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Smallest Tape Machine with THAT tape sound
Old 15th July 2019
  #451
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crosscutred's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bassmankr View Post

Bottom line is that due to the imperfections of recording regardless of analog or digital, we do not have a 1 to 1 parity (what goes in doesn't equal what goes out). There is always some form of envelope/tone shaping going on. It just some studio gear really messes with envelope/tone shaping and other gear just a wee bit lol.
This.

I find what the digital conversion does to the programme material more difficult to be happy with than what comes back from a well set up tape machine.

The constant shouting down from those who can't/won't hear that (maybe for reasons of cost/speed/practicality), is exhausting when posting on this forum, even in a thread about tape machines, at no point here did the OP ask about whether he should use a digital solution yet there has been an in depth discussion about how a mix can be completed in 2hrs ITB.

I get that conversations digress but this one has really gone off topic.

Anyway, I really like using tape to get "that sound" a MCI JH24 is my current tool for the job, mixing to a Studer B67.... a Studer A807 performs tape delay duties.
We would probably benefit from defining "that sound" for my taste it is the absence of the effect of PCM that keep bringing me back to tape.

It seems many see tape as an effect unit, I see it (hear it) as the best quality recording medium available despite the head bump, wow and flutter, loss of high end when stored, extra effort etc.

Of course in the course of earning money it is quite unusual to find clients who care that much about it and the digital recordings that form the bread and butter of my work are perfectly acceptable and many are excellent.

Carry on.
Old 15th July 2019
  #452
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
There is something in Bruce Swedien's teasing balls out statement that 'compression is for kids'. lol
There is also something to doing extensive rides, not just on vocals but on everything -- fixing a moment where something's too loud, and then the next moment, and then the moment after that and so on -- and then dialing in the compression. When you've done that much gain riding, a brickwall (yours or the ME's) can do a nice job without working very hard.
Old 15th July 2019
  #453
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
There is also something to doing extensive rides, not just on vocals but on everything -- fixing a moment where something's too loud, and then the next moment, and then the moment after that and so on -- and then dialing in the compression. When you've done that much gain riding, a brickwall (yours or the ME's) can do a nice job without working very hard.
Indeed, indeed.
Old 15th July 2019
  #454
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crosscutred's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
Mooning anything that’s not meant to be stereo
Old 15th July 2019
  #455
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
Back to moon, man.
Old 15th July 2019
  #456
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
well, i mostly record myself or don't get/have no interest in getting tracks which need to get 'cleaned' up, so maybe yes, we might live in different universes...
Certainly helps to clarify why your point of view is so different from mine.
Old 15th July 2019
  #457
Here for the gear
 

cant get THAT sound with inexpensive tape recorders (nor plugs)

I have a lot of experience refurbing pro tape recorders. Best sound is from Ampex 350, but stereo versions of that are rare. 2nd best is from AMPEX 351, and 354 is pretty much the same sound as 351.

A noticable notch down, but still only a notch, is Ampex 440 and Scully 280/284. MCI JH16 is yet another notch down from those, but not a complete disappointment.

Problem with Studer A80, A800, Otari, Tascam, ATR 102/4 is that they are too perfected....neutered.

Price on the used tape recorder market seems to reflect how good it actually is at adding something to the punch bowl, but some machines, like Studer 800, ATR 102/4 seem overpriced, probably due to original high price years ago when new.
Old 15th July 2019
  #458
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
Certainly helps to clarify why your point of view is so different from mine.
that's one thing, other things (such as vocal riding and tempi) we better sort out in other/new threads.
Old 15th July 2019
  #459
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
Totally with you on time spent on vocal and in fact any rides, psycho. Mostly hear bricked compression instead which squashes many potential emotion accents out. There is something in Bruce Swedien's teasing balls out statement that 'compression is for kids'. lol
Anyone else find that first sentence amusing?
Chris
Old 15th July 2019
  #460
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crosscutred View Post
The constant shouting down from those who can't/won't hear that
The only people I feel like "shouting down" are the ones whose arrogance cannot not even comprehend that another human being might have a different preference from them. I will 'shout' those people down at every opportunity.

Let's analyze your statement as it stands:
Quote:
can't hear that
that implies medical hearing issues. You seem to be suggesting that individuals who do not agree with you on the "improvement" of tape playback have something wrong with their ears. Perhaps a tour in a war zone operating artillery?
Quote:
won't hear that
this implies that these individuals do hear what you hear but are simply being too stubborn to admit it. How about: "don't hear that?" How about acknowledging that someone else's taste is just as valid to them as your taste is to you? As a chocolate-lover, is it completely beyond your ability to conceptualize a human being might not think chocolate is the superior ice cream? They must either be lying or had some horrible accident occur to their tongue? Can you conceive of a universe in which other people's personal subjective impressions, while different from yours, might be equally as valid as yours?

Quote:
(maybe for reasons of cost/speed/practicality),
Ah, so the answer to my question is a flat "no". Once again the Tape People make excuses for us poor benighted souls who only appear to have a different taste. I don't really prefer coffee ice cream, I am just buying it because it's cheaper. Because the cartons stack easier in my freezer. Because of a neurological disorder of my taste buds.

Quote:
is exhausting when posting on this forum
hey, you know what's really exhausting? When, for the 1000th time, some Analog Taliban tells me that I don't really like what I like, and that I must either be deaf, or just pretending to like it out of "convenience."
Old 15th July 2019
  #461
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bassmankr View Post
Samc, I have to question your notion that any coloration that a tape deck has due to tape selection and/or setup is something to be considered as wrong. Again depending on choices there is a range going from transparent to colored. The same happens with digital converters to a lesser extent but again there is a range going from transparent to colored. Just read the threads here on the Burl high end converter which per setup and how you use it has a range that many consider more colored. I dont think you are going to extend your logic and say something was wrong for those using Burl converters in their studio pushing it's color. Pros make adjustments to get the most out of whatever gear they have available to use including exploiting a more colored (tape and digital) recording chain. It all boils down to what you hear as the final product.
How did you arrive here pray tell? I’m going to suggest that you made an erroneous assessment of one or more of my posts and came to a false conclusion Because this does not represent my ideas on the matter. I suggest you reread the post carefully and try to properly assess the meaning of what was actually said before you come to any conclusion.
Old 16th July 2019
  #462
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
There is also something to doing extensive rides, not just on vocals but on everything -- fixing a moment where something's too loud, and then the next moment, and then the moment after that and so on -- and then dialing in the compression. When you've done that much gain riding, a brickwall (yours or the ME's) can do a nice job without working very hard.
I have a (digital) VU meter permanently visible when mixing for this reason - a tip from ex sterling mastering engineer Leon Zervos. If you’re mixing, sometimes an audible (or even not particularly distracting) peak pings one or both VUs. That tells you you’re going to have issues mastering that one moment, and I’ll aim to make adjustments (either audible or again, not!) to rectify that before printing.

I find my final file is then fairly uniform through the sections, and as you say, it makes it a lot easier for the ME to make things “loud” without compromising any given section. Or so I’m told; either way, i find it helps me mix consistently!
Old 16th July 2019
  #463
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"Imagine there's no bickering, it isn't hard to do".
"But this is Gearslutz, so opinion is true".
Chris
Old 16th July 2019
  #464
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Samc, your post #302 "but a machine that changes the sound of the audio in such drastic fashion cannot be considered a serious studio tool for a professional facility.".

Not a big deal, but many pro studios have a fairly wide range of availble recording chain options. Audio fashions change over decades. Just look at 2 buss options now where many in the past used little or nothing in that part of the signal chain. If I'm getting your context wrong sorry for the off topic.
Old 16th July 2019
  #465
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crosscutred's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
The only people I feel like "shouting down" are the ones whose arrogance cannot not even comprehend that another human being might have a different preference from them. I will 'shout' those people down at every opportunity.

Let's analyze your statement as it stands:

that implies medical hearing issues. You seem to be suggesting that individuals who do not agree with you on the "improvement" of tape playback have something wrong with their ears. Perhaps a tour in a war zone operating artillery?

this implies that these individuals do hear what you hear but are simply being too stubborn to admit it. How about: "don't hear that?" How about acknowledging that someone else's taste is just as valid to them as your taste is to you? As a chocolate-lover, is it completely beyond your ability to conceptualize a human being might not think chocolate is the superior ice cream? They must either be lying or had some horrible accident occur to their tongue? Can you conceive of a universe in which other people's personal subjective impressions, while different from yours, might be equally as valid as yours?


Ah, so the answer to my question is a flat "no". Once again the Tape People make excuses for us poor benighted souls who only appear to have a different taste. I don't really prefer coffee ice cream, I am just buying it because it's cheaper. Because the cartons stack easier in my freezer. Because of a neurological disorder of my taste buds.


hey, you know what's really exhausting? When, for the 1000th time, some Analog Taliban tells me that I don't really like what I like, and that I must either be deaf, or just pretending to like it out of "convenience."
"The lady doth protest too much, methinks"
Old 16th July 2019
  #466
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crosscutred's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
The only people I feel like "shouting down" are the ones whose arrogance cannot not even comprehend that another human being might have a different preference from them. I will 'shout' those people down at every opportunity.

Let's analyze your statement as it stands:

that implies medical hearing issues. You seem to be suggesting that individuals who do not agree with you on the "improvement" of tape playback have something wrong with their ears. Perhaps a tour in a war zone operating artillery?

this implies that these individuals do hear what you hear but are simply being too stubborn to admit it. How about: "don't hear that?" How about acknowledging that someone else's taste is just as valid to them as your taste is to you? As a chocolate-lover, is it completely beyond your ability to conceptualize a human being might not think chocolate is the superior ice cream? They must either be lying or had some horrible accident occur to their tongue? Can you conceive of a universe in which other people's personal subjective impressions, while different from yours, might be equally as valid as yours?


Ah, so the answer to my question is a flat "no". Once again the Tape People make excuses for us poor benighted souls who only appear to have a different taste. I don't really prefer coffee ice cream, I am just buying it because it's cheaper. Because the cartons stack easier in my freezer. Because of a neurological disorder of my taste buds.


hey, you know what's really exhausting? When, for the 1000th time, some Analog Taliban tells me that I don't really like what I like, and that I must either be deaf, or just pretending to like it out of "convenience."
Ironically you are making the same point as me, lack of tolerance.

By breaking down "can't/won't" into separate elements to respond to you totally change the meaning. At what point did you think that the critique was universal to all on this forum.

You are also assuming that I am referring to you. (Hence my previous flippant response)

At what point did I say tape was an "improvement" on digital recording? Chronologically that would be wrong. Surely you believe that digital recording is an improvement on tape technology? It can't be the other way round.... history and all that.

The crux of the matter is that you believe digital recordings are an "improvement" on tape recordings in all ways. I disagree about the sound. It is obvious that digital recording is more convenient/cheaper.

You just can't accept that we have different perception of what sounds best and your over defensive response says it all.
Old 16th July 2019
  #467
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Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
I have a (digital) VU meter permanently visible when mixing for this reason - a tip from ex sterling mastering engineer Leon Zervos
Funny, I always have the Waves one running on a side screen, too. Nothing like needles. Which ones are you using? One day I'll get real ones again.
Old 16th July 2019
  #468
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crosscutred View Post
Ironically you are making the same point as me, lack of tolerance
I admit that I am very intolerant of people who make insulting remarks. I think you still have no idea how offensive it is to make an excuse for someone else's taste.

Quote:
By breaking down "can't/won't" into separate elements to respond to you totally change the meaning
No, I got your meaning loud and clear. You left out "don't" for a reason.

Quote:
At what point did I say tape was an "improvement" on digital recording?
You said the digital was worse - whatever. Which IMO, is an opinion you are totally entitled to. You don't see me saying "oh he only likes tape because he has invested a lot of money and refurbishing in those machines". "Oh nobody really likes tape, they just pretend to like it so they can appear to be hip". "Oh he only likes tape because his ear is not developed enough to 'hear' digital." "Tape is just a scam to charge the clients more and drag out the sessions"

How does it feel to have someone make excuses for your taste?

Quote:
I disagree about the sound. .
disagree all you want. Just don't tell me what I "can't" hear.
Old 16th July 2019
  #469
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bassmankr View Post
Samc, your post #302 "but a machine that changes the sound of the audio in such drastic fashion cannot be considered a serious studio tool for a professional facility.".

Not a big deal, but many pro studios have a fairly wide range of availble recording chain options. Audio fashions change over decades. Just look at 2 buss options now where many in the past used little or nothing in that part of the signal chain. If I'm getting your context wrong sorry for the off topic.
The impression or understanding I had was that this was a straight transfer...not using the machine as an effect tool. If a recorder can’t make a documentary transfer without distorting the original signal to the point it is noticeable by everyone, it is basically useless as a serious studio recorder.

This is the context in which my comment was made...obviously doing something to purposely affect and change the sound of the recorded sound is a very different story.
Old 16th July 2019
  #470
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
Funny, I always have the Waves one running on a side screen, too. Nothing like needles. Which ones are you using? One day I'll get real ones again.
https://studios301.com/leon-on-vu-meters/ Here’s the article - worth a read! I use the psp one he recommends (it’s called triple meter now tho).
Old 16th July 2019
  #471
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Bstapper's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samc View Post
The impression or understanding I had was that this was a straight transfer...not using the machine as an effect tool. If a recorder can’t make a documentary transfer without distorting the original signal to the point it is noticeable by everyone, it is basically useless as a serious studio recorder.

This is the context in which my comment was made...obviously doing something to purposely affect and change the sound of the recorded sound is a very different story.
And yet many mastering engineers still master to 2-track reel specifically for the special coloration it offers. They certainly aren’t going through the extra conversion and maintaining machines for the lack of “distortion” of the original material. If they sought indistinguishable documentary transfer they would stay in the box.

Certainly useful as a professional serious studio recorder.
Old 16th July 2019
  #472
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crosscutred's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
I admit that I am very intolerant of people who make insulting remarks. I think you still have no idea how offensive it is to make an excuse for someone else's taste.
It is true, you are intolerant.

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
No, I got your meaning loud and clear. You left out "don't" for a reason.
"The constant shouting down from those who can't/won't hear that"
Was exactly what I wrote, at no point did I suggest that this statement covered all those on Gearslutz, even all those who prefer digital recording.
You have put yourself in this category.

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
You said the digital was worse - whatever.
I said;
"I see it (hear it) as the best quality recording medium available"
which as you say is an opinion. You have plenty of them too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
Which IMO, is an opinion you are totally entitled to. You don't see me saying "oh he only likes tape because he has invested a lot of money and refurbishing in those machines". "Oh nobody really likes tape, they just pretend to like it so they can appear to be hip". "Oh he only likes tape because his ear is not developed enough to 'hear' digital." "Tape is just a scam to charge the clients more and drag out the sessions"
All of your statements quoted above are unambiguous in that they are aimed at specific individuals ("he" "they" "his"), I used the terms "maybe" and "those" because I most certainly did want to avoid pointing any fingers at anyone, I am of the belief that each individual will have many and complex motivations and therefore should not be tarred with the same brush. I am very careful to use language that makes that clear. I don't think I have deviated from that, if I have it was in error.
Once again you have taken my post much more personally than it was intended.

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
How does it feel to have someone make excuses for your taste?
Personally I'm ok with all of these baseless accusations, I know who I am and am secure in the knowledge that my motivations for using tape are based on sound preferences (excuse the pun)

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
disagree all you want. Just don't tell me what I "can't" hear.
I'm not telling you what you "can't" hear. You are projecting that on yourself.
It's ok to disagree.

To sum up;

I think that tape sounds better as a recording medium.

You think digital sounds better as a recording medium.

I suggested that some people may have chosen to use digital rather than tape because of a multitude of reasons. Carefully avoiding any specific references to particular individuals.

You took offence.

All of this on a thread asking about which tape machine is small sized and produces a particular sound which we are yet to properly define.
What the heck has that got to do with digital recording?
Old 16th July 2019
  #473
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crosscutred View Post
All of this on a thread asking about which tape machine is small sized and produces a particular sound which we are yet to properly define.
As this has been brought up several times - I do believe we can infer what the original poster meant. I doubt he/she has come back to define this element because there isn't one particular answer; and certainly not a single answer that an inexperienced user of the medium could provide. But we can deduce, or at least I did, that it was a desire to hear an audible difference associated with analog tape in respect to harmonic content, warmth (roll off both at the high end and low end of varying degree), and compression that is subtly working with the dynamic content.

It is quite similar to someone asking in the photographic or film world how they can achieve "THAT" analog quality of silver oxide on celluloid. Back in the day this was described in the film world as the difference between recording shadows on silver versus light on rust (film vs. vhs). Obviously there were lots of shades of grey in between that description but folks could generally agree on the gist of the difference.

While there are a ton of flavors of this, I think it is safe to settle on a broad ballpark of this kind of impact on the source material as the hallmark of "a" tape sound if not "THAT" tape sound.

Carry on!
Brock
Old 16th July 2019
  #474
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Probably the biggest reason for disagreements on this forum is when someone assumes if they can't hear something, nobody can. Or that one person's set of ears speaks for another.

Hearing is subjective and personal. There are few facts when it comes to how we interpret sound. We all have unique / different "equipment." Just think about what is going on. Sound is coming in and being processed by each of our brains, that is the definition of organic / unpredictable and changing by the hour / minute.

Even sight is very subjective.

And I know it's hard for us all to accept that, nobody hears everything. It's like something my uncle said to me when I was 18 and built a Pontiac 455 and thought I had the fastest car around. He said "Scott, remember no matter how fast your car is, there is always someone who is faster."

The same applies here. We all have to remind ourselves that there is always someone who hears things we can't. It's not about frequency response, etc., it's about how we process sound in our minds. A friend of mine is deaf in one ear and his working ear can't hear over 4k and has massive tinnitus. And this guy with his one semi-working ear can run circles around most people in the studio. I have no idea how he hears what he hears, but his mono broken ear is amazing. That alone tells me something crazy, magical and never to be defined is going on with all of our hearing.

So take someone on their word if they thing something sounds better than something else. That is their reality, and it doesn't mean it's wrong or everyone has to agree.
Old 16th July 2019
  #475
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bstapper View Post
And yet many mastering engineers still master to 2-track reel specifically for the special coloration it offers.
We obviously do not use the same mastering engineers...none of the mastering engineers I use do what you describe, they DO NOT convert for “that tape sound” and any necessary conversion is as accurate as possible. The masters are either a digital file or a vinyl dub plate...

I really wish you would respond to what was said and not just try to make it fit the response you already have in your head. How useful is a machine (digital or analog) that cannot make an accurate transfer regardless of how it’s setup?
Old 16th July 2019
  #476
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samc View Post
We obviously do not use the same mastering engineers...none of the mastering engineers I use do what you describe, they DO NOT convert for “that tape sound” and any necessary conversion is as accurate as possible. The masters are either a digital file or a vinyl dub plate...

I really wish you would respond to what was said and not just try to make it fit the response you already have in your head. How useful is a machine (digital or analog) that cannot make an accurate transfer regardless of how it’s setup?
Well we all have our wishes. For instance I wish you would accept that not everyone has to agree on everything, ave the same needs, processes, or workflow and preferences.

Mastering Engineers who do transfer to tape do not master to tape in order to have an accurate transfer. If that were the case they would stay in the digital world and skip the conversion. Many choose to transfer to tape and they do it specifically for the sound it imparts on the source material.

Here is a whole thread (and forum) of mastering engineers discussing tape and emulations and *not a single one* is talking about how accurate and transparent and true to the source material it is. Now why would that be? They must all have machines that are not suitable for professional use.

How many of you actually use tape emulation?

Regards,
Brock
Old 16th July 2019
  #477
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samc View Post
We obviously do not use the same mastering engineers...none of the mastering engineers I use do what you describe, they DO NOT convert for “that tape sound” and any necessary conversion is as accurate as possible.
I think you’d be shocked how many people opt for layback mastering these days - when given the choice.

Granted the machine needs to sound good but make no mistake that ‘sounding good’ simply means SOUNDING GOOD, and in many cases (not all) the layback will beat the original digital mix regardless of any further processing.
Old 16th July 2019
  #478
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpr View Post
I think you’d be shocked how many people opt for layback mastering these days - when given the choice.

Granted the machine needs to sound good but make no mistake that ‘sounding good’ simply means SOUNDING GOOD, and in many cases (not all) the layback will beat the original digital mix regardless of any further processing.
Even when they don't have a preference for the sound it imparts, you won't find them arguing about whether or not it is identical to the source material and about whether or not it is indeed imprinting itself on the sound. That's physics for you. Physics doesn't care how much you think you know, it is still going to do its thang...
Old 16th July 2019
  #479
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It’s so painfully obvious that we’re not talking about the same thing that I’ll just surrender and walk away.
Old 16th July 2019
  #480
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
https://studios301.com/leon-on-vu-meters/ Here’s the article - worth a read! I use the psp one he recommends (it’s called triple meter now tho).
A quick scan reads like very familiar ground. VUs tell so much in how they move about the flow of the music. But software ones never did properly. I don't like the Klamghelms everyone seems to like. The Waves ones are pretty good, but perversely don't feel as good as the ones in their Scheps channel. Sadly. Will have to check the psp ones. But soon it's time to get real ones back. Real needles dancing is a beautiful thing.
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