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Patchbay construction, Tape machines, and You
Old 26th February 2020
  #1
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Patchbay construction, Tape machines, and You

Hey gang,
I’m rebuilding the patch bay for a new board setup, and to make a long story much shorter, my TL;DR question is this: is putting my tape machine in between the Direct Outs of my board and before the A/D going to degrade the signal when tracking?

More specifically, i have some guys who want to use the tape machine, and some who absolutely dont. My thinking is that with my “two tape machine” setup (one being the 16ch Fostex and one being PT, in that order), the analogue guy can use the board pres and go to tape, working there until ready to dump to digital, while the digital guys can just leave it on the Thru head and basically ignore it. My main concern is having the signal go from balanced to unbalanced (Trs to Rca) twice before conversion.

I am aware of the limitations of this setup, and my long term plan is to buy another 48 pt TT patchbay, with the tape on its own section for patching external pre and compression to, but right now im just trying to get going; not to mention the exponential cost of TT patch cables as i grow the studio and out board gear. Will this two tape solution work for the temporary?
Thanks in advance.
Old 26th February 2020
  #2
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nosebleedaudio's Avatar
 

If I had a tape machine and it was going to be used very little, I might put its Ins/Outs on one bay by its self and patch ALL Ins/Outs when needed...
Old 28th February 2020
  #3
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Yes as i indicated in my post that is my long term goal. But that doesnt address the original concern, which is the short term viability of having a 1/2 tape machine before PT.
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Old 29th February 2020
  #4
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With a Fostex- personally I would just split/ mult the mic pre outputs to both - Do the "thru's"use buffer amps?
Old 29th February 2020
  #5
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FlyingMusician's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by JHutty View Post
Hey gang,
I’m rebuilding the patch bay for a new board setup, and to make a long story much shorter, my TL;DR question is this: is putting my tape machine in between the Direct Outs of my board and before the A/D going to degrade the signal when tracking?
If you are talking about always having it go through the machine's electronics, that depends on the machine and depends on specifically what the signal is passing through when monitoring the direct signal. Also a -10db machine may have a level / headroom issue with your setup.

In general passing a signal through the input / output should not change the sound but could increase the noise floor slightly (you would want to do an A-B test to confirm). Just know that you are increasing the risk of cable related issues that could occur at a random time. An old machine with RCA connectors often have dodgy, unpredictable connections let alone the RCA cables, adapters, etc. themselves.
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