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Yamaha AW4416 to Roland VS2480

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by moley, Jan 7, 2003.


  1. moley

    moley

    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    It's probably not likely that anyone will know this, but here goes...

    I've recorded some material on a Yamaha AW4416 (16-track digital hard disk recorder & mixer) which I've borrowed, and I will soon be getting my own Roland VS2480 (24-track digital hard disk recorder & mixer) - and I'm wondering how I can transfer the material - in multitrack form - from the Yamaha to the Roland.

    The Yamaha doesn't have individual outputs for the tracks, and the digital output is only stereo (I think). It does have 8 aux channels which could be used as outputs I suppose. I'm wondering if I could back up the data from the Yamaha in any format that could be read by the Roland. They both have CD drives.

    Anyone have any ideas?
     
  2. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    As they have incompatible internal formats I guess the only common format would be WAV files, via CD export/import, track by track. This will take a very long time though, CD operations are very slow on the AW4416. Another option would be digital transfer of eight tracks at a time via ADAT interface, but that of course only works if both machines has such a card installed. Perhaps they both have an SPDIF digital interface, that could also be used for track by track digital transfer, but it would also be cumbersome. Other than that I don't see how to do it. You might consider actually recording analog from machine to machine, I don't think you will be able to hear any degradation in sound quality, you could do at least 6 tracks at a time (patch to 4 omni out + stereo tracks). Only problem would be synching the different takes, you need to slave one machine's clock to the other, but I don't know how to do that (perhaps via MIDI clock).

    Edit: There is a program called AWExtract (http://socialentropy.com/aw4416/index.htm) that allows you to extract WAV data from an AW4416 backup CD on a PC, that is probably the fastest way to create a CD that the Roland can read (backup your song to an AW4416 backup CD, extract all tracks as WAV files on the PC, create a CD on the PC with all tracks as WAV files, import the tracks on the Roland from this new CD). A lot of work, but at least you minimize the number of CD operations on the AW4416.

    Obviously I haven't tried this myself as I don't have a VS2480, but in principle it should work. Please consult all relevant manuals, and don't send me a bill if i'm wrong. :)
     
  3. moley

    moley

    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Thanks Anders! I wasn't expecting anyone to be able to help with this...

    I was thinking about this one last night, and the idea of synching the two machines occurred to me. Do you know if the AW4416 has the capabilities built in to do that? I know the VS2480 does have MIDI synch built in, but I wasn't sure if the AW4416 did (I couldn't check because I'm not in possession of the AW4416 at the moment - as I said, I'm borrowing it from someone). The AW4416 however doesn't have an ADAT card installed, and as far as I'm aware, the VS2480 doesn't come with an ADAT interface. However the AW4416 does have a digital stereo out - so I could do 2 tracks at a time that way without losing any quality... slow though...

    The idea of converting to WAVs hadn't occurred to me though. I've not used that facility on the AW4416 before - would it simply be a case of converting each track in the given song into a WAV file? I'm hoping that the VS2480 has the facility to import WAV files in that way, I don't know off the top of my head whether it does or not.
     
  4. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    Originally posted by moley:
    I was thinking about this one last night, and the idea of synching the two machines occurred to me. Do you know if the AW4416 has the capabilities built in to do that? I know the VS2480 does have MIDI synch built in, but I wasn't sure if the AW4416 did (I couldn't check because I'm not in possesion of the AW4416 at the moment - as I said, I'm borrowing it from someone).


    Yes, there are several synching options, but you will have to investigate slave/master, MTC, MMC and some other abbreviations... :) I think you should try to borrow the manuals as well, or download from http://www.aw4416.com

    The idea of converting to WAVs hadn't occurred to me though. I've not used that facility on the AW4416 before - would it simply be a case of converting each track in the given song into a WAV file?

    The AW4416 can export single tracks or the stereo track to a WAV file on CD, but unfortunately only one track per CD. So that's why the AWExtract program is a better route, you can transfer the whole song to a PC and work there instead. I'd be surprised if the Roland can't import WAV files.
     
  5. moley

    moley

    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Wow, I didn't realise aw4416.com existed. I'll look at the manuals...

    As for the WAV issue... one track per CD?!? I'll definitely check out that program then!

    ...Ok I just looked at the AWExtract site - looks good! Now all I need to do is check that the VS2480 can import WAVs to specific tracks (seems likely that it would). This looks like a pretty good way to do it - and avoids the synch issue, as far as I can see. Seeing as we're talking about transferring it as digital audio data, rather than copying in real time - I don't see why there should be any issue with synching. Once the individual tracks are copied over, they should be perfectly in synch.

    I think that could be the answer, thanks a lot Anders!! I'm getting my VS2480 on Saturday - I'll be back with an update when I've attempted to do some copying!
     
  6. moley

    moley

    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    I've just bought the VS2480! Cost almost £2,500. It's sitting in my room right now, I'm just about to work out how to use it :) I've spoken to somebody who's already got one, and he said that it can import WAV files from a CD... so it looks like it's gonna work out ok. I'll post an update when I've given it a go.
     
  7. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    Congrats! That's a very nice piece of gear! It was on my shopping list but the AW4416 suited my budget better at the time. The AW4416 has some problems communicating data with the outside world (read: exporting to a PC) but other than that it's great. The VS2480 seems a bit more user friendly too. More tracks never hurts either. Both very good machines though.
     
  8. moley

    moley

    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Indeed, they are good machines. I will post a review of the VS2480 when I've given it a proper going over :)
     
  9. moley

    moley

    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Update...

    Ok, I just yesterday managed to get hold of the AW4416 again, to copy my material over.

    The first song I attempted was just a piano part (I had recorded some vocals, but I didn't want to keep them - I just wanted to keep the piano). And seeing as it was only 2 tracks, no synching required, I just hooked up the coaxial digital out on the AW4416 to the coaxial digital in on the VS-2480 :)

    Then I did some reading and came across MTC & MMC, which you mentioned earlier. I actually hadn't realised it was so easy to sync two machines together - just with one MIDI cable! So I read up how to set it up, set 'em up, connected 'em up, and recorded some tracks over the coaxial cable, two at a time - and it worked perfectly!

    I've now copied all the material I want to keep over to the VS-2480, no problems :)

    Thanks again for your help, Anders.

    As for the review of the Roland, it's in the "Hey Moley-where's that Roland VS review thread?" :)

    Now I gotta get on with my album... :)
     
  10. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    [​IMG] Glad to hear it worked out so (relatively) painlessly!

    And, great review of the VS2480! I'm a bit envious of the 24 tracks, I find it's very easy to use up the 16 tracks of the AW4416, especially when tracking a full drum set with overheads. I have added a Waves effects card to my AW for a total of 10 effects processors and beautifully sounding mastering effects, so that makes the AW a really good project machine. But more tracks is always good... had I know what I know today that would be a major point when choosing.
     
  11. moley

    moley

    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Wow! That's a real nice setup. And that is one distinct advantage of the AW - the Waves cards.

    So did you add another three Yamaha effects boards to the one that came with it? As I recall, the situation with internal FX in the Yamaha is the same as with the Roland - i.e. each card has 2 FX processors, it comes with 1 card already installed, and you can add up to 3, for 8 FX processors in total? Except, of course, with the Waves card you can have more.

    All those FX cards must have set you back a bit? Still, sounds like a great setup. As and when I can afford it, I'll be adding more FX cards to my Roland.
     
  12. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    Originally posted by moley:
    So did you add another three Yamaha effects boards to the one that came with it?
    ...
    Except, of course, with the Waves card you can have more.


    The AW has two processors built-in, with no way of adding more, except for the Waves card that gives you 8 channels that can be used as mono processors or in stereo pairs. I tend to use two of the channels for mastering on the main stereo out, and then there are lots of options for inserts or bus effects with the two built-in and additional 6 channels on the Waves card. The card is pricey, but the AW becomes a whole different animal with the mastering effects and the Waves reverb.
     
  13. moley

    moley

    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Ahh I see. When I was using the AW4416, I wasn't hugely impressed with the mastering capabilities - but, I can imagine that the Waves card more than makes up for it!

    And, as regards the 16 track issue - you could save up for another AW4416, and lock the two in sync, giving you a whopping 32 track digital studio :)