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"audio" PC builders

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Anonymous
October 4, 2004 1:46:09 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

What is the general consensus (if such thing exists...) concerning the
companies that build "audio specific" computers, Carillon, for
example? Does the added value they provide warrant whatever markup
they charge over a similar system assembled by Dell (or whoever)? I
know that there are certain features that they provide that are all
but unavailable from the guys who build word processors, like rack
mount enclosures.

I'm not looking for brand specific information so much, but whether it
makes sense to work with one of these audio PC companies versus going
with a general PC company? If it matters, I'm not looking to assemble
some high powered DAW, just a super reliable system for reading and
archiving files from removable SCSI drives.

Thanks.

Steve
lex125@pacbell.net

More about : audio builders

Anonymous
October 4, 2004 9:32:52 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"hollywood_steve" <sjp@soca.com> wrote in message
news:55147cb4.0410040846.3946de5d@posting.google.com...
> What is the general consensus (if such thing exists...) concerning the
> companies that build "audio specific" computers, Carillon, for
> example? Does the added value they provide warrant whatever markup
> they charge over a similar system assembled by Dell (or whoever)? I
> know that there are certain features that they provide that are all
> but unavailable from the guys who build word processors, like rack
> mount enclosures.

Haven't bought from one but what I've gathered talking with friends who did
it all depends on the builder. Some builders go above the beyond the call of
duty. Others I've heard are worse than ordering from Dell/Gateway/etc. (No
slams meant to those companies, just you'd expect "more" considering).
Anonymous
October 4, 2004 10:23:30 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <55147cb4.0410040846.3946de5d@posting.google.com> sjp@soca.com writes:

> What is the general consensus (if such thing exists...) concerning the
> companies that build "audio specific" computers, Carillon, for
> example? Does the added value they provide warrant whatever markup
> they charge over a similar system assembled by Dell (or whoever)?

One of the things that surprises me is that you don't pay a whole lot
for what's hopefully some specialized knowledge. Some people consider
than a dollar over the lowest possible on-line price for several
cartons of computer components is a ripoff ("anyone can build a
computer, why pay for it?") and those need not respond. I think it's
worth a few hundred bucks for someone else to do all the research,
purchasing, assembly, testing, and (if purchased along with the
computer) software and audio hardware installation.

When this product first came along, the premium was about $1000 and
that was enough to discourage many people. But today it tends to be
$300-500, and you get much more hardware performance for less money,
so when you look at the capability, the cost isn't that big a deal.
The trick is to find a good supplier. Carillion made a splash a few
years ago, but I haven't heard anything from them (good or bad)
recently. I was surprised not to see them in the survey of computers
for audio in the current issue of Recording. But there are a couple of
people around here who offer custom audio optimized computers if you
trust someone you run across in a newsgroup.

> I'm not looking for brand specific information so much, but whether it
> makes sense to work with one of these audio PC companies versus going
> with a general PC company?

One of the advantages is that they're relatively small volume dealers,
so they don't buy motherboards in lots of 1000 and can buy whatever
you or they think would be best for your application.

> If it matters, I'm not looking to assemble
> some high powered DAW, just a super reliable system for reading and
> archiving files from removable SCSI drives.

Well, that's the sort of thing that you could probably do with a
server-quality computer. Sadly, the local computer shop seems to be
fading, so it's hard to find a neighborhood dealer who can discuss
your needs with you and pick out the best set of components that fit
your budget. If you have a place like that, I'd talk to them first.


--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Related resources
October 4, 2004 11:15:34 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

It depends on *you* more than anything. I personally went the
sweat-it-out road, and learned what I need to know about this stuff.
I build my own 'puters and save lots of money in the process. Also, I
like knowing the nitty gritty so I can troubleshoot/install things and
work my way around difficulties. It's an area of my life that i like
to have mastery and to be able to control my own destiny.

I like technology, so this was fine for me.

On the other hand, when it comes time for me to buy an iso-booth, I'm
going straight to vocalbooth.com and picking out a nice one for
myself. It will be $3000+. But the fit and finish and guesswork will
be solved for me, and will save me a whole lot of saturdays at home
depot. So basically, I'm willing to pay the piper on the iso booth,
but I wouldn't be caught dead fattening the pockets of a "custom daw
pc" builder.

If you *do* decide to build your own computer, remember to make sure
the chipset on your motherboard is friendly to your soundcard. that
is the most important area. in fact you should figure out what
soundcard you want, and then get a motherboard with a chipset that
works well with it.
Anonymous
October 4, 2004 11:55:09 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Really, if you don't need a rack mount unit, it's fairly easy to
research and build an system yourself if you are handy that way --
especially if you don't feel the need to be on the cutting edge of
everything, and can be happy with tried-&-true components from say 6
months ago. There is plenty of info on the net about what components
are most robust and/or best suited for DAWs.

Al

On 4 Oct 2004 18:23:30 -0400, mrivers@d-and-d.com (Mike Rivers) wrote:

>
>In article <55147cb4.0410040846.3946de5d@posting.google.com> sjp@soca.com writes:
>
>> What is the general consensus (if such thing exists...) concerning the
>> companies that build "audio specific" computers, Carillon, for
>> example? Does the added value they provide warrant whatever markup
>> they charge over a similar system assembled by Dell (or whoever)?
>
>One of the things that surprises me is that you don't pay a whole lot
>for what's hopefully some specialized knowledge. Some people consider
>than a dollar over the lowest possible on-line price for several
>cartons of computer components is a ripoff ("anyone can build a
>computer, why pay for it?") and those need not respond. I think it's
>worth a few hundred bucks for someone else to do all the research,
>purchasing, assembly, testing, and (if purchased along with the
>computer) software and audio hardware installation.
>
>When this product first came along, the premium was about $1000 and
>that was enough to discourage many people. But today it tends to be
>$300-500, and you get much more hardware performance for less money,
>so when you look at the capability, the cost isn't that big a deal.
>The trick is to find a good supplier. Carillion made a splash a few
>years ago, but I haven't heard anything from them (good or bad)
>recently. I was surprised not to see them in the survey of computers
>for audio in the current issue of Recording. But there are a couple of
>people around here who offer custom audio optimized computers if you
>trust someone you run across in a newsgroup.
>
>> I'm not looking for brand specific information so much, but whether it
>> makes sense to work with one of these audio PC companies versus going
>> with a general PC company?
>
>One of the advantages is that they're relatively small volume dealers,
>so they don't buy motherboards in lots of 1000 and can buy whatever
>you or they think would be best for your application.
>
>> If it matters, I'm not looking to assemble
>> some high powered DAW, just a super reliable system for reading and
>> archiving files from removable SCSI drives.
>
>Well, that's the sort of thing that you could probably do with a
>server-quality computer. Sadly, the local computer shop seems to be
>fading, so it's hard to find a neighborhood dealer who can discuss
>your needs with you and pick out the best set of components that fit
>your budget. If you have a place like that, I'd talk to them first.
Anonymous
October 5, 2004 2:09:53 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <6c38b64b.0410041815.5194d16b@posting.google.com> genericaudioperson@hotmail.com writes:

> It depends on *you* more than anything. I personally went the
> sweat-it-out road, and learned what I need to know about this stuff.

How much of that learning will be valid when you replace this computer
in three years? The reason why I shy away from learning too much about
computers is that it can become a full time job to keep up, and a
computer is just a tool to get a job done.

But I understand that some people just like the feeling of control (as
well as the feeling of not giving someone else money they can keep for
themselves).

> On the other hand, when it comes time for me to buy an iso-booth, I'm
> going straight to vocalbooth.com and picking out a nice one for
> myself. It will be $3000+. But the fit and finish and guesswork will
> be solved for me, and will save me a whole lot of saturdays at home
> depot. So basically, I'm willing to pay the piper on the iso booth,

So you pay for someone to build things that you can't build your self.
That's fine. I build my own cables, and some people ask if they can
wire their studio with "a guitar cabel".

> If you *do* decide to build your own computer, remember to make sure
> the chipset on your motherboard is friendly to your soundcard.

That's the first problem. How do you find out:

1. What chipset is friendly to your sound card
2. What chipset the motherboard you're considering has
3. What to do if you can't find what you think is correct? (answer:
go back to step 1.)

If you aren't really committed to doing the research and, more
important, trusting that what you conclude from that research will be
valid (or be willing to do it again if you're wrong) you can waste a
lot of time and some cash. While you might indeed learn one case that
works, if you recommend your solution to someone six months from now,
he'll find himself at Step 1.

If you're a full time builder, you keep up with these things and know
which motherboard manufacturers use which chipsets, which sound cards
work best with which chips (or more important, which combinations
should be avoided) and you'll have some resources for components
developed so that you don't have to spend a couple of weeks searching
web sites for exactly what you want and for a really good price.


--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
October 5, 2004 2:09:54 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <t034m0lp8mglfo2mtcrobqcl567gekoqic@4ax.com> playonATcomcast.net writes:

> Really, if you don't need a rack mount unit, it's fairly easy to
> research and build an system yourself if you are handy that way --
> especially if you don't feel the need to be on the cutting edge of
> everything, and can be happy with tried-&-true components from say 6
> months ago. There is plenty of info on the net about what components
> are most robust and/or best suited for DAWs.

The problem is that there's TOO MUCH information. If you aren't
conversant with the industry technology, you can't understand what
you're reading.

--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
October 5, 2004 3:04:25 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On Mon, 04 Oct 2004 09:46:09 -0700, hollywood_steve wrote:

> What is the general consensus (if such thing exists...) concerning the
> companies that build "audio specific" computers, Carillon, for
> example? Does the added value they provide warrant whatever markup
> they charge over a similar system assembled by Dell (or whoever)? I
> know that there are certain features that they provide that are all
> but unavailable from the guys who build word processors, like rack
> mount enclosures.
>
> I'm not looking for brand specific information so much, but whether it
> makes sense to work with one of these audio PC companies versus going
> with a general PC company? If it matters, I'm not looking to assemble
> some high powered DAW, just a super reliable system for reading and
> archiving files from removable SCSI drives.

I have a Carillion rack mount PC for live use and it's reliable, quiet and
physically robust. If you are just building a server then consider if you
really need the strength and low noise.

Will this server be on 24/7? If so, be sure you make that clear when
gettting quotes, you want proper server power supplys/fans etc that aren't
going to die after a years constant use.


>
> Thanks.
>
> Steve
> lex125@pacbell.net
Anonymous
October 5, 2004 3:48:53 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Actually, quite a bit transfers from one computer to the other. Just
because there are new CPU architectures that incorporate new busses, new
technologies and such doesn't mean it takes another lifetime to learn them
in comparison to learning about the base level computer stuff I learned on
PCs in 1981 or Apple ][ even earlier. Although the Apple ][ knowledge
didn't translate to anything by the IIc, each of the enhancements to the
Intel based architecture is just that, an enhancement. Serial ATA isn't a
big step over Fibrechannel in learning curve. Extensions of SCSI don't
change SCSI in itself. ESDI is certainly different than the later IDE, but
again, it's a moot point to worry about. Hyperthreading, SSE (I and II),
3DMax, etc., are just additions that are still incorporated into the
firmware without being necessary. Dual application data pipelines, dual
data rates (data being sent on the rise and fall of current), etc., are not
something one can do anything about but make certain they get the right
memory dimms at the right voltages, but again, no one would even allow you
to buy the wrong memory for a new motherboard.

In other words, for all practical purposes it's just as easy today to build
one's own computer, perhaps even easier, than it was in the days of the
initial 16KB IBM PCs. In fact, it's far easier today, so much so that my
wife builds not only her own computers, but she usually builds/upgrades
those for her sisters, too. My son builds computers.

--
-----------

Roger W. Norman
SirMusic Studio


"Mike Rivers" <mrivers@d-and-d.com> wrote in message
news:znr1096975353k@trad...
>
> In article <6c38b64b.0410041815.5194d16b@posting.google.com>
genericaudioperson@hotmail.com writes:
>
> > It depends on *you* more than anything. I personally went the
> > sweat-it-out road, and learned what I need to know about this stuff.
>
> How much of that learning will be valid when you replace this computer
> in three years? The reason why I shy away from learning too much about
> computers is that it can become a full time job to keep up, and a
> computer is just a tool to get a job done.
>
> But I understand that some people just like the feeling of control (as
> well as the feeling of not giving someone else money they can keep for
> themselves).
>
> > On the other hand, when it comes time for me to buy an iso-booth, I'm
> > going straight to vocalbooth.com and picking out a nice one for
> > myself. It will be $3000+. But the fit and finish and guesswork will
> > be solved for me, and will save me a whole lot of saturdays at home
> > depot. So basically, I'm willing to pay the piper on the iso booth,
>
> So you pay for someone to build things that you can't build your self.
> That's fine. I build my own cables, and some people ask if they can
> wire their studio with "a guitar cabel".
>
> > If you *do* decide to build your own computer, remember to make sure
> > the chipset on your motherboard is friendly to your soundcard.
>
> That's the first problem. How do you find out:
>
> 1. What chipset is friendly to your sound card
> 2. What chipset the motherboard you're considering has
> 3. What to do if you can't find what you think is correct? (answer:
> go back to step 1.)
>
> If you aren't really committed to doing the research and, more
> important, trusting that what you conclude from that research will be
> valid (or be willing to do it again if you're wrong) you can waste a
> lot of time and some cash. While you might indeed learn one case that
> works, if you recommend your solution to someone six months from now,
> he'll find himself at Step 1.
>
> If you're a full time builder, you keep up with these things and know
> which motherboard manufacturers use which chipsets, which sound cards
> work best with which chips (or more important, which combinations
> should be avoided) and you'll have some resources for components
> developed so that you don't have to spend a couple of weeks searching
> web sites for exactly what you want and for a really good price.
>
>
> --
> I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
> However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
> lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
> you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
> and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
October 5, 2004 7:14:18 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

> What is the general consensus (if such thing exists...) concerning the
> companies that build "audio specific" computers, Carillon, for
> example?
Well I'm biased but I think it's good to buy an audio specific
computer. I'm not a computer, just a single person who likes building
DAWs for people.

> Does the added value they provide warrant whatever markup
> they charge over a similar system assembled by Dell (or whoever)?
My prices are competitive to the big boys - apple for apple.

> I'm not looking for brand specific information so much, but whether it
> makes sense to work with one of these audio PC companies versus going
> with a general PC company?
Working with a smaller company, myself or one of the others, will be
far more enjoyable that working w/ Dell (who won't be able to sell you
a quiet computer either).

Check out the specs on my DAWs at http://www.MusicIsLove.com.

Mike

PS - I'm also thinking about offering a "shuttle" type micro-computer
for those who need to go into the field.
Anonymous
October 5, 2004 7:18:34 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On 5 Oct 2004 10:09:53 -0400, mrivers@d-and-d.com (Mike Rivers) wrote:

>That's the first problem. How do you find out:
>
> 1. What chipset is friendly to your sound card

Ask in forums and/or newsgroups. There are a ton of audio forums and
website that have this kind of information.

> 2. What chipset the motherboard you're considering has

This is also not difficult to discover. I've found many people who
build DAWs will generously share their knowledge. Everything I
learned about putting my computer together I learned from the
Samplitude forum and sites such as Overclock.com.

Al
Anonymous
October 5, 2004 7:58:17 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <55147cb4.0410040846.3946de5d@posting.google.com>,
sjp@soca.com (hollywood_steve) wrote:

> What is the general consensus (if such thing exists...) concerning the
> companies that build "audio specific" computers, Carillon, for
> example? Does the added value they provide warrant whatever markup
> they charge over a similar system assembled by Dell (or whoever)? I
> know that there are certain features that they provide that are all
> but unavailable from the guys who build word processors, like rack
> mount enclosures.
>
> I'm not looking for brand specific information so much, but whether it
> makes sense to work with one of these audio PC companies versus going
> with a general PC company? If it matters, I'm not looking to assemble
> some high powered DAW, just a super reliable system for reading and
> archiving files from removable SCSI drives.
>
> Thanks.
>
> Steve
> lex125@pacbell.net



Check out www.pcaudiolabs.com. These guys build audio PCs to order, but
their site is very informative for the do it yourselfer.

--
Bobby Owsinski
Surround Associates
http://www.surroundassociates.com
Anonymous
October 5, 2004 7:58:18 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

> Check out www.pcaudiolabs.com. These guys build audio PCs to order, but
> their site is very informative for the do it yourselfer.
I can beat their price & customize your DAW to your specs.

Mike
http://www.MusicIsLove.com
Anonymous
October 5, 2004 8:01:21 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

I've ordered components from endpcnoise.com before, and found the service
and pricing to be quite good (a lot cheaper than, e.g. Carillon, but also
less comprehensive). They put together complete systems, too. The Quiet Cube
Media PC looks like a very sweet starting point for a portable rig (paired
with a smallish LCD screen and a wireless mouse/keyboard, maybe).

On the other hand, I'm experienced enough to modify any system to suit my
needs, and am able to check for compatibility with my soundcard (Echo Layla
24). I also install all my own software and tweak the OS for audio from the
ground up.

Chipset/soundcard compatibility seems to be less of an issue than it used to
be, thankfully. Most disk drives/cables/controllers are more than up to the
demands of multitrack audio now, too. Video production may still be taxing
on the average system, OTOH.

Ryan
Anonymous
October 5, 2004 8:21:45 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"hollywood_steve" <sjp@soca.com> wrote in message
news:55147cb4.0410040846.3946de5d@posting.google.com...
> What is the general consensus (if such thing exists...) concerning the
> companies that build "audio specific" computers, Carillon, for
> example? Does the added value they provide warrant whatever markup
> they charge over a similar system assembled by Dell (or whoever)? I
> know that there are certain features that they provide that are all
> but unavailable from the guys who build word processors, like rack
> mount enclosures.
>
> I'm not looking for brand specific information so much, but whether it
> makes sense to work with one of these audio PC companies versus going
> with a general PC company? If it matters, I'm not looking to assemble
> some high powered DAW, just a super reliable system for reading and
> archiving files from removable SCSI drives.

There are a few specialist Audio PC builders on PCDAW list -

mailto:p cdaw-subscribe@yahoogroups.com


geoff
October 6, 2004 1:26:38 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

knowing and building computers is a skill that grows and sticks with
you over time. it's not like your knowledge base becomes irrelevant
after three years like you are suggesting.

as fast as computers change, it's also pretty slow. and things don't
all change at once. recently, it was s-ata drives that got a
foothold. now people are getting comfortable with them. then 64-bit
cpu's will be the new thing to absorb.

as i suggested earlier, it depends on the person. and my feeling is
that the computer is the hub of the modern studio. it's like the old
days of the 2" 24 track machine. any self-respecting engineer "back
in the day" would have gotten around to knowing how to align tapes
using tones, and also the whole nanoweb 'thang.

on a specific note, i'm amazed at how much you know about analog
circuitry, but then got seemingly freaked-out and confused by the
prospect of buying a little drum machine for a metronome...an object
that seems as obvious a toaster oven to me.

people's brains have different strengths. you have a strength with
analog ciruits, but an aversion to digital assimilation. i'm the
opposite in many ways.

it's totally worth getting over the hump on the whole computer thing.
as far as chipset compatibility, that's no big deal. in my latest
build, i contacted the sound card manufacturer to find out chipsets
they liked. and then looked around on the web newsgroups about what
people were using, what the successes were. you just have to find
someone who got it right, and then copy their homework.

there are many newsgroups on the web that spend lots of time on
computer configurations.

in any event, a motherboard is typically $100 or less, so it's not a
big deal to experiment with this stuff. in fact, you could buy 5
motherboards and throw a dart at them. one of them will likely work,
and you'll still likely be ahead cost-wise compared to buying a
"custom" daw.

I'll state this: NO "custom daw" builder creates their own ram, cpu,
mobo, hard drives, or operating systems. all they do is find out
configurations that work, and then sell them, often adding in
noise-reduction considerations and perhaps a custom case (big deal).
in fact, many "daw builders" sell their daw packaged with a
soundcard/software. they don't want to risk saying "our computer will
work with any hardware/software combo" and the leave themselves open
to complaints when a system they sell meets up against an unfriendly
match-up.

We all have biases. I think you are biased against learning
computers. I'm biased against wasting time learning how to mod an
Ocktava mk-012, when you could just go out and buy a real small-d
condenser like a km-184 or a Schoeps and be done with it. But again,
that's reflecting my bias.
October 6, 2004 2:51:39 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

I will tell you this about Carillon - they still cannot supply a PC in a timely
fashion (as in 30 days from the day you ordered it). I've never heard anyone
say anything bad about their machines once they were able to get one, but I
(literally today) just cancelled my order with them, as four weeks after my
order was placed, they still could not give me any idea when the machine would
show up, and said they were still working on orders placed in July. How does a
place like that stay in business?

John
Anonymous
October 6, 2004 4:32:56 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"xy" <genericaudioperson@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:6c38b64b.0410052026.82a8d1a@posting.google.com...
> knowing and building computers is a skill that grows and sticks with
> you over time. it's not like your knowledge base becomes irrelevant
> after three years like you are suggesting.
>
> as fast as computers change, it's also pretty slow. and things don't
> all change at once. recently, it was s-ata drives that got a
> foothold. now people are getting comfortable with them. then 64-bit
> cpu's will be the new thing to absorb.
>
> as i suggested earlier, it depends on the person. and my feeling is
> that the computer is the hub of the modern studio. it's like the old
> days of the 2" 24 track machine. any self-respecting engineer "back
> in the day" would have gotten around to knowing how to align tapes
> using tones, and also the whole nanoweb 'thang.
>
> on a specific note, i'm amazed at how much you know about analog
> circuitry, but then got seemingly freaked-out and confused by the
> prospect of buying a little drum machine for a metronome...an object
> that seems as obvious a toaster oven to me.
>
> people's brains have different strengths. you have a strength with
> analog ciruits, but an aversion to digital assimilation. i'm the
> opposite in many ways.
>
> it's totally worth getting over the hump on the whole computer thing.
> as far as chipset compatibility, that's no big deal. in my latest
> build, i contacted the sound card manufacturer to find out chipsets
> they liked. and then looked around on the web newsgroups about what
> people were using, what the successes were. you just have to find
> someone who got it right, and then copy their homework.
>
> there are many newsgroups on the web that spend lots of time on
> computer configurations.
>
> in any event, a motherboard is typically $100 or less, so it's not a
> big deal to experiment with this stuff. in fact, you could buy 5
> motherboards and throw a dart at them. one of them will likely work,
> and you'll still likely be ahead cost-wise compared to buying a
> "custom" daw.
>
> I'll state this: NO "custom daw" builder creates their own ram, cpu,
> mobo, hard drives, or operating systems. all they do is find out
> configurations that work, and then sell them, often adding in
> noise-reduction considerations and perhaps a custom case (big deal).
> in fact, many "daw builders" sell their daw packaged with a
> soundcard/software. they don't want to risk saying "our computer will
> work with any hardware/software combo" and the leave themselves open
> to complaints when a system they sell meets up against an unfriendly
> match-up.
>
> We all have biases. I think you are biased against learning
> computers. I'm biased against wasting time learning how to mod an
> Ocktava mk-012, when you could just go out and buy a real small-d
> condenser like a km-184 or a Schoeps and be done with it. But again,
> that's reflecting my bias.


This is exactly how I feel about the dinosaurs holding on to the analog
debate.

It is over gentlemen. Stop trying to fix your old analog gear that keeps
breaking down and go digital already.

Sheesh.

*Where's the bunker?*


--

-Hev
find me here:
www.michaelspringer.com
Anonymous
October 6, 2004 12:38:08 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

John,

It takes about 2 weeks from the time you order till you receive your machine.

Mike
http://www.MusicIsLove.com
Anonymous
October 6, 2004 1:17:12 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <6c38b64b.0410052026.82a8d1a@posting.google.com> genericaudioperson@hotmail.com writes:

> knowing and building computers is a skill that grows and sticks with
> you over time. it's not like your knowledge base becomes irrelevant
> after three years like you are suggesting.

Like any skill, you lose it if you don't use it frequently. If you
keep up with computer updates (both hardware and software) every few
months, those skills probably stick with you, you continue to learn
new terms and interfaces, and and if you're not too old, you might
remember what you did three years ago in case you run into a three
year old problem.

But if you're like me, leaving the computer alone until something
actually breaks (usually attributed to a piece of hardware). - I
replaced a power supply once after troubleshooting it with an ANALOG
voltmeter, but had to ask the experienced computer builders here how
to bypass the soft power switch so I could isolate the problem to the
power supply rather than the motherboard or wiring. Thanks to whoever
provided that info.

> as fast as computers change, it's also pretty slow. and things don't
> all change at once. recently, it was s-ata drives that got a
> foothold. now people are getting comfortable with them. then 64-bit
> cpu's will be the new thing to absorb.

I'm still using IDE drives, not even any USB or Firewire drives. I
hope I'll be able to continue to buy them for a few more years. If I
bought an SATA drive, I'd have to buy an interface card for it, and
install a driver for that card. Why bother? It wouldn't give me any
better performance than I need.

> as i suggested earlier, it depends on the person. and my feeling is
> that the computer is the hub of the modern studio. it's like the old
> days of the 2" 24 track machine. any self-respecting engineer "back
> in the day" would have gotten around to knowing how to align tapes
> using tones, and also the whole nanoweb 'thang.

Right, but this is something you can see and measure. You don't have
to take it on faith that if you re-install the operating system or get
a new driver, it will fix the problem. It's a different way of
working, and those of us who grew up solving problems rather than
disposing of the piece with the problem and replacing it, possibly
requiring a string of other changes, it's a hard concept to swallow.

> on a specific note, i'm amazed at how much you know about analog
> circuitry, but then got seemingly freaked-out and confused by the
> prospect of buying a little drum machine for a metronome...an object
> that seems as obvious a toaster oven to me.

No problem with buying one - anyone can do that. But when I only need
to use it a couple of times a year, I want to be sure that it's one
that I can just turn on, set the tempo, and it'll play. I don't want
to have to remember how to call up a program.

> it's totally worth getting over the hump on the whole computer thing.
> as far as chipset compatibility, that's no big deal. in my latest
> build, i contacted the sound card manufacturer to find out chipsets
> they liked. and then looked around on the web newsgroups about what
> people were using, what the successes were. you just have to find
> someone who got it right, and then copy their homework.

That's more than I want to know. I'd like to let someone else worry
about that and just buy what works. Then, if something goes wrong,
I'll have someone to go back to who knows exactly the configuration of
my computer and can suggest a troubleshooting path.

> there are many newsgroups on the web that spend lots of time on
> computer configurations.

So, let them. There are people who enjoy spending time on their
computers and discussing what they do with others of the same bent. If
I went to one of those newsgroups for info, I'd be like those who post
here who write "I have a Behringer mixer and a sound card and I want
to record my guitar but I don't get any sound."

> in any event, a motherboard is typically $100 or less, so it's not a
> big deal to experiment with this stuff. in fact, you could buy 5
> motherboards and throw a dart at them. one of them will likely work,
> and you'll still likely be ahead cost-wise compared to buying a
> "custom" daw.

You don't learn anything by throwing darts.

> I'll state this: NO "custom daw" builder creates their own ram, cpu,
> mobo, hard drives, or operating systems. all they do is find out
> configurations that work, and then sell them, often adding in
> noise-reduction considerations and perhaps a custom case (big deal).

Exactly. And that knowledge is worth paying for. I could probably find
a web site that would tell me how to take out someone's appendix, but
I wouldn't do it.

> in fact, many "daw builders" sell their daw packaged with a
> soundcard/software. they don't want to risk saying "our computer will
> work with any hardware/software combo" and the leave themselves open
> to complaints when a system they sell meets up against an unfriendly
> match-up.

That's good, too. I can decide what software I want to run, what level
of quality I want from the audio interface, how I want to mount my
computer (which affects the amount of mechanical noise reduction
necessary) and say "go to it." There are some builders who still don't
get it right, but many do. I believe that may have been the intent of
the post that started this tread - who's relliable.

> We all have biases. I think you are biased against learning
> computers.

I'm not biased against learning anything, but I don't want to spend
time learning something that I'll only need to know infrequently. I'd
love to understand how to troubleshoot my car, but just how often
would I have to do it? Back when they had distributor points and
carburetors, you could actually make it work better by adjusting
things and replacing parts when they wore out. Today the computer
forces it to work pretty well no matter what goes wrong (unless it's
the computer). I did eventaually find the oil filter so I change that
myself, but that's about all I can do. I feel the same way about
computers.

> I'm biased against wasting time learning how to mod an
> Ocktava mk-012, when you could just go out and buy a real small-d
> condenser like a km-184 or a Schoeps and be done with it. But again,
> that's reflecting my bias.

You're not learning how to modify a microphone by following the
instructions in an article. The author already learned that so you
don't have to. But what you learn by doing the modification is how to
safely disassemble, handle, and solder small stuff, and perhaps do
some troubleshooting, looking for bad solder joints, missed
connections, or components that have a polarity that you may have
installed backwards. You can transfer those skills to things like
fixing a cable that suddenly started buzzing. Or you could just go out
and buy another cable.



--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
October 6, 2004 4:03:45 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Mike Rivers" <mrivers@d-and-d.com> wrote in message
news:znr1096975353k@trad...
>
> But I understand that some people just like the feeling of control (as
> well as the feeling of not giving someone else money they can keep for
> themselves).

In my case it's not so much about being a control freak -- more like
exercising some self-defence. Leaving equipment decisions up to others
has sometimes left me in a bad spot, so I prefer to make the investment
of time in pre-purchase research. Sometimes that means having to learn
how some stuff works so I can decide whether it's an asset or a
liability.

It isn't about saving money (especially when you consider the value of
the time I spend learning). It's about making sure all the parts will
play nicely together in *my* particular situation, as opposed to a
generalized picture of a generic target user.



> If you aren't really committed to doing the research and, more
> important, trusting that what you conclude from that research will be
> valid (or be willing to do it again if you're wrong) you can waste a
> lot of time and some cash.

Right. Tonight I had to choose between two motherboards for a new rig,
and couldn't find enough data to support a well reasoned argument for
either one over the other. I flipped a coin, knowing that if the one I
choose doesn't work, I can always sell it at a small loss and just get
the other one.

There's no way for a third-party to anticipate exactly how I'm going to
use my machine, so there's an inherent risk of incompatibilities anyway
(like the system works fine until I plug in my shuttle controller which
causes the keyboard to produce only W's no matter which key you press).

There's a certain amount of risk either way. These days I put the money
on my choices over those of others ONLY because my batting average is
better (so far, the day ain't over yet). Knock wood.



> If you're a full time builder, you keep up with these things and know
> which motherboard manufacturers use which chipsets, which sound cards
> work best with which chips (or more important, which combinations
> should be avoided) and you'll have some resources for components
> developed so that you don't have to spend a couple of weeks searching
> web sites for exactly what you want and for a really good price.

My experience to date is with corporate IT types and computer store
customizers rather than audio-specific computer builders, but I haven't
had the good fortune to encounter people who draw good conclusions.
Many of their firmly-held beliefs are based on some pretty specious
logic. Maybe the people who build audio computers are better.

--
"It CAN'T be too loud... some of the red lights aren't even on yet!"
- Lorin David Schultz
in the control room
making even bad news sound good

(Remove spamblock to reply)
Anonymous
October 6, 2004 10:17:10 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

hollywood_steve <sjp@soca.com> wrote:
>
>I use digital, and appreciate certain aspects of digital. But anyone
>who thinks going all-digital is a big advantage must know very little
>about audio.

I suspect it depends on the market sector that you're in. Down on the low
end, there are folks who consider replacing everything every few years just
to be the normal cost of doing business, and for the bargain basement guys
it probably _is_ a lot more profitable to go all-digital.

Likewise for the film guys who basically operate automation systems with
consoles and recorders as afterthoughts, where again going all-digital is
a big win in spite of the endless "upgrade" path just to stay in place.

But as for me, I don't see the Nagra going away any time soon...
--scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
October 7, 2004 5:35:21 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

>"hollywood_steve" <sjp@soca.com> wrote in message
>
>The maintenance and time wasted calibrating analog gear makes your comments
>mind-bogglingly stupid. You would be earning much more money per year just
>by the time saved. Add up the hours wasted per year at a successful
>commercial recording studio calibrating the damn machine for tape brand X at
>+3, next client brings in brand Y at +6... it is such an archaic way of
>doing things that it won't take long for the dinosaurs to be long gone.

Takes me about 15 minutes to do a full alignment on the Ampex machines.
You gotta do it every week or so.

The DAT deck? Only needs to be aligned once a year, but it takes long enough
that I just send it to Eddie Ciletti with a couple hundred bucks and let him
do it, because it would cost me more in lost time.

>This viewpoint of yours will lead to your demise.

Maybe, but I'm looking at the numbers and I'm still seeing better ROI on the
analogue gear so far. Although I have to admit that the DA-88s have done a
lot better than I ever expected in terms of investment.
--scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
October 7, 2004 10:20:54 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Scott Dorsey" <kludge@panix.com> wrote in message
news:ck3uop$5jb$1@panix2.panix.com...
> >"hollywood_steve" <sjp@soca.com> wrote in message
> >
> >The maintenance and time wasted calibrating analog gear makes your
comments
> >mind-bogglingly stupid. You would be earning much more money per year
just
> >by the time saved. Add up the hours wasted per year at a successful
> >commercial recording studio calibrating the damn machine for tape brand X
at
> >+3, next client brings in brand Y at +6... it is such an archaic way of
> >doing things that it won't take long for the dinosaurs to be long gone.
>
> Takes me about 15 minutes to do a full alignment on the Ampex machines.
> You gotta do it every week or so.


Then you have a standard tape you always use and the client always has to
use? Don't clients bring various tapes in, used at another studio for
example? You would have to set up the machine everytime that happened. Not
to mention the time of making a back-up of a master reel. Archaic.


> >This viewpoint of yours will lead to your demise.
>
> Maybe, but I'm looking at the numbers and I'm still seeing better ROI on
the
> analogue gear so far. Although I have to admit that the DA-88s have done
a
> lot better than I ever expected in terms of investment.


I'm guessing what you have seen with the DA-88 will occur with higher end
digital before too long.


--
Sincerely,

Michael Springer
www.SpringerCo.com
Toll Free: 800-237-0065
Local: 301-949-7399
Fax: 301-949-6893
Anonymous
October 7, 2004 10:20:55 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <aOf9d.9621$x65.2094@trnddc06>, Hev <none@youwouldknow.com> wrote:
>"Scott Dorsey" <kludge@panix.com> wrote in message
>>
>> Takes me about 15 minutes to do a full alignment on the Ampex machines.
>> You gotta do it every week or so.
>
>Then you have a standard tape you always use and the client always has to
>use? Don't clients bring various tapes in, used at another studio for
>example? You would have to set up the machine everytime that happened. Not
>to mention the time of making a back-up of a master reel. Archaic.

Of course, but you still need to align equipment on a regular basis because
it drifts. And yes, whenever you change tape types or batches of tapes,
you need to spend 15 minutes and realign. The bad thing about analogue is
that it drifts... the good thing is that you can tell how it's drifting and
what is going on. With digital, it drifts but you never notice it until
finally all hell breaks loose.

>> >This viewpoint of yours will lead to your demise.
>>
>> Maybe, but I'm looking at the numbers and I'm still seeing better ROI on
>the
>> analogue gear so far. Although I have to admit that the DA-88s have done
>a
>> lot better than I ever expected in terms of investment.
>
>I'm guessing what you have seen with the DA-88 will occur with higher end
>digital before too long.

Maybe. It depends more on manufacturer support than anything else. When
you spend $50K for a console, you expect to keep it for a long time and
long-term support becomes a big issue. In the digital world, the equipment
cost is very low and the operating cost is very high, in part because the
life cycle on most of the gear is so short. I'm not seeing that change
right now, but Neve has some of the right ideas, and Sony's modular DSD
stuff looks interesting as well in terms of customizability and long-term
repairability.

PCs are a major issue because you basically can't expect to keep a PC running
for a decade with a static configuration. Take a look at what a typical
Pro Tools shop takes in terms of maintenance time to keep the system clean
and updated. On the other end of the scale, take a RADAR install which for
the most part seems to be pretty stable, but whose long-term maintainability
is somewhat questionable. It'll be exciting to see how these systems hold
up on a 15-year depreciation schedule. I'm watching the numbers to see.
--scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
October 7, 2004 10:43:18 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Hev" <none@youwouldknow.com> wrote in message
news:q3f9d.10158$r3.8956@trnddc05...

> The maintenance and time wasted calibrating analog gear makes your
comments
> mind-bogglingly stupid. You would be earning much more money per year just
> by the time saved. Add up the hours wasted per year at a successful
> commercial recording studio calibrating the damn machine for tape brand X
at
> +3, next client brings in brand Y at +6... it is such an archaic way of
> doing things that it won't take long for the dinosaurs to be long gone.

There ain't no brand Y no more. It's Quantegy or the highway. A wretched
situation for those of us who liked other tape brands, but it makes the
alignment issue easier.

Also: re-alignment for a client's preferred tape can be billable.

Peace,
Paul
Anonymous
October 7, 2004 10:51:15 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Paul Stamler" <pstamlerhell@pobox.com> wrote in message
news:a7g9d.504945$OB3.240494@bgtnsc05-news.ops.worldnet.att.net...
> "Hev" <none@youwouldknow.com> wrote in message
> news:q3f9d.10158$r3.8956@trnddc05...
>
> > The maintenance and time wasted calibrating analog gear makes your
> comments
> > mind-bogglingly stupid. You would be earning much more money per year
just
> > by the time saved. Add up the hours wasted per year at a successful
> > commercial recording studio calibrating the damn machine for tape brand
X
> at
> > +3, next client brings in brand Y at +6... it is such an archaic way of
> > doing things that it won't take long for the dinosaurs to be long gone.
>
> There ain't no brand Y no more. It's Quantegy or the highway. A wretched
> situation for those of us who liked other tape brands, but it makes the
> alignment issue easier.


Gotcha. The calibration problem is still there however. Not every studio
will operate at the same level.
So get out that little tool and calibrate like there ain't no tomorrow
(because there probably won't be one soon).


> Also: re-alignment for a client's preferred tape can be billable.


I'm sure that doesn't sit well with clients.



--
Sincerely,

Michael Springer
www.SpringerCo.com
Toll Free: 800-237-0065
Local: 301-949-7399
Fax: 301-949-6893
Anonymous
October 8, 2004 1:00:24 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Scott Dorsey" <kludge@panix.com> wrote in message
news:ck46g7$phu$1@panix2.panix.com...
> In article <aOf9d.9621$x65.2094@trnddc06>, Hev <none@youwouldknow.com>
wrote:
> >"Scott Dorsey" <kludge@panix.com> wrote in message
> >>
> >> Takes me about 15 minutes to do a full alignment on the Ampex machines.
> >> You gotta do it every week or so.
> >
> >Then you have a standard tape you always use and the client always has to
> >use? Don't clients bring various tapes in, used at another studio for
> >example? You would have to set up the machine everytime that happened.
Not
> >to mention the time of making a back-up of a master reel. Archaic.
>
> Of course, but you still need to align equipment on a regular basis
because
> it drifts. And yes, whenever you change tape types or batches of tapes,
> you need to spend 15 minutes and realign. The bad thing about analogue is
> that it drifts... the good thing is that you can tell how it's drifting
and
> what is going on. With digital, it drifts but you never notice it until
> finally all hell breaks loose.


Scott, please explain to me how digital 'drifts'. As far as I was aware
digital is either on or off, working or not. Where does the drift come in?


> >> >This viewpoint of yours will lead to your demise.
> >>
> >> Maybe, but I'm looking at the numbers and I'm still seeing better ROI
on
> >the
> >> analogue gear so far. Although I have to admit that the DA-88s have
done
> >a
> >> lot better than I ever expected in terms of investment.
> >
> >I'm guessing what you have seen with the DA-88 will occur with higher end
> >digital before too long.
>
> Maybe. It depends more on manufacturer support than anything else. When
> you spend $50K for a console, you expect to keep it for a long time and
> long-term support becomes a big issue. In the digital world, the
equipment
> cost is very low and the operating cost is very high, in part because the
> life cycle on most of the gear is so short. I'm not seeing that change
> right now, but Neve has some of the right ideas, and Sony's modular DSD
> stuff looks interesting as well in terms of customizability and long-term
> repairability.
>
> PCs are a major issue because you basically can't expect to keep a PC
running
> for a decade with a static configuration. Take a look at what a typical
> Pro Tools shop takes in terms of maintenance time to keep the system clean
> and updated. On the other end of the scale, take a RADAR install which
for
> the most part seems to be pretty stable, but whose long-term
maintainability
> is somewhat questionable. It'll be exciting to see how these systems hold
> up on a 15-year depreciation schedule. I'm watching the numbers to see.


Very good point. Obviously computers are going to need maintenance as well,
and upgrading is a must to stay current (for now). But I think companies
will create stable systems in the near future that are capable of recording
enough tracks at very high level of quality. And I think those machines will
be engineered to stick around for a while... meaning years of use from the
same machine. A 15 year depreciation??? Maybe... but I think I would be
satisfied to get 5-7 years out of a machine without having to mess with it
much.


--
-Hev
Find Me Here:
www.michaelROBOTSspringerBEGONE.com
Anonymous
October 8, 2004 1:00:25 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <I7i9d.9732$x65.9340@trnddc06>, Hev <none@youwouldknow.com> wrote:
>"Scott Dorsey" <kludge@panix.com> wrote in message
>> what is going on. With digital, it drifts but you never notice it until
>> finally all hell breaks loose.
>
>Scott, please explain to me how digital 'drifts'. As far as I was aware
>digital is either on or off, working or not. Where does the drift come in?

As long as there is mechanical stuff and electronic stuff, there is a
need for alignment.

With a DAT deck, you need to tear the transport down about once a year, put
the alignment tape on, and go through the tape path adjustments to make sure
the square wave at the head (the eye pattern) is really square. You do
similar things with CD-R transports, larger digital recorders, and the like.

You can ignore the alignment, and the eye pattern will get worse and worse
as the machine drifts out of alignment. You won't notice it until it's too
late and the machine all of a sudden conks out and you have to cancel a
session and forfeit the deposit. That's why maybe once a month you should
check the error rate on the machine and write it into the equipment log
so you have some notion of how the machine is drifting and how long you
have before it's alignment time.

To a lesser extent there is some alignment that needs to be done on
many converters too. When I pop open my Prism A/D, there are a bunch
of little pots inside there that are part of either the analogue front
end or part of the ladder stages itself. Every once in a while they
need to be adjusted for best linearity, and sadly it's not a 15 minute
scope-and-signal-generator procedure like aligning the Ampex. Then again,
it's an every-few-years thing rather than an every-week thing.

>Very good point. Obviously computers are going to need maintenance as well,
>and upgrading is a must to stay current (for now). But I think companies
>will create stable systems in the near future that are capable of recording
>enough tracks at very high level of quality. And I think those machines will
>be engineered to stick around for a while... meaning years of use from the
>same machine. A 15 year depreciation??? Maybe... but I think I would be
>satisfied to get 5-7 years out of a machine without having to mess with it
>much.

I'm waiting to see. Systems like RADAR are certainly a step in that
direction. With DSD coming in, though, or maybe not coming in, folks
are not willing to put out big capital investment in hardware that might
be obsolete before it's installed and nobody can really predict what is
happining there. It might be like 1" 12-track all over again, but then
again it might be the new industry standard.
--scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
October 8, 2004 12:34:20 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <I7i9d.9732$x65.9340@trnddc06> none@youwouldknow.com writes:

> Obviously computers are going to need maintenance as well,
> and upgrading is a must to stay current (for now). But I think companies
> will create stable systems in the near future that are capable of recording
> enough tracks at very high level of quality.

There's the flurry of 24-track hard disk recorders that we saw appear
in 1998-2000. (The original Anatek RADAR was a few years earlier,
scalable from 8 tracks up to 24) You can still buy a few of them, and
a few others have gone by the wayside, but sales are very slow. In
fact they never sold like gangbusters because they came out just about
the same time as computer-based audio recording software and hardware
(as well as different styles of working that didn't involve 24
simultaniously available inputs and outputs) and today sales are down
to a trickle. (Barry of iZ who's probaby still lurking here - feel
free to contribute to the history)

However, there really isn't a lot of future in this technology.
Eventually the manufacturers figure that the machines do all they're
supposed to do pretty well, and the users have become accustomed to
the bugs and quirks. The hardware is fixed, so the software can only
be updated so far, and the manufacturers stop issuing updates and move
on to something else. Both Mackie and TASCAM are leaning more heavily
on control surface products than dedicated recorders.

> And I think those machines will
> be engineered to stick around for a while... meaning years of use from the
> same machine. A 15 year depreciation??? Maybe... but I think I would be
> satisfied to get 5-7 years out of a machine without having to mess with it
> much.

That's probably reasonable if you're busy and if you stay in business
that long (or just like to have fun). A $30,000 recorder that works
for 30 years is about the same as a $5,000 recorder that works for
five years, and I suspect that the end-of-life value is about the same
percentage of its intitial cost, maybe 7 to 10 percent. But the
"discharge curve" of the digital recorders is steeper, losing its
value faster early in life rather than later. So software maintenance
stops (though there may be some hardware maintenance, at least as long
as proprietary parts are available), but so does the capability.
You'll never be able to EQ, compress, or time stretch a track on a
Mackie HDR24/96, which is something that can be done on any garden
variety DAW these days. Still, it's a very convenient way to work in a
tracking studio (remember those?).

I suppose this is as good an opportunity as any to flog my new book:
"The Last Mackie Hard Disk Recorder Manual". It explains features and
changes in the last software update (about two years ago now) that
were never covered by an updated manual or addendum, as well as
modifications and maintenance tips to get some more useful life out of
the HDR24/96 and MDR24/96.

Order it from http://www.cafepress.com/mikerivers

Download a PDF of the Table of Contents at
http://members.aol.com/mikerivers

--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
October 8, 2004 12:34:20 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <Deg9d.12291$na.6246@trnddc04> none@youwouldknow.com writes:

> Gotcha. The calibration problem is still there however. Not every studio
> will operate at the same level.
> So get out that little tool and calibrate like there ain't no tomorrow
> (because there probably won't be one soon).

This is why we put reference tones at the head of a tape. It's no
different than knowing that the tape is recorded at 15 or 30 ips, or
that a digital file is 44.1 or 48 kHz (or maybe 192 kHz, which my
hardware won't play at all)

> > Also: re-alignment for a client's preferred tape can be billable.
> I'm sure that doesn't sit well with clients.

I've never had an objection. You don't list it as a separate item,
time is time. You do it while the client is using his setup time
(which, while it appears on the bill or not, is still billable if you
want to stay in the black) or getting his guitar in tune.


--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
October 8, 2004 1:28:12 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Mike Rivers" <mrivers@d-and-d.com> wrote in message
news:znr1097236165k@trad...
>
> In article <Deg9d.12291$na.6246@trnddc04> none@youwouldknow.com writes:
>
>> Gotcha. The calibration problem is still there however. Not every studio
>> will operate at the same level.
>> So get out that little tool and calibrate like there ain't no tomorrow
>> (because there probably won't be one soon).
>
> This is why we put reference tones at the head of a tape. It's no
> different than knowing that the tape is recorded at 15 or 30 ips, or
> that a digital file is 44.1 or 48 kHz (or maybe 192 kHz, which my
> hardware won't play at all)


Even with the tones you still have to calibrate every channel to setup the
machine. I know it isn't going to make or break a studio...

I guess I just had a bad experience. I interned at a studio that was
primarily analog (24 track 2 inch) and it was just a mess. Every 24 track
recorder had at least one track down at any given time (usually 2 or 3) and
the engineers were constantly calibrating machines for different tape and
ordering expensive replacement parts. For a young guy like me it was mind
boggling to watch 'professionals' having to deal with such situations. It
seems like studios really do have to play off of an image to gain a
customers trust and confidence (a game of sorts), and this would probably
send a young band running for the closest Pro Tools rig in someones
basement. I guess I made my mind up about analog at that point.

On a totally different note: Rivers, you bastard for getting the cicadas
recorded!! I had actually placed an order for a Marantz PMD670 for that
purpose but the damn thing was backordered. Maybe it will available before
17 years time. <g>



--

-Hev
find me here:
www.michaelSCREWspringerROBOTS.com
Anonymous
October 9, 2004 4:54:20 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

mrivers@d-and-d.com (Mike Rivers) wrote in news:znr1097237530k@trad:

> I suppose this is as good an opportunity as any to flog my new book:
> "The Last Mackie Hard Disk Recorder Manual". It explains features and
> changes in the last software update (about two years ago now) that
> were never covered by an updated manual or addendum, as well as
> modifications and maintenance tips to get some more useful life out of
> the HDR24/96 and MDR24/96.
>
> Order it from http://www.cafepress.com/mikerivers
>
> Download a PDF of the Table of Contents at
> http://members.aol.com/mikerivers

I've already gotten my 12 month for $1200 out of my Mackie SDR 24/96, and
it's still going strong. I use it to capture tracks on location and bring
them back for processing on the DAW.

Does you book offer anything useful on the SDR?
Anonymous
October 9, 2004 5:18:22 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <Xns957D5AC8162E7gulfjoehotmailcom@207.69.189.191> gulfjoe@hotmail.com writes:

> I've already gotten my 12 month for $1200 out of my Mackie SDR 24/96, and
> it's still going strong. I use it to capture tracks on location and bring
> them back for processing on the DAW.
>
> Does you book offer anything useful on the SDR?

Sorry, no. The SDR is a totally different animal from the HDR and MDR
and it would require a book on its own. However, the manuals for the
SDR are pretty much up to date and they're so simple inside that
anyone inclined to do something like swap out the disk drive can just
do it.



--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
October 10, 2004 12:53:31 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <pNy9d.9$j15.0@trnddc07>, Hev <none@youwouldknow.com> wrote:
>Scott Dorsey wrote:
>> Yup. I suggest interning at a studio with Pro Tools and seeing the same
>> sort of thing going on. Either you do proper preventative maintenance, or
>> you live with stuff falling apart all around you. There are a lot of
>studios,
>> both digital and analogue, in that last category.
>
>Good advice, I certainly would gain from that experience. All the experience
>I have had with digital recording systems have been pretty stable once
>operating systems have been 'tuned' for pro audio use. That is not to say
>issues won't occur when adding new hardware or software.

In the short term, they are all very stable. In the long term, you either
do maintenance, or you do repairs.

And when you get behind the repair curve, things start snowballing. One of
the things about analogue gear, though, is that most failures (other than
power supply failures) aren't catastrophic. You can lose one channel or
lose one output and still keep functioning. This is an advantage in the
short term because it lets you work around problems, but it's a disadvantage
in the long term because it makes it that much more tempting to ignore them.

With more modular digital systems coming down the pike, hopefully digital
gear is going to be this way too. The Neve Capricorn is one example of
a nicely distributed system... you can lose big chunks and still keep
operating.

>So who are the players that have created custom operating systems for audio?
>Is there a proprietory pro audio operating system? If there isn't there
>should be...

As far as I know, BeOS is pretty much the only player there, and aside from
getting embedded in the Mackie recorders, I don't know how much real market
share they have. There are some small realtime operating systems out there
like pSOS and the like; dbx has their own proprietary kernal that they have
embedded in their standalone dsp boxes. But I don't think any of these really
have much market share, which is a lot of the problem. I think dedicated
operating systems would do more to improve the long-term stability of
computerized audio gear than anything else.

>Scott... I'm on the east coast in the DC area. I know they have cicadas
>elsewhere in the country... what part of the country are you in to have the
>privilege of dealing with the red eyed buggers?

I'm in Williamsburg, about three hours south of you and Mike Rivers.
To be honest, we didn't get anywhere near the cicada population here that
my wife got up in Beltsville. It was really amazing up there.
--scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
October 11, 2004 5:43:33 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <q3f9d.10158$r3.8956@trnddc05>,
"Hev" <none@youwouldknow.com> wrote:
> The maintenance and time wasted calibrating analog gear makes your comments
> mind-bogglingly stupid. You would be earning much more money per year just
> by the time saved. Add up the hours wasted per year at a successful
> commercial recording studio calibrating the damn machine for tape brand X at
> +3, next client brings in brand Y at +6... it is such an archaic way of
> doing things that it won't take long for the dinosaurs to be long gone.
>
> This viewpoint of yours will lead to your demise.

Digital has no free lunch either. I spend lots and lots of time doing
backups, maintaining filesystems, and updating / maintaining software
for my hard disk systems. This summer, I spent quite a bit of free time
building a nearline backup server, and unfortunately, this sort of stuff
is not directly billable, but assumed to be "in place" by my clients.
Yes, it makes my task easier, but it all adds up one way or another.

It's actually a lot simpler to have a client take a reel with them than
for me to maintain and archive their data on hard disk. It's also a lot
simpler to do an alignment, which will be the same thing over and over
again, than it is to keep up with the various bugs and nonfunctional
software versions that pop up every so often.

The bottom line is that professionals take care of the details and that
hobbyists don't. This applies to analog and digital equally. Back when
this city was primarily analog, it was rare for anyone internal to most
of the medium to low end rooms to even know how to do an alignment.
Yes, they didn't get done that often...

AFAIK, nothing's really changed: the low end rooms here still don't do
enough maintenance and the digital rooms push the data maintenance
requirement onto customers by having them maintain their own firewire
drives, which means there is actually no backup. Heck, I don't even
know anyone but me who verifies each and every data copy made. Most
just let it run and assume it was 100% accurate, when we all know that
reality can intervene.


Just my $.02...

Monte McGuire
monte.mcguire@verizon.net
Anonymous
October 12, 2004 5:10:40 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

mrivers@d-and-d.com (Mike Rivers) wrote in news:znr1097237530k@trad:

>
> That's probably reasonable if you're busy and if you stay in business
> that long (or just like to have fun). A $30,000 recorder that works
> for 30 years is about the same as a $5,000 recorder that works for
> five years, and I suspect that the end-of-life value is about the same
> percentage of its intitial cost, maybe 7 to 10 percent. But the
> "discharge curve" of the digital recorders is steeper, losing its
> value faster early in life rather than later. So software maintenance
> stops (though there may be some hardware maintenance, at least as long
> as proprietary parts are available), but so does the capability.
> You'll never be able to EQ, compress, or time stretch a track on a
> Mackie HDR24/96, which is something that can be done on any garden
> variety DAW these days. Still, it's a very convenient way to work in a
> tracking studio (remember those?).
>

I've not been overly happy with the straight-to-DAW approach - we often
end up tracking via an analog board to a Tascam 24 track (those hard disk
things that sell at a trickle now - with very nice A/D, all the benefits
of "normal" tracking, but no waiting for tape to roll), then pop out the
scsi drive, pop it in the PC, and import to the DAW for all the
automation, time stretch, EQ, and slick compression that we need. It's
not a bad workflow, and I think it uses each piece of equipment to
advantage, although the improvements in control surfaces may change that.
I just haven't seen a control surface as nice as a decent analog board
(yet, and I'm probably a bit behind in current products).

Greg
October 12, 2004 5:10:41 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <Xns9580532F7AC43bryantgHELLOyahoocom@199.45.49.11>,
bryantgHELLO@yahoo.com says...
> mrivers@d-and-d.com (Mike Rivers) wrote in news:znr1097237530k@trad:
>
> >
> > That's probably reasonable if you're busy and if you stay in business
> > that long (or just like to have fun). A $30,000 recorder that works
> > for 30 years is about the same as a $5,000 recorder that works for
> > five years, and I suspect that the end-of-life value is about the same
> > percentage of its intitial cost, maybe 7 to 10 percent. But the
> > "discharge curve" of the digital recorders is steeper, losing its
> > value faster early in life rather than later. So software maintenance
> > stops (though there may be some hardware maintenance, at least as long
> > as proprietary parts are available), but so does the capability.
> > You'll never be able to EQ, compress, or time stretch a track on a
> > Mackie HDR24/96, which is something that can be done on any garden
> > variety DAW these days. Still, it's a very convenient way to work in a
> > tracking studio (remember those?).
> >
>
> I've not been overly happy with the straight-to-DAW approach - we often
> end up tracking via an analog board to a Tascam 24 track (those hard disk
> things that sell at a trickle now - with very nice A/D, all the benefits
> of "normal" tracking, but no waiting for tape to roll), then pop out the
> scsi drive, pop it in the PC, and import to the DAW for all the
> automation, time stretch, EQ, and slick compression that we need. It's
> not a bad workflow, and I think it uses each piece of equipment to
> advantage,

That's the way we do it, with a Mackie SDR. Going direct 20
channels into the PC has always - ALWAYS - given us problems,
even though we've been through about 10 different PCs, and the
keyboardist and drummer are IT pros. It's simply more productive
to work this way, unfortunately.
---Michael (of APP)...
http://www.soundclick.com/bands/6/austinpowerplantmusic...
October 12, 2004 5:47:33 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

IDE drives go into Firewire and USB external enclosures. Think of
those boxes as IDE>>USB/Firewire translation gadgets.

Maybe they have SATA Firewire/USB external enclosures these days. But
the basic idea on them has been if you open one up, it's just an IDE
drive in there.

I swap different drives in and out of it all the time. In fact, I
don't bother even bolting it back together.


I just want to make a final point that the computer is the absoloute
center of the modern studio. Hence, I can't think of a better place
to invest in technical knowledge skills.
Anonymous
October 12, 2004 7:57:34 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <Xns9580532F7AC43bryantgHELLOyahoocom@199.45.49.11> bryantgHELLO@yahoo.com writes:

> I've not been overly happy with the straight-to-DAW approach - we often
> end up tracking via an analog board to a Tascam 24 track (those hard disk
> things that sell at a trickle now

> pop out the
> scsi drive, pop it in the PC, and import to the DAW for all the
> automation, time stretch, EQ, and slick compression that we need. It's
> not a bad workflow, and I think it uses each piece of equipment to
> advantage, although the improvements in control surfaces may change that.
> I just haven't seen a control surface as nice as a decent analog board
> (yet, and I'm probably a bit behind in current products).

Actually one of the best control surfaces for a DAW was one of the
first, the Mackie Hui. It had nice feeling motorized faders, usable
metering, sensible monitoring - and it was as expensive as you'd
expect a ProTools accessory to be. The HUI protocol kind of limited
itself in that it's defined for only eight faders with bank switching.
That worked OK when people were recording 8 to 16 tracks, but with
most DAW projects going into an unconscionable number of tracks,
people want at least 24 faders before they have to switch banks.

The trouble with standards is that sometimes they work against you.
There was never a HUI-2. Even Mackie's HUI emulation for the d8b
console (something that came with the last software release) only uses
eight of the 24 channel faders on the console.

There are a number of new work surfaces (ranging from a Behringer for
a couple hundred bucks to a $90,000 "mini" SSL) but there are more
cheap ones than really nice feeling and expensive ones.

--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
!