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CD burning in a computer vs. stand alone
Old 17th September 2002
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

CD burning in a computer vs. stand alone

I am mixing on an analog console. Is it better sonically to master to
a stand alone CD burner (masterlink, hhb, etc.), via a good a/d
converter or go into the computer and burn there (I have a titanium
laptop with an internal maxtor burner). And does it make any
difference if you are using firewire or usb into the computer? Many of
the decent converters do not seem to have firewire as an option--
lucid, cranesong hedd, apogee, and only a few have usb like the new
apogee mini-me. I don't need mic pre's and multiple channels of a/d.
Any recommendations? Thanks for any help.
Old 17th September 2002
  #2
Old 17th September 2002
  #3
Gear Maniac
 

uh, no. I'm scratching my head here in NYC...

rll
Old 17th September 2002
  #4
I call to the stand, Brad Blackwood, mastering engineer extrordinaire.
heh
Old 17th September 2002
  #5
Re: CD burning in a computer vs. stand alone

Quote:
Originally posted by rll
I am mixing on an analog console. Is it better sonically to master to
a stand alone CD burner (masterlink, hhb, etc.), via a good a/d
converter or go into the computer and burn there (I have a titanium
laptop with an internal maxtor burner). And does it make any
difference if you are using firewire or usb into the computer? Many of
the decent converters do not seem to have firewire as an option--
lucid, cranesong hedd, apogee, and only a few have usb like the new
apogee mini-me.
Outboard converters by Crane Song, Apogee, and Lucid are going to sound much better than the converters in the CD burner. Plus, by recording to the computer, you have the option (which I would exercise) to capture your mixes at longer wordlengths (20 or 24 bits) which can be burned as data discs (which are more robust than cda)... whew...

Anyway, you won't get real-time burning (as your recording it) with a computer and outboard converter, but your resulting capture will be much better.
Old 17th September 2002
  #6
Gear Maniac
 

Re: Re: CD burning in a computer vs. stand alone

Quote:
Originally posted by Brad Blackwood


Outboard converters by Crane Song, Apogee, and Lucid are going to sound much better than the converters in the CD burner. Plus, by recording to the computer, you have the option (which I would exercise) to capture your mixes at longer wordlengths (20 or 24 bits) which can be burned as data discs (which are more robust than cda)... whew...

Anyway, you won't get real-time burning (as your recording it) with a computer and outboard converter, but your resulting capture will be much better.
Excuse me for my confusion but... I understand that the outboard converters will be better than converters in a masterlink for example, and better than the digigram vx pocket that use to get audio into my laptop. But if I did choose to use the laptop w/ a 2 track editor such as Peak, and burn to the internal maxtor in the laptop, which converter would you recommend? Or is there a better, more direct way to get the audio out of the converter and into the computer? The VX pocket has spdif digital connectors. And I want to emphasize that I am looking for the best audio possible. Most appreciative for your help!

rll
Old 17th September 2002
  #7
Gear Maniac
 

I should add one thing: are there real sonic differences between the burner in my mac lap top and the one in a stand alone unit? Converters aside of course...

rll
Old 17th September 2002
  #8
Re: Re: Re: CD burning in a computer vs. stand alone

Quote:
Originally posted by rll
Excuse me for my confusion but... I understand that the outboard converters will be better than converters in a masterlink for example, and better than the digigram vx pocket that use to get audio into my laptop.
Yes, definitely.

Quote:
But if I did choose to use the laptop w/ a 2 track editor such as Peak, and burn to the internal maxtor in the laptop, which converter would you recommend?
Are you looking for specific converter recommendations? Any of the ones you listed will be fine...

Quote:
Or is there a better, more direct way to get the audio out of the converter and into the computer? The VX pocket has spdif digital connectors.
Bingo - that'll do it. Use your outboard ADC connected to the computer via your 'dig in' on your card. It'll write files to your HDD and then you can burn data discs (not regular audio discs - they're 16 bit), and you'll be golden...
Old 17th September 2002
  #9
Quote:
Originally posted by rll
I should add one thing: are there real sonic differences between the burner in my mac lap top and the one in a stand alone unit?
There will be diffs, and there's no way to tell which is better without testing them with specialized equipment, but it won't really matter if you're capturing 24 bit data with your soundcard (as mentioned above) - the data disc will be bit-accurate upon extraction and higher resolution - a win/win...
Old 17th September 2002
  #10
Gear Maniac
 

Re: Re: Re: Re: CD burning in a computer vs. stand alone

Bingo - that'll do it. Use your outboard ADC connected to the computer via your 'dig in' on your card. It'll write files to your HDD and then you can burn data discs (not regular audio discs - they're 16 bit), and you'll be golden... [/B][/QUOTE]


AHHHHH! So there is no sonic degradation once I'm in the digital domain-- using spdif/firewire/aes-ebu won't make a difference, and then I can use the laptop like a souped up masterlink, with editing capabilities, etc. I can then burn a disc of audio files and bring that to the mastering house, use for back-up, etc. For non-critical stuff, and CD's for the band, I can just burn them something with the computer. Now it would be nice to be able to get a Crane Song Hedd or Lucid with firewire and lose the digigram card... looks like apaogee does have firewire available as an option....Thanks sooooo much for the help, Brad. And Jules you rock too.

rll
Old 17th September 2002
  #11
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: CD burning in a computer vs. stand alone

Quote:
Originally posted by rll
So there is no sonic degradation once I'm in the digital domain-- using spdif/firewire/aes-ebu won't make a difference, and then I can use the laptop like a souped up masterlink, with editing capabilities, etc. I can then burn a disc of audio files and bring that to the mastering house, use for back-up, etc.
Exactly. There are some things that can degrade dig signals, but as long as the data is accurately transferred from converter to computer (which it should here), you're fine.

Quote:
For non-critical stuff, and CD's for the band, I can just burn them something with the computer.
Yessir.

Quote:
Thanks sooooo much for the help, Brad.
Never a problem.
Old 17th September 2002
  #12
Jax
Lives for gear
 

Don't mean to throw a shard into your cereal, but I think if you can avoid going SPDIF, do. I remember reading from the mastering webboard that SPDIF is the least best digital i/o option. That might have applied only to clocking though.

Well... now that I've exhumed that bit of info, I'm not sure that I'm applying it accurately. So Brad if you don't mind a little pop quiz...
Old 17th September 2002
  #13
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Jax
Don't mean to throw a shard into your cereal, but I think if you can avoid going SPDIF, do. I remember reading from the mastering webboard that SPDIF is the least best digital i/o option. That might have applied only to clocking though.

Well... now that I've exhumed that bit of info, I'm not sure that I'm applying it accurately. So Brad if you don't mind a little pop quiz...
Spdif makes me a little nervous only because of the looks of it: screams of rca unbalanced world; I know that probably means nothing. But for that matter, any differences going in with "computer" digital, if you will, i.e., firewire, usb vs. "audio" digital, i.e. aes/ebu, spdif, etc.?

rll
Old 17th September 2002
  #14
Quote:
Originally posted by rll
Spdif makes me a little nervous only because of the looks of it: screams of rca unbalanced world; I know that probably means nothing. But for that matter, any differences going in with "computer" digital, if you will, i.e., firewire, usb vs. "audio" digital, i.e. aes/ebu, spdif, etc.?
Not really. You'll only (possibly) run into problems by having improper cables or cable runs that are too long. Practically speaking (read - everyday use) you won't find any diffs...
Old 17th September 2002
  #15
Quote:
Originally posted by Jax
Don't mean to throw a shard into your cereal, but I think if you can avoid going SPDIF, do. I remember reading from the mastering webboard that SPDIF is the least best digital i/o option. That might have applied only to clocking though.
SPDIF is as good as anything for everday use. All my gear is AES/EBU and it sometimes has trouble reading SPDIF signals from client gear, but that's due to the fact they are different protocols.

The only real negative anyone's ever been able to show me about SPDIF is the connector - it doesn't lock in place a requires friction for contact.

As for the protocol, SPDIF is fine when used with 75 ohm cable.
Old 17th September 2002
  #16
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Brad Blackwood


SPDIF is as good as anything for everday use. All my gear is AES/EBU and it sometimes has trouble reading SPDIF signals from client gear, but that's due to the fact they are different protocols.

The only real negative anyone's ever been able to show me about SPDIF is the connector - it doesn't lock in place a requires friction for contact.

As for the protocol, SPDIF is fine when used with 75 ohm cable.

So to sum up, there is no sonic difference between any of these protocols as long as you use correct cabling. Thanks again Brad.

rll
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