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question about hardware gear for mix
Old 15th August 2007
Gear Maniac

question about hardware gear for mix

I was all set to purchase an RNC based on a lot of what I've read here. I thought :

1. the thing gets really great reviews, and
2. from what I see on ebay the thing sells used for about $20 less than it does new so ... if I got it and decided I didn't like it after all I could easily recover.

So I call the guy to order one (this is a guy who sells them on ebay), explained what I had in mind, and he convinced me NOT to buy one.

He seemed like a pretty experienced guy and his argument was that for operating on the mains you want to stay with plug-ins unless there is some SPECIFIC tonal characteristic you want to achieve that you find that you're just unable to get with plug-ins. The idea being that you pay a price for the extra D-->A and then A-->D conversion.

So anyway I took his advice, took a pass on the RNC for now, and only use my hardware compressor in my ART unit for tracking (before any A-->D).

Curious about points of view in the community here on this.

I can easily see where you would need to get into a certain quality level on the converters before taking a mix to hardware would be an overall benefit. How good do you have to get that conversion? Grey area kind of thing I'm sure but ... trying to get a gauge on things like :

1. Should I just plan on staying with plug-ins for whatever duration I keep my 002 for?

2. In terms of next steps on the converters, are any of the commercially available 002 upgrades out there going to put me in that realm? Is it the kind of thing a good tech can do ? Or ... are you better off just going to the next step up in DAW to get the better converters?

Appreciate people's thoughts on this. Upgrading my converters isn't anything I'm going to do next week or anything. In fact my gear at this point is better than my recording skill level justifies, and it'll be a while before I catch up. However, my day job is as an electrical engineer and in my work we deal with converters and stuff a lot, just in a different setting. So I have a fairly decent understanding of the fundamental physics/electronics on this, but in terms of how that translates into audio and practical decisions like "when to you make the jump" and "what's a sensible migration path given the platform I already have", etc... well that part I'm not so sure about.
Old 16th August 2007
Gear Maniac

OK this group is normally full of great answers so... must be that I asked my question in an unclear way.

Here's a shorter version that's more to the point(s):

1. Is it the case that my 002's converters are such that when I go to hardware processing on the 2 buss, I'm going to lose more quality with the extra conversion step than I would gain with whatever wonderful sonic benefits might be in store from using an analog unit?

2. If so... what are some units that have good enough converters to benefit from this?

Thanks in advance for any insight on this.

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