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Thread: sound card recommendations for classical piano

  1. #31
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    I'm sure it's frustrating. You're set on your point and everyone else is set on theirs, but keep it in context.
    Your thread is asking for hardware recommendations because A: You need? to record at >48k and B: You're having performance issues.

    This is a conscientious forum. People won't just blindly recommend interfaces to satisfy your criteria if they think there's another/better solution.

    I mean, they might now because your position's been made clear but even then, what is your final delivery format?
    If it's not 96k digital then, with respect, the debate becomes irrelevant.

    If you're adamant 96k sounds better to you and that's your final delivery format then fine...We'll keep it on-track. Right fellas?
    ---------- Steenaudio Website ----------

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steenamaroo View Post
    I'm sure it's frustrating. You're set on your point and everyone else is set on theirs, but keep it in context.
    Your thread is asking for hardware recommendations because A: You need? to record at >48k and B: You're having performance issues.

    This is a conscientious forum. People won't just blindly recommend interfaces to satisfy your criteria if they think there's another/better solution.

    I mean, they might now because your position's been made clear but even then, what is your final delivery format?
    If it's not 96k digital then, with respect, the debate becomes irrelevant.

    If you're adamant 96k sounds better to you and that's your final delivery format then fine...We'll keep it on-track. Right fellas?
    Yes, I can live with that. Not sure how to repro' at 96k? Straight out of a D/A converter to digital monitors? But I thought the thread was also going with "if 96kHz is better than 48, 192kHz MUST be even better" . Pretty sure there is no evidence for that. Quite the contrary I understand?


    Just thought. Re a totally digital repro chain? Dangerous, I would definitely want a big analogue knob in there? ESPECIALLY for live performance!
    Dave.

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    The OP just has his opinion that higher sample rates sound better. I'm cool with this, but don't waste my time with it. My concert pianist collaborator has a very, very keen ear, and we've had to set up a metronome with a slight delay on his own system because the Cubase click is a tiny bit early, resulting in him being consistently about 128th/bar ahead of the absolute time. He cannot cope with this and spends a huge amount of time trimming teeny bits off the start of some notes - because he can hear it. I cannot. Yet he cannot hear any difference between the samples we have on his website - 320K/mp3 and the 44.1KHz CDs. I tried 48 and 96 recently - he states they sound identical, and I agree. I cannot hear any difference in a blind test. When I know I'm listening to 96K, I can convince myself I can hear it - but when I accidentally mixed some recordings up - the only way I could identify which was which without looking at the file data was by the time I'd written on the card!

    Some people are certain they can hear the difference, and maybe they can - but this doesn't mean everyone else is wrong for not agreeing.

    What exactly is in the extra data? If you edit out a glitch in the digital waveform, and remove a sample or two, or draw in a new curve with the pen - the click vanishes, and the data that you generated is transparent. All the stuff about LPs and other media really boils down to noise - hiss is bad, crackles are bad - they annoy and are obvious. Once the hiss is gone and there are no crackles - what exactly is the 'quality' descriptor? I personally think it's simply accuracy and realism and tone. A Yamaha and Steinway piano pair sound different. Not better. Some people like one, some the other because of choice and I think this is nothing to do with quality. The top notes of a piano are not that high, and the harmonics don't extend very far before they've vanished because they are very low level. When somebody wants me to do quality things I simply don't believe are necessary, I charge more, and many of them pay. If it takes me longer to copy files, and backup and edit, that isn't my fault, and it's much simpler to say yes, do it, and not argue, because they KNOW what they ask for is better. If you sit with them, it's obvious it's in their head. Seeing numbers, or HD or 4K in the video edit make them happy. Happy clients are worth having, even if they have really weird things in their head.

  4. #34
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    So, while, like I said, I'm a skeptic, @rob aylestone , what is the equipment chain you use if you are getting paid to do 96k, including the computer specs? OP wants equipment recommendations, so that might be useful.
    "... I know in the mornin' that it's gonna be good
    when I stick out my elbows and they don't bump wood." - Bill Kirchen

  5. #35
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    Tascam 1641 - and I'll look at the computer tom arrow when we're in the studio. Not quite sure what getting paid has to do with it? My first outing with digital audio on computers was with a Soundscape SSHDR1 system with two cards - 48KHz and one of the worst user interfaces I've ever used - but it sounded good. I'm not sure audio quality has actually changed much since then really. There's a clear quality increase as sampling rate and bit depth goes up = but it suddenly runs out of steam. I'm not even sold on 44.1 to 48KHz. The old Panasonic DATs we were using could work at both sample rates, but one machine had copy protection that wouldn't turn off - and was 48KHz only. I don't think we ever really noticed. That was with 16 bit sampling, and I suspect pretty crude filtering but they sounded better than our reel to reels in so many ways. The Tascam interface is pretty silent, even with high monitor levels, and the tiny adjustments we make to the pianos is easy to hear, but switching to higher sampling rates seems invisible, with no quality jump we can determine. I'll add the spec asap.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rob aylestone View Post
    Tascam 1641 - and I'll look at the computer tom arrow when we're in the studio. Not quite sure what getting paid has to do with it? My first outing with digital audio on computers was with a Soundscape SSHDR1 system with two cards - 48KHz and one of the worst user interfaces I've ever used - but it sounded good. I'm not sure audio quality has actually changed much since then really. There's a clear quality increase as sampling rate and bit depth goes up = but it suddenly runs out of steam. I'm not even sold on 44.1 to 48KHz. ...
    Well, it seemed like your point was you'd only use higher rates if you were getting paid [for the higher sample rate]. I didn't know if that meant you used any different equipment.

    48kHz is primarily for video compatibilty, from everything I've read. No special ultrasonic content enhancements claimed to my knowledge.

    Thanks.
    "... I know in the mornin' that it's gonna be good
    when I stick out my elbows and they don't bump wood." - Bill Kirchen

  7. #37
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    isn't that the point, Keith - if the 44.1 to 48K increase provides no claimed ultrasonic increase in the accepted hearing range - then any move above it MUST be a smaller one, moving into territory our hearing isn't designed for. If nobody went wow - when switching to 48K, then who are the people saying how wonderful the doubling and quadrupling is? Pseudo-science at it's most gullible. If I read something by any of the respected people that I pay attention to who are very interested in audio recording and replay quality, then I would listen to them - but they don't.

    What I actually meant and didn't explain, was that I rarely detail specific technical stuff in client quotes. Video is the better example - lots of repeat regular clients, and one uses lots of archive material - back from when we shot 4:3 on SD. We shoot now on 1080, and could shoot on 4K, but don't mainly because the end media doesn't make it cost effective in terms of computer time - which is far worse than audio. Pressing render and seeing the clock start taking hours instead of minutes has a cost implication. Not once has any of our regular clients ever asked what format we are going to shoot in - it's changed over the years and they simply base conclusions on the end product. Lots of our projects will be edited in 720p - we can go up from SD, or down from 1080 and they live happily.

    Sound wise, the projects sometimes start in the wrong format, by accident. If we've been working on a 44.1 project, then quite often, a new project inherits this, and my colleague started one in 96 by accident because I'd been fiddling - it makes NO difference we can hear.

    We've just started a new story-telling project and distribution is going to be by USB sticks. The non-technical client has picked some very strange designed sticks that are part of the package and non-negotiable in terms of changing them. Delivery was planned to be 320K mp3. Now, it's becoming clear the length won't let the complete project fit, so we've just sent some samples to her at 256K mp3. Her comments have all come back about content. At the end of section 1, can that little pause be a smidge longer, can the trumpet in section 2 be lower, like a trombone? She was meant to be commenting on quality, so we can assess if dropping the mp3 quality one notch is acceptable. Clearly, she's not heard anything quality wise, and is concentrating hard on the content. A real end user, uninterested in quality by technical terms, simply the performance. Sending the example tracks for comment has generated far more work in content, and none in the fidelity area.

    A friend of mine is an engineer, and it drives him crazy if screw heads are not all aligned the same. He cannot cope with ugly engineering. He over torques non-structural fixings to look pretty, and slams others for not doing this. In audio, double blind testing is very rare. Until people do some, we are resting on opinions, not facts.

    EDIT
    i7-4790-3.6GHz, 16Gb RAM, Windows 10
    Last edited by rob aylestone; 1 Week Ago at 00:21.

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