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Fatso vs. Otari MP3 challenge Recorders, Players & Tape Machines
Old 26th May 2003
  #31
Gear Maniac
 
khai's Avatar
 

Thanks for your comparison test, Mike. This speaks more to me than any magazine review of the Fatso I read.
Old 26th May 2003
  #32
It was about time I got one of these right! Great fun! Thanks.
Old 26th May 2003
  #33
Lives for gear
 
preben's Avatar
 

Mike, great idea. Only problem is that now I might have to go and get one of them Fatso's... NOT good for relations with the bank. If you happen to have an electric guitar, an amp and an overdrive pedal knocking about I for one sure would like hear a couple of crunchy chords with and without the FATSO... As Khai said: this does loads more than any magazine review... I KNOW I'm being difficult here, sorry about that...
Old 26th May 2003
  #34
It was the electric gtr test at the NYC AES that convinced me.. At a previous AES I looked in on a demo on drum room mic's and wondered what the point was....
Old 26th May 2003
  #35
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preben's Avatar
 

Oh Dear... the bank manager won't like that last post, Jules tutt
Old 26th May 2003
  #36
Lives for gear
 
Ted Nightshade's Avatar
 

Thanks Mike! Most enjoyable and informative.

Now I see why all the slagging on Otari... gee it would be great to run this experiment with a *choice* analog deck!

#4 has just got to be plain louder than the others, at least louder than #1 and #2. Yes?

Pretty nice gizmo, this Fatso. Definitely see the application for a multichannel warmer-only version!

Nice singing by the way- I liked the little bit of rasp on the last one- surely that's the performance being different?

Only I can't make sense of "I may not be insane, but I ain't no Charlie Manson." Why "but"? Or do you see Charlie as sane? Bit of a Manson buff, can't resist asking...
Old 26th May 2003
  #37
Quote:
Originally posted by Mike Jasper
thethrillfactor writes:



Uh-huh.

I notice you didn't really say which mp3 was the Fatso and which was the Otari, though.

Jasper
Hey Mike,

You are right i didn't listen, but I do know what a 1/2" Otari sounds like...garbage!!!(I don't know what machine you used, just throwing it out there).

The differences between good/bad analog is more dramatic than good/bad digital.

That's why i don't buy any of the "warming'devices. To me when if its digital anything and it says"tape"I stay away.
Old 26th May 2003
  #38
Lives for gear
 
Ted Nightshade's Avatar
 

Thrill say: "The differences between good/bad analog is more dramatic than good/bad digital."

Never underestimate the possibilities for bad sound in either category!

Nonetheless, I have found that I need only take a real interest in the very best of either.
Old 26th May 2003
  #39
Gear nut
 

I agree that it would have been more difficult to pick a clip if the analog machine was a $3-6K mix down deck, but to say that the Otari is garbage seems a bit harsh, given these clips were fairly close to the same... I think there were more wrong guesses on which was tape and which was the fatso than right guesses...Plus, it seems to me that either clip could have worked in selling the mix to the client...

The otari clip could have been tweaked with a touch of high shelf on a good mastering eq and then it would have sounded much closer... The Fatso has more detail in the mid at top that's why I figured it was the Fatso...

Using tape as plugin warming device is to awkard in setup and use, and as Dave pointed out there's too many variables to be consistent.
Old 26th May 2003
  #40
Gear Maniac
 
khai's Avatar
 

listening back to these mp3s I realize there was an obvious way to guess where the Otari was: track 2 is the only one having hiss.
Old 26th May 2003
  #41
Lives for gear
 
Ted Nightshade's Avatar
 

I guess what I'm really dying to hear is something tracked simultaneously, same take, to really sweet analog and to Fatso>real nice converters>digital.

Not quite the same as this eggspearmint, but it would help answer the $10,000 question for me... will I be able to stand tracking to digital?!?

I guess there's really nothing for it but to try it myself. I bet I could sell a used Fatso in a big hurry if need be.

Anyhow this little demonstration combined with Jules and gm's plugs has me awful dang curious...
Old 27th May 2003
  #42
Lives for gear
 
Mike Jasper's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Let's see if I can cover everything in one post:

Quote:
If you happen to have an electric guitar, an amp and an overdrive pedal knocking about I for one sure would like hear a couple of crunchy chords with and without the FATSO
Damn you, preben. Now you've gotten into my head with another test to try. But here's the deal. I'm more of a singer than a guitar player. Which means I'm a bit more hesitant to post mp3s of my fabulous rhythm strains. Maybe Jules already has an example in the can? Or someone else. But if no one comes forward within a week, I guess I'll give it a try.

You guys like the opening chords to "Can't Get Enough Of My Love," right?

Quote:
#4 has just got to be plain louder than the others, at least louder than #1 and #2. Yes?
Yeah, probably. I'd put it down to operator error.

Quote:
Nice singing by the way- I liked the little bit of rasp on the last one- surely that's the performance being different?
Thanks. When I was young I went for the rasp, but now it comes and goes as it pleases. And yes, every performance was different, even though I tried to do them the same. Operator error again, I guess.

Quote:
You are right i didn't listen, but I do know what a 1/2" Otari sounds like...garbage!!!(I don't know what machine you used, just throwing it out there).
I used an Otari 1/2". If it's garbage, then what 1/2" decks do you prefer? I think a lot of us would like to hear your opinion of what IS good.

Quote:
The differences between good/bad analog is more dramatic than good/bad digital. That's why i don't buy any of the "warming'devices. To me when if its digital anything and it says"tape"I stay away.
The Fatso isn't digital, except for the LEDs, but I get your point.

You have to realize that not everyone has had the advantages you have. Apparently, you have access to great analog tape decks and such. Me, I'm just a schmuck with a home Pro Tools studio and some carefully selected analog outboard (although apparently not selected carefully enough).

Hey, man, did you just quit smoking or what? I know they passed that new law in New York recently.

I've seen great posts from thethrillfactor in the past and I've always taken your opinions very seriously (and still do), but all you seem to say on this thread is that the Otari sucks. Okay, we get that. What we'd really like to know is what you would use instead of the Otari or the Fatso.

Quote:
Using tape as plugin warming device is to awkard in setup and use, and as Dave pointed out there's too many variables to be consistent.
Exactly. When I started the test I thought, "God help me if I prefer the tape, because that would be one monumental hassle." The primary question I had going into this test was, "Given my current rig, am I better off with the Fatso?" For me, the answer is, yes, I'm better off with the Fatso.

Interesting discussion. Now. Someone post some mp3s of an electric guitar Fatsoed and nonFatsoed and get me off the hook.

Jasper
PS -- I suppose I should start using those damn smilies to reflect the amused expression on my face, but I just... can't... do it.
Old 27th May 2003
  #43
Hey Mike,

I hope i am not coming across as a "gear snob".

My apologies.

Its just that I grew up working on "good and bad" analog(Pro and consumer).

I am one of those guys who embraced digital when it first appeared. Especially when coupled with computer editing.

I just cringe a little when i see people going ga-ga over tape decks that even in their day were considered not up to par.

Right now my favorite mixdown decks are the 1/2"Ampex ATR102(sometimes too clean, but more often than not it works) and a Studer A820(better on the bass than Ampex, but if you hit too hard it spreads too much).

I have heard recently many a project destroyed by people dumping digital tracks to a half inch machine just to get the analog sound and not understanding that "mixing through" and "dumping on" will give you two different sounds.
Old 27th May 2003
  #44
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Ted Nightshade's Avatar
 

And tracking to is different still. In my limited experience this has been the best way to involve the tape machine in a digital project.

I've been working with a 1968 Sony 854-4 1/4" 4 track, a particularly sweet individual machine, and after doing some tests tracking to that and to digital, and going back to analog from there, and back to digital (HEDD & Masterlink) yet again- I'm reluctant to record my voice and some other instruments any other way but to this particular machine, and I may surmise other analog decks at least as good sounding will sound... at least as good? Maybe better.

This Fatso test though indicates to me that I might be able to get pleasurable results (I go by the pleasure principle a lot- if it feels good enough often enough...) straight to digital. Intriguing!

"And yes, every performance was different, even though I tried to do them the same. Operator error again, I guess."

They were all so uncannily similar, I was actually amazed and second guessed myself a bit as to whether they were not in fact the very same performance.
Old 27th May 2003
  #45
Gear nut
 
20to20's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Ted Nightshade

I guess there's really nothing for it but to try it myself. I bet I could sell a used Fatso in a big hurry if need be.
Ted,

I'd ask you to please email me when you're ready to sell your used FATSO, but...

I know that once you get one, you won't sell it...
Old 27th May 2003
  #46
The Distressor's "daddy"
 
Dave Derr's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by thethrillfactor
I have heard recently many a project destroyed by people dumping digital tracks to a half inch machine just to get the analog sound and not understanding that "mixing through" and "dumping on" will give you two different sounds.
I know mastering guys continue to do that some.

A footnote: One of my last projects at our old studio was this Kick ass Ethnic Jazz thing, and while spinning the mixes on the ATR102 to another reel, the tape jumped track and spilled, putting a nice audible kink in the tape. Fortunately we had a Dat back up of the mix.

We matched levels going from the DAT to the ATR102, recorded about 30 secs onto the 1/2 inch of the affected area. Then did a splice over the damaged area - No one could hear a thing. I think digital is so much more accurate than analog. I dont think theres any way you would be able to go from the analog back to the Dat and not hear a difference. Analog tape is like one big Dynamic Filter/Soft clipper <laughing>.
Old 27th May 2003
  #47
Quote:
Originally posted by Dave Derr
I know mastering guys continue to do that some.
Hey Dave,

I have seen and tried this with an a suped up Ampex 440.

Now when you try it through the 440, it either enhances the digital signals or destroys it.heh


I've had better luck just running the mix through a Class A amplifier such as a Mark Levinson or Krell for the same effect.

But again, while it might make the mids more "euphonic", it can take away in other areas.

Eight times out of 10 I prefer the half inch mixes to the 96K one on my Masterlink. Sometimes it just comes down to the music style.
Old 27th May 2003
  #48
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Mike Jasper's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Only I can't make sense of "I may not be insane, but I ain't no Charlie Manson." Why "but"? Or do you see Charlie as sane? Bit of a Manson buff, can't resist asking...
Ha! Yeah, I heard that the same way too. Either I just messed up the words or slurred them beyond belief. It took me about three minutes to figure out what I wrote.

"I may not be a saint, but I ain't no Charlie Manson."

Makes more sense now, doesn't it Ted.

Quote:
They were all so uncannily similar, I was actually amazed and second guessed myself a bit as to whether they were not in fact the very same performance.
Jasper
PS -- I you can see, I like a wide hoop to jump through.
Old 27th May 2003
  #49
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Mike Jasper's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
I hope i am not coming across as a "gear snob".
Naw, I just wanted to see your criticisms fleshed out. I only bought the Otari to playback old tapes I wanted to transfer to digital. This is the first time I used it for recording

Quote:
Right now my favorite mixdown decks are the 1/2"Ampex ATR10
I was hoping you'd say that. I've got a line on one, but... would I really use it? I'm not sure.

Jasper
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