More audiophile nonsense

Discussion in 'Converters / Interfaces' started by DonnyThompson, Feb 11, 2015.

  1. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Well-Known Member

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    I had an LX7 and sold it to buy outboard preamps, the lx7 did a good job but, the sound of drums I can do today is very different and to my taste it is better.
    I use a Soundcraft K2 3 - 4 times a year for live work and I can say those preamps have better transient and warm tone then many mixers I use.
    I don't like endless preamp discussions because they are often based on opinions and tastes. BUT, it is still obvious that I woundn't want to work with an audiobuddy..
    I accord my tastes and budget limits together with the honesty of knowing what I own is not the best out there.
    In the end when a musician comes to my studio, I try to chose the tools I have to the best of what they can do.

    Any one that starts to record with a XLR to usb cable I will discourage to do so unless they have no choice.
     
  2. paulears

    paulears Well-Known Member

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    I agree totally about the XLR to USB cable, or indeed any device that doesn't have a gain control or 48V available - that's kind of my yardstick.
     
  3. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the link, Paul,

    I think that the first description proves that it's a personal taste thing...

    "A - ART Pro MPA II Rating: 7.5 Chosen as Favourite: 5 times
    Comments: Smooth tubey top end, neutral and rich, especially roasty, more warmth and body"


    In the comments, we have "tubey", "neutral", "roasty" and "warmth"... so someone heard it as neutral while others heard it as "tubey" and "warm"... very different descriptions. Which is why I was saying that people should use what they want for their own reasons.

    You mentioned that those who are newer to the craft wouldn't be able to hear the difference(s) that a higher end pre could offer. Perhaps this is true, you are probably right, if they are listening to just one model. A lthough my counter to that is that, my bet is that the number of these people who could hear a difference would likely go up - if they had the ability to A/B the cheaper models with the higher end models. I think that if they were able to compare them side by side, they would hear a difference. I'll have to respectfully disagree with you that the differences are mostly subtle.

    I will agree with you that room acoustics and mics also matter a lot - no argument there from me.

    Again, if what you are using works for you, then that's really all that matters. I just don't hear the differences to be as subtle as what you described. ;)
     
  4. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Well-Known Member

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    When I started up, it's true that I woudn't have hear the difference between preamps. When I decided to get customers to my studio, I buildt a nice place, bought the LX7 and a DBX576 channel. I've done many vocal tracks with the 576 and kept it for years. When I started to participate to RO, I've been suggested to try some gear and even tho I went with my budget allowed, Going from the lx7 with Maudio delta cards to the Focusrite saffire56 and the octopre was a big step foward to me (I guess the biggest part was about the converters). But when I added an ISA two, this was the big turn because by that time, I was earing things I didn't like in my recordings and I was just forcing it with drastic EQing.
    The 576 was just a cute toy compared to the ISA. If I would have known from the start, the ISA would have been my first choice of outboard pre. I defenitivly could record with just saffire 56 alone. But my ears now know the difference and I'm not talking about my LA-610s and 4-710. All those tools made my ears able to recognise the differences of sounds in preamps (at least of those I own). I know that training will stay with me for years.

    It's true that when you haven't try any gear you have no clue that an audiobuddy is far from an highend pre. I've wasted so much money because I didn't know. That's why I think newcomers need to hear it from the beginning, specially when they put pro recording quality in their posts. Of course, I'll never suggest a Manley Slam to a 1k question ;)

    I know the ART Pro MPA II is well regarded and I'm guilty for not tested it yet. Some day I'll get to it !!
     
  5. paulears

    paulears Well-Known Member

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    Interesting - I have an M-Audio Delta in a replay machine and although I only use the outputs, I think it sounds not quite so good as the external devices I have on the other machines. This computer lives in a rack and does theatre replay duties, where the small difference I hear in the studio just gets lost.

    Maybe we're really talking about the same kinds of traits monitors have? One person's better is another's worse, when we really are talking about our own preferences. The Delta, for example gets nice again with just a gentle roll off at the very top. I don't know if if it's just I don't like that extra sharpness up top? Probably?

    For me, and I guess this is where we have to just disagree, is that instead of buying one of the well respected preamps, and cascading them, with all the sonic degradation this cause to the technical aspects, while 'improving' the sound, I'd rather spend the money on a different microphone, which gives me more possibilities. I just can't get excited over preamps, because they're being used as an effect - fair enough, maybe a nice one, but to provide something other than gain without noise.

    I think that's what the SOS review revealed, people liked certain sounds.

    On the ability of the listener front, when I was teaching this subject - a very large number were unable to hear dynamic processing until the compressor was really squashing the signal. Quite a few could not hear a subject going off mic, and in the PA field, some could not detect the 'hollow' tone that precedes the imminent onset of feedback. Most could be trained, but a few just couldn't do it at all.
     
  6. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Well-Known Member

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    This may be the case, Paul - I've read posts of yours in the past, where you've described certain gear as having too much top end - if I recall correctly, this was a complaint you had about 414's... ?

    It may just be that your perception is different - hell, for that matter, everyone's perception is different... one man's "warm" is another man's "sloppy" and someone may hear "presence" where another hears "edgy" - so I'm wondering if perhaps you aren't possibly just inherently ultra-sensitive to upper frequencies in general?

    I know for a fact that I can get that way with 1k... I'll hear too much of it, and not just in Indy recordings, either, I hear it in pro commercial releases, too - where I hear mid range "honk" - while others do not. I seem to be ultra sensitive to that frequency range. It may be because of the way my ears are shaped, or because of an aural neuro-transmitter or something, that my perception is different than that of other people - particularly in that range. Who knows?

    I agree that a lot of it could be our monitors, our rooms, but I wouldn't rule out the possibility that it could also be the way we physically hear things as individuals... because I've heard you discuss having issues with high end frequencies before.

    Just a thought.

    d.
     
  7. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Well-Known Member

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    We are not in disagrement on this. I believe it's not worth buying an hi-end pre if you don't have direct path to converters. A pre in a pre is in most case a total waste of money. That's why I've chosen a AD96 for my 2 LA-610 and the 710 have 8 converters to ADAT (4 for the 710s and 4 more for my ISAs)
    That is the only reason I often suggest the ISA one ; because it as an optionnal AD converter. ;)
     
  8. paulears

    paulears Well-Known Member

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    Actually Donny, you may have picked up on something I'd not noticed - if you remember this from a previous topic or two. It could well be why I don't use the 414 that much? Maybe, when I have some time, I might try to design some kind of test? The ones used by audiologists have tones quite widely spaced. What we're talking about suggests I could have a sensitivity in a certain area? It could even assist/get in the way, when I select piano sounds. I use pianoteq samples quite a lot and my pianist and I always disagree with our choices?
     
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  9. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Well-Known Member

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    I choose the KSM44 over the 414 for that same reason...
     

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