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Old January 25th, 2005, 08:53 AM   #16
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> serious multitrack guys that use ProTools or Logic.

Pro-Tools is obsolete in the studio where I work. We use something called Digital Performer, absolutely awesome. Some people in the PC world speak very well of Steinberg Nuendo (now Yamaha, it seems) and of course venerable Vegas.
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Old January 25th, 2005, 11:26 AM   #17
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Ah yes, MOTU! Hadn't even thought about them! No extra hardware (unlike ProTools), I like. As long as you don't run across anyone who refuses to deal with you unless you are using PT (like those unpleasant "no Mackie" tech riders that some musicians have in their contracts). I guess the producers of Lord of the Rings weren't concerned.

As for Vegas, I know it's popular. If I ever throw away my Mac and buy a pee see, I'll give that one a go. :-)

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Old January 25th, 2005, 09:50 PM   #18
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I wasn't clear in my previous post. I was refering to location work where you only get one chance to capture a moment.
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Old January 25th, 2005, 10:13 PM   #19
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> I wasn't clear in my previous post. I was refering
> to location work where you only get one chance to
> capture a moment.


Probably the safest bet will be using a portable MD or CD recorder connected to the mixer and with battery backup. A well mantained computer or DAT machine would be almost as good. The computer might have better bit depth and higher sampling rates --given the right extra hardware-- and more storage capacity.
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Old January 25th, 2005, 10:48 PM   #20
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In regards to location computer recording.

Has anyone actually determined if computers that never surf the internet are more reliable for location production work than computers that have surfed the net (because of viruses and such?)
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Old January 26th, 2005, 09:16 AM   #21
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> anyone actually determined if computers that
> never surf the internet are more reliable for
> location production work than computers that
> have surfed the net (because of viruses and such?)

For me it has been the other way around. Having the Mac connected to the 'net means I am always using the latest patches to the OS and QuickTime, and I am easily up to date with the apps I use.
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Old January 26th, 2005, 09:19 AM   #22
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Hmmmm, don't know. I don't think they make very many viruses for OS X. But you do need to disable wireless networking on your machine when running some of this recording software due to potential system conflicts. And in general I wouldn't try running other applications while asking the computer to do the processor-and-memory-intensive job of running ProTools or Final Cut Pro.
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Old January 26th, 2005, 09:28 AM   #23
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> And in general I wouldn't try running other applications while
> asking the computer to do the processor-and-memory-intensive
> job of running ProTools or Final Cut Pro.

Absolutely. Although for today's computers recording a pair of tracks of audio --even at high sampling rates and bit depths-- is not really a sweat at all. But you should turn of all networking, disable anti-virus, defragmenting and any other automatic tasks when recording.
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Old January 26th, 2005, 11:40 AM   #24
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Ignacio, you bring up an interesting issue. Mike, I'm sure that was helpful to others out there who do or might consider using computers for field recording.

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

Live production work usually revolves around having 3dimensional knobs and dials specifically so one can "mult-scan" their engineering environment to make sure everything is set correctly.

On computers these settings have to be menu accessed and that to me is asking for trouble.
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Old January 26th, 2005, 11:55 AM   #25
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> I wasn't clear in my previous post. I was refering
> to location work where you only get one chance to
> capture a moment.

Actually, it was pretty clear to me, that's what I thought you meant. On-location field production can be real high anxiety whenever you have a concern about reliability of equipment. You really do get only one chance.
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Old January 27th, 2005, 12:12 PM   #26
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Just so there is no misunderstanding, I'm stating that menu controlled operations can be a nightmare for live field recording situations. Menu control doesn't mean these systems are less reliable, However it is more difficult to check the status of how one has "set-up" the equipment because one has to access a menu to gather technical information rather than just check a knob or a switch setting.
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Old January 27th, 2005, 01:35 PM   #27
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For me it's more a matter of tactile access, as in the fact that you can quickly move your hand to slide a fader or tweak an EQ or pan pot etc. with "non-virtual" equipment.

That's the advantage of "3 dimensional knobs."

Conversely, with the virtual studio displayed on your screen, even if everything is all laid out as virtual knobs, sliders and meters (and whatever you need to do is accessible without resorting to pull-down menus), you have to grab the mouse, move the pointer to the exact location, and precisely click and tweak and not mess it up.

It's just nowhere near as ergonomic as old-school hard components.

I have noticed the difference when DJing using virtual DJ-console software. The tactile sense is gone, and there goes your rhythm and flow. (Of course, I love not having to carry in thousands of CDs, and it's nice to be able to pull up a song in a few keystrokes.)
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Old January 27th, 2005, 05:31 PM   #28
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> On computers these settings have to be menu
> accessed and that to me is asking for trouble.

Hmmm. I think and think about this and it just doesn't fit reality for me. At least in my case, all pro equipment I have access to has inputs with an analog gain control, which is not at the computer at all. And when recording there is no audio processing and --in the case of live gigs or a wedding-- no mixing, so I still think the computer is a great option.

Most trouble will usually have to do with mics, cables, preamps, direct boxes and so on.

I of course wouldn't dream of using such a setup for live mixing. Well actually I have thought about it but as a purely academic exercise. Real time control is so important with live mixing...

... then again wouldn't it be cool to have the monitor mixes and channel processing all set up before a show, or from the previous show, short setup time, almost instant soundcheck? But that would mean using the same monitors, microphones... not the usual case for me and the band I work with.

Back to the subject: I guess my opinion on this issue might also have to do with the fact that I use macs for audio. And especially in regards to the effect of having the computer connected to the 'net, it seems so different to the mainstream platform. At the studio we keep all macs fully networked with access to the IP backbone and everything works perfectly, no problem at all. We sometimes even stream audio files accross the network in cases of emergency. Of course for this to work you need switches instead of hubs. Whereas the PC we have (just one) is often in trouble because of viruses or trojans or, in many cases, for unknown reasons. I use both PCs and Macs and I like both, I am by no means trying to start a platform war, just sharing my experience.
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Old January 27th, 2005, 08:03 PM   #29
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>>>Real time control is so important with live mixing...

How right you are, Ignacio!

>>>.. then again wouldn't it be cool to have the monitor mixes and channel processing all set up before a show, or from the previous show, short setup time, almost instant soundcheck?

Well, isn't that one of the big selling points of digital mixers? Actually, I have very limited experience with these, I had a small one from Roland on which you could store scenes and all kinds of effects setups and had built-in simulations and stuff, but it was such a pain in the --- for me to use, I went right back to the good old Mackie analog board. :-)
(...or Allen & Heath, Soundcraft, etc.)

At the end of the day, I see no harm in having a PowerBook take the place of a DAT or other recorder to "tape" a board feed in the field.
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Old January 27th, 2005, 09:04 PM   #30
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"I'm stating that menu controlled operations can be a nightmare for live field recording situations."

How right you are Alessandro!
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