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Cranesong Spider

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by apstrong, Aug 22, 2012.

  1. apstrong

    apstrong Active Member

    Howdy. I have an opportunity to pick up one of these (around 2002 or maybe 2003 model) for a very decent price. spider Never heard it in use, but I imagine the preamps and converters are way ahead of the ones in my Mackie Onyx 1640, which is also my interface. And the tape emulation is very interesting. I currently use a Neve Portico stereo preamp and a UA LA-610 when I want something beyond the Mackie preamps. I've been jonesing for more quality preamplification for a couple of years, but haven't taken the plunge yet, so this is very tempting.

    But I'm a little puzzled by the Spider, and I'm not sure how I would integrate it into my current setup and workflow or whether it means they would have to completely change. So, questions:

    What is the purpose of this thing being a mixer? I don't want to record the stereo mixdown, I'm not talented enough to get things right at that stage, I want to record the individual channels and do my mixing ITB. And I know it will do that (although "only" 8 channels at a time). Can this be used for analog summing later on in the process?

    And with only 8 inputs for multitrack recording, I'm even more puzzled (can't afford two spiders!). I normally track about 14 channels at the same time, although I only want to record 8 of those at most in the sense of record them and keep them permanently. For example, I'll have 6-7 mics on the drums that I want to record and that's the focus, but the mackie lets me record another 5-6 scratch tracks from two guitarists, two vocalists, and bass, and it lets the musicians listen to everything live during tracking. Then we typically go back and overdub or redo the non-drum parts if they need it, and they usually do, but not always. So I guess the question is this: what's a standard workflow with a unit like this for multitrack recording in the studio?

    Thanks for your help...
  2. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    how much would it cost you?
  3. pan60

    pan60 Active Member

    Very nice, if the price is a bargain it could very much be worth getting!
    I have looked at one a couple times but also feel I would be better served with a unit offering more Ins and outs.
    But, Dave make really nice gear and if the price is right I would take a very good look.
  4. apstrong

    apstrong Active Member

    About $2,000. A friend is clearing out gear that he acquired over the years for a home studio that never really came together.
  5. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    That sounds like a good deal.
  6. pan60

    pan60 Active Member

    I think it would be a great buy at that price myself.
    I think a new one is around eight grand!
  7. apstrong

    apstrong Active Member

    So I've got the Spider now, figured out how to integrate it with everything and it's working well. But I discovered that it's an older model than only supports 48kHz outputs on the 8 channel bus. I'm not complaining! But I have a question about workflow. I generally record at 88.2kHz. The 2-bus on the Spider supports 96kHz, so that's great, I can do all overdubs of 1-2 tracks at a time through the 2-bus if I'm using it for the overdub, and that's going to handle almost every overdubbing situation for me.

    But I usually record the drums first (playing along with the entire band, but aiming to get the drums down as bed tracks). So unless I go for a two-mic setup, I will have to use the 8-bus and record drums at 44.1 or 48kHz.

    What would the preferred method be:

    1. Record everything, including overdubs, at 44.1kHz and don't worry about it.
    2. Record drums at 44.1, upsample them to 88.2, record overdubs at 88.2, then do all processing/mixing on all tracks in the 88.2 version of the project.
    3. Record drums at 44.1, keep a copy at 44.1, upsample a copy of drums to 88.2, record overdubs at 88.2, downsample the overdubs to 44.1, import overdubs back into the original drums project which is at 44.1, then do ITB processing/mixing on all tracks once everything is back in the 44.1kHz project?
    4. Something else?

    In general: if you are working on a project that has source files at different sample rates, what's the best way to integrate them into a single, final project?
  8. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Can you hear the difference from 44.1 to 88.2? This has been the argument for years. I never record anything other than 48/24 and sometimes a whole project at 44.1/24. Sounds great and no over sampling to the industry standard 44/16 for a CD.
  9. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    What I find is if you record at higher rates, it does sound better to me but not after a SRC on the same DAW. Tha unnn zzz, I don't know should I leave it sound. duh
    So I'm with you.
    This is another reason why I sum OTB now and use a second recorder. ( MR2000SBK, old PC, whatever works for the software). Doesn't have to be anything special either. Its so easy.
    But you do need a second 2 track AD and some recording software. The better the 2 track AD the better imaging IMO. And this starts to get interesting. Or leave it unscathed and that's where the Mastering engineer comes in.

    I track at 88.2 or 96, then master the final mix at the final destination rate on a second recorder . The harmonics, sheen, depth, everything seems to sound better this way. Like its supposed to.
    Otherwise, 24/44.1 makes the most sense to me too. Everything runs well and no surprises or guessing, that's for sure..

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