I am absolutely mortified. I have a copy of Toontracks EZmix for a magazine review. I've been mixing a country flavoured piece today and I've been struggling with the vocal. In a coffee break I fired-up EZmix and surfed a few presets. The 4th one I tried is perfect - it absolutely nails what that track needs. I now have 2 small devils yelling at me - one says "leave it on and move ahead" and the other says "you HAVE to stop and figure out what it's doing"..
What do you think? Is it OK to "just use the preset"?
I just read a statement online that said "wav unquestionably sounds better" than mp3 (sic) - I don't disagree with the sentiment but I figured perhaps I'll test how noticeable it really is.
Here are 2 x files. Both are 44.1/16 wavs. One was initially exported as a 16 bit dithered wav from the initial 32 bit floating file, the other was a 320kbps mp3 that was encoded from the same 32 bit source file. Both were imported into a 16 bit Cubase project and then re-exported as 44.1/16 bit files.
Check 'em and let me know how close you judge them to be?
For the record, I chose this track because it's simple and exposed (OK, and because I had it handy); I know it doesn't test dense or loud or swirly cymbals - you can't have everything :-)!
I flipped a coin to decide which track became "1" and which became "A" and then flipped again to decide which order to place them on the page, and then again to decide which way-round to ask the question below, then again to decide which way round to put the options, so it should all be pretty free from bias on my part.
Quick tip - last week I bought a 3 Terabyte external hard drive for backups. The drive lasted long enough for me to get a couple of system images plus about 700GB of data onto it, then it started to play-up. Sometimes it would report itself to be read only, or change it's apparent size, lose all its files, and sit for hours blipping the drive in 2 second or so bursts even with the PC turrned-off. Obvioulsy it has to go back, no question there, but it's got a TB or so of personal data on it. Now I'm having problems even getting access to this drive, but when I do I'll need to do a secure erase before I return it. A secure erase is where you overwrite the data. Then do it again. Twice. Because my drive has lost its file structure I can't target my files, so I'll need to write the whole 3TB 3 times, that's 9 TB of overwriting on a USB3 drive. When I do get access to the drive I'll put it on a laptop in the garaqe and check it every few days!
Here's the tip. Drives do fail - it's a fact of life. I reckon (just a guess really) that if a drive lasts a month it's probably going to be OK. So - on my new-new drive I've created a partition that's just a bit bigger than I need. I'll use this for a month or so, or until I need more space at which time I'll make it biggger. The benefit is that if my new-new drive fails next week I've contained my data to 1 TB of drive, which means that so long as the partition still exists I only have to overwrite 1x3 TB. Only!
It's also worth considering encrypting your backup drive - it may not be quite as secure as overwriting but if you encrypt as you create you should be pretty safe to just unplug and return. Happy days.
Got a little add-on here. I managed to get my drive attached and found that it's a lot quicker to deep scan for file fragments than to tripple overwrite, so I've formatted the drive into a bunch of smaller partitions that I can check individually. If a 100GB partition doesn't show any file fragments then I'm figuring there's no need to secure erase it, if every partition does have fragments then I've lost even more time. It's still going to be a long process but at least this way if something goes wrong after 2 1/2 TB I don't have to start from the beginning again.