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How important is an AI for ITB recording?
Old 10th February 2009
  #1
Gear Nut
 
wubbzy's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
How important is an AI for ITB recording?

Hey everyone. I primarily use softsynths in Logic 8 and occasionally I might use a sound from an external keyboard (very rare). So everything from drums to keys is all done in Logic. I am currently using a MOTU Ultralite and am considering getting an Apogee Duet. I guess my question is, do I really need to do that? My consideration for the switch is...well, basically if it helps me do a better job than what I have, why not?

Since I am mostly sequencing and not so much recording audio direct, will my audio interface matter that much? Will I notice a big difference in playback audio (sounds triggered in the softsynths)? I do 'try' to mixdown my stuff on my own, so will an AI with better convertors give me a more accurate translation to my monitors? Or are the convertors only important when going from analog to digital (line-in I guess)?

Thanks in advance for ANY help/advice.
Old 10th February 2009
  #2
Audio Alchemist
 
Lagerfeldt's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by wubbzy ➑️
Since I am mostly sequencing and not so much recording audio direct, will my audio interface matter that much?
If your current MOTU interface sounds good to you, has low latency, and is stable, then I see no need to change to a Duet.

Quote:
will an AI with better convertors give me a more accurate translation to my monitors?
Yes, the D/A converters will affect what you hear in your monitors.

But I doubt you will notice a major improvement going from your MOTU to the Duet.

Quote:
Or are the convertors only important when going from analog to digital (line-in I guess)?
As you correctly suspected yourself the D/A converter quality affects the playback quality and therefore what you hear in your monitors.

The A/D converters will affect what is recorded into the computer.

The sound card, drivers and converters will not affect what goes on inside the computer in terms of sound quality. But it will affect latency and stability.
Old 10th February 2009 | Show parent
  #3
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
I keep coming back to thinking about D/A since I'm in a similar boat, but I've been reading, and lately they covered converters in SOS magazine.

I'm convinced that it would be more beneficial to perform acoustic adjustments 1st, in order to be able to appreciate the subtle quality increase coming from better conversion. From what I understand, decreased jitter from great D/A will improve space and depth perception and lower level dynamics. In a bad room, you aren't going to hear it!

Right now, I'm focusing on calibration standards, at least trying (renting an apartment, so I'm not looking to do too much) to make my listening environment as accurate as possible, as well as setting up more easily accessible monitoring sources around the house.
Old 10th February 2009 | Show parent
  #4
Audio Alchemist
 
Lagerfeldt's Avatar
Exactly.

Acoustics, monitoring and correct listening position is far more important than the difference in your D/A, as long as the D/A is of a decent quality.
Old 11th February 2009 | Show parent
  #5
Gear Nut
 
wubbzy's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
You guys are right; I should know better. I guess I'm trying to optimize everything, but really I need to optimize the room first.

Is there any hope for this room (attached photos)? How can I go about optimizing this room? Sorry for the mess. I work from home, so this space doubles as my home office. It's also tax time, so I have papers everywhere. At a minimum, I was going to get some bass trap wedges to put in all of the corners. Do you guys think that will help at all?

I guess I need to do some more research actually.
Attached Thumbnails
How important is an AI for ITB recording?-dscf0047.jpg   How important is an AI for ITB recording?-dscf0049.jpg  
Old 11th February 2009 | Show parent
  #6
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by wubbzy ➑️
You guys are right; I should know better. I guess I'm trying to optimize everything, but really I need to optimize the room first.

Is there any hope for this room (attached photos)? How can I go about optimizing this room? Sorry for the mess. I work from home, so this space doubles as my home office. It's also tax time, so I have papers everywhere. At a minimum, I was going to get some bass trap wedges to put in all of the corners. Do you guys think that will help at all?

I guess I need to do some more research actually.

I would say possibly. 4inch traps in the corners. Possible 6inch traps in the back corners. That's a start. Some 2inch traps along the side walls. It's acoustic professionals around here that can help you better.
Old 11th February 2009 | Show parent
  #7
Lives for gear
 
CaliTone's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by wubbzy ➑️
You guys are right; I should know better. I guess I'm trying to optimize everything, but really I need to optimize the room first.

Is there any hope for this room (attached photos)? How can I go about optimizing this room? Sorry for the mess. I work from home, so this space doubles as my home office. It's also tax time, so I have papers everywhere. At a minimum, I was going to get some bass trap wedges to put in all of the corners. Do you guys think that will help at all?

I guess I need to do some more research actually.
That's actually a really cool room to have. Just bass traps in the corners, some panels on the front, back, side, and ceiling and you'd should be set. Go to GIK Acoustics website and they have everything you need at a reasonable price. I agree with the previous poster that the acoustics and monitoring are more important than changing you converters.
Old 11th February 2009 | Show parent
  #8
Lives for gear
 
Lemonsqueezer's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I would also consider speaker stands as well. again will make more difference that the DAC upgrade you were thinking of.
Old 11th February 2009 | Show parent
  #9
nas
Lives for gear
 
nas's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Check this out:

RealTraps - Home thumbsup
Old 12th February 2009 | Show parent
  #10
Gear Guru
 
Glenn Kuras's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by CaliTone ➑️
That's actually a really cool room to have. Just bass traps in the corners, some panels on the front, back, side, and ceiling and you'd should be set. Go to GIK Acoustics website and they have everything you need at a reasonable price. I agree with the previous poster that the acoustics and monitoring are more important than changing you converters.
We also have a lot of education stuff on the website so feel free to LEARN away.

Glenn
Old 13th February 2009 | Show parent
  #11
Gear Guru
 
Glenn Kuras's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by wubbzy ➑️
You guys are right; I should know better. I guess I'm trying to optimize everything, but really I need to optimize the room first.

Is there any hope for this room (attached photos)? How can I go about optimizing this room? Sorry for the mess. I work from home, so this space doubles as my home office. It's also tax time, so I have papers everywhere. At a minimum, I was going to get some bass trap wedges to put in all of the corners. Do you guys think that will help at all?

I guess I need to do some more research actually.
First thing you need to do is face the short wall of the room and start by sitting back around 38% of the room. From what I can see you are facing the short wall which is good but pull back to the 38% spot. At that point add as many bass traps as possible in the corners made from either rigid fiberglass or mineral wool and hit the reflection points What Are Early Reflection Points. SPOTLIGHT:Bob Ebeling - Revolution Studio.
Also this page is helpful for set up GIK Acoustics: Room Setup

Like I said before there is a lot of stuff on the website that should help guide you through the set up.

Glenn
Old 13th February 2009 | Show parent
  #12
D K
Lives for gear
 
D K's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
wubbzy,

Take a few more pictures of your room - post them where you can have Glenn look at them and let him get you set up - He did it for me and it is by far the smartest money I have spent

Good guys, great products and service

Do it! - trust me on this- you wont regret it and it will set the table for any upgrade path in your equipment and insure that it will actually deliver value for the dollars you spend whether it be monitors, converters etc.etc

This is where it starts and these are the guys to deal with..

Just a satisfied customer and there are lots of us out here...
Old 13th February 2009 | Show parent
  #13
Gear Nut
 
wubbzy's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Thanks for the tip D K. Here are a few more. If panoramic pictures are a problem, I can take individual shots.
Common sense tells me to shift everything over to the center of the room. My Yamaha manual strongly advises against using monitors in the corner of the room and up against the wall. If I shift everything over to the center of the room, will the big opening in the wall on the opposite side be a problem (picture DSCF0056)
Heh, I never thought I would start taking this stuff seriously, which is why I just put everything in the corner out of the way. Also, the eliptical machine is going to be moved to a different room, so that wont be a problem much longer (not like we use it anymore..lol). Anyway, if the pictures dont do it justice, I can make a small video clip, basically panning around the room.
Also, if it helps, the room is 19 1/2 ft long and 11' 6" wide. The lowest point from floor to the ceiling is 8ft. The highest point is 9' 9".

By the way, I guess this thread will need to be moved since it went from being about convertors to room dynamics. Is there a way I can do this or will the moderators pick it up?
Thanks so much for the help guys.

BTW- very nice site, Glenn!! Ton of info there.... So I guess getting foam bass traps is non beneficial?
Attached Thumbnails
How important is an AI for ITB recording?-dscf0055.jpg   How important is an AI for ITB recording?-dscf0056.jpg   How important is an AI for ITB recording?-dscf0061.jpg   How important is an AI for ITB recording?-dscf0062.jpg  
Old 13th February 2009 | Show parent
  #14
Gear Guru
 
theblue1's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lagerfeldt ➑️
Exactly.

Acoustics, monitoring and correct listening position is far more important than the difference in your D/A, as long as the D/A is of a decent quality.
This makes good sense to me.

Differences between decent converters is really relatively small.

I'm not saying that some folks can't tell the difference -- I'm saying the differences are much smaller between prosumer-on-up converters than the differences between microphones and speakers...

But the real tough nut is generally the monitoring environment (the speakers and the room). Without adequate treatment, a difference in listening position of only a few inches can make radical differences in what one hears. (Our brains continually try to reinterpret those changes in sound; we may not be as aware of them, normally, as is possible to do when one is concentrating. Sometime, move around in your sweet spot, move your head from side to side, differ the angle, left to right, and to different heights, and really listen. You will likely hear quite noticeable differences in the HF -- but as you move around the room, you will also likely hear big diffs in the low end, too.)

So, my thinking is put your effort and money into the things that make the biggest difference first.
Old 13th February 2009 | Show parent
  #15
Audio Alchemist
 
Lagerfeldt's Avatar
Exactly.

"Put your money where your ears are"

Hey that's a pretty good tagline for an acoustics company :-)
Old 13th February 2009 | Show parent
  #16
Gear Guru
 
Glenn Kuras's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lagerfeldt ➑️
Exactly.

"Put your money where your ears are"

Hey that's a pretty good tagline for an acoustics company :-)
Mind if I steal it??
Old 13th February 2009 | Show parent
  #17
Gear Nut
 
wubbzy's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Glenn, I'd like to purchase 2 boxes of the Tri-Trap, maybe 4 to start out with. Is it going to ship from overseas? Or is there stock here in the US?
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