Old 7th May 2006
  #5
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I would think of the Aurora D/A converters as part of your multitrack recorder. Regardless of which A/D you track with, the Aurora D/A is just part of your system.

All the extra cabling (AC, digital and analog) and clocking needed to use a bank of stereo Weiss D/A converters for mixing would be a hassle, and the cost is obviously prohibitive unless you're loaded. That would also take a bunch of rackspaces to do what one 16-channel box can do.

A bank of Weiss D/A converters would probably be an audible difference, but not worth the money unless you're looking for tax write offs.
Old 7th May 2006
  #6
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Fletcher's Avatar
Jason, you missed the crux of the question... which was whether a Lynx D/A would render the use of a Weiss A/D as useless due to the signature sound associated with the "Aurora-16" converter... not whether or not the brother should invest in 8000 channels of Weiss D/A [unless I missed the point in which case 'nevermind'].

FWIW [and I haven't tried this personally... so I am talking 'intellectual conjecture'... but I do have some experience with both units]... I sincerely believe that the Lynx D/A will pass along the positive attributes of recording with a Weiss A/D. I could be wrong... but that is indeed my best guestimate.

Peace.
Old 7th May 2006
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletcher
Jason, you missed the crux of the question... which was whether a Lynx D/A would render the use of a Weiss A/D as useless due to the signature sound associated with the "Aurora-16" converter... not whether or not the brother should invest in 8000 channels of Weiss D/A [unless I missed the point in which case 'nevermind'].

FWIW [and I haven't tried this personally... so I am talking 'intellectual conjecture'... but I do have some experience with both units]... I sincerely believe that the Lynx D/A will pass along the positive attributes of recording with a Weiss A/D. I could be wrong... but that is indeed my best guestimate.

Peace.
Hi Fletcher. Sorry, it's early and I couldn't sleep due to wicked allergy attacks. You're right, the crux of the biscuit is the apostrophe! But basically the question implies that a bank of Weiss D/A converters would be the measuring standard, or maybe I'm just getting stupid(er).

I agree with you. The Aurora D/A should be plenty good enough to let the tracks recorded through a Weiss shine through. There might be a 5% improvement (whatever that's worth) using $50,000 worth of Weiss DACs to mix with, which is clearly only going to appeal to someone like a Bill Gates.

A good D/A converter shouldn't cover up the sound of a good A/D converter, right?
Old 7th May 2006
  #8
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THE THING THAT WILL TIE IT ALL TOGETHER IS TO USE THE WEISS CLOCK OUT TO EXTERNALLY CLOCK THE AURORA 16. Even if you are not using the Weiss in mix, using it's clock to sync the system will improve the Aurora's performance. In fact, if you have multiple digital devices with WordSync in, they should all clock to whatever your best clock is, which in this scenario is the Weiss.

I am testing the Weiss ADC-2 today, recording analog stereo masters through it in to Nuendo. I am monitoring back through RME, Panasonic (WZ-DA96), Cranesong HEDD and even a Lucid DAC. Clearly, I am using DACs of varying quality. I will report my findings tomorrow.

However, to echo Fletcher's reply, from an intellectual standpoint, any part of your chain which improves will improve everything. By using the Weiss ADC, one of the world's best converters, you are going to increase the fidelity, depth and detail of what goes in. That improved character should be well retained throughout the chain, all the way to the end and through the DAC stage.

You have a helluva mix system there, with the Aurora and the Nicerizer, which will add color, caharacter and musicality. Combine that with the ADC-2 on the front end, which is known for it's accuracy, and I think you have the best of all worlds. It's a dream rig.
Old 7th May 2006
  #9
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Matthew Murray's Avatar
Drew, Jason, Fletcher, GYang, Brian, and Natpub: Thank you all for your enlightening answers.

I'm glad to hear what I had suspected was the case in the first place -- It's not that audio elements will "cancel eachother out" per say, but more than if you start with conversion as amazing as the Weiss, it will still *shine through* as Drew puts it. I'm not a man of psychotic pinpoint accuracy, so I don't need a 100% return on the quality of the Weiss post-summing, but it's good to hear what you guys are all saying.

Of course, I'd love to hear your test results Drew -- and I'll of course post my own findings once this dream rig of mine is all in place and wired up.

Thanks again for all the help.
Old 8th May 2006
  #10
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Quote:
Of course, I'd love to hear your test results Drew --
OK, here goes...(got a full cup of hot coffee here)...

The purpose: Transferring an analog mix form 1/4" 30 ips reel to DAW.

The signal path:
I patched directly from the XLR outs on the back of my Otari MTR-10 in to the Weiss ADC2 line-ins. I connected the SPDIF out from the Weiss in to an RME Hammerfall HDSP card on my G4. I actually externally clocked the Weiss to my Aardvark Aardsync 2 (at 44.1), because all my devices, including the Hamerfall card are clocked to it, so, I fugured rather than try to revamp the whole system, I'd just connect the Weiss to it and be done with it. Setting the ADC2 to external sync was super easy; right on a front-panel button. I set sync-source to BNC and boom, the Weiss changed from 48 to 44.1 instantly.

I was recording in to Nuendo at 44.1 24-bit WAV, and monitoring back through the RME/Nuendo 8 I/0 patched right to the 2-track in of my Soundcraft, to a McIntosh 2120 and apir of Tannoy SRM10B.

The Sound:
I began playing the tape; a mix I am very familiar with. I had previously tranferred the tape-mix back in to Nuendo using the RME, so I knew what that sounded like. In fact, I was under the impression that the mix was a bit over-compressed.

Now, usually the sound difference between converters is subtle. Well, damn, with the Weiss ADC, I was immediately noticing more detail, clarity, forwardness and depth. I actually heard that I needed to clean the heads on the MTR-10 (which I had forgotten to do). Sure enough, they were filthy.

After cleaning the heads, I hit play, and the sound coming out of my Tannoys was astonishing. I was hearing this mix as never before. It was bigger, wider, and the transient peaks, like the snare-pop and the kick-thud were more evident. The vocal seemed to cut through more. The guitars were gutsier, too. It sounded way more open, and NOT overcompressed after all.

I was hitting the Weiss pretty hard, and the mix was a bit hotter on the left than the right, so I un-ganged the input level-control on the ADC and ended up with left on minus 17 and the right on minus 16. I was hitting the red-light only on the occasional floor-tom hit. Even though it wasn't louder, it SOUNDED louder than ever before. It seemed to capture more nuance and even more analog tapey-ness than I'd expected. I'd say the Weiss ADC2 is the best sounding A to D unit I've ever heard.

So I recorded it in to Nuendo, just fine. And, as pertains directly to this thread, I then played the track through several D to A units. I was actually surprised at how very different they sounded. Again, they were all clocked to the Aardsync II.

The D to A shootout:
1) My RME Nuendo sounded fine...pretty basic and was the one I had been listening to in real time when I noticed how great the ADC2 was. I compare it favorably to Apogee gear.

2) My Panasonic Ramsa WZDA96...wow! Louder, way louder, but when I brought the volume down I was hearing a flatter frequency response, better low lows and more dynamics. Those floor-tom hits were bigger and I could hear the room ambience around them.

3) The Crane Song HEDD, well, what can I say? I took the HEDD process off, and used it soley as a D to A. It was not quite as big as the Ramsa, and that might be just because the Ramsa was so loud, but it made the RME sound small. It was the most musical of the three and just had a little something special to it, even with the harmonic sounds disengaged. So, my ideal chain for my next tape transfer will be the Weiss ADC2 on the front and the HEDD on the back. There will be a happy little Nuendo sandwich in-between!

Bottom line, the Weiss ADC2 is immaculate, and I heard the difference with all my D to As.

NOW I'm gonna borrow the Weiss DAC1. I dunno If I'll be able to handle all that Weiss goodness at once! Better have a clean pair of trousers standing by! heh
Old 8th May 2006
  #11
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Matthew Murray's Avatar
Wow Drew, thanks for the detailed report. I'm pleased to hear how much you loved the ADC2... and that's the same I've heard from other reports as well -- likely the best A to D around, or at least among the best.

Also glad to hear the quality was still audible through the RME... the Aurora is probably a step above that, so I'm guessing I'll be a happy camper.

Thanks man. Now don't be spillin' that coffee all over that Weiss.
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