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Top engineers' choice of tape
Old 2nd June 2002
  #1
Capitol Studios Paris
 
jon's Avatar
 

Top engineers' choice of tape

One of the best engineers alive today whose opinion I greatly respect emailed me last week and I asked him what tape he's been enjoying the smell of lately. He replied:

"I am using Emtec 900 to track, and then GP 9 to mix....don't ask me why....although I am using Pro Tools and Nuendo a lot too...but still mixing analogue....I like the hi end boost of the 900, but sometimes like the smoothness of GP 9....."

One current project I am doing is being tracked to GP9 at 30ips on an A820 aligned for +9 over 185nW/m, 1.7dB overbias, with the repro then bumped +1dB at 16k and 50. I'm not sure I prefer +9 to +6, but it has sounded great for the drums, bass, and guitars so far.

Anybody else want to share their current tape, machine, or alignment prefs?
Old 2nd June 2002
  #2
Our guys are have been using GP9 @ +5/250, overbias 1.4 for some time. Every once in a while they'll throw upa reel of 900, but GP9 is prettymuch the standard here...
Old 2nd June 2002
  #3
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
I'm still messing around with tape. I went through a bunch of SM900 when I got my deck and I'm not sure I like it. It sounds better to me at +6/185 then +9/185. Something about the saturation on it bugs me, it seems to get hard and brittle sounding vs. 996 or 456. I've only used two reels of GP9 but so far I seem to like that better. I do perfer SM911 to 456 for most things. The upper midrange is a little clearer and it seems to be less noisy. So far it's turning out to be my favorite rock & roll tracking tape and it is my favorite tape on the A80 1/4" deck. I tried GP9 on that but I couldn't get it to bias up right. I'm doing most of my work at 15ips and 4dB overbias at 10k. If I'm running at 30ips it's 2dB overbias.
Old 3rd June 2002
  #4
Capitol Studios Paris
 
jon's Avatar
 

Good to hear from you, Brad and Jay.

Do you guys often tweak the repro hi/low end at mixdown, or do you usually go for flat...

Most recording studios are checking 1k, 10k and 100...while many mastering studios are checking at 1k, 16k and 50 instead, which I prefer.

Waddya think, Brad?

Jon
Old 3rd June 2002
  #5
Quote:
Originally posted by jon
Do you guys often tweak the repro hi/low end at mixdown, or do you usually go for flat...
Well, I don't mix - master only. Always flat...

Quote:
Most recording studios are checking 1k, 10k and 100...while many mastering studios are checking at 1k, 16k and 50 instead, which I prefer.

Waddya think, Brad?
Ideally, every set of tones would have 1k, 10k, 16k, 50, & 100.
1k - repro level
10k - hi freq EQ (balanced with 16k)
16k - azimuth and hi freq EQ
100 - lo freq EQ (balanced with 50)
50 - lo freq EQ

I would be very happy to if every set of tapes had 30 sec/each...
Old 3rd June 2002
  #6
Capitol Studios Paris
 
jon's Avatar
 

Yes, Brad, I'll agree with you on all 5 frequencies. Just checking one HF and one LF is pretty incomplete...a machine can easily be flat at 10k and 100 and yet still be totally f***ed, depending on where the LF bumps are, how fast the LF drops off, if the machine is over/under-biased, or if the heads are mechanically mis-aligned.

Anybody else like to tweak the repro (on the 2", not the 1/2")?

Jon
Old 3rd June 2002
  #7
The cherry on top would be a 'sweep' from lowest to highest (0hz - 20k+) across 20 seconds or so..



smokin
Old 3rd June 2002
  #8
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by jon
Do you guys often tweak the repro hi/low end at mixdown, or do you usually go for flat...

Most recording studios are checking 1k, 10k and 100...while many mastering studios are checking at 1k, 16k and 50 instead, which I prefer.
I run flat and I never bump unless I feel like I need it. I've been tempted to go back and add 2dB at 10khz at times but I haven't done it yet and I usually patch an EQ across the mix-buss. At the top of each reel is a 30 second or 1 minute bias pad for setting up overdubs, then leader, then 40 seconds each of 1, 10 and 100, then leader then music.
Old 3rd June 2002
  #9
Capitol Studios Paris
 
jon's Avatar
 

Hey Jules, that is something I really like on the A820...built-in osc. tone and sweep generator...anything you want from 20Hz to 25kHz, right to tape. The auto-align is cool, too, esp. the auto-bias feature.

Last time I recorded a sweep on the A820 at 30ips, the LF bumps were at 50-60Hz and 110-120Hz, there was a 1dB trough in the 300Hz region, then flat up to about 10kHz, then slowly increasing to +1dB at 16k (but's that how I like it) and +2dB at 25k. It was flat at 40Hz and down 2dB at 30Hz...not bad LF response at all for 30ips.

Jon
Old 4th June 2002
  #10
Lives for gear
 
drundall's Avatar
 

I used to use GP9 2" @ +9/185, now I've switched to 900 @ +6. Seems as though the tape is more consistent from batch to batch.
Old 4th June 2002
  #11
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
BTW, I forgot to mention that I'm using a JH-24 and an A80MkII 1/4". I also have a Teac 3340 around that hasn't been used for a long time. There's also a Scully 1/4" deck that the guy who had my space before me left and said he'd come back for. That one needs quite a bit of work.
Old 18th July 2012
  #12
Gear Addict
 
QuadWing's Avatar
My favorite kind of tape is Necro.
Old 19th July 2012
  #13
Gear Nut
 

Duct ,
perfect for taming shrill egotistical singers
Old 19th July 2012
  #14
Lives for gear
 

Duct tape wasn't invented when this thread was first started.
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