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SRC shoot out
Old 31st October 2002
  #1
SRC shoot out

Hi guys, I am going to try the following sample rate conversion shoot out sometime soon.

The cast:

Converter - Cranesong Head 192
Mix recorder - Masterlink
Hardware SRC device - Finalizer 96k (with Up-Down upgrade)
Software SRC device - Masterlink
Dither - Weiss Pow-R once the following are 44.1k 24 bit I will drag them into Pro Tools to apply dither

a) Mix recorded at 96k 24 bit - hardware SRC'ed to 44.1k 24 bit

b) Mix recorded at 88.2 24 bit - hardware SRC'ed to 44.1k 24 bit

c) Mix recorded at 96k 24 bit - software SRC'ed to 44.1k 24 bit

d) Mix recorded at 88.2 24 bit - software SRC'ed to 44.1k 24 bit

e) Mix recorded at 44.1k 24 bit no SRC

Why?

I am looking to use 96k 24 bit as my default mix sample rate.

Why so?

Because I have enjoyed very much taking 96k 24 bit mixes to pro mastering and now am keen for all my projects to be archived at this sampling rate.

The problem?

While all my work needs to have the capability of Pro Mastering, more often than not I initially need to do 'self' or what I call - 'junior mastering' sessions on the material to make it sound appealing while band managers drag it round looking for labels to release it. Sometime it gets released with NO pro mastering session, such is life in the budget challenged alt rock / indie scene here in the UK.

The goal?

1) Archive at the highest quality mix archive with the equipment I own
2) Be able to generate the best quality 44.1 16 bit dithered master at my studio
3) Hopefully develop a mix / mastering / archive formula that suits my needs.

Any one care to guess what will be revealed in the tests?

I have no idea...

I am rooting for 96k and hardware SRC - I have a 'good vibe' about hardware SRC from what I have read.

I wonder if I will be able to hear for myself the folklore about 88.2 being "half 44.1 - so the easier maths makes it sound better thing.....?

Anyone done any tests like this? How did it turn out?

Old 1st November 2002
  #2
Hi Jules,

I've done these tests(i posted something about it a year ago). I can tell you from my experience that SRC in the Masterlink sounds better from 88.2-44.1K(I was amazed how much was retained).

I've also tested the different dithering schemes out there, my favorite is the POW-R dither #3. I was not too crazy about the dithering scheme in the HEDD(it always sounded better at 24 bits).

My opinion is if you need a good SRC than buy a seperate unit(the Z-systems is great as well as the Lucid). Nowadays I always do two mixes: one at 88.2 and the other at 44.1K. As you can probably tell its a different sound. To me its like 1/4" to 1/2". One is clearer, while the other gels better.
Old 1st November 2002
  #3
member no 666
 
Fletcher's Avatar
Re: SRC shoot out

Quote:
Originally posted by Jules
The goal?

1) Archive at the highest quality mix archive with the equipment I own
2) Be able to generate the best quality 44.1 16 bit dithered master at my studio
3) Hopefully develop a mix / mastering / archive formula that suits my needs.
FWIW, you can run the 96/24 mix into the D/A of the HEDD-192... come out analog [process if you so desire] then input the signal analog to the HEDD-192 and go A/D to 44.1/16 to burn a CD... in real time... frankly, with the possible exception of the Lucid and/or the Z-Systems [and I do mean "possible"], it the best sound "SRC" I've heard.
Old 1st November 2002
  #4
Hmmm 2 mixes? Posible, be handy if I could just get all I wanted out of one mix!

"Nowadays I always do two mixes: one at 88.2 and the other at 44.1K. As you can probably tell its a different sound. To me its like 1/4" to 1/2". One is clearer, while the other gels better."

-------------------------------------------------

I would need 2 x Masterlinks to do this:

"you can run the 96/24 mix into the D/A of the HEDD-192... come out analog [process if you so desire] then input the signal analog to the HEDD-192 and go A/D to 44.1/16 to burn a CD... in real time..."

--------------------------------------------------

But I am digging the "mental patchbay gymnastics" of this thread!

keep it up!

Central to my thread is the question - Is a an origional 96k mix SRC'ed to 44.1k BETTER SOUNDING than a mix just recorded at 44.1 in the first place?

Old 1st November 2002
  #5
Gear Maniac
 
wurly's Avatar
 

huh?

I'm the guy in in the back of the room wondering what "SRC" means...?
Old 2nd November 2002
  #6
SRC = Sample Rate Convert

My mix is stored at 96k 24 bit on a Masterlink. I need t make a 44.1 16bit CD master of it.

I need to sample rate convert 96k to 44.1k

SRC

ITS A TRIP!
Old 2nd November 2002
  #7
Preliminary testing this afternoon revealed the following

1) 96k 24 bit - sounds deep / wide / expensive / "stunning"

2) 96k 24 bit - Hardware SRC (see above) to 44.1 - sounds pretty darn near the same! - i.e. VERY DAMN GOOD

3) 44.1k 24 bit in comparison to the above two, sounds less stunning / less 'slick / expencive' / less wide / less highs & lows / and disappointing

I am excited by the results. I dig the characteristics of 96k masters created via the Cranesong head.

My wishes/ instincts may have been granted / paid off etc.....

Still perhaps its wishful thinking as I just forked out $300 to upgrade the Finalizer 96k to be able to do it!

But I AM pleased..

I can SRC from the Masterlink to PT for mastering or just do it (being mindfull to skip the harsh EQ) - in the Finalizer. When budget allows I can take 96k mixes to pro mastering.

Old 2nd November 2002
  #8
Well Jules,

As you know according to Nika, all sample rate converts should be the same know matter what the sampling frequency. I am not surprised it sounds great(i prefered the 88.2-44.1, but it was a slight difference).

I recently made the plunge an bought a ATR 102(with a 1/4" and 1/2"head stack). I was tired of renting one for certain clients, so I just bought it( got a great deal on a super clean one). I know we work similar(HEDD D/A(48.1 or 44.1)-comp/EQ-HEDD A/D(88.2/96K)-Masterlink). At times I just went strictly analog after the D/A conversion and for some songs it just sounds better. It gels better than the higher freq's. I've also started looking at a better D/A or should I say less colored and keeping the HEDD for monitoring purposes.

By the way Jules i am getting ready to purchase the SBM2 buss mixer from Boutique Audio(Inward Labs). 16 individual inputs with its own panning. My hope is to eventually go to 64 inputs(4 SBM2, I think the maximum you can do). But I've started looking for a 16 channel fader pack, any ideas? I don't know if you are interested in it(you probably do all of your level changes in Pro Tools) but I am thinking about attaching 16 faders to the SBM-2 for some level changes(hopefully in the end 64). That way I can keep the outputs as close to unity as possible(with the exception being some crazy automation moves). Unless i ad moving faders...hmm interesting.


Looks like in the end I will have a mixing console when this all through!!!

Better start making space in the control room!!!
Old 8th February 2003
  #9
Lives for gear
 
doug_hti's Avatar
 

Okay, sorry to revisit this thread, but I have a few more question going from 96k to 44.1k.
I'm mixing in PTHD at 96k, currently on a song with about 48 tracks.
Since I'm doing demos for a songwriter now, I can record at different Sample rates on song to song now with PTHD without an issue, figuring out what's ideal from the start to the end on cd at 44.1 16.
Trying to avoid any hype as well as the vast amount of skeptics, I have finally and definately come to the conclusion that the end result with 96k sounds much clearer and of course the cliche word more "open". The high end is definately more present. Things really are more defined IME.

However, if I was doing a piano vocal track, I have a feeling that the results may not be as noticeable (but still noticeable) with only 3 or so tracks going through the negatives of SRC. That is the opposite theory from what I would have expected initially...being that with larger sessions, the higher Sample rates would be "lost" and that you could hear the detail and openess on smaller sessions....(again, i'm referring to sessions that will end up on regular CD at 44.1 16).

So I'm also working on some other stuff right now at 48k and the difference in the drums to 96k (same mic pres and mics, same setup) is astounding to my ears. The vocals are quite different as well and eq adjustments tend to be less "harsh".

The PROBLEM:
As to what this thread is about, SRC.
I have also definately come to the conclusion that there is a definate PROBLEM with converting in ProTools from 96 to 44.1. I've tried recording everything to another track and I've tried BTD. Contrary to many opinions, i didn't find that much of a difference between the two. When I consistently import the 96 into another 44.1 session, the clarity lost was stunning.

Being that I don't have quality stereo processing hardware, I still want to get the best translation as possible.

I plan on getting stereo outboard gear in the future, but I can't go out right now and by a EQ, Comp, Limiter for $15k. And like others, project studios and regular studios are expected to be able to put out an acceptable "mastered", non-mastered track.

So my question about SRC.
Would I be better off running out of PTHD 96k analog, processed and dithered(POW-R type 3) on the master channel, into the analog ins on a Finalizer Express for the AD at 44.1 and then digitally AES to a Masterlink(that I don't own, but could go out and buy right now)? And would a masterlink burn a better disc copy than an internal G4 burner?

Being able to monitor in real time seems like there would be less suprise as to what will happen with the SRC to the top end.
I also have a MBox that I could run PTHD analog into Finalizer Express converters, then digitally into MBox?

Jules, does your Finalizer 96k do real time SRC? How good is it...

Are people finding that it is really important to be able to monitor in real time the SRC?!

I know this post is long and jumbled, I (as with others I talk to) are just trying to figure out how to get a quality CD out the door. I'm not the type of person to try and replace proper mixing and mastering, so please don't go down that route.
But I'm trying to get the full potential out of what I have.
What would you do?!!??
Old 8th February 2003
  #10
Quote:
Originally posted by doug_hti

What would you do?!!??
Buy an excellent half inch,masterlink and probably a ZSYS sample rate converter.

That way all of your bases are covered.
Old 8th February 2003
  #11
Lives for gear
 
doug_hti's Avatar
 

Will a masterlink be a noticeable improvement?
Does anyone use the SRC internally in the masterlink?
Does anyone use the A/D converters in the masterlink?
Does the Finalizer Express have the same converters as the Finalizer?

What stand alone software is used that is considerably better than PT5.3

thanks
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