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Cutting tape, what angle?
Old 6th May 2003
  #1
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Cutting tape, what angle?

Quick survey... does anyone ever use a different angle when they're cutting a few takes together on 2"? I've always defaulted to the 30 degree angle for the smoothest crossfade. What are you using? Does the angle you pick depend on the edit?
Old 6th May 2003
  #2
Lives for gear
 
stealthbalance's Avatar
 

jay -
for me , ive always used different angles dependant on music
material , tape speed & track count. usually if you cut 2" , its usually
to get the strongest drum take at the beggining of a song. sometimes
i would have done as much as 100 edits and shaving of beats and hats
to get the drum pocket to feel good. for that i would tend to go for
the steeper angle on a block. however for 2 track mix stuff ( pre pro tools )
with no crossfade control - i would find that a longer angle was cool
because i had a bit of a safety net. but if it was on a beat one smack
id go to the steeper again.
my advice is to sell all your analog decks as fast as you can - while they are
worth anything.
Old 6th May 2003
  #3
Gear Guru
 

100 edits! I couldn't imagine doing that much editing without the you-know-what. I used to really build up stress when cutting tape. I have flashbacks of looking frantically among the dozens of little rhomboid shaped pieces of tape on the table for the one that had the extra note that I had cut off by mistake.

I did a lot of editing of classical music and it was the angle cut most of the time, but occasionally I went with the steeper cut. I never felt like I had the option of trying it both ways.

when doing simple drum stuff I would do the cutting a fixed distance ahead of the actual notes I planned to edit: I'd center the note as usual on the head but put the marks on the tape at some reference point like a tape guide and cut with the slant on those marks.

There's a crossfade but it now happens in the area before the downbeats. It usually sounded smoother to me than the vertical splice right at the attack of the note and by using the hardware reference point I'd still get timing consistency.
Old 8th May 2003
  #4
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Man, all that talk about 2" and tape and nobody uses a blade anymore?

Bummer.

I'll cut tape if the edits aren't extensive. Anything beyond 3-4 cuts in a given take and I'm going to have the band retake the song. Or, it gets transferred to a DAW. Usually it's quicker to retake.

Still, this is a bummer.
Old 8th May 2003
  #5
jon
Capitol Studios Paris
 
jon's Avatar
 

Hi Jay,

I love tape for the sound. Splicing tape was something I used to do only while tracking drums...and here's why I pretty much don't do it anymore.

With the kind of hard-hitting drummers I usually work with nowadays, the snare sounds different, tuning-wise, on each take. It often goes down in pitch during the take and has to be tuned back up a bit before the next one... and it never sounds quite the same.

So for me, either the drummer gets it in one take or I choose the best one and make edits in PT using only that take. In the worst case, if I have to mix edits from different takes, I'll probably have to replace snare hits...so it goes into PT....as much as I'd prefer to avoid that transfer and its accompanying loss of depth.
Old 8th May 2003
  #6
For me, PT is better for punch in/outs on drums than tape...

If ind it easyier to go back quickly and get a better fill punched in than work with the old 'best take' & leave it mistakes and all or fix it in PT with edits.

Its a production decision..
Old 8th May 2003
  #7
Lives for gear
 
stealthbalance's Avatar
 

show me a drummer who is still living who can get one complete
take that is solid and feels really good and i'll be thrilled. it doesn't
exist any longer. to have a drummer do many takes and only
use one take that you are going to fix anyway because of snare
tuning that has dropped in pitch is dumb. if a drummer is a really
hard hitter and tuning moves around - just use a slightly thicker
snare head and also use lug locks around the drum top & bottom.
i always print reference snare hits at the beginning of a drum tracking
session because between takes i have the drummer give the snare
a tiny nudge in tuning to match the pitch of the reference hits.
that way you have a lot more freedom to cut between takes.
Old 9th May 2003
  #8
Lives for gear
 
littledog's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by stealthbalance
show me a drummer who is still living who can get one complete take that is solid and feels really good and i'll be thrilled. it doesn't exist any longer.
It's hard to tell if the reason I disagree with this is because I'm working with a lot better drummers than you are, or that your ears and production standards are so much higher than mine...

If you tell me that you regularly record Roy Haynes or Steve Gadd, I'll happily concede it must be the latter...
Old 9th May 2003
  #9
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Man, I'm really not into the whole idea of replacing snare hits just because it's a different take. Personally, I always dig the fact that each hit is a bit different. I've also let some stuff go that most people would replace or scrap a take for, like catching mostly rim on a hit. I dunno, when I listen to old albums from the 70's & 80's I dig on that stuff when I hear it.

I know that it's human.

Has anyone ever put Motown or Stax stuff up on a grid? It's pretty funny. That's when I said **** it, as long as there isn't an obvious mistake and it feels good it's a good take.

Now if a chorus and two verses from the 1st take were great but the 3rd take was better for the rest, I'll break out a blade and slap it all together. And yeah, I still get nervous every time I take a blade to the master. But, I always do those edits before we move onto the next song just in case. And yes...I also punch drums if we're cutting to a click.
Old 9th May 2003
  #10
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
I recently punched in a whole band on a tune with no click.


My new mantra
"Must learn to cut tape correctly!"
Old 11th May 2003
  #11
member no 666
 
Fletcher's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by stealthbalance
show me a drummer who is still living who can get one complete take that is solid and feels really good and i'll be thrilled.
How many would you like to meet?

Quote:
it doesn't exist any longer.
Of course it does.

Quote:
to have a drummer do many takes and only
use one take that you are going to fix anyway because of snare
tuning that has dropped in pitch is dumb.
What kind of moron statement is this? It's the way the brother has chosen to work? Who the **** are you to question it? I would never presume to question your work methods... however, I will choose to question your dumbass statement.

Quote:
if a drummer is a really hard hitter and tuning moves around - just use a slightly thicker snare head and also use lug locks around the drum top & bottom.
It's so rare that one achieves absolute perfection in this business... but I'm starting to think you may indeed be pretty close to a perfect idiot.

A slightly thicker snare head will net you a slightly deader tone... which may, or may not be appropriate. "Lug locks" are all well and good... but they can not combat the ****ing head stretching now can they Einstein?


Quote:
i always print reference snare hits at the beginning of a drum tracking session because between takes i have the drummer give the snare a tiny nudge in tuning to match the pitch of the reference hits.
Yeah... I was just on a gig like that... never got the "tuning" to hit the same note/sound as the "reference hit"... not once. Two weeks of it (and about 3 dozen snare heads)... not a single time did the "reference hit" and the "new tuning on the actual drum" line up.

Somedays 'close enough for rock and roll' is a saying... other days it's a way of life.
Old 11th May 2003
  #12
Lives for gear
 
Roland's Avatar
Personally I work with drummers that can play a whole track without needing to be messed about with all the time.

There are plenty of drummers that can play in time without my help! If I am working with a drummer that has got a problem, I would personally have no problem with correcting it by editing on a workstation. Even if you are a die-hard analogue fan, once you have the sound of "analogue" from tracking to 2" its easy enough to dump to a workstation and work on it there, hell thats how almost all records are made these days.


Regards


Roland
Old 12th May 2003
  #13
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by stealthbalance
show me a drummer who is still living who can get one complete
take that is solid and feels really good and i'll be thrilled. it doesn't
exist any longer.
Come to Nashville and record Ed Greene! Dave Martin sez his regular guy can do the same thing too.

I share your concern that it doesn't exist any longer and part of why we moved is because it still does exist HERE. Send Dave a PT file and he can send you back a smoking drum track by either one and it'll probably cost less than "beats" would from a drum machine programmer!
Old 13th May 2003
  #14
Lives for gear
 
sonic dogg's Avatar
I can rent my drummer out at oh say $500/hr. He never screws it up.....AND he hits it in the same spot on each drum....I know theres 'others'..........and ya'll might wanna consider makin statements like that with the likes of the fletcher lurkin round.....you'll get a flame up the boot everytime...
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