CD/Writer vs Stand Alone

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Bob_M, Dec 22, 2001.

  1. Bob_M

    Bob_M Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2000
    Messages:
    194
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hi All,

    Is there any difference when you copy a CD on a computer CD-writer as compared to a stand alone machine? I assume the copies would be identical??

    Thanks

    Bob
     
  2. Nicholas A. Gallegos

    Nicholas A. Gallegos Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2001
    Messages:
    138
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I burn all of my audio CDs using my PC recorder. It's cheaper, you don't need to buy special "digital audio" CD-Rs to do it with, and it's more versatile.

    Perhaps the biggest advantage of having a standalone audio recorder is that it seamlessly integrates into your AV system. And technically speaking, higher-end standalone recorders have better jitter control and DACs too.
     
  3. Bob_M

    Bob_M Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2000
    Messages:
    194
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    >And technically speaking, higher-end standalone recorders have better jitter control and DACs too. <

    Ok, but would that come into play when your just making a copy. Would the DACS be used at all? I am thinking it would just be like burning a file from your HD to the CD.

    Thanks again Bob
     
  4. jeff peterson

    jeff peterson Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 1998
    Messages:
    675
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    They also come into play when recording from analogue sources; ie, vinyl, to convert the signal to digital. I (as well as others on HTF)own the Tascam RW700 standalone CD recorder. This (being a professional model) allows recording on computer media rather than the music media.

    The DAC on this unit (IMO) is better than that in my CD player (Yammy) or receiver Yammy 2092.
     
  5. Bob_M

    Bob_M Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2000
    Messages:
    194
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Jeff,

    >computer media rather than the music media. <

    What is the difference here?

    Thanks Bob
     
  6. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

    Joined:
    May 12, 2001
    Messages:
    3,975
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Also, as things change, you can change your PC stuff to match, but buying a CD recorder and then having to change it later is a bit more of a hassle. Good CD-writers like the Plextors are $150. CD recorders are more like $350 + ?
     
  7. jeff peterson

    jeff peterson Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 1998
    Messages:
    675
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    The difference is that computer media is cheaper. The music media has royalties built in and a "flag" to identify it as such. The non-professional standalones look for the flag before allowing recording.
     
  8. Clinton McClure

    Clinton McClure Casual Enthusiast
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 1999
    Messages:
    4,370
    Likes Received:
    401
    Trophy Points:
    4,110
    Location:
    Central Arkansas
    Real Name:
    Clint
    Several years ago, I bought a Philips stand-alone CD recorder when they were still in their infancy. If I remember correctly, this unit set me back about $600. Since buying a PC-CD burner, I no longer burn discs with the Philips, but instead use it as a CD player in my weight room.

    As best as I can tell, the sound quality between the two is identical, but the PC-CD burner is a but easier to use, less prone to accidentally starting the burn phase when you are not intending to, and much more versatile.

    On the other hand, I used my Philips mainly to convert many cassette tapes over to CD. The only real drawback to this was you had to make your own track breaks. If you didn't, the disc would be one incredidly long track. Before it (the Philips)was retired to the weight room, my last roommate used it to make demo CDs from his 4-track recorder in his makeshift music studio.

    In my opinion, the PC-CD writer is a more useful tool now than the stand-alone burner.
     
  9. Darryl_B

    Darryl_B Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2001
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  10. Paul E V

    Paul E V Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2000
    Messages:
    121
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I thought DSP was Digital Surround Processor
     
  11. Darryl_B

    Darryl_B Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2001
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  12. jeff peterson

    jeff peterson Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 1998
    Messages:
    675
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    A DAC is necessary on both ends; both to convert the analog signal to digital prior to writing to the CD and, at playback time, to convert digital back to analog prior to going to the amplifier/speakers.

    Also, the Tascam unit has settings to auto start tracks when sound is detected. So, if copying a tape cassette, it can easily be set to auto start once sound is detected. Additionally, the signal is buffered so the first second of sound isn't lost.

    My PC's sound card output is input to my A/V system so I can utilize the standalone CD recorder to copy MP3 files from my PC to CD. I find CDs burned this way are error free. CDs burned on a PC burner at times have stutter, dropouts, etc. I'm not saying this isn't a function of my PC's equipment; I'm just saying I, personally, don't have a reason to upgrade any of its components.
     
  13. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 1999
    Messages:
    6,873
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Here's the straight poop:
    DSPs are Digital Signal Proceccors. They have nothing to do with this conversation. No signal processing is required.
    In order to convert the CD digital signal to analog for your speakers, a DAC is used. This stands for, intuitively enough, Digital to Analog Converter.
    In order to convert a signal from Analog to Digital for recording on a digital medium like a CD-R, an ADC is used. ADC stands for Analog to Digital Converter.
    DSPs are irrelevant.
    There are advantages to each type of CD Recording technology:
    Stand-alone decks:
    • Have better Analog to Digital Converters and audio paths than typical sound cards. Therefore they are far superior to computers with non-professional sound equipment for recording from analog sources like LP and Cassette.
    • Don't require a computer. You can set it up like a tape deck in your stereo system and not even own a computer.
    • Require "Music" blank media which is more expensive than blank computer media.
    Computer CD-Writers:
    • Allow for more flexibility. For example, you can set the track marks wherever you want and do neato custom mastering including crossfades for mix CDs etc.
    • Use less expensive computer CD media - be careful, you get what you pay for and some sucks.
    • Require an investment in software for anything above basic functionality - but basic functionality is probably all most people need.
    • Suck for analog recording unless you are willing to spend a lot for a pro quality card with dedicated audio sircuits.
    • Give you the added benefit of a good backup solution for your computer as well as a convenient way to share large files.
    They're both good solutions for slightly different problems. If all you're looking to do is make copies of CD Audio for mixes and such go with the computer burner. If you're looking to archive analog sources go with a deck.
     
  14. Alfonso_M

    Alfonso_M Second Unit

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2000
    Messages:
    399
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    You can find very good semi-pro 96/24 audio cards for $150.00, IMO if you’re interested in archiving vinyl or old tapes a good PC based system is the way to go, using any number of good sound processing software out there you’ll have the extra flexibility to denoise and edit the material before committing it to CDR, also with the price of storage been so low you can archive the 96/24 material for future use.
     
  15. Scott Strang

    Scott Strang Screenwriter

    Joined:
    May 28, 1999
    Messages:
    1,145
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Howdy;

    I have a Marantz CDR-615 pro cd recorder (it's a computer CD recorder in a box with buttons). I bought it back in '96, and at that time, was considered top of the line. The price was discusting but the unit was very cool. At the same time I bought a Sony DAT recorder and I was stunned at the recorded sound coming out of the DAT machine.

    My PC at the time I bought the Marantz burner was way too whimpy to run a cd burner. Plus the Marantz is a fine piece of hi end equipment. It makes pristine audio recordings.

    The unit didn't have RCA inputs for analog (only XLR bal)but does have coax s/pdif in/outs. I could either use a Henry Engineering matchbox or just use the DAT's A/D's. I chose the later and it worked great. Also I was able to get that "sound" from the DAT's convertors that I liked onto CD-R.

    There are, of course, drawbacks to stand alone units. With the exception of a few recent models, none of them can record faster than 1x. It take the entire recording time of the CD-R added to the pre time to creat a disc. Mine will finalize at 2x but that's it. All of the newer models will also do CD-RW while mine is CD-R only.

    Last year I bought my first PC based cd burner. An HP USB external model. For speed and versatility I love it. But if you're wanting to digitize LP, cassette, open reel, or any other analog medium to CD-R, you're better off with a hi end stand alone unit. Another thing you can do is get a sound card with s/pdif in/outs and a high quality external A/D convertor which will be expensive. Symetrix and Prism Audio make "inexpensive" A/D's with "inexpensive" being around $1000 for the Symetrix. The A/D will make all the difference in the world in how well your analog audio is digitized.
     
  16. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 1999
    Messages:
    6,873
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  17. Scott Strang

    Scott Strang Screenwriter

    Joined:
    May 28, 1999
    Messages:
    1,145
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Philip sez...

     
  18. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 1999
    Messages:
    6,873
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    in the service manual for the JB920 the analog signal path is described on page 40 through 42. There is one ATRAC DSP in the machine (as confirmed by the block diagram referenced above). It would take two ATRAC DSPs to both encode and decode ATRAC at the same time according to the many posts on the MD mailing list (here's one example). All that DSPing would most likely create a delay as well, and none exists. In the block diagram on page the digital out jacks are fed directly from the ATRAC conversion chip and it appears that the output is from the pre-ATRAC side of the chip, the post-ATRAC side of the chip goes on to the write head (see page 40 in the service manual). Also, there's only one ATRAC chip. The output from that chip would be an ATRAC encoded digital stream, which would not be compatible with an S/PDIF digital stream without another ATRAC conversion. There's only one ATRAC chip in the machine.
    So I am fairly certain that ATRAC is not being applied to the digital out signal on this deck. It would be a more expensive implementation that wouldn´t really make much sense, and the block diagrams in the service manual suggest that ATRAC is not happening here. ATRAC is comparable (superior) to DTS and Dolby Digital, it's a very sophisticated lossy compression scheme that requires some serious DSP horsepower to accomplish. It's not just some drop-in chip, it's the most expensive component on a MD machine other than perhaps the disk drive. Why would any designer include two of these chips when only one is needed for record and playback?
    Oh, and the results are very good.[​IMG]
     

Share This Page