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"vintage" converters DAW Software
Old 28th October 2002
  #1
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"vintage" converters

Here's a strange thing I've been wondering about recently.

Do you all think there may end up being a similar desire for earlier converters as there is for vintage pre's, mics and whatnot? Here are some things that spurred this thought for me...

1. I've heard of many people liking the sound of some of the earlier Apogees (I have no first hand experience with this)

2. Personally, I like many of the early digital delays and reverbs (MXR Blue rack delay, Alesis XT reverb, to name a couple) because of the grainy, semi-distorted quality they give to the sound. I believe the early version of the MXR was 5-bit A/D conversion, and people generally desire these earlier ones.

3. Another personal example here- I'm working on a second project for an acoustic, folky type thing. The first CD was done on a (don't laugh) VS1680! This new one is being done in Pro Tools, Lucid/HEDD converters, blah, blah blah, and to be honest sometimes I miss the grainier, hazier in the lower mids quality that the converters on the 1680 seemed to give! Everyone that heard the first CD thought it was done on tape, bar none, and I'm wondering if we'll get the same response this time?

Of course this is totally subjective and on most other types of projects I wouldn't even think of it... but, might we want to think of exploiting some of the "faults" of earlier converters as another color in the pallette? If so, what are some other examples?

I'm curious to hear others thoughts on this.

Cheers,
Ben
Old 28th October 2002
  #2
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One other thing

Let's not turn this into a discussion on the Pro Tools mix bus (or the Rolands for that matter). I know it's a related issue, but not it's not what I'm getting at here.
Old 28th October 2002
  #3
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yeah, I love the original 'Blackface' ADATs...
Old 28th October 2002
  #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mike Tholen
yeah, I love the original 'Blackface' ADATs...
I knew that was coming!
Old 28th October 2002
  #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mike Tholen
yeah, I love the original 'Blackface' ADATs...
Aurgghhhh, minus 1 cool point for that one. Let's just pretend those never existed.

One of the best examples of this is when the MPC came out, all the Sp1200 users noticed their drums had more grit. I "lo fi" my drums to 12 bit and lower all the time for this same effect. I still use my 4 track Akai hard disk recorder as a converter for the 16 bitness of it.

The more I think about it, the more it parallels the jump to 30 IPS from 15ips... Some people missed the grit on the drums back then too and went back.
Old 28th October 2002
  #6
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I would think it's easier to get a ****ed sound out of good gear than vice versa, if we're talking about lo-fi'ness as a virtue. There's always bit rate and sample rate reduction, truncating word length w/o dithering, so on and so forth, that you can do with a well recorded sound. If old converters get stupid cheap, which is entirely possible in the world of used digital gear, it might be easier to just buy them and use them instead of tweaking a pristine sound. But that just seems an odd way to go to me. Unless the old gears serve another purpose, it's just a sort of excess.

Is there still a market for the Sony PCM-F1?

Bear
Old 28th October 2002
  #7
I'm curious to hear others thoughts on this.

IHO theres something that can be hard to beat on Roland VS series demos...

They just have their own sound goin on... I contend you just dont get 'that sound' again when you shift over to an alternate system - you get "another" sound and that can be a disapointment on some occaisions.

Damn good little boxes for self recording artists IMHO.

Old 28th October 2002
  #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by e-cue

One of the best examples of this is when the MPC came out, all the Sp1200 users noticed their drums had more grit. I "lo fi" my drums to 12 bit and lower all the time for this same effect. I still use my 4 track Akai hard disk recorder as a converter for the 16 bitness of it.
Cool. Kind of like printing to a 4 track tape as an effect. Is there something specifically about the Akai versus other 16 bit converters that you like?

Quote:

The more I think about it, the more it parallels the jump to 30 IPS from 15ips... Some people missed the grit on the drums back then too and went back.
People still do that, correct (15 vs 30 depending on the song, etc)? Not a tape guy myself.
Old 28th October 2002
  #9
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Yes. I can be definitive about my answer because I've already seen it. Digitech Whammy aficionados generally prefer the Whammy 1 over the Whammy 4. Even though the Whammy 1 exhibits truncation distortion (12-bit converters), pitch errors, excessive propagation, tracking errors, etc. They call it "personality."

IMHO the Whammy 4 is a way better unit that exhibits none of the afore-mentioned problems. Yet some people prefer the Whammy 1. I actually sold my Whammy 1 and bought a Whammy 4 because it was so much improved. Since the used market values the abysmal dfegad Whammy 1 so highly, I was able to walk away with an extra $300 in my pocket.grggt
Old 28th October 2002
  #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by CrazyBeast
Is there something specifically about the Akai versus other 16 bit converters that you like?
I used it once to fly in some vocals I had on the hard disk recorder into pro tools. When I went to overdub with the same chain, I missed a little bit of presence. This was before 24 bit PT. I noticed if I when analog into the Akai and via AES out into pro tools, it sounded like 1 db hotter. I can't explain this, other than to say everyone in the room liked the Akai convertor sound better. I could also hit the reds on the akai, and it didn't sound as effed up as if you when into the red on a 888 (remember, this was back with the 16 bit opto mixer)...
Old 29th October 2002
  #11
Jax
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VS 880

Quote:
Originally posted by Jules
I'm curious to hear others thoughts on this.

IHO theres something that can be hard to beat on Roland VS series demos...

They just have their own sound goin on... I contend you just dont get 'that sound' again when you shift over to an alternate system - you get "another" sound and that can be a disapointment on some occaisions.

Damn good little boxes for self recording artists IMHO.

I miss my old original version VS880. That thing was cool. It had some effects that were so uniquely strange and bad, they sounded great. All of today's emulation crap started (badly but fun!) with the VS series. I also remember that the bandwidth controls would work backwards, so that when you dialed in a tighter octave, the frequency sounded like it would actually widen out.

The converters were 18 bit, truncated down to 16 bit with no dithering! But that doesn't explain why the box had so much personality. It would even clip in a funky, good sounding way. Sort of a low end white noise murmur as opposed to a scrape! I would buy one again someday, if they start to show up used for $300 or so.

My PT rig has no personality, but the outboard makes up for it.
Old 29th October 2002
  #12
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Sony 3324 DASH..... did anyone say flakey... from the finest of digtial cheese graters.! fuuck

The mitsubishi ADDA with apogee filters was quite nice for the time, yet no PRISM!!!!
Old 29th October 2002
  #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by cram
Digitech Whammy aficionados generally prefer the Whammy 1 over the Whammy 4. Even though the Whammy 1 exhibits truncation distortion (12-bit converters), pitch errors, excessive propagation, tracking errors, etc. They call it "personality."

I think the main cause of that situation is that the Whammy II's sounded fo thin and ****ed.dfegad

I've seen the push for vintage digital, but it seems mainly confined to guitar stuff for now.

Anyone else?
Old 29th October 2002
  #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by Wiggy Neve Slut
Sony 3324 DASH..... did anyone say flakey... from the finest of digtial cheese graters.! fuuck

The mitsubishi ADDA with apogee filters was quite nice for the time, yet no PRISM!!!!

The original 3324 is the worst sounding tape machine of any type I've ever heard.


Regards,
Brian T
Old 29th October 2002
  #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by BrianT



The original 3324 is the worst sounding tape machine of any type I've ever heard.


Regards,
Brian T
I take it you never heard the X-800? (I had to resist another adat joke)
Old 29th October 2002
  #16
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I have to second Brian on that one!dfegad 3324fuuck :eek:
Old 29th October 2002
  #17
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Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Some of the older "pro" converters sound pretty damn good and are cheap because they're old. I got my Mytek for a few hundered, about the same cost as a Flying Cow or some other cheap 24-bit converter and it sounds much better. I'd rather have less bits and better sound then more bits with worse sound quality.
Old 29th October 2002
  #18
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Quote:
I think the main cause of that situation is that the Whammy II's sounded fo thin and ****ed.
I'm with you on that one, the Whammy II was terrible.

Another example then: I was at an AES show talking to a D.J. and he wouldn't shut up about how the new AKAI MP^@%$#% was "too clean." He preferred the "character" of the old unit. Mmmm, gotta love those sweet, sweet, truncation artifacts.
Old 30th October 2002
  #19
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Fletcher's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by BrianT
The original 3324 is the worst sounding tape machine of any type I've ever heard.
What on earth are you talking about? I read the SONY brochure, that thing sounded perfect. The the 3324S sounded even more perfect...

I think what you'll find is that "vintage" effects processors will continue to be sought after for their particular brand of grit... but overall A/D-D/A conversion will not be sought after as much for it's in abilities, as they will be sought after for their ability to present depth of tone... 3rd dimension...

I have a feeling that the project you're working on with the HEDD and Lucid converters isn't so much suffering from the more open tone and texture of the converters... but from the better resolution pointing out other flaws in the signal path.

Then again... I could be wrong... I'm no where near as infallible as SONY...
Old 30th October 2002
  #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by Fletcher
I think what you'll find is that "vintage" effects processors will continue to be sought after for their particular brand of grit... but overall A/D-D/A conversion will not be sought after as much for it's in abilities, as they will be sought after for their ability to present depth of tone... 3rd dimension...
Quite possible. Sometimes though, I think you are looking for a different (less?) depth of tone.


Quote:

I have a feeling that the project you're working on with the HEDD and Lucid converters isn't so much suffering from the more open tone and texture of the converters... but from the better resolution pointing out other flaws in the signal path.
Or flaws in my ears and/or technique! Also quite possible.

We just spent a couple days doing some drum and percussion overdubs with really nice results. Still a radically different texture from the last project, but I'm growing to be more happy with it and in the end will probably like it better.
Old 30th October 2002
  #21
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I'd say that "for the money", it's still hard to beat a Mitsubishi x850 with apogee filters ($2,000) paired with a UFC ($1,000). That gives you 24 channels of darn good sounding 16 bit conversion (give or take a bit) for 3K, with 8 spares left over. You'll just need an extra room to put it in.....
Old 30th October 2002
  #22
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The Mitsubishis do sound pretty amazing but I've been told they've got big time compatability problems between machines depending on who alligned a particular machine. Still, the fact that they are 15 bit and leave a lot of others in the dust speaks volumes.

I still have my Apogee AD-1000 which, with "soft limit" turned off, I personally like better than their new ones but I'm shopping. I'm supposed to be getting Benchmark to check out any day now.
Old 30th October 2002
  #23
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What really gets my goat is that these companies come out with the new higher resolution and DON'T give you the option for lower bit resolution. To some point I understand why. I mean, how many times have you had a 3348 and been handed a 3348 HR tape? I sometimes wish I could make a digital machine record at 4-bit and do an industrial record.
Old 31st October 2002
  #24
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Re: "vintage" converters

Quote:
Originally posted by CrazyBeast
Here's a strange thing I've been wondering about recently.
with this)


3. Another personal example here- I'm working on a second project for an acoustic, folky type thing. The first CD was done on a (don't laugh) VS1680! This new one is being done in Pro Tools, Lucid/HEDD converters, blah, blah blah, and to be honest sometimes I miss the grainier, hazier in the lower mids quality that the converters on the 1680 seemed to give! Everyone that heard the first CD thought it was done on tape, bar none, and I'm wondering if we'll get the same response this time?

Cheers,
Ben
Well people like the sound of tape because of how it DISTORTS. As Fletcher implied, A/D converters aren't supposed to distort, they're supposed to be sonically passive.

Come 2012 when 492MHz 192kilobit converters cost $800, I -might- purchase a vintage Prism Dream converter if it were $30. I don't feel though, that digital distortion is as universally pleasant on material as primo analog distortion. Come 2012, when analog tape will solely be used as a distortion machine, I'm sure that they'll still cost the same as they do now, if not more.

The above of course, assumes that there's no apocolypse/nuclear/alien/viral/asteroid doom.
Old 31st October 2002
  #25
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Re: Re: "vintage" converters

Quote:
Originally posted by faeflora
Well people like the sound of tape because of how it DISTORTS. As Fletcher implied, A/D converters aren't supposed to distort, they're supposed to be sonically passive.
Right. They're supposed to be, but they're usually not. In the case of the converters (vs older effects units), I'm referring more to what I would call their non-linear response than actual distortion, truncation, etc.

I'm just curious about other peoples findings. Like Bob's post regarding the 15 bit Mitsubishi's and older Apogees and e-cues about the Akai.

I agree that more bits is theoretically better. Perhaps since I do some work in the computer industry I'm wary of technological "advances" that are really vaporware.

Quote:

Come 2012 when 492MHz 192kilobit converters cost $800, I -might- purchase a vintage Prism Dream converter if it were $30. I don't feel though, that digital distortion is as universally pleasant on material as primo analog distortion.
Agreed, however the Cranesong HEDD does it's thing is pretty pleasant though.

Quote:

The above of course, assumes that there's no apocolypse/nuclear/alien/viral/asteroid doom.
There sure is a lot of weird **** going on in the world! The senators plane crash in my state being another recent example...


BTW- Are you a Lucid user? I thought I'd seen posts of yours regarding the 8824. How do you feel about it?
Old 31st October 2002
  #26
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Re: Re: Re: "vintage" converters

Vapor like the 192khz digidesign converter?

Quote:
Originally posted by CrazyBeast
[BBTW- Are you a Lucid user? I thought I'd seen posts of yours regarding the 8824. How do you feel about it? [/B]
I like it. I need to a/b it to the Mytek I just got. Sonically, it beat a RME ADI-pro(sold) which beat a MOTU 2408mkII. Specifically, I like the big, fat, bright meters. I also like how I can configure it remotely and don't have to deal with dipswitchage.

I saw on your website that you wrote-

Quote:
From CrazyBeast.com
Lucid ADA 8824 - 8 channels. Sounds great. I think I've finally figured out how to properly route with this thing.[/B]
What do you mean by route with it?
Old 31st October 2002
  #27
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RE: Lucids

Quote:
Originally posted by faeflora
Vapor like the 192khz digidesign converter?
I haven't tried it. Read lots and am curious though. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a luddite - just cautious.


Quote:

I like it. I need to a/b it to the Mytek I just got. Sonically, it beat a RME ADI-pro(sold) which beat a MOTU 2408mkII. Specifically, I like the big, fat, bright meters. I also like how I can configure it remotely and don't have to deal with dipswitchage.

I saw on your website that you wrote-



What do you mean by route with it?
I was having tons of problems with it, which turned out to be related to the configuration program. Changes not happening, midi traffic jams, clocking changes not happening, etc.

I've ended up resorting to using the dip-switches. It probably was just some sort of OMS problem that I couldn't track down.

But, the dipswitches don't cover all the bases - like if you want AES routed to lightpipe 1/2, and analog to 3-8 you have to use the program unless I'm missing something.

Sonically I'm quite happy with it, although I don't find that it has the magic that the HEDD has. I also wish it would dither to 16 bits.

The various routing options seem well thought out, despite the problems I was having which are probably specific to my system. I also like the metering.
Old 31st October 2002
  #28
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I was having big problems with the midi configuration program too. Sometimes it worked, most of the time it didn't at all. I thought it could have been OMS too. It wasn't.

I sent it back to lucid, and they did a free mod to it. When I got it back, everything worked as it should. Instant responses.


I'm not sure that you can route signal the way you want to. I thought it was all one way or nothing.

Send an email to Lucid tech support or call them and they should hook you up. You can try talking with trent or jim perhaps? They're the ones who helped me out.

What are you recording to? Do you want 16 bit format to save space? I just got the crane song dither and will be trying it out soon. Different dither sounds different.
Old 31st October 2002
  #29
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Quote:
Originally posted by faeflora
I was having big problems with the midi configuration program too. Sometimes it worked, most of the time it didn't at all. I thought it could have been OMS too. It wasn't.

I sent it back to lucid, and they did a free mod to it. When I got it back, everything worked as it should. Instant responses.
Hmm. I had a couple quick phone and e-mail conversations with Trent while I was having the problems. He didn't mention anyone else having the same issues though, and I just ended up realizing that it was when I used the progam that things went haywire. Since then I've just left it at that and ended up putting the Lucid in a spot where the dipswitches are accessible. It sucks having to power cycle for the changes to take effect though.

Quote:

I'm not sure that you can route signal the way you want to. I thought it was all one way or nothing.
In the program you can set it up that way and I'm pretty sure I used it like that before. Could be wrong.

Quote:

What are you recording to? Do you want 16 bit format to save space? I just got the crane song dither and will be trying it out soon. Different dither sounds different.
To Pro Tools LE. I would occasionally use 16 bit as a space saver mainly - record practices, pre-prod, that sort of stuff.

I've been playing with the dither too. Scott gave it to me quite a well ago and I never got around to it. I think I can finally hear a difference. I've never been able to tell much between type 1/2 Waves dithers which are what I had been using. I've been playing around a lot recently with analog vs digital summing, Cranesong vs Waves dither, use of the HEDD and where I do it the process, etc and I think I may finally be arriving at a overall process that works for me and my setup, and sounds how I like it.
Old 31st October 2002
  #30
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Try telling him the configuration program is BROKEN and it doesn't work. He lied! My units were in there two weeks ago! Send an email to this guy---


[email protected]


actually, before you do it post a topic about your problem to

recpit.prosoundweb.com

in fletcher's forum

and at massenburg's musicplayer forum.

Jim frequently reads messagess at those places. Try to get him to take care of you before you try to get him to take care of you.
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