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Studer A80 Mk I 16 track in sync!
Old 15th March 2010
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Studer A80 Mk I 16 track in sync!

For anyone who may remember some of my previous threads about the restoration of my A80, my quest for a synchroniser cable or whether or not to use Dolby A - well, it's working! I was told by several people that it would be (almost) impossible to get working, but I actually have a Mk I A80 synced to my DAW, and I'm getting 0ms drift from start to finish of a reel at 15ips!

Its first session happened a few days ago, and it ran flawlessly in sync during tracking and dumping to DAW later. And the sound of the tape dumped back into the DAW compared with the straight DAW tracks is so much more musical that it's not even funny! Yep, 2" 16 track is everything I expected it would be... heh I particularly enjoyed James Lugo's thread about his A800, because that's the world I've just walked into too! One thing's for sure - he and Fletcher are not kidding about guitars on 456 - pure magic!

The only thing left for me to figure out now is what reference fluxivity to operate at. My tech set it up at +5/185 as he wasn't convinced about running such an old deck too hot. But I found during my first session, tracking simultaneously to tape and DAW (Lynx Aurora 16/AES16, Samplitude), that I was hitting the DAW much harder than I wanted to in order to get a good level on tape. And listening back to the tape tracks dumped to DAW, I'm not happy with the amount of tape hiss, even with Dolby A.

So I'm thinking of setting it up for +8 or even +9, and that should hopefully let me track at lower levels, give me some headroom back in the DAW and improve the sn ratio on tape.

Any thoughts or advice from the tape gurus? Can the 'old lady' handle it?

Did I say this thing sounds fantastic? heh

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