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Re: [ARSCLIST] Software for Mac

At 05:13 PM 2008-10-14, Lou Judson wrote:
In all of this computer audio, Mac or other, keep in mind that the
analog to digital conversion is vital and key to the resulting sound,
far more important than what DAW software you use to work with it
once in the computer. General pro audio wisdom says to have the A/D
convertor outside of the computer, not internal, and almost never use
the computer's internal soundcard for the conversion. Though there
may be no problem with what is inside your particular box.

Hi, Lou,

If we're talking preservation reformatting of analog material, I'd like to suggest that while what you say is important, I think that the even greater challenge is getting proper playback in the analog domain. There are so many things that one can do in the analog playback stage that would totally eliminate the improvement gained from a good sound card vs. the native audio card.

Also, there are two exceptions to the "box outside the computer" rule that I'm aware of.
(a) The Digital Audio Labs CardDeluxe
(b) The Lynx series of internal cards

I do my conversions outside the box with a seriously upgraded Digi 002 box, or a separate
Sound Devices recorder. Using the external recorder with its
excellent A/D leaves the Mac free to work with files at the same
time. I personally almost never record directly into any computer any
more, just copy from flash cards. Way more efficient and multitasking
that way for me.

That is interesting that you mention this. I just had this discussion last week with someone who came over for an extended chat on archiving strategies. I suggested that the Sound Devices 702 might be the most economical way to get good A-D and hassle-free recording that takes the computer and it's annoying complexities out of the loop. Glad to see this is working for you!

I do know of someone who successfully uses Samplitude for multi-track recording via something like Boot Camp on a Mac, but it seems like another layer of software to me. I can see the attraction of using one platform, but I have been so immersed in the PC world since 1984 that I've never looked up. If I had a good reason to buy a Mac (and FCP is perhaps a good reason someday), I don't think I'd be afraid to do it.

Just to throw some names around of A-D converters, I'm quite pleased with the RME Multiface II (as I was with the Multiface before that -- and, in fact, my 16-track A-D is one of each). I am less impressed with MOTU gear overall. I had the 8Pre and sold it, but the 828MKII hasn't done anything horrid, although, overall, it doesn't seem to be as user-friendly or as convenient to use as the Multiface II.

But, if you ONLY need two channels, I do think the Sound Devices as an ingest station is really worth consideration. I have a 722 (with hard drive) which I use for location recording, but I'm very impressed. Find a suitable monitor for the workflow and just buy a bag of CF cards and start cycling them through. It has a real attraction, and that is simplicity.

Oh, and the SD is the only 192 ks/s converter I have at the moment, so if someone wants their stereo tape converted at that sample rate, I'll have no other option.



Richard L. Hess email: richard@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Aurora, Ontario, Canada (905) 713 6733 1-877-TAPE-FIX
Detailed contact information: http://www.richardhess.com/tape/contact.htm
Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes.

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