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DAW > TAPE > DAW vs. Plugins
Old 23rd December 2010
  #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The dman View Post
I've done it before with my buddies A827 but I'll tell you it's not the same as going straight to tape and then the DAW
exactly. I have tried it before and it wasn't worth it. Better off just recording 2 trk mix to tape.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #32
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Mark Kaufman's Avatar
 

It you did this to a track with a length of, say, 4:23...would there be noticeable tape drift? Ending up with 4:24 or 4:25?

Just curious. If so, it might devil you later if you ever need to change anything to a grid.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #33
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We have many decks with different sounds.Otari are clinical,MCI is nice and creamy. I tend hear the difference being in transformers and the tape.When we do a DAW>TAPE>DAW. we run the wav files through Trident,API,Dangerous 2 bus and then to the MCI deck.From there back through Apogee converters to PT9,8,7 LOGIC 9,8,7 which ever DAW is used by the client.This tends to give a larger stereo image,deeper bass with smooth highs,"glue"if you will.This is of course dependent on how the program material was recorded in the first place.
These are tools.
I like to record to tape it is my preference.I use DAW also for the tools that they are,this is music,use them all and just play a good song together and have fun.
DAW>TAPE>DAW is great for many reasons to many different people
I love the sound of tape and ease of workflow while tracking live.
Tape sounds GREAT!
PLUG INS just sound..........Stop buying plugins save your money and go to a real studio.Thats what I would do.
I dont like watching music, I listen to it.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #34
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BrianW's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Kaufman View Post
It you did this to a track with a length of, say, 4:23...would there be noticeable tape drift? Ending up with 4:24 or 4:25?

Just curious. If so, it might devil you later if you ever need to change anything to a grid.
If it's done correctly you will end up with a track the exact same length as the original, and even still aligned with the original in the DAW. This is no problem if the gear is set up correctly.

If you send the tracks to tape in one step, then play them back and record them back into the DAW in a separate step, there is a possibility of stretching/shrinking/mis-alignment, especially if there's issues with the tape machine.

However, a pro tape deck will allow you to be recording to the tape through the record head and monitoring off the repro (playback) head at the same time, so a track can be recorded to tape & recorded back into the DAW from the repro head as the tape makes it's pass through the tape path. There are plugins, and now outboard gear, that can be used to make sure everything stays in-phase and time-aligned to the originals.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #35
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Note the above.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #36
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianW View Post
If it's done correctly you will end up with a track the exact same length as the original, and even still aligned with the original in the DAW. This is no problem if the gear is set up correctly.

If you send the tracks to tape in one step, then play them back and record them back into the DAW in a separate step, there is a possibility of stretching/shrinking/mis-alignment, especially if there's issues with the tape machine.

However, a pro tape deck will allow you to be recording to the tape through the record head and monitoring off the repro (playback) head at the same time, so a track can be recorded to tape & recorded back into the DAW from the repro head as the tape makes it's pass through the tape path. There are plugins, and now outboard gear, that can be used to make sure everything stays in-phase and time-aligned to the originals.
Yes, I do this a lot during "layback mastering". Using my ATR 102 as a reel-time signal processor by "bouncing off tape". When given a choice, the artist usually picks the tape version. I don't recall ever being asked to do tape only though...

To the OP, I have always had better results by tracking to tape first, but fellow slut Brad McGowan makes a strong case for DAW>Tape>DAW working well IF you carefully control the recording levels to tape. Basically, he says it sounds great if you set the level of each individual track to tape as if you were in an analog tracking session. This makes a lot of sense when you think about the characteristics of tape and why/how we use it for effect. But it requires meticulous work, good converters, a quality console, and an engineer experienced with tape, digital, and proper gain staging. I doubt you will get that much careful attention for $20.00. If you go through with it, will you let us know how you like it?

.
Old 25th December 2010
  #37
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BrianW's Avatar
 

Okay, here's something quick and dirty... something I was just working on. It's a live-recorded concert I'm mixing for a friend's live album, so copyright, all rights reserved, etc. etc.

Like I said, quick and dirty... this is 2 stereo tracks from the drum overheads from the show... yes, there's allot of bleed, did I mention live concert? One is the original file, one is bounced DA -> Otari (RMGI SM900 tape) -> AD, no processing whatsoever done to either track. The files are in no particular order... you can decide which is which, or if there's any difference at all.
Attached Files

06-OH-ST-A.wav (5.05 MB, 47 views)

05-OH-ST-B.wav (5.05 MB, 92 views)

Old 25th December 2010
  #38
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Mr.HOLMES's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by dualflip View Post
Another thing that could work is actually offering the service of printing to 2 track tape your Mixdown, and send it back to you, that could also be a good idea...., hmmmmm i have a technics 1500, and 2 MCI JH-110s, anyone interested?
That was my thinking as well that can work pretty well... in some cases.

You would do it?

Please PM me I am sure in 2011 I will have some new songs they could work out a little bit better on your machine....
Old 26th December 2010
  #39
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doug hazelrigg's Avatar
I have a friend in Hong Kong (he's an Aussie ex-pat) that does this, and I believe he charges $10 per song. I believe he uses an Otari 1/4" machine. I definitely plan to use his service. Why? To my ears it definitely imparts a "smoothness" to the sound. It's subtle, but noticeable and for me worth the money.

NOTE: I just checked his website and it's not showing this service any longer, but I'm sure he still offers it. Let me know if you're interested and I'll provide a contact
Old 26th December 2010
  #40
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Dr Funk's Avatar
 

I did this (DAW-tape-DAW) with my band's album a couple of years ago and definitely thought it was worth the hassle. At the time I had just acquired a Studer A80R 1/4" deck, so I ran one song out 2 tracks at a time through a Shadow Hills Equinox, capturing back on the fly off the repro head into a Lynx Aurora. We liked the result so much that I did it for the whole album. Very time consuming, but it gave the tracks a 'glue' that made the album much easier to mix, with surprisingly little noise. No sync issues either.

It also reminded me of just how good tape was (and is) and I now track to a 2" 16 track Mk I Studer A80 with Dolby A, synced to the DAW, giving a choice of tape or DAW tracks in the mix. So far tape wins every time but I record the DAW tracks anyway as a safety. I've been thinking about offering this DAW-tape-DAW service too - I figure that the Mk I A80 (transformers everywhere!) has something good to offer. It's definitely not as 'magical' as tracking straight to tape, but it adds something, usually good and 'euphonic'. If it was good enough for Dark Side of the Moon, etc. etc... heh

Stereo mixdown to tape is really worthwhile IMHO. I now have the Equinox (which is great with its 3 different switchable transformer types), the A80R 1/4" and a Korg DSD recorder for capture, and the Korg AudioGate application does a pretty nifty job of converting the DSD files to WAV at whatever sample rate is needed for mastering. Better again if the mastering house can take Korg 5.6 DSD, but that's a different discussion...

Still thinking about how to present it as a package. In the meantime (and because it's Christmas, season of good will etc.!), if anyone wants an A/B of one of their ITB mixes through the Equinox/A80R/DSD chain, PM me and I'll run off a track for free...

Frank
Old 26th December 2010
  #41
Quote:
Originally Posted by The MPCist View Post
For 20 bucks, it's a nobrainer!! Try and do an A/B test. You'll know that way for sure.
PM me their info - I'd do it for $20 just for the experience to A/B.
Old 26th December 2010
  #42
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im also very interested in these types of services DAW > Tape > DAW
Old 26th December 2010
  #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigma View Post
The 1 thing i noticed is that when stuff goes to tape and back in a DAW that it's easier to get hot RMS levels in the ITB mix
Jesus....way to many buzzwords going on here. Your going to cause a frenzy.
Old 26th December 2010
  #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trakworx View Post
But it requires meticulous work, good converters, a quality console, and an engineer experienced with tape, digital, and proper gain staging. I doubt you will get that much careful attention for $20.00.
i've been able to make the $25/song (stereo mix) price point work well for me; i find that i am able to spend a good amount of time per song since my machine(s) are always aligned and ready to go- there's no fussing with that end of it. plus, very few projects are one song, so spending a morning on printing an EP to tape works well for me (financially) and well for the artist (creatively/musically). plus i'm able to do some level matching during the process which also ends up saving them some $$ at the mastering stage.

as i mentioned earlier, most of the people that i've been taking advantage of this "Analog Anywhere" service are project studio folks, but last month i did this for a live Dave Matthews Band single they just release- which was really cool, especially since they sent both the pre-tape and taped versions to mastering, and mastering picked the taped version. so there's some real merit to this!
Old 26th December 2010
  #45
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The MPCist's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lives For Fuzz View Post
PM me their info - I'd do it for $20 just for the experience to A/B.
It's not me, you gotta ask the original poster about this...
Old 26th December 2010
  #46
For $20 its worth a shot. Do one as a test to see if you like the overall quality. If you do I bet for $50 that they'd run a song like 4 times for you at multiple degrees of hotness. I don't know if they'd line up syncwise from pass to pass though, meaning if you want some tracks from hotness level 2 and some from 4 would they drift? If not then there's a huge dgree of control there. The multiple choice technique would go pretty far I believe even if it was just for the whole song.

I'd want pictures of there studio though, they could just be using a sat plug themselves
Old 27th December 2010
  #47
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cdog's Avatar
meh its only an Otari how much better is it really gonna sound
Old 27th December 2010
  #48
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glenn Taylor's Avatar
 

My experience a few years ago was this. I had a Otari 1" 8 track machine 30 ips. When i recorded to pro tools then passed it thru the analog machine and back to pro tools the results were ok? some tracks better some worse. When I recorded a quick demo song to the 8 track it was really nice. Dare say magical, but I am an old fart and it probably brings back old pleasant memories.
GT.
Old 27th December 2010
  #49
Gear Maniac
 
A4722's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cjmnash View Post
but last month i did this for a live Dave Matthews Band single they just release- which was really cool, especially since they sent both the pre-tape and taped versions to mastering, and mastering picked the taped version. so there's some real merit to this!
There you go, a QUALITY transfer that yielded pro results...
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