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Differences between 2bus comp and a nice 2 track mixdown tape machine? Recorders, Players & Tape Machines
Old 5th September 2007
  #1
Gear Head
 
jackmac's Avatar
 

Differences between 2bus comp and a nice 2 track mixdown tape machine?

I only have experience with some decent 2 bus compressors (Rolls 755, Vari-Mu) for that mix glue. I am curious if others with a good 2 track mix down machine experience that glue without using a 2 bus compressor? Or do you use both?
Old 5th September 2007
  #2
Gear Maniac
 
Legacy Audio's Avatar
I think the ATR102 is the best sounding 2 buss compressor and glues the mix together nicely.
Old 5th September 2007
  #3
I mix to 1/4 inch at 15ips...it sounds about as thick as it gets. But it's not a replacement for a two bus compressor, and a two bus comp is not a replacement for the tape machine. They do different things. The tape does glue things together, but I don't think it's completely from a dynamic standpoint, it's just a process of what tape does. Wider and deeper sounding is more of an accurate description. The two bus compression brings everything together in a compacted way, giving it a more 'finished' sound that most pop and rock records have. I prefer very light stages of master compression, usually a stereo unit just kissing the audio during mix, then two additional stereo units that have different characteristics during mastering giving the same light treatment. I find this process lets the final digital peak limiter sound much better once it's applied.
Old 5th September 2007
  #4
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You're comparing apples to parachute pants. A 2 track mixdown recorder is pretty much used for exactly that. Recording a 2 track mixdown. A compressor won't record your music, no matter how bad you want it to. That's a mondo-sized difference, I'd say.

If you're looking to compress your 2-mix in the analog domain...buy a compressor. There's a plethora of options. The Vintage Design CL1 MK2 will provide all the colorful "glue" that you speak of, and even has a bitchin' little limiter on the back end which is actually really transparent. I spent an entire day with one last week and didn't exactly want to bypass it. I can throw off a couple million more names as far as compressors go, but that's the one I've got in my head right now.

If you're looking to record your 2-mix in the analog domain, buy a tape deck.
Old 5th September 2007
  #5
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Hey Sean, thanks for the reply. Maybe you missed the jist of my question. It was in relation to the "glue" effect a 2 track tape machine would instill and not pertaining to where I wanted my 2 mix to end up at.
Old 5th September 2007
  #6
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Oh, I know what you were asking. What I was getting at is that if you're thinking about buying a tape machine to get the same effects as a 1-2U compressor...you should just buy the fvcking compressor.

The Empirical Labs EL7 "Fatso" might also be up your alley. Search or go to Empirical Labs
Old 5th September 2007
  #7
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Don't sugar coat it Sean. Tell me what you really think. I already own the Vari-Mu and the Rolls 755. I also don't believe I am comparing two different animals in the context of my question. Intended function yea, but effect no, which is the basis of my question. I know exactly what a 2 track tape machine is used for and I know exactly what a 2 channel compressor/limiter is used for.
Old 5th September 2007
  #8
So, I’ve got a question:

If I'm mixing down OTB to a 2-track computer (digitally – no conversion) and dump the 2-track out to a tape machine, would I be accomplishing essentially the same thing as just burning the final mix directly to tape (assuming my out-bound converters are good quality)?
Old 5th September 2007
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deadmeat View Post
So, I’ve got a question:

If I'm mixing down OTB to a 2-track computer (digitally – no conversion) and dump the 2-track out to a tape machine, would I be accomplishing essentially the same thing as just burning the final mix directly to tape (assuming my out-bound converters are good quality)?
I may be missing something here, but how do you mix down OTB digitally without conversion?!

You can mixdown ITB with no conversion - and then dump to tape and back. Which of course is exactly the same as mixing internally, printing the mix to tape instead of bouncing to disk or whatever, and then re-importing.

You can mixdown OTB, printing back to the computer, then running this to tape and back. Which is an extra level of conversion, and may or may not sound worse than mixing to tape in the first place, depending on the quality of your converters and your analogue path.

You can mixdown with a digital desk - which of course is mixing ITB, and the same points as the first example above apply.

Many larger budget sessions go to both 1/2" and back to computer (with the 1/2" being transferred into computer for safety as well).
Old 7th September 2007
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
I may be missing something here, but how do you mix down OTB digitally without conversion?!

You can mixdown ITB with no conversion - and then dump to tape and back. Which of course is exactly the same as mixing internally, printing the mix to tape instead of bouncing to disk or whatever, and then re-importing.

You can mixdown OTB, printing back to the computer, then running this to tape and back. Which is an extra level of conversion, and may or may not sound worse than mixing to tape in the first place, depending on the quality of your converters and your analogue path.

You can mixdown with a digital desk - which of course is mixing ITB, and the same points as the first example above apply.

Many larger budget sessions go to both 1/2" and back to computer (with the 1/2" being transferred into computer for safety as well).
Good point – Wasn’t thinking when I wrote that last bit

What I meant was that once I return from the OTB busses and FX chain, I convert once before going digitally into my final compressors and limiters (via AES) and then onto the mixdown box.
Old 7th September 2007
  #11
Gear Guru
 
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1st of all it depends on what 2 track analog machine you are talking about, the MCI is killer, i use to have one and i did not need no 2 buss compression, i sold it for good money because i did not want to pay th up keep on it and tape.
Old 7th September 2007
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deadmeat View Post
So, I’ve got a question:

If I'm mixing down OTB to a 2-track computer (digitally – no conversion) and dump the 2-track out to a tape machine, would I be accomplishing essentially the same thing as just burning the final mix directly to tape (assuming my out-bound converters are good quality)?
yes and no, theres nothing like the org mix hitting those record heads, and 2nd you are doing a A/D conversion , going straight to tape you are bypassing that.
Old 7th September 2007
  #13
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Fleaman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by seaneldon View Post
Oh, I know what you were asking. What I was getting at is that if you're thinking about buying a tape machine to get the same effects as a 1-2U compressor...you should just buy the fvcking compressor.

The Empirical Labs EL7 "Fatso" might also be up your alley. Search or go to Empirical Labs
While the Fatso is a great box, it can't do what a mixdown tape machine can do.

BTW, he's talking about Glue and how mix buss compressor compares to a 2trk tape in this regard. Compression is only part of that equation.

Tape compresses too....in a different way.
Old 7th September 2007
  #14
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I love our Ampex ATR but you cant treat an analogue deck as a compressor, they just aren't the same thing at all.

Tape just rounds stuff out, but it's only saturation not compression. It's not an effect just a happy byproduct of magnetism.
Old 7th September 2007
  #15
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Exactly....Tape Saturates...which is a type of compression a buss compressor can't do.

The latest kid on the block to claim it can do it is the Anamod. It's Not a compressor, it only pretends to replace tape.

The jury's still out on that one.
Old 7th September 2007
  #16
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u b k's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fleaman View Post
The latest kid on the block to claim it can do it is the Anamod. ...

The jury's still out on that one.

i believe the jury was sent home, apparently the witness never showed .

to the OP, i'm in agreement with what's been said thus far: tape glues, but it does so by eq'ing the whole mix, melting frequencies together and, if pushed hard enough, flattening transients. think of it as a filter you put over the lens of a camera which gives the entire picture a unified vibe.

a mix comp, properly employed, will cause the transients of all the various sounds to react to one another in a beautiful kind of dance, which imparts a musicality and breath that imo brings songs to life. think of it as a form of gravity that causes the movement of one sound to transfer motion and energy into the other sounds. and (like tape) it can make things sound bigger, but unlike tape it can also make them sound a lot more aggressive.

i can't live without either one. well, actually i can, but i don't particularly want to.


gregoire
del
ubk
.



gregoire
del
ubk
.
Old 8th September 2007
  #17
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Nicely said
Old 8th September 2007
  #18
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Thanks to everyone who has replied. I have not had experience with a good mix down tape machine so I wanted to make sure what I was thinking was correct. Gregoire, I agree with your descriptions about the differences of effects each has on the mix. I guess this settles it. I just have to get more flavors of compressors and a good 2 track mixdown tape machine. Gearslutz ahead!
Old 8th September 2007
  #19
Gear Guru
 
AllAboutTone's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jackmac View Post
I have not had experience with a good mix down tape machine so I wanted to make sure what I was thinking was correct.
by all means this is a must for you to do, as Tascam 38 and a MCI is like night and day difference. But as far as the price they are close in the used market...
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