Need advice for computer mastering and multiple duplicat

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by alba359, May 11, 2003.

  1. alba359

    alba359 Active Member

    Hi, It's way past time for me to get the necessary gear for the mastering and CD duplication section of my small recording studio. I have no computer in my studio and have very little knowledge of computer gear. I have several questions(take into consideration my equipment list** below): a) Is it more effecient and preferable to Mix to something like an Alesis Masterlink than to a computer system? b) Is the same true of CD duplication? My goal is to record demos on CD of small R&R, R&B bands of high enough quality that the CD's can be sold or distributed to thier fans and/or thier potential clients. ** My equipment list: A&H Mix Wiz 16; Preamps- Sytek, Pendulum Audio MPD1, Langevin DVC; compressors-2-RNC's, 2-Blue Max's. Various microphones. Any advice is greatly appreciated as I am computer stupid, Thanks, Don
  2. alba359

    alba359 Active Member

    I forgot to add to equipment list that my recorders are 2- 16bit 8 track ADATs, one is a blackface and the other is an XT. Thanks, Don
  3. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

    Well, your gear has nothing of value listed here for computer specs.
    Using a Masterlink is nice but the editing is slow and cumbersome as well as adding any fx to it.

    Using a computer for mastering is simple and very quick. If all you want to do is master and burn then get a laptop and put Wavelab on it! Simple as that! Most laptops have CD burners in them now that are fast and do the job nicely.

    Wavelab is the perfect tool for quick editing or mastering of the final mix. It's very complex in it's features and has a great feature called the Audio Montage. There you can crossfade songs together, set up the indexes and CD song start and end points as well as anything else you could possibly think of. There is simple and expert ways of creating CD's in it.

    Hope that helps

    Opus :D
  4. alba359

    alba359 Active Member

    Thanks for the reply Opus 2000. I was under the impression that I had to get A/D converters to get the left and right outputs of my mixing board to intergrate with the computer or is that included in Wavelab? I would like to make CD runs of at least 4 CD's at a time what programs/hardware would I need. Could you please recommend a laptop and retailer that specializes in this area of audio? I'd like to keep the buget below $2600 which is about the cost of a Masterlink and standalone CD duplicator. In your opinion, economically, sonically, and in terms of efficency would $2600 be better used to get computer or standalone units for my purpose?
  5. laptoppop

    laptoppop Guest

    It sounds like you are using the analog inputs and outputs on the ADAT tape decks, and doing everything in analof. Is that true?

    If so, yes, you will need some interface to bring it into the computer. The standard PC sound card has *lousy* quality. RME, Lynx, Aardvark, and others can give you much better quality. Do you want to just bring in the final L/R mix, or the individual channels? The RME 96/52 connects directly to your ADAT decks using lightpipe - works great....BUT you need a software program such as Sonar or Cubase or something else to do the mixing on the computer.

    Once it is in the computer, then you need something like wavelab for the final tweaks, then a CD-R drive to make the master. Note: there's a big difference between CD-Rs, such as a PC or Masterlink can write and duplicated CDs from a pressing plant. Not all CD players can play CD-Rs. Most can, but not all. On the other hand, setting up for "real" CD duplication is extremely pricey.

    The Masterlink is an interesting option in your case. It could accept the analog signal and create the master CD. It is very slow, so you would still want a computer (but it could be a cheap computer) for duplicating the disks.

  6. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

    Well, here's what you could do. If indeed all you are doing in the final mix, then Wavelab will do you just fine.

    You can build or buy yourself a fairly cheap computer system and have 3 burners in there, you could add an additional PCI ATA controller card and possibly get even more! CD burners are relatively cheap these days and good enough to ge the job done right.

    In the long run if you are inputting analog, only two tracks, get yourself a two in two out card.

    Lynx or Echo Audio would be my suggestion. Lynx has better converters and a better overall sound to them.

    Echo are nice and warm but not as clear as Lynx. Just cheaper!

    I wouldn't recommend the RME with analog as I've seen countless oddities with them.

    Once you have mastered the mix and created a CD project burn it to a CD and then you can create an image of it on the hard drive and use that image to then burn multiple copies at once.

    I'll look into what PC Program can do multiple CD' at once. I know there are some available!

  7. alba359

    alba359 Active Member

    Thanks Laptoppop. I'm trying to determine the most practical route to take for mastering and duplication given the equipment I already own. That's correct, all ins and outs are analog. I want to bring the L/R mix (recorded on the ADATs) from the 16 channel A&H mixer into the computer and have the computer perform the same functions as a Masterlink. The other thing I want from the computer is to be able to mass produce CD's (in small runs of 4 or so CD's at a time) like a Tascam CD1x4 duplicator. IF I go the computer option I will eventually get rid of the ADATs and use the computer as the recorder. But that's way down the road. Now I need mastering and duplicateing device(s). I've got to decide which will be most practical. Standalone or computer based. Going the standalone route it would cost about $2600 for a Masterlink and a 1x4 CD duplicator. Would $2600 invested in a computer system acheive the same or better results? I really appreciate your help, Don
  8. alba359

    alba359 Active Member

    Thanks Opus 2000, Since I don't know much about computers do you know a business that I can contact that specializes in recording studio computers. I contacted one already but he advised me do everything including tracking on computer and I can't afford 16 channels of good converters (he suggested 2-Layla24's). I will stick with the ADATs now because I need at least 12 tracks of simultainous recording. Thanks, Don
  9. laptoppop

    laptoppop Guest

    The latest version of Nero will do multiple drives. The program is $49. for a download version.

  10. alba359

    alba359 Active Member

    Man, You guys are great! Thanks so much. The computer I intend on getting (if more practical than standalone components) will be used just for recording in my backyard studio. So I want the entire setup and it must be upgradable for tracking in the future. Thanks, again, Don

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