Holy crap this thing is awesome

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8th_note
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Post by 8th_note » Fri Dec 21, 2007 2:09 pm

Of course you can hear the difference, man. Anything you do will affect the end result, just as anything you use in the process of recording will have a positive or negative [subjectively, or course] effect on the finished product.
I guess I didn't phrase my question very well. Let me start by saying that I have a great deal of respect for your ears, Joel. You turned me onto the EH 12AY7 and for that I will be eternally grateful.

Whenever I read something like this I always wonder how the degree of difference in an A/B test will compare with the degree of difference between, say, mics and preamps. Nothing fancy, just an actual test between two sets of tracks, mixed down, one recorded with the normal clock and one with the Antelope. If you get the opportunity to do that it would be great to hear.

I upgrade my gear carefully and I'm always looking for the points in the chain that will achieve the highest leverage for improvement. I love the Listening Sessions site for that reason. When I first encountered that site I was astounded at the level of difference between preamps, for example. Whether one sounds better than another is subjective but they certainly don't all sound the same.

In this case, for someone who mixes in the box (like me) the Antelope would only affect the initial A/D conversion. The D/A conversion would be handled by the consumer's CD player. It would be really enlightening to hear a comparison of two sets of tracks recorded and mixed down, one with the Antelope, and one with the regular clock, to see what the actual audible difference would be.

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Post by joel hamilton » Fri Dec 21, 2007 2:18 pm

8th_note wrote:
Of course you can hear the difference, man. Anything you do will affect the end result, just as anything you use in the process of recording will have a positive or negative [subjectively, or course] effect on the finished product.
I guess I didn't phrase my question very well. Let me start by saying that I have a great deal of respect for your ears, Joel. You turned me onto the EH 12AY7 and for that I will be eternally grateful.

Whenever I read something like this I always wonder how the degree of difference in an A/B test will compare with the degree of difference between, say, mics and preamps. Nothing fancy, just an actual test between two sets of tracks, mixed down, one recorded with the normal clock and one with the Antelope. If you get the opportunity to do that it would be great to hear.

I upgrade my gear carefully and I'm always looking for the points in the chain that will achieve the highest leverage for improvement. I love the Listening Sessions site for that reason. When I first encountered that site I was astounded at the level of difference between preamps, for example. Whether one sounds better than another is subjective but they certainly don't all sound the same.

In this case, for someone who mixes in the box (like me) the Antelope would only affect the initial A/D conversion. The D/A conversion would be handled by the consumer's CD player. It would be really enlightening to hear a comparison of two sets of tracks recorded and mixed down, one with the Antelope, and one with the regular clock, to see what the actual audible difference would be.
I hear you. I am not sure how much of a difference it would make for you. You should really see about borrowing a better clock source just to try it out for yourself. Without knowing what else I did during the mix, I cant seem to figure out how the "a/b" type of stuff is ever any use to people. Like I would just mix the thing with the clock engaged, and then maix again without it engaged? that would be the only way, because long ago [when adats first came out] that just being the "victim of the technology" would not do. I have to be a part of the feedback loop that listens>decides>adjusts>listens>decides>adjusts for the entire mix. I would make different eq decisions across an entire mix based on clocked/not clocked. I would make different decisions in general, so just pulling the rug out from under a mix seems pretty stupid, and unflattering to any kind of subjective analysis of clocked or unclocked. I dont feel like pitting one method against another teaches us anything, really. Like the "neve VS api" type of threads that we see so often. WTF do they mean to anyone? Why would it matter to me? Like if I did a recall on my nice old neve of a mix i did on a SSL I should expect magical results just because people say the neve circuitry is nicer?

I feel like the idea of upgrading one's studio is a personal decision, left to the owner/operator/engineer because nobody can hear what you are hearing,or your vision for the sounds, until you make it a reality... this clock helps me make the vision I may have for a bunch of sounds a reality.
To me that is one of the crucial distinctions between "great sounding demo" and "album."

When someone asks me for "album" I have to be able to deliver that, and some percentage of this process relies on the quality of your infrastructure.

If you are achieving your vision with your current setup, you have a perfect studio.
I like to move forward, in the pursuit of great sounds.. much in the same spirit that lead to the invention of many of the formats we take for granted in the sense that when I can see a way to make it better [the sound of the things I am working on] I WILL. simple as that, if I have the budget, and something exists that i can try out and I find that it helps me get a better sounding record for whoever is hiring me to do so, I will do it. for sure. without a doubt. Recording is what I love, and I am not rich, but I can save, and get some good stuff. ;)

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Post by chris harris » Fri Dec 21, 2007 4:03 pm

you can really only make semi-educated guesses based on internet recommendations. you really DO have to try things for yourself to be able to know how much something will or will not benefit the way you work.
I totally agree about the "sound samples" and "a/b test" obsession on messageboards. If you're really in the market for something, and you're planning to spend thousands on a piece of gear, there is a dealer somewhere who will arrange for a demo. If you're just curious about how much difference a $6000 clock will make, you're not really going to find out from samples posted online. I've heard really shitty "sound samples" posted online that were recorded with gear that I love. I just wondered what those bozos who recorded them were doing wrong. There are waaay too many variables.
It's much better to weigh the opinions of people you trust to decide which gear is worth trying for yourself. I feel like most of the people who keep those comparison threads alive at places like Gearslutz are just there out of curiosity ("Does my Studio Projects C1 really sound just like a $2000 u87?") If they were really in the market for that stuff, they could save a lot of time by just finding a dealer that will let them buy 3 items and return their two least favorite. Most independent pro audio dealers will accommodate things like that.

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Post by joel hamilton » Fri Dec 21, 2007 9:20 pm

subatomic pieces wrote:you can really only make semi-educated guesses based on internet recommendations. you really DO have to try things for yourself to be able to know how much something will or will not benefit the way you work.
I totally agree about the "sound samples" and "a/b test" obsession on messageboards. If you're really in the market for something, and you're planning to spend thousands on a piece of gear, there is a dealer somewhere who will arrange for a demo. If you're just curious about how much difference a $6000 clock will make, you're not really going to find out from samples posted online. I've heard really shitty "sound samples" posted online that were recorded with gear that I love. I just wondered what those bozos who recorded them were doing wrong. There are waaay too many variables.
It's much better to weigh the opinions of people you trust to decide which gear is worth trying for yourself. I feel like most of the people who keep those comparison threads alive at places like Gearslutz are just there out of curiosity ("Does my Studio Projects C1 really sound just like a $2000 u87?") If they were really in the market for that stuff, they could save a lot of time by just finding a dealer that will let them buy 3 items and return their two least favorite. Most independent pro audio dealers will accommodate things like that.
Exactly.

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Post by OM15.2 » Mon Jan 14, 2008 9:11 pm

joel hamilton wrote:
subatomic pieces wrote:you can really only make semi-educated guesses based on internet recommendations. you really DO have to try things for yourself to be able to know how much something will or will not benefit the way you work.
I totally agree about the "sound samples" and "a/b test" obsession on messageboards. If you're really in the market for something, and you're planning to spend thousands on a piece of gear, there is a dealer somewhere who will arrange for a demo. If you're just curious about how much difference a $6000 clock will make, you're not really going to find out from samples posted online. I've heard really shitty "sound samples" posted online that were recorded with gear that I love. I just wondered what those bozos who recorded them were doing wrong. There are waaay too many variables.
It's much better to weigh the opinions of people you trust to decide which gear is worth trying for yourself. I feel like most of the people who keep those comparison threads alive at places like Gearslutz are just there out of curiosity ("Does my Studio Projects C1 really sound just like a $2000 u87?") If they were really in the market for that stuff, they could save a lot of time by just finding a dealer that will let them buy 3 items and return their two least favorite. Most independent pro audio dealers will accommodate things like that.
Exactly.
well no...

in this case an A/B test could be completely objective. You're talking about a clock that control the A/D conversion right?

so a fixed source (or pre-recorded material) can be tracked & retracked with and without the clock. Same signal same levels same everything. And if you phase invert, the two new tracks will either null each other out, (meaning the clock has made no difference), or you'll be able to see/hear the distortion artifacts generated by lesser quality clocking. (which would be kinda interesting to see/hear the "noise" of PT...)

But I'm not saying that you should bother doing this, and I'm not in the market for this thing. Just saying that it wouldn't be a subjective test like comparing micpres via mp3s online.

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Post by rwc » Mon Jan 14, 2008 11:56 pm

OM15.2 wrote:
joel hamilton wrote: A lot of money? Yes, but nobody ever said owning a quality studio would be "cheap."
I kinda really really disagree.
Call me crazy but I don't think it's the norm.

Great records have come out of cheap studios. But this was not BECAUSE of the cheap studio, rather, IMO, in spite of the cheap studio.

I agree that a quality studio that can, 365 days a year, belt out a professional product(not just one or two things here and there and then no more production), isn't cheap.
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Post by OM15.2 » Tue Jan 15, 2008 2:13 am

RWC wrote:
OM15.2 wrote:
joel hamilton wrote: A lot of money? Yes, but nobody ever said owning a quality studio would be "cheap."
I kinda really really disagree.
Call me crazy but I don't think it's the norm.

Great records have come out of cheap studios. But this was not BECAUSE of the cheap studio, rather, IMO, in spite of the cheap studio.

I agree that a quality studio that can, 365 days a year, belt out a professional product(not just one or two things here and there and then no more production), isn't cheap.
yeah but i don't think there has ever been a great record recorded BECAUSE of the studio, cheap, medicore, or amazing. I just don't think the studio is that much of a critical factor in a great record.

and i don't think a quality studio can, 365 days a year, belt out a professional product. The critcal factor(s) in a great record are music and people. After that, gear/studios run in a distant second, and can either help or hinder a record, but either way won't make or prevent that great record (if it's there)

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Post by vier-personen » Tue Jan 15, 2008 3:27 am

OM15.2 wrote: The critcal factor(s) in a great record are music and people.
I agree. But I also think it doesn?t matter what gear - the cheapest beat-up or the most expensive, sought-after hi-end vintage whatever - the sound matters.

so, if joel says this clock makes so much difference in the way he records & mixes stuff I believe him and congratulate him for improving his sound!

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Post by Ryan Silva » Wed Jan 16, 2008 9:14 am

joel hamilton wrote: with this clock, digital just got good.
Thats ending up in a Magazine somewhere. :wink:
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Post by lharless » Wed Jan 16, 2008 10:36 am

digital has been good for some time now. lol.

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An A/B test is pointless...ABX is what really matters

Post by east3rdst » Fri Jan 18, 2008 11:09 am

I've been thinking about this ever since the posts regarding various mp3 sample rates. I don't doubt that well respected and experienced engineers hear a difference between various products, but without a proper double blind test (ABX) we could all be wasting our money.

The deeper I look into this the more I realize that personal opinion counts for very little in evaluating the con ridden world of audio

I mean if Bob Ludwig can get suckered by the placebo effect, what makes any of us immune. "I use the new utterly amazing Transparent Audio Opus MM Speaker cables and even my patch cords are made using Transparent Audio cable"

http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/home-enterta ... 303825.php

It would be nice to have a sort of Audio version of the FDA set up to watch dog this and protect us with real peer reviewed data.

James Randi takes a shot, but I think his plate is already pretty full.

http://www.randi.org/joom/content/view/102/2/

http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/calling-bull ... 305549.php
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Post by audiogeek1 » Fri Jan 18, 2008 11:22 am

Joel,

I know with my PT Mix system the AArdvark clock made a dramatic improvement on converters. Then I went with the Euphonix converters and the AArdvark did not make a big difference. Then moved to HD with the Euphonix converters and bought a Big Ben. That made a solid improvement.

Have you used the big ben and if so how much better would the Atomic Clock be? Just your opinion.

Mike

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Post by joel hamilton » Sun Jan 20, 2008 6:02 pm

audiogeek1 wrote:Joel,

I know with my PT Mix system the AArdvark clock made a dramatic improvement on converters. Then I went with the Euphonix converters and the AArdvark did not make a big difference. Then moved to HD with the Euphonix converters and bought a Big Ben. That made a solid improvement.

Have you used the big ben and if so how much better would the Atomic Clock be? Just your opinion.

Mike
Law of diminishing returns, of course. It is incrementally better. I am waiting to tae shipment of the atomic clock, so I will report back when I have had some more time with the thing.

Digital HAS been okay for a while now, but it really got good with a clock source that helps keep things in the image sitting properly. There is a lot of snake oil for sale in the audio world, for sure, and I dont expect ANYONE, let alone EVERYONE to agree with me that this is a "must have" for your studio. And yes, there have been great records that hhave come out of fucked up studios and on cheap gear and blah blah and the fucking band and song is the most important thing blah blah... how many frigging times will THAT be said on messageboards about recording. Can we all just make the assumption that this is a KNOWN FACT now?
Maybe I am talking about a great band playing a great song and I am trying to capture that performance as well as I possibly can!??!?
That is the case, so this purchase makes sense for me at this point in my career...

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Post by JohnDavisNYC » Sun Jan 20, 2008 6:04 pm

but joel, all that matters is the song! buy a 4 track!

woooo!

j
i like to make music with music and stuff and things.

http://www.thebunkerstudio.com/

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Post by audiogeek1 » Sun Jan 20, 2008 7:33 pm

joel hamilton wrote:
audiogeek1 wrote:Joel,

I know with my PT Mix system the AArdvark clock made a dramatic improvement on converters. Then I went with the Euphonix converters and the AArdvark did not make a big difference. Then moved to HD with the Euphonix converters and bought a Big Ben. That made a solid improvement.

Have you used the big ben and if so how much better would the Atomic Clock be? Just your opinion.

Mike
Law of diminishing returns, of course. It is incrementally better. I am waiting to tae shipment of the atomic clock, so I will report back when I have had some more time with the thing.

Digital HAS been okay for a while now, but it really got good with a clock source that helps keep things in the image sitting properly. There is a lot of snake oil for sale in the audio world, for sure, and I dont expect ANYONE, let alone EVERYONE to agree with me that this is a "must have" for your studio. And yes, there have been great records that hhave come out of fucked up studios and on cheap gear and blah blah and the fucking band and song is the most important thing blah blah... how many frigging times will THAT be said on messageboards about recording. Can we all just make the assumption that this is a KNOWN FACT now?
Maybe I am talking about a great band playing a great song and I am trying to capture that performance as well as I possibly can!??!?
That is the case, so this purchase makes sense for me at this point in my career...

Thanks Joel,

Would love to hear more after you have had it for a while. I love the Euphonix converters and the Big Ben really brought everything in line. But I still feel sometimes like there should be more. I am mainly at 48k because I do a lot of Post and DVD work. So maybe all I am missing is just 96k. But who knows. When I saw the clock for the first time it intrigued me. So it will be nice to hear your opinion in a while after the new item "holy crap" period is over.

Thanks

Mike

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