Recording, saving and playing back Quadraphonic Media

QuadraphonicQuad

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wiztom

Member
Joined
May 8, 2019
Messages
18
Location
Dallas, Texas
I have been struggling with this project for some time. I have quadraphonic media in vinyl and tape format that I want to save in digital form before they all turn to dust. Seems simplistic in my mind, but I am frustrated by the mechanics. I have the equipment to decode quad records and two quad capable tape decks. I know how to use that equipment. I am stymied on recording this media so that I can save and replay it via computer or DVD. I keep running into issues where the hardware insists on recording in, or mixing down to stereo while saving tracks. I have tried various daws with their seemingly steep learning curves with no joy. I just want to record the four tracks, save the four tracks and playback the four tracks in digital format. I have a PC running Windows10 64 bit and a Mac. I have a Uphoria UMC 404HD and a OPPO 103, (have not utilized the OPPO). No combination of these have so far worked for me. Is there a simple or down and dirty way of doing this? I think at this point I would pay to have someone show me how to do this successfully as I think I'm too stupid to figure it out. Any help appreciated.
 

ummagumma

Wild Boar at Pompeii
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Joined
Aug 28, 2020
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559
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Canada
You can get a 4 channel audio interface, use a DAW like Reaper and record the 4 channels discretely, one channel per track.

If your records aren't CD4 ( ie: are QS/RM/SQ encoded ) you can just record them in stereo, and decode them on playback.
 

mlrocker

600 Club - QQ All-Star
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Jul 2, 2016
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697
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Daytona Beach Fl
if you can get the 4 tracks into the digital domain (which you should be able to do with the Uphoria interface and a suitable sound card in the computer), all you need to do is use a software like AUDACITY to render a multichannel playable digital album. What I do is employ a KORG D888 recorder that will record 4 tracks from analog inputs, and can also transfer the tracks via USB to my computer. Then as I said combine the tracks to a multichannel FLAC file.
 

jimfisheye

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
Joined
Jan 8, 2010
Messages
2,494
Any modern audio interface with at least 4 inputs is an excellent recording device. Audio interfaces connect by USB, firewire, thunderbolt, pci (sound card), or HDMI. The USB connecting models are plentiful and perfectly suited for the job. (The firewire and thunderbolt models are more for running live sound which requires imperceptible low latency. Some of the pci card models have low latency but most of these are the more cheap dictation quality "sound cards". Avoid HDMI products in general. (Too much copy protection gone wild stuff.)

The critical part is still the analog connection to the legacy gear. Decoding analog encoder formats is the most critical and most difficult. If this is about preserving a rare recording to digital to the highest standards, this can be a deep well! You kind of want to pull out all the stops for that! (More time is spent in research to track down the most intact analog copies to start from.)

If this is just about making a copy to casually listen to (like we used to do recording vinyl to cassette), the ADCs in any modern pro audio interface will make the most excellent recording of any recording device you've ever owned! Record to 24 bit @ 96k sample rate. Reduce the sample rate to 48k or 44.1k after (NOT during recording) if you wish to save disc space and approve of your DAC performance at SD sample rates. Or leave them 24/96 flac like you download from HDTracks. Always record and keep 24 bit. Reaper DAW lets you record and work with flac files directly, FYI.

Even if this is 98% casual and maybe 1 or 2 important rare recordings to capture, any professional-ish USB connecting interface will do an excellent job. 99% of the transfer quality is in the analog signal handling and any analog matrix decoding. All the more frugal options would do well - MOTU, Focusrite, Presonus, Behringer (The newer Midas/Behringer hybrid products, not the old "B-word" products.) Just avoid the shit on Amazon with only unbalanced rca connectors for audio or HDMI host connection.
 
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