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Sound Advice

The Old Versus The New

Professional Sound dug deep in its past to bring you a variety of tips from a range of professionals in the audio industry on their views of old technology versus the latest developments.

“Very often, people will arrive here with a CD-R. We don’t want to work with the CD-R. It’s a tool to bring home and listen to. It’s not a professional (format). DAT would be more professional. With a pre-grooved CD-R, you are changing the colour of the CD and it gets paler and there is a chemical reaction doing all of that. After you are finished burning the CD, this reaction continues and the information changes and it causes jitter … you can burn three CD-Rs and they will all sound different.”
– Alain DeRoque, Technical Director at SNB Mastering (Montreal) (PS February 2001)

“I’m a lover of old analog synths. In this day and age it’s so easy just to go with samplers and loop libraries, but everybody starts to sound the same. I like to have some of the old analog synthesizers in tandem with some of the newer machines. The newer machines have all the detail and realism of actual instruments but the analog machines have a warmth that the new digital ones just don’t have.”
– Amin Bhatia, Owner/Operator of Bhatia Music Group (PS December 2000)

“I go discrete out of the ProTools rig, into my console, using all my tube and vintage analog gear that I love. I just like the way tube gear sounds on certain things – they’ve been described as sounding ‘warm’ or ‘very forgiving’ or whatever word you want to use. There’s just an excitement to the sound. It’s like film versus video. Video seems to have some sort of cold or cheap quality to it, while film seems warm, soft and almost airbrushed.”
– Arnold Lanni, Arnyard Studios (PS April 2001)

“They’re not ready … today there isn’t a digital console in the world for music that I would buy … in my opinion, analog consoles are superior in a multitude of respects.”
– Gil Moore, Metalworks Studios (PS October 2000)

“Spots are getting to be almost all delivered electronically where as five years ago we would have the FedEx trucks back up to the shipping door and haul out 100 boxes of ΒΌ” tapes FedEx-ed out to radio stations. They are being almost exclusively handled electronically now where it is FTPing to a secure FTP site (say, at NBC) where they deal with the distribution from a central server to all the individual radio and TV stations. We started throwing up FTP servers outside our firewall to toy around with delivering approval copies to clients, where we used to send a stack of cassettes to everybody in the agency to approve. We can now put up a file and send them an e-mail saying here’s the URL for your approval copy – check it out at your leisure. The clients like that, the immediacy of it is great. You don’t have to wait for mail, FedEx or courier. But one thing that we realized is that you are not making money off of those cassettes. Suddenly you are giving away things that you were charging for. We needed to find a way where we could effectively make money using this infrastructure. The network infrastructure wasn’t cheap to build and like we pay for lights and water, we were paying for this network so we needed to be able to charge for that. What we eventually settled on was basically a ‘firewall fee’ where internal files could fly around from workstation to workstation inside the company, we can’t really charge for that because that’s part of what you are doing. We call it a ‘firewall fee.’ Basically anytime someone crosses the firewall with a file whether it’s us receiving something across our firewall like a client that delivers a V/O (Voice-Over) from out of the country as files or, putting something up on the server for them to download. It’s just something to help us capture what we would be losing on dubs and media that we used to be able to charge for, and a way for us being able to justify the cost of this infrastructure – so there’s a revenue that justifies the expense.”
– Erinn Thorp, Atlanta, GA’s Crawford Post. (PS August 2001)

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