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 Forum index » How-tos » Production - engineering/mixing
Transfering music from old equipment to new
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kkissinger



Joined: Mar 28, 2006
Posts: 1274
Location: Kansas City, Mo USA
Audio files: 32

PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2007 7:51 am    Post subject: Transfering music from old equipment to new
Subject description: The SRC2000 Ultramatch, Falcon Digital Interface, Firepod, and s/pdif
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What does one do with old projects?

After acquiring new recording equipment, one is faced with the question of how to deal with material created on the old equipment. Here are a few of the alternatives that come to mind:

1) Keep the old equipment
2) Mixdown the old music on the old equipment, keep the results, discard the original data along with the old equipment.
3) Transfer discreet data (i.e., MIDI files and audio tracks) to the new environment then discard the old equipment.

Background Info

Since I am running out of studio space, option 1 is not a good long-term solution. Plus, I want to spend my time creating music rather than maintaining legacy equipment.

My solution, then is a combination of alternatives 2 and 3. In some cases, I will keep the mixed result only. For work that I may remix in the new environment, I need to capture the discreet tracks.

The data comes under two categories: MIDI and audio. There are a number of methods available for me to transfer MIDI and I will discuss this in a later post (once I have figured out how I intend to do the transfer).

Cubase Project organization

Discreet .aif files are recorded to the hard disk. The project consists of pointers to discreet positions in the files. While possible to transfer the .aif files from the Falcon to the PC, the project data would be lost. Thus, the files have to be "played back" from the Falcon's Cubase Projects and recorded into the PC.

Digital transfer and the FDI (Falcon Digital Interface)

Fortunately, both the PC and FDI support s/pdif digital transfer. s/pdif (which stands for Sony/Philips Digital Inter-Face), requires one of the devices to serve as the MASTER clock. While this is not the same as Midi Clock -- the principal is the same: when connecting devices one must act as the master clock and all the other devices act as "slaves" -- that is, they use the clock signal from the MASTER rather than their own internal clocks.

The FDI has an interesting limitation: it can only work as a slave. I figured, "no problem!" because the PC (with a Presonus Firepod) can act as Master OR slave. Thus, I figured I could connect the Firepod and the FDI via s/pdif connections and the Firepod would be the MASTER.

While this scheme worked for the clock signal the Firepod refused to read the incoming data-stream from the FDI. This is because s/pdif apparently expects the playback machine to be the master and the recorder to the be the slave. What does one do when the playback machine can only function as a slave?

Rube Goldberg to the rescue

Since the FDI was succesfully getting its clock sync from the Firepod, I left that connected (a coaxial cable). I removed the coax cable from the FDI to the Firepod and replaced this with a coax from my Behringer SRC2000 Ultramatch to the Firepod.

(Bear in mind that the SRC2000 can be a master or a slave.)

I then ran an optical s/pdif connection from the FDI to the SRC2000.

The remaining step was to set the Firepod to be a slave by getting its clock signal from the SRC2000.

Thus the s/pdif signal follows a chain:

SRC2000 (master) ---> Firepod (PC) ---> FDI ---> (back to SRC2000)

In this configuration, the SRC2000 provides a clock signal so the Firepod acts in "slave" mode. In turn, the Firepod passes its clock signal to the FDI. The FDI's output data streams to the SRC2000.

Since the SRC2000 is a sample rate converter, anti-jitter, etc... unit it is treats the incoming data stream as though it is coming from an external clock source -- thus, the SRC2000 simply passes the data stream on to its output. In turn, the Firepod is able to get its clock signal and data from the SRC2000.

Results

The result is a clean digital copy of the tracks from my legacy projects.

I never envisioned using the SRC2000 in this manner. Now I am well on the way to moving data into the new recording environment.

MIDI data will be next.

Hope you found this post interesting. I'll follow up with notes on transferring MIDI. For the moment, I've got my work cut out for me getting all the audio files transferred.

-- Kevin
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kkissinger



Joined: Mar 28, 2006
Posts: 1274
Location: Kansas City, Mo USA
Audio files: 32

PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2007 9:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I snapped this pic of my vertical equipment racks. The left rack has all the equipment that I am carrying forward into the current studio. The right rack has the Falcon computer system and an A3340S and AN300 (Dolby NR). Thus, my task is to copy everything from the old equipment to the new.


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seraph
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Editor


Joined: Jun 21, 2003
Posts: 12257
Location: Firenze, Italy
Audio files: 33
G2 patch files: 2

PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2007 12:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

when I was at Berklee (1986-90) I remember mixing down projects on a digital format based on VCR-like digital converter by Sony (PCM something). I have never been able to find any similar equipment to transfer those songs on modern format. not that all my projects deserve immortality but I would be glad to listen to them again Very Happy
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The man that hath no music in himself, nor is not mov'd with concord of sweet sounds, is fit for treasons, stratagems and spoils; the motions of his spirit are dull as night and his affections dark as Erebus: Let no such man be trusted. - W. Shakespeare
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