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Author Topic: Question for the Audio Archivists  (Read 1859 times)

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Offline moondust.and.solitude

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Question for the Audio Archivists
« on: June 30, 2023, 05:00:15 PM »
I've been archiving vinyl & cassette tapes for the better part of 25 years or so. While I am more then comfortable with what I do, but I am always looking for new and improved or a better technique on getting the source to digital. I usually prefer the "flat" method of source to recorder (currently a Tascam DR-100mkIII) in 24/192 wav, then I make a secure copy of that before doing any post work at all. I always keep the flat transfer in case I need to re-visit it at a later date.

Now to get to my point, I see a LOT of people using USB audio interfaces like the popular Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (among others). Is there any advantages to this that I am unaware of? It's probably not an issue these days, but in the olden years, latency was an issue with just about any USB audio device. Also, USB use to be * "doubled" for a lack of better term ... with the left and right channels combined. When you would look at it in a spectral graph both left & right would be identical. Has this been fixed over the last two decades? Remaining true to the stereo source is paramount in what I do.

* A little background here: when I say use to be, a lot of people disagree with me on this, but I know for a fact that it was because I had so many issues with it in years past. Keep in mind, I'm talking USB from 20-25 years ago (USB is only 27 years old).

I'm curious about what people use in their chain BETWEEN source (vinyl/cassette) and wav file. After it's transferred, I'm confident in my workflow so I don't need any pointers there (that sounds arrogant and it's not intended to be) ... I'm just interested in the chain and what I may be missing out on.

I'm excited to read some thoughts!
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Offline rocksuitcase

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Re: Question for the Audio Archivists
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2023, 06:01:34 PM »
My Cassette to digi chain:
Cassette > Benchmark Sonic AD2k (analog in/digi out)> Marantz PMD661 (digi in)
I have gone straight into the 661 using analog in, but I *think* I hear a quality difference using the AD2K

Many archivists who earn money doing it settled on this Tascam DA-3000 for a while.(It has DSD but you don't have to use it, you can use traditional A/D conversion). but is now out of manufacture, although new units may still be out there.
https://tascam.com/us/product/da-3000/top

I would say it is expensive, but the Ad2k wasn't "cheap" either.   lol


« Last Edit: June 30, 2023, 07:57:06 PM by rocksuitcase »
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Offline Fatah Ruark (aka MIKE B)

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Re: Question for the Audio Archivists
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2023, 07:18:21 PM »
I just use my MixPre6 to record vinyl. I figure it probably has the best A>D conversion of anything I own.

Turntable > Phone Preamp > MixPre6.

I'll usually just plug my headphones into the MixPre6 to monitor. Rip a bunch of records, and then once I've recorded everything put the card into my PC to do all of the editing.
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Offline morst

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Re: Question for the Audio Archivists
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2023, 07:36:05 PM »
Latency should not matter unless you are trying to record yourself jamming along to the transfer.
Also I doubt you'd notice any lag with a modern computer with a 2i2 or similar...
...and yes they are really stereo.

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Offline moondust.and.solitude

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Re: Question for the Audio Archivists
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2023, 08:39:02 PM »
My Cassette to digi chain:
Cassette > Benchmark Sonic AD2k (analog in/digi out)> Marantz PMD661 (digi in)
I have gone straight into the 661 using analog in, but I *think* I hear a quality difference using the AD2K

Many archivists who earn money doing it settled on this Tascam DA-3000 for a while.(It has DSD but you don't have to use it, you can use traditional A/D conversion). but is now out of manufacture, although new units may still be out there.
https://tascam.com/us/product/da-3000/top

I would say it is expensive, but the Ad2k wasn't "cheap" either.   lol

Thank you. I have added that Benchmark Sonic AD2k piece to my "research" files. Very interesting stuff.
Mics: Lewitt LCT-040; Naiant X-X Omni's; Audio Technica U853AW's; Sony ECM-166BMP's; Audio Technica AT-853's.
Cables: Gotham GAC-4/1 Cables; Canare Custom Cables, UniStar LilRed Whip.
Recorders: Tascam DR-100mkIII; Tascam DR-05x, Tascam PortaCapture X8, Sony PCM-A10.
Misc: Samsung EVO Plus 128GB SDXC Cards.
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Offline moondust.and.solitude

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Re: Question for the Audio Archivists
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2023, 08:41:22 PM »
I just use my MixPre6 to record vinyl. I figure it probably has the best A>D conversion of anything I own.

I feel the same way about the Tascam DR-100mkiii ... it's very clean. So you and I are very similar on our approach.
Mics: Lewitt LCT-040; Naiant X-X Omni's; Audio Technica U853AW's; Sony ECM-166BMP's; Audio Technica AT-853's.
Cables: Gotham GAC-4/1 Cables; Canare Custom Cables, UniStar LilRed Whip.
Recorders: Tascam DR-100mkIII; Tascam DR-05x, Tascam PortaCapture X8, Sony PCM-A10.
Misc: Samsung EVO Plus 128GB SDXC Cards.
RayoVac Fusion Batteries.

Online goodcooker

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Re: Question for the Audio Archivists
« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2023, 10:04:49 PM »

USB is stereo and has always been (at least since I started using it in 2004). You may have had some incompatibility or setup issues in the past. Anyways USB3 has surpassed all other protocols for consumer use that beat it for audio in the past (I'm looking at you Firewire) and is more than adequate for 24/192 conversions - even an inexpensive device like the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2. I have a 2i2 but I prefer my Audient interface. The Audient devices are really nice sounding.

If you are happy with your transfers into your DR100 (and you should be it's a nice sounding device) I don't know that you'd see any improvement unless you jumped to a rather expensive dedicated A/D converter.

For cassette transfers I used to use a Sound Devices USB Pre > USB to laptop. It sounded great but I don't think it would be much better than the Tascam DR100 really. The Benchmark AD2K is one of the best sounding AD converters ever IMO although now it's a little outdated. Which menas you can get them relatively cheap nowadays. $300-$400 when they pop up on Reverb or Ebay. Worth every penny.
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Offline rocksuitcase

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Re: Question for the Audio Archivists
« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2023, 10:09:15 PM »

USB is stereo and has always been (at least since I started using it in 2004). You may have had some incompatibility or setup issues in the past. Anyways USB3 has surpassed all other protocols for consumer use that beat it for audio in the past (I'm looking at you Firewire) and is more than adequate for 24/192 conversions - even an inexpensive device like the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2. I have a 2i2 but I prefer my Audient interface. The Audient devices are really nice sounding.

If you are happy with your transfers into your DR100 (and you should be it's a nice sounding device) I don't know that you'd see any improvement unless you jumped to a rather expensive dedicated A/D converter.       SECONDED

For cassette transfers I used to use a Sound Devices USB Pre > USB to laptop. It sounded great but I don't think it would be much better than the Tascam DR100 really. The Benchmark AD2K is one of the best sounding AD converters ever IMO although now it's a little outdated. Which menas you can get them relatively cheap nowadays. $300-$400 when they pop up on Reverb or Ebay. Worth every penny.        <<<    AGREED
music IS love

When you get confused, listen to the music play!

Mics:         AKG460|CK61|CK1|CK3|CK8|Beyer M 201E|DPA 4060 SK
Recorders:Marantz PMD661 OADE Concert mod; Tascam DR680 MKI x2; Sony PCM-M10

 

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