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Bouncing to cassette deck, the myth revealed...
Old 2nd December 2006
  #1
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Cojo's Avatar
 

Post Bouncing to cassette deck, the myth revealed...

Hi.

First I wanna say that this post was inspired from another post on the subject (https://www.gearslutz.com/board/low-end-theory/96528-bouncing-mixs-tape-cassette.html).

Ok, here we go...

I've always wanted to hear if that would be a advatage for bouncing tracks to a cassette deck so I finally hooked up my old trusty Yamaha kx1200 to run some stems through it.

This is how the test was done.

I connected the deck to my motu via two outputs and two inputs so I could send stems through the deck and back to the daw. I was able to do this in real time since my deck has separate recording and playback heads. Then I opened an old project I had and made some stems from it.

The stems were as following:

Kick
Snare
Percussion (including claps, rims, sticks etc)
Cymbals (including crashes and hi hat)
Bass
Synts
Strings

I bounced the stems through the cassette one at the time. First through the playback head and then once more before the tape. So all stems had been treated equally except for the tape part.

The bias differs from stem to stem. I tryed to adjust the bias to taste the particular stem. I have also used different noise reduction (Dolby B, C & dbx) to suit the speciffic stem. The tape I used was an old Sony UCX-S60 CrO2.

I don't really want to lead you in any direction, you can listen and decide for yourself, but let me just say that some stems sounds better then other. What I can say is that I don't think it's worth buying a tape deck for this purpous only but if you have one allready it can be worth a try!

Have fun!

/Cojo

First here's the whole mix without tape and then the whole mix with each of the stems ran through the tape once.

The third file is a mix where I tryed to pick some pleasing stems regarding if they where from tape or daw. The kick, snare, strings and synths where from tape and the percussions, cymbals and bass where from daw.
Old 2nd December 2006
  #2
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Here's a mix with just kick, snare, strings and synths. First no tape, second with tape.
Attached Files

NoTape-(String_Kick_Snare_Synths).mp3 (798.6 KB, 5329 views)

Tape-(String_Kick_Snare_Synths).mp3 (798.6 KB, 5249 views)

Old 2nd December 2006
  #3
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Finally some tracks with just kick and some with just cymbals. The cymbals made the biggest difference in this test.
Attached Files

NoTape-(Kick).mp3 (118.6 KB, 4590 views)

Tape-(Kick).mp3 (118.1 KB, 4706 views)

NoTape-(Cymbals).mp3 (114.9 KB, 4654 views)

Tape-(Cymbals).mp3 (114.9 KB, 4754 views)

Old 2nd December 2006
  #4
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Oh, I almost forgott... a nice picture of the deck!
Attached Thumbnails
Bouncing to cassette deck, the myth revealed...-kx1200.jpg  
Old 2nd December 2006
  #5
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Cool stuff man! listened to them all and can say it deffinitly doesn't hurt the track.. especially on the bass spectrum. Makes it less clean, wich is allways good

i'd say if you like this effect check out if you can get a cheap real tape machine like a Revox, still not top notch but you can drive these a little harder and the effect is way deeper...
Old 2nd December 2006
  #6
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Cojo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommylicious View Post
Cool stuff man! listened to them all and can say it deffinitly doesn't hurt the track.. especially on the bass spectrum. Makes it less clean, wich is allways good

i'd say if you like this effect check out if you can get a cheap real tape machine like a Revox, still not top notch but you can drive these a little harder and the effect is way deeper...
Yes, I came to the same conclution, especially the kick gained from this operation. I've been thinking about a Revox they are so cheep right now, and they look way cool! Just wanted to do this test to see if there was any advatages at all.

/Cojo
Old 3rd December 2006
  #7
Thanks for sharing your experiments!

I only listened to the mixes (first DLs) but the high end on the cassette was a tiny bit more pronounced. Since the cymbals were already pretty submerged in the mix, I felt like that helped a little. Though it could work out the other way in different circumstances.


Now... I guess it makes sense for folks to test stuff out on the kind of music they make. (And I've made my share of electronic and electronically tinged pop and dance.)

But this particular piece of music -- no matter its various charms -- is probably one of the last I might select to test the capabilities of this bounce-out technique because there was little HF information that seemed to be good fodder for such an evaluation and there was precious little in the way of sounds that could be useful for evaluating the effect of cassette-based wow and flutter.

I think I might be inclined to select source material with a well recorded acoustic piano, preferably with some long hold chords, a good coal-miner's-canary for speed problems. I'd also be looking for test material with some clean, prominently recorded cymbals, as well, in order to eval the high end.

And, finally, I'd get something that had some serious, moderately complex very low bass information, as well.


Anyhow... it's always easy to nitpick other folks' testbeds. heh


So, let me just say, again, Thanks for your efforts!
Old 3rd December 2006
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
I think I might be inclined to select source material with a well recorded acoustic piano, preferably with some long hold chords, a good coal-miner's-canary for speed problems. I'd also be looking for test material with some clean, prominently recorded cymbals, as well, in order to eval the high end.
Yeah, piano would be nice to hear. Unfortunatly I don't have one... If someone have a clean pianorecording that hasn't been to tape please give me a link to it and I will run it through!

Regarding the cymbals, I did provide a separate track for them in post three. It's mostly hihats and I don't know if they are prominent enough for you but have a listen, it's the most interesting of all the stems (For good or bad)!?

Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
Anyhow... it's always easy to nitpick other folks' testbeds. heh


So, let me just say, again, Thanks for your efforts!
Glad to be at help!

/Cojo
Old 3rd December 2006
  #9
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Ethan Winer's Avatar
 

Lightbulb

Conny,

> I've always wanted to hear if that would be a advatage for bouncing tracks to a cassette deck so I finally hooked up my old trusty Yamaha kx1200 to run some stems through it. <

I was doing that ten years ago. heh

I also wrote it about it recently in a Sound on Sound magazine OpEd piece:

http://www.ethanwiner.com/edge.html

--Ethan
Old 3rd December 2006
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cojo View Post
Yeah, piano would be nice to hear. Unfortunatly I don't have one... If someone have a clean pianorecording that hasn't been to tape please give me a link to it and I will run it through!

Regarding the cymbals, I did provide a separate track for them in post three. It's mostly hihats and I don't know if they are prominent enough for you but have a listen, it's the most interesting of all the stems (For good or bad)!?

Glad to be at help!

/Cojo
Oops... sorry on the cymbals! heh
Old 3rd December 2006
  #11
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Cojo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post
I was doing that ten years ago. heh

I also wrote it about it recently in a Sound on Sound magazine OpEd piece:

http://www.ethanwiner.com/edge.html

--Ethan
Nice to know I'm not the only one nuts enough to do a test like this!



Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
Oops... sorry on the cymbals! heh
No, never, ever!
Old 3rd December 2006
  #12
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My favorite mix of mine that I've ever made was done sort of like this. I re-recorded every single track from my DAW into my super vhs. Then I re-recorded the tracks from my super vhs back into my DAW. The resulting final mix sounded quite a bit better than anything else I've ever done, (When keeping everything "purely" digital). This is a great technique if you're recording a deserving artist that is ok with the extra time it takes to make this happen, it does make a difference.

bcgood

P.S. As far as my tape deck goes; I use it only if I’m going for a low-fi sound on a particular track like a guitar or something…
Old 4th April 2008
  #13
there are a couple of really interesting things that you've done:

The highs are just so nicely taken off it, it just fits in the ear as I listen to it, can i assume that's the effect of the tape?

Also the reverb in the track is more noticable. I dont know whether that's the original track, you've taken a frequency away & it's unmasked it or whether it's a process that you've done, hence the smoothness feel to it.

Decided to read some of your Tape posts, very interesting! Which JVC Super VHS model do you use? Do you have a render of just the tape bounce, be cool to hear the difference the tape makes.

Thanks, James
Old 15th July 2009
  #14
F5D
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Thank you for the clips! The tape really seems to make a difference. I just got an old Tandberg TDC 310 mk2 cassette deck from my father. I am going to clean and recap it and use it for similar purpose. It will be very interesting!
Old 15th July 2009
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bcgood View Post
My favorite mix of mine that I've ever made was done sort of like this. I re-recorded every single track from my DAW into my super vhs. Then I re-recorded the tracks from my super vhs back into my DAW. The resulting final mix sounded quite a bit better than anything else I've ever done, (When keeping everything "purely" digital). This is a great technique if you're recording a deserving artist that is ok with the extra time it takes to make this happen, it does make a difference.

bcgood

P.S. As far as my tape deck goes; I use it only if I’m going for a low-fi sound on a particular track like a guitar or something…
I have done this with s-vhs and hi-fi vhs, but theres no difference on the audio portion of the tape. Definite smoother character, with an outstanding noise floor too. Not really lo-fi
Old 15th July 2009
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cojo View Post
Nice to know I'm not the only one nuts enough to do a test like this!
We also have some nutjobs who actually sampled their tape decks! the results you posted did remind me of some librarys in nebula and I wouldn't mind if you sampled your unit too heh if interested Acusticaudio
Old 15th July 2009
  #17
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I like the tape-track better. The high-end (cymbals/hihat) seems more gritty and present in a good way and the low-end bass distortion works too. But I think this effect could be made digitally with a vinyl emulator and perhaps some mild lo-fi overdrive and an exciter, running parallel.
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