The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
what would have been THE mastering setup in the early 90s ? Recorders, Players & Tape Machines
Old 4th December 2009
  #1
Lives for gear
 

Thread Starter
what would have been THE mastering setup in the early 90s ?

or what would have been common?

for CD mastering
Old 4th December 2009
  #2
Gear maniac
 

some common items in use were;
a Sony 1630 umatic tape machine (the delivery medium)
a DMR 2000 tape analyzer (checked the tape for errors)
A Sony DASH machine ( to compile audio- prior to Sonic Solutions and Sadie)
Possibly a DAL 1000 limiter (a Sony look ahead limiter)

along with varied outboard equipment.
Old 4th December 2009
  #3
Lives for gear
 
Adam Dempsey's Avatar
 

Verified Member
A host of 1/4" & 1/2" reel-reel machines, NR, razor blades & splicing tape
Sony PCM 1630 AD/DA/encoder/decoder processor/ppm
Sony DMR 2000 or 4000 U-matic recorder
Sony DTA 2000 (error checker/analyzer)
Sony PCM 3402 2-track DASH
Sony PCM501 encoder/decoder (domestic equiv to the 1630 used with VHS or Betamax for 2-track digital)
SONY DAL-1000
then also DAT machines (eg, Panasonic SV-3700, Sony PCM2500, or 7010 4 head with time code)
Monitor controller...
Maybe an SDIF-2 (BNC) patchbay

and that Yamaha DMP7-D digital mixer we all tried to avoid...
Old 4th December 2009
  #4
Lives for gear
 
Alécio Costa's Avatar
 

Verified Member
And what about the Tascam DA30, DA30 MK2, Avalon compressors???
Old 4th December 2009
  #5
Lives for gear
 
Franco's Avatar
 

Verified Member
When did the TC Finalziner (16 bit version) get released? I remember hearing about that piece of gear back around 94 or so as being something to have for mastering.
Old 4th December 2009
  #6
Gear maniac
 

yep...got my recorder, encoder and analyzer all mixed up. been a long time.
Old 4th December 2009
  #7
Moderator
 
jayfrigo's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Wow. I'm starting to feel old. Just beginning my mastering career, my early 90s consisted of a Sonic Solutions rig, a Manley Vari-mu (still using it regularly), a Focusrite ISA-215 (still have it), t.c. electronic M5000 with MD-2 (still have it), Apogee AD-500, Sony DAT, and some other stuff.

The Sontec EQ was everywhere as there weren't as many choices besides it and the GML 9500. The Sony PCM-1630 on 3/4" UMatic video tape was the main delivery format (Sonic had 9-pin machine control and could deliver to it automated), until both the Sonic/Sony PMCD and Doug Carson's DDP on 8mm exabyte tape came out in the early 90s.

The t.c M5000/MD2 was an amazing secret weapon. Multi-band compression was quite rare (analog variations on vertical/lateral & summing the bass for vinyl not withstanding), and not readily available as a plug-in or on all-in-one boxes like today. And of course, you had to have tape machines. People were starting to deliver more on DAT, but there was still a lot of analog tape in use.

Honestly, times have indeed changed, but it's not really that different. I could still go into my 90s room and cut a great record today. From the 80s to now is a much bigger change, before DAWs, copious amounts of digital technology, and when vinyl still ruled. Lathes were in every room. Even after the intro of CD in the middle of the decade, you had to use what was essentially a repurposed online video editor to put your CD master together. The refs still went out on cassette, or an acetate for the vinyl.
Old 4th December 2009
  #8
Lives for gear
 
just.sounds's Avatar
The weiss 102 penguin on dos
Old 4th December 2009
  #9
Lives for gear
 
Sugarnutz's Avatar
The last masters I did were indeed on vinyl with my Scully lathe and Westrex cutter around '90-'91. CDs pushed me more into the strict studio biz instead of mastering due mostly to the cost of the digital gear at that time (I also liked the studio more than mastering since I enjoyed sleeping in back then, not to mention the 1/4 mil I dumped into the studio around '88). Strange thing is that today I basically have a mastering rig in the boxes under my desk since I bought a lot of SCSI goodies on the cheap in the last couple of years including an Exabyte setup for delivery. I also still have my EQs and such from back then. My, how times have changed.
Old 4th December 2009
  #10
Gear maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jayfrigo View Post
\The refs still went out on cassette, or an acetate for the vinyl.
references on cassette!! what a pain in the back side that was. clients ringing back and saying.."will that hiss be on my CD?"
how times have changed, now noise in between tracks is trendy!
Old 4th December 2009
  #11
Lives for gear
 
Cellotron's Avatar
 

Verified Member
some processors used then:
Sontec 430, 432 and 462 eq's.
NTP 179-120's comp/limiters
Neve Digital Transfer Consoles
Harmonia Mundi BW102
SPL SX2 Vitalizer
Neumann OE-DUO or W495 eq's
Neumann U437 comp/limiters

work stations:
Digidesign Sound Designer II
Sonic Solutions (1st version)

The rig I got to use back in 1992 when I first started was:
Digidesign Sound Designer II running on a Quadra (or was it a Centra?)
Panasonic (SV3700?) and Sony PCM2500 DAT recorders
Tascam 1/4" 2-track (forget the model)
Nakamichi MR-1 cassette
2 Yamaha DMP-7's
dbx Stereo comp (forget which model)
custom made 3-way monitors

...and that was it!

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Old 4th December 2009
  #12
Lives for gear
 
Jesse Graffam's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by soundroid View Post
how times have changed, now noise in between tracks is trendy!
they have a plugin for that, ya know. vintage noise emulation is all the rage.
Old 4th December 2009
  #13
Lives for gear
 
Jerry Tubb's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cellotron View Post
some processors used then:
Yo Steve! Deja VU all over again : - )

lemme see... first half of the '90's I was using a various mixtures of these items, some owned, some rented:

Revox B77 1/4" recorder
Otari MX 5050 1/4" recorder
Ampex ATR 102 1/2" recorder
MCI JH-110 1/4" and 1/2" recorder
Digidesign Sound Tools (I & II) systems
Pacific Coast Technologies HDD
Sonic Solutions "Classic" system
Sound Designer II
Masterlist CD
OSC Deck I & II 4 track software (before Pro Tools)
Yamaha CD-100 Recorder
Sontec 230, 250 EQ or GML 8200 EQ
Urei 530 EQ
Drawmer 1960 Tube Compressor
Summit Audio Tube Compressor
Neve 33609 Compressor
Tube Tech CL 1A Compressors
Tube Tech LCA 2B Compressor
Urie 1178 peak limiter
Neve 1073 EQs
Early Apogee AD/DA Convertors
Panasonic 3700 DAT machines
Panasonic 3500 DAT machines
Tascam DA30 DAT machines
Sony PCM 2500 DAT machines
Casio Portable DAT machines
Genelec S30 three way monitors
Yamaha NS10M monitors w/ SW-100 sub-woofer
Macintoh IIci & Quadra 800 CPU
Pinnacle Micro (JVC) CD Recorder
Marantz CDR610 CD Recorder
Tascam CD Player w/ spdif output
Sony PCM 501, 601, 701 processors
Lexicon 300 Digital Reverb
Sony Super BetaMax recorder
Philips VHS recorder
Waves Bundle L1, Q10, S1, C1
MDT multiband compressor plug-in
Lexicon NuVerb (NuBus reverb card)
Lexicon LXP1 & 5 Reverbs
3M CD-Rs
Nakamichi MR-1 & 2 cassettes
and some other stuff I can't remember...
couldn't afford the pricey Sony 1610 & 1630 systems

JT
Old 4th December 2009
  #14
Gear maniac
 

and how can we forget the beloved Sony 920s CD recorder that came bundled with
our Sonic classic systems, as well as the whopping 2 gig seagate hard drives that whirred like a mini tornado.
Old 4th December 2009
  #15
Lives for gear
 
Jerry Tubb's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by soundroid View Post
and how can we forget the beloved Sony 920s CD recorder that came bundled with
our Sonic classic systems, as well as the whopping 2 gig seagate hard drives that whirred like a mini tornado.
couple of years ago I bought a Sony 900E CD writer (yes the beast) just for olde tymes sake... still works with one of our legacy SCSI systems!

now a terabyte hdd sells for 89 bucks!

JT
Old 4th December 2009
  #16
Gear Addict
 
Kayo's Avatar
 

From what I can remember..

Sontec EQ
Focusrite producers pack
Fairchild
Cubase 24
Drawmer
even the sonic maximizer

Wow! Those were the days...

KAyo
Old 4th December 2009
  #17
Lives for gear
 
Thomas W. Bethe's Avatar
 

Verified Member
We opened for business in 1995.

This is the equipment we had at the opening and shortly afterward:

Ampex AG-440B servo tape deck with every head configuration from mono to 4 track 1/2" and all speeds from 3 3/4 ips to 30 ips.

Digidesign Sound Designer II running on a Mac.

Tascam 122 Cassette Deck

3700 Panasonic DAT Deck

Neotek Series IE console 8 by 2 by 1 used for monitoring and some mixing

Bryston 3B amplifier

KEF 104.5 speakers

Micro Seiki turntable with Micro Seiki tone arm and a Shure V-15 cartridge with a Model 500 Stanton Broadcast Preamp.

t.c. electronics Finalizer

t.c. electronics M2000 reverb

Waves plug ins

SCSI drives

SCSI CD recorder

Most of it is long gone.

My first SCSI HD was 1.6 gigs and cost $3500.00

The cost of a blank CD was $20.00 each and they came packaged in their own jewel cases.

Wow does this bring back memories...and maybe some nightmares.
Old 4th December 2009
  #18
Lives for gear
 
Greg Reierson's Avatar
 

Verified Member
I moved from a mostly analog system into the DAW world in 1993 with a Sonic Solutions + No Noise rig. We also had:
TC M5000 (not sure if that was '93, but close)
Drawmer compressor
dbx de-essers
1176s
Telefunken EQ (still have)
Urei EQ
Tannoy monitors,
Hafler amps,
Otari MTR-10 (still have)
Otari 5050 (still have)
MCI JH-110B
Sony 2500 DAT
Sony 601 F1 (still have)
custom monitor controller

And I think I might have had a mustache.


GR
Old 4th December 2009
  #19
Gear Addict
 
mastertone's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Reierson View Post
Telefunken EQ (still have)
GR

Please tell me more about it.
Old 4th December 2009
  #20
Lives for gear
 
wado1942's Avatar
 

I don't think I started making CDs till '96 but what I had was just a couple of tape recorders, a 486 with some primitive DOS editor I can't remember (I could view the waveform though), 16-bit linear DAC, a couple of Ross EQs and an Alesis Nanocomp. If I remember correctly, I had a 200MB primary HDD and a 600MB secondary HDD. The 2 together could BARELY hold an extended CD.

I know you're looking for what was standard, but that's what I had. Very primitive, but usable.
Old 4th December 2009
  #21
Lives for gear
 
Jerry Tubb's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by wado1942 View Post
If I remember correctly, I had a 200MB primary HDD and a 600MB secondary HDD. The 2 together could BARELY hold an extended CD.
Yeah, in 1990 we bought the Pacific Coast Technologies 660 MegaByte Hard Drive.

It was a full height HP drive, that sounded like a Mack truck idling, and cost ~ $4,000.

Would only hold about an hours worth of 16 bit stereo 44.1k PCM,

So I added a Quantum 200MB SCSI HDD, at an additional 900 dollars!

and they were soooo sloooow.... you had to start a processing job, go to dinner, come back as it just finished up, or leave it "rendering" all night.

aaah the goode olde dayes...

today it's waaay too easy, buy a CPU and DAW, a few plug-ins, and call yourself a mastering engineer : - )

JT
Old 4th December 2009
  #22
Lives for gear
 
Franco's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by wado1942 View Post
Alesis Nanocomp...Very primitive, but usable.
I still have mine, connected to our A/V receiver at home. It's taking our TV's audio output and according to my wife, it's the best thing I've ever done in audio as it takes care of annoying commercials/brings out soft speech in the programs she watches.
Old 4th December 2009
  #23
Lives for gear
 
Greg Reierson's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by mastertone View Post
Please tell me more about it.
W395. Nothing too fancy but a very round sound.


GR
Old 4th December 2009
  #24
Lives for gear
 
philip's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Reierson View Post
W395. Nothing too fancy but a very round sound.


GR
I've got at pair as well. They can't handle +4dBu. It's a pity.
Old 4th December 2009
  #25
Lives for gear
 
Greg Reierson's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by philip View Post
I've got at pair as well. They can't handle +4dBu. It's a pity.
Since I drive my analog chain a bit lower I have not had any issues.


GR
Old 4th December 2009
  #26
Lives for gear
 
Strobian's Avatar
As I read some of the gear list it seems that some of the equipment isn't as "good" as today's units? Everyone raves about the way things used to sound at times. Are we getting so clean in our processing that we are losing some of the natural noise that used to be inherent to the equipment. more records were sold then, as opposed to now? Just throwing that out there if anyone cares to comment on the train of thought.
Old 4th December 2009
  #27
Lives for gear
 
dcollins's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by Strobian View Post
As I read some of the gear list it seems that some of the equipment isn't as "good" as today's units? Everyone raves about the way things used to sound at times. Are we getting so clean in our processing that we are losing some of the natural noise that used to be inherent to the equipment. more records were sold then, as opposed to now? Just throwing that out there if anyone cares to comment on the train of thought.
The A/D/A conversion was worse, everything else the same or better today.


DC
Old 4th December 2009
  #28
Lives for gear
 
wado1942's Avatar
 

Quote:
I still have mine, connected to our A/V receiver at home.
I used to do that. Now I just mute the system for commercials. My nanocomp sat on the shelf for about 3 years unused before I finally took out all the pots & jacks and threw the body away.



Quote:
and they were soooo sloooow.... you had to start a processing job, go to dinner, come back as it just finished up, or leave it "rendering" all night.
By 1998, I was doing videos on computer. My first digitally edited 4-minute video took more than a full day to render. I forgot to mention, I used 1/2 D1 resolution progressive which was MUCH faster than full res interlaced video.



Quote:
As I read some of the gear list it seems that some of the equipment isn't as "good" as today's units? Everyone raves about the way things used to sound at times.
Cheap stuff has gotten better, the great stuff is about the same. Digital stuff has gotten WAY better, though some of that crappy old stuff has its uses (like my 8-bit 24KHz digital delay).

Everybody raves about how great everything used to sound because you had PERFORMERS working with ENGINEERS recording and mixing music with emotional impact being the goal. The paradigm today has shifted towards novices working by themselves, building music with absolute uniformity being the goal. There's no training anymore, no building on the experience of experts for years. There's no drive to use your limitations to be unique because everything can be "fixed". The vibe is lost in that strife for perfect pitch & time. Not many people know how to use microphones anymore either which is a big problem.

I'm SO thankful I played with a band from the 60s who grew up not having EQs, compressors or stage monitors. The idea of getting close to the mic only when singing soft leads and getting further back for harmonies & shouts is a lost art. I worked with a venue near my town where I was trying to get the band & sound people to back off the mics. They were amazed at how much better the instruments sounded with some air between them & the mics, but the "vocalists" refused to work the mics. They just live with bad vocal sound that requires MASSIVE processing to be livable out front.

Speaking of vibe & bad equipment, have you noticed how many audio samples recorded between the 1930s & '60s that are STILL being used in new movies?
Old 4th December 2009
  #29
Lives for gear
 
Strobian's Avatar
Interesting, yeah the conversion is better and some of the tools are better, maybe just getting abused more these daysalthough I've never listened to a pink floyd album and thought, man this conversion isn't that good.
Old 5th December 2009
  #30
Lives for gear
 
Adam Dempsey's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by Strobian View Post
Interesting, yeah the conversion is better and some of the tools are better, maybe just getting abused more these daysalthough I've never listened to a pink floyd album and thought, man this conversion isn't that good.
Try level-matched comparisons of the original CD releases vs latest remasters of 'DSOTM' or even 'Piper..' – I say the difference has more to do with the better conversion and playback than any mastering processing. (though I'm not sure if Doug Sax ever had need to use the 'industry standard' 1630 A-D's filters, which were often modified to sound less harsh than stock).
New Reply Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook  Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter  Submit Thread to LinkedIn LinkedIn  Submit Thread to Google+ Google+  Submit Thread to Reddit Reddit 
 
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
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
Storyville / Rap + Hip Hop engineering and production
34
Zarathunkya / Rap + Hip Hop engineering and production
7
kellyd / Gearslutz Secondhand Gear Classifieds
0
Dave12345 / So much gear, so little time
0
MarathonMan / Work In Progress / Advice Requested / Show and Tell / Artist Showcase / Mix-Offs
0

Forum Jump
Forum Jump