So I ended up with a TEAC 4 channel 4 track machine and gave it a test run at 15 IPS.
I sent the mix in 8 stereo stems to my console (Drums, Overheads, bass, guitar, vocals, etc). From there I sent drums to subgroup 1+2 and everything else to subgroup 3+4. I connected subgroup 1+2 to ch 1&3 and subgroup 3+4 on 2&4 of the tape machine.
I hit the tape only mildy hot although I wouldn't know for sure because its my first try =p. The waves looked squared off and tasty on my drums.
I recorded back into protools my 2 stems and combined them there (made it easy to adjust the levels post tape this way anyway)
On the master bus is an EMI TG plugin EQ for a little high shelving and Oxford inflator (no warmth added) for loudness.
The ITB mix has similar settings on the masterbus, but with the edition of SMACK for a little -1DBU gain reduction, and a different EQ setting.
I think you can definitely hear the difference, the one thing that stood out to me with headphones is the ability to concentrate my ears on any one instrument in the mix, it definitely sounds softer and more pleasant to listen to, less fatigue for sure. I can tell that this effect would probably be more drastic on a really awesome machine. Ahhh tape makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.
This download website requires you to make an account, but its just an email, password and your name.
Here's the ITB mix Mary.mp3 - 4shared.com - online file sharing and storage - download - ian tyler
Here's the TAPE MIX Mary On Tape.mp3 - 4shared.com - online file sharing and storage - download - ian tyler
Now down to my original post.
I've been sifting through the slutz trying to find some info on reel to reel machines.
So here I have a couple questions to start off the thread as a tape machine newbie myself.
1. There's lots of 4 track reel to reel recorders for sale, more available than 2 track machines I would say, most tape machine newbies want to print their stereo mixes to tape. Those of you who have 4 track r2rs, how do you print your mix? I was thinking maybe drums on 1 and 2 and then everything else on 3 and 4. I've read others doing it 1+2L 3+4R.
2. What is the difference in quality when only using 2 tracks of a 4 track 1/4" tape from using 2 tracks of a 2 track 1/4" tape? Does it equate to 1/8" tape? (hypothetically)
3. I've read that the Otari machines are not very colorful, maybe even boring, but are highly regarded as great machines for the money. Do certain machines sound more "tape" than others? Whats the difference in sound between a tascam 32B and Studer A80? And then where does an Otari fit in the mix? Is it like a Chandler TG2 vs FMR audio RNP?
4. What is the audible difference between 7.5 ips and 15? S2N ratio? Frequency Loss?