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Burning A Master...


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So I'm almost done with my first full album that I've engineered from start to finish... And I'm wondering if it's worth it to spend over a buck a cd to buy the gold plated CDs to send in as a master to the replicator.

 

So, should I use a gold-plated archival cd-r to send in my master?

 

I'm thinking about these disks: http://www.buy.com/prod/delkin-devices-25-pack-archival-gold-cdr-s/q/loc/101/10385762.html

 

Thanks,

Matt

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Use your burning software to verify it's an accurate burn. I don't know what the supposed benefits of these "gold plated" blanks are but shelf-life is not going to be an issue, here, I wouldn't think.

 

More importantly, as alphajerk suggests, is that your master is properly formatted in an accepted format. Different replicators have different requirements.

 

 

Some replicators require a PMCD (an old format developed jointly by Sony and Sonic Solutions)... I'll defer to others with specific knowledge as to its putative advantages.

 

Best is to carefully follow the requirements of the rep house you've chosen. Likely requirements are a disk-at-once burn, freedom from errors, a PQ code list, etc.

 

Also watch out for "hidden" fees. Some houses allow you to submit your "master" in a permissive number of formats but then charge you a premastering fee.

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If you mean Red Book cd... Then yes.

 

I'm using CD Architect.

 

Does that automatically generate a PQ code?

 

How do I get my own ISRC code? I know it is linked to your personally assigned number?

 

Thanks,

Matt

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Thanks for all the help guys.

 

I registered for my ISRC code with the RIAA today and I called DiscMakers to make sure that I had it all straight... So basically I have a Red Book Master with PQ codes and ISRC codes via Sony CD Architect.

 

The question still stands...

 

Should I buy any sort of "premium grade" cd to send it in on?

 

Thanks,

Matt

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Is there anything that constitutes a "good quality" cd? I have some HP 52X, but are they "good quality"?

 

I know to burn them at the lowest possible rate for error minimization. (mainly no buffer underflows, I think.)

 

Maybe I'm just going crazy and this really doesn't matter that much...

 

Matt

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if you ACTUALLY want to keep your mixes properly archived, it would pay to have them mixed down to an analog format (magnetic tape). it would pay even more to have your songs RECORDED to multi-track analog tape, so that you can remix anything you've done several decades from now.

 

i've got CDs that were properly stored that don't play anymore after like 10 years (or they do play, but very poorly). i've got analog tapes that will play 50 years from now.

 

food for thought.

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if you ACTUALLY want to keep your mixes properly archived, it would pay to have them mixed down to an analog format (magnetic tape). it would pay even more to have your songs RECORDED to multi-track analog tape, so that you can remix anything you've done several decades from now.


i've got CDs that were properly stored that don't play anymore after like 10 years (or they do play, but very poorly). i've got analog tapes that will play 50 years from now.


food for thought.

 

What?!?

 

Let me read that again.

 

Nope. I read it right.

 

Wow.

 

 

Have you ever cleaned your heads?

 

You know all that brown gunk? That's your signal, shedding off a little bit at a time -- all the time.

 

Ever notice how your old tapes get gummy? That's the binder absorbing moisture -- which accelerates oxide shedding. THAT's why old tapes often have to be baked to get the moisture out of the binder and "reactivate" it to slow down shedding. It's not a fix... it simply slows down the degradation and decay of your masters.

 

I recorded my first overdub in 1962... I've owned 10 reel to reel machines and countless cassettes... (not to mention two DATs and a couple of ADATs, as well, which are ALSO dependent on the highly ephemeral magnetic tape medium to store their digitized information).

 

This fantastic notion that magnetic audio tape has the kind of longevity you are talking about is contradicted not only by my experience but by the research of a number of archival organizations -- and the unfortunate experiences with magnetic audio and video tapes by a number of archives.

 

 

This really highlights the tendancy for some who manifestly have little clue as to what they're talking about to make pronouncements as though they are, in fact, experts... it's why there is SO MUCH confusion and misinformation kicking around recording forums.

 

If one doesn't know what one is talking about one should probably remain silent.

 

 

 

Anyone considering the romantic world of the magentic tape recorder should ABSOLUTELY read the article "Joining the Reel World" in the March Electronic Musician... it should straighten one's fantasies right out.
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I think the CD-ROM disc format's a better choice for archival than audio (don't know if you were suggesting otherwise)... but the more copies the merrier. If all you've got left after a disaster is an audio CD, I say go ahead and rip away. One of my favorite songs got wiped out in a hard drive crash... I'd backed up almost everything else but all that was left was an mp3 sitting up on the Mp3.com servers that I'd uploaded as soon as I had a "finished" mix (I didn't know how finished it was)...

 

At 128 kbps, it wasn't much, fi-wise -- but I was glad to have it.

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if you ACTUALLY want to keep your mixes properly archived, it would pay to have them mixed down to an analog format (magnetic tape). it would pay even more to have your songs RECORDED to multi-track analog tape, so that you can remix anything you've done several decades from now.


i've got CDs that were properly stored that don't play anymore after like 10 years (or they do play, but very poorly). i've got analog tapes that will play 50 years from now.


food for thought.

 

There may be a few available analog multi~tracks, in about 10 years ...but, for sure there will be a premium charge *** to access the few studios :: who may house one:cry:

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google BLER before sending off your master. ALL PMCD/Redbook burns will have errors, the trick is to keep it under a certain number, and as low as possible. low burn speeds ARENT necessarily the answer due to something called overburn. too fast, underburn. only way to REALLY know is to bit check your CD at various rates with various brands.

 

there are also the different dyes to consider. green, blue, purple, silver, and gold. i hear silver and gold seem to hold up the best, green the worst. i have only seen purple on DVD's so that might not apply.

 

also check into DDP. its a shame more plants dont accept this because the image can be bit verified and technically "pure". read http://www.cdman.com/download/DDPWhitePaper.pdf for a simple primer on it, google for more. its typically used for DVD rather than CD but some places do accept it.

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There may be a few available analog multi~tracks, in about 10 years ...but, for sure there will be a premium charge *** to access the few studios :: who may house one:cry:

 

1) well...i know i'll always have multitrack and mixdown decks. i can maintain them, too, so they'll always work.

 

2) there's also a great, GREAT deal of studios that still have these wonderful machines and always will. trust me. i can name 30 studios in NY alone.

 

3) the only "premium" charge will be to pay for the reels.

 

4) you honestly think you'll have a compact disc player and be buying CDs in 15 years? do you think your G4 with protools will even start up anymore after that long? try turning on a computer from 1992 and see how well it runs.

 

face it. there's been a countless number of ever changing digital formats in the last decade alone, but 1/2" 2-track analog recorders have been around much longer and will always stand the test of time. not only for sound, but because they'll keep working as long as there are people who know how they work and how to fix them. and the tapes, despite what some rather jaded folks on this thread have stated, will ALWAYS PLAY IF YOU STORE THEM PROPERLY. if they need to be baked, fuck it, bake them.

 

as far as the comment about tape shed -- any tape machine worth using will be much easier on the reels than our friend back there would lead you to believe. an MCI 24 track will have a tendency to eat GP9 for lunch...because those machines are fucking awful. a studer a800 in good working order (or any high quality machine, really) will be able to play the same tape over and over and over for months and months on end without destroying it. you'd have to really WANT to fuck up your tape and spend every last second of your time erasing and recording and playing back and erasing and recording and playing back and etcetcetc. certainly way more than is required for the recording and mixing of an album. ESPECIALLY when we're talking about mixing and you really only pass through the tape a MAXIMUM of 2 times.

 

don't believe the digital hype. you can be my guest and worry about recovering your songs from dead formats and file extensions in 2012, while i'll still be able to bring up the same multitrack "sessions" across my console in 2032 for enjoyment or remixing.

 

drumpix09qe5.jpg

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Well... none of my machines were ever as pretty as that... :D

 

 

"... there's been a countless number of ever changing digital formats in the last decade alone..."

 

And yet, somehow, when I walk into the store, there it is... the good ol' 16/44.1 CD -- after a quarter century...

 

And while my burner can burn DVD's at 16x it can also read and write the same good ol' fashioned CD-ROMs I've been burning since '96 and reading since the dawn of the 90s.

 

Will the 5" compact disc format eventually disappear? -- We can only hope.

 

Will ones and zeroes still be readable well into the forseeable future -- without a doubt.

 

Will your tapes still be in the same condition five plays from now?

 

No.

 

EVERY single pass erodes your tape. It is inexorable.

 

 

I'm sure we've ALL heard the story of Fleetwood Mac's Rumors master tape -- it suffered permanent and very noticeable signal loss before the project was even finished. (Sure, worst case scenario, etc. But it highlights the issue. Every single pass erodes the medium.)

 

 

Now -- let me make sure one thing is clear: I am not quarreling with seaneldon's choice of recording media... tape may involve trade-offs, to be sure, but some people would rather put up with the negatives to get what they consider the positives: tape saturation effect and... hmm... whatever else one posits those positives to be. (I suppose some folks might even like the limited frequency bandwidth, flutter, and phase anomalies endemic to the medium.)

 

I'm only arguing against his position that -- honest to gosh, he actually suggested this -- analog tape is a superior ARCHIVAL MEDIUM.

 

No shit. This is an actual quote: "if you ACTUALLY want to keep your mixes properly archived, it would pay to have them mixed down to an analog format (magnetic tape)."

 

No offense, but that's just blinkin' nuts. For all the reasons cited.

 

But no one needs to take it from me... I'm just some old crank in a BB who did his first multitrack recording in 1964.

 

Ask the archival organizations or the Library of Congress. Take a look here.

 

Pertinent quote:

Moreover, to delay the transfer of analog media into the digital domain until it has reached perfection and reliability is to compromise preservation. The more time that passes, the more we allow the further degradation of analog materials.

--Preservation of Audio, by Elizabeth Cohen, PhD, UCLA

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not only will you STILL be able to play CD's but the players will most likely play that and every other optical format under the sun at the time. i can play CD, MP3, VCD, DVD-V, DVD-A, SACD, PhotoCD, and god knows how many other formats.

 

the reality is more and more people are switching to digital and not only happy with it but PREFER it over analog. i have NEVER been much of an analog fan, especially a 24/2" which isnt much better than a cassette tape in track width....

 

i think in 15 years, magnetic tape will pretty much be gone. these boutique shops making it now arent going to last as more and more switch off it and the few holdouts arent going to have enough demand to warrant the business continuing.

 

and no dude, digital formats HAVENT changed. they havent changed in AGES. WAV/AIFF/SD2 [the main 3] have been around for decades now... and all still readable by ANY platform. not only will those still most likely be the 3 headers, but with a simple utility app, one can extract the audio back out of any file that DOESNT play. i have done it before even with corrupted file headers and invalid formats.

 

and btw, i have booted machines far older than 15 years old and yes, they still boot... and amazingly, with their OS they ran on were quite snappy machines. do i want to go back to them? nope.

 

but with proper archiving of projects [merging to same start point] any project could be rebuilt in any DAW of the time. sure the mix wouldnt survive, BUT they dont survive in the analog world as it is now, even with "total recall"... im sure those 2 tracks for old uptown automation on tapes are coming in REAL handy, never mind a SMPTE track surviving enough for the latter automation recall on 8" floppies... then if you ran ANY outboard, does it still exist and available. the list goes on.

 

"ESPECIALLY when we're talking about mixing and you really only pass through the tape a MAXIMUM of 2 times."

 

im hoping you are talking about printing a mix and not mixing off the tape.

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First off, "boutique shops" aren't the only people running tape machines. Not even close. Most of today's studios that have the gall to call themselves "boutique" don't even HAVE tape machines.

 

But there are LOTS and LOTS and LOTS of studios that do have them! Maybe you don't know where to look, but I do. So I'll keep using those studios. I can provide a very large list, if you want. And you can e-mail the folks in charge at those places and ask them if they have any intention of getting rid of their tape deck. And if they DO want to...someone else wants to buy it and put it to very good use. You don't find a Studer, Ampex, Otari, or even the big Tascam machines in the garbage. You find plenty of computers, DAT machines, and ADATs in the garbage though.

 

Tape will NOT degrade from PLAYBACK unless the machine you're working on is in dire need of a hefty surgery. Recording has little to no shed on ANY decent machine. Of course erase heads will do the most "damage", but it's minimal at best. This is 100% true. I use tape machines EVERY SINGLE DAY! Continuing to say that you used one in 1964 doesn't mean anything. It's 2007 and I use one EVERY DAY. And {censored}, my tape machines are OLD! But they work just like the day they were first purchased, if not better.

 

When I am done with an album, and the band pays me, I give them the master tapes for them to store, or I'll even store them if they don't want them or don't care or they're worried. These very tapes will be 100% playable *RIGHT AWAY* on EVERY TAPE MACHINE OF THE SAME SIZE AND TRACK COUNT. Always.

 

I'll say it yet again: Analog tape does NOT significantly deteriorate in ANY WAY unless you REALLY WANT IT TO. If that were not true...why can I still use the same alignment tape every single day for years on end? Oh, and by the way, that alignment tape came with my tape machine! Which means the Joe-Schmoe before me ALSO used it every day! For god knows how long!

 

To talk about storage issues, let's talk about digital storage for a minute. How many digital formats and drives have we gone through just since I've been alive? 5.25" floppy, 3.5" floppy, ZIP disks the countless assorted spinoffs, DAT, ADAT, DASH, at least a dozen others just in the "mainstream"...

 

There has been one, count it, ONE -- 24 track 2" tape format. One. ONE 1/2" 2 track format. One. Almost all of these tapes are playable, if not all of them. Don't believe me? Bring me a tape. I'll make it play.

 

How about all those sessions in software that is no longer made and is really LONG GONE? Assuming the harddrive or disc the files are on hasn't gone completely ape{censored} (which is a very big possibility), it would still take a considerable amount of time to configure your software and hardware to properly read and play them, align all the files to their proper starting point, etc. And if you were mixing "in the box"...where's all your plugins? {censored} total recall. I have recall sheets and detailed session notes (books FULL of them!). Have an assistant do it at lunch. Even 48-track mixes won't take more than 20 minutes. If it IS taking longer than that, I need a new assistant, because I could do that mother{censored}er in 10.

 

Let's say your dinosaur computer has a hard drive in it with Band X's debut album from 15 years ago. What happens when the drive stops spinning for no good reason, and the OS starts giving you it's equivalent to the "BLUE SCREEN OF DEATH" every time you move your mouse? {censored}, that could even happen on a new machine! Would you try to take the thing apart and figure out what's wrong under the hood? On a component level? No. You wouldn't. You would send the drive away for an UNBELIEVABLY EXPENSIVE ($THOUSANDS) recovery and retire the computer.

 

If my tape machine stops working (nope. Hasn't happened. If I have one day of downtime I go around and make sure everything works.) I know it inside and out and can fix it. Same goes for, eh, I'd say 80% of professionals who still use tape machines. If not more. Sure, there are broken tape machines...but I can fix them! Even the MOST broken tape machines can be fixed. But when you're 15 year old computer dies...will you be able to completely rebuild it and fill it with 15 year old software and hardware with no problems? No. You will not be able to do that.

 

And you only need to record to the ONE tape: get this -- ONE TIME. No need for periodic updates of formats and moving from drive to drive and making backup after backup. A real time waster. Chasing your tail, subconsciously ADMITTING that your method of storage is a sham. And theoretically you'd have to do it for the rest of your life, and then have someone else take over for you when you're gone, JUST TO HAVE A PROPER DOCUMENT/MASTER THAT THIS RECORDING WAS MADE! I don't make backups of 499. That very reel on the recorder in that picture is being stored in it's well-labeled box (Date, Artist, Bias, Songs, Track-times, etc.) in normal-ass NY building conditions. I will make an extremely public $1,000,000 bet with any nay-sayers here that this tape will be playable on any working 2" tape machine in 50 years and it will sound exactly like I did when I stored it. In fact, I will make a smaller bet that I can play pretty much any tape that someone gives me. {censored}, WIRE RECORDERS WILL STILL WORK AND PLAY BACK THEIR FORMAT. THOSE MACHINES ARE {censored}ING OLD.

 

And to say that tape machines won't be around in 15 years...highly, highly, highly unlikely. Why are 40-50 year old machines still in use? Because people still want to use them. When was the last time you used a 50 year old computer? I'm a small dot in a large picture of people who intend to keep analog recording going. It will never be "too expensive". Tape costs are minimal compared to anything else being done in the studio. Some bands spend more on food or drugs in the same week I'm recording them. They don't think weed is too expensive, and they don't think tape is too expensive.

 

Analog recording will never be rendered obsolete because the recording/playback machines are very, very simple, and single masters will survive time and virtually all conditions short of being in a natural disaster or having an infant remove the tape from it's box and erase the whole thing when nobody's looking.

 

You can try to debate me on this for as long as you want, but there's decades upon decades of history of analog recordings STILL BEING PLAYABLE. There's no two ways about it. If you can say the same about your ProTools session in 50 years, that's wonderful. But you won't say that. You won't even remember this message board argument ever took place. You'll just be pissed that your songs are gone.

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