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Workflow for projects with different source sample rates Utility Software
Old 30th August 2007
  #1
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mischa janisch's Avatar
 

Workflow for projects with different source sample rates

Right now we're using two systems (DAWs) which are clocked indepenent - one for playback, one for capturing of the mastered track. Processing is done externally, both analog and digital. This way it doesn't matter what the source sample rate is, since we just capture every track with the desired sample rate for the delivery media.

We're currently in the design phase of our new room and - for numerous reasons - we are thinking about using only one computer running the DAW(s). For most DAWs (Sequoia, Nuendo,..) this is not problem at all - in case the source sample rate is identical to the master (usually true for 44.1, since most of our work is for CD releases).

For projects with a different sample rate than the delivery media we could either do a pass of software SRC after capturing - which is kind of a pain since you constantly have to switch 'songs' or 'projects' with the DAW to compare. Direct comparisson could be difficult if you have tracks in 44.1, 48 and 88.2. For example in case the delivery media was a CD (Audio) we'd convert to 44.1. When mastering the 48kHz tracks we can not listen to the 88.2 tracks unless you do a SRC to 48 AND 44.1.... Even thinking about this gives me a headache.

Another possibility would be to SRC all the source tracks to the highest sample rate before mastering - work with that samplerate (lets say it's 96kHz) and then SRC to 44.1 (if it's for CD) for the master media. Somehow I don't like this aproach either and do SRC to twice to a track which is lets say 44.1 to begin with.

The last possibility is to have the two DAWs (individually clocked) or two instances of the same DAW (if possible) - with two soundcards running on the same computer, which theoretically would be the way to do it. I'm not sure if this is going to run stable enough for a full time mastering operation though...

So, basically my question is - what aproach do you use, what are your experiences in terms of workflow, simplicity, stability?
Old 30th August 2007
  #2
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Brad Blackwood's Avatar
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mischa janisch View Post
two instances of the same DAW (if possible) - with two soundcards running on the same computer, which theoretically would be the way to do it. I'm not sure if this is going to run stable enough for a full time mastering operation though...
I've used this method for about 10 years - never had any problems with it, even doing rather complex surround sessions. I use Wavelab for playback and Sequoia as my mastering DAW, but you can use two instances of Sequoia if you wish...
Old 30th August 2007
  #3
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mischa janisch's Avatar
 

great, what a relief to hear! thanks brad.

btw, what soundcards do you use?
Old 30th August 2007
  #4
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one more question - has anyone tried this (2 DAWs, 2 soundcards) on intel macs using boot camp?
Old 30th August 2007
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mischa janisch View Post
great, what a relief to hear! thanks brad.

btw, what soundcards do you use?
RME for both.
Old 30th August 2007
  #6
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When I was at Europadisk I used 1 DAW running 2 simultaneous instances of SAWStudio with 2 soundcards (in this case 2 Lynx One's for their AES i/o) not clocked to each other to playback at one sample rate and record back at another without a problem.

However when I moved to my own room I made the decision to go with 2 seperate DAW's as I feel it allows smoother work flow. For someone like Brad (who based on his posts I am assuming uses a very minimum of DAW based processing plugins) and is just playing back files I think using 1 DAW works just fine. But I like to have the options to run various cpu intensive plugins either on the playback or capture side (and I also like to monitor from the capture side post DAW-processing) and for this I find having the cpu load divided allows for a fast, reliable glitch free performance. I also like to know the redundancy is there - if one DAW goes down I still can continue with the session if need be.

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Old 30th August 2007
  #7
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Ahh, I hadn't thought of that, Steve. It's true, I don't use plugs, so there's that...
Old 30th August 2007
  #8
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Originally Posted by Brad Blackwood View Post
but you can use two instances of Sequoia if you wish...
Hi Brad,
Doesn't that require two licenses? That codemeter dongle is pretty strict.
Old 30th August 2007
  #9
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Originally Posted by Sunbreak Music View Post
Hi Brad,
Doesn't that require two licenses? That codemeter dongle is pretty strict.
Mine uses the WIBU key, but I think you're able to run multiple instances on the same machine with one license under the codemeter dongle...
Old 30th August 2007
  #10
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Codemeter Clarification

I can confirm this:
Sequioa & Samplitude can run multiple instances on one machine with the codemeter. Sebastian was even connecting to his codemeter in Vienna from Africa via VPN. There was some discussion of this on the Samplitude forum.

Back to the subject at hand...
Old 30th August 2007
  #11
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Originally Posted by Brad Blackwood View Post
Mine uses the WIBU key, but I think you're able to run multiple instances on the same machine with one license under the codemeter dongle...
Thanks. I haven't tried, but was told that you can only run one instance on a network. Interesting.
Old 31st August 2007
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cellotron View Post
However when I moved to my own room I made the decision to go with 2 seperate DAW's as I feel it allows smoother work flow. For someone like Brad (who based on his posts I am assuming uses a very minimum of DAW based processing plugins) and is just playing back files I think using 1 DAW works just fine. But I like to have the options to run various cpu intensive plugins either on the playback or capture side (and I also like to monitor from the capture side post DAW-processing) and for this I find having the cpu load divided allows for a fast, reliable glitch free performance.
Thanks, for the input - but we don't use plugins, so this is not an issue for us.

Another question - how do you open another instance of the same app? And how do you assign different soundcards/drivers to those different instances of the same... Will this work with with every DAW - or is ist something Sequoia/Samplitude specific? What about Wavelab?

Thanks
Old 31st August 2007
  #13
Craneslut
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mischa janisch View Post
Another question - how do you open another instance of the same app? And how do you assign different soundcards/drivers to those different instances of the same... Will this work with with every DAW - or is ist something Sequoia/Samplitude specific? What about Wavelab?
When I've done this with Sequoia and it's somewhat of a pain as you have to open both instances then check/change assignments. This is one of the main reasons I use Wavelab for playback (it can open anything) and Sequoia as my primary DAW - once routing is assigned, it's something you don't have to think about any more...
Old 31st August 2007
  #14
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Hey Mischa:

Great post and saves me from starting one.

After years of mastering, I've decided that the following would be the most ideal way to master. So here's how I envision my dream work flow and would apply to 99% of my work which is mastering for CD.

1) load up a DAW with audio files of different sample rates. I want them to play back at their native rate, not convert them before processing

2) insert markers, for reference points to use while working on the project

3) master song 1 while listening in its target bit/sample rate(16/44.1) but when bouncing/recording it, I would like to end up with two masters, one at 16/44.1 and one at 24/44.1 (or maybe some other sample rate but 24/44.1 is the most useful)

4) when mastering song 2, I want be able to hit the markers (ref. points) for the mastered song 1 and hear the audio at the destination rate, usually 16/44.1. Of course I want to hear song 2 at 16/44.1 as I'm mastering it

5) I also need to be able to compare the unmastered and the master-in-progress but that should be fundemental to any mastering set-up

I have a Lavry 3000S so I am set for real time SRC but I cannot figure out how the above can be done.

Anyone work this way? How do you do it?

The closest we got was Pro Tools playing and Logic recording using a Mac G5 and two sound cards and machine control to lock them together. That enabled me to hit markers in PTs for all songs but the mastered ones would actually play from Logic and the unmastered from PTs. Two problems: setup was too unstable and PTs only handles one sample rate per session.
Old 31st August 2007
  #15
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Originally Posted by Andy Krehm View Post
Hey Mischa:

Great post and saves me from starting one.

After years of mastering, I've decided that the following would be the most ideal way to master. So here's how I envision my dream work flow and would apply to 99% of my work which is mastering for CD.

1) load up a DAW with audio files of different sample rates. I want them to play back at their native rate, not convert them before processing
I'm sure there are other apps that can do this by now -
but SAWStudio remains one of the few DAW apps I know that can load soundfiles of multiple different sample rates into it's session and play them back at their native rates immediately via it's Sound File view, or optionally play them back at any chosen (and menu changeable) rate using a very high quality real time SRC algorithm (that can be set to even higher quality when bouncing to disc) in its Multitrack View. This allows you to have all files at any sample rate ready at your convenience without having to convert them first, or having to close and open a new session.

Quote:
2) insert markers, for reference points to use while working on the project
SAWStudio has both 30 nameable Locate points accessible on the multitrack menu and a near infinite "Control Track" nameable points of a dedicated track that can be pulled up instantly via an F-key of visible markers (that allows also naming) that can be dropped in on the fly with the Q key.

Quote:
3) master song 1 while listening in its target bit/sample rate(16/44.1) but when bouncing/recording it, I would like to end up with two masters, one at 16/44.1 and one at 24/44.1 (or maybe some other sample rate but 24/44.1 is the most useful)
SAWStudio will allow you to automatically monitor post all processing in real time at all times - whether in record ready, during record or in playback via it's "Tape Style Input Monitoring" options. This way you can capture at 24bits but monitor back in 16bit if you wish, with and without the Dither options of your choice. This also allows you to hear what any DAW based processing (it can use SAW native, DX or VST plugins) loaded in are doing - and you can record the files with or without this processing (I prefer to capture without commiting to any post capture processing so that I can adjust it any later point). You then get 24bit files immediately after recording for further archiving, and can create new 16bit files optionally in a batch process (using the JMS CSG or BFG add ons which can give you seperate files for each track or region) via a much faster than real time bounce to disc.

Quote:
4) when mastering song 2, I want be able to hit the markers (ref. points) for the mastered song 1 and hear the audio at the destination rate, usually 16/44.1. Of course I want to hear song 2 at 16/44.1 as I'm mastering it

5) I also need to be able to compare the unmastered and the master-in-progress but that should be fundemental to any mastering set-up
I use a Z-Sys digital patch bay tied to my DAWs, converters and digital transports, sending to 3 DAC's going to a Coleman monitor controller - the first DAC (Lavry Blue) goes directly to the Coleman so I can monitor source, the 2nd DAC (again Lavry Blue) goes to my analog process chain, and the 3rd (a Lucid I use because the onboard attenuator allows me to do very quick level matching with the source - I'm planning on replacing this with a Lavry Black when I can get up the cash) plays back from the DAW post all processing loaded in it (or at the flick of a switch from the AES to the spdif input plays back directly what the ADC is capturing from the analog process chain). This allows me one button push a/b's

Anyway - it's lack of native DDP support might be a deal killer for many - but SAWStudio has tons of capabilities as a mastering DAW app - including being the only PC based DAW I know of that uses 64bit fixed point math for its multiples and divides instead of floating point - and having a number of processor options that are amazing that are not available for other platforms (particularly the Sonoris EQ's) - that I think it makes an excellent option for people to consider as a mastering DAW.

Welcome to RML Labs - The Makers of SAWStudio

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Old 31st August 2007
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cellotron View Post
I'm sure there are other apps that can do this by now -
but SAWStudio remains one of the few DAW apps I know that can load soundfiles of multiple different sample rates into it's session and play them back at their native rates immediately via it's Sound File view, or optionally play them back at any chosen (and menu changeable) rate using a very high quality real time SRC algorithm (that can be set to even higher quality when bouncing to disc) in its Multitrack View. This allows you to have all files at any sample rate ready at your convenience without having to convert them first, or having to close and open a new session.



SAWStudio has both 30 nameable Locate points accessible on the multitrack menu and a near infinite "Control Track" nameable points of a dedicated track that can be pulled up instantly via an F-key of visible markers (that allows also naming) that can be dropped in on the fly with the Q key.



SAWStudio will allow you to automatically monitor post all processing in real time at all times - whether in record ready, during record or in playback via it's "Tape Style Input Monitoring" options. This way you can capture at 24bits but monitor back in 16bit if you wish, with and without the Dither options of your choice. This also allows you to hear what any DAW based processing (it can use SAW native, DX or VST plugins) loaded in are doing - and you can record the files with or without this processing (I prefer to capture without commiting to any post capture processing so that I can adjust it any later point). You then get 24bit files immediately after recording for further archiving, and can create new 16bit files optionally in a batch process (using the JMS CSG or BFG add ons which can give you seperate files for each track or region) via a much faster than real time bounce to disc.



I use a Z-Sys digital patch bay tied to my DAWs, converters and digital transports, sending to 3 DAC's going to a Coleman monitor controller - the first DAC (Lavry Blue) goes directly to the Coleman so I can monitor source, the 2nd DAC (again Lavry Blue) goes to my analog process chain, and the 3rd (a Lucid I use because the onboard attenuator allows me to do very quick level matching with the source - I'm planning on replacing this with a Lavry Black when I can get up the cash) plays back from the DAW post all processing loaded in it (or at the flick of a switch from the AES to the spdif input plays back directly what the ADC is capturing from the analog process chain). This allows me one button push a/b's

Anyway - it's lack of native DDP support might be a deal killer for many - but SAWStudio has tons of capabilities as a mastering DAW app - including being the only PC based DAW I know of that uses 64bit fixed point math for its multiples and divides instead of floating point - and having a number of processor options that are amazing that are not available for other platforms (particularly the Sonoris EQ's) - that I think it makes an excellent option for people to consider as a mastering DAW.

Welcome to RML Labs - The Makers of SAWStudio

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Thanks for the very comprehensive answer to my question.

It sounds like a great set-up.

Can you write CDs directly from the program?

I looked at the website and didn't see anything, at least with a quick scan. It also seems that the majority of users are rec/mix guys. Do you know of others who use it for mastering or are you the trail blazer?

Are there any future plans to include DDP output?
Old 31st August 2007
  #17
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Originally Posted by Andy Krehm View Post
Thanks for the very comprehensive answer to my question.

It sounds like a great set-up.

Can you write CDs directly from the program?
The JMS Audioware CSG - JMS Audioware third party add on ($50) allows you to create all PQ codes including track & pause index, UPC/MCN, ISRC and CD Text directly in the multitrack view and session edit list, and allows you to audition in real time the index start points. You set up all your PQ's as you like along the multitrack timeline and then it batch builds to disc 16bit/44.1kHz wav files (optionally with either just a single wav file or with wav files for each track) with any fades or processing you've set up along with a .cue file and then launches the .cue compatible burning app of your choice (such as the freeware EAC, or Nero 7 which is what I use) loaded with the cue file so all you do is hit enter and it starts burning the disc exactly as you set up.

While this means that you have to bounce to disc to create an image first before burning, this occurs much faster than real time and also allows you to insure that the burn will be more guaranteed to be glitch free, that all discs will be created from the exact same image, that continued burner support will be extremely extensive and does not rely on a single company, that you get an easily archivable image data file, that clients can burn CD-R masters remotely with readuly available freeware just from the small cue file and the wav files, that the cue file can be easily edited with a simple text editor if you need to.

Anyway - I just got an email from the creator of CSG and looks like he's going to do a number of feature enhancements for it soon also.

Quote:
I looked at the website and didn't see anything, at least with a quick scan. It also seems that the majority of users are rec/mix guys. Do you know of others who use it for mastering or are you the trail blazer?
Pieter Stenekes of Sonoris Sonoris - Online Mastering and Mastering Software - in the Netherlands is also primarily doing mastering with SAW and he has written a number of excellent SAW native processing plugins for it. His latest EQ2 beta that I have to my ear is the equal of the Algorythmix stuff. There's a number of other users that use it for mastering but I don't think they are dedicated mastering studios.

Quote:
Are there any future plans to include DDP output?
Not that I am aware of. There are a couple of 3rd party developers that might have an interest in doing this but I don't think they are curerntly planning to. I've actually yet to receive call for DDP from any of my clients - if I do I'd look into another app as a solution, and use the cash from the first job that requests it for the purchase. It's been a non-issue for the past 5 years that I've been using SAW for my primary mastering app though. As I said - for some folks this will be a deal killer - for others no big thing.

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Old 1st September 2007
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad Blackwood View Post
I've used this method for about 10 years - never had any problems with it, even doing rather complex surround sessions. I use Wavelab for playback and Sequoia as my mastering DAW, but you can use two instances of Sequoia if you wish...
+1 om that..... Wavelab for pb and Sequoia for capture....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad Blackwood View Post
RME for both.
+1 on that as well.

It's what all the cool kids are doing. Although, I don't use any plugs here, so that changes processor overhead for sure.

Hell... I'm still running at dual 866 PIII...

t
Old 1st September 2007
  #19
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Originally Posted by Brad Blackwood View Post
...I use Wavelab for playback and Sequoia as my mastering DAW...
Is Wavelab able to play back files of more than one sampling rate from the same session?

If not, how do you handle that?
Old 1st September 2007
  #20
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Originally Posted by Andy Krehm View Post
Is Wavelab able to play back files of more than one sampling rate from the same session?
I open up each file as an individual wav file, so yah, it can jump sample rates easy-like-pie...
Old 1st September 2007
  #21
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Originally Posted by mischa janisch View Post
Thanks, for the input - but we don't use plugins, so this is not an issue for us.

Another question - how do you open another instance of the same app? And how do you assign different soundcards/drivers to those different instances of the same... Will this work with with every DAW - or is ist something Sequoia/Samplitude specific? What about Wavelab?

Thanks
I do what Brad & Trever do but i'm not as cool as they are cause i use two instances of wavelab (tools>open a new application) & plugins at the end of my capture chain.

right now I only use two myetk dac's, one for original source with a y cable splitting to analog chain & the other to monitor the capture. i like the attenuators for level matching.
Inspired by mr berson i'm looking into another approach that may intergrate the hedd dac & remove the need for the y cables.
so far i have not found an alternate method that retains ease of my current work flow.
Ed
Old 2nd September 2007
  #22
I played from the same rate of the material, have two cards in your Pc will help you.
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