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Help.....! I'm dealing with idiots!!
Old 27th July 2006
  #1
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Bishbashbosh's Avatar
 

Help.....! I'm dealing with idiots!!

Ok, so I've just finished producing a couple of tracks for a compilation CD (of kids TV themes).
The tracks were mixed at Air Studio 2 by Rupert Coulson, and they sound fabulous (Rupe's done a great job as always!).

As is usual, we printed back to ProTools from the SSL, so that we have the mixes in the session. We did a regular mix with plenty of headroom for an ME..... We also did a mix through the TC6000 as a sort of mastered mix, with the level bumped up and a bit of EQ, just in case the company releasing the CD decides there's no budget for mastering (as can sometimes happen with these type of low-budget releases).

The session was done at 48k 24bit, which is my usual rate/depth.

So here's the issue: Not only is there no budget for mastering, the company actually wants me to provide an AUDIO CD-R with the tracks!!!! Not a data file, an AUDIO CD-R!!!

Now I usually send a CD (or FTP) the 24bit 48k file for mastering, and let somebody qualified do the conversion to 44.1k 16bit.
In this instance I'm going to have to do it myself..... so any recommendations for the conversion for retaining the best sound quality?

The three main issues are:
1. Dither..... I've got POW-R, and IDR
2. Sample Rate conversion.... I've only got PT's built in stuff (Barbabatch the answer here?)
3. Burning the CD..... Toast? iTunes? Finder....

Any solutions gratefully accepted ..... I'm happy to spend money here, as the record company is putting quite a lot of work my way and I'm definitely wanting to provide the best quality product to them (even though they don't seem to care!!).

Thanks in advance!
Old 27th July 2006
  #2
Lives for Jesus
 
stevep's Avatar
You could just do a bounce to disk and that will drop it down to 16 bit 44.1


burn with Toast

if there is any noticeable audio difference they probably wont here it , and since they cant afford to master its not your fault.


Old 27th July 2006
  #3
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Bishbashbosh's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevep
You could just do a bounce to disk and that will drop it down to 16 bit 44.1


burn with Toast

if there is any noticeable audio difference they probably wont here it , and since they cant afford to master its not your fault.


Clearly this would 'work'.....
My question was asked though to find options which were improvements over Digi's built in SRC and bit depth reduction software..... and also improvements over Toast's somewhat jittery burning.

Obviously the record company couldn't care less..... But I care (or I wouldn't have bothered mixing in one of the best rooms in the world, with one of the best engineers).
It seems a shame to ruin a great mix by not doing it justice at the final stage by performing poor SRC/bit reduction/burning.
Old 27th July 2006
  #4
Lives for Jesus
 
stevep's Avatar
Quote:
Obviously the record company couldn't care less..... But I care (or I wouldn't have bothered mixing in one of the best rooms in the world, with one of the best engineers).
It seems a shame to ruin a great mix by not doing it justice at the final stage by performing poor SRC/bit reduction/burning
Agreed




but will there be a diffrence to them






Old 27th July 2006
  #5
Moderator
 
Blast9's Avatar
Hey guys...

I'm pretty sure the most recent versions of toast titanium have a really good dither, and will convert various fie formats to 44.1/16 just by drag-n-drop
Old 27th July 2006
  #6
POW-r with noise shaping options 2 or 3 (listen for yourself & decide which is least intrusive I change my mind daily but both sound better than option 1 to me) is right up there as one of the best dithers in the world. Probably better than going analogue & resampling.

As far as SRC is concerned then the minimum you would want to do would be PT tweakhead. Its pretty good to my ears but shows some pretty major flaws on the 'scope. Barbabatch is still if not the best SRC out there then one of the best. If you don't mind spending the cash I'd do that.

Peak or Jam would be best for burning. Avoid toast. If budget dictates that you use iTunes then be sure to check Preferences > Advanced > Burning. If you uncheck all the crap in there like SoundCheck & set the gap to 0 seconds you more or less get a redbook CD out of the slot at the end.

Thats how I'd do it:-
  • Bit length reduction in PT with POW-r
  • SRC in Barbabatch
  • Burn in Peak
Highbrow digital guys may disagree with the order of the first 2 steps though...
Old 27th July 2006
  #7
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mwagener's Avatar
 

Verified Member
I would rent (or better buy) a CraneSong HEDD. The digital input of the HEDD adjusts to whatever digital format you feed it and then you can go out of the analog conversion, possibly to an analog EQ or compressor if needed, or just direct back in and set the A/D to 16/44.1. The roundtrip through one D/A > A/Dconversion is IMO the best SR conversion you can get. You also would have the benefit of the TAPE process, which rounds off your peaks and lets you ride the levels pretty high.

For burning I would use JAM. It lets you set crossfades and insert ISRC numbers. Just use the best burner you can find and burn at half of the max burning speed.
Old 27th July 2006
  #8
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stevep's Avatar
Quote:
thenewyear .Peak or Jam would be best for burning.
i have been using toast for burning take home cds ....

but is there better software ?



where can i get Peak or jam


Also i have a project coming up that will need x fades with no space between songs but will need a number.

what is the best for this


(these are demos , not going to mastering)




Thanks,


steve
Old 27th July 2006
  #9
High End Moderator
 
mwagener's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevep
i have been using toast for burning take home cds ....

but is there better software ?



where can i get Peak or jam


Also i have a project coming up that will need x fades with no space between songs but will need a number.

what is the best for this


(these are demos , not going to mastering)




Thanks,


steve
Jam, same company as Toast (Roxio)
http://www.roxio.com/enu/products/to.../overview.html
Old 27th July 2006
  #10
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stevep's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mwagener
Thank you





Old 27th July 2006
  #11
Gear Guru
SRC etc.

I have done quite a bit of research and testing on this.
Analogue can be very good if you have great converters. I have used a Benchmark DA with 192 AD very successfully. This has been my preferred choice.
Strangely, a close second would be a playback of the 48/24 digitally into the 192 Hardware SRC. The SRC chip in there is top notch.
I don't think burning software can introduce jitter. Jam seems to work well.
DD
Old 27th July 2006
  #12
Gear Maniac
 
Radioking's Avatar
I use Waveburner which is bundled free with Logic, it is pretty much drag, drop & burn.
I notice that you are in London. If you are anywhere near the Bow area, you are welcome to pop into my place burn your CD's

http://www.myspace.com/pressplaystudios
Old 27th July 2006
  #13
Gear Addict
 
Surfkat's Avatar
 

I have found the sample rate conversion by Pro Tools to be less than stellar. The latest version of Peak has very good SRC and it includes many other mastering tools. I would recommend Peak. You can find many uses for it and it's great for burning CDs.
Old 27th July 2006
  #14
You might want to take a look at this 'shoot-out' between SRCs... IF their methodology has delivered accurate results, it would appear that there can be quite a difference between SRCs, with 'dedicated,' standalone SRCs delivering seemingly better results as a rule than the SRCs included in some major DAWs -- although they test the PT Tweakhead SRC and it looks quite competitive from their results.


http://src.infinitewave.ca/

[The interface on their Flash display gui takes a second to figure out. There are two displays, so you can compare two sets of results. Use the pulldowns to pick an SRC for each, and then use the other pulldowns to change the "display mode.")
Old 28th July 2006
  #15
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djui5's Avatar
 

I always just hilight the the region in Pro-Tools, hit shift-apple-k, and when the export audio as dialog box comes up set your setting to 16/44.1 stereo .wav and choose a folder.

Works great for me, and is very simple.
Old 28th July 2006
  #16
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espasonico's Avatar
 

Is there any reason for using 48kHz for a CD release ?
Old 28th July 2006
  #17
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Ben F's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by espasonico
Is there any reason for using 48kHz for a CD release ?
TV/film post is always 48kHz.
Old 28th July 2006
  #18
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Ben F's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by Radioking
I use Waveburner which is bundled free with Logic, it is pretty much drag, drop & burn.
I notice that you are in London. If you are anywhere near the Bow area, you are welcome to pop into my place burn your CD's

http://www.myspace.com/pressplaystudios
Waveburner and Logic have pretty much the worst SRC out of any DAW.
Old 28th July 2006
  #19
Gear Maniac
 
Ged Leitch's Avatar
 

Get this>>> http://www.voxengo.com/product/r8brain/

it's free, and scored very high on the SRC tests, even alongside the big names!

The SRC Algo in this is great.
Old 28th July 2006
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ged Leitch
Get this>>> http://www.voxengo.com/product/r8brain/

it's free, and scored very high on the SRC tests, even alongside the big names!

The SRC Algo in this is great.
It shaves a little off the high end (if you look at the passband view in this shoot-out) but... I'm not someone who's obsessed by the last couple kHz in the 'standard' band -- at least not when evaluating something that otherwise looks very good and is -- pause for effect -- free.

After spending five or ten minutes with the shoot-out (and noting the performance of the SRC in my DAW, which was one of the apparent worst, right there with the other DAW I would probably use if I didn't use this one heh ) I went straight to the Voxengo site and DL'd r8brain.

Not that I've worked at anything since 44.1 since I bought my first CD-burner in '96 and had to deal with all my old 48 kHz DAT mixes... but a good free tool is good to have.
Old 28th July 2006
  #21
Gear Maniac
 
Ged Leitch's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1
It shaves a little off the high end (if you look at the passband view in this shoot-out) but... I'm not someone who's obsessed by the last couple kHz in the 'standard' band -- at least not when evaluating something that otherwise looks very good and is -- pause for effect -- free.

After spending five or ten minutes with the shoot-out (and noting the performance of the SRC in my DAW, which was one of the apparent worst, right there with the other DAW I would probably use if I didn't use this one heh ) I went straight to the Voxengo site and DL'd r8brain.

Not that I've worked at anything since 44.1 since I bought my first CD-burner in '96 and had to deal with all my old 48 kHz DAT mixes... but a good free tool is good to have.
Yeh, for free, it cant be beat, it also is pretty close compared to the Major SRC's.
Old 28th July 2006
  #22
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GP_Hawk's Avatar
You should demo rbrain pro also just to compare.
Old 28th July 2006
  #23
Gear Maniac
 
Ged Leitch's Avatar
 

Or just get it for free...
Old 28th July 2006
  #24
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Bishbashbosh's Avatar
 

Thanks guys for all the suggestions.
The Voxengo product was new on me (unfortunately it's Windows only).... but it certainly looks like a solid product.

Some sort of SRC product like Barbabatch looks like a possible solution...... but I must admit I'm tempted by Michael's suggestion of the Cranesong HEDD (that's the slut in me coming out).....!

Correct me if I'm wrong though, but presumably I'd need two systems running to use the HEDD for SRC? I know Logic supports multiple bit depths/sample rates in a single session, but I didn't think PT did (or is there some clever work-around for this?)
I'm assuming I'd have to get an MBox o something attatched to my laptop, and run out of that SPDIF into the HEDD, then out analogue, then back into the HEDD analogue (maybe via compression or EQ) and back via digital to my current PT rig.

Is there a better workaround for this? I've seen a few people post about using their SRC built into their AD/DA and often wondered what the workflow was for this.

Thanks for all the suggestions.
Old 28th July 2006
  #25
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minister's Avatar
hi,

i have play mastering engineer from time to time and i too work 24/48 in Pro Tools.

so, SRC first, then dither last.

do you have the SONY LIMITER? nice dither options there.

for mac, the best software SRC is Barbabatch! you should have it anyway. CAUTION : there dither is not as good as POWr or SONY! but it will convert anything to anything! i use it all the time.

i SRC in BARBABATCH and then i dither in Peak using POWr ... and it certainly sounds good... or, you could do this in PT if that is where your POWr is...

Jam or Toast will do for burning ... but i had this weir5d problem where Toast would not work on my dual 2.5 G5 machine. Roxio claimed it was becasue i had SCSI attached to the machine...ATTO said that was BS, so i got Dragon Burn. works fine.

hope that helps!

ciao.
Old 28th July 2006
  #26
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mixerguy's Avatar
Wow - I'm amazed no one has suggested using two DAW's and an Apogee Rosetta 200!

I've done extensive tests, and the SRC and bit reduction and UV22HR in the realtime CODA facilities in a R200 are WAY better than any software I've compared it to... including in ProTools or DP.

Rent a R200 and do it that way. You go in digitally, and it does all the conversions you want, and it comes out digitally. It never goes analog. The results are truly jaw dropping!!!!

Go in 48k 24 bit and come out 16 bit 44.1k - and DO NOT dither again after the R200. (it'll induce noise)

and use Jam to assemble the final CD - an industry standard.
Old 28th July 2006
  #27
Gear Maniac
 
Radioking's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben F
Waveburner and Logic have pretty much the worst SRC out of any DAW.
Ouch!!!

Has it really? Still, gets the job done without any complaints.

http://www.myspace.com/pressplaystudios
Old 28th July 2006
  #28
Gear Guru
 
lucey's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by mwagener
I would rent (or better buy) a CraneSong HEDD. The digital input of the HEDD adjusts to whatever digital format you feed it and then you can go out of the analog conversion, possibly to an analog EQ or compressor if needed, or just direct back in and set the A/D to 16/44.1. The roundtrip through one D/A > A/Dconversion is IMO the best SR conversion you can get. You also would have the benefit of the TAPE process, which rounds off your peaks and lets you ride the levels pretty high.

For burning I would use JAM. It lets you set crossfades and insert ISRC numbers. Just use the best burner you can find and burn at half of the max burning speed.
I like this idea ... and almost any good eq can work as a pinch on the insert.
Old 29th July 2006
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by minister
so, SRC first, then dither last.
Does anyone else do this? Agree, disagree, etc?
Old 29th July 2006
  #30
Gear Guru
 
lucey's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by RadioMoo
Does anyone else do this? Agree, disagree, etc?
If you must SRC then yes, dither last to go form a higher bit rate (24) to a lower one (16)
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