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DAW editing software

i have enjoyed your posts on RAP for years. i am curious, do you regularly use any editing software (not a splicing block and a razor :-) ) if so what do you use ?



erockerboy Fri, 03/16/2001 - 11:39

man oh man, am I glad to have stumbled into this conversation....

Thank God I'm not the only one who thinks all-in-the-box DAW mixes are pure crap. I used to be a "once-digital-stay-digital" kinda guy.... my shop had a bunch of O2R's linked together, and then we got into ProControl when it came out. Mind you, I never got a chance to cut my teeth on a nice 2"-into-SSL kinda rig. So when the O2R came out, and I suddenly had access to an 80-track moving fader all-digi board with dynamics on every channel (you know the drill) ...well, I just about wet myself. And I think, having that kind of control over EVERY ELEMENT of my mixes forced me to stop making excuses for what was wrong, and start paying more attention to space, and arrangement, and getting it right "at the source". In short it made me a better producer, no question about it.

But... I had a series of epiphanies about a year ago, when I decided I wanted to have a home studio again. I got a li'l MOTU rig, and inherited a hairy old Mackie mixer to monitor through. Plus I had a couple nice analog pieces to track thru (Manley VoxBoxes and a couple Distressors).

And the strangest thing happened. Quite frequently I'd spit tracks out across multiple outs from the MOTU, and do my mixes analog... just 'cuz I didn't have an O2R or ProControl at the house, and still wanted to grab faders. So I mixed analog, and got into doing things like submixing drums thru the Distressors, or slapping the Manley EQ's across the lead or BG vox. Well, the first time I tried to take one of my "at-home" mixes downtown, with the intent of re-doing it on the all-digi setup, I just about fell out of my chair. For the life of me, I could NOT recreate the phatness of my analog mixes at the house, done on my el cheapo Mackie. And the OUTBOARD?? Fuggedaboutit. The O2R EQ's versus my Manleys? Ha!! The Waves RenComp vs. my Distressors? Not a chance.

At about the same time, a few of the other composers at my shop were getting their home rigs going as well... and the verdict was unanimous. People were preferring their at-home Mackie (or Behringer or whatever) mixes to the all-digi O2R mixes from "studio A". Phatter, bigger, more musical, you name it.

So all of a sudden, my nice little all-digital universe was totally trashed. Ever since then, I've been gearing toward using my DAW just as a storage medium, not a mixing medium.

But this does leave a couple big holes in my toolbox. For one thing, the total recallability in ProTools/O2R-land is a MAJOR timesaver. For another thing, boy do I miss the dynamic automation. So what's a spoiled former digi-junkie to do?

I am thinking fairly seriously about buying a Euphonix or something for my home studio. I know it's big bucks, but I'm doing enough work to justify the expense, and my shit really needs to be master-quality right out the door... I don't have time to re-do my "rough mixes" anymore. I'm also thinking about buying something like a D&R or Oram console (in the $30-50K range... cheaper than Euphonix but no auto), and using the dough I save to buy some VCA modules or Niche ACM's for fader auto, and a shitload of nifty analog outboard. No more plug-in's for me, boys.

Glad to see I'm not the only one wrestling with this issue. What have some of you other DAW junkies done, to deal with the mixdown question? I'd really appreciate any advice you guys would care to offer, as I'm gearing up to drop a ton of effort and expense into this.

Stay healthy,


alphajerk Fri, 03/16/2001 - 14:04

"And to be honest, it's not professional to be posting while clients are hanging around. Surely you don't have that much down time if you're so good? Or do you take 30 ear breaks a day?"

nope, dont post when clients are in session. most of my days are spent recording with a few off here and there. at night, i do animation which requires FREQUENT breaks before insanity sets in. so most of my posting happens at night in between cycles of work or when i hit a wall.

generally i work about 80 hours a week [8 recording/8 animating per day] i take two 8 hour shifts off a week to spend with my family. in general, i can usually do three things at once, sometimes more sometimes less.

dgooder Fri, 03/16/2001 - 16:10

Alpha wrote:

generally i work about 80 hours a week [8 recording/8 animating per day] i take two 8 hour shifts off a week to spend with my family. in general, i can usually do three things at once, sometimes more sometimes less

Holy Fuck-balls, Batman! I used to work like that, but now my family is far too important to only give them 16 hours a week. I average about 6 projects a year (away from family for 2 to 3 weeks at a time), and the rest of the time I'm raising my girls. I'm currently in my second month of no "serious" work. My next real gig isn't until April, but I'd have it no other way. I am extremely fortunate to be able to spend this kind of time with my kids. I have an 11 year old daughter to my first marriage, and I missed out on so much of her life by putting my career first. There is NO WAY I'm missing anything this time around.

Alpha, I don't know if you have kids, and if you do, I'm sure you care for them very much. I just don't want to see the same thing that happened to me happen to anyone else. Put your kids first. The audio shit will all work out - especially if you're as good as you say you are.

Dave g

Jay Hudson Fri, 03/16/2001 - 16:35

Listen to say Miles Davis "Kind of Blue".
Then listen to "Two Against Nature",arguably the state of the art in digital.
I like both recordings
but the difference in sonics is not subtle.
Rupert Neve said: "Analog quality is still far in excess of what digital technology can attain.Although I believe my company will soon be able to show the standards thought to be the ceiling of digital quality aren't so at all, the limitations of the present digital system actually produces fatigue when you listen.CD's aren't just not producing the resolution of an LP, but they're also producing other artifacts beyond the normal limits of hearing that the brain can sense. It creates a disturbance that brings on anger, frustration, and tension.That's not what you want when listening to music."
While Mr. Neve is talking about CD's I believe his statements could be applied to multi- tracking also.

alphajerk Fri, 03/16/2001 - 19:23

i got a 14mo son. i get to see him since i work at home

he comes into the studio and listens, hangs out with the bands. he loves music... hes already twisting knobs. but my eyes look like racoons. hey, you rest when your dead.

plus, i work like this for a while and then take a week off. cant live like this without that earned break. then im spending lots of time with the family. i need one soon.

Gregg Sun, 03/18/2001 - 04:11

Man, late session. :roll: It's almost 6:00 AM and the group just left so here I am going for a brain drain and I see this thread. Just gotta toss my .02 out there.

Over the last 30+ years of doing this for a living I've worked with, assisted, learned from and taught so many engineers that I couldn't remember them all with a gun to my head. Some names stand out in neon and others are lost in the haze of mediocrity. There's one constant through it all, though. No two worked the same way using the same tools.

My take is that the technology doesn't, in any form, embody accuracy. I don't think the media/hardware available today is the cat's ass. When push comes to shove they all suck gerbil weenies. They are all +effects+ of one type or another.

Makes me think of film. What's better? Ektachrome or Kodachrome. Want more blue? Want more green? More red? They're all tools and palette colors.

Somebody posted that the reason another poster favored analog is because of the "mistakes he was making." Does that same poster use outboard FX? Yup. Is that because he's making "mistakes?" Wassup? They're +tools+ and nothing more. The real challenge is using them to create art. Good art. Great art.

They +all+ suck. eol

Kind regards,


Jon Best Tue, 03/20/2001 - 17:46

Originally posted by alphajerk:

im just sick of this elitist attitude from people who use analog [and it IS a giant crutch of a medium]

Well, maybe, but I do most of my work on the 2" for a couple of reasons:

1) I like being limited to 24 tracks, and having the editing limitations

2) (the big one) For the sound quality level I was looking for, it's just plain cheaper. I spent $6500 for a beautiful mid 80's MCI/Sony JH24, maybe a grand more for shipping and ancillary stuff. Now, while I'd be happy to run an analog board with a digital recorder, I haven't heard anything less expensive than the Mytek AD/DA's that I like the sound of, so we're talking well over 10 grand for 24 channels of conversion. Then you're talking DAW- cheap would be MOTU 2408/G4/DP, and that'd be another $2500-3500. Better, IMO, would be Radar24 or some such, throw a few more grand on the pile.

Doesn't make sense for me, yet- when Scott Dorsey gets his RME converter, and I get a chance to listen to it, maybe I'll change my mind....

proaudio101 Sat, 03/24/2001 - 19:11

Originally posted by EJolson:
How do the Mytek converters stack up to Apogees? I'm thiiiiis close to buying a stack of AD-8000's... are the Myteks (or anything else) worth a serious listen in that price range?

IMO opinion this a REALLY bad time to buy an AD8000, especially if you are in the purchase for the long run.

1)There will be no upgrade from Apogee for the AD8000 to 96K or higher.

2)I have only heard the AD-8000, but after talking to MANY *non-dealers* and dealers alike the Apogees blow away the Mytek, and the SE versions are in a league of their own.

3)Mytek's customer service sucks. You will be lucky if you talk to a person after two days. Mmmmm, is that the kind of support you want for a $15K (or whatever) investment?

4)The Apogee IntelliDAC D/A is reportedly on the same quality as the SE D/A. Street price: $2K for 16ch of D/A. I heard it from a little reliable birdie. ;) But of course, the IntelliDAC has no meters, but you should/might have them on you digital recorder or DAW, so it shouldn't be an issue.

alphajerk Sat, 03/24/2001 - 21:00

check out the RME ADI-8 Pro/DS. people have had nice things to say about them [although i havent heard them yet] and put out good price to performance. they are the exact same thing as the nuendo ADAC, jsut a different silkscreen across the front but $450 cheaper.

i would be real reluctant to drop what Apogee AD8K's go for on ADAC's right now. there have been vast improvements on the lower end converters closing the gap on apogees so the mid range is doing quite well. if you are doing real critical work, then i could understand. although a nice tight clock to go with those converters would help too.

shermock Sun, 03/25/2001 - 05:25

there have been vast improvements on the lower end converters closing the gap on apogees so the mid range is doing quite well. if you are doing real critical work, then i could understand. although a nice tight clock to go with those converters would help too.

OK, so the burning question in my mind is "What is the best word clock generator?"

I have read jitter spec after jitter spec on A/D converters such as the RME, Apogee, Mytek, Benchmark, Swissonic, etc. but I can't seem to see a jitter spec on the Aardsync or the Nanosync stuff, to just name two. Who makes the most stable WC generator/distributor?


stevepow Sun, 03/25/2001 - 13:12

Here's something I got from Apogee on the future of AD8Ks (BTW, the IntelliDAC has no AD - probably still barely cheaper to add the DA8 card to the AD8Ks if you need both and go want to go Apogee):

Hello Stephen,

There will be an upgrade path available for all AD-8000 owners to the next generation AD8000 replacement. How much this will cost and when exactly it will come about has still yet to be determined. I believe it should be somewhere in the timeframe of a year.

I am very amazed at how far digital audio technology has come as well...the DA78HR machines are a breakthrough. I would like to say that Apogee not only focusing on technology for the perfection of digital audio sonic quality, but also other encompassing technology that is often overlooked but yet so important. UV22 (and now HR) is a perfect example of making sure lower resolution medium retain as much of the initial detail from the master as possible. Soft Limit gives you added protection against overs and optimizes analog levels for the analog input section. Combined with hi res metering, overs counting, format conversion, bit-splitting, etc gives any profession facility an arsenal of tools that are essential to making the final professional product, from beginning to end. Being that you are an AD-8000 user, I am sure you are already quite sold on this.

Happy Holidays,

Eric Gibson
Apogee Electronics Technical Support and Sales
3145 Donald Douglas Loop South
Santa Monica, CA
310-915-1000 X29

----- Original Message -----
From: "Stephen Powell"
Sent: Saturday, December 02, 2000 9:00 PM
Subject: AD8000s

I currently own two AD8Ks as interfaces for pre-amps for direct to TASCAM DA78 tape machines. I would like to add a 3rd but recent converter entries into the market are causing me to re-evaluate this approach.

I enjoy some of the flexibility in signal routing I get using these and hope the sonic differences over the DA78 converters make owning them worth it.

My question is this: what is the future for the AD8Ks? Will there be upgrade for the converter chips to keep the boxes above the newer and more affordable 24bit and higher converter boxes coming onto the market?

With the new DA78s, the benefit of external converters is very hard to hear and I wonder if we are getting to the point of diminishing returns considering the cost of external converters.

So to reiterate, what is the upgrade future of these boxes that will preserve the fairly steep investment users have in them?

Thank you.

Stephen Powell
BMS Productions

Bob Olhsson Mon, 03/26/2001 - 07:39

[QUOTE]Originally posted by alphajerk:

ole roger nichols goes as far as to state that the "summing" of the channels should be exactly the same as well which to me says that a $600 DAW on a $2k computer will sound exactly the same as a $1M digital console [sans EQ/DYN/FX]

Ol' roger is only correct about the theoretical potential. In fact theoretically, digital summing networks should leave all analog combining in the dust.

In the real world, it just ain't there yet probably because most dsp engineers don't understand the issues. Heck, most analog console designers don't understand the issues as well as any experienced mixer needs to...

erockerboy Mon, 03/26/2001 - 11:31

Originally posted by proaudio101:

2)I have only heard the AD-8000, but after talking to MANY *non-dealers* and dealers alike the Apogees blow away the Mytek, and the SE versions are in a league of their own.

Really? I've heard from several people I trust that the Myteks compare favorably to the Apogees. Have you had the chance to listen to both of 'em yourself?

Don't get me wrong, I use and love Apogees all day long... but for 24ch of conversion, the Myteks will be substantially cheaper, and it sounds like they're at least worth a listen. Too bad nobody stocks 'em around here....

stevepow Mon, 03/26/2001 - 22:45

I think most all Posters on this topic would do well to try the test Mixerman proposed if you have not - and I suspect most have not based on the considerable amount of apparent conjecture.

I also think Roger Nichols is more than just theoretically correct. He probably made some tests to base his statement on.

I took some drum tracks I had lying around on a DA88 Tape (8 tracks at 44/16) and made 7 mixes from them. The mixes were done with Cakewalk PA9, Samplitude2496, Vegas LE, CubaseVST32 5.0(demo), an O2R, a Soundscape Mixtreme PCI mixer card in my PC, and an ANALOG Allen & Heath MixWizard 16:2(which I mixed into WaveLab 3.0). No panning, no gain on any of them.

I ended up with seven 44/16 wav files that I burned to CD to trot around and listen to.

I listened to them on a myriad of systems for hours and could never tell any difference between them - because there pretty much wasn't any. The good news is that neither my ears nor my brain was willing to be fooled into "finding" a difference. The emperor was naked, pretty much.

Check it out – all the digital mixes I did are the identical waveform – all the stereo mix wav files are identical!!!! I couldn’t hear anything different at all after wasting hours listening to them, so I pulled them into Samplitude and compared them two at a time – lined them up sample for sample and then flipped the phase on one pair. Dead silence – perfect cancellation. Even the O2R and Mixtreme Hardware Card mixes were the same as Cakewalk, Cubase, Vegas, and Samplitude. Any pair mixed together would cancel out completely with the phase flipped on one of them. Of course, the Allen & Heath analog mix was different – but very, very, very close - inaudible differences. And the waveform was surprisingly close, too. Maybe for another $900K or so, it would have been dead on as well.

Whaddaya make o’ that?

If there's any corruption happening on the digital summing stereo buses, all these guys are in collusion with their math and the people at A&H are apparently trying to copy them.

bigtree Tue, 09/20/2011 - 19:55

Fun reading back on this one eh Davedog.
I'm wondering how many here who were Alsihad resisters have been converted or are on there way back already? I'm definitely going back half way for flavour.