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Tape is back! :-) Effects Pedals, Units & Accessories
Old 18th August 2008
  #151
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BradM's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by redroom View Post
Really enjoyed the Vids

For the life on me I cannot find a ma vst plug in that can report latency like
the Voxengo on.
Cool! Glad you liked them. What is a "ma vst plugin"? The Voxengo plugin I use is for VST. Did I miss something?

To answer some of Illacov's questions:

A) There's no trial and error to measuring the latency if you zoom in close enough and make an accurate measurement. In my video I was using a sine wave pulse that I ripped from a test tone CD. It is good to verify your measurement. Using a hardware insert and pinging it is not a valid way to figure out the delay because the loop introduces additional latency due to the audio interface and converters. You would therefore be pulling your audio too far ahead if you did this. The only delay that we need to compensate for is the delay due to the tape head spacing. Once you figure out that delay for a given tape speed and sample rate then you can save it as a preset and you are good to go forever. It's a one time step and not something that is necessary to do every time you want to record.

B) Regarding your second question I don't have a good answer for you since I haven't done enough comparison tests to make up my mind. I know some guys say that tracking to tape and processing through tape after the fact doesn't sound the same. I've yet to determine that for myself. What's most important to me is capturing the live performance to tape during tracking because I think the sound I hear once I bring up the fader should be very close to what I want it to be when I mix. I'm in the camp that thinks that it's better to commit up front and not leave things for mixing, especially if there is the chance that someone else might mix something you tracked.

Brad

Last edited by BradM; 18th August 2008 at 05:27 AM.. Reason: I mispoke so I'm correcting myself
Old 18th August 2008
  #152
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BradM's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by illacov View Post
I can't wait to try my new RTR on drums! Should be insane!
BTW I'm glad that what I suggested is easy to implement. I love Brad's concept but as I mentioned in another thread, I don't want to deal with retracking too much stuff if all we have to do is "reamp" it with a Reel to Reel from the DAW.
Well tracking to tape and reamping through tape are two different things the way I see it. I am currently finishing up some tracking with my band. When we did the drums about a year ago it was all done straight to the DAW. Now that I have a tape deck I certainly plan to "reamp" through the tape decks. However, most of my new recordings hit the tape on the way in as a rule.

Brad
Old 18th August 2008
  #153
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illacov's Avatar
 

Thanks....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad McGowan View Post
Cool! Glad you liked them. What is a "ma vst plugin"? The Voxengo plugin I use is for VST. Did I miss something?

To answer some of Illacov's questions:

A) There's no trial and error to measuring the latency if you zoom in close enough and make an accurate measurement. In my video I was using a sine wave pulse that I ripped from a test tone CD. It is good to verify your measurement. Another method that would totally work for checking your tape head delay would be to insert the tape deck as an external FX (hardware insert) and then just "ping" the loop. I would have done this, but I'm using RME firewire hardware and currently the ping feature of Cubase/Nuendo doesn't work properly with the RME. Doh! And I'm not sure if all DAW's out there have a ping ability yet. So I figured I would demonstrate it the long way. Once you figure out that delay for a given tape speed and sample rate then you can save it as a preset and you are good to go forever. It's a one time step and not something that is necessary to do every time you want to record.

B) Regarding your second question I don't have a good answer for you since I haven't done enough comparison tests to make up my mind. I know some guys say that tracking to tape and processing through tape after the fact doesn't sound the same. I've yet to determine that for myself. What's most important to me is capturing the live performance to tape during tracking because I think the sound I hear once I bring up the fader should be very close to what I want it to be when I mix. I'm in the camp that thinks that it's better to commit up front and not leave things for mixing, especially if there is the chance that someone else might mix something you tracked.

Brad
I myself am not expecting miracles here. But I think my method is more for those of us who have already tracked something to digital and just want to experiment with juicing up a few tracks here and there.

For future stuff, hell yeah I'll use your method. But I've already got a bunch of songs tracked out so it would be cool to see what happens. I will report back with info and possible snips.

Peace
Illumination
Old 18th August 2008
  #154
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad McGowan View Post
Sorry for the crappy camera work and the poor sound quality in spots. This is my first attempt at trying to make a video. I'm hoping to redo these once I get some feedback and a chance to re-organize the material.

Brad
Brad - thanks. Got it. Camerawork and audio are great, although a feed off the console would have been the frosting on the cake!! heh heh

I guess necessity is the mother of invention. And your invention is definately a MOTHER!!!!! heh heh My brain hurts, but then I'm not a rocket engineer like you are!!! LOL

Seriously though. Once you know the "delay" distance between the repro and sync heads (easily done as demonstrated in your first part), I could manually re-align 5 songs in half the time it takes to set up the delay compensation, mults, etc. Having a large analog console would make it easier, and I have one, but still....I'd much rather just grab em and re-align - or track to tape to begin with and transfer after the take. For me, half the fun with analog is using the machine, running the balistics with rewind, etc., and punching in (remember that lost art??? lol).

Or, you can use the Bill method. It's MUCH simpler once set up. Hook up your MCI to a Lynx, the syncronizer output of your DAW to another Lynx, hit play on the DAW and be in perfect sync all day long - on the sync head. No worries about rewinding tape, etc. You can even have the DAW record activate the Analog record if desired. Then........ Flip to repro, hit play again on the DAW and transfer. No delay compensation, no mults, no nothing but perfect sync..

I don't know. I'm a simple man. I get busy and flustered enough in the heat of sessions with players who are late, crackling cables, tube mics going south, and all the other things that seem to try to conspire to ruin a session without adding additional constraints that MAKE me use up valuable brain cells. To add all this on top of it would take it over the top for me personally. I'm usually trying to juggle producer, writer, engineer, and psychologist hats simulaneously though, so maybe it's understandable....

Then again, I'm happy as a clam with PTHD and WITHOUT my JH24, so who am I to comment!!! Still, I love these experiments!! Thanks for taking the time to make the video!! I'm sure many really appreciate it and will utilize it. And I will bow down to your mental acuity!!!!

Cheers,

bp
Old 18th August 2008
  #155
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad McGowan View Post
Cool! Glad you liked them. What is a "ma vst plugin"? The Voxengo plugin I use is for VST. Did I miss something?

To answer some of Illacov's questions:

A) There's no trial and error to measuring the latency if you zoom in close enough and make an accurate measurement. In my video I was using a sine wave pulse that I ripped from a test tone CD. It is good to verify your measurement. Another method that would totally work for checking your tape head delay would be to insert the tape deck as an external FX (hardware insert) and then just "ping" the loop. I would have done this, but I'm using RME firewire hardware and currently the ping feature of Cubase/Nuendo doesn't work properly with the RME. Doh! And I'm not sure if all DAW's out there have a ping ability yet. So I figured I would demonstrate it the long way. Once you figure out that delay for a given tape speed and sample rate then you can save it as a preset and you are good to go forever. It's a one time step and not something that is necessary to do every time you want to record.

B) Regarding your second question I don't have a good answer for you since I haven't done enough comparison tests to make up my mind. I know some guys say that tracking to tape and processing through tape after the fact doesn't sound the same. I've yet to determine that for myself. What's most important to me is capturing the live performance to tape during tracking because I think the sound I hear once I bring up the fader should be very close to what I want it to be when I mix. I'm in the camp that thinks that it's better to commit up front and not leave things for mixing, especially if there is the chance that someone else might mix something you tracked.

Brad
Im a mong I mean Mac vst
Old 18th August 2008
  #156
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A27Hull's Avatar
 

Thats a great system you've got Brad for TM recording to DAW.

I think people could save a lot of effort and time by just going to CLASP. One hardware unit, and the associated non-native DSP plugins. One short sync calibration, no nudging. With CLASP the DAW can control the TM too, you don't need to run back and forth from DAW to TM.

For certain studio situations, CLASP would be the way to go.
Old 18th August 2008
  #157
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u b k's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynn Fuston View Post
Decision postponement. Isn't that what modern music making is all about?

aka 'fear of commitment'.

aka 'no guts, no glory.'


gregoire
del
ubk
.
Old 18th August 2008
  #158
Gear Addict
 

clocking tape

Quote:
Originally Posted by matskull View Post
Of course, I was just saying that analog doesn't have to be clocked cause clocks are for digital gear.
Of course if you got digital gear integrated with your tape machine you'd need to clock them but it doesn't have anything to do with the tape machine itself.
Like you said you'd then need a syncroniser.

hello,

no, it actually does have to do with the tape machine itself. you are clocking the analog tape machine's transport by way of the lynx. you are not simply synchronizing, and you are not synchronizing two transports in the usual sense. i.e. the lynx does not address the pro tools transport but merely accepts smpte time code from the sync i/o. clock [blackburst is a form of clock] is generated from one source [the nanosyncs or other similar device] and distributed to the various recording devices.

this is not at all meant to be argumentative, but just to be clear. it is a pretty common mistake to fail to reference the tape machine to house clock [or to fail to properly do so], and it can result in tracks that appear to lock when you are recording, but that will drift later.

once the tape is striped with smpte, it has to be clocked at all points thereafter if you want to use it in sync with pro tools.

by the way, there are analog machines that will accept clock directly.


userofgear
Old 18th August 2008
  #159
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matskull's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by userofgear View Post
hello,

no, it actually does have to do with the tape machine itself. you are clocking the analog tape machine's transport by way of the lynx. you are not simply synchronizing, and you are not synchronizing two transports in the usual sense. i.e. the lynx does not address the pro tools transport but merely accepts smpte time code from the sync i/o. clock [blackburst is a form of clock] is generated from one source [the nanosyncs or other similar device] and distributed to the various recording devices.

this is not at all meant to be argumentative, but just to be clear. it is a pretty common mistake to fail to reference the tape machine to house clock [or to fail to properly do so], and it can result in tracks that appear to lock when you are recording, but that will drift later.

once the tape is striped with smpte, it has to be clocked at all points thereafter if you want to use it in sync with pro tools.

by the way, there are analog machines that will accept clock directly.


userofgear
I get your point but I'm still not sure if we both have the same definition of clock.
I used to do tape transfert and to be in sync I had a lynx syncronizer connected to both the tape and the sync i/o in pro tools.
That syncroniser would read the time code on the tape machine and adjust it's speed to protools's speed (if I recall well), everything was blacked too.
That could be confusing but a clock (like the "famous" big ben from apogee) is designed to align sample rate so if you're in a 44.1Khz session, the clock will alignt all of the sample of every digital gear that are conected to it.

Not looking to argue neither, I'm just trying to clarify things.
Tell me if I don't get it lol.
Old 18th August 2008
  #160
Gear Addict
 

sync

Quote:
Originally Posted by matskull View Post
I get your point but I'm still not sure if we both have the same definition of clock.
I used to do tape transfert and to be in sync I had a lynx syncronizer connected to both the tape and the sync i/o in pro tools.
That syncroniser would read the time code on the tape machine and adjust it's speed to protools's speed (if I recall well), everything was blacked too.
That could be confusing but a clock (like the "famous" big ben from apogee) is designed to align sample rate so if you're in a 44.1Khz session, the clock will alignt all of the sample of every digital gear that are conected to it.

Not looking to argue neither, I'm just trying to clarify things.
Tell me if I don't get it lol.

hello,

are you talking about a straight transfer from a finished pro tools session over to a blank tape? or a straight transfer from an analog tape over to a blank pro tools session? either of those are, or can be, different than trying to simultaneously record audio onto both formats.

userofgear
Old 18th August 2008
  #161
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BradM's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by A27Hull View Post
Thats a great system you've got Brad for TM recording to DAW.

I think people could save a lot of effort and time by just going to CLASP. One hardware unit, and the associated non-native DSP plugins. One short sync calibration, no nudging. With CLASP the DAW can control the TM too, you don't need to run back and forth from DAW to TM.

For certain studio situations, CLASP would be the way to go.
Really? I'm going to guess that most people can't afford CLASP. Big multi-million dollar facilities--sure, it's an elegant all-in-one solution that makes sense. Who says you need to run back and forth to the tape machine? That's what interns are for. heh

Brad
Old 18th August 2008
  #162
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matskull's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by userofgear View Post
hello,

are you talking about a straight transfer from a finished pro tools session over to a blank tape? or a straight transfer from an analog tape over to a blank pro tools session? either of those are, or can be, different than trying to simultaneously record audio onto both formats.

userofgear
From tape to protools.
Old 18th August 2008
  #163
Gear Addict
 

nice job

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad McGowan View Post
Really? I'm going to guess that most people can't afford CLASP. Big multi-million dollar facilities--sure, it's an elegant all-in-one solution that makes sense. Who says you need to run back and forth to the tape machine? That's what interns are for. heh

Brad
hello,

good of you to post your method. nice work.

there's another similar latency plug-in for logic i think [if some people can't use the one you suggested]. its called "latency fixer", it think". its from "expert sleepers".

userofgear
Old 18th August 2008
  #164
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BradM's Avatar
Thanks for the tip on the Logic plugin! I'll have to mention that one in the next video I do.

Does anyone know of anything similar for ProTools?

Brad
Old 18th August 2008
  #165
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I understand that CLASP will not fall into the catergory of "cheap" but I don't see how it can be that expensive. I suppose it depends on what value you place on functionality.
Old 18th August 2008
  #166
Gear Addict
 

time adjuster

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad McGowan View Post
Thanks for the tip on the Logic plugin! I'll have to mention that one in the next video I do.

Does anyone know of anything similar for ProTools?

Brad

hello,

pro tools has its own plug-in thing included, called "time adjuster".

userofgear
Old 19th August 2008
  #168
Gear Guru
 
Sounds Great's Avatar
 

Quote:
Quote:
The complete CLASP system--the control chassis, interface cable and plug-in software--are expected to run around $7000.00.
Well I guess that answers that question.
Old 19th August 2008
  #169
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Fleaman's Avatar
 

Quote:
The complete CLASP system--the control chassis, interface cable and plug-in software--are expected to run around $7000.00.
That's more than 4 channels of Anamod.
Old 19th August 2008
  #170
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illacov's Avatar
 

Ok is...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fleaman View Post
That's more than 4 channels of Anamod.
there even a choice here? Brads method is free. My ?method? is free. For a grand u can get a good used reel to reel and spend 2 or 3 more and have some good adda to boot. The whole sync thing to me is pointless since alot of pro and prosumer rtrs have remote controls. I dont think daw control is 7 grands worth of convenience. For that kind of money the clasp should be a tape machine.
Maybe designed like a tape delay with one piece of tape in a loop. Some of that Quantegy stuff.
Peace
Illumination
Old 19th August 2008
  #171
Quote:
Originally Posted by illacov View Post
For that kind of money the clasp should be a tape machine.
Maybe designed like a tape delay with one piece of tape in a loop. Some of that Quantegy stuff.
Peace
Illumination

I agree, first time I saw this I thought it was a device with a tape loop inside or something.
Old 19th August 2008
  #172
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BradM's Avatar
I think given who CLASP's potential customers are, $7k is about what I expected. For a facility that has a console worth $300k, that's probably chump change.

But for the rest of us guys who have to justify every gear expense to our wives and girlfriends, I encourage you to try out what I demonstrated in my video. It's free if you already have the tape deck. It's really fun recording to tape, but having a digital workflow.

Brad
Old 19th August 2008
  #173
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illacov's Avatar
 

True but

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad McGowan View Post
I think given who CLASP's potential customers are, $7k is about what I expected. For a facility that has a console worth $300k, that's probably chump change.

But for the rest of us guys who have to justify every gear expense to our wives and girlfriends, I encourage you to try out what I demonstrated in my video. It's free if you already have the tape deck. It's really fun recording to tape, but having a digital workflow.

Brad
Every expense is worth mulling over. Unless CLASPs clients are lazy assed engineers or studio heads then somebody will say 7k? For a remote?

Case in point I shared Brads method with an engineer at a pro studio here and he loved it. The free part is what really floored him. 7k and he would have a different reaction. This place tracks the big boys too like Interscope artists. Normally they master to tape and track digital to PT. Now they can use those Studers to track with Brads method or print with mine. Still people may not even consider tape so for some it will be a production value and 7k is a bit much for a blue moon choice.
Peace
Illumination
Old 19th August 2008
  #174
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matskull's Avatar
 

Hey Brad, I just had a chance to look at the video.
Nice job!
thanks for doing it
Old 20th August 2008
  #175
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BradM's Avatar
Thanks, man! I hope you get a chance to try it out. I'd love to hear back from someone who gets a chance to put it in action.

Brad
Old 20th August 2008
  #176
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matskull's Avatar
 

It'd would be a pleasure to try it out, but then I'd have a hard time justifying it to my boss lol.
Cause I don't have a tape machine at home...maybe someday.
Old 17th October 2008
  #177
Gear Addict
 

fwiw...

CLA ordered one. Same for Chuck Ainlay.
Old 17th October 2008
  #178
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Zep Dude's Avatar
 

Hi, I just want to comment on several questions posted over the last few pages, as I have used a similar method for several years now. I track to 2" 16 and simultaneously dump to Pro Tools, but without the Clasp doing all the work for me. I create mults, figure out the latency and then slide the tracks after the fact in the DAW while the performer hears only a direct feed of their instrument.

Tape Wear: What tape wear? I can use a reel for 6 months or more. How do I know if it's still good? Science. I just run tones periodically. You can't argue with seeing an 18k tone playing back completely within the machine's spec on a 6 month old reel. Remember, there's no storage time, no time for the highs to get worn out or begin to fade. The only thing that matters is that the machine is set up correctly for that day.

Machine wear: Other than more tape head wear, what do you think puts more strain on your machine: just purring along in record, or constantly stopping, rewinding, playing, punching then stopping, rewinding, playing, punching. Think of how much more wear you're putting on all the parts, relays, your remote, your motors with the latter more traditional method.

Sound: in my experience, things sound best recorded from the source to tape then the DAW. Tracks recorded direct to digital then dumped to tape and recorded back in to the DAW still benefit greatly, but don't have quite the magic. Regarding analog vs digital, I have recorded both the digital and analog signals simultaneously on occasion. After lining them up and listening in the song, I have always preferred the tape track.

Accuracy: You are freewheeling the tape machine and the DAW so they are not sync'd. This process relies on the hope that the tape machine's motor is steady enough over time that once you figure out that latency between the record and repro head, it will stay steady. It does. Using my Ampex MM1200 I recorded a percussion track for 3 minutes simultaneously direct to the DAW and also through the tape machine. After aligning the tracks and observing the waveforms over the 3 minute period, the two lined up to within 1 sample.

Added benifits to this process: Within the course of 1 song I have used different tape formulations (499, 456 etc), different biasing, different tape speeds. With each overdub session you can switch to whatever you think works best for that instrument. This is impossible with the traditional tape recording method.

Price: I paid about $3k for a 2" MM1200, another $2k to get it running well and $500 for 24 channels of Dolby SR. I'm not looking at Clasp and saying, "Wow, I have $60,000 investment in analog tape so $7k for Clap is no big deal." I'm saying, "I have $5500 invested in analog tape so $7k for an add on is just too much to justify, even though it's pretty darn cool." I'm waiting for the $2,000 Clasp Jr !
Old 17th October 2008
  #179
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 

Hey Brad, nice work spending your time making a video for folks to benefit from!

Have to suggest though, should you make another episode with Kenny 'playing' guitar like that, it could be an option to go for a south park type plot........ heh
Old 19th October 2008
  #180
Lives for gear
Cool Idea - But priced high for me

Yeah,
I love the idea and the concept. It makes the tape machine something you do not have to think about and that is great. Quicker workflow when working with tape, yeah!!!! For what appears to be a fairly simple idea technically to accomplish, the price is too high for me to bite on. My main reason is that it does not have a enough return on value for me. My clients are not going to pay anymore for this product. If I thought that this product would bring me more work, or if all my clients were dead set on going to tape and were willing to pay for the extra costs related of using tape, or if money was no object, then I would do this in a heartbeat. The retail price is about $4k too heavy for me to consider it. Great simple idea though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zep Dude View Post
Hi, I just want to comment on several questions posted over the last few pages, as I have used a similar method for several years now. I track to 2" 16 and simultaneously dump to Pro Tools, but without the Clasp doing all the work for me. I create mults, figure out the latency and then slide the tracks after the fact in the DAW while the performer hears only a direct feed of their instrument.

Tape Wear: What tape wear? I can use a reel for 6 months or more. How do I know if it's still good? Science. I just run tones periodically. You can't argue with seeing an 18k tone playing back completely within the machine's spec on a 6 month old reel. Remember, there's no storage time, no time for the highs to get worn out or begin to fade. The only thing that matters is that the machine is set up correctly for that day.

Machine wear: Other than more tape head wear, what do you think puts more strain on your machine: just purring along in record, or constantly stopping, rewinding, playing, punching then stopping, rewinding, playing, punching. Think of how much more wear you're putting on all the parts, relays, your remote, your motors with the latter more traditional method.

Sound: in my experience, things sound best recorded from the source to tape then the DAW. Tracks recorded direct to digital then dumped to tape and recorded back in to the DAW still benefit greatly, but don't have quite the magic. Regarding analog vs digital, I have recorded both the digital and analog signals simultaneously on occasion. After lining them up and listening in the song, I have always preferred the tape track.

Accuracy: You are freewheeling the tape machine and the DAW so they are not sync'd. This process relies on the hope that the tape machine's motor is steady enough over time that once you figure out that latency between the record and repro head, it will stay steady. It does. Using my Ampex MM1200 I recorded a percussion track for 3 minutes simultaneously direct to the DAW and also through the tape machine. After aligning the tracks and observing the waveforms over the 3 minute period, the two lined up to within 1 sample.

Added benifits to this process: Within the course of 1 song I have used different tape formulations (499, 456 etc), different biasing, different tape speeds. With each overdub session you can switch to whatever you think works best for that instrument. This is impossible with the traditional tape recording method.

Price: I paid about $3k for a 2" MM1200, another $2k to get it running well and $500 for 24 channels of Dolby SR. I'm not looking at Clasp and saying, "Wow, I have $60,000 investment in analog tape so $7k for Clap is no big deal." I'm saying, "I have $5500 invested in analog tape so $7k for an add on is just too much to justify, even though it's pretty darn cool." I'm waiting for the $2,000 Clasp Jr !
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