Originally Posted by Looneytune
If i knew how to use a tape machine and could calibrate it and all the other stuff I would buy one tomorrow and be done with my Logic 9 as my recorder.
IMO that would be a mistake.
When I scored my Trident Series 80 up in NYC, I also scored a full blown Otari MTR90 2 inch machine. I even went as far as to have all the input/output cards recapped, a new set of heads from JRF magnetics, and a super tech fully calibrate it and show me the ritual -- in other words, the whole 9 yards (no stone unturned) to know I was getting the best that machine could possibly offer.
At that time (2007) I was so completely disgusted with the lie of ITB that I was determined to slay the marketing scheme vampires once and for all; plus, I was fortunate enough to have the money to do it.
So, to make a long story short, I spent considerable time recording as many sources as possible to that tape machine; plus, I had a nice (fully recapped, up to spec) Series 80 console to monitor it's returns thru.
What did I discover ? Yes indeed, for drums and bass guitar (at 15ips) it was a beast. I will agree, it sounded fuller, deeper, and more punchy for these instruments. However, with a little EQ, outboard comp. & tape emulation plugins I was EASILY
able to get the same sound from tracks that were recorded from my Trident thru Lavry converters directly into PT. And on the other hand, for stuff like vocals, acstsc gtrs, piano, etc. my opinion is that the Lavry coverters sounded BETTER than the tape machine ! And for those elitist tape "purists" who are going to jump in and say "you must have been doing something wrong"
my retort is: YES, I was using 456; YES, I had nice NR units; and YES, I tried both slamming it hard, somewhere in the middle, etc ........ So go ahead now and make your totally predictable follow-up statement "yeah, but that Otari's no Studer man".
IMO tape is indeed antiquated at this point. It's just a waste of space and time, because the tracks would have to be transferred into the DAW anyway to do a proper mix. I STRONGLY
disagree with those "purists" here that insist on not using a DAW at all and mixing projects off of a tape machine. If you're mixing 20 track count classic 70s rock, fine -- but that's NOT what I mix ! Those are the dark ages for me, and I'll never want to go there again.
On the other hand, the difference that my console and outboard hardware makes (compared to ITB) is so drastic
that I can't even find the words to describe it.
So from a practical experience standpoint -- trust me, you do not need a tape machine in 2012. It was the biggest waste of $ on gear that I have been thru yet, with the least returns. I was quite glad to sell it at a considerable loss.