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High End DAW??? (interfaces)
Old 7th September 2006
  #1
Gear Nut
 

High End DAW??? (interfaces)

What IS the best sounding DAW out there??
and when I got the best sounding DAW, what is the best interface?

And it can't be pro tools HD =)

What AD/DA converters or soundcards are better than DIGI 002(R), and again, NOT HD cards....?
Old 7th September 2006
  #2
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Zwinter's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by teddy07x View Post
What IS the best sounding DAW out there??
and when I got the best sounding DAW, what is the best interface?

And it can't be pro tools HD =)

What AD/DA converters or soundcards are better than DIGI 002(R), and again, NOT HD cards....?
In my opinion it's not about what sounds the best. Find a DAW that sounds good and more importantly has a work flow that works for you. Some DAW's I like better than others. For example, I have been getting back into Logic and love the feel of it. I feel that I do better work on it because I am able to feel more comfortable moving around in it.

Converters, again, it's not about what's the best. There are a lot of converters that sound great. You should take some time, listen to different converters and find the one that sounds the best to you.
Old 8th September 2006
  #3
Lives for gear
 
midnightsun's Avatar
 

THE BEST !!!

I think anyone who professed knowing "the best" would obviously identify himself/herself full of it. I am using Logic Pro on a G5 Quad. If a person jumps into Logic HE/SHE should really think through interface issues before hand.

Apple has gone with PCI express. If a person wants Apogee then there isn't a problem as they have the Symphony interface. If a person is willing to settle for Firewire then thats okay. I personally am not willing to go with firewire to support 24 tracks of AD/DA simultaneously. If a person wants AES there are presently no options I am aware of. I am presently using RADAR Classic for its converters and it interfaces to my G5 Quad via a Motu TDIF interface. This works great for me.

Another issue-- Logic has a bit of latency that is noticable when tracking. That really isn't an issue for me because I have an analog console and I monitor before my audio signal hits the DAW. Even if I didn't have an analog console the MOTU has CUE MIX, with its own DSP card that allows a person to monitor before the signal hits Logic. Once the audio is inside of Logic Latency issues can easily be globally adjusted for. In summary, given my setup Logic Pro and latency is a non issue.

I can only underscore what has already been said about thinking through your own workflow.
Old 8th September 2006
  #4
Lives for gear
 
TinderArts's Avatar
 

As far a sonic quality, I use Samplitude / Sequoia. The sound is as good and better than most DAWs I've worked on and the object based editing makes it very powerful even on laptop rigs. I use Logic 7.2 for composition mostly due to it's powerful MIDI tools. I use Sequoia for mastering with great results.

Soundcards that work well for me are the RME MADI for desktop and FF800 for laptop. Total mix, which ships with RME stuff, is very flexible and is wonderful for headphone mixes while tracking.

For converters, I use a variety depending on where I work. The Apogee AD16x / DA16x are used often, I also use RME and Genex. There are many options that sound good.

As far as computers go, I've been very happy with the Sonica computers. Great staff and excellent build and support. Highly recommended! Guy from Sonica posts here pretty often.
Old 8th September 2006
  #5
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robmix's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by teddy07x View Post
What IS the best sounding DAW out there??
and when I got the best sounding DAW, what is the best interface?

And it can't be pro tools HD =)

What AD/DA converters or soundcards are better than DIGI 002(R), and again, NOT HD cards....?
From Mutt Lange:

"Pro Tools HD was the only serious choice as my new DAW...... and the new 192 I/O really shines."

His rack:
Attached Thumbnails
High End DAW??? (interfaces)-nws_186_544.jpg  
Old 9th September 2006
  #6
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robmix's Avatar
And of course this guy is no where near the high end:

"I'll bet that quite a few engineers out there couldn't pick the 192 I/O converters out against converters that cost much more," Massenburg continues, referring to Pro Tools|HD's flagship audio interface. "Even at that, it's not clear that whatever differences they perceive would be substantial. Recordists will undoubtedly be challenged by this new system: They'll no longer be able to blame their bad engineering techniques on Digidesign."

"most often i use the ones in the 192 I/O; they sound fine, and hold up very well in A-B-C-HR listening tests."

- George Massenburg



.
Old 9th September 2006
  #7
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Sui_City's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by robmix View Post
"I'll bet that quite a few engineers out there couldn't pick the 192 I/O converters out against converters that cost much more," Massenburg continues, referring to Pro Tools|HD's flagship audio interface. "Even at that, it's not clear that whatever differences they perceive would be substantial. Recordists will undoubtedly be challenged by this new system: They'll no longer be able to blame their bad engineering techniques on Digidesign."

"most often i use the ones in the 192 I/O; they sound fine, and hold up very well in A-B-C-HR listening tests."

- George Massenburg
.
sorry, with all due respect, i call bull****.

they are a mile off many converters i have heard.

and yes, i just want my recordings to sound fine.
Old 9th September 2006
  #8
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midnightsun's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by robmix View Post
And of course this guy is no where near the high end:

"I'll bet that quite a few engineers out there couldn't pick the 192 I/O converters out against converters that cost much more," Massenburg continues, referring to Pro Tools|HD's flagship audio interface. "Even at that, it's not clear that whatever differences they perceive would be substantial. Recordists will undoubtedly be challenged by this new system: They'll no longer be able to blame their bad engineering techniques on Digidesign."

"most often i use the ones in the 192 I/O; they sound fine, and hold up very well in A-B-C-HR listening tests."

- George Massenburg

.
Don't be shy Rob. Offer your opinion-- what you have and why you like it. Take your own stand. I think we know who George Massenburg and Mutt Lange are and where they stand.
Old 9th September 2006
  #9
Lives for gear
 
numrologst's Avatar
I've used a bunch of different daw's and converters in my day and here are my thoughts:

Digidesign HD3, Control 24, 192 i/0, Mac osx... This was by far the worst setup i ever had. I am the same engineer today, as i was when i used the protools rig. I can say, the reliability was horrible, and my mixes sounded better when I made the switch off pro tools. A typical 10 hour session would see in excess of 10+ computer freezes. Dual 2.5 g5, I tried every combination of pro tools 6.2.3-7 and osx 10.x. No combination would keep me from the 10+ freezes a session. After $3 a minute talking to digidesign I never made progress and the freezes became a natural part of my production day. The sounds were horrible too, the 192 i/o to me, was no better than the digi001 I had in my house for many years.

When i finally opened my own studio, I decided to go two routes: 1) Radar 24 classic,
and apogee 16x's.

The Radar 24 classic is definately the most stable DAW i have used. It's flawless, never a problem. And it sounds great... But I do run into the limit of 24 tracks @ 48khz.

That's when I bought some apogee 16x's. For a while I recorded mainly everything on the radar. My first 24 tracks, then I dumped it into nuendo and used my 16x's... And I used the 16x's for mixdown. This was a great combo.

Soon after, I got into just using the apogees and nuendo. Never a problem. I have a dual 2.8 athlon x2, and for the most part it is prefect. I would say that for every 50 hours I record, I have one error and nuendo shuts down. That I can deal with.

After I started tracking with the 16x's at 88.2 k..> That's when my life changed. Totally unexplainable, but it totally changed my world, I don't know why. But my records went from sounding 8/10 to 10/10. I don't know why, but everything sounds just so damn good now. My Radar is now in my live recording rig and it stays there until I need more than 32 outs in nuendo, then i bring it in for mixdown.


So my deal is: Go for Nuendo and apogee
Old 9th September 2006
  #10
Lives for gear
 
T.RayBullard's Avatar
 

Sequoia/Samplitude here...tried pyramix, saw studio, nuendo, cubase, Sadie...

They do everything I need them to and more. Converters--Mytek and Meitner.



Am about to move to an all DAD (digital audio denmark) or DcS setup(converters).

Teddy
Old 10th September 2006
  #11
Lives for gear
 
Ziggy!!'s Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sui_City View Post
sorry, with all due respect, i call bull****.

they are a mile off many converters i have heard.

and yes, i just want my recordings to sound fine.
I think he is right on the money. People have dissed plenty of gear, stuff like 888's yet people still made great sounding recordings using that gear. Some of them even stand up to todays stuff that uses allegedly far superior digital gear. He is just reaffirming the fact that when it comes down to it, it is the engineers skills that makes a great recording... not the gear you use.
Old 10th September 2006
  #12
Lives for gear
 
numrologst's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziggy!! View Post
I think he is right on the money. People have dissed plenty of gear, stuff like 888's yet people still made great sounding recordings using that gear. Some of them even stand up to todays stuff that uses allegedly far superior digital gear. He is just reaffirming the fact that when it comes down to it, it is the engineers skills that makes a great recording... not the gear you use.
I agree to an extent, but man gear sure does make a difference. I made records in a studio with an hd3 and 192 i/o for a few years. My records sounded good, sure. I finally saved the cash to open a studio for myself. I got apogee 16x's and a radar. The radar is good, but to me the apogee just plain rocks. I am the same engineer I was in pt w/ a digi 192. When I was using sm57's on everything. Although now that I have some serious gear, my records sound light years ahead of what I was doing not even 6 months ago. sure I learned alot in the last 6 months, but there is definately a difference in my records. It's not even inches, it's miles. I never believed in being a gearslut until i opened my studio, and I got hooked. The gear definately put my beyond what i could previously do,
Old 10th September 2006
  #13
Lives for gear
 
Sui_City's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziggy!! View Post
I think he is right on the money. People have dissed plenty of gear, stuff like 888's yet people still made great sounding recordings using that gear. Some of them even stand up to todays stuff that uses allegedly far superior digital gear. He is just reaffirming the fact that when it comes down to it, it is the engineers skills that makes a great recording... not the gear you use.
Ziggy,

True to a degree. Sure there are engineers out there that wouldn't be able to tell the difference. And I am not questioning whether or not great album were done using less than perfect gear.

To my ears though, the 192s do not hold up to everything in a listening test. Not even close.
Old 10th September 2006
  #14
Gear Head
 

Did some of you checked the stufffrom Metric Halo?
I think they got soem of the best Audio Engines on the market!°
Old 10th September 2006
  #15
Lives for gear
 
Ziggy!!'s Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tonwerker View Post
Did some of you checked the stufffrom Metric Halo?
I think they got soem of the best Audio Engines on the market!°




You would think that, working for mhlabs and all. Dude, it ain't cool to spam... you will only lose customers in the end.
Old 10th September 2006
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by robmix View Post
From Mutt Lange:

"Pro Tools HD was the only serious choice as my new DAW...... and the new 192 I/O really shines."

His rack:

Probably just out of shot is an Apogee Big Ben or something..
Old 10th September 2006
  #17
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziggy!! View Post


You would think that, working for mhlabs and all. Dude, it ain't cool to spam... you will only lose customers in the end.

Hi Ziggy,
it is just a suggestion - to put into the discussion....
but you as one of the professionell DiGI Dealer got the first chance to check back this issue -
But at least tought it was in my profile- gonna change that later
cheers
Old 10th September 2006
  #18
Lives for gear
 

DAW's - try em.

Converters - try em.
Recommend DAD AX24. (Digital Audio Denmark) - stunning.

Sample rates. Dig up the AES report on the double blind test of DSD vs SACD. No one could tell the difference.

good luck
Old 10th September 2006
  #19
Lives for gear
 
T.RayBullard's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rob99 View Post
DAW's - try em.

Converters - try em.
Recommend DAD AX24. (Digital Audio Denmark) - stunning.

Sample rates. Dig up the AES report on the double blind test of DSD vs SACD. No one could tell the difference.

good luck
I hope not...they are the same thing.
Old 10th September 2006
  #20
Lives for gear
 
barefoot's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by robmix View Post
From Mutt Lange:

"Pro Tools HD was the only serious choice as my new DAW...... and the new 192 I/O really shines."
Teddy07x's exclusion of pro tools/HD might not be a question of quality. For example, I produce my own electronic music using Acid (in all my spare time these days! heh ). It's the software that I know, love and have found works best FOR ME, bar none. I would also love to have a totally integrated high end solution like PT/HD. But like I said, I use Acid and it only runs on the PC. So, an HD system is simply not an option.

Thomas
Old 10th September 2006
  #21
Quote:
Originally Posted by numrologst View Post
I've used a bunch of different daw's and converters in my day and here are my thoughts:

Digidesign HD3, Control 24, 192 i/0, Mac osx... This was by far the worst setup i ever had. I am the same engineer today, as i was when i used the protools rig. I can say, the reliability was horrible, and my mixes sounded better when I made the switch off pro tools. A typical 10 hour session would see in excess of 10+ computer freezes. Dual 2.5 g5, I tried every combination of pro tools 6.2.3-7 and osx 10.x. No combination would keep me from the 10+ freezes a session. After $3 a minute talking to digidesign I never made progress and the freezes became a natural part of my production day. The sounds were horrible too, the 192 i/o to me, was no better than the digi001 I had in my house for many years.

When i finally opened my own studio, I decided to go two routes: 1) Radar 24 classic,
and apogee 16x's.

The Radar 24 classic is definately the most stable DAW i have used. It's flawless, never a problem. And it sounds great... But I do run into the limit of 24 tracks @ 48khz.

That's when I bought some apogee 16x's. For a while I recorded mainly everything on the radar. My first 24 tracks, then I dumped it into nuendo and used my 16x's... And I used the 16x's for mixdown. This was a great combo.

Soon after, I got into just using the apogees and nuendo. Never a problem. I have a dual 2.8 athlon x2, and for the most part it is prefect. I would say that for every 50 hours I record, I have one error and nuendo shuts down. That I can deal with.

After I started tracking with the 16x's at 88.2 k..> That's when my life changed. Totally unexplainable, but it totally changed my world, I don't know why. But my records went from sounding 8/10 to 10/10. I don't know why, but everything sounds just so damn good now. My Radar is now in my live recording rig and it stays there until I need more than 32 outs in nuendo, then i bring it in for mixdown.


So my deal is: Go for Nuendo and apogee

Thanx for taking the time for such a great post.

Maybe you should really look into a new computer system.

I would guess I get about at least six months straight with Nuendo until there is an error.

I use a Tascam 1884 for a controller and if I push two buttons at once...it crashes Nuendo...but other than that I would say I've had about three errors tops in two years using Nuendo almost everyday and sometimes 18 hours per day.

Thanks again for the info...

tik
Old 10th September 2006
  #22
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by T.RayBullard View Post
I hope not...they are the same thing.

To clarify

Regarding the AES double blind test comparing DSD vs SACD at 176.4.
No one could tell the difference.

DSD 1-bit 64FS, DSD 1-bit 128fs
versus
SACD at 176.4, recorded through another standard 176.4 PCM source, not down converted from DSD.

Read the report, or ask questions, then comment.
Old 10th September 2006
  #23
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rob99 View Post
To clarify

Regarding the AES double blind test comparing DSD vs SACD at 176.4.
No one could tell the difference.

DSD 1-bit 64FS, DSD 1-bit 128fs
versus
SACD at 176.4, recorded through another standard 176.4 PCM source, not down converted from DSD.

Read the report, or ask questions, then comment.
Is this test relevant or useful to anyone?
Old 10th September 2006
  #24
Yeah aint that the truth

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziggy!! View Post
I think he is right on the money. People have dissed plenty of gear, stuff like 888's yet people still made great sounding recordings using that gear. Some of them even stand up to todays stuff that uses allegedly far superior digital gear. He is just reaffirming the fact that when it comes down to it, it is the engineers skills that makes a great recording... not the gear you use.
I am still trying to get as good a sound as some stuff. I know was recorded with 888's. Keep talking them down though and I will end up with one for each slot
of a 13 slot expander box.
All together now boys. (To the tune of "Yesterday" J Lennon)
Legacy because the upgrade charge is lunacy. there’s a shadow hanging over me,
oh I believe in Legacy.
Apogee the old 800 is quite good you see. Not all old records on them sound like pee. Oh I believe in Legacy.
Get a grip chaps!. We still are all making 16bit 44.1 CD's are we not?. I would rather mess about with old pre amps and Mics and try to convince myself that my old Neve Cambridge 16/1055 might still be a bit too filthy for a summing box.
Regards Mark
PS Making Rock and Roll music for Effing Years.
Old 10th September 2006
  #25
Gear Maniac
 

For my money, RADAR 24 Nyquist dumped to Nuendo is the best way to roll. RADAR has the best converters i've ever heard, and Nuendo has a very convenient workflow.
Old 11th September 2006
  #26
Lives for gear
 
robmix's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by midnightsun View Post
Don't be shy Rob. Offer your opinion-- what you have and why you like it. Take your own stand. I think we know who George Massenburg and Mutt Lange are and where they stand.


My opinion is well documented and I'm with George - if you can't make an absolutely amazing sounding record with Digi 192's then you should pack it in, find something else to do with your time. I've used every DAW since the Synclavier days and just about every highend convertor there is and I still chose the 192's. That's not to say there aren't differences and that people may like one convertor over another, but for my money the 192's accomplish everything I could want.
Old 11th September 2006
  #27
Lives for gear
 
robmix's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by numrologst View Post
I've used a bunch of different daw's and converters in my day and here are my thoughts:

Digidesign HD3, Control 24, 192 i/0, Mac osx... This was by far the worst setup i ever had. I am the same engineer today, as i was when i used the protools rig. I can say, the reliability was horrible, and my mixes sounded better when I made the switch off pro tools. A typical 10 hour session would see in excess of 10+ computer freezes. Dual 2.5 g5, I tried every combination of pro tools 6.2.3-7 and osx 10.x. No combination would keep me from the 10+ freezes a session. After $3 a minute talking to digidesign I never made progress and the freezes became a natural part of my production day. The sounds were horrible too, the 192 i/o to me, was no better than the digi001 I had in my house for many years.

When i finally opened my own studio, I decided to go two routes: 1) Radar 24 classic,
and apogee 16x's.

The Radar 24 classic is definately the most stable DAW i have used. It's flawless, never a problem. And it sounds great... But I do run into the limit of 24 tracks @ 48khz.

That's when I bought some apogee 16x's. For a while I recorded mainly everything on the radar. My first 24 tracks, then I dumped it into nuendo and used my 16x's... And I used the 16x's for mixdown. This was a great combo.

Soon after, I got into just using the apogees and nuendo. Never a problem. I have a dual 2.8 athlon x2, and for the most part it is prefect. I would say that for every 50 hours I record, I have one error and nuendo shuts down. That I can deal with.

After I started tracking with the 16x's at 88.2 k..> That's when my life changed. Totally unexplainable, but it totally changed my world, I don't know why. But my records went from sounding 8/10 to 10/10. I don't know why, but everything sounds just so damn good now. My Radar is now in my live recording rig and it stays there until I need more than 32 outs in nuendo, then i bring it in for mixdown.


So my deal is: Go for Nuendo and apogee
See, I read posts like that and think bullsh*t. Why are you paying Digi for tech supprt on a new system ? Why are you not on the phone with Apple and your dealer ? I had my first crash on HD (same rig as you) this month and it's a year old.
Old 11th September 2006
  #28
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numrologst's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by robmix View Post
See, I read posts like that and think bullsh*t. Why are you paying Digi for tech supprt on a new system ? Why are you not on the phone with Apple and your dealer ? I had my first crash on HD (same rig as you) this month and it's a year old.

I was paying for support, and it wasn't a new system. We got the hd system in 2002, upgraded to accel later. Digidesign offered free support for 1 year, i believe...It might have been 18 months. Needless to say, after our "support plan" expired, digi informed us that we had to purchase a new plan to call tech support. Which at the time I think was $2000. We didnt buy the plan, our mistake. We finally started getting crashes with 6.2, and it was all a struggle from there. That's when we had to pat $3 per minute to talk to digi. Then we had a control 24 that was 3 months out of warranty and had to pay $500 for a new power supply.

So obviously my mouth is bitter toward digidesign. We had a mix plus system before that, and it was more stable 8 years ago than it is now. I don't want to bash digi or argue what is better. I made great sounding records with my 888, then my 192. No doubt that they are pro sounding. I am just saying that my setup now sounds much better. If i were to record a record that I recorded in 2002 again today, it would sound better.. Thats my opinion. The digi 192 doesn't suck in terms of sound, but it definately has its own signature sound which I think doesn't live up to the sounds of radar or apogee

Call it bull**** if you want. We had a mix plus system before
Old 11th September 2006
  #29
Gear Maniac
 

check out the soundscape daw .now owned by ssl.
at www.sydec.be


pete
Old 11th September 2006
  #30
Gear Addict
 

I have Pro Tools HD and I chose Prisms over the 192s, then I chose a Big Ben for the Prisms...Finally I got the AD and DA16X and sold the Prisms. The 192s were very hyped in the high mids, which sounded deceptively good on first listen, but as you listen more and more it becomes a problem.

The Prisms were a step up, but they were too anaceptic....the low mids seemed to suffer as the tracks lost energy. Big Ben helped, but when I heard the AD and DA16x, it was an obvious choice. Closest thing to source I have ever heard in blind testing.

I am now considering getting a Symphony card and a Mac Pro to use with Logic....I will keep my HD rig, but I am using Logic more and more, and want to get it off the Pro Tools hardware. Symphony has latency in the range of Pro Tools (1.6ms at 96K) which is pretty great...
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