Tape Project Forum

General Category => General Discussion => Topic started by: astrotoy on March 15, 2014, 11:11:05 AM

Title: My System
Post by: astrotoy on March 15, 2014, 11:11:05 AM
I found this picture yesterday on the Merging Technologies Website. They are a company that builds pro digital software and equipment, most famous for their Pyramix software, which I am using to digitize my vinyl and R2R collection for posterity. More recently they have Horus which is some well regarded digital hardware.


The picture shows my system in 2010 (not much changed since then) including both my Bottlehead modified Technics 1506 (playback only) with the Bottlehead prepro mounted below in the same case, and my Otari MX5050 BIII below left. My Pacific Microsonics Model Two (which Paul and Romo both have more than one!) is to the left the Turntable. Steve Koto's Dolby B decoder sits below my TT and the CJ MET-1 multichannel preamp. Since the photo I have added a custom Bottlehead phono pre with variable EQ that Dan built for me that I use for the vinyl ripping.

The only things not visible are my rear channel Avantgarde Solo speakers.  The fronts are a Solo for the center channel and Duos for the stereo pair.

Claude and Dominic of Merging visited me in 2010 to talk about a new consumer oriented software which sadly has only partly been developed (Emotion). They took some pictures of my system, but I didn't know they used one in their promo material on their website. I haven't done any SACD creation (haven't a clue how to do it), but I guess the multichannel aspect of my system gives the viewer a sense of the SACD multichannel.

Title: Re: My System
Post by: ironbut on March 15, 2014, 01:36:14 PM
Hope your getting generous royalties on that Larry!

Seriously though, nice picture of a wonderful sounding system.
Title: Re: My System
Post by: reelnut on March 15, 2014, 03:14:01 PM
Looks like you've got some big bucks in that system. Are you doing any noise reduction in the vinyl? I have been using Waves plug-ins in Sound Forge for many years. They worked and sounded better than anything else I tried and their vinyl restoration bundle is ridiculously easy to use.    waves.com/bundles/restoration (http://waves.com/bundles/restoration). Their new version 9 waveshell eliminates challenge/responses, dongles and i-locks, allows you to have your licenses on a usb stick which can be plugged into any computer, and is super easy to set up.
Title: Re: My System
Post by: astrotoy on March 16, 2014, 06:55:37 PM
Thanks, I am using Izotope RX2 to declick my vinyl after it is digitized by the Pyramix software. Seems to work very well. I had a consultant, Mark Willsher, who taught me how to use the Pyramix software (which looks like the cockpit of a jet plane!) and set up some macros for me to use. He produces recordings and invited my wife and I to attend a recording session at Skywalker Ranch (in Marin County north of SF) where he was recording the Cypress String Quartet using Pyramix along with a triple stack of Pacific Microsonic Model Two's which belong to Skywalker.

He recommended Izotope RX2 as reasonably priced and very effective for various forms of noise reduction. I had been looking at Cedar which costs about 10 times as much as the Izotope. Mark set up the software and we tested different settings until we found one that takes away the scratches without affecting the musical content. You can even record a file which just has what has been removed - a very large number of small and large clicks and no music.

Title: Re: My System
Post by: reelnut on March 18, 2014, 01:49:35 AM
Hi Astrotoy,

My Sound Forge Pro 10 editor comes with an Izotope 64bit sample rate converter plug-in built in. I don't believe in high sample rates and I use it to convert downloaded hi-rez audio files to 44/24, which is all the resolution I need. If Sony thinks it's better than their converter that's good enough for me.

As for de-clicking, all you will ever hear in the "noise only" track is clicks because the de-clicker only affects the attack of a note. If I were to go heavy on the de-clicking the first thing I notice it on is acoustic or jazz guitar string attacks and "ride" cymbals.

After de-clicking, if crackle and hum is not an issue (usually it's not) you may wish to use a good broadband noise eliminator. The Waves X-noise plug-in is really easy to use.  waves.com/plugins/x-noise (http://waves.com/plugins/x-noise)
All I normally do is set threshhold at 12-14 and reduction to around 70 and after creating a noise profile the plug-in does the rest. It eliminates 100% of the rumble which becomes audible in quiet passages or at the end of tracks, without affecting the music. Your recordings of LP's become as quiet as CD tracks. It also eliminates tape hiss if you are digitizing a tape. Amazing stuff.

If you have an LP that sounds thin and you want tighter bigger bass the Renaissance Bass Plug-in works incredibly well. Much better than using an eq. It works by adding harmonics to the fundamental notes that are already there. .waves.com/plugins/renaissance-bass (http://.waves.com/plugins/renaissance-bass)

You can follow that by using a look-ahead peak limiter if you wish, such as the Waves L1-Ultramaximizer  waves.com/plugins/l1-ultramaximizer (http://waves.com/plugins/l1-ultramaximizer) . I use it to bring the level of my tracks up a couple of decibels. It works by rounding  off the highest peaks to avoid clipping (and no one will ever know you've done it).

If you are a perfectionist you should be able to chain everything together so that all operations to the file are done in one calculation. If you wish to make CD tracks you can run a 16-bit dither on your 24bit file as the very last step before saving to 44/16. L1 has dither controls on the right side of the plug-in box under "IDR".

Title: Re: My System
Post by: astrotoy on March 19, 2014, 10:41:51 PM
Thanks, John. You certainly are way ahead of me in your knowledge and experience. Your recommendations are much appreciated. I'll also see whether my consultant has used those tools. I do best with a lot of hand holding with these pro tools.