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Bounce to analog 1/2 or spdif
Old 18th October 2013
Gear Head

Bounce to analog 1/2 or spdif

Hi Guys just something I noticed you might want to check it out yourself.
I run a 002 BLA Sig mod in pro tools 10 PC.
Normally I bounce straight out with analog 1/ 2.
I was trying to set up some digital monitors, which turned out to be not such a good plan.
Anyway, I noted a subtle shift in bouncing to spidif in pro tools 10 as a pose to the normal analog 1/ 2.
I do not really know why maybe it is the 002 maybe it is pro tools 10.
However, I recommend trying it on your own system and see for yourself. I prefer the spdif bounce on my system. It just has a greater clarity. Something which I did not really expect from my rig so I`m very happy with that.
I route all the tracks to spdif including the master and click bounce.
Normally these used to be routed to analog 1/2 in pro tools.
Not really sure why they sound different but they do.


Old 22nd October 2013
Hi Keena

Funny, I went through the exact same thing over the past few days. I've read hundreds of posts on this around GS and your seems to be the newest, so...

Many years ago, maybe 2009 when I had got my digi 003r new - on the understanding it was of a "professional" class - I figured that the spdif output must be superior to the main analogue outputs. I went and got a decent digital cable and wired it into my Presonus central station. While tracking it became apparent that there was the latency issue using spdif as well no real discernible difference in playback. So I abandoned it.

I have recently been through a studio upgrade freakout. I read about the "poor" D-A converters on the 003 and all the controversy and decided to do an AB test using the spdif. I imported some reference tracks, set up dual outputs in PT and flipped from one to the other on the Presonus. I played with the volume to get it as exact as I thought. This was yesterday morning. I started to swear that the spdif output was sounding ever so slightly cleaner in the top end with smooth bass, especially at low, dynamic levels. (brick walled stuff sound pretty much the same to me).

After trawling GS and reading the 50/50 debate on the issue I A-B tested the resulting outputs of bouncing spdif vs A 1-2 for myself. This indeed resulted in a null when inverting one or the other. I bounced some mixes using both and gave them to my assistant to sit with to tell which he preferred - I can let you know feedback in a few days when we've listened in a few more places.

My current conclusion is that there is no difference. I redid the listening tests today and found that adjusting the volume up or down on the 003 analogue output can affect perception. I used high and low pass filters to check, and once I was satisfied there was no volume difference I really felt their was no difference. I even check this with sine and saw tones and other audio material.

I would have to say I am heading toward the "there is no difference, or my hearing is broken" crowd - although I bet all this intense critical listening may help my mixes.

I really wish there was some hidden trick that just improved the sound in a snap, but my gut says I need to improve myself and my gear to get better. (But if you know why some tracks have a silky top end that I can't get for all the knob pushing I do, do share).

All the best. J.
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