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 
Sam Coomes · Sept. 15, 2000
My interest in recording doesn't go much beyond recording myself and or my own band. Consequently, my studio is not intended to be useful to any other customer beside myself. I have been involved in...
Larry Crane · Nov. 15, 2003
Concerned about "mixing in the box"? Want to really hear the side effects of different software mixers, analog consoles, digital consoles, bus summing? There are 29 mixing platforms here, with the "A"...
John Baccigaluppi · Jan. 15, 2006
I love real instruments, and I have pianos, organs, vibes, marimbas, Moog & Arp synths, and lots of other real instruments in my studio. I find that virtual instruments just don't get used as much...
Rich Hardesty · Sept. 15, 2003
By now you must have heard some rumblings about what may prove to be the best-sounding type of reverb plug-ins: they're termed "impulse response" reverbs. In layman's terms (my terms too) these...
Mike Jasper · May 15, 2004
Gary Garritan, owner of Garritan Orchestral Libraries, has just released Garritan Personal Orchestra (GPO), a full orchestral software-sampler program for $249 plus $15 shipping. Now that's news,...
This is one very amazing, albeit very specialized, piece of software. It will only run on a Macintosh G4 (using the Mac's Altivec co-processor) and only with Digital Performer (Although a VST and RTAS...
John Keane · July 15, 2003
This article is partially excerpted from the introduction to A Musician's Guide to Pro Tools, Book Two, which is a continuation of A Musician's Guide to Pro Tools Book One. It was adapted by me to...
Jon Cohrs · Sept. 15, 2004
Loops, loops and more loops. The Essential Rhythm DVD sample set crams in 322 drum loops in addition to another 200 rhythm combo, acoustic guitar, bass, percussion, and one-shot samples. Riding on the...
John Baccigaluppi · Jan. 15, 2003
See Issue #28 for my full review of Altiverb for MAS, a plug-in that I would consider the best software reverb I've heard. Well now it's available for RTAS and VST as well as MAS. You can check...
  • Start A Discussion

Tue, Jan 27, 2015 - 4:19AM
Get a dialogue going below:
:
:
:
:
: