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  1. #1
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    Default ADAT Recording Interface

    Hey All:

    Here's one I'm throwing out in random fashion, hoping someone will be able to convert my dinosaur studio talk into something modern that accomplishes what I'm looking for.

    I've been recording on ADAT tape machines for a very long time and am slowly making the switch over to hard drive recording. (I've been mastering and doing small recording projects on the computer for several years, but I'm looking to start doing large multi-track projects this way now.) What I'm mainly seeking immediately is a means by which to transfer recordings from ADAT via the lightpipe outputs to my recording software, keeping timecode in tact in the process. Once I'm done working on the tracks in the computer, I'd like to do the exact opposite--export the tracks simultaneously via ADAT lightpipe back down to the ADAT machines for mixing analog.

    This seems like a simple task, but I've had a hard time finding (or perhaps understanding) the different devices out there. I recognize ADAT tape machines are olden-days technology, but I'm not yet ready to overhaul my entire recording setup (mostly due to a general lack of funds), so I'd like to find a way to do these transfers in a completely digital fashion in order to get a few ongoing projects done. (Not to mention I really like mixing on my analog console and patching effects in the old fashioned way. But I'm also loving the editing powers that come with working in the computer.)

    Any suggestions for the right unit or soundcard? I'm operating on a PC with XP and using any number of various software programs (Cubase and Adobe, mainly). A couple of years ago I purchased off eBay a Frontier Dakota PCI audio interface which I believe accomplishes what I'm wanting to do here. It's an old card, though, and I have yet to even install it and see if it will function on XP.

  2. #2
    Hot For Teacher drummr's Avatar
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    I'm kind of in the same boat, trying to go digital while using older equipment. I was thinking of picking up the E-MUŽ 1212M Digital Audio System which offers optical adat inputs and outputs. It's inexpensive and has gotten decent reviews from users on various boards. Hope this helps.

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    I believe Alesis makes a firewire interface that not only gives you 8 inputs but also allows you up to 16 tracks of - ADAT connectivity too. Not sure if this meets your needs but it's definitely what I'm going to pick-up when I move over to hard disk.

    http://www.alesis.com/io26


    Is mixing with the PC really that hard or do you just prefer moving knobs and sliders around? I, for one, can't wait to be able to automate some mixing stuff.

    Good luck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewThomas.net View Post
    Hey All:

    Here's one I'm throwing out in random fashion, hoping someone will be able to convert my dinosaur studio talk into something modern that accomplishes what I'm looking for.

    I've been recording on ADAT tape machines for a very long time and am slowly making the switch over to hard drive recording. (I've been mastering and doing small recording projects on the computer for several years, but I'm looking to start doing large multi-track projects this way now.) What I'm mainly seeking immediately is a means by which to transfer recordings from ADAT via the lightpipe outputs to my recording software, keeping timecode in tact in the process. Once I'm done working on the tracks in the computer, I'd like to do the exact opposite--export the tracks simultaneously via ADAT lightpipe back down to the ADAT machines for mixing analog.

    This seems like a simple task, but I've had a hard time finding (or perhaps understanding) the different devices out there. I recognize ADAT tape machines are olden-days technology, but I'm not yet ready to overhaul my entire recording setup (mostly due to a general lack of funds), so I'd like to find a way to do these transfers in a completely digital fashion in order to get a few ongoing projects done. (Not to mention I really like mixing on my analog console and patching effects in the old fashioned way. But I'm also loving the editing powers that come with working in the computer.)

    Any suggestions for the right unit or soundcard? I'm operating on a PC with XP and using any number of various software programs (Cubase and Adobe, mainly). A couple of years ago I purchased off eBay a Frontier Dakota PCI audio interface which I believe accomplishes what I'm wanting to do here. It's an old card, though, and I have yet to even install it and see if it will function on XP.
    Jeeeeeez Andrew. I wish you good luck with this. It seems like only yesterday to me that ADAT came out. I stuck with analog tape and am still waiting for the next shipment to arrive of the Tascam 40 gig recorder to come in. My studio is gonna be a hybrid of old analog and the new realm of digital. It takes a hell of a lot of work and planning, that's the truth. right now I have a soundcard a guy at my work gave me that is branded Mackie on the board. I don't know if this is a rebrand or what or maybe was part of a package, but check out Mackie's site and see if there's something listed. At any rate, it's a great card. It really made a diference to my computer. I don't know how old it is. Who knows? For all I know maybe the things counterfeit, but it works like a charm. My old card sounded real pixelated if you could describe it as such, especially on symbal crashes, and high bright guitar runs.
    She looks so $#@!'n good ,so sexy and so frail....Somethin's got the bite on me, I'm goin' straight to Hell.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by drummr View Post
    I'm kind of in the same boat, trying to go digital while using older equipment. I was thinking of picking up the E-MUŽ 1212M Digital Audio System which offers optical adat inputs and outputs. It's inexpensive and has gotten decent reviews from users on various boards. Hope this helps.
    I found the E-MU in one of my searches and also the Echo Layla. I'll report back if I find that either accomplish the ADAT transfer.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by danward5150 View Post
    I believe Alesis makes a firewire interface that not only gives you 8 inputs but also allows you up to 16 tracks of - ADAT connectivity too. Not sure if this meets your needs but it's definitely what I'm going to pick-up when I move over to hard disk.

    http://www.alesis.com/io26


    Is mixing with the PC really that hard or do you just prefer moving knobs and sliders around? I, for one, can't wait to be able to automate some mixing stuff.

    Good luck.
    I really, really like being able to draw fades, edit tracks, and auto-tune/fix things when necessary. It's also very nice to be able to come back to a mix to simply just fix one or two small things. On the other hand, there are so many tricks I've come to love in analog mixing. For example, when I mix drums I typically do a stereo sub-mix on the various recorded tracks (anywhere from six to sixteen tracks), bus it out to a stereo tube-pre, and send that back to two tracks on the board. If I push the gains a little on the tube pre I can really warm up the drum kit as a "unit," rather than treating it like pieces. I also simply like being able to wire up any piece of gear, new or old, I've got sitting around the studio to use in a mix (guitar effects, old stereo ampliers, etc.). I know there's a lot of virtual options in software for these kinds of things, but in the same way I'm not fond of modeling guitar amps I also still like working tubes and gains the old fashioned way.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by SLEEPER5150 View Post
    Jeeeeeez Andrew. I wish you good luck with this. It seems like only yesterday to me that ADAT came out. I stuck with analog tape and am still waiting for the next shipment to arrive of the Tascam 40 gig recorder to come in. My studio is gonna be a hybrid of old analog and the new realm of digital. It takes a hell of a lot of work and planning, that's the truth. right now I have a soundcard a guy at my work gave me that is branded Mackie on the board. I don't know if this is a rebrand or what or maybe was part of a package, but check out Mackie's site and see if there's something listed. At any rate, it's a great card. It really made a diference to my computer. I don't know how old it is. Who knows? For all I know maybe the things counterfeit, but it works like a charm. My old card sounded real pixelated if you could describe it as such, especially on symbal crashes, and high bright guitar runs.
    Yeah, I remember spending a LOT of money on two ADATs in 1995 and being fascinated with the ability to seemlessly punch in and out. But ADAT was simply the bridge between analog and digital recording, and once the computer power caught up and became affordable, it became the norm. I don't think the older methods will ever go away completely, but I do think the editing options will be something most musicians come to count on.

    What kind of a console are you working on, Sleeper?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewThomas.net View Post
    Yeah, I remember spending a LOT of money on two ADATs in 1995 and being fascinated with the ability to seemlessly punch in and out. But ADAT was simply the bridge between analog and digital recording, and once the computer power caught up and became affordable, it became the norm. I don't think the older methods will ever go away completely, but I do think the editing options will be something most musicians come to count on.

    What kind of a console are you working on, Sleeper?
    My old custom Richmond Sound. I'm still trying to accumulate some more Kyoritsu KM-66 meters to re-fabricate the VU hearth which disappeared many moons ago. I'm routing thru the master levels right now and it works ok for now. I've reduced the console to a 16 channel from 24 simply because some of the components are very rare, and a couple channels that I did restore with new electronics overpower the originals, so I canibalized a couple of the expansion units, and made 16 great sounding channels. And my wife is kind enough to redo the leather arm rest. The old one was cracked beyond belief.She's redoing it in that deep red barbershop chair type leather. Gonna be sweet! The console is about 75% operational right now. I need to resocket a few more of the mic preamp tube sockets. It's a great sounding board with what I've done so far. Very basic and very functional. I love the warmth.
    She looks so $#@!'n good ,so sexy and so frail....Somethin's got the bite on me, I'm goin' straight to Hell.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewThomas.net View Post
    A couple of years ago I purchased off eBay a Frontier Dakota PCI audio interface which I believe accomplishes what I'm wanting to do here. It's an old card, though, and I have yet to even install it and see if it will function on XP.
    Update: I installed the Frontier Dakota in my studio PC and downloaded a current driver for it. The virtual control panel for the card makes for easy monitoring of all the various ins and outs options, and so far all seems to look okay. I have yet to actually bring the thing to the studio, though, and try running ADAT tracks to it. On the computer end all is looking functional. If it will function in sync, without bugs, and with my software is still all unknown.

  10. #10
    Banned! GAR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewThomas.net View Post
    I don't think the older methods will ever go away completely, but I do think the editing options will be something most musicians come to count on.
    ADAT is already obsolete, any tape-based system becomes obsolete the day they stop manufacturing tape.

    The Tascam DA-88 has the best tape transport mechanism and best-sounding DAC chips ever made for audio, an it's been around 20 years still holding up.

    If you can't afford a computer or don't want one, the DA-88 for around 150 bucks is a terribly great deal when they initially were like 4500 new.

    The VHS-type tape transport mechanism of the ADAT has always been a problem for me I couldn't get over and nowadays when both the ADAT and DA-88 are priced used about the same, using an ADAT is like choosing a chainsaw to slice cheese when you could have had a katana for the same price.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by GAR View Post
    ADAT is already obsolete, any tape-based system becomes obsolete the day they stop manufacturing tape.

    The Tascam DA-88 has the best tape transport mechanism and best-sounding DAC chips ever made for audio, an it's been around 20 years still holding up.

    If you can't afford a computer or don't want one, the DA-88 for around 150 bucks is a terribly great deal when they initially were like 4500 new.

    The VHS-type tape transport mechanism of the ADAT has always been a problem for me I couldn't get over and nowadays when both the ADAT and DA-88 are priced used about the same, using an ADAT is like choosing a chainsaw to slice cheese when you could have had a katana for the same price.
    Uh... thanks. This thread was about transferring tracks from ADAT to a hard drive based system, not about arguing the good and bad about two very old recording technologies. But thanks for your mostly useless opinion.

    By "older" I was referring mostly to magnetic tape, which is still used and highly appreciated by many pro audio engineers. I know many who still track full bands live to tape, then transfer to Pro Tools or a like program for editing and mixing. In the same way vinyl LPs haven't gone away completely, it's unlikely magnetic tape will disappear all together.

 

 

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