Pretty bad eh? I'd say they're bordering on horrific! My point is this, "s**t in = s**t out".Stab Frenzy wrote:Both of those recordings sounded pretty bad, I wouldn't record acoustic instruments in that room again without treating it if I were you.
So if you ever find yourself needing to crank the ADA's pre-amps to the point where they are introducing noticeable noise (or God fobid the maximum value) you should really check your source (or gain staging) first, as it's likely you're doing something wrong! It's not fair to blame the ADA when poor recording practices are really to blame.
The aim of the experiment is to measure the maximum noise by putting both units in a severely compromised situation where as many flaws have been introduced to the system as humanly possible, i.e.:
- The source is very quiet.
- Source of sound is projecting against the wall.
- A dynamic microphone used.
- Microphone diaphragm isn't facing source.
- Microphone is far away.
- Recorded in a room with terrible acoustics.
- Track is then normalised.
- Using ADA 8000 pre-amps.
So what's the best solution to achieving a superior recording?
- Amplifying the source to an acceptable level?
- Making sure the source is facing the microphone to provide more direct sound?
- Using a more sensitive microphone?
- Checking that the microphone diaphragm is on axis to the source?
- Moving the microphone closer?
- Recording in a room that either flatters the source, or is as close to dead as possible?
- Avoiding the need for normalisation since the signal to noise ratio is more than acceptable?
- Buying better pre-amps?
What I'm essentially trying to say is that the ADA doesn't seem any less usable than most of its peers, given the price range. There are plenty of other variables that'll compromise your sound before it even hits the ADA (microphones and their positioning for example!).
All variables were kept constant excluding the audio interface and the slight varitations in the takes. Both units had their microphone pre-amps set to maximum gain, but even this wasn't enough to give a useable level since the source is so quiet. Normalisation was used to bring the maximum peaks up so you could actually hear it.Also if you had to normalise them to get the levels even then you didn't set your gain evenly, or did you just normalise it to get the levels up?
In other words the recording was intentionally as flaw-laden as I could manage. Normalisation is just the icing on the cake.
Oh yeah, I'm not trying to say the ADA 8000 is a equal to an RMA/Apogee interface but for the money it's really not that bad. The main reason I've opted for an Octopre LE is simply because it's bound to be more reliable and has some useful extra features (low-frequency roll off for each input, two instrument inputs forgoing the need for DI boxes etc.). So far I don't think there's a vast improvement otherwise.Anyway, I said it's usable. It's just not my choice at that price. I also think my 002 is usable but not that great, but I get stuff done on it.
If you are looking for a cheap way to expand your 002, or any interface that supports 8-track ADAT via lightpipe then the ADA 8000 isn't a terrible choice. Well, providing you can source one that isn't buggered.
Remember that former VSE member clubbedtodeath's tracks were mixed on a lowly Behringer desk and that hasn't stopped them from sounding great.