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Help! A few q's.

I have a few q's that have been causing endless frustration and affecting productivity. Any help of suggestions deeply appreciated.

1. If one were to take an out from the pre running phantom power and absent-mindedly plug it into a DI (MOTU 828) with the phantom switch ON, would that damage either piece?

2. Sometimes when I burn CDs, a Ghetto blaster can't read the indexes, while you can on any computer media player. Why? I asked this question before thinking it was about the burner (MAC) but somebody mentioned the problem wasn't likely the burner but the marker. I just put all the tracks into toast and set the seconds, is there way to set markers which CD players can read within the mixing software (DP 4.5)? OR something else that I'm missing? (IE not enough lead in time?) Or maybe I need different CD burning software for MAC? (Well, that was a bunch of questions)

3. As mentioned in a previous post, I am producing a sh*tload of dialogue CDs. For mastering, I have been bouncing out the mixed tracks reimporting them as stereo tracks into a new file, then mastering through a Finalizer and Brent Averill, recording a new track and then bouncing out again using a little of the built-in MW limiter. Just wondering if there is any advantage or disadvantage to doing the first step at all and simply record into a new stereo track in the same file. It would save some time to avoid it and if I missed something in the mix its right there also saving time. Well, is it a big no-no for some reason that I haven't thought of?


JoeH Thu, 07/20/2006 - 21:26
1. Depends. Some are more forgiving than others. Most of the time, I've done something like that and the preamp survived. One time, though, I blew out two channels before figuring out what was wrong. As I understand it, phantom powering is fairly low amperage, rarely enough to really do any damage, and in most cases, it should react well to dead shorts and temporary spikes.

2. I'll bet your boombox/ghetto blaster is old, or at least not very new. (Probably made in the late 80's? early 90's?) That's the thing about CD players and things made in the last 20 years. In many cases, they don't necessarily die off like old tube devices or belt driven turntables, cassette decks, etc. Many CD players have brushless motors that can (in theory) go on forever if nothing else fails. So, you can have a borderline workable CD player (in a boom box) that plays factory-replicated CDs just fine, but chokes on CDr's. Remember, many of these were made long before recordable CDs.

Another possiblity could be if you use CD-RWs. I made a couple of temp CDs for a friend one day, and unknown to me, she'd handed me a box of CD-RW's. (Which I rarely ever use, mostly because CDrs are so damn cheap anyway.) This batch wouldn't play on ANYTHING except my CD burner that made it. Everything else skipped and stuck at track 2. Yuck. I redid the discs using CDr's and all was well.

5-10 years ago, CDr compatibility was a serious issue from one player to another, but it's thankfully gone away for the most part. (Now it's DVD'Rs, making people go out and replace thier first-generation DVD players.)

It could always be your burner itself (making borderline readble copies, or the media), but my money's on the boombox. If the disc is playing ok on everything else, it's the BB.

3. No idea on that one. Sounds a lot more complicated than it needs to be?

TuBlairy Thu, 07/20/2006 - 23:01
Thanks, Joe.

Ya, the preamp thing, I just dawned on me as I've had the same problem a couple of times. I thought it was because I was using unprotected power (the first time), then I got power protection and it happened again. Then I thought maybe it was something I did (duh?). That's the only thing I can really think of.

Thanks again for the explanation on the CD player. The one I referred to wasn't actually mine - it was my customer's. They couldn't find the indexes on the 10 CDs I'd burned, then panicked, thinking it was a problem which would happen to all crappy CD players with the manufactured copies. Understandable concern as its kids stuff and that what they'll likely be using. I had a hunch about what you've mentioned in terms of they may be OK, once manufactured, I even suggested it as a possibility. But the customer didn't want to take the risk. Anyway, this happened on a saturday, I said I needed time to figure it out, they went around me to a colleague's place and twisted his arm to doing it on his gear. There was no problem then. He uses an old program and old burner (PC). Claims its better. The customer wanted to stick me with the bill. I said, "hell, no". I can't guarantee this will play in every $100 blaster. Well, that's another issue, but it was the impetus for the question. BTW I use Uki Uki CDrs. Heard they are supposed to be good.

On the mastering thing, my thinking is that the finalizer makes it flat and loud and the BA makes it fat - warms it up. Well, that sounds stupid but the process seems to do just that. On the bouncing out and in, somebody recommended it, but I'm not really sure why, was just following in blind faith, but now questioning the wisdom of that advice.

thanks again for your response Joe.