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unsatisfied with ad conversion

Discussion in 'Converters & Interfaces' started by nihility0000, Jan 17, 2006.

  1. nihility0000

    nihility0000 Guest

    ok so i ahve been on the recording scene for around 3 years now. over the years i have come to many wrong conclusions about recording. i have spent way to much money on advertised BS with the help of my local guitar center tech. i have tried different mic's, pre's, mixers, and even plugins, none of which have given me the quality i am looking for. i have recently come to the conclusion that my ad/da conversion just wasnt cutting the mustard so i spent a grand on a new motu 2408 mk3. now the conversion is a lot better than my old delta 66 but still lacking. i know that i am mixing correctly because the crap i pour into my daw sounds a whole lot better in the end. so basically before i go and spend some more damn money i need to know...... does the ad conversion really make that much of a difference? or am i just really not doing something right? please any help would be fantastic.
  2. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Sep 26, 2005
    I also own a MOTU 2408 MKII, I it like very much. It sounds to me you're recording at the higher bid rate? I assume 24? I'm not quite sure what kind of sound you're looking for, can you express it better? Is it with a particular instrument or vocalist or just the overall mix sound? I'm not personally big on recording at the higher bit rate or sampling rates, since everybody is still listening to 16-bit 44.1kHz CDs, I-PODs and MP3s. The higher rates I think are only more appropriate for archival purposes. Like when they come out the next greatest whizbang CD players, you'll be ready to rerelease all of your old stuff.

    I consider myself to be both a good and practical engineer and so I stick with the 16-bit 44.1kHz settings. I truly believe that anything that has to be translated (transcoded) always loses something?

    The one thing that I have discovered is that PCM sounds like PCM sound like PCM and that basically is all we have to use or work with. Now DSD does sound totally different and I believe to be superior to anything PCM. Nothing that is PCM encoded will ever quite sound like the original source, it's not possible. Partially because the manufacturers of the analog-to-digital converters must use some fairly aggressive filtering to prevent any frequencies from approaching the sample rate (the Nyquist theory). It's probably the filtering we find most objectionable? They are extremely sharp filters placed near 20kHz (depending on sample rate). In DSD, the sample rate is 2.53MHz and therefore no real filtering is used. Unfortunately it is currently out of the realm of affordability for most. But like all things, at some point, you'll probably be able to buy it at your local Guitar Center for 30 bucks someday? Then we'll all have a party! You bring the beer.

    Again, if you could explain more than tonality or timbre that you're looking for I might be able to better direct you?

    The girl with the Golden ears
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  3. nihility0000

    nihility0000 Guest

    thankyou for you willingness to help me. it is very hard for me to describe sound, but i will try. it seems my tracks just miss something. brightness, depth and space in the stereo field. just overall quality basically. when you listen and i mean really listen to commercially produced album you know it was recorded professionaly. every freq is extremely clear and audible. i know i am being vague and im probably sure its due to my lack of experience. and maybe i am just expecting too much out of my home set up. i am about ready to sell my car and get an apogee.
  4. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Distinguished Member

    Apr 7, 2001
    I'm a bit shocked at this statement due to recording resolution reasons. The main thing about 24 converters is the ability to maintain proper resolution of the recorded siganl without losing any quality. Recording at 24 bit/44.1 is fine but don't record at 16 bit as you're losing quality in the long run in terms of the resolution of the digital signal.

    In the days of 16 bit converters you truly had to slam the levels of the converters to get the full resolution but with 24 bit converters you don't have to record as hot. Which in the long run is really nice as some times going hot to digital can sometimes degrade the sound with that lovely digital distortion.

    I agree that everyone will listen to the end product on 16 bit/44.1 CD's or MP3's at certain bit resolutions but the recording process should be recorded at the highest "bit" rate possible to gain full resolution of the digital signal. This way once you're done and you dither it down to 16 bit it's just fine and there's no issues in sound quality loss!

    So my reccomendation is to record at 24 bits!! Not 16 bits!

  5. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Sep 26, 2005
    I think one of my reasons for saying what I do Opus2000 is because generally, I just hate the sound of PCM to begin with and although I think your comments are correct, for government and rock-and-roll purposes it really doesn't much matter. For fine arts recording I do agree with you and of course we do have a lot of fine arts recording engineers on this forum. Sure, everybody thinks more is better especially when it comes to sex, food, drugs, alcohol, audio, it's part of our society.

    Can you pass the potatoes please?
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  6. axel

    axel Guest

    RemyRad wrote:

    LOL, cool.

    to the problem you have, no matter how you record 16 or 24 bit with a motu 2408 you should be able to get really more then decent results, unless you are able to point a particular lack (sound wise) really out (you know that ultra high end sound!!) otherwise i have to say that you will be certainly able to produce a well, really well sounding professional produced song, with what you have...

    can i have some of the potaoes, too. :lol:
  7. nihility0000

    nihility0000 Guest

    oh, dont get me wrong.... i love the motu and get a really good sound, its just not the complete sound i am looking for..... maybe i need to just keep messing with it, after all i did just get the damn thing and have not had a whole lot of time to experiment. i just have a lack of patience. but thankyou all who helped.
  8. JoeH

    JoeH Distinguished Member

    Jun 22, 2004
    Philadelphia, PA/ Greenville, DE
    Home Page:
    Trust me, it's NOT the converter, and an Apogee isn't going to help, you not at this level. I wouldn't spend my money there; not yet anyway.

    Be patient; you've got a LONGGGGGG ways to go, and I wish you well in pursuing what that "sound" is you're after. (Don't worry, it'll come, sooner or later, and sometimes from ways and things you never epected.)

    For now, I would invest in better speakrs and/or headphones to start with, and see where that gets you. (See how it affects the sound of OTHER peoples stuff as well...)

    Good luck in your search.
  9. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Sep 26, 2005
    You know, it really sounds like you are unhappy with your microphone, preamplifier, mixer combination and probably lack of technique? Generally the best advice I can give you is," Less is more", "KISS, keep it simple stupid". Stop playing with all the knobs and dials and leave your equalizer's flat.

    Crappie microphones like SM57s sound great, work great and I think generally should be utilized fully by inexperienced folks because if you can make it sound good with an SM57, you're a good engineer! Don't bother messing around with anything esoteric including higher bid rate and sampling rate blah blah. It's all blah blah!

    I have made great recordings, mostly live, utilizing nasty transformer microphone splitters into various consoles and preamplifiers, sometimes of dubious quality or lack thereof and still walk away with a great recording using all PA style microphones because it's not what you have it's what you do with it! So don't read into much of all this esoterica you see here on recording.org, we're just here to impress ourselves and each other.

    Make a bitchin' recording already!
    Ms. Remy Ann Bitchin' David
  10. nihility0000

    nihility0000 Guest

    well right now i run with bluesky 2.1 monitors and sennheiser hd 280 pro phones. what else should i maybe consider?
    i would love to think that i am ready for an apogee, but you probably are right in saying that im not.
    maybe ill save my money and invest in some more pre's and pop rocks.
  11. axel

    axel Guest

    RemyRAD wrote:


    oh, baby... i wish more people here on RO would say it like it is! :D :D :D

    wow, i had to come back to edit this one, i wish, i really wish, one, just one hopefully intelligent RO moderator reads this an will stick this onto the frontpage of RO*. for everyone to realise before starting their ridiculious number sience, but hey that's why our industrie is so full of $*^t 'n' tits in the first place... where is all the music and the real skills????

    once again:

    Crappie microphones like SM57s sound great, work great and I think generally should be utilized fully by inexperienced folks because if you can make it sound good with an SM57, you're a good engineer! Don't bother messing around with anything esoteric including higher bid rate and sampling rate blah blah. It's all blah blah!

    Ms. Remy Ann David

    * please no missunderstanding here. i do not mean that any of the RO moderators is not intelligent!!, just i wish sooo... much for more people and specially all the newbies to realise that all to important factor before starting sience... please make this a sticky / frontpage as big as you can.
  12. TeddyG

    TeddyG Well-Known Member

    Jan 20, 2005
    I missed it again! I read and I read and I read, but I keep missing it - I'm sure "it's" somewhere above?

    Almost any mic, any sound card and any computer, at most any "bit rate"(Or an old reel machine, or cassette machine, or about anything else that records) "sounds" fine - very professionally so!('Scuse the, still likely subtle, "noise and distortion" if you go REALLY cheap, you cheapskate, you!), if what you input to it is "fine". While listening on your "reasonable"(Actually, you are a "reasonable" person, ey?) phones and/or speakers, Move the mics around and turn them up and down until "things" sound "fine" - hit "record", keep the levels on the meters at or below "0", or just turn things up or down when they sound "wrong" - S'not hard('Snot?). EVERY OTHER PIECE OF GEAR IN THE "CHAIN", REGARDLESS OF COST, IS FOR THE CONVENIENCE OF THE ENGINEER OR THE EFFECTS(Or vanity) OF THE PRODUCERS(Or engineers) DESIRES!!! What can be hard to impossible, is GETTING "things" to sound "fine", recording or not? I think 99% of "sound" is the place it's in? I seem to see many, many, many, etc., folk buying gear, looking for help on buying more gear, trying to figure out how to use gear(Most looking for that one piece of GEAR that will "FIX IT", whatever "IT" is?), but few worried about their "sound space", to say nothing of the "sound" itself, that is input(Though for the actual sound itself , I can say, "practice, practice, practice!).

    "Snap, snap"(Go my fingers. That's what all us knowledgeable types do, when we enter any "sound space"), is there an echo in here? Sounds a little "slappy" -- "Can we get a gobo over here? A gobo? It's a thing to block some... oh forget it, we'll just try to notch it out in the mix, I guess..? Notch it out? Ahh, well, notching is... Oh, forget it..... let's just go to a real studio"


    "...Over the years...". 3 years can seem a lifetime - and sometimes is!). 3 years into "the biz", I was 19, and AM Drive DJ, on a little AM "Top 40" station, spending most of my time in the engineer's office, trying to figure out which end of the mic to talk into and which mic would make me sound like the guy's on WABC(They were probably using 635a's, like I was, or something not nearly so "modern"..?)... In 33 more years, I still haven't learned(They're gone anyway, but, I'm still trying...dammit!). God, I'm old...... and I'm feeling sick now... MORE PEPSI, ANOTHER CIGARETTE! Good for the vocal chords and the stomach..! That I've learned "...Over the years...". Didn't I? It is PEPSI, isn't it? Steeler's won! I feel better...... much better......
  13. nihility0000

    nihility0000 Guest

    ok ok ok...
    just so everyone knows that i am not some idiot who doesnt know anything about recording and wanting to jump from level 1 to level 10 i will put up a sample of my stuff. (run-on sentence)
    RemyRAD already heard it and she seemed to like it.
    keep in mind that it is on myspace.com and they compress the hell out of every little bit of audio they receive. anyways here it is

    this is a demo for the studio
  14. axel

    axel Guest

    hi nihility0000, NO one ever said that you or anyoneelse is an idiot, it's just a very valid point to realise that fact. and yes i believe we are still all horny to use and own nice top notch gear :D . music and skills coming first, the more this is understood the more good gear will improve what you are doing...

    that's all.

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