The Merits of Mixing on Stand-Alone Recorder, or Computer

Discussion in 'Digital Recorders' started by Morninggloryseed, Jun 18, 2009.

  1. Morninggloryseed

    Morninggloryseed Active Member

    Jun 18, 2009
    I record onto an 8-track stand-alone recorder (Yahama MD8) records digitally through their analog mixer. It is an oldie, but a goodie, however as it is older, it does not have any kind of digital output. The only outputs are analog.

    My options are make mixdowns to stereo on the machine itself, and then transfer that mixdown via the (analog) stereo outs, and into my USB stereo preamp for stereo master wav files.....

    Or I transfer single tracks to computer via the same method (tube preamp to USB A/D converter), and then I mix the seperate tracks to a stereo master .wav file with software.

    Yesterday, I did a comparison of a mixdown I made on the recording machine, vs one I made by transfering single tracks to computer (and mixing that down to stereo master with software). Anyway....

    Why do my mixes sound so much better when mixed through cubebase, or cool edit pro compared to mixes made direct on the machine?

    Perhaps I will upload the two mixes to a server and link them here so you can see what I mean. There was so much more bass and high end on the mix made from track by track transfer, vs the one mixed on the machine itself.

    Granted, when I transfer the track from the stand-alone recorder to computer...I do run the track through a high-quality tube pre-amp which really warms up the sound. On the other hand, when I transfer the two-track stereo mixdown from the recording machine, to the computer....that is also run through the same tube preamp...So both methods involve the final sound going through a high-quality tube preamp at some point.

    Anyone care to comment on this long, rambling post that basically answers the very question it asks? I'd be grateful for anyone's input. :)
  2. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Mar 20, 2008
    currently Billings
    No one can comment since you didn't tell us what the stand alone recorder was. Most of the "prosumer" models are not very good. Especially with regards to the DA conversion.

    I regularly use an Alesis HD24XR as a backup recorder and can use it as a stand alone recorder since I carry a set of pre's in that case. The AD/DA in this unit is excellent.

    Long story short, if you like stand alones then look into an Alesis HD24XR. The Mackie HDR24/96 is a similar machine but the analog cards for it are not of the same quality as the Alesis though allegedly Apogee makes/made cards to fit this machine too.
  3. Link555

    Link555 Well-Known Member

    Mar 31, 2007
    North Vancouver
    The ADC in the HDR is simular to the SDR, if your don't need the video out, the SDR behaves better.

    The sdr was not designed by mackie. THe compnay that made it was bought (consumed) by mackie. Mackie then made the MDR and hdr models. Both are good, however the SDR has always been the most stable.
  4. Space

    Space Well-Known Member

    Jun 26, 2007
    "So both methods involve the final sound going through a high-quality tube preamp at some point. "

    I think you did answer your own question. Michael Fossenkemper over in the Mastering Sound forum gave some ideas on this very thing a few years back. Not the transfer from tape to digital specifically, but using external analog gear to help in the process of getting better finalized sound.

    edit: finilized = finalized
  5. Morninggloryseed

    Morninggloryseed Active Member

    Jun 18, 2009
    I edited the post to make it more coherent and clear, thanks for the feedback so far.
  6. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    Let's face it, PCM sounds like PCM sounds like PCM. I don't particularly care for PCM but it is what we have to work with in the inexpensive land of poverty. By introducing some analog equipment along with the decoding & reencoding you have disrupted that "florescent light " audio strobbing flicker effect somewhat. This may in fact help to reduce digital jitter? And so it's another reason why I'll record to a digital machine but have the option to mix digitally in the box or, as I love to do, mix in analog through the Neve. And another reason why so many folks are making 16 input analog summing mixers. Regardless of what the mathematical eggheads may tell you, digital summation can not all happened simultaneously as it does in analog. It is still based on time multiplexing. And to me, that's an audio "Kluge". Another example of theory versus practice. We're both right. But I'm the one that's actually right since I can hear the difference. Mathematicians can only see the difference which appears to be no difference. They're wrong. Sorry guys. This is where a lack of education wins. I listen with my ears not my eyes.

    And I don't have ears on the back of my head. So, no surround.
    Ms. Remy Ann David

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