Voxengo is a company that has been selling digital audio processing tools online since 2002. The r8brain PRO application is a high-quality sample-rate converter for PCM audio. While it's hard to get excited about a utility, the fact of the matter is many of us rely on these tools on a daily basis. For years, I have been a satisfied BarbaBatch customer; however, the well-respected format converter from Audio Ease runs on Mac OS only, and all of my mastering editors run on PC. Having an extra machine just for conversions became a pain, so I downloaded the free version of r8brain. Within a few days, I was hooked and purchased r8brain PRO, which has more features and better fidelity than the free version. Not all sample-rate converters are made equal. In fact, some downright sound bad-inducing "chirping angels" to "motorboats" to a slight loss of field-width or depth. You have to pay careful attention to the results of the tool you choose for this task. Without naming names, I testify that the sample-rate conversion routines in several popular DAWs range from bad to horrible. [I wish you would name names! -AH] So, do some listening tests on your own. r8brain PRO has no sound, which is exactly what I want! According to the manufacturer, the core algorithm conducts all interpolation and decimation steps without any simplification (e.g., simplified anti-aliasing filters or interpolation formulas). The source material is first resampled to a least common multiple of the target sample-rate, which makes conversion clean, even if it takes longer. You also have a choice of linear or minimum-phase modes. Again, this is a matter of taste as minimum-phase can reduce some of the pre-ringing artifacts that can pop up in some linear conversions; I often opt for minimum-phase processing for that reason. My favorite features include batch processing and the ability to add a suffix to the converted files. For example, adding "_r8bpro" to the end of a filename makes it easy to remember which file was the source and which was the converted data. Another time saver is that r8brain PRO can accept a batch of files with different sample-rates and bit-depths and convert them to a common rate and depth! It must be noted that r8brain PRO is a sample-rate converter, not a "format" converter ("format" usually refers to data or file format-WAV, AIFF, etc.). Consequently, r8brain PRO supports WAV format mainly. In general, r8brain PRO completes conversions in a short amount of time (running on an Intel Pentium 4 running at 3 GHz with 1 GB of RAM), is stable, and provides transparent conversions at rates up to 384 kHz. With a free version out there and a download price of $129.95 for the full version, this is a great deal for those in the market for a solid, PC-based sample-rate converter. ($129.95 direct; www.voxengo.com)

Tape Op is a free magazine exclusively devoted to
the art of record making.

 
 More Gear Reviews 
John Baccigaluppi · March 15, 2008
If you've read Tape Op over the years, you've probably noticed that one of my pet peeves is headphones. You gotta' have 'em, but they're expensive, and everyone treats 'em like crap. On the other...
Allen Farmelo · March 15, 2008
A number of years back, I was tracking a record in a room with a 24-fader Digidesign ProControl and then migrated to a situation with only a keyboard and a mouse. About halfway through the first day...
Craig Schumacher · March 15, 2008
So we were strolling around AES last October and we run into Harley Fine who we met at TapeOpCon 2007. Harley took us over to meet Jim Kaye of Matrix Audio Systems. At his table were three 2-channel...
Scott Callan · March 15, 2008
I am a home recordist with a humble 12-space rack filled with affordable (and occasionally interesting) gear. I am also a sucker for anything odd, old, and esoteric... and bonus points for strange...
· March 15, 2008
It's funny how the audio industry sometimes seems to go in waves. Four years ago, summing mixers, like the Dangerous 2-BUS (Tape Op #35), were the new thing, and two years ago, monitor controllers...
Andy Hong · March 15, 2008
David Hidek and Garrett's positive review of the ASK Video Sibelius Tutorial DVD bundle (Tape Op #62) prompted me to check out ASK's Cubase 4 Tutorial. In short, if you are new to Cubase (or to DAWs...
Andy Hong · March 15, 2008
My wife is a filmmaker, and her primary platform is Final Cut Studio running on a Mac Pro. She is neither an audio engineer nor a gear geek like many of us are. For her current project, she needed to...
Dana Gumbiner · March 15, 2008
This plug-in has quickly become a go-to for my clients who ask for realistic string and orchestral parts. It's simply the best orchestral sampler I've heard at this price point. And that's my review!...
Jeff Elbel · March 15, 2008
I've been using a pair of KRK 7000B speakers, driven by a Bryston 3B-ST power amp, as my nearfield monitors for a dozen years. I trust them and know them inside-out, but after working with higher-end...
  • Start A Discussion

Tue, Jul 22, 2014 - 10:31PM
Get a dialogue going below:
:
:
:
:
: