The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
Analog 1" vs Apogee Rosetta
Old 18th June 2005
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

Analog 1" vs Apogee Rosetta

I currently own a Tascam Msr24s in top shape. Next week I will have about $1500 to buy converters . I was thinking of getting the fireface. My question is would I be better off selling my tape machine and putting the moeny towards a Rosetta or lynx aruroa for a better sound quality. If it was a 2" tape machine it would be a differrent story, but comparing today converters against a 1" tape machine what do you think. I mainly record rock. Any advice would help thanks.
Old 18th June 2005
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Ziggy!!'s Avatar
 

I'd stick with Tape. If you have to absolutely buy converters the RME's will be fine. They aren't going to suddenly turn your music ****ty.

Getting rid of the Tape will destory any tape mojo you have and you'll sacrifice your soul to the computer editing bad music repair cult.
Old 18th June 2005
  #3
Lives for gear
 

This is the first thread I have EVER read that doesn't trash RME's converters. I have a selection of converters including an ADI-8 AE - I use the RME for DA alone (just monitoring actually) and I think it's a great sound.
Old 18th June 2005
  #4
Lives for gear
 
kevinc's Avatar
 

I kind of agree with Labs and Ziggy. If your definately going to be recording to tape and like the sound your not going to get it back from buying a slightly better converter.

HOWEVER.

Who knows.

You might be indeed be fine with the sound of recording directly to digital. In that case it DOES make a difference what kind of converter your using because you don`t have the tape mellowing everything out before it hits the converters.

It`s just the naked sound hitting the converters and if you`ve got great converters your gonna have great sound. If you`ve got **** converters your gonna have **** sound. If you buy 16 channels of top of the line AD/DA you may have something that is in fact a lot better sounding (to you) than tape allthough you definately wont have the tape "vibe anymore. I really think a lot of people who think all digital is crap are just simply so used to using tape for 20 years that they miss all the subtle artifiacts tape gives them and they don`t like the subtle artifacts digital gives them.

I used to use tape than went to crappy ADAT converters than to quality converters. I know I liked tape better than ADAT`s but it`s been so long that I honestly couldn`t tell you if I like it better than recording into Myteks or even the APogee PSX100 I owned for a bit before. Because of that I simply keep recording with what I got and think about getting good quality sounds out of what I got instead of missing tape. And I don`t think I`m missing much.


I`d say you should either buy a Rosetta 800 (not the older Rosetta) from a place that will take it back or rent one from somewhere and see if you can do without tape or not. If what tape does blows away any sound you can get from the Rosetta 800 TO YOU I`d say keep the tape machine and buy the RME`s

Otherwise go for the better converters.

Or be a proper slut, keep the deck, AND buy the Rosetta 800`s.
Old 18th June 2005
  #5
Gear Guru
 
Sounds Great's Avatar
 

I have a Tascam MSR24s and as long as it keeps working properly I would never trade it for anything digital.

Well, maybe a Radar set up. Maybe.
Old 18th June 2005
  #6
Lives for gear
 
Ted Nightshade's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Recording David
This is the first thread I have EVER read that doesn't trash RME's converters. I have a selection of converters including an ADI-8 AE - I use the RME for DA alone (just monitoring actually) and I think it's a great sound.
That's 'cause I didn't see it yet!

Apogee is WORLDS better than RME, and there are converters worlds better than Apogee. About the time you get to the really, really, really good stuff well beyond Apogee, it starts to really rival tape.

Apogee is a LOT better for rock&roll, and tape is a LOT LOT LOT better for rock&roll than Apogee.

What do you want with this digital stuff? Recording rock&roll onto analog tape is a match made in heaven. It's magic. You will be disappointed with anything but the very finest digital, and while that's great for some music, for rock&roll TAPE IS THE THING.

I wouldn't mess with it.
Old 18th June 2005
  #7
Gear Maniac
 

Thanks everyone for your advice. I am going to stick with the Msr24s and get the RME. I can't afford the Rosetta without selling the tape machne. I will say compared to my masterlink and kurzweil converters hitting the tape first sounds great for those heavy guitars and everything else. There is more punch and it just sounds thicker. Ther kurzweil rumour converters sound better to me even at 48k compared to the masterlink at 96k I was just wondering the quality of sound of going straight into Apogee compared to going to tape first before digital. Thanks again everyone and anyone with anymore advice feel free to post.
Old 18th June 2005
  #8
Lives for gear
 

Well, not all tape is created equal IMHO. I used to own an MS16 and while I got some good sounds out of it, I much prefer the Radar I'm using now. 1" 24 track just isn't worth it IMO if you can get into a good digital system like the Radar or PT w/ high quality conversion. Now a fully discrete Ampex MM1200 2" 16 track is definitely worth it IMO.
Sean
Old 18th June 2005
  #9
Lives for gear
 
scott petito's Avatar
 

yup
what sean said....not all analog is created equal...I still Have My 2" otari MTR 90 but I seldom use it ....with really good converters I prefer digital for tracking...I always thought a studer 800 and an ampex alway sounded much better then the otari but it was/is really reliable...now mixing is a different story...

cheers

SP
Old 18th June 2005
  #10
24 tracks on 1" tape?

Fuggetaboutit!

You can't get good s/n at that track width -- without the hideous compromise of noise reduction. Plus, your high and low end will undoubtedly be severely compromised by a number of factors, as well.

Think about this -- the track width of such a machine is one sixth the width of a track on a standard 1/2" stereo mixdown machine. It's only 66% as wide as a track on a stereo home (1/4") tape machine of the 60s. It's only 25% wider than a track on a consumer cassette machine!


Sell the toy Tascam, buy the Rosetta, and don't look back.

[Full disclosure: I did my first multi-track tape session in 1964. I've owned 10 reel-to-reel tape machines (half of them TASCAMs) in my life -- and worked in OP's studios on Studers, Otaris, MCI's, Ampexes, you name it. (I'm down to one, thank you, and that's just for access to old master mixes). I loved many of my tape machines -- but I loved recording more. I went digital in 1992 and I haven't regretted it a single minute since then. As always, YMMV, but if you want to stick with tape -- buy yourself a real machine.]
Old 19th June 2005
  #11
Gear Maniac
 

Alright Theblue1 I hear what you are saying and the fact that it is a 1" is why I started this thread. I like the sound of analog and would love to get 16 track 2" some day that way I would have the option of both. I am just thinking ahead and wondering how far this machine will take me and if better converters is a wiser investment in the long run.
Thanks
Old 19th June 2005
  #12
Gear Guru
 
Sounds Great's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1
24 tracks on 1" tape?

Fuggetaboutit!

You can't get good s/n at that track width -- without the hideous compromise of noise reduction.

Dolby S is actually very good. And the s/n with this machine as as good as any tape machine.
Old 19th June 2005
  #13
Well, first, let me say I was coming back to this thread to soften my comments. It's not that they don't reflect my considered position, it's just that I put it a bit absolutely and I really think everything is relative -- also the last thing I would want to do is undercut someone's confidence and comfort with their recording tools. That wasn't my intent, but it's probably how it came off.

Don't stop using those tape machines, folks. It's all good.


One thing -- while I've never used "Dolby S" it's generally a truism with any compression/expansion NR system that going into tape saturation is asking for almost certain trouble. If you think about how Dolby and DBX work, you're applying compression on record (often splitting into different frequency bands) with the notion of making the signal just that much hotter than the noise floor in problem bands -- and then 'decoding' by expanding on playback. Ergo, any tracking error (such as that from tape saturation) that you introduce in between that compression and the reciprocal expansion process on playback simply magnifies the tracking error.

Now, you might like that effect -- but you should definitely be aware of what's going on and that, for accurate dynamic tracking, saturation and noise reduction don't, as a rule, mix.

But, hey, there are no rules (as long as you don't hurt innocent animals or children), so if it does work for your purposes, don't let me get in the way.

Old 19th June 2005
  #14
Gear Maniac
 

Actually just wanted to clear up the the coment I made about the tape machine sounding smaller and compressed. I actually was listening to something I had mixed down to low and comparing to a digital recording at optimal levels. Did the comparison today with both levels matched and the analog was a lot bigger, but then again I was not using high end converters for the digital recording. I am just going to work with what I have and buy what I can afford. I will agree that the machine with the dolby s engaged has no his or noise, but without it is unusable to me.
Old 19th June 2005
  #15
Lives for gear
 
adamcal's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1
24 tracks on 1" tape?

Fuggetaboutit!

You can't get good s/n at that track width -- without the hideous compromise of noise reduction. Plus, your high and low end will undoubtedly be severely compromised by a number of factors, as well.

.]

While all of that is absolutely true, none of it stopped me from making a lot of great sounding Cd's some of which where quite successful (and with the worse DBX no less).

Years later and I now have a 2" 24track with A and SR if I want it. I still listen back to the stuff I made on the original MSR24 and It still sounds great.

I would say if you already own it, use it till it dies or tape does.
Old 19th June 2005
  #16
Lives for gear
 
Ted Nightshade's Avatar
 

I'll tell ya, what has really made my tape machine work is a good mixdown deck. I would think about a couple possibilities:

Sell the 1" and use that $$ and the $1500 to buy a really nice machine. Could be you're totally stoked with a nice 1/2" 8 track. Could be you can get a 2" like you want.

or, keep the 1" and buy a really good pair of A/D/A for the Masterlink. Then you have a really good 2 track machine for tracking or mixdown. Sometimes one generation of tape and one generation of fine digital is the perfect combo.

I really recommend AGAINST the RME converters. They are seriously flawed- they sound almost OK at 96 but at lower sampling rates they have very serious digital artifacts all through the audible spectrum. Real phasey sounding in the highs. Not good, at all.

But for $1500 you could get 2 very good channels of A/D/A. Or maybe just A/D for now. Lavry, Mytek, Benchmark, something like that. Maybe Apogee.
Old 19th June 2005
  #17
Lives for gear
 
Ted Nightshade's Avatar
 

Really you should get the best tape machine you possibly can!

If you're going to buy digital make sure it's the really good stuff, and shop carefully! Listen!
Old 19th June 2005
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by adamcal
While all of that is absolutely true, none of it stopped me from making a lot of great sounding Cd's some of which where quite successful (and with the worse DBX no less).

Years later and I now have a 2" 24track with A and SR if I want it. I still listen back to the stuff I made on the original MSR24 and It still sounds great.

I would say if you already own it, use it till it dies or tape does.
Absolutely!

And I hope you saw my additional comments. I regret the way I expressed myself in the first post. It was not my intent to undercut anyone's confidence in their tools. I guess I was just reacting to what I think is often ill-considered and wildly under-informed "pro-analog hysteria"...

Whichever route one takes, I think Ted's advice is golden (in so many ways heh ) -- buy the best you can. Do your homework. Shop hard. And listen. Your ears are the most important piece of test gear you'll ever own.





PS... I hope y'all paid attention to what I was saying about tape saturation and Dolby or DBX noise reduction being a 'dangerous' combination with regard to dynamic tracking accuracy (which can and will effect frequency response, phase coherency, and other aspects of your signal). I don't know if the current generation of NR-enabled tape machines like the aforementioned TASCAM 24 track 1" have individual controls for NR on each channel (I suspect it's unlikely) but back in my day, we used to turn NR off on key channels like drums and bass to avoid 'crashing' the encoders from s***** transients as well as to allow us to run those tracks hotter and get the 'nice' tape saturation so exalted today. (Of course, the only machines where we ran NR were 'prosumer' decks like the 16 track 1" Tascam I initially learned on.)
Old 19th June 2005
  #19
Lives for gear
 
Ted Nightshade's Avatar
 

BTW I'm not at all sure that noise reduction has a place in rock&roll. Tape hiss is the least of your concerns I would think.
Old 19th June 2005
  #20
When I was using analog tape -- I thought tape hiss was the thing I hated most.

But after I recorded my first acoustic guitar piece onto 2 track digital (DAT) the thing that really got me was the lack of micro-speed problems (flutter, essentially). I couldn't believe how incredibly different the same signal chain sounded. It only took me a couple listens to realize that it was the absence of speed/phase issues related to minor speed insconsistencies that I really valued.

I can live with a little hiss. (But I have to say that I had to struggle to hold the hiss level down to anything that could be considered "little.")

But once I'd lived with clean guitar tracks I started seeing what for me was an even bigger problem with tape (not to mention consumer and, ugh, direct drive turntables): transport speed problems. (I knew the electronics/hi fi industry was totally screwed when they started promoting direct drive turntables as "advanced." Evil foggers.)

_____________________

PS... I don't think I've done it in this thread but I want to emphasize that, of course, an electrical analog signal over the shortest, best conducting connection (a 'straight wire' in shoptalk) is always superior to the same signal that has gone through A-to-D and then D-back-to-A.

Unfortunately, the problem has always been a way to accurately store that electrical analog. There is no analog signal storage medium that is "lossless" (entirely accurate) -- although some people find some of the signal distortion to be desirable (controlled tape saturation being the obvious example.)

The best systems in either paradigm offer great results.

If money is no object, the world is your oyster.


But if you're going to pursue analog tape on a budget, you're going to have to be particularly canny in your approach. If you want to get reasonable performance from your tape machines, you're going to have to do your homework -- and be dilligent about maintenance and alignment.

Keeping an analog tape studio running optimally requires a level of knowledge, patience, and hard work that a lot of folks these days don't seem to be able to readily muster (And maybe in the old days, too, for that matter, judging from some of the studios I worked in heh )
Old 19th June 2005
  #21
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted Nightshade
BTW I'm not at all sure that noise reduction has a place in rock&roll. Tape hiss is the least of your concerns I would think.
I never owned a serious tape machine, but the 1/4" 8 track I started out with in the 90's never needed NR for rock stuff so I just left it off.

Sounded fine.

War
Old 20th June 2005
  #22
Gear Guru
 
Sounds Great's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1


PS... I hope y'all paid attention to what I was saying about tape saturation and Dolby or DBX noise reduction being a 'dangerous' combination with regard to dynamic tracking accuracy (which can and will effect frequency response, phase coherency, and other aspects of your signal). I don't know if the current generation of NR-enabled tape machines like the aforementioned TASCAM 24 track 1" have individual controls for NR on each channel (I suspect it's unlikely) but back in my day, we used to turn NR off on key channels like drums and bass to avoid 'crashing' the encoders from s***** transients as well as to allow us to run those tracks hotter and get the 'nice' tape saturation so exalted today. (Of course, the only machines where we ran NR were 'prosumer' decks like the 16 track 1" Tascam I initially learned on.)
There is a big difference between Dolby and DBX. DBX definately messes with dynamics. I have had much better luck with Dolby.

The MXR24s, which I have, has Dolby S, which they claim is derived from SR. Can't say, I never owned an SR system. But it does work nicely. No tracking or dynamic problems in my experience. What you don't want to do with this machine is slam the tape, though I suppose you could run without the noise reduction and try it. b.t.w. it has three switches for the Dolby, 1-8, 9-16, and 17-24. Also track 24 has a sync switch that disables the Dolby.

Many years ago I did have a Scully 2" 16 track machine. It had no noise reduction. A bit of hiss but it did sound very nice. The Tascam has proven much more reliable, though.
Old 20th June 2005
  #23
Gear Maniac
 

I plan on keeping my Msr24 and plan on spending a little more and get the best converters I can. Hey Sounds Great are you mixing with a board or are you transfering your tracks from the msr24 into your computer and mixing ITB.
Old 20th June 2005
  #24
Lives for gear
 
adamcal's Avatar
 

I was always aware of the evils of DBX NR and its shortcomings with level tracking so one day I tried the MSR24 (dbx) without it, oh man..... hiss city, not really usable in my opinion, I tried turning it off for the first 8 tracks (where the drums were)........still didn't dig it at all. The narrow format really needed the NR.

So there you are with a narrow format that really needs NR and NR works least well on narrow formats. So what to do. Well you just get on with it and make Cd's. And as crazy as it seems, the best CD I made on it, I was slamming it with NR on.

The thing I noticed the most was that basses (anything low) always came back off tape with more bass , so was it warm or was it mushy, was it analog! or just simply flabby DBX . either way I got round it and never let it stop me. but there was no hiss, it was always really quiet, and I liked that.
Old 20th June 2005
  #25
Gear Guru
 
Sounds Great's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by adamcal

The thing I noticed the most was that basses (anything low) always came back off tape with more bass , so was it warm or was it mushy, was it analog! or just simply flabby DBX . either way I got round it and never let it stop me. but there was no hiss, it was always really quiet, and I liked that.
Yes, I found out a long time ago that DBX messes with the dynamics and really worked over the bass. I wouldn't have bought the Msr24 if it didn't have the Dolby option. Previously I had a Fostex E16 with Dolby C (running at 30 ips) and was also quite impressed with the sound considering the narrow format.
Old 20th June 2005
  #26
Gear Guru
 
Sounds Great's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by soundwarrior
I plan on keeping my Msr24 and plan on spending a little more and get the best converters I can. Hey Sounds Great are you mixing with a board or are you transfering your tracks from the msr24 into your computer and mixing ITB.
Nah, I don't do the computer thing. Tried it, didn't like it.

I use a Soundcraft Ghost (24X8) analog board. I mix down to a Fostex E-2 tape machine (two-track, 1/2", 15 & 30 ips).

I do have an Alesis Masterlink which is great for making CD's for listening. For serious mastering, though, I would send the mixdown tape to a professional.
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump