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Sound in the times we live in


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#1 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 02 February 2006 - 11:46 PM

This is a little off topic but what is everyone using for sound recording? I've seen a lot of Nagra's on sale on Ebay and they seem to go high. I thought the whole world had gone digital especially when it came to sound yet these old reel to reel analogue machines seem to bring good money. What's the deal?
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 03 February 2006 - 01:32 AM

Nagras are precision instruments that record excellent analog sound, hence why they are still pricey. Digital sound is not necessarily better, just more convenient, plus fits into an all-digital post workflow, which is more the reason why it's taken over on the set.
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#3 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 03 February 2006 - 02:53 PM

When logging material and importing it into an editing suite, it takes just as long to import DAT sound, although it already is digital, as it does an analog file. It's still real time. And analog has a certain sound to it that many in the recording industry prefer (compare the old video vs. film debate). They talk about a warmth, an organic sound that can't be reproduced with digital.

However, the new audio recorders that record to hard drives are very convenient. There you can import a sound file into an Avid or FCP in much shorter time.
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#4 Alex Haspel

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Posted 04 February 2006 - 01:55 PM

we used a sony tc 5 on two shorts i Dp'd ..
it's a high end cassette recorder that takes type I, II, III and IV cassettes plus it is converted to use pilottone.

never had a problem with it, extremely reliable.
and you can also buy cassettes and batteries almost everywhere.. just in case ..

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#5 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 04 February 2006 - 02:27 PM

Hi,

I have no idea why anyone would buy anything but a data recorder now. Fostex make the FR-2 and there are various other things. Compactflash cards are probably easier to buy now than cassette tapes, since every camera shop has them.

Phil
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#6 Webster C

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Posted 09 February 2006 - 03:20 AM

What about this little guy? Around 400 bucks.

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http://www.m-audio.c...k2496-main.html
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#7 K Borowski

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Posted 09 February 2006 - 04:41 AM

I'm pretty sure that Law & Order still uses analog sound. The Star Trek franchise was using it through Deep Space Nine, although they may have switched over for Voyager and Enterprise. I have a book that goes behind the scenes of DSN, Voyager, and one of the Next Generation movies, and the sound engineer's preference for analog sound was more due to the durability of the recorder rather than the inherent differences in sound quality, so that may also be a factor for the high resale value of the analog recorders you've been seeing on ebay. I like all things analog on principle, but to be honest it is very hard to tell the difference between the two. I prefer the way that analog saturates more than digital. Analog gets very warm and fuzzy when the signal gets too hot, whereas digital just gets "crunchy". However, as long as you're recording out of the red, the only discernable difference is a slight hiss with analog. Take this with a grain of salt as I expose my ears to loud music in the car every day ;-)

Regards.

Karl Borowski
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#8 Matthew Parnell

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Posted 09 February 2006 - 07:24 AM

Digital sound isn't all that it is made out to be, somewhat like the Video vs Film saga, film always looks better, video is easier and cheaper to work with.

Analogue has a much warmer sound and as good quality sound. With the flexibility of digital studio recording offered by programs like pro-tools and cubase, most audio cd's are recorded digitally but to compensate will have been recorded out to tape and then back to digital again in the mastering process to 'warmen' the sound because digital alone is rather harsh.

Edited by Matthew Parnell, 09 February 2006 - 07:29 AM.

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#9 dd3stp233

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Posted 09 February 2006 - 08:42 AM

If you talk to almost any serious audiophile and they would say analog sounds better. They should know, they spend more time and money, listening to sound then anybody.
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#10 Matt Pacini

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Posted 16 February 2006 - 03:32 PM

The bottom line is, those analog NAGRA's are not inferior machines, recording inferior sound, therefore they are worth quite a bit of money to those experienced enough to realize their quality and value.

If you think "digital = better", then I invite you to call my house and listen to my digital answering machine, because it sounds like I'm talking through a pillow, then transmitted to a 1966 AM radio.

MP
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#11 david west

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Posted 16 February 2006 - 08:25 PM

If you think "digital = better", then I invite you to call my house and listen to my digital answering machine, because it sounds like I'm talking through a pillow, then transmitted to a 1966 AM radio.

MP



Nagra's made a LOT of great films...but, they arent cheap to maintain....


the answereing machine is a case of apples and oranges.....

i think that the sampling rates and memory capacities of the commercial recorders are better than your home answering machine.....



there is a great unit from tascam that has timecode for about a grand....


brand new.

no having to worry about parts as your dat becomes outdated.

very light weight..

etc, etc.....



is it the absolute best? who knows, but i felt better with it than a used DAT....

time will tell, but it very well may be the better choice..... especially for a tighter budget....

Edited by david west, 16 February 2006 - 08:32 PM.

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#12 Peter Duggan

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Posted 16 February 2006 - 10:41 PM

It all really depends. I'm pretty broke right now and just using whatever I can get my hands on. For some shoots I'll use my Boss 4-track, but I despise the sound quality of that, and in addition it's a pain int he ass to transfer it over to a computer. It's too sensitive. I have experimented with recording on my old Teac reel to reel 4-track, and it sounds wonderful but it's so inconvenient simply because of the size of the monster. It's about three feet tall, two feet wide and weighs a good sixty pounds. I'm only an amateur at the moment though, so these are fine for the shoots that I'm working on, but it irritates my ears.
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#13 Mark Allen

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Posted 17 February 2006 - 09:21 AM

Now recorders can grab 192hz at 24bit pretty simple, so the analogue advantage is decreasing as the digital resolution is higher. The "harsheness" audiophiles talk about is bittiness from the sample rates. I still wouldn't argue the point - but I would wonder out loud how much a difference it would make once that warm analogue sound is processed through the protools dialogue editor's system and then passed on to some pretty serious digital enhancement on the mix stage.
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#14 Peter Duggan

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Posted 17 February 2006 - 11:16 AM

Now recorders can grab 192hz at 24bit pretty simple, so the analogue advantage is decreasing as the digital resolution is higher. The "harsheness" audiophiles talk about is bittiness from the sample rates. I still wouldn't argue the point - but I would wonder out loud how much a difference it would make once that warm analogue sound is processed through the protools dialogue editor's system and then passed on to some pretty serious digital enhancement on the mix stage.


The quality of the capture is as important as what you do with it. Film still looks like film when it's transferred to a disk after a telecine for editing while video will always look like video, and analog works the same way. When an analog signal is transferred to digital for mixing, it is still an analog signal, it's just digitized. Ther is a loss in quality when you do this, but it still sounds better when you transfer a tape to digital. The warmth is still there since it was present in the initial recording. Digital is much more convenient, but the quality isn't as high as analog is yet.
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#15 Thomas Worth

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Posted 17 February 2006 - 05:23 PM

Analogue has a much warmer sound and as good quality sound. With the flexibility of digital studio recording offered by programs like pro-tools and cubase, most audio cd's are recorded digitally but to compensate will have been recorded out to tape and then back to digital again in the mastering process to 'warmen' the sound because digital alone is rather harsh.

I find it a little hard to believe that with all the digital audio processing software available, there is none capable of making a digital recording sound warm, or less "harsh" without recording to magnetic tape first.

Please, people. Get over this analog / digital thing. In the end, it's all digital and processed to hell, regardless of the source. If digital requires additional tweaking / filtration to get it closer to the alleged superiority of an analog recording, then who cares? If it all sounds the same (or close enough to average people's ears) in the end, why go to the trouble of using antiquated analog equipment?

The inconveniences of working with analog equipment (i.e. rewinding) far outweigh any sonic advantages, in my opinion.
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#16 K Borowski

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Posted 20 February 2006 - 09:56 AM

I find it a little hard to believe that with all the digital audio processing software available, there is none capable of making a digital recording sound warm, or less "harsh" without recording to magnetic tape first.

Please, people. Get over this analog / digital thing. In the end, it's all digital and processed to hell, regardless of the source. If digital requires additional tweaking / filtration to get it closer to the alleged superiority of an analog recording, then who cares? If it all sounds the same (or close enough to average people's ears) in the end, why go to the trouble of using antiquated analog equipment?

The inconveniences of working with analog equipment (i.e. rewinding) far outweigh any sonic advantages, in my opinion.


Well I for one don't see why it is necessary to edit sound on a computer unless there's something seriously wrong with it to begin with. There is a fine line of analog mixing and editing equipment available as well that does almost the same thing that digital equipment does short of outright addition or deletion or really really heavy manipulation.

Regards.

Karl Borowski
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#17 Sam Javor

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Posted 06 March 2006 - 07:24 AM

I use my DAW... on last project is was:

Compaq Presario AMD Semptron 3000+ 2Ghz
768MB RAM
XP Pro
Cakewalk SONAR 2.2XL
Aardvark Q10 soundcard

now it's the same Compaq
DeMuDi Linux (Ardour, etc)
Edirol FA-66 soundcard

Most of the sound is the engineer beind the console and the talent behind the mic.
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