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Just 8 Tracks, 1", tape. Are you brave enough? (DAPTONE) Recorders, Players & Tape Machines
Old 7th January 2010
  #91
Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
I can guarantee you that the Daptone engineer could acomplish the same thing with Pro Tools if he wanted to.
I would have to say you're wrong here.

The Daptone engineer could certainly get something good out of Schmoetools, but it would NOT be the same. It would also take a lot longer and be a hell of a lot more work. And my guess is that the end result, although very good, would be not quite as satisfying........
Old 7th January 2010
  #92
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vernier's Avatar
Eight track rules . . .

Led Zeppelin, Simon & Garfunkel, CSNY, Byrds, Doors, Beach Boys, Hendrix, Stones, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross & Supremes, Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin, Miles Davis, Three Dog Night, Cream, Herbie Hancock, John Coltrane, Chick Corea, Tony Williams, CCR, Blind Faith, Beatles, (fill in your favorite).
Old 7th January 2010
  #93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
The Daptone engineer could certainly get something good out of Schmoetools.

Of course not. He wouldn't get the same thing out of a DIFFERENT 8 track analog studio. I meant figuratively, not literally. thumbsup A good engineer can do it with whatever tools he/she has at their disposal. Exact preferable tools to be chosen for any specific task at hand will be at the preference of the producer/engineer, obviously.
Old 7th January 2010
  #94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soundrick View Post
That's really cool.

And there you have it.
Daptone makes records efficiently and WELL, and gives their client and audience a fine product using 8 tracks.
drBill does the same thing with Pro Tools.

End= Same.
Means= Different.

case closed, I'd say.

Evidently not...... heh heh

Old 7th January 2010
  #95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vernier View Post
Led Zeppelin, Simon & Garfunkel, CSNY, Byrds, Doors, Beach Boys, Hendrix, Stones, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross & Supremes, Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin, Miles Davis, Three Dog Night, Cream, Herbie Hancock, John Coltrane, Chick Corea, Tony Williams, CCR, Blind Faith, Beatles, (fill in your favorite).
You're exactly right. It rules for stuff that you want to sound like it came out of a bygone era, like all those bands you listed, and the Daptones stuff.

For other types of productions, there are more appropriate options.

Old 7th January 2010
  #96
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
Jim was playing thru the Mesa "Studio Preamp" which does have tubes BTW, but obviously we weren't micing a cab that day. Sometimes we do, but he can make that Boogie scream, so we often end up there anyway.
Total digression, but what an AMAZING piece of gear the Mesa Studio Preamp is. That's what I mainly use for the tones in my full amp setup, plus I use one at my apartment direct into my computer (though I much prefer using a speaker sim in Guitar Rig rather than the Boogie's speaker emulation) to record guitar tracks for demos. Some of those demos have guitar tones I would be thrilled to use on a full-on production. I'm not surprised to hear it's the secret weapon of a seasoned pro.
Old 7th January 2010
  #97
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Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

FWIW I know Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross & Supremes and Marvin Gaye were all done with three tape generations of 8 to 8. We were also among the first two or three studios to go 16 track in 1968.
Old 7th January 2010
  #98
Lives for gear
Na.... I think the OP is romancing the past.

The Daptone stuff SONICALLY sounds fairly bad - NO I will actually say quite poor - in comparison to what a good studio can produce now. Heck, my stuff in my studio would make far better recordings.

What, I believe the OP is REALLY liking is the fabulous musicians who really HAD to nail it in ONE take or two. There was NO editing in the sense we have today.

As a classical musician, editing can be a MONSTER. The magic of the moment is chopped up and sown back together. The magic of moment is lost and so is what makes us musicians --- being the master's of time.

Musicians really had to know their stuff. We are hearing NO edits here and there is something that on a deep level we respond to.

It's funny, there are more musicians today who can play better than in years past BUT the ones who are touted as stars seem to LOOK better than they SOUND.
Old 7th January 2010
  #99
Gear addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by piano View Post
The Daptone stuff SONICALLY sounds fairly bad - NO I will actually say quite poor - in comparison to what a good studio can produce now. Heck, my stuff in my studio would make far better recordings.
Sweet, let's hear that awesome superior sound from your modern digital studio. Post one of your super fantastic mixes!
Old 7th January 2010
  #100
Gear maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MC Blind View Post
Sweet, let's hear that awesome superior sound from your modern digital studio. Post one of your super fantastic mixes!
haha i KNEW that was going to be the next comment. surprised it took a whole 8 minutes to get posted.

on topic, FWIW there are people - fools, dreamers, romantics or 'other' - who think that the sound of records has gone downhill in a huge and significant and terrible way. it's for that bunch that the op would have posted this in the first place i'm guessing. many are on a totally different page and that is fine, but there are some guys on this forum who immediately know exactly what the op's on about

i was driving my dad somewhere yesterday, and had a chuck berry cd playing. My dad said "could you imagine how good chuck berry would sound if it was done with today's sounds?"

i didn't crash, i might have cried a bit, mumbled something unintelligible and very quickly changed the topic to football. That is a game that's played with feet
Old 7th January 2010
  #101
Gear interested
 

Opinions... There are no Right ones

I love Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings... I also respect them. I have my fair share of Slutty gear purchases, and I intend to use each for their good if not great qualities. Making more rules ( other than timing and tuning and even then sometimes nice when it works via Detuning etc) by which to make music, is completely missing the point. Do the musicians get untalented if you give them too many tracks? Is it bad to have options? Maybe we should start listening to everything in Mono again, this Stereo set-up has mushroom clouded into 5.1 and 7.2 super surround systems. I like simplicity as much as the next guy but Michael Jackson and Prince probably had more than 8 tracks on most of their recordings.. Are those Garbage too? I understand the revalations some people have when they discover something great was done with very little. Applause is in order, but now get back to making good music and stop complaining so much. Complaining doesn't pay much and it takes to long to do.
Old 7th January 2010
  #102
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Thread Starter
As I wrote before, try to listen to several different Daptone records. Those where drums are on left, bass on right, have a lot of spring reverb and are styllistically freq limited (and were done early on with a 1/2"), yes, do sound "vintage". But then again, they also have records with drums, bass and vocal in the center, everything else hard panned, less drastiv EQ and plate reverbs (and were tracked with the 1"). Those do sound great and rather modern indeed.

Regarding the tools, I don't think they could get that sound otherwise, as Gabriel Roth sees tape as a sound modifiying tool comparable to a compressor or EQ. At tracking he uses 8-10 channels on the desk to send stuff to tape, heavily band passed or EQed, and then has 8 tracks coming back from the tape machine into another adjacent 8 channels, directly from the Repro Head, to check out exactly how by pushing levels and EQ, the sound gets in the border of breaking down, it is freq-selectively compressed and sweetly saturated. That is done differently for each track, as bass needs a different treatment than horns, for instance.
By doing this he not only gets that characteristic "tape sound", but he also knows how the final mix very much will sound like, right at the tracking stage.



As for the track count, I admit 8 track is a bit limiting, specially for getting things to sound in stereo, so certainly a 16 track machine would be a much more desirable device, but the thing is I'm fascinated at how, in the age of DAW, these guys can get that magnificent sound out of so little.
On the other hand, there's a big musical advantage by using just 8 tracks though, and that is that it makes you care for EVERY SINGLE NOTE (and silence) that gets recorded. That's a very important thing that has gone totally forgotten with DAWs.
These days we got a bazillion tracks, mostly for what we like to (somewhat silly) denominate "ear candy". And we need that "ear candy" because there's no song anymore, and people find lots of fun in adding things and play with the DAW instead of sitting at the piano or with the band and work out the song (which otherwise also requires talent).


Anyway, with an 8 track machine we wouldn't get Peter Gabriel's records and without DAWs it isn't possible to get some great commercial pop like Amerie's "1 Thing", but admittedly, that stuff happens very seldom.
I was going through my iTunes Favourites list and most of it could have been done with just an 8 track, except for getting sources in stereo, for which you'd require 12-16 tracks.

Daptone's records has gotten me revisiting my earliest stuff, done with a 16 track. And the truth is that it all sounds much better and organic than the kind of stuff you get these days with DAWs. I'd say it may be after a combination of methodology, working around limitations and directness to the sound.




PS: Dr Bill, I'm sure if we sat on a bar to talk we'd agree on most things. We might only disagree in that I believe that DAWs, as a tool, influence people, both musicians and engineers, for the worse. That's all. Happy new year and don't get a flu like I did.
Old 7th January 2010
  #103
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Quote:
The Daptone engineer could certainly get something good out of Schmoetools, but it would NOT be the same. It would also take a lot longer and be a hell of a lot more work.
If some sort of pre-production was involved , the task of recording something as nice like the Daptones music shouldn't take as long or be as hard with a DAW
Old 7th January 2010
  #104
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Quote:
On the other hand, there's a big musical advantage by using just 8 tracks though, and that is that it makes you care for EVERY SINGLE NOTE (and silence) that gets recorded. That's a very important thing that has gone totally forgotten with DAWs
It makes you attentive
Old 7th January 2010
  #105
Motown legend
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by piano View Post
Na.... I think the OP is romancing the past.

The Daptone stuff SONICALLY sounds fairly bad - NO I will actually say quite poor - in comparison to what a good studio can produce now...
Quite poor in comparison to what the average pro studio could produce 40 years ago too!

The group sounds incredible live. I was very disappointed with their recordings.
Old 7th January 2010
  #106
Gear nut
 
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Daptone - you guys are making me proud to be a Brooklyn Boy.

I've always dug the production speed and ethic of "laying down tape."

But to me - and as evidenced by many in this thread, we are NOT talking about gear per se

but a mindset.

Good, passionate, emotive performances

Critical thinking on your feet

Commitment to the overall vision

Resourcefulness and good taste


All of those are just recording best practices - not simply Tape vs DAW


So that being said - I'm going to take this challenge with my upcoming Acoustic Indie album (14 songs)

Both in mind and in practice - heck I really don't need more than 8 tracks. Plus i'm going to get a bunch of friends to help.

I'm armed with a Duet, Logic Express, my 1st gen MBP, an RE20, an MK012 in cardiod, an Audix i5, Summit TD100, and a boatload of IRs.

I do not plan on tracking with any effects or EQ by virtue of my tight budget.

To be truthful - i'm not really going for a glossy recording - but a VERY HONEST recording. Lots of Dynamic range, transient response, and character.

I'm going to try and offer up my best performances possible - from song start to finish - commit to the take. rather than comp together a full track

This will push me - and as my first mixing effort it's likely to drive me mad. But I'm already batty

So as Dr Bill said, I'll see you guys on the other side.


in the least, 2010 is going to be a very productive year.
Old 7th January 2010
  #107
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andsonic's Avatar
 

I am completely wedded to my DAW, but I like to make my decisions to "tape". Last 2 projects I did were "live". One "live in the studio" and the other was a concert.

My studio mate is cutting his (ex?) GF's album to 8 track. I've sat in on some parts. It's kind of a fun session. We'll mix it to 1/4 inch & I'll assemble it for the cd (no processing).

That Daptone vid was interesting. We have a lot of the same outboard (Altec).
Old 7th January 2010
  #108
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You can (still) bounce tracks all day long from one inch 8 track to 2 track and back and it can sound great, but of course the machines have to be set up right. And some sounds benefit greatly from this process. Like flown in BG vocals, for instance. But you do have to make a commitment... I personally don't think that is a bad thing. It has been said in many ways here, but I think the concept of 'commitment' is seriously undervalued by many would be engineers.

And while we're on the topic, how about live to 2 track recording? I mean, if you really want to separate the men from the boys, so to speak? It ain't gonna be perfect...


Inglewood SoundBarn
Old 7th January 2010
  #109
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Quote:

And while we're on the topic, how about live to 2 track recording?
That's a skill best suited to Audiophiles heh
Old 7th January 2010
  #110
Gear Head
 
ElJustin's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kosmokrator View Post
And there was crap music in the 60s and 70s as well.
Just think of that unbearable reggae-tune of Led Zeppelin.
Dude what the crap, i love that song!
Old 7th January 2010
  #111
Gear Guru
 
u b k's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by fetti View Post
Complaining doesn't pay much and it takes to long to do.

Clearly, you've never heard of fox news.


Gregory Scott - ubk
Old 7th January 2010
  #112
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Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k View Post
Indeed, that's the whole point.

Not everyone needs to be so rigorous about regimenting their workflow, just as not everyone needs to keep sweets out of the house to avoid overindulgence.

On a more practical note, my brain literally works differently when I have to interface with a computer. It impedes my ability to hear. Solution: no computer in the studio. Again, a deeply personal choice, one which isn't for everyone, but which I suspect would be good for more people if only thru even thought to try it.


Gregory Scott - ubk
Yeah, this is my situation, too. I'm the same way... I can stand to operate a tape machine and mixer and still be a musician, but a computer screen changes my brain. I do have a little old Mac laptop off in the corner by my synths. It just runs Opcode Vision for MIDI only, and it usually works OK for me to track MIDI on that machine.

Cheers,

Otto
Old 7th January 2010
  #113
Gear Maniac
 
fuddfar's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by soundbarnfool View Post
You can (still) bounce tracks all day long from one inch 8 track to 2 track and back and it can sound great, but of course the machines have to be set up right. And some sounds benefit greatly from this process. Like flown in BG vocals, for instance. But you do have to make a commitment... I personally don't think that is a bad thing. It has been said in many ways here, but I think the concept of 'commitment' is seriously undervalued by many would be engineers.

And while we're on the topic, how about live to 2 track recording? I mean, if you really want to separate the men from the boys, so to speak? It ain't gonna be perfect...


Inglewood SoundBarn
Man, I love making records that way. I'd have the bass on 1, Stereo drums on 2 & 3, Fill in some overdubs, keep 7 open to prevent feedback, and bounce 4,5,& 6 to 8 and do a live overdub during the bounce. Fill in 7, and bounce to two track then back to the 8 track on 1 & 2. That leaves tracks 3-8 open for more overdubs.It sounds ********, but it makes for great recordings. The premix facet always leads to better recordings in my experience.
Old 7th January 2010
  #114
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Quote:
Clearly, you've never heard of fox news.
SNAP!
Old 7th January 2010
  #115
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vernier's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by fuddfar View Post
Man, I love making records that way. I'd have the bass on 1, Stereo drums on 2 & 3, Fill in some overdubs, keep 7 open to prevent feedback, and bounce 4,5,& 6 to 8 and do a live overdub during the bounce. Fill in 7, and bounce to two track then back to the 8 track on 1 & 2. That leaves tracks 3-8 open for more overdubs.It sounds ********, but it makes for great recordings. The premix facet always leads to better recordings in my experience.
Vocal sections that sound like Queen require some bouncing, but thats about it.
Old 7th January 2010
  #116
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u b k's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by vernier View Post
Vocal sections that sound like Queen require some bouncing, but thats about it.

Records that sound like Revolver, Sgt. Pep, and Abbey Road require some bouncing too.

But that's about it. heh


Gregory Scott - ubk
Old 7th January 2010
  #117
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BradM's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by soundbarnfool View Post
You can (still) bounce tracks all day long from one inch 8 track to 2 track and back and it can sound great, but of course the machines have to be set up right.
I need to start trying this especially now that my Studer A807 is totally tricked out and sounding really clean with the ATR tape. Thanks for the reminder/inspiration!

Brad
Old 7th January 2010
  #118
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad McGowan View Post
I need to start trying this especially now that my Studer A807 is totally tricked out and sounding really clean with the ATR tape. Thanks for the reminder/inspiration!

Brad
This is where having synchronizers really helps. heh Not 100% mandatory, but it really makes life a joy.
Old 7th January 2010
  #119
Quote:
Originally Posted by MC Blind View Post
Not to mention that analog just sounds better. I mean come on guys, this isn't rocket science. If it sounds good, it is good. End of story, move on.
and few days ago you liked digital more than tape
Old 7th January 2010
  #120
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i don't think the 8track or the equipment used is the key to the succes of daptunes records, it's the mentality of the label, it's producers and it's artists. You don't need protools, that pre or mic or that plugin, you need good music played by good musicians to start from, and the rest is secondary.

Off course is gearslutz and here we're mainly talking about that secondairy ****, but as long as you keep in mind that the music comes first, than this shouldn't be a problem. The problem is that most ppl doens't see that and try to clean up bad performances and the lack of talent with technical tricks like autotune, beat detective, extensive editing when it shouldn't be done, and so on...
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