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High Pass Before Hitting Tape Virtual Instrument Plugins
Old 12th September 2011
  #1
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High Pass Before Hitting Tape

Was reading an interview with Gabriel Roth from Daptone records about how he likes to high pass everything before he hits tape (80-100hz). He said that if he takes the low end out before tape, he gets better tape-saturation, and then can add the low end back in with an EQ during the mix if necessary.

I'm curious to know more details about this technique, i.e. is things something you would mainly do for vocals, guitars, keys, and not kick drum or bass guitar since the kick and bass depend a lot more on having their lower frequencies captured? If you would do this with bass or kick, I assume you would need a really nice sounding EQ to add back any low end that wasn't captured to tape? Would love to know some more tips about this technique.
Old 12th September 2011
  #2
When tracking to tape I've heard of engineers leaving out frequencies b/c it left more dynamic range on the tape for the good frequencies.

Kind of what you said.
Old 12th September 2011
  #3
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Look at a VU or PPM meter when you turn the Bass up on any individual instrument and you'll see a massive jump .. That's your Headroom being eaten up right there .. So it Follows ..

Hi Passing and Lo-End Shelving was often necessary for Many instruments, to squeeze the available Headroom so that more of the actual tone/timbre (Read : Midrange) of that instrument made it onto Tape above the inherent Noise-Floor of the Tape, and before the point of Over-Saturation/Distortion occurred.

Even with Bass Register Instruments and Kick Drums, a judicious cut (sometimes 2-6dB, sometimes even more) allowed more of the actual Sound of the Instrument to make it onto Tape. You could then add the Lost Bottom back in by Boosting at the channel on your console come Mixdown time ..

It was also pretty fortuitous that a lot of those old vintage consoles Sounded great when you Boosted the Channel EQ in the Bass Regions .. It also didn't Hurt that some consoles had Massive amounts of Headroom available in the MixBuss (24-42dB) before the onset of serious signal Distortion ..

It all just kinda worked .. heh
Old 12th September 2011
  #4
Gear Nut
 
bom619's Avatar
 

HPF

I was in high school when I met my first real live recording engineer. He gave me big long speech about getting rid of what you didn't need in relation to the frequency range of each instrument you were recording (using high pass filters). Analog or digital, the same rules apply.
Old 12th September 2011
  #5
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vernier's Avatar
Applies to tape or digital, and is more of a concern with digital, actually.
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Old 12th September 2011
  #6
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Low end just eats energy up, so it makes sense to dip what you don't need sooner rather than later if you have an energy reactive medium. I.E. tape.

You have to be careful, of course. Low-end is responsible for a large wedge of power in a modern mix so make sure you don't take it out of the things that really need it, like Kick and Bass, and maybe subby keyboards. Everything else is fair game in my book.

These days it's less important as digital recordings don't saturate, they just clip, but compression works in the same way.
Old 12th September 2011
  #7
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drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by vernier View Post
Applies to tape or digital, and is more of a concern with digital, actually.
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I'd agree with that and add LO Pass filtering is CRITICAL for getting a good sound with Digital.
Old 26th April 2016
  #8
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I'm interested in the sound that Daptone are getting on their drums.....I'm wondering, when you're recording with 2 or 3 mics on drums, say kick, snare, overhead, and want to high pass things in order to push the tape saturation harder, would it be necessary to HP all 3 exactly the same (same model EQ/freq/slope) to avoid any phase issues on the low end?
Old 29th April 2016
  #9
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BUMPIN
Old 29th April 2016
  #10
Gee,
We used to always make sure that we weren't hitting the tape with too many lows... But I guess that's a watered down version of what you are talking about. If you hit it with a lot of lows it sucked up all the space...so to speak.
Old 29th April 2016
  #11
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Simply encode with SR/A and use a Cat 44 and 43a Rig....that sorts out extraneous noise on Analog Tape more so in broadcast, a very old trick Behringer stole creating a Denoiser Box half APHEX half Dolby. Film guys buy those once $99 buck units for decent sums!
Old 6th February 2019
  #12
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burns46824's Avatar
Interesting, I generally do not use a high pass filter for bass instruments when hitting tape. At 30 IPS, there isn't anything below 25 Hz, anyway. It's sort of a natural high pass filter ha ha. Perhaps I should experiment though
Old 6th February 2019
  #13
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FlyingMusician's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by burns46824 View Post
Interesting, I generally do not use a high pass filter for bass instruments when hitting tape. At 30 IPS, there isn't anything below 25 Hz, anyway. It's sort of a natural high pass filter ha ha. Perhaps I should experiment though
What a great suggestion and it makes sense. Because even if you were to put a somewhat aggressive low pass, those very low frequencies still exist way down, and bringing them back up can be done without introducing hiss. It's like a poor man's noise reduction.
Old 6th February 2019
  #14
Tape IS a high pass filter. 25 hz at 15 IPS and 35 hz at 30 IPS before the electronics have a go at it. Did I mention phase shift?
Old 6th February 2019
  #15
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Sigma's Avatar
lol and then the bumps
Old 6th February 2019
  #16
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burns46824's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
Tape IS a high pass filter. 25 hz at 15 IPS and 35 hz at 30 IPS before the electronics have a go at it. Did I mention phase shift?
When you say phase shift, what exactly do you mean? I will say, I notice that some things sound a bit "hollow" when I do my mono checks...like stacks of backing vocals, each recorded in mono...
Old 6th February 2019
  #17
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jaddie's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by burns46824 View Post
When you say phase shift, what exactly do you mean? I will say, I notice that some things sound a bit "hollow" when I do my mono checks...like stacks of backing vocals, each recorded in mono...
"Phase shift" refers to a change in phase within a channel relative to its input.

The hollow effect you're hearing is more likely a misalignment between record and repro head azimuth. This changes the timing between channels, and when summed, creates a comb filter. However, head az also affects HF response.

Alignment is tricky, and outside of the topic of the thread. Don't just twist the az screw on the play head though!
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