SPL Transient Designer + UA 1176LN

My main problem is that sounddesign in the drum regions is a bad idea through it, and its better(and more useful) with textures and stuff. The topicstarter stated he tried to get a powerful top sounding chain and I don’t think putting the OT in the chain is a good idea if you’re looking for punch in the drums section(Rytm). And thats when all the magic started to happen in this lovely thread :slight_smile:

Stop being a douche Baddcr

I’m merely trying to get you to back off a little, but you only seem to know this aggro attitude. Could you maybe just go bug someone else please? It’s absolutely useless…

I really tried… but man…

Seriously, Baddcr?


OP - WTF just did a bit o’ googlin’, those things cost a fortune, blimey, tasty !

any particular sunday :wink:

@ OP

Please, can you tell which Transient Designer hardware you have got?

You seem to understand this wrong. No one is saying the OT sounds bad.
What educated, trained engineers with years of experience and gold records under they belt are saying, is that the OT colours the sound. Which is an obvious fact, since every converter in any piece of hardware will , somehow, colour the sound. Maybe they colour it differently depending on how hard they’re driven. There are thousands of variables that makes this a very subjective matter. What’s not subjective is that the OT colours the sound. The fact that you can’t hear it (in fact you are saying you can) doesn’t mean it’s not there. You have to accept the fact that some engineers have ears that are much more trained and sensitive than yours.
If I taste a wine, I taste wine. A connoisseur would be able to drink the same wine and identify tastes, smells, nuances, colors that I would be completely oblivious to. Would I then be in a spot to argue with them that those tastes, smells and nuances are not there ? Would I be arrogant enough to declare that if I can’t taste them, they don’t exist ?
Ultimately, and I think this is the point you’re trying to make, for the end consumer of music, this coloration makes no difference. And indeed, when my sister listens to a 320 mp3 on her iPhone earbuds, there is no way she’ll hear that the reverb tail on the snare sample is a bit duller than usual. She doesn’t care. But, we do. We care not because we want it to change, not because we don’t like what it does, but simply because this is a passion for us, and with this passion, comes the obsession for minute details. This is a forum populated by music makers and, really, as long as the music’s good, and has soul, who cares if it was sampled in an OT or a Volca.
But, we’re here to talk about the nitty gritty of our kit. Those things that only matter to a few. If you’re not into discussing the effect that the OT’s A/D and D/A have on the sound, maybe it is better to let go indeed, as it’s a subject that is very interesting to me and quite a few of us around.
Finally, as I have pointed out already, A/B tests are very rarely conclusive, unless conducted with a reasonable sample size, of the appropriate group. Having 3 people on here say they can’t hear a difference (in fact they can) is hardly “proof” of anything, except maybe your eagerness :wink:

Well actually it sounds really good but there is a ‘smudging’ or minor loss of detail in the upper frequencies that will only be revealed by the most accurate tweeters. The argument imo stems from the fact that everybody is listening on different reproduction systems and the difference in clarity is masked by varying degrees of accuracy of the speakers. It’s not so much a case of 1 person’s hearing being fantastically better than another’s though critical listening and minute eq adjustment of xover points and how different driver materials react is good training to detect subtle variations. For example, Beryllium is an incredibly lightweight & hard element that will not flex or ‘break up’ in the audible range when used in HF speaker drivers, this leads to unprecedented percieved accuracy in HF reproduction. Also, different codecs or converters do have their own ‘colouration’ mainly due to the different filtering techniques adopted in the individual product design but imo this does not nessecarily explain the minute levels of HF smudge but given than many D/A comverters are in the same price category as the entire OT, it’s understandable that it won’t have the same level of professional sound. The previous poster mentioned that the OT colours the sound but given that colour usually refers to equalisation I would disagree. It sounds as transparent to me in both examples provided, the difference I noticed was in the clarity of the HF transient response. An OT with track summing in the analogue domain or at least digital outs for use with high end converters would be a good optional hardware upgrade but not very likely so we must enjoy it as is :slight_smile:

Indeed, very good point as well. The monitors used are definitely a big factor in how one perceives the music. This is part of the hundreds of variables that I was mentioning in my previous post. Doing an A/B comparison on KRK’s is not going to reveal anything if the differences are minute. We use Focal SM9’s at the studio as our main system, and those monitors are incredible in how revealing they are. I hear sounds on them that I had never heard before. It makes mixing so much easier, as they help pinpoint the problem areas. They are not flattering or smudging. Therefore, they are a pretty good reference point when observing what the OT (or any other piece of kit with an input) does to the signal as it goes through. We know it does - something - , we want to know what, exactly. For science :slight_smile:

Edit : to bring it back to the OP, last time i tried the AR through a Sherman filter bank, it was quite magical. The vanilla sound of the AR is very very clean, but run it through an angry piece of kit, and it will come to life :slight_smile:

Yeah agreed. I am using the Focal twin be6 monitors here and when listening critically there’s a vague difference between the two files provided… the assumption was that the ‘lesser’ sounding file would be the OT because the other file was directly to a dedicated soundcard product and the OT version was being converted twice, once A/D & D/A plus the soundcard A/D. It could also be explained by the amp and gain settings on the ot… not really sure

Since the OT sound quality discussion keeps showing up, I just felt like adding my view, as well.

The statement that started the argument this time was:
“Honestly, the Rytm through the Octa sounded terrible to me, had it set up like that for a short time but all punch and detail of the Rytm got lost in the conversion of the Octa…”

We are not talking about minute, theoretical changes to the sound here, but the claim that a signal passing through the OT changes it from (presumably) good to “terrible”.

This goes against everything I know of electronics and signal transmission (I happen to be an electronics engineer, so although I’m no expert, I do have an education in the subject). Furthermore I’d argue it goes against common sense. Is it really likely that a serious company like Elektron would put such absurdly crap converters in their high end device? Doing it right is hardly difficult. Adding to that, the blind tests on this forum should reveal this huge difference in sound quite easily. Which they don’t.

The alternative explanation is that the person claiming this is tricked by the brain, the same way we all are, all the time. Look at alternative medicine, HIFI miracle products, cosmetics, etc. Our own minds simply can’t be trusted, and businesses are made or broken on how well our innate irrational faults are exploited.

Baddcr is going about this commendably. Healthy skepticism with also with a willingness to be proven wrong. Links to educational information, and blind tests to see if there could be anything to this. The bottom line is that exceptional claims require exceptional evidence. So far it hasn’t been forthcoming, and until it does I’d say it is safe to dismiss these types of claims as nonsense.

The thing is, whoever stated what you quoted definitely exagerated. The OT sounds fine. Not amazing, 100% transparent, but it’s fine. Only trained ears with good monitors and experience would be able to tell the difference. And even then, the fact that the difference exists is fine, since it is expected.
How could one be so obtuse as to refuse to accept the fact that A/D conversion alters the signal in some way is beyond me, but it’s also beyond the scope of this forum.
The price of perfectly transparent A/D converters is well above the price of the OT. Are the OT’s converters adequate and do they have a great fidelity ? Yes, absolutely. Are they completely transparent, and 100 % linear ? Definitely not. They shouldn’t necessarily be, either. Most legendary samplers are legendary because of the color they give to what you run through them. It’s a good thing.
Your point about subjectivity and perception is well noted, as it is the crux of the matter. Hey, if YOU like the sound of the OT, then what else is there to say ?
On the subject of claims and evidence, there is no need to provide anything, a simple Google search will present you with plenty of scientific data about what happens when a signal gets converted from analog to digital, and then back to analog again. Most notably, here are some of the errors that get introduced in a signal when converted :
[color=black]An ADC has several sources of errors. Quantization error and (assuming the ADC is intended to be linear) non-[url=“http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linearity”]linearity are intrinsic to any analog-to-digital conversion.

[color=black]All ADCs suffer from non-linearity errors caused by their physical imperfections, causing their output to deviate from a linear function (or some other function, in the case of a deliberately non-linear ADC) of their input. These errors can sometimes be mitigated by calibration, or prevented by testing.

[color=black]When digitizing a sine wave , the use of a non-ideal sampling clock will result in some uncertainty in when samples are recorded. This will result in additional recorded noise that will reduce the effective number of bits (ENOB) below that predicted by [url=“http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantization_error”]quantization error alone.
[color=black]The error is zero for DC, small at low frequencies, but significant when high frequencies have high amplitudes. This effect can be ignored if it is drowned out by the quantizing error.

[color=black]Sampling rate
[color=black]The analog signal is continuous in [url=“http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time”]time and it is necessary to convert this to a flow of digital values. It is therefore required to define the rate at which new digital values are sampled from the analog signal. The rate of new values is called the sampling rate or [url=“http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sampling_frequency”]sampling frequency of the converter. Since a practical ADC cannot make an instantaneous conversion, the input value must necessarily be held constant during the time that the converter performs a conversion (called the conversion time). An input circuit called a [url=“http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sample_and_hold”]sample and hold performs this task—in most cases by using a [url=“http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capacitor”]capacitor to store the analog voltage at the input, and using an electronic switch or gate to disconnect the capacitor from the input.

[color=black]An ADC works by sampling the value of the input at discrete intervals in time. Provided that the input is sampled above the Nyquist rate, defined as twice the highest frequency of interest, then all frequencies in the signal can be reconstructed. If frequencies above half the Nyquist rate are sampled, they are incorrectly detected as lower frequencies, a process referred to as aliasing. Aliasing occurs because instantaneously sampling a function at two or fewer times per cycle results in missed cycles, and therefore the appearance of an incorrectly lower frequency.
[color=black]To avoid aliasing, the input to an ADC must be low-pass filtered to remove frequencies above half the sampling rate. This filter is called an [i][url=“http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-aliasing_filter”]anti-aliasing filter[/i], and is essential for a practical ADC system that is applied to analog signals with higher frequency content.

That should be enough to “prove” that the converters in the OT, or any other piece of kit out there, are not the perfect, linear, 100% accurate and transparent things we’d like them to be. If one can’t hear the effects of the conversion, it doesn’t mean that the effects are not there. If anyone can hear these effects or not is irrelevant, since many people also can :slight_smile:

I said that, and yes its from a sound designer/fulltime musician perspective and specific to using the OT as a means of expanding inputs on my Babyface. And I understand terrible might tick people off who have invested emotionally in the point of view that the Octa is 100% neutral in conversion.

I also stated that this is specific to rhythmic sounds, and that it makes it very hard to for instance build a solid kick through the OT. With pads its fine.

I also found the Motu 828 mk2 to sound “terrible” compared to my Fireface 800 when it comes to building a drumkit through it. Thats my definition of terrible, which for a casual synth-enthousiast might seem highly exaggerated, hell, maybe even offensive! Not my intention, pissing people off or putting down their favorite toy, but I still think the OT shines a lot brighter in other departments.

As for a/b testing, tone of voice, etc etc, sorry, not interested. Which is why I left this thread to begin with. I was merely trying to advice the topicstarter on what I felt the weak link in his audio-chain was, another adda conversion not needed imho. And thats all :slight_smile:

Hopefully this perspective shines a light on my points earlier and maybe it helps someone. If not, well, I tried, and thats it :slight_smile: