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Sweetwater Forums [Archived]

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A readers question about digital audio session.


A reader asks: "If I let mixes of digital audio sessions that have been bounced to a disk and saved in Jam sit for a long period of time, will the audio quality degrade? What about if I burn it to a CD? The time period I am talking about is from 3 to 6 months."
We'd love to hear what types of experiences you've had with CDR and CDRW discs, especially as related to longevity. When you burn a CDR with audio files how long do they last and remain reliable? Have you come across any brand duds? What would you tell this reader? What do you think of inSync's answer? Did we steer this guy right?
Click Here to read inSync's response.
August 24, 2001 @07:29pm

I've never heard any degradation in that amount of time on a CDR. In my opinion if you burn them at a good speed (2x) and you keep them in a good environment (out of the sun) you'll have no problems.
The same can't be said for DAT tapes. The amount of error correction that goes on with those things is insane! You've got digital data being rubbed across a tape head. The little oxide (rust) particals on the tape are constantly falling off or being moved. Every time you play a date, rewind a DAT, move a DAT around, or just look at a DAT in an unpleasant manor...you're losing ones and zeros. Tape is not the way to go with digital audio. I don't know about you, but I don't want my DAT machine telling me what was really happening at 18KhZ. The resolution of 16 bit 44.1 is bad enough...now do error correction on low resolution 18KhZ sound wave.
Analog audio on tape is a diffenent story. The effects are not so great and the results are usually not as noticable. The resolution of Analog tape is far greater and goes way beyond 22500Hz.
August 25, 2001 @02:42pm

does it really make a difference what speed you burn cd-rs at?
August 25, 2001 @10:59pm

Yes, it does make a difference. Apparently the transfer rate is the most stable. I'm not sure how 8 and 12x compare though. I know up to that point 2x was the most stable and accurate. Several reliable sources have told me this on separate occasions. When burning master CD's I always use 2x. 1x is supposedly worse than four, because the transfer is too slow.
August 27, 2001 @04:13pm

I burned a 4x Mitsubishi 74 minute CDR for a client and kept an extra copy for me. My copy flatlined after about 18 months. I haven't seen if the client's copy had the same fate.
The Mitsubishi CDR brand is R74S1B.
August 27, 2001 @05:02pm

I've never had one personally crap out, but I did have a client bring me some files he had burned on a rewriteable disc, and there were all sorts of problems. I can't remember the media brand, but he had had it on the disc for a couple months.....
August 27, 2001 @05:35pm

I recorded a project on a VS-880 EX in 1999 and stored the entire thing on several 100 MB Zip disks. Over two years later I finally got around to dumping that project into Digital Performer for additional editing and mastering, and I had no problems with audio degradation. Not bad considering Zip disks are hardly the most reliable long term data storage solution.
August 28, 2001 @01:34am

At the Kodak website they approximate a quality CD life span at 200 years. This is of course given optimum storage conditions, i.e. dark room, temperature stable, etc.
I have heard that since the media is different on R-W disks there is a tendency to degradation but according to the Kodak site...
it ought not be any problem.
August 28, 2001 @12:46pm