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the best hardware tape emulation Recorders, Players & Tape Machines
Old 1 week ago
  #601
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ProgFree View Post
This is my understanding of it as well. But when we did plug some gear with such circuitry for testing, we noticed that especially the gear that had toroidal transformers did improve the sound somewhat.
Interesting. I'd love to know what's going there. Love to hear clips, too.

My limited experience with toroidals has been pretty much the opposite. With the contained magnetic field, toroidals are way closer to "theoretically perfect" than conventional square, open, through-the-air transformers. This makes them have fewer of the inaccuracies and saturation characteristics that are the reason we like the sound of transformers.
Old 1 week ago
  #602
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
Interesting. I'd love to know what's going there. Love to hear clips, too.

My limited experience with toroidals has been pretty much the opposite. With the contained magnetic field, toroidals are way closer to "theoretically perfect" than conventional square, open, through-the-air transformers. This makes them have fewer of the inaccuracies and saturation characteristics that are the reason we like the sound of transformers.
Mine too, toroidals have higher fidelity if one can say. What happens when they are unpowered I don't know.
Old 1 week ago
  #603
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ProgFree View Post
Mine too, toroidals have higher fidelity if one can say. What happens when they are unpowered I don't know.
I guess I don't understand what you're saying -- transformers are always unpowered. They're lossy, passive devices.
Old 1 week ago
  #604
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
I guess I don't understand what you're saying --
I mean the device to which the transformers are connected.
Old 1 week ago
  #605
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Decompress View Post
I believe JCF's implementation is digital. Or at least it sounds digital, as it's got an unnatural consistency.
PEP is indeed a digital process. Does that rule it out in the context of this conversation? Plenty of hardware boxes are digital. I cannot comment on it's unnatural consistency. I don't know what you are hearing versus what I am hearing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Decompress View Post
If I recall correctly, there's a delay with tape at the initial onset of a sound because of the time it takes for the oxide particles to change their polarity to begin the recording process, which very slightly moves back the beginning of the sound more into the following body of the sound.
I am 90% sure that the "time based phenomena" in the JCF AD8 is mostly in reference to the sonic and time difference between record/sync head and the Repro head.

Also, my knowledge of tape recording is not extensive, but I'm pretty sure there isn't a delay from the onset of sound. Isn't analog recording literally direct transfer of electricity? There isn't any delay/latency.

RE JCF Normal vs PEP. My ears tell me that PEP is probably, at the very least, an extremely detailed EQ similar to that of the Repro head. Possibly a bunch of different Repro heads studied and combined? It's definitely an EQ of some kind. It seems to roll off some lows and make the highs shine a bit. I've never studied the effect on the transients that you say exist, so I cannot comment on that.
Old 1 week ago
  #606
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Quote:
Originally Posted by veggieryan View Post
As I understand it PEP recreates a "happy accident" that happens on tape machines. According to their PDF: http://www.jcfaudio.com/manuals/aboutpep.pdf

"The medium of tape imparts a fortuitous time-based phenomenon onto the recording that gives it a certain "feel" that is not incidental to the listening experience. PEP was developed from our ability to apply mathematics to achieve an even better result without tape."

"Users will notice digital peak level increases with program material using PEP. Users should avoid distorting program material unless that is the desire. Post-processing with PEP will also require 2 to 3 dB more peak headroom. Users may also find PEP’s amazing ability to partially un-distort program material."

Interesting... how could it "un-distort" something? Why does it require more "peak headroom" if it's just a time based "time-based phenomenon"? I have thought about it many times and its a fun mystery. Ah well, if it sounds good, it is good.

.. another definition of "time-based" is "phase". even an all-pass filter is a "time-based' effect.

Never using one, their 'un distort' claim is likely similar to why hitting a transformer with flat-topped waves 'creates' new peaks ... it 'un-distorts' if you're just looking at the waveform . . . I've always thought it was part of the transformers phase-rotation that was creating the new peaks on output.

I wonder if HEDD, or the SPL red do similar things to PEP ..
Old 1 week ago
  #607
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoot View Post
I am 90% sure that the "time based phenomena" in the JCF AD8 is mostly in reference to the sonic and time difference between record/sync head and the Repro head.
That would be the difference between input and output on a tape machine. Input isn't 'recorded' of course.

If one was to monitor tape input and output on 2 separate faders ('live' and 'playback'), and mix them together, of course you're gonna get some phasing/comb filtering, etc. ...but essentially it's just a short straight delay, with the 'delay' part including tape saturation, etc.

Of course during pure playback/mixdown, there is none of this.

It makes no sense the JCF would mimic something that wasn't used during tape recording.

And, this isn't a 'tape effect' per se.
Old 1 week ago
  #608
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fleaman View Post
That would be the difference between input and output on a tape machine. Input isn't 'recorded' of course.

If one was to monitor tape input and output on 2 separate faders ('live' and 'playback'), and mix them together, of course you're gonna get some phasing/comb filtering, etc. ...but essentially it's just a short straight delay, with the 'delay' part including tape saturation, etc.

Of course during pure playback/mixdown, there is none of this.

It makes no sense the JCF would mimic something that wasn't used during tape recording.

And, this isn't a 'tape effect' per se.
I don't think that's what he meant...

I think it maybe has something to do with the physical properties of the tape and heads when recording and thus also when playing back. It seems to me that a bass frequency would have to move a particle of iron a greater distance which would take a longer amount of time than a treble frequency would. Thus, is it possible that the bass information is slightly skewed or delayed compared to the treble and the curve of this delay is not linear so you can't compensate for it by simply tilting the head. It just so happens that the human ear tends to really prefer how this sounds and associates it with a "tape" sound? I dunno, just something I think about a lot. Could be dead wrong.
Old 1 week ago
  #609
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Quote:
Originally Posted by veggieryan View Post
I don't think that's what he meant...

I think it maybe has something to do with the physical properties of the tape and heads when recording and thus also when playing back. It seems to me that a bass frequency would have to move a particle of iron a greater distance which would take a longer amount of time than a treble frequency would. Thus, is it possible that the bass information is slightly skewed or delayed compared to the treble and the curve of this delay is not linear so you can't compensate for it by simply tilting the head. It just so happens that the human ear tends to really prefer how this sounds and associates it with a "tape" sound? I dunno, just something I think about a lot. Could be dead wrong.
He clearly said>

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoot View Post
I am 90% sure that the "time based phenomena" in the JCF AD8 is mostly in reference to the sonic and time difference between record/sync head and the Repro head.
These are separate heads.

Also, a single head can not record/playback at the same time. You need separate coils (within the head---like a typical cassette deck, or separate head assys like on open reels, or combinations of both for sync, etc).

So, monitoring the signal off say a sync head and playback head would be a straight up delay.
Old 1 week ago
  #610
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoot View Post
PEP is indeed a digital process. Does that rule it out in the context of this conversation? Plenty of hardware boxes are digital. I cannot comment on it's unnatural consistency. I don't know what you are hearing versus what I am hearing.
LOL, that question opens up a whole 'nuther can of worms. Since there apparently are a grand total of two products that do the "thing" I was looking for in a tape emu, eliminating one just because it's digital would seem to be a little shortsighted.

I don't know how else to explain what I heard from the JCF. There's a lack of variation to the "thing" it does that I noticed. Again, I still think it sounds better, but I would guess there's probably some natural variation to the physical phenomena that's not yet reflected in their algorithm.

FWIW, the "thing" about tape I keep referring to is not a head bump, high-end compression, rolled-off treble, saturation, or any of the typical properties of tape people keep cloning. If Langston and JCF hadn't both alluded to a time-based aspect of tape recording and playback behavior, I wouldn't have had any idea what it was, I just knew when I did or did not hear it. So I'm assuming this "thing" that I hear, and which is what I personally see as the primary behavior of tape I would like to have access to, is in fact this curious temporal distortion.
Old 1 week ago
  #611
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Decompress View Post
... If Langston and JCF hadn't both alluded to a time-based aspect of tape recording and playback behavior, I wouldn't have had any idea what it was...
I still don't.
Old 1 week ago
  #612
Me either. Sounds like nonsense.
Old 1 week ago
  #613
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Any time based effects in information transfer to tape happen in the order of 300000 kilometers per second. Forget that this is an audible effect.
Old 1 week ago
  #614
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Originally Posted by ProgFree View Post
Any time based effects in information transfer to tape happen in the order of 300000 kilometers per second. Forget that this is an audible effect.
There ya go. Science trumps speculation every time.
Old 1 week ago
  #615
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So, can we all agree that the time delay metafor is marketing BS and smokescreen/snakeoil - or will someone that actually knows what happens explain it in non-impressionistic terms?

Jakob E.
Old 1 week ago
  #616
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gyraf View Post
So, can we all agree that the time delay metafor is marketing BS and smokescreen/snakeoil ...
I'm not nearly tech-smart enough to be entitled to a scientifically based opinion about that.

But I do know a bit about the sound of tape and the workings of tape machines. And I know more than a little about marketing bs. This tape-emulation niche is full of it.
Old 1 week ago
  #617
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The best tape emulation is... wait for it... tape itself.

Why do we always want to emulate equipment that already exists?

Want the sound of tape, use tape. Want it to sound great... save your pennies just like we all have to. I spent 5k on my last tape machine I bought 3+years ago. Think I wanted to spend that kind of money? No way... but I wanted that sound!
Old 1 week ago
  #618
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gyraf View Post
So, can we all agree that the time delay metafor is marketing BS and smokescreen/snakeoil - or will someone that actually knows what happens explain it in non-impressionistic terms?

Jakob E.
Can we all agree that I never said I have a time delay in Zulu?

Your lack of professional conduct is staggering but not surprising.

Especially considering that according to you, our products are in direct competition. Mods?

You've engaged in similar behavior on GroupDIY as well. Shame on you.

Thanks
-L.
Old 6 days ago
  #619
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Originally Posted by illacov View Post
Can we all agree that I never said I have a time delay in Zulu?
Weren't we discussing JCF on that?
Old 6 days ago
  #620
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And the winner(s) for best Hardware Tape Emulation are...??
(other than Tape itself!)

Envelope please.

Chris
Old 6 days ago
  #621
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumhead57 View Post
Weren't we discussing JCF on that?
You can get a good overview of who has said what about that by simply doing a search for "delay" within the thread.

There are other "delays" mentioned, of course, like shipping delays and slap delays. But the issue at hand comes up a few times in pages 7 through 10.

Last edited by Brent Hahn; 6 days ago at 03:57 PM..
Old 6 days ago
  #622
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertone View Post
The best tape emulation is... wait for it... tape itself.

Why do we always want to emulate equipment that already exists?

Want the sound of tape, use tape. Want it to sound great... save your pennies just like we all have to. I spent 5k on my last tape machine I bought 3+years ago. Think I wanted to spend that kind of money? No way... but I wanted that sound!
I still owe you a visit. Very eager to hear your machines. And enjoy some coffee.

Thanks
-L.
Old 6 days ago
  #623
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
You can get a good overview of who has said what about that by simply doing a search for "delay" within the thread.

There are other "delays" mentioned, of course, like shipping delays and slap delays. But the issue at hand comes up a few times in pages 7 through 10.
Got it, thanks
Old 6 days ago
  #624
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertone View Post
The best tape emulation is... wait for it... tape itself.

Why do we always want to emulate equipment that already exists?

Want the sound of tape, use tape. Want it to sound great... save your pennies just like we all have to. I spent 5k on my last tape machine I bought 3+years ago. Think I wanted to spend that kind of money? No way... but I wanted that sound!
.... ok but on a different token what if somebody just wants to get close without all the maintenance and hassle of tape? Obviously the real deal will get you there but honestly im realizing the "tape" hype is kind of stupid.... If a box does pleasing things to my signal I dont care if its 100% tape. What I like about tape is the way that it makes drums sounds in the high end. To somebody else it might be something completely different. If a box serves that task why not try to "emulate" it. Ive found that applying a HF limiter to my drums actually does much of the stuff that tape does to my high end. Add a high pass at subsonic frequencies and a slight resonant bump and I think im close. And who cares if im not close, It reminds me of what tape does.

Why do we emulate? should we just stay stagnant? Use tape for the rest of history? What if somebody actually develops a unit that requires no maintenance and sounds 100%. You know you would use it. Obviously this is probably not going to happen but the "why emulate" is a stupid thing to say.
Old 6 days ago
  #625
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Yeah, saying that the best tape emulation is tape itself is nonsensical. A thing can’t be an emulation of itself. Now if you want to argue that none of the emulations come close to the real thing then that is a valid position to take, but that still doesn’t mean that there can’t be a discussion of which emulation comes closest and how close it comes; if you don’t care to be a part of that discussion then simply stay out of the thread.
Old 6 days ago
  #626
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TimS View Post
Yeah, saying that the best tape emulation is tape itself is nonsensical. A thing can’t be an emulation of itself.
Welllll... if you're starting out with DAW tracks and you want to "emulate" the sound of tape tracks, passing them through tape after the fact is one way to do it. It's clunky and labor-intensive, but I think it still belongs in the discussion.
Old 6 days ago
  #627
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
Welllll... if you're starting out with DAW tracks and you want to "emulate" the sound of tape tracks, passing them through tape after the fact is one way to do it. It's clunky and labor-intensive, but I think it still belongs in the discussion.
It’s technically not emulation since you’re actually using tape, but I agree it’s a reasonable option to discuss as depending on what one’s reasons are for not tracking everything through tape it may be a valid solution for some. My post was directed more towards those who are saying “if you want tape then just use tape”, or that “nothing sounds like tape, nothing will ever sound like tape, and this entire discussion is pointless.” That sort of attitude adds nothing to the thread. There are all sorts of valid reasons why a modern alternative to tape would be desirable (cost, space, maintenance, and unwanted tape artifacts being some obvious ones), and derailing a discussion of potential alternatives simply because someone doesn’t like the topic does nothing to benefit anyone here.
Old 6 days ago
  #628
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TimS View Post
... There are all sorts of valid reasons why a modern alternative to tape would be desirable...
Of course. And the goal isn't really "just like tape" so much as it's "less like digital." Lots of alternatives offered when it comes to that. I think what gets people's backs up is the marketing of these alternatives as being "just like tape," when they're clearly not and they don't need to be.
Old 6 days ago
  #629
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
Of course. And the goal isn't really "just like tape" so much as it's "less like digital." Lots of alternatives offered when it comes to that. I think what gets people's backs up is the marketing of these alternatives as being "just like tape," when they're clearly not and they don't need to be.
Agreed. What people really want is something with the desirable qualities of tape but without the undesirable ones, and (for some at least) with more control over the effect generated.
Old 6 days ago
  #630
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by gyraf View Post
So, can we all agree that the time delay metafor is marketing BS and smokescreen/snakeoil - or will someone that actually knows what happens explain it in non-impressionistic terms?

Jakob E.
No, but we can all agree that you continue to demonstrate your inability to grasp what is being discussed in the rudest way possible....
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