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How do you avoid conversions when send/returning ?
Old 8th March 2006
  #1
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How do you avoid conversions when send/returning ?

Well...this is what I'm trying to do without degrading the signal...

I recorded all my tracks thru some good front end gear, but now I want to add some effects to some tracks...

I have Cubase SX3, Tascam FW1884 controller, Rosetta 800 and I want to send some tracks out effected to an Eventide H8000 and come back without going tru the FW1884 converters.

If I go out TRS or XLR to the H8000 and come back, I will be converting the signal 2 times right ? On the way out and on the way back in...

Connections available are these..

FW1884 has ADAT, SPDIF and analogs.
Eventide has ADAT, SPDIF, analog and AES-EBU.
Apogee has ADAT, analog in/out (DB-25) and AES-EBU in/out.


So, how do you get around this with the gear I mentioned ? What would be the best way to do it ?


Thanks...
Old 8th March 2006
  #2
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May as well use s/pdif if you can. With all this talk about summing OTB sounding better than ITB, i'm wondering if we should use digital at all. Seems like dozens of redundant A/D/A conversions is actually desirable - who would have thought.

Digital converters should always be consider as an analog device, and should be treated as such. Digital can be too clean - we miss the noise and the distortion and the phase smearing. So don't worry if you have to use your analog i/o. In fact, I would try both and see what you like the sound of the most.
Old 8th March 2006
  #3
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I would keep it digital and use the adat out on the 1884 to adat in on eventide and back adat out to adat in
Old 8th March 2006
  #4
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You could go either way. I've had good results depending on what I was doing.

Digital chains require a common clock device and common bitrate. Analog is not bound to this rule.

A/D=>D=>D=>D=>[file] is best for maximum transparency [minimum processing].
This is the 'purist' view and rightfully so.

A/D=>D/A=>A/D=>[file] is a form of quantizing digital bits. Highly processed signals can benefit from this chain since you don't have those wayward few full scale digital signals that can change a whole waveform cycle.

Chained A/D-D/A steps also removes the neccessity of Dithering. You can capture a 48/24 D/A analog source in a A/D analog recorder set to 44.1/16 (Masterlink ML9600 for instance). With good cables, I've captured some very clean sound from highly processed source material.
Old 8th March 2006
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txgator
I would keep it digital and use the adat out on the 1884 to adat in on eventide and back adat out to adat in
I remember reading something in the 10,000 page Eventide manual about this...

Which is, for some reason, if you go ADAT in and out on the H8000, then it acts as a Direct Out (straight thru) without any processing. Like a bypass line...

I had to read this thru to make sure I was understanding it right. I can't figure out why though...It doesn't do that with SPDIF...

As I said before, I'm not so sure about going analog in/out of the FW1884. The converters are not that great, hence the Rosetta 800.

In other words, after busting my ass to record the tracks as cleanly and pristine as possible, why would I want to put them thru ****ty converters TWICE...?

And if I had no choice, how can I bring the Apogee into the picture...?
Old 8th March 2006
  #6
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You wouldn't want to put your dry tracks thru the effects anyway. You would be using sends & returns to layer the 100% wet effect over your dry tracks.

IMO - some degredation of delays/reverbs etc is a very good thing. That's why ****ty BBD analog delays sound better than digital ones. And because the levels of effect you need are so low, noise floor is hardly an issue.
Old 8th March 2006
  #7
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I see the advantages to extra conversions with outboard analog gear... but does it help with digital gear? Is anyone doing this specifically and noticing there is a noticeable benefit? You're really adding 4 conversions that way and not just 2 with each pass, too.

dreamsongs: is your final mix itb or summed / stemmed?
Old 8th March 2006
  #8
Don't bother about the extra conversion. You record anyway a totally different sound, it's going to be the 100% wet signal, that you'll layer on the original track within the DAW. In fact you don't convert the instrument track a second time, because you can not compare the original to the FX.

I'd say you make up a problem where no one is. For me it doesn't really matter if I hook up the FX digitally or analogue.
Old 8th March 2006
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nathanvacha
I see the advantages to extra conversions with outboard analog gear... but does it help with digital gear? Is anyone doing this specifically and noticing there is a noticeable benefit? You're really adding 4 conversions that way and not just 2 with each pass, too.

dreamsongs: is your final mix itb or summed / stemmed?
All tracks were recorded thru analog gear into SX3 and mixed itb.
I've been using SX3 for about 4 months. I've had to do many things with it so far...

One was transfering all my songs from a Roland VS2480 to the SX3. That was smooth enough and it sounded better once it was in there, maybe it was the the 32bit conversion. But with the transfered tracks, I noticed they were thin sounding, since some them were not tracked with high end gear to begin with. So I was trying to re-amp and re-compress.

Then, on my new songs I tried 2 approaches as far as the effects. Record them dry and then add effects or ...record some wet signals thru the H8000 which would limit me more. Usually chorus/flanged guitars, sometimes delays. I would record them wet and sometimes direct if they were not big parts...

If you perform all instruments and self-produce, it's hard sometimes to record everything dry since you're not getting the feedback of the prior instruments and as you begin to layer and overdub, you lose sight of where the song is going...

That's why lately, if I know what the song should sound like, I record almost everything wet right from the beginning. But, at the expense of not being able to change my mind later.

The Eventide H8000 is an incredible machine and it sounds absolutely gorgeous whatever you put thru it. That's why I didn't want to f*** up the signal by going out analog into the H8000 (D>A) then processed in the H8000 (A>D) then back out analog (D>A) and into the SX3 again (A>D). ****...I just realized as I'm typing this that's it's actually 4 conversions because the H8000 is all digital. It's actually 2 more conversions than I thought !

So, there you go...it's actually 4 conversions. I can't imagine converting a perfectly beautifully recorded track or tracks thru the FW1884's converters ...! Maybe twice but not 4 times, but I could be wrong...and that's what I want to know.

How do the Pros do it ? Do you pass the signal thru a high end converter on the way out and back in when send/returning ?heh
Old 8th March 2006
  #10
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Teddy Gee's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwiburger

IMO - some degredation of delays/reverbs etc is a very good thing. That's why ****ty BBD analog delays sound better than digital ones. And because the levels of effect you need are so low, noise floor is hardly an issue.
I'm very much in agreement with this. I had my PCM 91 and Rumour both connected via digital I/O and found the sounds too sterile. Changed the routing to analog adding back in the conversion layers and am much happier! I think the conversion is a key part of the character of these thngs

Stephen
Old 8th March 2006
  #11
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Well two things...
dreamsongs, you keep mentioning the 1884 converters.. but don't you have apogee converters? And i don't think that the 4 conversions will probably give you a problem...
Which brings me to my second thing:
It's not that i'm sayin that that many conversions is bad, i was wondering more if anyone thinks it's beneficial to go analog into the eventide. Someone mentioned phase smearing, and i figure that could probably be useful on some effects, but i was really wondering: does anyone actually do this (a/d to digital outboard and then run back in -and- continue to do so because you like the results?
Old 9th March 2006
  #12
I 'hang' 3 digital devices of my Pro Tools rig via AES i/o

Finalizer
TCM3000 (two mono in stereo out engines)
Eventide DSP4000

No conversions - pure digital send & return (or insert)

TIP - what you can do is - record multiple passes of digital (100%) reverb, on diferent signals. (to get more FX going on one mix)
Old 9th March 2006
  #13
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I do have a Rosetta 800 which has AD & DA and has an AES in/out as well. I'm just not sure I can do it the way I would like to do it, which is:

Go out ADAT (FW1884 has no AES) to Rosetta, out AES to Eventide, back out AES thru Apogee and out ADAT to FW1884 & SX3...

Supposedly, this way, there would be no conversion at all, all digital. Why don't I go ADAT to Eventide and back ? For some reason, if you go in & out ADAT in the H8000, the signal goes right thru... maybe, I'm doing something wrong. It is a very complicated machine, but I read this in the manual as well. It doesn't make sense but I'll keep trying to do it that way because it would be much simpler if I decide to stay all digital...

I will try the analog in with multiple conversions as well to see how it sounds. I don't know, maybe I'll be surprised... If I have to do multiple conversions though, I rather do it thru the Apogee...
Old 10th March 2006
  #14
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I tried the multiple conversion....

I don't know...it sounds like it's a little "muddier". There's gotta be a better way to do this without doing this to a good track...
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