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CD transfer problem

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by audiaudio, Apr 6, 2001.

  1. audiaudio

    audiaudio Guest


    A client of mine wants to use, in a PT 5.1 session, a drum sample track from an audio sample CD he owns.

    After importing his sample track using my studio G4's internal CD-R drive, I place it into a Pro Tools audio track (noplug-insor processing in the signal path) and play it back. When comparing the playback to the original, he and I both notice a not-so-subtle, high-frequency "dulling," a sound that approximates rolling off, say, 1.5 dB at 10k with a shelving equalizer.

    Neither the client nor I like what we're hearing, so we try a different transfer method: I put his drum sample disc into the CD drive of an Alesis Masterlink and, using the "track move" function, I transfer the same audio track to the Masterlink's hard disc. We listen to the transfer, which, when compared to the original, sounds similarly dull in the high-freq range.

    I pull out an audio test CD, put it in the Masterlink's CD drive, and play a 20Hz-16k frequency sweep from the CD. I watch like a hawk the Masterlink meters, and at no point in the sweep is there the slightest deviation from the -6 meter position. I then perform the "track move" function on that same sweep track, transferring it to the Masterlink's internal HD. When I play back the transferred sweep from the HD, the same meters show a high-freq rolloff, with approximately -1dB at 5k that gradually increases to -3dB (-9 on the Masterlink meter) at 16k. Thinking my Masterlink might be defective, I borrow another, run the same sweep test. Same result: -3dB at 16k.

    What the . . . ? Performance like that wouldn't be tolerated in a cassette machine!

    By now, I've tried everything I can come up with (including transferring from the S/PDIF output of an audio CD player into the 888|24 S/PDIF input, which yielded even worse sonic results), but I'm unable to get an accurate digital transfer of this sample CD. In every single configuration I try, whether using the G4 with various software (Pro Tools, Toast Audio Extractor, Sound Designer, etc) or the standalone Masterlink, I get the same, unacceptable high-frequency dulling. By the way, I've tried adding high-freq shelving in PT on playback to compensate for the transfer rolloff, but it never sounds right (i.e., never like the original).

    Are there ANY conditions under which a digital transfer of an audio CD (to hard disc) will sound identical to the original?

    Any suggestions you can make regarding software, hardware, or method will be appreciated, any advise followed. Thanks.
  2. Bear's Gone Fission

    Bear's Gone Fission Active Member

    Jan 4, 2001
    Well, it's the simpleton's approach, which is why I'm the one offering it, but if your analog outs from whatever cd player sound fine with the disc, why not just take it out analog and back into digital thru your 888? If your digital transfers are so bad, this isn't likely to be any worse. If you're worried about loss, figure out if the sounds could use any processing with good analog gear while you're in that domain.

    As to your digital problems, I'll defer to the wisdom of those who work on that side of the street.

    da Bear
  3. GZsound

    GZsound Active Member

    Mar 20, 2001
    Near Portland, Oregon
    Home Page:
    Can't you just rip the CD file to a .WAV or other file? I use a program that was free called CDEX and rip the CD files to .WAV and they seem to sound the same to me.
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