The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
PLEASE, THE TRUTH! Why are 2" tape machines so cheap these days ?
Old 18th May 2006
  #31
Quote:
Originally Posted by drundall
I don't think an MRL tape will run you $300 these day. I think lots of people are will to get rid of theirs. Tape itself will be a bitch and that's the main reason that I'm pretty much alll PT these days. With drive prices where they are now, it's a real hard sell to artists.
300 is not the price for a full MRL, they are much more. Most of us don't actually need a full MRL, you can get a 5 minute reel for probably around 300. If you're buying a deck, don't cheap out, buy a new MRL.
Old 18th May 2006
  #32
Quote:
Originally Posted by RainbowStorm
As someone here already mentioned, the market mechanisms are deciding the price. When there is high supply and low demand, the seller needs to lower the price so that the few that are interested in the thing will choose their product. It is a general sign of revaluation.

So what's behind this revaluation?

1. Analog tape machines are big, take up space, their condition become worse, they are time consuming, they are limited...
2. Analog tape is expensive in comparison
3. They are not modern. What is not modern today will be too unmodern tomorrow.
4. People make long term decisions.
5. Analog tape machines are inefficient to work with.
6. ITB records sell as good
7. Great sounding AD converters have a more attractive price tag
8. During double blind testing some plug-in effects today sound better than the analog counterparts. That's only a little glimpse of the future.
9. Digital recording and networking will result in more flexibility in the future, which makes the processes more efficient and the digital medium will be the medium of choice
10. Let's face it. Analog gear will be out within 20 years.
1. Analog tape decks are big, take up space, but I've been running mine every day
for the last 8 years, its been much much much more reliable than any computer rig
I've run.
2. Analog tape is expensive until you ask yourself what if you need to get at this data in 10 years? Who knows what computers will be doing and if anything will be compatabile then.
3. Analog machines are not modern, neither is the G5 I bought in november.
4. In my opinion if you truly know the difference between analog tape and a daw, a better long term investment is an analog deck. For instance I think around 2000 I bought a new G4, a new audio interface and pci card , a scsi controller card, ram
and some 160 lvd drives and an aardvark clock. The whole shebang cost me around
$7000. I bought my 2" deck for $7500which I got a few years before the g4. I don't have the G4 anymore [actually my wife does] the drives the controller card. I do use the interfaces and the aardvark and the same 2" deck which still runs and sounds great.
5. Analog machines are NOT ineficient to work with, if anything you will get done quicker since they force you to commit! And if you want a million options dump it onto your daw
6. Who really gives a ****, this is supposed to be about the quality of YOUR work.
7. Great sounding converters are usually obsolete every few years as the next super better generation of convertors that finally sound as good as analog emerge
8. Where did you get that from EQ magazine?
9. the only thing thats true about this is digital will probably be the medium cause
we will be too cheap to pay for something that sounds good.
10. you will be replacing your daw in the next 3 years with something newer.
Old 18th May 2006
  #33
Lives for gear
 
drundall's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Musiclab
300 is not the price for a full MRL, they are much more. Most of us don't actually need a full MRL, you can get a 5 minute reel for probably around 300. If you're buying a deck, don't cheap out, buy a new MRL.
Damn, those prices sure have gone up. Just took a look at the MRL site.

Buy an MRL tape, get to the studio early, do a full alignment of the machine, watch the band roll in and ask if you have any tape they can use for free.
Old 18th May 2006
  #34
Gear Guru
 
u b k's Avatar
 

all i can say is that i extend my deepest gratitude to those who eschew analog tape and whose words discourage others from buying into it. this thins the market even more, which means that someday soon i will have my 2" for $1000.

enjoy your converters everyone!thumbsup thumbsup thumbsup


gregoire
del ubik
Old 18th May 2006
  #35
Here for the gear
 
Mr Rich's Avatar
 

Strong, yet mixed feelings then.

I sold my 2" machine years ago; nothing super high-end, just an MX80, but it sounded nice. It had to go because my budgets were getting smaller and I just couldn't afford the costs. These days (in my studios) we have two Pro Tools |HD systems mixed via SSL and that combination is what keeps us in business. I do keep wondering though, should I, shouldn't I get another 2"...? I know that some people say that analogue will soon be gone for good and it's a valid consideration, but I have this nagging feeling that I should get a 2" back in the M/R.

Maybe I'm still emotionally damaged, from the time I sold all my monosynths, on the grounds that one note is useless. Stupid, stupid, stupid...

I listened recently to an album I engineered when I was younger, using an old Neve and 2" and I thought, 'now that sounds like a record.' It did sound good, but in reality, it probably just sounds like an old album and that somehow appeals, rightly or wrongly.
Old 18th May 2006
  #36
Lives for gear
 
seaneldon's Avatar
 

i'm gonna come out and beg fellow forumites:

if you're interested in recording and mixing to magnetic tape, that's great. however...

please do not buy one unless you intend to genuinely learn to use it, and keep it fully maintained. these machines are wonderful tools, but they have a lifespan just like anything else. buying one and then mistreating it or letting it collect dust will just shorten that lifespan and a guy like myself will not be able to have a selection of working machines to choose from in just a few short years.

why are they so cheap right now? combination of two things.
1) huge misconception that they're not convenient.
2) a lot of them are in desperate need of complete overhaul or hefty repairs, and the number of people who actually know how to work on them is at an all time low.

but yeah, please don't buy one unless you plan on really caring for it and using it often. thank you.

cheers,
sean eldon qualls
president of tape
Old 18th May 2006
  #37
Lives for gear
 
paterno's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Musiclab
6. Bob Clearmountain is at least a part owner of apogee.
He's been saying this for years. Remember, Bob was one of the first steady users of Sony open real digital recorders, 24 track and then the 48's when they came out. I've had this same discussion with him in the past, and it is definitely not an Apogee sales pitch. And I agree with him. When I mix to analog, I mix to 1/4" because the low end relationships do not change as much, to me, as they do when mixing to 1/2".

JP
Old 18th May 2006
  #38
Lives for gear
 
True North's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by paterno
He's been saying this for years.
JP
Sorry just trying to clarify. Are you saying;

A) that Bob Clearmountain claims to an Apogee sharholder?

B) Musiclab has been accusing BC of being a shareholder of Apogee for years?

C) Other
Old 19th May 2006
  #39
Here for the gear
 
azrix's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sage691
Is it because 24 bit, 192khz HD recording sounds just as good ?

.......

Why are they SO CHEAP NOW!!!!!!!?
I tend to believe the reason is that there are a lot of machines out there now. I think there are a lot of machines on the market from the movie sound studios (dubbing stages, scoring studios, and the like). They've almost all gone completely digital and it seems like, to me, that they held out with analog a lot longer than the music studios, many of whom bought into the DASH machines early on. Basically, there's a good supply, but do to current demands on workflow for all audio professions, there's a pretty low demand for tape machines. Basic economics I think.
Old 19th May 2006
  #40
Gear Addict
 
lefthando's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by azrix
I tend to believe the reason is that there are a lot of machines out there now. I think there are a lot of machines on the market from the movie sound studios (dubbing stages, scoring studios, and the like). They've almost all gone completely digital and it seems like, to me, that they held out with analog a lot longer than the music studios, many of whom bought into the DASH machines early on. Basically, there's a good supply, but do to current demands on workflow for all audio professions, there's a pretty low demand for tape machines. Basic economics I think.

I dunno about that. A lot of film/tv studios got in to DA-88s really early on. Although I suppose it's possible that they held on to their 2" machines for a time.
Old 19th May 2006
  #41
Lives for gear
MusicLab and RainbowStorm

Now this has the makings of a real fiery debate, which is EXACTLY why I started this thread.

Ouestion for other forum members: WHO is speaking the TRUTH ? MusicLab or RainbowStorm ?

MusicLab seems to think RainbowStorm's elaborate and well thought out argument is bogus nonsense. He claims that recording to analog tape, from his own practical experience, is undeniably sonically SUPERIOR to ANY digital!

And RainbowStorm probably thinks MusicLab is an out-of-touch, nostalgic retro freak who stubbornly refuses to hear the divine blessings of digital modernity. He essentially states that analog tape is completely obsolete, and one would be an unwise fool throwing his money into the graveyard of antiquated analog machines.

Such profoundly antithetical arguments leave me writhing in anguished confusion!

WHO is telling the unvarnished TRUTH ?? !! Does tape REALLY sound better than the best of today's digital ? Or does it just sound qualitatively different ?

WHAT are these plug-ins that can simulate what tape does to a vocal, bass, or drum track ?


sage691
Old 19th May 2006
  #42
Lives for gear
 
paterno's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by True North
Sorry just trying to clarify. Are you saying;

A) that Bob Clearmountain claims to an Apogee sharholder?

B) Musiclab has been accusing BC of being a shareholder of Apogee for years?

C) Other
I don't know, and quite frankly that was not the point!!!! Bob has been lamenting the changes that happen when you print to analog for years, and he's been involved with digital long before Apogee came into existence. THAT was my point...

JP
Old 19th May 2006
  #43
Lives for gear
 
paterno's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sage691
Now this has the makings of a real fiery debate, which is EXACTLY why I started this thread.

Ouestion for other forum members: WHO is speaking the TRUTH ? MusicLab or RainbowStorm ?

MusicLab seems to think RainbowStorm's elaborate and well thought out argument is bogus nonsense. He claims that recording to analog tape, from his own practical experience, is undeniably sonically SUPERIOR to ANY digital!

And RainbowStorm probably thinks MusicLab is an out-of-touch, nostalgic retro freak who stubbornly refuses to hear the divine blessings of digital modernity. He essentially states that analog tape is completely obsolete, and one would be an unwise fool throwing his money into the graveyard of antiquated analog machines.

Such profoundly antithetical arguments leave me writhing in anguished confusion!

WHO is telling the unvarnished TRUTH ?? !! Does tape REALLY sound better than the best of today's digital ? Or does it just sound qualitatively different ?

WHAT are these plug-ins that can simulate what tape does to a vocal, bass, or drum track ?


sage691
What are you, a reality TV host all of the sudden????

Do some research for chrissakes [these kinds of threads are DEFINITELY NOT research !!], and more importantly spend some time listening [even, God forbid, buy some studio time so you can hear what an analog machine sounds like] instead of trying to come to some conclusion based on a few comments by people you don't know on some internet forum...

John
Old 19th May 2006
  #44
Lives for gear
 
davemc's Avatar
 

Tape costs, costs for keeping the machine going make it expensive.
I just brought a 2" 16 track, marketing wise I get some work just becuase I have tape. Although I rent used tape out as no one will buy new when it costs almost the same as a day in the studio

A band the other week did not want to use tape as they knew they could not play there songs without editing them a lot. What ever happened to rehearsing We did do a lot of editing(like most rolls). I just found it wierd that they came in un-prepared as they recorded to digital before and they knew they could just cut and paste. Where taking one verse and duplicating it was a lot harder to do on tape. ahh the world we live in.
Old 19th May 2006
  #45
Lives for gear
To Paterno

What else is this forum for if not to get the differing opinions of people who obviously have some experience with recording gear ?

Actually, I have learned more from total strangers over the years about recording gear, what it does, and how to use it then from ANYONE that I knew personally (excepting 1 very special individual, whom I met as a stranger seeking to expand my knowledge about recording) -- so what are you getting at ?

I may not have yet recorded to analog tape myself, but I have heard some recordings of different people I have met over the years who had the "Big Studuio Sound" Mindf*ck and recorded to 2", and I thought most of it sucked and was poorly mixed and "demo" sounding to me.

You are RIGHT though that to satisfy my curiosity I should rent a little time at another studio with 2" tape, then transfer to my PT system and see if the stuff sounds better than my digital recordings. Probably the thing to do before chucking down $5k for a real machine.
Old 19th May 2006
  #46
Lek
Lives for gear
 
Lek's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by u b i k
all i can say is that i extend my deepest gratitude to those who eschew analog tape and whose words discourage others from buying into it. this thins the market even more, which means that someday soon i will have my 2" for $1000.

enjoy your converters everyone!thumbsup thumbsup thumbsup


gregoire
del ubik
However, less people using tape means less technicians out there, less possibility of tape being manufactured for a long time, companies willing to work on machines, parts, etc... I think I'd rather have tape machines in abundant use to keep it alive as opposed to the low prices caused by few users
Old 19th May 2006
  #47
Harmless Wacko
 

For tracking rock bands, 2" takes a gigantic dump on anything out there.

In fact... it's so much better, it's hilarious.

2" is NOT a "cheap" medium to record to, when all is said and done.

Get whatcha pay for.

SM.
Old 19th May 2006
  #48
Lives for gear
 
vernier's Avatar
Quote:
WHY ? WHY ? WHY?
It's the people, not equipment. Same thing happened in the 70's ...everyone switched to solid-state and got rid of tube gear. Why, Why, Why? ..cuz they were dumb. HEE!
Old 19th May 2006
  #49
Gear Guru
 
u b k's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sage691
WHO is telling the unvarnished TRUTH ?? !!

everyone's speaking their own truth here, you gotta find yours, and listening to us yammer on won't get you there.

people here fall into 3 main categories:

1) those who have used tape and digital extensively and prefer the sound of tape

2) those who have used tape and digital extensively and prefer the sound of digital

3) those who have little to no meaningful experience with tape but who nevertheless have a strong opinion about it.

a baffling number of people fit into that last category.

the same categories apply with outboard vs. plug-ins, otb vs. itb summing, and any number of other recurring themes here at GS.

you could always do what i do --- when someone claims to be doing masterful work without tape, ask to hear it. listen to the ensuing silence that falls.


gregoire
del ubik
Old 19th May 2006
  #50
Here for the gear
 
azrix's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lefthando
I dunno about that. A lot of film/tv studios got in to DA-88s really early on. Although I suppose it's possible that they held on to their 2" machines for a time.
I guess you're right about that. Maybe what I was saying was a little too specific (and maybe wrong too heh). Out of all the groups that used to use tape (music, movies, radio, tv, and others), pretty much only the music people still use it much. If the question is "why are tape machines so cheap?", it seems to me because there is a good supply of used units around from these other places that no longer use tape.
Old 19th May 2006
  #51
Gear Addict
 
lefthando's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sage691
Now this has the makings of a real fiery debate, which is EXACTLY why I started this thread.

Ouestion for other forum members: WHO is speaking the TRUTH ? MusicLab or RainbowStorm ?

MusicLab seems to think RainbowStorm's elaborate and well thought out argument is bogus nonsense. He claims that recording to analog tape, from his own practical experience, is undeniably sonically SUPERIOR to ANY digital!

And RainbowStorm probably thinks MusicLab is an out-of-touch, nostalgic retro freak who stubbornly refuses to hear the divine blessings of digital modernity. He essentially states that analog tape is completely obsolete, and one would be an unwise fool throwing his money into the graveyard of antiquated analog machines.

Such profoundly antithetical arguments leave me writhing in anguished confusion!

WHO is telling the unvarnished TRUTH ?? !! Does tape REALLY sound better than the best of today's digital ? Or does it just sound qualitatively different ?

WHAT are these plug-ins that can simulate what tape does to a vocal, bass, or drum track ?


sage691
I think you need to pay more attention to what the good folks on this thread are telling you.

There is no absolute truth about this. Only hundreds of small truths spoken by many different people with differing opinions based on different experiences.


quote:

[You are RIGHT though that to satisfy my curiosity I should rent a little time at another studio with 2" tape, then transfer to my PT system and see if the stuff sounds better than my digital recordings. Probably the thing to do before chucking down $5k for a real machine.]

This is a very good idea. Take a recently recorded session of some tracks you know well and transfer them to tape. Re-record them back in to protools, take it home and analyze it.
Old 19th May 2006
  #52
Lives for gear
 
paterno's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by u b i k
everyone's speaking their own truth here, you gotta find yours, and listening to us yammer on won't get you there.

people here fall into 3 main categories:

1) those who have used tape and digital extensively and prefer the sound of tape

2) those who have used tape and digital extensively and prefer the sound of digital

3) those who have little to no meaningful experience with tape but who nevertheless have a strong opinion about it.

a baffling number of people fit into that last category.

the same categories apply with outboard vs. plug-ins, otb vs. itb summing, and any number of other recurring themes here at GS.

you could always do what i do --- when someone claims to be doing masterful work without tape, ask to hear it. listen to the ensuing silence that falls.
you forgot about #4 -- those who have used both extensively and really don't care what they use. Their focus is on the music, and not the gear, and they have found ways to get to what they are hearing in their heads regardless of the recording medium.

The analog snob thing is getting pretty old. Get over it. It's not the arrow, it's the Indian...

JP
Old 19th May 2006
  #53
Lives for gear
 
Plush's Avatar
Please do not comment on tape until you have used it for 25-30 years.
Then you can comment on tape.
Old 19th May 2006
  #54
Gear Addict
 
perun's Avatar
 

Well... here's something like a "pricing" situation... comparing lots of plugs on different DAWs and tape machines...

I never wanted to buy a replica... or something simulating the original "flavour"...

But, guys, imagine this... and it's so realistic these days...

A REPLICA COSTS 3000$...dfegad

THE ORIGINAL COSTS 2000$...thumbsup

What would you buy??? The original, I hope! I would... offcourse!!!


Look... have been using tape for years... It's not about "transparency", "reality"... "I'm not getting what I hear in my DAW..." crap... It's all about music and musicality... About saturation... I don't want to hear "perfect" thing out there... or, what... We would all be using B&K mics instead of Neumanns, other Tubes... It's about that "sound" which we all wanted to get long time ago... It's about character... and tape machines surely have it!!!

**** digital tracking... TAPE MACHINES are still the best!... Sorry... combination of it all is the right thing!!! Everywhere on this planet!!!

Regards...
Old 19th May 2006
  #55
Harmless Wacko
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by paterno
you forgot about #4 -- those who have used both extensively and really don't care what they use. Their focus is on the music, and not the gear, and they have found ways to get to what they are hearing in their heads regardless of the recording medium.

The analog snob thing is getting pretty old. Get over it. It's not the arrow, it's the Indian...

JP
Yeah...?

But what about a crossbow?

Those are pretty pointy!!!

Howz about onna doze blunderbuss thingies?

Those are LOUD. Whoa!!!

Those gotta hurt.















LMFBO.



SM.
Old 19th May 2006
  #56
Lives for gear
 
True North's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by paterno
I don't know, and quite frankly that was not the point!!!! Bob has been lamenting the changes that happen when you print to analog for years, and he's been involved with digital long before Apogee came into existence. THAT was my point...JP
The point !!!!! (look I used one more exclamation point than you) was that you did not make yourself clear in your initial proclamation so I asked you to clarify. Next time I will remember to pull the crystal ball out of my a$$ so I don't bother you with my inane questions
Old 19th May 2006
  #57
Gear Maniac
 
commaKaze's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by sage691
What else is this forum for if not to get the differing opinions of people who obviously have some experience with recording gear ?

Actually, I have learned more from total strangers over the years about recording gear, what it does, and how to use it then from ANYONE that I knew personally (excepting 1 very special individual, whom I met as a stranger seeking to expand my knowledge about recording) -- so what are you getting at ?

I may not have yet recorded to analog tape myself, but I have heard some recordings of different people I have met over the years who had the "Big Studuio Sound" Mindf*ck and recorded to 2", and I thought most of it sucked and was poorly mixed and "demo" sounding to me.

You are RIGHT though that to satisfy my curiosity I should rent a little time at another studio with 2" tape, then transfer to my PT system and see if the stuff sounds better than my digital recordings. Probably the thing to do before chucking down $5k for a real machine.
Old 19th May 2006
  #58
Lives for gear
 
RedWallStudio's Avatar
 

I have a MCI JH-16 and Pro-tools. Had a band in this week finishing up some tracks that were tracked in Pro-tools. As this band was walking in, I was finishing up tearing down a mix from another band that had recorded on tape. They wanted to listen to the song once, so I obliged and played the analog tracks for them (no eq, comps or effects at this point.. straight through the board). I finished tearing down the mix, got theirs set up and hit the space bar to make sure everything was where it should be. Needless to say, after about 30 seconds when I stopped playback, there was a dead silence in the room. No one said a word.. until the drummers girl friend said "why does that other band sound so much better than yours?" The drums for both bands where recorded in the same room, with the same mics, the same mic pre's, the same engineer (me). And to compound matters, the drummer for the band that recorded digitially was a more consistent drummer with a better sounding kit. Bottom line is having analog may be a bit of a luxury these days, but it is much more fun to work in that world and a joy to listen to... which is why I do this, it sure isn't for the money.
Old 19th May 2006
  #59
Gear Addict
 
Jeff A. Roberts's Avatar
 

Back to the future

In the '70s I was a multi-track technician working on MCI JH 24s, swapping headstacks, changing bias and levels all day long.

Next week I will recieve the former Mad Moose JH24.

If they're good enough for Slipperman, they're good enough for me. Eddie Ciletti and I will keep it running forever.

Let's not forget "The Gear Cycle".

1. Newest, greatest, state of the art

2. Ubiquitous, everyone has one or wants one

3. Market moves on to next newest, greatest, thing

4. Prices drop

5. Can't give 'em away

6. Many pieces junked and scrapped

7. Becomes rare

8. People start to miss it

9. Prices start to rise

10. And now it's rare, vintage, gear!!!!!


I'm gettin' mine while the gettin' is good. I think 2" machines are currently at about "5" on my "gear cycle" scale.

YMMV.

Think Pultec EQ, 1176, LA2A, tube amps, ribbon mics, etc. I know "The Gear Cycle" doesn't apply to all gear (like wire recorders), but I think there's an excellent chance that it will apply to multi-track analog machines.
Old 19th May 2006
  #60
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
A good recording made on both mediums will definitely show that tape is better. Tape definitely sounds better for most sound sources.
"Definitely"?

Don't get me wrong, I worked with 2" analog tape for years and would certainly like to have it in my own studio...but I can't go so far as to say that it definitely is "better". Digital certainly has more advantages than automation and the ability to recall mixes (which you can have with tape as well).

Quote:
WHO is telling the unvarnished TRUTH ?? !! Does tape REALLY sound better than the best of today's digital ? Or does it just sound qualitatively different ?

WHAT are these plug-ins that can simulate what tape does to a vocal, bass, or drum track ?
There is no unvarnished truth. Sound quality is subjective. Digital is more accurate and offers more dynamic range, but that doesn't mean that it's better.

There are a few plugins out there that come to mind...Cranesong's Phoenix and McDSP's Analog Channel come to mind, and there are also plenty of plugins that emulate analog compressors, EQ's, etc...and they're getting better all the time. There are also hardware pieces you can use on the front (or back) end of things to add that same type of sound. It's not exactly the same but it does let you add color to your recordings as you see fit.

-Duardo
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump