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iZ RADAR Studio and the return of the PC

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iZ RADAR Studio and the return of the PC

Postby Howdy Doody Time » Wed Oct 07, 2020 1:14 am

Just out of interest -

I have two Radar Studios (what happened was I was negotiating for an ex studio second hand one but the owner changed his mind, so I bought a brand new one. Then he came back with a great price, and you know how it is with spares..)

I was using one as a 24 track tape machine because it sounds and feels like my old long gone Otari MTR-90 But lately, with nothing else to do, I loaded my DAW's Nuendo, Cubase and Reason, all of which needed to be downloaded again because all my comps are Macs.

The Radar runs a stripped to the bare bones Windows 8.1 64 bit OS which is lightning fast in the 64Gb RAM Radars.

Well all the DAWS worked just fine, together with all the plugins (Though I need a thunderbolt 3 card to run the UAD Octopus, and I have no idea whether that should be PCIE or what)

The thing is, all my audio interfaces, and all my Macs are stood down, because the Radar does everything. I'll box them all up and stash them just in case I can't get on with Windows/Radar, but so far, with miles less cable, so jolly good!

I'll keep the i9 MBP just to run a ZX Spectrum emulator running Manic Miner.
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Re: iZ RADAR Studio and the return of the PC

Postby Arpangel » Wed Oct 07, 2020 6:53 am

You lucky person, you can’t get better than this, as you know, I’d like one to run alongside my computer, these things are way way underrated, the thing to get if recording quality is your main concern, the converters are just beyond anything.
Basically you have the best of analogue, and the best of digital.
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Re: iZ RADAR Studio and the return of the PC

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Oct 07, 2020 10:49 am

Arpangel wrote:...these things are way way underrated

Certainly not by the professionals who use them. They are, as HDT says, very neat and effective digital emulations of analogue multitrack machines, and for those that know how to work in a multitrack studio the Radar brings several workflow advantages.

But they are extremely pricey compared to a 'standard' PC, interface and DAW, and will appear to be less versatile/powerful to many as well.

...the converters are just beyond anything.

I think that's over-egging the mix a little... Back in the early days of digital they managed to make converters that sounded better than many of the alternatives at that time, not least because they took a slightly different approach to the filtering processes. And that, rightly, helped them to build a reputation.

But the world caught up long ago and and continued on past... Radar still make superbly good quality converters with modern technology which are on a par with the best of the high-enders. But I don't think it's valid to say the Radar converters are 'beyond' -- there are a lot of really good converters out there these days.
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Re: iZ RADAR Studio and the return of the PC

Postby Howdy Doody Time » Wed Oct 07, 2020 5:51 pm

The converters are, as Hugh says on a par with the leaders. But very well engineered components such as the brilliant, quiet power supply, the Adrenaline recording engine with proprietary near zero jitter chips add to the performance.

What makes a big difference for me is the 24 ins and outs both analogue and digital, and the use of modern slimline lightweight SSD drive bays where the "disks" pop in and out instantly and they are cheap as chips as well as robust enough to use as frisbees without losing data.

To have such a super system dealing directly with your favourite DAW for me is the icing on the cake. I've moaned long and annoyingly to those poor souls listening to me here about the difficulties of using commercial computers for recording, with the peripheries often in conflict with each other, and the sudden changes in OS which stop the whole job. But now I feel I have one system, no external converters, no OS update problems, which sounds fabulous, and is as robust and reliable as you could wish for, and a direct line to a real human for ten years thrown in. My moaning days are over!
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Re: iZ RADAR Studio and the return of the PC

Postby The Red Bladder » Wed Oct 07, 2020 9:17 pm

I bought a 48-track Radar system in 2002 and it is used constantly today. I shall replace the thing as soon as someone comes up with something better!
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Re: iZ RADAR Studio and the return of the PC

Postby Arpangel » Thu Oct 08, 2020 9:56 am

The Red Bladder wrote:I bought a 48-track Radar system in 2002 and it is used constantly today. I shall replace the thing as soon as someone comes up with something better!

I still know the sound of those recordings we did at your place, my piano, voice, Neumann U47's through the Amek, flat, straight onto RADAR, plus a bit of Korg Prophecy, that track has a great "quality" the acoustic elements sound really natural, I haven’t been able to get that sound since. It’s a combination of a lot of things, but I was very impressed by how natural the sound from RADAR is, I just can’t justify it here though.
It was a good day, great equipment, etc etc, the alchemy was definitely working.
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Re: iZ RADAR Studio and the return of the PC

Postby The Red Bladder » Thu Oct 08, 2020 1:32 pm

Well, thank you Sir!

Something people forget is the ease and speed with which one can work the thing.
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Re: iZ RADAR Studio and the return of the PC

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Oct 08, 2020 3:24 pm

That's its real strength for me. It's the workflow benefits of a very focussed control surface giving traditional multitrack working but without having to wait for the spool-backs, and without all the distractions of a computer DAW! :-)
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Re: iZ RADAR Studio and the return of the PC

Postby Arpangel » Thu Oct 08, 2020 3:35 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:That's its real strength for me. It's the workflow benefits of a very focussed control surface giving traditional multitrack working but without having to wait for the spool-backs, and without all the distractions of a computer DAW! :-)

Very true, especially the no distractions bit.
Although regarding my DAW, I won’t let it distract me, it’s basically just a tape recorder, I look at all the other stuff, plug-in's etc, and just laugh.
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Re: iZ RADAR Studio and the return of the PC

Postby Ramirez » Thu Oct 08, 2020 3:55 pm

There's an old Radar 24 lying around the place here. Might have to see if it's still working and give it a go...
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Re: iZ RADAR Studio and the return of the PC

Postby Arpangel » Thu Oct 08, 2020 3:59 pm

Ramirez wrote:There's an old Radar 24 lying around the place here. Might have to see if it's still working and give it a go...

I wish I had stuff like this just "lying around the place"...

:D
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Re: iZ RADAR Studio and the return of the PC

Postby Ramirez » Thu Oct 08, 2020 4:03 pm

Arpangel wrote:
Ramirez wrote:There's an old Radar 24 lying around the place here. Might have to see if it's still working and give it a go...

I wish I had stuff like this just "lying around the place"...

:D

I kid you not, we "found"* an EMT 140 plate reverb a couple of weeks ago!

The studio had one years ago, but we were all under the impression that it had been disposed of. We found it in one of the workshops, taken to bits. Going to try my best to get that one back up and running
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Re: iZ RADAR Studio and the return of the PC

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Oct 08, 2020 4:20 pm

Arpangel wrote:I wish I had stuff like this just "lying around the place"...
:D

You would have... but you keep selling it! :lol: :beamup:
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Re: iZ RADAR Studio and the return of the PC

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Oct 08, 2020 4:24 pm

Ramirez wrote:I kid you not, we "found"* an EMT 140 plate reverb a couple of weeks ago! The studio had one years ago, but we were all under the impression that it had been disposed of. We found it in one of the workshops, taken to bits. Going to try my best to get that one back up and running

This may be duff info; I've never bothered to check it out, but AFAIK, the case on those plates is lined with asbestos for sound deadening.... so I'd urge handling with extreme care!

My former employer abandoned two working 140 plates in a basement that was to be re-purposed. Special hazardous materials contractors were employed to remove and dispose of them them -- rather than relocate them -- specifically because of the H&S aspects associated with asbestos and the potential risks involved in moving and reinstalling them.
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Re: iZ RADAR Studio and the return of the PC

Postby Ramirez » Thu Oct 08, 2020 4:58 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
Ramirez wrote:I kid you not, we "found"* an EMT 140 plate reverb a couple of weeks ago! The studio had one years ago, but we were all under the impression that it had been disposed of. We found it in one of the workshops, taken to bits. Going to try my best to get that one back up and running

This may be duff info; I've never bothered to check it out, but AFAIK, the case on those plates is lined with asbestos for sound deadening.... so I'd urge handling with extreme care!

My former employer abandoned two working 140 plates in a basement that was to be re-purposed. Special hazardous materials contractors were employed to remove and dispose of them them -- rather than relocate them -- specifically because of the H&S aspects associated with asbestos and the potential risks involved in moving and reinstalling them.

Thanks Hugh. Yes, I've also read that asbestos was used for the dampers.
I'll have to look into what that really means for us. If it's a matter of re-assembling and finding a place for it out of the way, I imagine it should be ok.

It could need extensive wwork though. There's probably a reason why it was taken down...

At the risk of hijacking the thread (I might start a new one on the back of this discovery), does anyone know of any EMT 140 specialists in the UK? Ideally someone who also fixes Hammonds, Leslies and vintage loudspeakers... :roll: :crazy:
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