Sony DASH Recorders vs. other DAW + Converters

Mo Facta

Farts of Nature
Hi Chris,

Some time ago I read in a Sound on Sound article that you prefer using a Sony 3348 48-track open reel digital recorder to Pro Tools, citing this reason:

Chris Lord Alge said:
I still prefer the open-reel format, sonically, in terms of vibe, in terms of having something stable, and it gives me a definite number of tracks to end up with. These days many songs come in as Pro Tools files consisting of well over 100 tracks, and you can have issues when loading such a file because of tracks that are spread far and wide. With 48-track digital tape there's nothing hidden and you know everything is there. And there are no real compromises in comping down to 48-track, or, as is more often the case, 44. You actually end up being more creative because you're making a lot of your magic happen in your comps. If you look back at Sgt Pepper's, everything was comped, four tracks on four tracks. In most early records it was all about submixing, and about mixing from the word go.

Is this still your opinion and do you still work this way? The article in question was from 2007, which is why I ask.

I guess my question is, are you the type of guy who sticks unwaveringly to what works, or are you open to evolving as technology changes?

Thanks for your time.

Cheers :)

Chris Lord Alge

New member
I stick to what works and then add the new slowly as to keep the focus on the best sound and the best mix
but yes 3348 still sounds great and it keeps a great master for me

Mo Facta

Farts of Nature
I stick to what works and then add the new slowly as to keep the focus on the best sound and the best mix

Thanks for taking the time to answer, Chris.

I think what you said above is a philosophy that most of us that work professionally in this field can relate to. It seems that many issues related to audio are as much a question of sonics as they are of workflow and striking an optimum balance is paramount to produce consistent results. The reason for my question was that I was interested to find out how much you still rely on the 3348, as the article I read about you was from 2007. A lot can change in five years.

One more question (or maybe two) (ok, three).

Why not just stem out from Pro Tools? What is your opinion of the converters built into the 3348 compared to the high end offerings these days?

Are they comparable to, say, Radar or Apogee converters, or does the entire procedure of dumping to digital tape and sub-sequentially playing back from it add something that you find is sonically pleasing compared to just playing back from a DAW?

Thanks again for your time.

Cheers :)