Why does everybody hate ADATs?

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Jettison
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Why does everybody hate ADATs?

Post by Jettison » Sun Sep 14, 2008 3:26 pm

Why does everybody hate these machines? They sound good. Especially compared to commercial DAWs like the Digi family and/or other cheaper computer based recording platforms.
PT HD sounds awesome. RADAR sounds better yet. All the modern converters are awesome. True. But ADATs sound way better than my 003 any day of the week.
I had 2 ADATs laying around for years. I just bought 2 more, the BRC and all the cables for $360. I already have a Toft ATB 32 channel mixer. So for basically nothing I've got a 32 track set up. You can create a lot of tracks on the 003, but you can only come out of that box with 16 analog outs (@48K) back to the console. And only 12 if you're at 96Khz. 32 tracks is more tracks than i usually use. In the 003, when you start stacking up tracks you start losing sound quality. Everything gets blurry. Even with my Antelope OCX as the master clock. I can still use the OCX to clock the ADATs. And with Midi Machine Control I can sync the 003 and still use PT LE for whatever kind of editing or mangling I want to do.
Tapes are not hard to find, nor are they expensive.
As far as editing and the like. I guess we'll just have to get good takes. How about that.
These ADATs will do just fine until I get a Studer 827 and RADAR.
The 003 can be used for live recording.
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0-it-hz
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Post by 0-it-hz » Sun Sep 14, 2008 3:38 pm

Sounds like a great setup for your workflow. ADATs for many of us are the worst of all worlds... linear, digital, and not too reliable.
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Post by farview » Sun Sep 14, 2008 3:48 pm

The only thing that really gave them a bad rap was the sync time and the fact that you had to have at least one extra one lying around because at least one would always be in the shop.

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Post by RefD » Sun Sep 14, 2008 3:56 pm

0-it-hz wrote:Sounds like a great setup for your workflow. ADATs for many of us are the worst of all worlds... linear, digital, and not too reliable.
and digital tape is a really awful medium, tho that goes hand-in-hand with the reliability issue.

@OP: if you like the way the ADAT sounds then you can continue using it as an oversized extra converter via ADAT lightpipe after you switch over.
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Post by Jettison » Sun Sep 14, 2008 4:01 pm

Now you can have 2 extras sitting around or quick get a replacement for a couple hundred bucks.
I've never had one break yet. Not that it wont happen.
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Post by oldguitars » Sun Sep 14, 2008 4:19 pm

wait until one gobbles up a session on you... I have had it happen 3 times on 3 different machines on 3 different sessions.
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Post by RefD » Sun Sep 14, 2008 4:41 pm

oldguitars wrote:wait until one gobbles up a session on you... I have had it happen 3 times on 3 different machines on 3 different sessions.
apparently this never happens.

ever.

you just imagined it. :)
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Post by farview » Sun Sep 14, 2008 4:43 pm

Jettison wrote:Now you can have 2 extras sitting around or quick get a replacement for a couple hundred bucks.
I've never had one break yet. Not that it wont happen.
Now, but you are picking up 10 year old units that cost more to fix than they are worth. Unfortunately, when they go bad, they just eat the tape. So you have to spend a significant amout of time making backup copies, or you can lose everything in one big crunch.

I have five DA-88's Only three work (they are 12 years old) and it costs $800 to fix them. They cost almost $5000 each new, now they are worth about $250 in working condition. I use them for live recording...

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Post by RefD » Sun Sep 14, 2008 5:19 pm

*waits for Jettison to talk smack about the DA-88*
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Post by b3groover » Sun Sep 14, 2008 5:29 pm

I bought the original blackface ADAT when it came out for something like $3000. I was happy to get my first DAW.

I think I sold the ADAT for $125 on eBay a few years ago.
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Post by RefD » Sun Sep 14, 2008 6:07 pm

b3groover wrote:I bought the original blackface ADAT when it came out for something like $3000. I was happy to get my first DAW.
"In 1977 I was building a kick-ass Beatles collection on 8-track that I was going to have forever. I'm sure you can figure out how that went."

i love that quote.
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Post by emrr » Sun Sep 14, 2008 10:06 pm

I don't hate them. In fact, I am certain I could still crank out a basic live record, even with a degree of digital editing, faster with an adat/brc setup than I can with a workstation. Even having to burn a reference CD in real time with manual ID insertion on a stand alone CD recorder; it's still faster than fucking around in a computer. Good attention to maintenance always kept mine running fine. I logged around 7000 hours on 2 sets, blackface then XT, and still have yet to lose a piece of tape. I have yet to transfer an old tape and find it unplayable. In fact, I seldom see error rates any higher than I ever saw with first pass recording on new tape. I wound up with 5 machines once service parts became impossible, and they still all seem fine for the occasional transfer session. Now that they are practically free, they are disposable. I took a 16 track blackface setup on the road in the winter (in Colorado, Wyoming, and Kansas) and recorded 22 shows for a band, with temperatures cycling from below 20 degrees to room temp within an hour of showtime everyday. Never had a machine failure or bad recording. I carried a spare machine, and it never came out of the box.

I use DP and sometimes an HD24 now; I've found both to be more unreliable than the adats ever were. I've had HD24 drives lose and scramble their TOC's, and the strangest most random dropouts and lost files in DP. I am pretty militant about constant backups of revisions, and usually keep up to 4 copies of sessions on different drives, and in various states, so there's an old version to rewind to if need be. I've still lost random tracks at times! I chalk this up to the higher complexity of the systems, and sheer number of options (ways to fuck up).
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Post by rwc » Sun Sep 14, 2008 10:10 pm

digital tape isn't that unreliable. just ADATs.

If digital tape were as unreliable as ADATs the 3324, 3348, and HR versions of said machines would not have been the choice studio session machine of the mid 80s and early 90s, compared to the A800s lying around at the time.
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Post by RefD » Mon Sep 15, 2008 6:54 am

rwc wrote:digital tape isn't that unreliable. just ADATs.

If digital tape were as unreliable as ADATs the 3324, 3348, and HR versions of said machines would not have been the choice studio session machine of the mid 80s and early 90s, compared to the A800s lying around at the time.
you've obviously never worked in data archiving, watching Gerald Ford era 10" reels wiggling back and forth over the heads while trying to do enough reads for error correction to get a successful transfer.

kinda makes a person miss punch cards! :)
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Post by JGriffin » Mon Sep 15, 2008 8:02 am

RefD wrote: kinda makes a person miss punch cards! :)

Oh, d00d, don't get me started on them hanging chads!
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