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ARSCLIST  August 2008

ARSCLIST August 2008

Subject:

Re: The Hope of Audacity Was--Re: [ARSCLIST] Seeking recommendations for oral history digitization equipment (fwd)

From:

Mike Hirst <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sun, 17 Aug 2008 14:14:25 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

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text/plain (93 lines)

I've been going over the recent exchanges re different software 
recommendations. I started audio editing in the days of razor blades and 
splicing blocks when I was co-presenting a programme for the BBC Night 
Northern Network. My introduction to digital mastering, post-production 
and broadcasting facilities was working with SADiE c.1996.

http://www.sadie.com/about/profile.html

Around the same time I started building my own digital studio. The 
budget was tight, so I started working with Cool Edit. Despite having 
subsequently worked with Soudforge, Cubase, Wavelab and Pro Tools I keep 
coming back to CoolEdit/Adobe Audition. I guess Rod Stephens is right 
when I talks about sticking within our own 'comfort levels'.

With regard to the current debate, it has always been my understanding 
that given well set up, clean and well maintained analogue playback and 
a soundcard/digital interface with a good spec AD converter the choice 
of software will have no impact on the quality of digital capture. 
Indeed I can capture audio without using GUI software at all. Using my 
M-Audio soundcard and Brett Bartholomew's command line utility cmd2wav

http://www.bartdart.com/downloads/cmd2wav.zip

I can capture audio with a 32bit resolution and a sampling rate of 96KHz 
from the command line with no problem at all.

However, reading Goran Finnberg's comments re the work dome by George 
Blood, I am surprised to find that different combinations of software 
and hardware can produce different results. Am I to understand that 
Adobe Audition, for example, will capture audio differently when used 
with an M-Audio card, for example, than it would when combined with an 
E-MU or SoundBlaster card? does it then follow that the same card 
combined with different software would produce different results? Is 
this something I should worry about? What is the extent of this 
discrepancy and how best can I avoid it?

Goran Finnberg wrote:
> Craig Breaden:
> 
>> Bob, you may be right.  Perhaps a comparison of free
>> (or bundled) softwares is in order to see how quality 
>> of the output WAV varies.
>> This information could then be passed on to archives
>> who could use it.
> 
> 
> Some time ago George Blood of Safe Sound Archive, 
> 
> http://www.safesoundarchive.com/
> 
> spoke of comparision tests done on several software programs and
> soundcards showing wide differences in the quality of the software and
> its interaction with the soundcards.
> 
> I got the impression that this was told during an ARSC presentation.
> 
> He very generously offered the power point presentation from his speech
> and it really was of great interest to me confirming my extectations of
> simple programs.
> 
> Tested 6 different hardware paired with 7 different softwares.
> 
> George Blood:
> 
> 
>> 3.  The problems we found occur at staggeringly high rates -- above 85% of all files failed bit-level certification.  And this rate occurs with so many combinations of hardware, software, drivers, operating systems, that finding the root cause is extremely difficult.
> 
> As always the DAW´s that cost sizable money, Sonic Solutions, was
> perfect in all respects but the rest.........
> 
> I would suggest you contact him at http://www.safesoundarchive.com/
> 
> to get your copy of the power point presentation to learn part of what
> he found out at cost to him.
> 
> When problems occur it _will_ cost you some way or the other that is for
> sure in my experience.
> 
> 

-- 
Mike Hirst
Managing Director
DAS-360°
16 Ocean View
Whitley Bay
Tyne & Wear
NE26 1AL

tel: 0191 289 3186
email: [log in to unmask]
web: http://www.das360.net

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