It has been brought to my attention that many people in the recording industry under-estimate the vast improvement a good set of A/D (analog to digital) and D/A (digital to analog) converters can make! I realize the majority of engineers out there insist on mixing to DAT and accept DAT machines for what they are, a medium to which one can convert and store high quality analog sound information into a digital format at little expense.
Try mixing as hot as possible to DAT with a good set of external 24-bit A/D converters instead of the cheap 16-bit converters supplied in Tascam, Fostex or Sony DAT machines. You may be surprised, if you are not already, at the sonic quality that will make. Also, keep in mind that once you enter the digital domain, keep it that way; converting back and forth from digital to analog will greatly diminish sonic quality as well as create dithering problems. Most professional mastering facilities agree and have the capabilities to keep your material in the digital domain until the format is decided upon.
Greg Below – independent producer/engineer, Distort/Sonic Pineapple Recording Studio. Greg has recorded for EMI Publishing, BMG and FRE Records, as well as many independents.