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I'm finally doing it. I'm getting rid of my computer. Recorders, Players & Tape Machines
Old 20th November 2009
  #1
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PlayRadioPlay's Avatar
 

I'm finally doing it. I'm getting rid of my computer.

Ok, so I'm exaggerating slightly, I'll still own a computer, but I'm pursuing my dream of having a completely computer-less recording set up in 1 room of my house.

I'm a 20 year old, digital-age musician/producer, and never in my life have I made music without a little or a lot of help from the digital realm. As an experiment and experience to grow and have a little bit of fun, I'm building a budget, 100% analog recording rig. There won't be a computer in the room whatsoever. (Although, down the hall, I'll still have this little setup. However, I intend on making many recordings on this old school setup completely without the computer involved.)

At the center of the rig will be a TASCAM 38 8 tape machine and a TASCAM Series 5 mixer. I need help deciding on what other gear to get. This project studio isn't supposed to sound good, just old. What are some cheap old mic pres and compressors that were common around the time of these two units? The mixer has built in mic pres, so I could use those, the main thing I need is some compression. Not expensive, just old and crappy. Any suggestions? Is the Standard Audio Level-Or an accurate tribute piece? Lo-fi is good. The most expensive piece I'll probably add to this setup is an 1176, since I've been intending to get one for my main rig anyway.

At the end of the day, I'm hoping to have a fully functional, completely independent vintage, analog setup for under 1k, although I'll probably go over just to add some other fun stuff.
Old 20th November 2009
  #2
Im happy for you. I kind of want this too, just that I feel that making good electronic music is really hard without a computer
Old 20th November 2009
  #3
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You Rock! I'm sure the tape machine will provide you with some suitable compression. Try only using the mixers pres. And if you don't already have one, an analog delay.

I'm on the list for your first recording with this new and "improved" setup.
thumbsup


steelyfan
Old 20th November 2009
  #4
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Infernal Device's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PlayRadioPlay View Post

I'm a 20 year old
Good for you. I am impressed to see someone younger who is willing to do the extra work and learn the craft.

Best of luck to you.
Old 20th November 2009
  #5
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Sweet. I plan one day do the same except with HAM radio gear.

Just some tips for ya:

I suggest either inspecting or hiring some one else to inspect, test, and replace broken or malfunctioning components in your mixer and 8-Track.

Best get busy learning how to cut 1/2" tape.
Learn how to line up, clean, and care for a multitrack.
Get into the habit of writing recall sheets and organizing your work and master reels.

Good luck.
Old 20th November 2009
  #6
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Sigma's Avatar
i think i'll get rid of my fridge and oven and make a root cellar and fire pit
Old 21st November 2009
  #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigma View Post
i think i'll get rid of my fridge and oven and make a root cellar and fire pit
Hahahahahahahahahahaha almost spit soda on my keyboard on that one.

My feeling is that the oven is good for most things, but damn, certain things really taste good in that fire pit, as long as it fits in your house.

Good luck on the setup, I'm just delving into tape myself, I scored an Otari MTR-12 really cheap about two weeks ago, learning to use the thing right now, but I'm still gonna track some stuff in the DAW and do edits in the DAW. I really think a hybrid is the best of all worlds, I can't really imagine any benefit to cutting tape unless someone concocts some abstract 'learning the ropes' aspect to it.

In this thread I started the other day, a guy mentioned that he used an old Soundtracs console, not sure what the prices are, but he made it sound like they go for cheap these days.
Old 21st November 2009
  #8
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PlayRadioPlay's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by steelyfan View Post
You Rock! I'm sure the tape machine will provide you with some suitable compression. Try only using the mixers pres. And if you don't already have one, an analog delay.

I'm on the list for your first recording with this new and "improved" setup.
thumbsup


steelyfan
Thanks! And I already have EP-2, EP-3, and Space Echo tape echos. I also have a few different spring reverb units and the Moogerfooger analog delay. All of which should go wonderfully with this setup.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Infernal Device View Post
Good for you. I am impressed to see someone younger who is willing to do the extra work and learn the craft.

Best of luck to you.
Thank you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by b808 View Post
Sweet. I plan one day do the same except with HAM radio gear.

Just some tips for ya:

I suggest either inspecting or hiring some one else to inspect, test, and replace broken or malfunctioning components in your mixer and 8-Track.

Best get busy learning how to cut 1/2" tape.
Learn how to line up, clean, and care for a multitrack.
Get into the habit of writing recall sheets and organizing your work and master reels.

Good luck.
All good ideas. Once I get all of the gear, I'm hoping to hire an older engineer for a day or two to help me learn my way around all of it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigma View Post
i think i'll get rid of my fridge and oven and make a root cellar and fire pit
Haha, fire pits rule!
Old 21st November 2009
  #9
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PlayRadioPlay's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by aclarson View Post
Hahahahahahahahahahaha almost spit soda on my keyboard on that one.

My feeling is that the oven is good for most things, but damn, certain things really taste good in that fire pit, as long as it fits in your house.

Good luck on the setup, I'm just delving into tape myself, I scored an Otari MTR-12 really cheap about two weeks ago, learning to use the thing right now, but I'm still gonna track some stuff in the DAW and do edits in the DAW. I really think a hybrid is the best of all worlds, I can't really imagine any benefit to cutting tape unless someone concocts some abstract 'learning the ropes' aspect to it.
Once I fully learn my way around tape, I'll definitely utilize it alongside my main recording rig. I really just want to do a full album or EP without touching a computer. I've always used tape alongside Pro Tools and Logic, so I'm ready to go all in for a bit to have some fun.
Old 21st November 2009
  #10
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AnthonyRochester's Avatar
 

I just looked at your studio pics. dude, you have a lot of expensive gear for someone who's only 20 - did you have a successful hit or did you start selling drugs when you were 11?
Old 21st November 2009
  #11
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Sigma's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by aclarson View Post
Hahahahahahahahahahaha almost spit soda on my keyboard on that one.

My feeling is that the oven is good for most things, but damn, certain things really taste good in that fire pit, as long as it fits in your house.

Good luck on the setup, I'm just delving into tape myself, I scored an Otari MTR-12 really cheap about two weeks ago, learning to use the thing right now, but I'm still gonna track some stuff in the DAW and do edits in the DAW. I really think a hybrid is the best of all worlds, I can't really imagine any benefit to cutting tape unless someone concocts some abstract 'learning the ropes' aspect to it.

In this thread I started the other day, a guy mentioned that he used an old Soundtracs console, not sure what the prices are, but he made it sound like they go for cheap these days.
yeah that was a bad analogy or i was wrong..LOL!!!
Old 21st November 2009
  #12
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PlayRadioPlay's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by beebay007 View Post
I just looked at your studio pics. dude, you have a lot of expensive gear for someone who's only 20 - did you have a successful hit or did you start selling drugs when you were 11?
I was briefly on Island Records, I sold a decent number of albums, and I've toured pretty much non stop for 3 or 4 years.
Old 21st November 2009
  #13
I checked out yer my space - cool stuff!
Old 21st November 2009
  #14
Hey, Zepplin used a firepit on some of their albums.
Old 21st November 2009
  #15
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FireMoon's Avatar
One thing to remember about older gear. Some multi tracks have photo sensitive controls. That means, when sunlight hits them, they have a habit of turning themselves off and on. I'm not sure if your tape deck does, but the Klark Tekmis i started on did and it caused much head scratching till i noticed that, when someone walked in front of the window blocking the sunlight, the tape started up again..
Old 21st November 2009
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean Roddey View Post
Hey, Zepplin used a firepit on some of their albums.
Hmmmm... maybe you are thinking of their fondness for "fire water"?
Old 21st November 2009
  #17
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PlayRadioPlay's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by joelpatterson View Post
Hmmmm... maybe you are thinking of their fondness for "fire water"?
Or maybe the fact that they used Bonham's enormous kick as a mega-bong, thus requiring vast amounts of wood for the flame.
Old 21st November 2009
  #18
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cjogo's Avatar
Still no real PC/Mac in our studios --- the Roland VS Daw is about the speeed of a 24trk 2in --- so not going any further with the computer world ---- Let them eat crow --- Music should take time to create --66 bus speed / DOS & slow scsi drives >> gives the clients plenty of time to catch their breath and collect their creativeness ...........wish our clients could afford tape --- would fire the Tascam 38 back up ////
Old 21st November 2009
  #19
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Space Station's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by PlayRadioPlay View Post

At the center of the rig will be a TASCAM 38 8 tape machine
That machine has an evil digital computer controlling the transport...
Old 21st November 2009
  #20
Gear Addict
 

Still got my old splicing blocks, and a splicing tape dispenser.
I don't have a 2" but I still have a 38 and a 32.
I've really been thinking of selling my DMX R100 and going back to an analog console.
AS far as recording I'm really happy with Nuendo but I think I would be happier with great converters and a great console to go with my out board gear.
I'm getting really close to pulling the trigger.
SOMEBODY STOP ME BEFORE I GO WAAAY IN DEBT!
Every piece I have is paid in full. When I think of dropping a 100 G's I get weak in the stomach. Especially since this is my private play house!
Larry
Old 21st November 2009
  #21
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vernier's Avatar
Quote:
What are some cheap old mic pres and compressors that were common around the time of these two units?
There weren't any pre's then ...just mixer. The only cheap compressor of that era was the dbx163.

Btw, the sound you'll get with Tascam won't be the sound of studios of the day ...but the sound of home studios of the day ..just to let ya know.
Old 21st November 2009
  #22
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Darm's Avatar
 

dbx 16*
Fnd why don't you build yourself a plate delay of some kind?
Old 21st November 2009
  #23
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PlayRadioPlay's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by vernier View Post
There weren't any pre's then ...just mixer. The only cheap compressor of that era was the dbx163.

Btw, the sound you'll get with Tascam won't be the sound of studios of the day ...but the sound of home studios of the day ..just to let ya know.
I wasn't expecting it to sound great, but can you elaborate further on this? Super dark? Super thin? How would you describe the sound?
Old 21st November 2009
  #24
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The MPCist's Avatar
 

Or you could check around to see who's got analog decks they wanna get rid of. Recently a friend of mine got THREE Studer A827's for the price of 'please get rid of these for me'.... so they're out there... lol

MCI JH-24's are pretty simple and easy to maintain, I'm told.... and cheap too.
Old 21st November 2009
  #25
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Johnny Favorite's Avatar
 

Great tracks on myspace, wanna hear the tape ones!
Old 21st November 2009
  #26
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OceanMan's Avatar
 

Hunter this is quite a rad untertaking !
cant wait to get a hold of the analog rebellion cd
Old 21st November 2009
  #27
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PlayRadioPlay's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Favorite View Post
Great tracks on myspace, wanna hear the tape ones!
Thanks! Oh you'll hear them. And you'll say "WHAT IS THIS RUCKUS WITH TAPE HIS AND NO HIGH END??"

Quote:
Originally Posted by OceanMan View Post
Hunter this is quite a rad untertaking !
cant wait to get a hold of the analog rebellion cd
Thanks! The new Analog Rebellion album (January) wasn't completely recorded on tape, unfortunately, but Joe Wohlmuth made it sound great. Hopefully the next Analog Rebellion CD will be worthy of the name "Analog Rebellion".
Old 21st November 2009
  #28
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PlayRadioPlay's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by The MPCist View Post
Or you could check around to see who's got analog decks they wanna get rid of. Recently a friend of mine got THREE Studer A827's for the price of 'please get rid of these for me'.... so they're out there... lol

MCI JH-24's are pretty simple and easy to maintain, I'm told.... and cheap too.
Man, I'd love to get a free tape machine haha. 8 tracks isn't very many, I think 16 would be my preferred number, and 24 would be a little bit overkill. Perhaps if I really love this tape thing, I'll move up a size. For right now, the smaller and simpler, the better.
Old 21st November 2009
  #29
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Lenzo's Avatar
Really, good luck with that. There are days I'd love to toss the computer in the bin...but then if you're talking a Tascam series 5 mixer from the 80's. I worked on those many years ago. And you are correct in assuming it's probably not going to sound good.
L.
Old 21st November 2009
  #30
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vernier's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by PlayRadioPlay View Post
I wasn't expecting it to sound great, but can you elaborate further on this? Super dark? Super thin? How would you describe the sound?
Hey I love the Teac/Tascam sound.

"Dangerous" ditty below was recorded on cassette Portastudio, SM57, and mixed on headphones.
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