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-   -   adding 2" to tracking setup, couple of questions (https://www.gearslutz.com/board/high-end/82489-adding-2-quot-tracking-setup-couple-questions.html)

dubrichie 22nd August 2006 11:36 AM

adding 2" to tracking setup, couple of questions
 
alrighty so,

i'm thinking of including a 16Tr 2" machine in the spec for a new facility which will be intended primarily as a tracking studio.

i am not intending on getting an analog desk; very nice selection of outboard pres, eqs and dynamics for tracking through, into PTHD with Lynx Aurora converters.

now, if tracking to the 2" before the converters (with eq and dynamics pre-tape) how might i get around the record-playback head spacing latency for monitoring?

do i need to use an analog desk?

or if i am recording at high sample rates am i as well to track straight to PT and then bounce to and from the tape after editing, comping, etc.?

i'm really just getting the 2" for the SOUND. will this still be achieved by hitting it after AD/DA at 88.2 or 96K?

or do i really have to hit the tape before the AD/DA to make it worthwhile?

many thanks,

best regards,

richie.

dsstudio 22nd August 2006 01:26 PM

I'll track into 2" first, use the crappy Mackie 1604 or something 16CH for monitoring, then dump into Protools at 96K.
I have Trident 80B so mine is much easier, I bounce all virtual instruments into PT, then use PT for playback into 2" thru Trident 80, adjust gain/EQ if needed. Record real additional intruments into tape too, then record everything back to PT at 96K.
I am using 2" 24 tracks with 1 Aurora 16 and Apogee Rosetter 800 converter, the 192 is only for monitoring stereo or Surround.
Sonny

Fletcher 22nd August 2006 01:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dubrichie (Post 848151)
i'm thinking of including a 16Tr 2" machine in the spec for a new facility which will be intended primarily as a tracking studio.

Are you planning on a maintenance tech for this studio as well? 16 track machines aren't like computers. You need to do tape path alignments, you need to do electronic alignments... it will help to have an MRL available, and an oscilloscope... and a fair bit of knowledge in the care and feeding of analog decks...

Quote:

i am not intending on getting an analog desk; very nice selection of outboard pres, eqs and dynamics for tracking through, into PTHD with Lynx Aurora converters.

now, if tracking to the 2" before the converters (with eq and dynamics pre-tape) how might i get around the record-playback head spacing latency for monitoring?.
Monitor off the sync head when recording, then do your transfers off the repro head locked to SMPTE time code [I usually stripe 30 DF code in case I run into video mooks down the line... it makes everybody's life easier that way].

Quote:

do i need to use an analog desk?
I reckon that depends on the way you work. I know I couldn't work without one but I'm old and grew up on analog desks. I've seen kids who can skip around a computer like I used to dance around 80 input SSheLls. If you're comfortable just working from the DAW it won't be any different coming in off an analog deck than it would be from any other source and if that's the way you're comfortable working, then in the words of my people, Mazel Tov.

Quote:

or if i am recording at high sample rates am i as well to track straight to PT and then bounce to and from the tape after editing, comping, etc.?
You could do that. From my personal wall of belief it is all that "editing", "comping", "etc." that has been killing records for the last decade so I would say cut the album to 2"-16 then drop it in the DAW to maul and over correct some perfectly good audio but that would be a production decision I am in no position to make.

Quote:

i'm really just getting the 2" for the SOUND. will this still be achieved by hitting it after AD/DA at 88.2 or 96K?

or do i really have to hit the tape before the AD/DA to make it worthwhile?
"THE SOUND"

Shoot me.

You can accomplish 99.9% of "the sound" with an Empirical Labs "FATSO Jr." with zero maintenance or tape cost. Do you know what "the sound" is? I sure as hell don't and I've been working in analog the majority of my career. I know how to work tape so I can get it's "sound" out of my way or get it's "sound" to enhance what I'm doing... but that "sound" will change from tape forumulation to tape formulation and tape machine to tape machine.

Much like a BMW will not handle like a Porsche you have to know your machinery before you take it full out on the Autobahn. You're not going to wave some magic 2" 16trk. wand and have everything sound like T-Rex... you're going to have to learn to be/work like an analog engineer of the days of yore.

You're going to have to learn about overbias and it's effects, you're going to have to learn about the MOL of a given formulation and how that MOL applies to high end and low end as well as it's effect on the midrange.

GP-9 and 456 sound radically different from 900 and 911... but it's not in a manner I could describe in a 10,000 word article. It's something you're going to have to learn through experience... which means that you're going to have to do some experimentation recordings to "get the feel" of the different formulations.

You don't get this "feel" in an afternoon, you get it over years. It becomes part of what you do and how you do it. For me, when I started working in the digital domain 99% exclusively about 5 years ago I had to relearn a lot of what I knew in order to work sucessfully in the digital domain. This is after 25+ years of working analog. It took me a good 3 years before I felt really comfortable in the digital domain [I still can't run a fvcking DAW but the RADAR V feels enough like a tape machine and sounds so much better than any DAW I've ever met I'm fine with it].

My point is that if you're thinking about picking up a 2" machine to use like a piece of outboard gear you should probably get yourself a FATSO Jr. instead and process your stuff a couple tracks at a time or a half a dozen FATSO Jr.'s and process your stuff as you track rather than trying to use a 'washing machine' that will take you [literally] years to learn to use properly.

I sincerely wish you the best of luck with all you do. If I can be of any further assistance please feel free to give me a shout.

Peace.

dubrichie 24th August 2006 05:01 PM

thank you both for your comments.

to Fletcher:

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fletcher (Post 848234)
Are you planning on a maintenance tech for this studio as well? 16 track machines aren't like computers. You need to do tape path alignments, you need to do electronic alignments... it will help to have an MRL available, and an oscilloscope... and a fair bit of knowledge in the care and feeding of analog decks...

even though i have very little experience of working with 2" tape to date i do understand that they are complex mechanical machines that require a lot of TLC. to this end i fully intend to educate myself on the operation and maintenance of any such machine that i may purchase before i actually do so and certainly before i am allowed anywhere near it. i already have at least a rudimentary understanding of most of the relevant concepts (bias, azimuth, zenith, de-mag, etc.) and would like to get to grips with these beasts, somewhat out of respect, something to do with romance and some may just say fetish.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fletcher (Post 848234)
Monitor off the sync head when recording, then do your transfers off the repro head locked to SMPTE time code [I usually stripe 30 DF code in case I run into video mooks down the line... it makes everybody's life easier that way].

monitoring from the sync head? i had never heard of this before. do all good 2" machines have sync heads (i would be going for a Studer of some kind, most likely from Funky Junk UK or Francais)? are these sync heads exactly parallel with the record heads on each track? tell you what, i'll do some research! sounds promising though, as i am loathe to introduce an undesirable element (ie ickle mackie mixer or such) to the recording chain just to be able to monitor. my interest has certainly been piqued.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fletcher (Post 848234)
You could do that. From my personal wall of belief it is all that "editing", "comping", "etc." that has been killing records for the last decade so I would say cut the album to 2"-16 then drop it in the DAW to maul and over correct some perfectly good audio but that would be a production decision I am in no position to make.

i share this belief wholeheartedly. if you can't play the song then you shouldn't be recording it. you should be practicing it until you can, even re-writing it if necessary. what about gigs ffs? what do these dudes do when they have to play live?! i don't comp my own bands recordings, live guide tracks and live takes need only apply, except for vocals, which i think is fair enough. BUT, with this being a commercial facility that we are talking about it must be put together to suit the working methods of its potential clients... who will probably want to do a lorra lorra slice and dice. is it just me or are metal bands the worst for this? jayzus lads, if you have to play the drums in 2 bar sections THERE AIN'T NO BOOGIE. and rock and roll was going to save us all... anyway...


Quote:

Originally Posted by Fletcher (Post 848234)
"THE SOUND"

Shoot me.

You can accomplish 99.9% of "the sound" with an Empirical Labs "FATSO Jr." with zero maintenance or tape cost. Do you know what "the sound" is? I sure as hell don't and I've been working in analog the majority of my career. I know how to work tape so I can get it's "sound" out of my way or get it's "sound" to enhance what I'm doing... but that "sound" will change from tape forumulation to tape formulation and tape machine to tape machine.

Much like a BMW will not handle like a Porsche you have to know your machinery before you take it full out on the Autobahn. You're not going to wave some magic 2" 16trk. wand and have everything sound like T-Rex... you're going to have to learn to be/work like an analog engineer of the days of yore.

You're going to have to learn about overbias and it's effects, you're going to have to learn about the MOL of a given formulation and how that MOL applies to high end and low end as well as it's effect on the midrange.

GP-9 and 456 sound radically different from 900 and 911... but it's not in a manner I could describe in a 10,000 word article. It's something you're going to have to learn through experience... which means that you're going to have to do some experimentation recordings to "get the feel" of the different formulations.

You don't get this "feel" in an afternoon, you get it over years. It becomes part of what you do and how you do it. For me, when I started working in the digital domain 99% exclusively about 5 years ago I had to relearn a lot of what I knew in order to work sucessfully in the digital domain. This is after 25+ years of working analog. It took me a good 3 years before I felt really comfortable in the digital domain [I still can't run a fvcking DAW but the RADAR V feels enough like a tape machine and sounds so much better than any DAW I've ever met I'm fine with it].

My point is that if you're thinking about picking up a 2" machine to use like a piece of outboard gear you should probably get yourself a FATSO Jr. instead and process your stuff a couple tracks at a time or a half a dozen FATSO Jr.'s and process your stuff as you track rather than trying to use a 'washing machine' that will take you [literally] years to learn to use properly.

aha. perhaps a nerve i did gently strike?
"the SOUND" reference was made because i have had it up to my eyeballs with every single person i have encountered, either real or online/imaginary, who has relevant experience tracking to tape ALWAYS INSISTING that "nothing sounds like tape man, NOTHING!", "no box or plugin can REALLY emulate the beautiful sound of hitting Formula XXX real hot on a 16 track Studer A8XX", etc. ad nauseum. i have come to believe these bold statements and i do feel comfortable claiming that i can in fact hear at least something of what they are talking about when i listen to many records. i believe that i am coming to understand the sounds of these saturations, compressions and the rest.

so, to this end i would like to be able to revel in the allegedly irrefutible and irreplaceable magic that tape may bring to sound.

but besides my own personal sound quality satisfaction i also feel that being able to offer the opportunity to record to (good) tape (well) might bring in some clients. you never know, maybe even some who don't want to edit the life out of their music. i'm told they're out there, somewhere...

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fletcher (Post 848234)
I sincerely wish you the best of luck with all you do. If I can be of any further assistance please feel free to give me a shout.

Peace.

many thanks again for your time and thoughts, they have consistently been of great interest and even greater help more often than inconsistently.

i think that sentence was a bit wow'd n fluttr'd...

best regards,

richie.

vcode 24th August 2006 05:20 PM

im in the same situation and feel the same way.......great post!!!
 
fletcher and dsstudio, that was a very informative response and dubrichie im glad you posted this; its as if i wrote it for myself. im literally posed with the same question of is a console next or do i stay in the box for now....
i have a home studio and i just upgraded to hd2 after tracking to an 002 with 16 great pres (10 channels of api, 4 channels of chandler, 2 channels of avalon and various compressors i.e. chandler and ua 1176) and in my upgrade deal to a hd2 rig i also acquired a sony apr24 2" w a remote and a dolby sr 24ch noise reduction unit with all cabling and patchbay included. granted im a home studio and im a drummer and im obsessed with recording here for myself and for clients as well and to me embarking on a 24 track 2" machine is just part of the journey of learning and experiencing music and recording on the other side of the drumset really. im relatively new to the engineering side of things and the learning curve adjusting to things is happening quick.
anyways, fletcher and dsstudio your response was great and informative and if any of you have experience with a sony apr 24 id love some insight or tips.
thanks and have fun.....
normito

themaidsroom 24th August 2006 05:58 PM

if you get a 2" 16 track.......you will eventually want a board......
here at the maid's room, i a/b things frequently......last month i transfered
a beautiful recording done by albini at electrical into pro-tools at 192......going back and forth, the band could not believe how different the sound was, immediately......
the depth just goes away.......even at 192
they are now planning to come back and mix: tape-board-tape......



be well


- jack

XSergeantD 25th August 2006 12:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dubrichie (Post 850928)
monitoring from the sync head? i had never heard of this before. do all good 2" machines have sync heads (i would be going for a Studer of some kind, most likely from Funky Junk UK or Francais)? are these sync heads exactly parallel with the record heads on each track? tell you what, i'll do some research! sounds promising though, as i am loathe to introduce an undesirable element (ie ickle mackie mixer or such) to the recording chain just to be able to monitor. my interest has certainly been piqued.

OK, before Fletcher reads this section and gives you, well, a Fletcher response - you have shown you need to do some more research on 2" machines before you get one. a Sync head is the record head (aka synchonous record head). And there's no way around the sync head/repro head dalay as was posted in your first inquiry. (Though if you can figure this problem out, you can make a bundle of money. ) When recording, the track(s) in record pops into input for you to hear em while the head prints to tape

Go do your research, post some more questions and we'll see if you're headed in the right direction.

danasti 25th August 2006 03:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fletcher (Post 848234)

"THE SOUND"

Shoot me.

Do you know what "the sound" is? I sure as hell don't and I've been working in analog the majority of my career. I know how to work tape so I can get it's "sound" out of my way or get it's "sound" to enhance what I'm doing... but that "sound" will change from tape forumulation to tape formulation and tape machine to tape machine.

Well said! I like honesty, what a concept.

peachh

dubrichie 25th August 2006 12:46 PM

XseargentD,

what you're saying is that when the machine is recording on any given track the output which i am monitoring is actually the input and not "off the tape" from the repro head, thus i will not experience latency, am i correct?

regards,

richie.

Fletcher 25th August 2006 03:12 PM

There is no "latency" in the analog domain... the concept of "latency" is a digital creation. We had "delays" back in the day, but no "latency".

I feel really old.

XSergeantD 25th August 2006 05:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dubrichie (Post 852011)
XseargentD,

what you're saying is that when the machine is recording on any given track the output which i am monitoring is actually the input and not "off the tape" from the repro head, thus i will not experience latency, am i correct?

regards,

richie.

OK, no tape machine for you. Seriously. As F said, go get some Fatso Jr.s - you'll be much happier. Getting a tape machine requires lots of knowlege which you are still lacking and it will take a looong time to learn. You will only end up being frustrated with the alignment, maintenance, cost and use of said machine.

Oh the pain... To answer your question, No/Yes. No: The reproducer head was not mentioned nor is it used during recording. Yes, the signal you are hearing once the big red button is pushed and illuminated, will be, how to put it - the input signal to that track so you won't get, as you say, "the sound" off the tape until you play the track back after the take.

Like I said, step ONE is to go research, theeen, ask questions here.
Start here:
http://www.record-producer.com/learn...s=4&type=title
then poke around:
http://www.record-producer.com/index.cfm?cid=1



After you learn the theory, you may need to learn the maintenance unless you're paying someone to do that. IF you're taking that project on:
http://mixonline.com/recording/appli...e_hidden_cost/

stevep 25th August 2006 09:15 PM

Quote:

dubrichie . monitoring from the sync head? i had never heard of this before. do all good 2" machines have sync heads
Oh dear.......mezed




peachh

Improv 25th August 2006 09:31 PM

re: monitoring from sync and recording to DAW from repro...

Would it not be possible to modify a machine (I've never heard of one like this stock) to have two sets of track outputs... one for each head. That way musicians get the record head for sync and you and PT in the control room listen to all the tapey goodness.

doable? Anyone seen it?

stevep 25th August 2006 09:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Improv (Post 852592)
re: monitoring from sync and recording to DAW from repro...

Would it not be possible to modify a machine (I've never heard of one like this stock) to have two sets of track outputs... one for each head. That way musicians get the record head for sync and you and PT in the control room listen to all the tapey goodness.

doable? Anyone seen it?

You could send them the cue mix pre tape,


not sure why anyone would want to do this............ but

then again , i never could understand why anyone would use autotune either





peachh

stevep 25th August 2006 09:50 PM

Quote:

tapey goodness
not sure what this is...........


confoosed

billy 25th August 2006 10:40 PM

Get the tape machine, Fletcher's point about tape formulas etc is why you should get one...a FATSO doesn't allow you all of those possibilities, once you learn the machine you'll have alot of options that a FATSO doesn't.

You can always track to Protools and use the machine as an effect until you're comfortable enough to track directly to tape if that's what your client wants to use. You could also come out of the patchbay and send to Protools and the 2" simultaneously and keep all the takes on HD and just the "good ones" on tape, if you want to go crazy. You're going to monitor in Protools anyway so why not just hit record too.

Buy some pencils and spec a bigger AC unit...

dsstudio 26th August 2006 12:46 AM

I was in the same shoe,
I bought a tape machine eventhought I have zero experience about those machine.
I do have some difficulty using it,
I am now can control after all and all the efford paid off
I say, get the tape machine if you want to experience with it, it's within budget these day and tape cost is not a problem any more because you'll dump all the track into PT and re-use them.
Fatso? 2K for only 2 tracks
Tape Sound? everybody said it's sound good/bad...does not matter, try it yourself, you either love it or at least you learn a lesson.
I don't think only the "sound" you are after, is that right?
It'll be pain at first, yes, but if you have a heart to use it, why not
As an Engineer, I've told myself that I will have to use and experience tape at some point, it'll be a shame if you walk in a big studio and someone ask you to load the tape, and you don't know how to.
No pain, no gain, you knew it.
Sonny

Drumsound 26th August 2006 01:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dubrichie (Post 850928)
. do all good 2" machines have sync heads?


Yep and so do the bad ones.
jummpp

stevep 26th August 2006 01:34 AM

Its Not that hard !
 
I don't get the comments about how HARD it is to use a multi track machine.......

Its way easier to use than a DAW.

Simple, FF , stop , play , rewind, record.

Commit, maybe a few punches.

Finished,



Personally i don't dump any critical tracks to Ptools i leave them on tape.

If i fill up the Studer then i Sync it up to Ptools and add whatever i need to

I would rather have 2 or more Studers Synced instead of PTools



Again at the end of the day Tape is way easier to track to and mix from .... for me.




steve



peachh

billy 26th August 2006 01:46 AM

That's my favorite part about recording to tape. The machine was made to record audio, nothing else. Makes your ears work harder than your eyes rather than the other way around.

Get some step by step instructions on setting up whichever machine you get, get the right MRL tape, after a few times it is easy. You'll have to do some maintenance but I'll bet it's cheaper than what your going to spend keeping your protools rig up to date.

Zep Dude 26th August 2006 06:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Improv (Post 852592)
re: monitoring from sync and recording to DAW from repro...

Would it not be possible to modify a machine (I've never heard of one like this stock) to have two sets of track outputs... one for each head. That way musicians get the record head for sync and you and PT in the control room listen to all the tapey goodness.

doable? Anyone seen it?

Studers do have dual outputs (at least the 800's do). So, yes you could feed the musicians the sync head signal and simultaneously have the repro head signal being captured by Pro Tools. If you use the machine as an "inline" effects box, like a compressor, you'll need to figure out the delay between record and repro -just send a tone or drum sound out of pro tools to the machine a recapture it from the repro head at the same time and calculate the delay. Then remember after each take you have to shift that track. Don't forget!

You can work this way without any smpte -just freewheel the machine -put it into record and for 30 minutes (at 15ips) it will run while you do your session. If you don't have dual outputs (like a studer has) you need to put the machine in repro mode and either build splits or have a tech build a seperate set of outputs from the sync head (a big job). Send the splits to your cheap mackie monitor OR send them also into pro tools on aux tracks and back out to the musicians (if this is the way you are already set up to monitor. The pro tools tracks being captured from the repro heads will be muted. The tricky part is when you punch. If the musician needs to hear his performance up til this point you now have to play them the track in pro tools (transfered from the repro head and shifted) then manually mute that repro track when the punch in pro tools occurs . This becomes a bit of a procedure if you do a lot of punches. However, if the analog machine is freewheeling in record and you do an auto punch in pro tools, the only thing you actually have to do is hit the mute button on the track (or grouped tracks) when PT goes into record and also keep track of which takes are shifted vs not shifted. If you get confused if a repro track was already shifted or not just spot it back to original record position and nudge.

The other option is to simply do the session on the analog tape then transfer at the end. For this you will need smpte sync and either the pro tools sync io or a microlynx / adams smith type of syncro box to keep pro tools and the machine running together.

I always encourage people who want to use tape. I am one of those who feel it sounds better. I have never heard a drum session sound as good as when it goes to 16 track 2" at 15ips first.

Also, keep in mind that all of these tape decks require maintenance and upkeep. Make sure you have a good tech in your area to help you get the machine up and runnning.

Owning a tape machine in the digital age is a labor of love, but then again, isn't that why we do this?

dubrichie 28th August 2006 10:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by stevep (Post 852560)
Oh dear.......mezed




peachh

jayzus.

well, i am SORRY for not being quite up on the nomenclature of the tape machine.

i did not know that a record head was also called a sync head.

i did some basic tape machine "theory" as you might call it in college but had no opportunity to use the damn things. not the best course in audio engineering in the world by a long shot, but the best available where i live. i'm trying to make the best of what limited oppotunities there are for me here and am fully commited to creating those that are lacking for myself.

so, i came here to ask for advice from those who have the experience that i don't and whose opinions i respect... and i suppose even some of those i might not.

this is a labour of love for me, as someone else has pointed out.

i am fascinated by the prospect of getting my head around using tape properly and effectively. (pardon the pun)

so, since there is noone where i live that can offer me said experience i will have to dive in and try to gain it for myself.

now, if you feel that this is so silly and foolish or such then i suppose you have every right to take the mick out of me with trite comments on a public forum.

or perhaps you might respect my wishes and my commitment to go this alone.

i see that you're into the christianity thing.

so, which of these responses do you think fits that bill?

thank you to those who have offered me advice and / or encouragement.

i'm gonna get my damn Studer and balls to those who think i can't handle it or don't deserve it.

once upon a time even you had to learn.

regards,

richie.

cmj2430 3rd September 2006 07:48 PM

I'm in this same boat. You start off with computer recording and weak sounding plug-ins....start adding analog pieces...hear how much better things sound...add some more...start to get disillusioned w/computers....hear how good everything sounds at Tiny Telephone or CRC and want to make the switch to analog. Unfortunately it's tough to get rookie advice to help make the jump. This is one of the few sources around, but you risk asking naive ?s and getting mocked w/ goofy smiley faces. Which I guess isn't such a big deal in the whole scheme of things.....

But does anyone have any places where those 1st ?s can be answered? The recordproducer.com site was helpful but I would love to find more specific advice on using a deck---just got a 2 track Ampex 440c to mix down to (post-summing) and would love more guidance before destroying some new tape.....

side note: it seems like most go back into pro-tools after summing...is that odd or is it just me? I thought that after sending it through an Equinox it made most sense to keep analog till mastering, hence the 2 track. But from most threads it seems like most send it back to pro-tools. Anything I'm missing??

Thanks!

dokushoka 3rd September 2006 08:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by stevep (Post 852628)
You could send them the cue mix pre tape,


not sure why anyone would want to do this............ but

peachh

I've worked with a studio owner who wanted to set up his whole foldback set up around a pre tape cue send. He had it in his idea that the board was intended to be used that way...

Dirty Halo 3rd September 2006 08:28 PM

Are you serious? Fletcher? Tape has no "sound?"
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by danasti (Post 851810)
Well said! I like honesty, what a concept.

peachh


Come on guys, I know you enjoy saying things for effect from time to time, but are you seriously going to say you "don't know the sound of tape.."?

Are you going to tell me that a mix down to 1/2" tape sounds the same as back into your DAW?

So, a Portico 5042 isn't emulating anything?

A Fatso Jr. isn't designed for a specific tape...ish sound?

Or is tape so subtle that you would honestly recomend I just use a ortico 5042 to a Masterlink and it's as good as handing a tape master to Bernie Grundman, Sterling or whomever?

(Not meant to be argumentative..maybe a little, but I'm sincere.)

I'm genuinly interested...if only because I'm grappling with similair issues.

So, if I'm looking for the best (yes, subjective) mxdown medium, you'd say 1/2" tape is no better or worse than a Masterlink or Tascam DSD because the "sound" is an unknown quantity?


-Andrews

DIRTY HALO www.dirtyhalo.com

mpr 3rd September 2006 09:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dokushoka (Post 864293)
I've worked with a studio owner who wanted to set up his whole foldback set up around a pre tape cue send. He had it in his idea that the board was intended to be used that way...

I am going to assume you are talking about me. The board in question is a 1975 Neve 8024 and judging from the fact that the board has 4 factory labeled 'foldback' sends on the channel input side, the console WAS INTENDED to be used this way. A long time ago in a galaxy far far away, overdubbing was not standard practice when recording to multi-track tape, which explains why Neve gave the input side of the console 4 foldback cues vs the 2 overlapping foldback cues on the monitor side. I have been using foldback sends from both sides of the board without hassle, but we recently switched to a more convenient monitoring system.

The Studer outputs are multed into 24 channels of PTHD along with a normal to the analog monitor side of the Neve. The channel sends in PT are set to PRE fader and are used to feed the 8 inputs of the Langevin Headphone System, while PT's master fader output is used for control room monitoring by feeding a stereo return on the Neve. Having recallable monitoring templates is a wonderful luxury when recording to tape through a 30 year old console. Plus, dumping to PT at the end of the reel is now a breeze.

kats 4th September 2006 02:33 PM

Quote:

last month i transfered
a beautiful recording done by albini at electrical into pro-tools at 192......going back and forth, the band could not believe how different the sound was, immediately......
the depth just goes away.......even at 192
In other words, eventhough the recording was all done in the analog realm - once dumped to digital, all was lost......except of course the tape artificats that we wish we could get rid of. Am I understanding this correctly - 'cause if so, what's the point of all this?

I would not bother with a tape machine for some effect (there are waaaaay cheaper ways - who cares if it's not exact- it's a bloody effect), I would use it in the most HiFi way possible.

Zep Dude 5th September 2006 12:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kats (Post 865122)
In other words, eventhough the recording was all done in the analog realm - once dumped to digital, all was lost......except of course the tape artificats that we wish we could get rid of. Am I understanding this correctly - 'cause if so, what's the point of all this?

I would not bother with a tape machine for some effect (there are waaaaay cheaper ways - who cares if it's not exact- it's a bloody effect), I would use it in the most HiFi way possible.

A few things here. Tape has an effect that, for me, is worth the effort to incorporate (and it really takes effort to deal with tape machines). It acts a bit as a compressor, it makes things more dense (hits you in the chest more) and it shaves off some shrillness before hitting digital which makes things much easier to fit into the mix down the road.

When it comes to ultimately converting it to digital, it is what it is. Depending on the quality of your converters, you may lose more or less of that original signal. But if you're going to lose, say 10% of the magic once it goes to dig, does that mean you should just use crap mics, crap mic pres etc? No, the opposite, do everything you can to make the sound huge and dense and have body and detail so that slight loss going to dig doesn't kill the sound.

Another thing, if you don't want to lose so much when converting to dig, lose the 192's and get a Benchmark System 1000 or some Lavery's. Also skip the 192k and even the 88/96k and give 44.1k a chance. When comparing transfers of identical takes from multitrack analog into pro tools at both 44k and 88k, 44k is the clear winner for me. Dan Lavery wouldn't even make a converter that did 192k (I don't know if he finally caved on this). I forget his exact words when we spoke at AES a while ago but essentially he felt the whole 192k thing was a marketing ploy -no chip implemented it well.

Wondering if you should track to tape vs print your mix to tape is two different considerations. Tracking to tape will enhance every individual track and provide a nice texture and less of a digital sound. Your song will mix easier. If anyone has a two track and you're just doing overdubs with one or two mics, go for it. If you want to do a comparison, split the signal just before tape and print both the pre tape and post tape signal then listen. Printing your final mix to tape is a completely different consideration. I've been to mastering sessions where we had mixes printed to both tape and digital and picked the digital, other times we picked the tape. If you've got really well recorded tracks and you're using good outboard gear in the mix as well as a good outboard bus compressor you may not find the need to go to 2 track.

I agree with Fletcher that tape can have a wide range of sound, and I always get a kick out of these tape vs digital shootouts because there's so many variables. What format, how hard are they hitting tape, what type of tape, how is the machine calibrated (how much over bias etc) what is the condition of the machine/heads etc? All I know is that every time I print drums and bass to 2" 16 track at 15 ips on a well calibrated machine I take a moment to listen to the direct signal vs the signal coming off tape, and in that particular shoot out, the tape wins every time.

Neve8128 5th September 2006 10:40 PM

As far as maintenance goes based on my own experience dealing with an Otari MTR-90 II,
I aligned my machine once when I bought it about two years ago and never needed to do anything else ever since. I called my tech to check everything and it was exactly the way we setup the first time.

I had it aligned + 9 and only use 499 tapes and hit them hard and so far there's no digital recording that gives me the sound that I get from tape.

kats 5th September 2006 11:50 PM

Quote:

When it comes to ultimately converting it to digital, it is what it is. Depending on the quality of your converters, you may lose more or less of that original signal.
So your saying that tape is more accurate than digital. If so, than converting digital tracks to tape should add ZERO as far as the fidelity of the recording is concerned - unless tape can calculate any of the lost frequencies and add it back in on the 2 track....ummm no. Therefore what we're dealing with is an effect box.

Which is cool, and if you need that exact effect kfhkh