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Why hasn't a company made a modern 8 to 12 track tape recorder?
Old 31st August 2018
  #1
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Why hasn't a company made a modern 8 to 12 track tape recorder?

I mean, we have the technology. I was looking at simple 4 track cassette recorders on Ebay, god, the prices have gone up. A few years ago I bought a Tascam 424 MKIII cassette 4 track for a hundred bucks, and sold it later for a hundred as well, now they are over 200 and up for goodness sakes.

We used to have people mixdown to vhs. The dream of a new machine is so obvious.

A new type tape cassette similar to a vhs tape form, but smaller with a half inch or three quater inch tape that could do 8 to 12 tracks of audio.

You would of course make it able to sync to the computer. You could have a removable tape head assembly and they could sell replacement cartridges you could pop right in.

I mean, the Tascam 388 was it? That was half inch 8 track? You could sell tapes that would be say, 15 minute tapes so that the cartridges could be even smaller than vhs were. The company would make the machines and the tape cartridges and the replacement head cartridges as well. Include a simple analog mixer like was in the cassette 488, maye 6 track recording at once.

I think if some company could make a recorder like this for say, 700 dollars they would sell a million of the damn things.

It would have the same quality as the old Tascam 388 or even better, a completely new design tape cartridge and replacement recording catridge and easy sync with a daw, and maybe a higher version with a digital mixer and better pres built in and effects for around 1200 dollars.

The way old used cassette recorders are selling on Ebay I believe a company that could design something like this would make their money back easily and make themselves rich. I know I would save my money like crazy to buy one.

Just search around the net for Tascam 388 recordings, then imagine that sound in an all new recorder with newly designed catridge tapes like vhs and new replacement record cartridges with easy sync to daws, it would be a dream come true.

No dealing with feeding reel to reel tape, just pop that smaller vhs 20 minute tape in like a cassette and go.

Just dreaming I guess but UAD already makes outboard gear, can you imagine if they created an all new half inch 8 track using today's technology with all newly designed tape cartridges? What a dream.
Old 1st September 2018
  #2
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None of that dealing with reels. In fact, what am I even thinking? Since it can easily be synced to your daw, you don't even need 8 tracks. 4 track 1/4 inch would be the same quality. You could simply transfer your tracks over to daw and just keep going. And even mix back to it if you want. The sync would be a simple vst type driver the machine would understand.

New materials of today could make it light and portable. Look at the size of the rollers and head system of that 388. With today's innovation surely they could cut the size by a ton. So yes, 4 tracks, 1/4 inch, driver/vst sync, small mixer, light weight materials. UAD would be the very type company to partner with a tape maker to make the new cassettes.

There are a few reasons that people don't want to deal with tape. Reel to reel is a hastle

The machines are heavy
The head and roller systems wear out and the machines are toast.

All these worries could be done away with. The replacement record head could be like $249. 4 screws and you undo the wires harness, plug the new one in, tighten 4 screws and your machine is healthy again.

They would sell 10 minute, 20, and 30 minute tape cassettes. These would be like 3 times larger than a cassette, but way smaller than a VHS cartridge.
Beain only 4 track 1/4 inch and with today's innovation and materials these could be quite small and light and easy to maintain.

Which one of you low end folks wants to put up half a million to get this baby rolling?

YouTube
Old 1st September 2018
  #3
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Bring back tape decks?



Old 1st September 2018
  #4
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First off, yes the world has lost its mind when it comes to 4 track cassette machines...I was looking the other day and didn’t realize there were some approaching $600-1000 oh well

Second, the 388 is amazing (imho), I love (almost) everything about it. Some people would say the prices are crazy for these as well.

Third, I disagree about losing the reels for proprietary cartridges in your proposed system. 1/4” reels are cheap (less than $30 for brand new LPR35 which is what we use on 388), you get 40 minutes out of one...

The only thing i don’t like about the 388 is that it’s too big/heavy, most other changes would probably bum me out or lose too much of the original flow.

However we all know Tascam would never do a “reel” one.

I realize they have their digital recorder line, but I feel like that they could make a shrunken SD card version but modeled that sound...and supported varispeed, ping ponging tracks, etc...that exact workflow no bs...pretty affordably.
Old 1st September 2018
  #5
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388 is 1/4" not 1/2". It also cost $4000 in 1985 which is the equivalent of about $9500 in today's dollars. So yeah, if you're willing to pay that much, it could probably be done!
Old 1st September 2018
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kslight View Post
First off, yes the world has lost its mind when it comes to 4 track cassette machines...I was looking the other day and didn’t realize there were some approaching $600-1000 oh well

Second, the 388 is amazing (imho), I love (almost) everything about it. Some people would say the prices are crazy for these as well.

Third, I disagree about losing the reels for proprietary cartridges in your proposed system. 1/4” reels are cheap (less than $30 for brand new LPR35 which is what we use on 388), you get 40 minutes out of one...

The only thing i don’t like about the 388 is that it’s too big/heavy, most other changes would probably bum me out or lose too much of the original flow.

However we all know Tascam would never do a “reel” one.

I realize they have their digital recorder line, but I feel like that they could make a shrunken SD card version but modeled that sound...and supported varispeed, ping ponging tracks, etc...that exact workflow no bs...pretty affordably.
I believe more people would buy if they didn't need to thread reel to reel tapes. People of today want simplicity. That's why VHS was rolling until digital, and did after digital came along too. So for me, a newly designed cartridge tape would be simple for today's people.

4 tracks of 1/4 inch could be made small, the heads and rollers wouldn't need to be but just a bit bigger than cassette heads with new materials and today's innovation.

You would get the same quality as the 8 track half inch 388, but an easy sync to any daw so the four tracks would be endless with daw sync.

My god, this would revolutionize the project and bedroom studio world. The replacement head cartridges would be a must as people don't want to have to toss the machine just because their heads or rollers wear out. So an easy head cartridge for a couple hundred would be mass produced for these, 4 screws and a wire harness, change them out in ten minutes.

You would need to cater to simplicity, that's why the newly designed tape cartridges, pop one in and record, easier than putting a vhs tape in with the retracting tape crap. These would pop in just like cassettes did in the 4 tracks, just a bit bigger, twice the size and thickness, but still way smaller than a clunky vhs.

The syncing to daw would simply be amazing while discarding all the inherent worries of heads and rollers wearing out and having to deal with reels and threading and all that.

these companies would use these new plastics, tough and durable but lightweight. I never thought of Tascam coming out with one, I was thinking UAD would come out with something like this.

They would be able to say, "Tape PLUG INS? NOPE, we have taken the full step. 4 tracks of 1/4 inch HEAVEN, easy sync to any daw, light weight, built in 6 channel mixer for remote recording, bring it back to your daw and send the tracks in, then record 4 more on to tape."

"Comes with a 10-minute tape, roller and head cleaning kit. $699.00 Worried about tape heads wearing out, we have replacement recording head cartridges, $249, 4 screws and a wiring plug and ten minutes"

I'm telling you, once samples of recordings done on it at the same quality of a 388 hit the web, my god, they would be swamped with orders, just swamped. I am poor and NO DOUBT I would start saving, not even debatable. I would sell my damn car, my dog, my girlfriend, anything for one.
Old 1st September 2018
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffguitar View Post
I believe more people would buy if they didn't need to thread reel to reel tapes. People of today want simplicity.
Reels of tape are not that difficult to deal with. Why are you so scared of them?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffguitar View Post
4 tracks of 1/4 inch could be made small, the heads and rollers wouldn't need to be but just a bit bigger than cassette heads with new materials and today's innovation.
1/4" is twice the size of an 1/8" cassette tape. The size of the heads and rollers is related to the physical size of the tape. How would "today's innovation" make them smaller?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffguitar View Post
You would get the same quality as the 8 track half inch 388, but an easy sync to any daw so the four tracks would be endless with daw sync.
Again 388 is 1/4". DAW sync is not that useful with a tape machine. BTW you can easily sync a DAW to a 388 with the Tascam MTS-30 which you can find for under $50. What's the point of that though?
Old 1st September 2018
  #8
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LOL...I was just looking at Ebay and you can get a Studer 24 track machine for under $5,000 these days.

So go for it if you like it. Because nobody is ever going to make them again.
Old 1st September 2018
  #9
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bitman's Avatar
I have a 4 track tape I wanted to play and thought pfft, I buy a teac 2340sx off eba..... Oh wow they are expensive.
Old 1st September 2018
  #10
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nosebleedaudio's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by xamatsni View Post
Reels of tape are not that difficult to deal with. Why are you so scared of them?



1/4" is twice the size of an 1/8" cassette tape. The size of the heads and rollers is related to the physical size of the tape. How would "today's innovation" make them smaller?


Cassette tape is more like 3/16"..
Old 1st September 2018
  #11
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Sharp11's Avatar
 

The simple answer to the OP: the reason these aren't being made is the same reason there are fewer two seat sports cars being made, there's no business case for it.
Old 1st September 2018
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noisewagon View Post
LOL...I was just looking at Ebay and you can get a Studer 24 track machine for under $5,000 these days.

So go for it if you like it. Because nobody is ever going to make them again.
The school I attended famously went bankrupt last year and had a big music gear auction recently... If you had the will and the space for it you could have bought two Otari 2” machines for about $2k each, or the Studers which went for a bit more. Which is all totally amusing to me because in the same auction you could have bought...for example...a single Distressor for over $1300. That tells exactly how much most people value the large format machines. I absolutely considered buying an Otari, but also absolutely **** them and their for profit school.
Old 1st September 2018
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kslight View Post
The school I attended famously went bankrupt last year and had a big music gear auction recently... If you had the will and the space for it you could have bought two Otari 2” machines for about $2k each, or the Studers which went for a bit more. Which is all totally amusing to me because in the same auction you could have bought...for example...a single Distressor for over $1300. That tells exactly how much most people value the large format machines. I absolutely considered buying an Otari, but also absolutely **** them and their for profit school.
Yes, I almost bought a Lexicon 480L once but .....
Old 1st September 2018
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nosebleedaudio View Post
Cassette tape is more like 3/16"..
1/8" = 3.175 mm
cassette = 3.81 mm
3/16" = 4.7625 mm
Old 1st September 2018
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffguitar View Post
I believe more people would buy if they didn't need to thread reel to reel tapes. People of today want simplicity. That's why VHS was rolling until digital, and did after digital came along too. So for me, a newly designed cartridge tape would be simple for today's people.

4 tracks of 1/4 inch could be made small, the heads and rollers wouldn't need to be but just a bit bigger than cassette heads with new materials and today's innovation.

You would get the same quality as the 8 track half inch 388, but an easy sync to any daw so the four tracks would be endless with daw sync.

My god, this would revolutionize the project and bedroom studio world. The replacement head cartridges would be a must as people don't want to have to toss the machine just because their heads or rollers wear out. So an easy head cartridge for a couple hundred would be mass produced for these, 4 screws and a wire harness, change them out in ten minutes.

You would need to cater to simplicity, that's why the newly designed tape cartridges, pop one in and record, easier than putting a vhs tape in with the retracting tape crap. These would pop in just like cassettes did in the 4 tracks, just a bit bigger, twice the size and thickness, but still way smaller than a clunky vhs.

The syncing to daw would simply be amazing while discarding all the inherent worries of heads and rollers wearing out and having to deal with reels and threading and all that.

these companies would use these new plastics, tough and durable but lightweight. I never thought of Tascam coming out with one, I was thinking UAD would come out with something like this.

They would be able to say, "Tape PLUG INS? NOPE, we have taken the full step. 4 tracks of 1/4 inch HEAVEN, easy sync to any daw, light weight, built in 6 channel mixer for remote recording, bring it back to your daw and send the tracks in, then record 4 more on to tape."

"Comes with a 10-minute tape, roller and head cleaning kit. $699.00 Worried about tape heads wearing out, we have replacement recording head cartridges, $249, 4 screws and a wiring plug and ten minutes"

I'm telling you, once samples of recordings done on it at the same quality of a 388 hit the web, my god, they would be swamped with orders, just swamped. I am poor and NO DOUBT I would start saving, not even debatable. I would sell my damn car, my dog, my girlfriend, anything for one.

Nah reels aren’t hard to deal with. If you can wrap a mic cable you can load tape. I’ve owned (4) 388s in the past and passed this skill on to their future owners before money was even exchanged (don’t worry, I still have 2 machines that I kept for myself).

As others have pointed out, 388 is 1/4” not 1/2”.

4 tracks to me is just too little to be very useful (without serious bouncing). But you can do a full band to 8 tracks.

Never had a need to sync to the daw.

Of course could never build this machine to sell for $700, but it’s okay to dream.
Old 1st September 2018
  #16
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nosebleedaudio's Avatar
 

And????
Like I said its MORE like 3/16" NOT it IS...
Old 1st September 2018
  #17
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I love tape I am deeply involved with tape but tape machines will never be produced again as a new device. Digital is dirt cheap compared to tape and any Joe Blow can get a digital system and make an album on the cheap. Tape requires outlay for the tape itself and tape is pricey now. Then there is the user's skill level and patience to run tape. I hate to say it but most of the kids don't have the acumen to run tape. If I had to rely solely on tape these past 18 years I'd have no finished recordings, likely no recordings at all. Tape is a great medium to play finished tracks on ore master tracks to but as a medium for multitracking recordings from scratch it's time has come and gone unless you're in a major studio and can afford to use a Studer multitrack machine.
Old 1st September 2018
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xamatsni View Post
Reels of tape are not that difficult to deal with. Why are you so scared of them?



1/4" is twice the size of an 1/8" cassette tape. The size of the heads and rollers is related to the physical size of the tape. How would "today's innovation" make them smaller?



Again 388 is 1/4". DAW sync is not that useful with a tape machine. BTW you can easily sync a DAW to a 388 with the Tascam MTS-30 which you can find for under $50. What's the point of that though?
Reels are not as simple as popping a cassette in. I have owned 4 track cassettes, there is nothing easier than popping a cassette in, it takes 1 secong, maybe a second to open the door. That is no doubt easier than reels.

2nd, reels will give the impression of old technology that modern people would not warm to as much as a stylish double size cassete cartride that again takes 2 seconds to pop in. For marketting you would want everything as modern as possible and as simple as possible. Cassettes pop right in, reels dont..

Rollers may be able to be smaller, possibly made of different materials. The head of course would have to make full contact, but what about the width and thickness? Are you saying that 2018 technology could not make a head width and depth any smaller at all? Maybe not, maybe I am putting too much confidence in the tech of today, but the part the tape touches is not all of the head. It has a back and a front and 2 sides.

What’s the point of sync? Wow, to sync to daw and be able to record dozens of tracks on tape and move them to your daw, so you could have as many tracks as you want recorded to tape and then moved to the daw for editing.

And syncing with an extra machine is not as simple as having built in sync, same as the reason for not using reels, total simplicity for modern people. I never enjoyed having to set up midi sync. I have no doubt that today a more automatic and built-in option could be developed.

And 4 tracks on the quarter inch would then givr even better quality than the 388, so that's another great advantage.
4 track cassette recorders were dirt cheap, , so this new machine would be much closer to that than to the very expensive 388.
Old 1st September 2018
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kslight View Post
Nah reels aren’t hard to deal with. If you can wrap a mic cable you can load tape. I’ve owned (4) 388s in the past and passed this skill on to their future owners before money was even exchanged (don’t worry, I still have 2 machines that I kept for myself).

As others have pointed out, 388 is 1/4” not 1/2”.

4 tracks to me is just too little to be very useful (without serious bouncing). But you can do a full band to 8 tracks.

Never had a need to sync to the daw.

Of course could never build this machine to sell for $700, but it’s okay to dream.
Reels are not as easy as opening a door, laying a cassette in and pushing it down with a finger and closing the door. And just the appearance of reels would drive away a good portion of people because of the impression of old technology, not to mention there could be differences in shipping needs and packing needs with reels.

As for price, how did they make cassette 4 tracks for a couple hundred dollars with small built in mixers? This machine would simply be slightly larger than a Tascam 424 MKIII, and lighter too.

As for tracks I think you are missing my point. You only need 4 tracks with sync, this would be a machine designed and meant to work with a daw, not as a stand alone option other than just being able to record 4 tracks remotely. But with sync it would be only limited to as many tracks as your daw can run. It would be controlled by a vst type interface that would transfer tracks back and forth from tape to the daw.

I want to setup ez drummer on the daw, I can record 4 tracks on tape using ez drummer as my guide on the daw. I hit the vst controller and hit transfer and it transfers my 4 tracks on tape over to 4 tracks in the daw. If I want I can then send my ez drummer stereo track out to the tape tracks and record 2 more along with that and transfer those 4 all back to the daw in sync, then I have 4 more tape tracks I can record, and on and on, 50 tracks if my daw can handle that many, all recorded on glorious tape that is as high quality as a 388 or higher since it would be half the tracks on that quarter inch tape.

So the machine would be intended to allow daw users to record in beautiful analog tape yet use their daw for complete control and editing. There would be no bouncing from tape to tape. You would bounce from tape to daw, by the dozen if you want. Then when all is done you can mixdown to the tape or just stay in the box.
Old 1st September 2018
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lance Lawson View Post
I love tape I am deeply involved with tape but tape machines will never be produced again as a new device. Digital is dirt cheap compared to tape and any Joe Blow can get a digital system and make an album on the cheap. Tape requires outlay for the tape itself and tape is pricey now. Then there is the user's skill level and patience to run tape. I hate to say it but most of the kids don't have the acumen to run tape. If I had to rely solely on tape these past 18 years I'd have no finished recordings, likely no recordings at all. Tape is a great medium to play finished tracks on ore master tracks to but as a medium for multitracking recordings from scratch it's time has come and gone unless you're in a major studio and can afford to use a Studer multitrack machine.
Totally disagree. Seeing these 20 and 30 year old 4 track cassette mschines selling for huge money on Ebay tells me many people still want tape. I never needed any special skills or patience to use a 4 track cassette deck, and obviously many other people didn't either judging by Ebay.

The sound of tape is beautiful and digital has never modeled it in a good way, again, as tape machins sales on ebay shows. So nope, that sounds time has not come and gone.

Some company designs and offers up a machine like this that is simple, basically a quarter inch 4 track cassette that syncs to your daw, is as easy to use as an old 4 track cassette and as easy on the computer end as a vst interface and sounds as good as a 388 and is cost effective those things would sell thousands and thousands. I would buy one no doubt and so would 99 percent of everyone on this site. It would bring beautiful tape back to t he modern world of daw editing and control. The best of both worlds. They made 4 track cassettes for a couple hundred, these would be 700, but basically not much different, roughly the same size, same is most every way beside adding new sync technology so the machine could talk to a daw.
Old 1st September 2018
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffguitar View Post



I mean, the Tascam 388 was it? That was half inch 8 track? You could sell tapes that would be say, 15 minute tapes so that the cartridges could be even smaller than vhs were. The company would make the machines and the tape cartridges and the replacement head cartridges as well. Include a simple analog mixer like was in the cassette 488, maye 6 track recording at once.

I think if some company could make a recorder like this for say, 700 dollars they would sell a million of the damn things.

Just dreaming I guess
Yeah, you're out of touch with reality. There are over 12,000 PARTS inside a 388. Parts that YOU (the manufacturing guy) would have to keep making and stocking all over the world for parts that go down.

When the planet was selling 500-1200 units per week of 388s, the warehousing was manageable. Now? Make a 388 (and all those parts and spares) at a street price of $700? hahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

In contrast, a daw has zero moving parts inside. The laptop (or tower) running it has x thousand parts inside.... but hey.... the planet is still selling 10,000 laptops per week. And who knows how many towers.

The only thing that's gonna re-appear in new form are several reel-to-reel machines. North of $30 grand. Way north. For the sub $30grand range, you've got the normal stuff, like Mara machines.

For $700? New? With motors inside and all those parts? You're talking toy drones maybe. But not audio recording machines that spool tape.

This topic has been done a few times in very large threads.

Ya gotta factor in the tooling costs and the sheer number of parts inside. Not to mention the non-existing market (ie....less than a quarter million buyers guaranteed every single year for the next ten years).

The upcoming reel to reel machines are priced in the five figure range because those makers know full well that they're only gonna recoup there tooling investment by doing short runs (farmed out) that are pre-sold to entities committed to the five figure price.

Which ain't home musicians. Much less the mass market.
Old 1st September 2018
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffguitar View Post
What’s the point of sync? Wow, to sync to daw and be able to record dozens of tracks on tape and move them to your daw, so you could have as many tracks as you want recorded to tape and then moved to the daw for editing.
I'm just saying that I don't think you've fully thought through the workflow or tried working this way. I've used a 388 together with a DAW and learned that what's fun about tape is just using tape on its own. Once you dump the tracks to the computer, it makes more sense just to stay in the computer. It's not worth erasing the first 8 tracks and messing with sync just to record a few overdubs that you could easily just record into the computer.

If you want a hybrid workflow, it makes more sense to track and edit on the computer and then dump tracks out to tape. Every computer track doesn't necessarily need its own tape track either. If you have 8 tracks of tape you can just stem out submixes to tape. Anyway, recording 4 tracks at a time and then stopping to dump them to the computer before you can continue sounds like a nightmare workflow to me.

I get your dream vision here but you have to accept that nobody is going to make it. So if this is really your dream, why not save up that $700 and buy a 1/4" 2 track right now? It's an even better format than what you're proposing. If you're willing to bounce 4 tracks at a time, 2 tracks isn't that much more hassle. Or if you're fine with the 1/4" 8 track sound of the 388 you could probably pick up something like a Fostex within your budget.

If you get a machine that lets you monitor the repro head, you can just loop it back into the computer in realtime. The tracks will be delayed a little bit from the computer tracks, but you can either slide them back where they belong, or if you're transferring all of your tracks this way, just leave it and they'll all line up when you're done. Even better, just bounce your final mix to the 2 track and you'll get the tape sound with the least amount of hassle.
Old 1st September 2018
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xamatsni View Post
Quote:
I'm just saying that I don't think you've fully thought through the workflow or tried working this way. I've used a 388 together with a DAW and learned that what's fun about tape is just using tape on its own.
I disagree whole heartedly. I have worked with tape and what's fun about it to most everyone I have ever known is that IT SOUNDS AMAZING!!! I have thought through the workflow and have used synced machines before.


Quote:
Once you dump the tracks to the computer, it makes more sense just to stay in the computer.
You don't appear to be following my thoughts. I AGREE. The synced machine lets you record to tape to begin with, then control and edit everything on your daw. You get the best of both worlds. You could also record your vst instruments over to the tape and then back to the daw, so everything would be able to benefit from the great sound of tape. The sound and joy of this would be obvious and the machines would sell by the thousands.

Quote:
It's not worth erasing the first 8 tracks and messing with sync just to record a few overdubs that you could easily just record into the computer.
We are talking 4 tracks, not 8. And once they are on the computer you no longer need them on the tape. You record over them, it's that simple. The sound of tape is EASILY worth that.



Quote:
If you want a hybrid workflow, it makes more sense to track and edit on the computer and then dump tracks out to tape.
The machine I am dreaming of could send compyer tracks, ones you record or send EZ drummer tracks or vst instruments to tape and then move them back to the daw for editing. Everything gets the sound of tape if you want it, or just the few you want.

Quote:
Every computer track doesn't necessarily need its own tape track either. If you have 8 tracks of tape you can just stem out submixes to tape.
And that's fine. That would be an ability of the machine, no problem. How does this argue against my idea of this machine? This machine would do all this through a VST type interface. Move stems, tracks from and to the tape, as many as your daw can handle. You can record directly to the computer and then move to tape or record direct to tape, your choice. You would have a couple channels to record to because this machine could do remote recording. BUT, you could also just forego that and have nothing but tape tracks completely daw dependant. Not even any rewind buttons or play buttons, the entire machine controlled through a vst tye interface.

Quote:
Anyway, recording 4 tracks at a time and then stopping to dump them to the computer before you can continue sounds like a nightmare workflow to me.
If a song is 3 minutes you think 3 minutes every 4 tracks is a nightmare and NOT WORTH a beautiful tape sound, WHAT? I already listen to my mixes 50 frickin times just toying with mixes, it wouldn't bother me a bit waiting 3 minutes while 4 tracks records over to the daw, 12 tracks takes 9 minutes, and that's NOT worth the beauty of quarter inch tape sound? Sorry, but it would be worth it to me and everyone in to recording that I know.

Ever listen to guys like Art Feynman (Luke Temple) who was in a recent Tape Op article? Here's a couple links. This guy thinks it's such a nightmare he chooses to use a Tascam cassette 4 track because he loves the sound of even cassette tape.
YouTube
YouTube

He doesn't even have sync and is still willing to run 4 tracks over to daw and then back out to tape to keep recording.

The machine I am dreaming of would of course have better quality by far and complete and easy sync. He could have heavenly tape sound and complete ease of daw control.

Quote:
I get your dream vision here but you have to accept that nobody is going to make it.
I don't believe you can say that at all. You know no such thing. These things have to be talked about and the love for tape sound is as strong as ever. As I said, look at those prices for these ancient old 4 tracks. People clearly still love tape.


Quote:
So if this is really your dream, why not save up that $700 and buy a 1/4" 2 track right now? It's an even better format than what you're proposing. If you're willing to bounce 4 tracks at a time, 2 tracks isn't that much more hassle. Or if you're fine with the 1/4" 8 track sound of the 388 you could probably pick up something like a Fostex within your budget.
2 track would be double the waiting, still worth it but 4 tracks would be preferrable. 4 tracks on 1/4 inch would be wonderful qualiity.


Quote:
If you get a machine that lets you monitor the repro head, you can just loop it back into the computer in realtime. The tracks will be delayed a little bit from the computer tracks, but you can either slide them back where they belong, or if you're transferring all of your tracks this way, just leave it and they'll all line up when you're done. Even better, just bounce your final mix to the 2 track and you'll get the tape sound with the least amount of hassle.
My dream machine would be the least amount of hassle. Bouncing whole mixes somehow isn't the same as individual tracks. A Bass guitar pushes that tape and doesn't get the same full effect when it is only part of an overall mix. But this new machine would of course still be capable of doing mixdown.

The easy sync would be the real heart of control. The replaceable head cartridges would assure a very long life and new cassette design would fit modern recordists. Again, once the first songs were out with 388 or better quality sound that would be all she wrote, these things would sell by the thousands and thousands.
Old 1st September 2018
  #24
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drezz's Avatar
Ask Behringer to make one.........................
Old 1st September 2018
  #25
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Sharp11's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffguitar View Post
Again, once the first songs were out with 388 or better quality sound that would be all she wrote, these things would sell by the thousands and thousands.
....and this is where your argument falls apart - you're making an assumption "these things would sell by the thousands", but you have no data to prove it - there's no evidence that tape appeals to anyone but a minority of tape fans (just as vinyl, even though there's a resurgence, is still small enough to be nothing but a new cottage industry - otherwise you'd see Sony, Yamaha etc. building new vinyl mastering and manufacturing plants).

I used the analogy of sports cars earlier - I'm a big fan of two seat sports cars, during the 70's, there were tons of affordable, two-seaters being built and sold, appearing on american streets and around the world - Alfa, Fiat, MG, Triumph, Corvette, Datsun, Austin Healy, Opel - with many models from each manufacturer [MG, MGB, Triumph Tr3,4,6,8]) - today, there are nothing but a few, and really only one that's affordable enough for the masses, the Miata (and its twin, the Fiat 128).

A new-era tape machine would have to sell for much more than what you think - several times the price because to be the least bit profitable, it'd have to sell to a relatively wealthy clientele - think of this new machine as the Porsche Boxster of the recording world - with specs and fidelity not even close to a "lowly" (in your eyes) Focusrite, or Audient interface.

Your assumptions are the problem here, they're yours and you're ascribing them to 99% of this, or "thousands and thousands" of that, but a business case has to be made to attract investors, and if there were a case, this product you dream of would already exist.

The best way to understand this is to remove yourself from the "magical thinking" mode, and dive into the world of hard facts; determine the costs involved in marketing, meeting regulations, tooling and distributing such a product, then figure out how many you'd have to sell, and over what period of time to make it a business.
Old 1st September 2018
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffguitar View Post
The synced machine lets you record to tape to begin with, then control and edit everything on your daw. You get the best of both worlds.
It depends on how you work, but for me one of the great strengths of digital is that it makes tracking, comping, and editing so easy. Therefore it makes the most sense to start digital for an easy, flexible tracking workflow, and then to dump to tape for the sound. That's the best of both worlds imo. And it doesn't require sync.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffguitar View Post
If a song is 3 minutes you think 3 minutes every 4 tracks is a nightmare and NOT WORTH a beautiful tape sound, WHAT? I already listen to my mixes 50 frickin times just toying with mixes, it wouldn't bother me a bit waiting 3 minutes while 4 tracks records over to the daw, 12 tracks takes 9 minutes, and that's NOT worth the beauty of quarter inch tape sound? Sorry, but it would be worth it to me and everyone in to recording that I know.
Yeah if I'm in the middle of tracking that's going to kill my workflow. Say I'm tracking guitars on a song with two guitar parts. I might do 2 or 3 takes on separate tracks for each part and comp them together later. Maybe more if I'm still writing and trying out ideas. With a DAW you can also loop sections, jump around instantaneously, and do all sorts of things that tape can't do. It makes more sense to do all of your tracking in the computer, finish comping and editing, and then dump it to tape.

Imagine recording drums with 3 mics. You do one take and you're ready for the next, but now you have to wait not just to rewind the tape but also to dump your last take back to the computer in realtime and then rewind again a second time before you can do a second take? Not a fun workflow.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffguitar View Post
Ever listen to guys like Art Feynman (Luke Temple) who was in a recent Tape Op article? Here's a couple links. This guy thinks it's such a nightmare he chooses to use a Tascam cassette 4 track because he loves the sound of even cassette tape.
YouTube
YouTube

He doesn't even have sync and is still willing to run 4 tracks over to daw and then back out to tape to keep recording.
Yeah exactly, you don't need a new device! You don't need sync. You can do this right now, just buy a tape machine.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffguitar View Post
2 track would be double the waiting, still worth it but 4 tracks would be preferrable. 4 tracks on 1/4 inch would be wonderful qualiity.
So buy something like a Tascam 34b or any other 1/4" 4 track.
Old 1st September 2018
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharp11 View Post
....and this is where your argument falls apart - you're making an assumption "these things would sell by the thousands", but you have no data to prove it - there's no evidence that tape appeals to anyone but a minority of tape fans (just as vinyl, even though there's a resurgence, is still small enough to be nothing but a new cottage industry - otherwise you'd see Sony, Yamaha etc. building new vinyl mastering and manufacturing plants).

I used the analogy of sports cars earlier - I'm a big fan of two seat sports cars, during the 70's, there were tons of affordable, two-seaters being built and sold, appearing on american streets and around the world - Alfa, Fiat, MG, Triumph, Corvette, Datsun, Austin Healy, Opel - with many models from each manufacturer [MG, MGB, Triumph Tr3,4,6,8]) - today, there are nothing but a few, and really only one that's affordable enough for the masses, the Miata (and its twin, the Fiat 128).

A new-era tape machine would have to sell for much more than what you think - several times the price because to be the least bit profitable, it'd have to sell to a relatively wealthy clientele - think of this new machine as the Porsche Boxster of the recording world - with specs and fidelity not even close to a "lowly" (in your eyes) Focusrite, or Audient interface.

Your assumptions are the problem here, they're yours and you're ascribing them to 99% of this, or "thousands and thousands" of that, but a business case has to be made to attract investors, and if there were a case, this product you dream of would already exist.

The best way to understand this is to remove yourself from the "magical thinking" mode, and dive into the world of hard facts; determine the costs involved in marketing, meeting regulations, tooling and distributing such a product, then figure out how many you'd have to sell, and over what period of time to make it a business.
Sound quality trumps all that. The wonderful sound iis readily apparent. I enjoy watching some of those reaction videos on YT. Many times these kids,are hearing tape for the first time and are blown away by it, though they aren't sure why.

If it would already have been made, then how do any new products ever get made? Couldn't someone just say every time that if it was sellable it would have already been made?

The sound of tape is the sale. Once that sound is out there and people hear it project and home studio folks would go nuts over it.
Old 1st September 2018
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xamatsni View Post
It depends on how you work, but for me one of the great strengths of digital is that it makes tracking, comping, and editing so easy. Therefore it makes the most sense to start digital for an easy, flexible tracking workflow, and then to dump to tape for the sound. That's the best of both worlds imo. And it doesn't require sync.



Yeah if I'm in the middle of tracking that's going to kill my workflow. Say I'm tracking guitars on a song with two guitar parts. I might do 2 or 3 takes on separate tracks for each part and comp them together later. Maybe more if I'm still writing and trying out ideas. With a DAW you can also loop sections, jump around instantaneously, and do all sorts of things that tape can't do. It makes more sense to do all of your tracking in the computer, finish comping and editing, and then dump it to tape.

Imagine recording drums with 3 mics. You do one take and you're ready for the next, but now you have to wait not just to rewind the tape but also to dump your last take back to the computer in realtime and then rewind again a second time before you can do a second take? Not a fun workflow.



Yeah exactly, you don't need a new device! You don't need sync. You can do this right now, just buy a tape machine.




So buy something like a Tascam 34b or any other 1/4" 4 track.
Tracking and editing on the daw first would be easily done with this machine. You then run them over to 4 tracks and back. So no daw editing is scarificed at all. Without sync you do have to sacrifice it because you are all done with the mix, and you only run the whole mix over, I want to have my bass tracked by itself to tape, not with a mix. With sync I can get each instrument pushed to tape exactly as I want it. I can do the final mix also if I want to.
In your drum examole above you miss the point, you can FIRST record to the computer, as many drum tracks and takes as you want, efit them all as you want in to the final stereo drum track, THEN bring up the vst style interfaces, run your stereo drums to the tape along with a couple other tracks, setting each individually to push the tape as you want. So a 3 minute song take six minutes of waiting, and I listen to takes over and over sometimes for 30 minutes before im ready for my next take. 6 minutes you have your stereo drum track, a bass, and a guitar track all in 388 tape quality forever, this is not worth 6 minutes? Wow, it is so worth it it isn't even funny. So if someone came in tour studio and said, sit here for six minutes and listen and ill have those 4 tracks in beautiful quarter inch tape sound all back on your daw for mixing, you would say no, it's not worth the six minutes, REALLY? Not me nor anyone else I know.

So again, no work flow interuptions, record direct to daw first, edit till your hearts content, then run four tracks at a time down to tape and back, you spend 30 minutes at the end of tracking and editing turn get all your tracks with the beautiful sound of tape and back on the daw for mixing. That would be a dream come true for me and I have no doubt many a thousands of other people out there. So sync would allow all that. A dimlle vst type interface that controls the machine, easily send tracks to and from tape.

Let's forget the field recording and mixer bit, just a tape machine with a cassette deck, no play, rewind buttons, nothing, everything controlled by the vst interface. You can still remote record with a laptop daw of course.

But the machine is only made to work with a daw, electronically controlled through the vst interface. Record to your computer first and edit, get the tracks as you wish first, spend 30 minutes after tracking and editing and all your tracks are back in you daw, synced up and ready to mix with a beautiful sound of tape.

Yep, this machine would revolutionize the project and bedroom studio sound. N9 way there would be many who would not want this beautiful sound once they heard the inevitable samples that would be on the web.

Most everyone on GS would be after it.
Old 1st September 2018
  #29
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I have to laugh because I am sitting here looking at much of the needed technology in my Boss BR-800 recorder. It hooks up to the daw as a souncard, but I can transfer daw tracks right over to BR800 tracks.

Just take out the digital recorder and install a quarter inch tape port and give it sync abilities like it already has.

Not even a mixer needed like the BR800 has as this tape nacjine is only meant to work with a daw, nothing but a headphone out needed and speaker out ports. The VST interface controls the entire unit. 4 tracks of quarter inch heaven completely integrated in to your daw. Just tell the vst interface what you want to do, it is it's own soundcard so you can easily switch you daw to use it as a soundcard when you are ready to use the tape. I switch my daw from using my Line 6 Toneports to the br800 and it takes a few seconds.

So these portable recorder units like the Boss and Tascam units that act as soundcard for a daw are already much of the tech needed. Yes, control software would be the main work, a vst interface that would do everything, rewinding, arming and recording tracks, transferring tracks back and forth would have to be developed.

But the sound of tape is its own salesman. Tell me that when people started posting their bedroom and project studio recordings here and around the web and on YT with the sound of a 388 tape machine that recording guys wouldn't go nuts wanting one. OF COURSE THEY WOULD.

Boss would even be one of the companies that someday might be interested in it. Whatever company that made one would end up making a damn fortune.
Old 1st September 2018
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffguitar View Post
Sound quality trumps all that. The wonderful sound iis readily apparent. I enjoy watching some of those reaction videos on YT. Many times these kids,are hearing tape for the first time and are blown away by it, though they aren't sure why.

If it would already have been made, then how do any new products ever get made? Couldn't someone just say every time that if it was sellable it would have already been made?

The sound of tape is the sale. Once that sound is out there and people hear it project and home studio folks would go nuts over it.
Sound quality is subjective, not objective - whatever quality appeals to you, may not to me - you like it, I don't. I've been in the business for 40 years now, I started my career on analog tape (I've got reels of my work in my studio I now have to have baked before I can retrieve it) - you couldn't pay me enough money to work in the analog realm again.

What isn't subjective is fidelity, because fidelity is measurable - digital platforms trump any kind of tape format - all day long. You've deluded yourself into believing something that doesn't exist, you're engaging in the magical thinking that once everyone listens to what you hear, they'll have the same perception you have, and fall over dead in love with analog - if that were true, we'd all be fighting over the same wife.

Last edited by Sharp11; 2nd September 2018 at 01:51 AM..
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