CD architect...why?

kbouchard wrote on 2/13/2005, 8:31 PM
Forgive the dumb question but I just can't seem to find an answer anywhere: Why would one need cd architect? Am I missing something? The .wav files created by SoundForge are fine for burning onto a cdr to produce an audio cd. Are we talking about "mastering" here? I understand "mastering" as producing a cd that can be used by a mass producer of cd's to create a large number of cd's for distribution. Are these mass producers expecting anything on that "master" other than standard wav files?

thanks, ken


Geoff_Wood wrote on 2/16/2005, 1:42 PM
SF is very restricted in the manner it can sequence tracks on a disc, and only writes in TAO mode. Both these factor preculde it's use for creating a disc suitable for duplication. Successful duplication requires a disc written in DAO mode.

Apart from that, the simplicity and versaility in the way the tracks can be sequenced, faded, effected,etc, and all be immediately availble on the same timeline for instantaneous preview, is totally different to the way thing can be done in a 'mere' stereo editor.

DelCallo wrote on 3/13/2005, 2:17 AM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I've seen you post over on the Vegas Video forum - and, hence, my follow-up question. I've read for years posts burning with passion in support of CD Architect - and, so, have always been curious as to just what is so special about it.

Having developed through experience my own preference for and reliance upon SF (now Sony) products, I'm guessing that if so many feel so strongly about the program, there must be something special that it offers.

So, if I already own V5, would I benefit from CD Architect?

I admit, I've never burned CD's for mass production, but, if I wanted to, could that be accomplished in V5? What would I do differently?

When I set up a CD layout on the V5 timeline, am I working under restrictions from which use of CD Architect would set me free?

I have always been curious about this and would appreciate your response (or a response from anyone else with thoughts on the subject).


Geoff_Wood wrote on 3/16/2005, 1:28 PM
Nothing gained in a technical sense, but workflow-wise CDA is so much easier . When I do a CD in Vegas, I find my self causing problems with inadvertently altering things unrelated to what I am focusing on doing.

If you prefer to do things in a linear method (ie all tracks on one timeline) then CDA offers the benefit of plugin chains per *event*. To do the equivalent in Vegas you need each track on a separate 'track', which make auto-crossfades impossible.

Also precise gapping on the trax is easier with CDA's little automatic pop-up gap-time box.

Rednroll wrote on 3/25/2005, 10:44 PM
It's a preference thing. Geoff prefers using CDA for assembling CDs, I prefer Vegas. I have lots of reasons for preferring Vegas, but it all boils down to the versatility of having a multitracker program. Geoff prefers the simplified UI of CDA

A little history for you. First there was CDA 4.0, which was a seperate program that actually appeared as a menu item in Sound Forge 4.5. They worked very well together as a complete mastering and Cd assembly solution. The way CDA 4.0 worked Sonic Foundry found themselves having to constantly release updates for specific CD burners with a lot of users complaining that their burner wouldn't work with CDA 4.0. They eventually gave up and discontinued supporting CDA. A lot of users like myself complained animately because now we didn't have a complete mastering solution. Sonic Foundry's solution to this problem, was that they added the CD Architect features to Vegas, which based it's CD burner support off of MMC compatible drives, which became a standard driver model in Windows. A few years later Sonic Foundry decided to rerelease CD Architect 5.0 using the same Vegas MMC compatible driver support. To me this option made sense for people that didn't want to buy Vegas and used other Stereo editor programs which didn't have a CD assembly program.

I still prefer Vegas to CD Architect. Infact I ran into a problem using CDA this past week trying to make a CD. I had audio tracks which had the audio on the Left channel and Smpte Timecode on the right channel. I wanted to make a CD with CDtext, where the text would describe what each track was. Well the problem I ran into was to get rid of the Smpte timecode on the right track, which I obviously didn't want to listen to on a CD, I would have to individually open all these tracks up in Sound Forge and elliminate the right track and save them as a new copy. In Vegas, I would just select the track and use the channel switch, which is a switch that allows me to choose c "Left Only" and it would hide the right channel and treat it as a mono track. I didn't have to go into sound forge, use the channel converter and save a copy of the media files. So again, the flexibility of Vegas prevails for me again and is much more effecient timewise in achieving the same result. Now, I'm just preying they follow suit with Vegas 6.0 and add CDtext support there, or else you're going to hear one unhappy camper once again. My hopes are optimistic though, because once CDA 5.0 was released, the Sony guys stated that CDA was their solution for CD Authoring and no further CD burning features where going to be added to Vegas. Let's hope that's not true.
seanfl wrote on 3/26/2005, 7:57 AM
I've used CDA to master cd's *and* give the printout of timecode, sample times etc. Will vegas also give this report that duplicators want?

For quick and dirty cd's (for yourself, for your clients) Vegas may do fine for you. if you want to master cd's and have more control, CDA would seem to be helpful.

Rednroll wrote on 3/26/2005, 11:33 AM
"Will vegas also give this report that duplicators want?"

Yes, it will. Goto View>Edit Details> and select Show"Audio CD Track List" Seems like I've mastered CD's in both for awhile, and it sounds like you don't know Vegas very well.

"if you want to master cd's and have more control, CDA would seem to be helpful."

Would you care to ellaborate on that statement? Please tell me what you mean by "more control"? Please give examples. I don't know what kind of mastering you do, but you definately get more control using Vegas. You not only can do things in Vegas that you aren't able to do in CDA,but you can also do them more effeciently. I'll explain a few expamples and show, you can do it more quickly in Vegas.

1. I assemble all my music tracks. My client decides he wants to add skits between the music tracks, where the group is talking in a certain environment. You will need more than the 2 (stereo) tracks that are available in CDA. Because there's several sound SFX's to create the environment plus, the voices of the musicians. How do you do this in CDA? Answer: you can't. Everything has to be assembled outside of CDA and also mixed, where it's a better mixing environment doing it right inside of Vegas, because now you got your music tracks to compare the level of your skits to the music.

2. I got all the Music tracks assembled, while listening to it, My client says, you know what I really wish I had said this certain word or phrase at that point in the song. No problem, let's record enable a track in Vegas and record that word and mix it in with the already assembled CD. Where's my record button in CDA? Where's my available track?

3. I put a CD together with both original versions of songs and then I need to make a copy of that song and create a radio edit because there's cuss words in it. There's a few methods I'll use but a couple aren't as flexible in CDA as it is in Vegas.

Method 1: Locate the cuss words select them and reverse the audio so it's not intelligible. This is not achievable in CDA without having Sound Forge. In Vegas, I just reverse the event. In CDA I have to open it in Sound Forge, and then reverse it, and then if I decide later after several reverse operations, I can't just undo one event.

Method 2: If they have an instrumental of the the original song. I will line up both the original version and the instrumental version on 2 tracks. Then I will do edits where I drop in the instrumental version into the original version, wherever a cuss word happens. This you can do in CDA, but when you're finished doing all your edits in CDA, you need to mute all the individual events of the instrumental, which could be several mouse clicks. Also in doing this process you cannot mute the instrumental track to preview your edits in the other composite edited track, both tracks play at once. In Vegas I click on one button, the track mute. No track mute in CDA, plus now if I need the second audio track layer for adding additional parts, I've just run out of tracks in CDA to do that, because the instrumental parts that are not playing is occupying it. I guess I could delete the instrumental off of the second layer in CDA after my edits are done, but then I just lost my place holder if I need to go back and do anymore edits. So again, Vegas is much more flexible.

If you have Vegas, in my opinion using CDA is not a wise decision, because you can back yourself into a corner due to the limitations in CDA, but Vegas doesn't have those same limitations. Vegas is not just for "quick and dirty CD's". Besides CDtext, Vegas has all the features of CDA and then some. CDA features are based off of how it was implemented in Vegas. Infact you can customize the Vegas user interface and make it look exactly like CDA5 if you like. You can even open CDA 4.0 projects in Vegas.