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How to dump Analog to Pro Tools?
Old 10th May 2006
  #1
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chrisrulesmore's Avatar
How to dump Analog to Pro Tools?

I am making the leap to an analog multitrack but will have to mix in pro tools until I can afford a console.

Simple question, do I need an interface with a max of analog inputs for analog to digital transfer, or can I dump the analog tracks in two at a time and not have to worry about things getting out of sync?

I'm using Pro Tools M-Powered so it is basically a short term choice betwen the 410 and the 1814, i.e. 2 vs. 8 analog inputs...

Thanks,
Chris
Old 10th May 2006
  #2
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espasonico's Avatar
 

If you run 2 tracks at a time without a syncronizer it will be a disaster.

How many tracks are we talking about ?

I don´t think the M-Powered has the capabilities to sync to timecode.
Old 10th May 2006
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by espasonico
If you run 2 tracks at a time without a syncronizer it will be a disaster.

How many tracks are we talking about ?

I don´t think the M-Powered has the capabilities to sync to timecode.
I always thought LE could sync, they just don't let you know you can. Couldn't the 001 with PTs 5.X?

Don't assume that you can just 'shift tracks to line up' in Pro Tools. You have to realize that the tape machine could be playing back at different speeds each pass.

Best thing you could do is to bring your stuff to a studio, or get a system that can input as many tracks as you need to send.

If you have time code on the tape, a unit like a Mide Timepiece AV could help you 'phase lock' to pro tools.

If I am wrong, people will let you know.

rock on
Old 10th May 2006
  #4
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octatonic's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisrulesmore
I am making the leap to an analog multitrack but will have to mix in pro tools until I can afford a console.

Simple question, do I need an interface with a max of analog inputs for analog to digital transfer, or can I dump the analog tracks in two at a time and not have to worry about things getting out of sync?

I'm using Pro Tools M-Powered so it is basically a short term choice betwen the 410 and the 1814, i.e. 2 vs. 8 analog inputs...

Thanks,
Chris
If you absolutely cannot track all of them into protools at once then record a short snippet of audio simultaneously on all (lets assume) 24 tracks, like a snare hit.
This will make it a lot easier to line things up later.
Don't recommend it though- try to dump all the drums in one pass- especially overheads otherwise you might spend hours trying to line them up.

Recommend going to a studio with HD and sync and getting them to transfer it for you.
Old 10th May 2006
  #5
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It just doesn´t work to make the sync by adjusting tracks to a hit. The tape it´s not constant movig and it will shift and become a disaster.

What I have done in the past with no problems is to sync PT HD to LTC using the Sync I/O and it works perfect.

We tracked to a 2" 24 tracks Studer and record basic tracks and transfer to PT at 88.2. Once we have everything in PT, we will make some overdubs in tape again erasing some tracks and transfer again to PT and the sync was perfect. I checked all the time by playing the BD from PT and from the tape at the same time.
Old 10th May 2006
  #6
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Zwinter's Avatar
 

You could also try renting a PT rig and doing the transfer yourself. It's not really all the hard to do, and could save cost of taking it into a studio; when I was working in LA the studio I was at charged $100 an hour plus materials. If you have a bunch of transfers to do this could run you a lot of money. Renting a PT rig with 192's will probably run a couple hundred a day.
Old 10th May 2006
  #7
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And I can't imagine wanting to do tape transfers through an m-audio interface.
Old 10th May 2006
  #8
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espasonico's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nathanvacha
And I can't imagine wanting to do tape transfers through an m-audio interface.
tutt
Old 10th May 2006
  #9
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It´s a good idea to rent the PT rig. And if the analog recorder it´s not a really good one properly calibrated I would record to PT HD. heh

Not all analog recorders are good !!. Even a good machine can sound really bad if it´s not well maintained.

I will like to know wich analog are you planning to use.

P.D.: Excuse my bad english
Old 10th May 2006
  #10
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Lord Fear's Avatar
 

you can't sync to an LE system, it doesn't have the ability. go to a studio with either a Mix + rig or an HD sync record into p-titty and enjoy. HOWEVER make damn sure that when you take your 2" to another studio that you have tones on the reel or you'll hate your life, and the assistant will hate you, and basically you'll be the worst ever
Old 11th May 2006
  #11
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chrisrulesmore's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Fear
you can't sync to an LE system, it doesn't have the ability. go to a studio with either a Mix + rig or an HD sync record into p-titty and enjoy. HOWEVER make damn sure that when you take your 2" to another studio that you have tones on the reel or you'll hate your life, and the assistant will hate you, and basically you'll be the worst ever
Hmmmm, could you expand on this? What exactly is p-titty?

No denying it, this is turning out to be a major pain in the ass...

Sounds like my best bet is to get a cheap mixer for now and at least mix down to 8 tracks so I can do a pro tools transfer in one pass with the 1814 interface.
Old 11th May 2006
  #12
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Yea LE isn't capable of slewing the sample rate to time code from an analog deck. You would need a Sync I/O to allow for multiple passes between PT, and the tape machine or you end up with timing issues between passes.
Old 11th May 2006
  #13
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p-titty = pro tools, bro tools, pho tools you know that digital crap
Old 11th May 2006
  #14
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Hey i have been told you can sync an le system like a 002 rack to a deck with a midi to smpte converter. Tascam make an mts 30, that will do da job im told. im running a 002 rack and a tascam ms-16 and plan to do this but haven't got around to it hey. Dam da tape ****in rocks hey.

deef
Old 11th May 2006
  #15
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davenutz's Avatar
 

ive sucessfully sync'd 2"-24 track machines to a 002R(+8adat I/O), for total of 16 tracks per pass.....of course, you need something like the MOTU MIDI timepiece AV and software like Clockworks, which i believe comes with it. Done it multiple times without shift issues. Analog was always the Maser device.

On a regular basis, I mix using PT LE sync'd this way for the ability to have a higher track count...up to 16 tracks in PT, or sometimes more subgrouped out.
Old 12th May 2006
  #16
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You can sync Tape to Pro-tools with an Adam Smith Zeta V. Its not the simplest of set-ups and will probably take a good tech to get it to work (my ALCII on my JH-16 was a pain to get wired properly). But I got mine working the other day and its pretty rock solid. In the end, you can print SMPTE to an open track on the tape, then print smpte to an open track in pro-tools. Then you use the Adam Smith to be the controller between the tape machine and pro-tools (any version of pro-tools... doesn't matter). The adam smith controls the motor of the tape machine to keep lock. Its actually really cool to hit the space bar on a wireless keyboard and see a 30 year old tape machine fly to right time position in PT. I have Pro-tools LE (with a Rosetta 800) and an old MCI JH-16... so between the two, I can get 40 tracks of digital and analog.. minus the single track I have to use to sync the two. And it works great!
Old 13th May 2006
  #17
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I'm assuming that this will only work if your machine has SMPTE? I will be using a Studer A80 Vu MkII and I don't believe it has sync.
Old 13th May 2006
  #18
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Drumsound's Avatar
You print SMPTE to track 24 (or 16) of the 2" deck.
Old 13th May 2006
  #19
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Correct. You just need an open track in PT and on your Analog Deck. The Adam Smith is what generates the SMPTE to the deck and to PT. And the Adam Smith will control the motor speed of your Studer. The Studer will chase PT and its a good lock. I would still keep all my drums in one world (I have heard a tiny bit of phase and maybe slap back by putting a snare in both and playing them back... but who would do that anyhow), but otherwise its really solid. The only problem is the Adam Smith isn't made anymore.... so its off to E-bay. I think new they were around 5k. I picked mine up for 125.00. They were initially designed to sync tape to film... who woulda thunk they would still be useful today.
Old 13th May 2006
  #20
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Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

This is one place where having a high-end studio do the transfer is probably well worth the expense unless you have an infinite amount of time and money available for a science project and gear rentals.

Most analog machines sound much better running on their internal clock as do the best A to D converters. You'll be lots better off if you can avoid timecode altogether and digitize everything in one go. The quality of the A to D converters can also make a big difference in how eq. and compression plug-ins sound.
Old 14th May 2006
  #21
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Rednose's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson
This is one place where having a high-end studio do the transfer is probably well worth the expense unless you have an infinite amount of time and money available for a science project and gear rentals.

Most analog machines sound much better running on their internal clock as do the best A to D converters. You'll be lots better off if you can avoid timecode altogether and digitize everything in one go. The quality of the A to D converters can also make a big difference in how eq. and compression plug-ins sound.
Doesn't work well syncing the cheap version of protools to tape.
Tried it and the tracks were out of align at the end of the song.
You can get by though if you need to in the meantime.
Old 14th May 2006
  #22
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Pro Tools LE can be reliably and accurately locked if:

a) you know what you're doing

and

b) you have the right equipment -- like a MOTU Digital Time Piece which can read LTC which can be converted to MTC for position reference and which can phase lock to the SMPTE synch words and generate a clock via S/PDIF for speed reference.

If you have a synchronizer for your analog transport -- then you can also use black burst with the synchronizer and the DTP -- which is the preferred method.

Rail
Old 14th May 2006
  #23
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I had Bruce Breckenfeld at Chicago Recording connect my Adam Smith to my Pro-tools LE and my MCI JH-16. First, Pro-tools does not chase the MCI. Adam Smith simply controls the motor of the MCI to chase pro-tools. Second, CRC uses the MOTU/Blackburst combination and Bruce says the Adam Smith solution is a more solid solution since there is no MIDI/SMPTE conversion that is being made. Bruce has heard them both, and installed them both several times... and the guy has been around forever.. I totally trust his judgement.
Old 14th May 2006
  #24
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Sounds like Bruce simply used Pro Tools as a Code Only Master using SMPTE recorded as audio - which is fine.. but the SMPTE wouldn't have been synchronous with the word clock. The preferred method is to reference everything to black burst and then Pro Tools is simply triggered. This ensures the word clock is stable and the speed of the analog is absolute.

Rail
Old 14th May 2006
  #25
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Right. But it is a really solid lock though. Unfortunately, I only have hands on experience with the Adam Smith solution. I can't hear anything that is out of sync when using it properly. We did track a snare in analog and then dumped it into PT and played them both back simultaneously, and there was a slight bit of slap back.. but like I said earlier, who would ever track part of their drums digital and in analog at the same time? I know of two people (CRC and one other studio) using the Motu/Blackburst solution, and they both say it is not perfect either. But since I haven't heard anything tracked using that, I don't know much more than the complaint being related to the MIDI/SMPTE conversion. In my studio, I'll use analog to track drums, bass and guitars and leave pro-tools to vocals and misc overdubs that don't benefit as much from analog, so for what Im using it for.... it works great.
Old 14th May 2006
  #26
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If you heard a slap/delay between the snare -- then there was something wrong with the transfer -- you should hear phasing but no slap or delay if the transfer was done correctly.

I've used LE to transfer from a Studer using Lynx Timeline synchronizers.. and it's worked just as well as Pro Tools HD with a Sync I/O (or any other analog transfer I've done over my 20+ years of experience).

Rail
Old 14th May 2006
  #27
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I sync analog 16 and 24 tracks (as masters) to Le (oo2 rack) for transfers via Motu Digital Timepiece. Works flawlessly.

In fact the Digital Timepiece (not the midi timepiece) can sync up every piece of adat 9pin-wordclock-smpte-spdif-mtc-video-old da88 type stuff-superlock oriented....any animal I've ever encountered. All at the same time. I do have to go through a little screwy thing to get the LE adat optical to adat 9 pin for the Motu but it always works.

I believe I can also sync the other way around where LE is master and analog machines slave. I have years of experience with analog-digital sync but haven't tried this 2nd way with the LE as I haven't needed to....But..

to run LE as master where analog machines will chaselock at frame lock or 30ndf (which is the best they can do anyway).......run the 002 midi out (mtc) to Digital Timepiece .....Digital Timepiece will spit out smpte at one of it's connectors ...which goes to any flavor of analog-motor-synchronizer ...synchronizer then makes analog machines chase and lock to the synchronizers and daw (we use mts1000 and ats500 synchronizers here)
Old 14th May 2006
  #28
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chrisrulesmore's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by thenoodle
I sync analog 16 and 24 tracks (as masters) to Le (oo2 rack) for transfers via Motu Digital Timepiece. Works flawlessly.

In fact the Digital Timepiece (not the midi timepiece) can sync up every piece of adat 9pin-wordclock-smpte-spdif-mtc-video-old da88 type stuff-superlock oriented....any animal I've ever encountered. All at the same time. I do have to go through a little screwy thing to get the LE adat optical to adat 9 pin for the Motu but it always works.

I believe I can also sync the other way around where LE is master and analog machines slave. I have years of experience with analog-digital sync but haven't tried this 2nd way with the LE as I haven't needed to....But..

to run LE as master where analog machines will chaselock at frame lock or 30ndf (which is the best they can do anyway).......run the 002 midi out (mtc) to Digital Timepiece .....Digital Timepiece will spit out smpte at one of it's connectors ...which goes to any flavor of analog-motor-synchronizer ...synchronizer then makes analog machines chase and lock to the synchronizers and daw (we use mts1000 and ats500 synchronizers here)
Can you list some more of the analog-motor synchronizers that I could use in conjunctions with a MOTU MIDI-SMPTE interface?
Old 15th May 2006
  #29
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Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

If you aren't moving back and forth or making multiple passes between analog and Pro Tools, there is no need for timecode so why compromise the performance of both the analog machine and the A to D converters?
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