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2 inch tape in the future
Old 17th April 2003
  #1
Lives for gear
2 inch tape in the future

Do you think that good quality 2 inch analog tape will still be available in ten year's time? And at what cost?

Thanks,

D.W
Old 17th April 2003
  #2
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imacgreg's Avatar
I would also like to know people's thoughts on this one. I'm sorta coming into the industry at a weird time. I am embarassed to say it, but I've never even used tape to record! (I hope I can't say this for long...) Anyway, what about all the greenies like me that are getting internships/engineering gigs at studios and only learning PT/DAW type stuff cause the 2-inch is in the corner collecting dust?? I really hope 2-inch has some longevity to it. Here's another question: Do you think it's even necessary for someone who wants to be in the "biz" to know how to use tape? (I think I know the answer for now, but what about in 10-15 years?) Intersting stuff, it'll be cool to hear some of the "vet's" ideas...


Ian (who doesn't even know the smell of tape )...
Old 17th April 2003
  #3
Here for the gear
 
theunity's Avatar
 

ya know, nearly all of my recording experience has been on a DAW and for a long time i thought that people that swore by tape were just... i don't know, wierd... but then i had a chance to mix a track on a soundcraft 2400 off of 2 inch.. and it blew my mind. i dunno what the deal was heh i hope 2 inch is still around in 10 years because that's what i want to be recording to.
Old 17th April 2003
  #4
Gear Maniac
 
wurly's Avatar
 

2" supply anxiety

As a 52 year old geek I do have a past in analog. And I love the smell of 2" tape in the morning. My question is, do I have a future in analog?

In a previous life I was a multitrack technician at a large midwestern studio. Spent all my time swapping headstacks 16/24 track and aligning and realigning. Shimming capstans, replacing power supplies, yeah, I know the drill. And I like it.

My only concern is, if I bought a 2" machine, how long can I buy decent tape? If I already had machine I wouldn't be so paranoid, but I am reluctant to jump on an old but great sounding platform with so few sources of media.

Does anyone have any good news about the future availability of 2" tape?

whir lee

from the colony of collies
Old 17th April 2003
  #5
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Volodia's Avatar
 

Re: 2" supply anxiety

Quote:
Originally posted by wurly

Does anyone have any good news about the future availability of 2" tape?

[/B]
Hi,
This has been discussed in a thread called "the future of tape" and yes there are good news for you Wurly .
Here
Old 18th April 2003
  #6
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Steve Smith's Avatar
 

Imacgreg, whatever you do, but a reel of 2" and take a sniff.

Old 18th April 2003
  #7
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RKrizman's Avatar
 

Re: 2 inch tape in the future

Quote:
Originally posted by Beech
Do you think that good quality 2 inch analog tape will still be available in ten year's time? And at what cost?

Thanks,

D.W
By then I'll probably be willing to let go of mine. Care to get in the first bid?

-R
Old 18th April 2003
  #8
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Wiggy Neve Slut's Avatar
 

Given the huge amount of 2"s still out there, they will eb around for some time yet. The marke in tape media will contract significantly to some degree but i think if the majors drop it, then perhaps a company will take over it and offer it as a boutique mdeia option. Hope fully they will be reasonable about pricing as they will prolly be th elast co around to do it and will have a captive market.

Im a tapeslut from way back and there still is no comparision between the two(digtial and analogue... and no im not interested in starting a flame war!) i use both and track to tape and mix from digital.. and its a fantastic combo. But i seriously hope tape will be around for some time to come which i predict it will.... The problem now will be to find people with the relavent expereicne to keep these behemoths in top flight condition which is gettting hard and ahrder and more expensive all the time.

PEACE
Wiggy
Old 18th April 2003
  #9
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
I don't see the decks falling off the face of the planet any time soon. What scares me more is the availability of new stock 10 or 15 years out. Even if it's being made (and I'm sure it will) will anyone besides people at the ultra top end of the food chain be able to afford new stock?

While I doubt it's going the way of the dinosaur's it's becoming more and more rare. I talked a traveling band tonight after doing FOH for them (4th gig for me with those guys) and they were suprised and pumped that I have a 2" deck here. They said that every other studio/engineer they've talked to has Pro Tools and they just aren't into the sound or the work flow that comes with it. There's are plenty of studios run tape for 90% of the work that comes in but it probably also sees Alsihad at some point.
Old 18th April 2003
  #10
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Zep Dude's Avatar
 

I heard 5 more years (after that smaller companies will no doubt take up the slack at much higher rates). I love analog and hope it stays around for a long time but lately I've even seen some of the most stubborn analog-only old timers recording direct to PT HD -that's blowing my mind!
Old 18th April 2003
  #11
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chrisv's Avatar
 

I've heard this come up quite a few times, and every time I think back to a great post by our friend Electrical. Somebody mentioned having to 'reuse' old master tapes for lack of new tape stock:



Quote:
Why are we talking about re-using old master tapes? That's like worrying about where to put the helipad for your personal jetpack (ie, it's a concern that is far off in the distant future).

Manufacture of tape may eventually become a "boutique" business, in the way that manufacture and rebuilding of old tape machines, vacuum tube equipment and cars is. Magnetic tape is not so difficult to manufacture that it can't be done by a small company. The small company would have to have a reliable client base willing to pay its prices. That's how lasers (and their crystals), dynamometers (and their sensors), view cameras (and their film) and Ducatti's (and their gas tanks) continue to be in use.

Me, I'm tired of being told every damn year that analog recording is "finished," because this digital thing is really going to take over. I've been hearing that every year for the last 20, and each year has brought my (all analog) studios more business than the last. In the interim I've seen _dozens_ of digital technologies come and go, rendering their master tapes useless and unplayable. All the people who told me to "go digital" are out of business by now, or on their 10th round of replacing all their equipment.

It's like anything else: If the equipment is built well, it will last forever. If there is a market for its support (rebuilding, spare parts, tape, etc.) then the support network will survive. I have no fear.

Remember when the Linn Drum came in, and everybody was told to forget about putting mics on a drum kit (except maybe as triggers) because "in the future" nobody will use real drums? Sure, there were a lot of nightmarish records made on that principle, but it wasn't "the future."

ProTools is this decade's Linn Drum. It will be in regular use, and it may well define the tastes of a certain generation of engineers, but it is not, by itself, "the future."

Our studio caters primarily to underground rock bands and oblique experimental/modern music. Their album budgets are typically $2000 - $5000, with a few clocking in at $10,000. We routinely make all-analog albums, finished, sequenced, ready to master for budgets like that, and it supports two 24-track Studer/ATR-equipped studios and a staff of six. There is clearly enough money in the "average" session to warrant use of analog tape -- if we can do it, anybody can.

Let's assume that our studio's tape use is average. I know many studios use more tape than we do, and many use less, so let's say we're average. We spend between $20 - $30,000 (US) per year on tape. If there are only 50 such studios in the world (I can probably name 50 off the top of my head), then tape sales alone will be over a million dollars -- clearly enough to support a small company.

Yours in the fight,
-steve albini
Old 19th April 2003
  #12
Gear Maniac
 
wurly's Avatar
 

Hey Volodia

Thank you for the link on the future of 2". I think it's time to start looking for some lucky machine to start pampering and praising.

I just bought my third Hammond, a 1950 C2 in drop dead perfect condition. It looks like it was made last year. The original finish is perfect. All it needs is the Leslie add-on controller and a percussion kit. Ya gotta love this old mechanical/musical stuff.

wurly

from the collie clubhouse
Old 19th April 2003
  #13
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by Steve Smith
Imacgreg, whatever you do, but a reel of 2" and take a sniff.

Yes, but make sure you smell a reel of 456!
That's the good (smelling) stuff. heh
Old 20th April 2003
  #14
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
996 has/had a nice scent too. grudge If were talkign scents GP9 isn't bad, much better then SM900. Part of the magic of a recording studio for me is smelling the oxide when I walk into the control room.
Old 20th April 2003
  #15
Gear Addict
 

I thought this was a thread on tape, not inhalants. Oh, wait . . . okay, iron oxide, not nitrous oxide. The smilie misled me. As you were.

Bear
Old 20th April 2003
  #16
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Jay Kahrs
996 has/had a nice scent too. grudge If were talkign scents GP9 isn't bad, much better then SM900. Part of the magic of a recording studio for me is smelling the oxide when I walk into the control room.
YES!!!
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