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Recommendations for 2 track with varispeed
Old 22nd May 2006
  #1
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darkwater's Avatar
 

Recommendations for 2 track with varispeed

Hi gang.

I need a 2 Track tape machine with vari speed, mostly for sound design. I need to be able to record on to analog tape to play with the speed to change my original sound effects. Ideally the vari speed goes all the way down to a stop on the slowest setting.

Anyone got any ideas?

Also, has anyone tried the new Sony PCM field recorder with the built in XY mics? Looks cool. I've got to get something like that soon. Must be pro quality. No mini discs.
Old 22nd May 2006
  #2
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darkwater's Avatar
 

bump
Old 22nd May 2006
  #3
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The Otari 5050mkIII is still made (and in stock out here at the warehouses)..so there's a line on a new half track analog with varispeed for you.
Old 22nd May 2006
  #4
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Thanks. I'll check into that.
Old 22nd May 2006
  #5
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Amplove's Avatar
 

I don't think the varispeed on that machine slows down to a complete stop. A friend uses a machine like that for slap and use an Ampex ATR700. They both have a very small +/- of varispeed. Probably not what you're looking for. I'd be curious if there is a 2 track tape machine with a vari-speed that comes to a complete stop. I want one too.

J.
Old 23rd May 2006
  #6
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What's wrong with using a PC DAW for pitch shifting/varispeed effects. A free DAW such as Reaper has varispeed build in. There is more to sound design than varispeed, and Reaper is a VST plugin host so you have huge options in effects, all totally free.

The lamest PC should be able to handle 2 tracks. If you have a two track recorder with USB, you don't even need a good soundcard to get into the box. And if you export your sounds as wave files or burn a CD, you don't need a good soundcard to get out of the box.
Old 23rd May 2006
  #7
Gear Addict
 

You can use a VSO to varispeed some tape machines that don't have built-in pitch change. It's essentially a device that changes the frequency of the (normally) 60 cycle AC coming out of the wall socket. But I've never heard of any device that will slow a tape machine down to zero. Maybe you could get the effect you want by putting the machine in "edit" mode and turning the reels by hand..
Old 21st June 2006
  #8
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Hey guys,

Yeah, I need better varispeed than a DAW can do. When you slow down or speed up digitally, you get all kinds of bad tasting artifacts. Granted, some plugs do it better than others, but nothing beats good ol' analog for my ears.

Still taking suggestions. If anybody knows someone who can mod one for me in the LA area, I'd be interested in knowing ya

I just ordered the Sony PCM-1 to help me grab sounds out in the world. I'd like to then bring those sounds into the computer, be able to record it onto analog tape, rock and roll, record back into DAW with various outboard gear, add effects, and mix.
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Old 21st June 2006
  #9
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The pitch shifting in DAWs usually implements timestretching and formant shifting. The artififacts produced are shocking, and I find them unuseable.

However - simple tape varispeed changes the time and the formants, so to compare apples with apples you have to compare tape varispeed against digital pitchshift with time-stretching and formant shifting disabled.

I find that disabling time stretch and formants gives me the pure varispeed effect without any undesirable artifacts. In Cubase SX3, this is done by simply using the offline pitch shifter, and unchecking the timestretch and formant shifting boxes.

In SX3, you can also achieve the same thing by applying the offline sample rate conversion. But I find it's nicer to specify the interval I want with the pitch shifter - it really achieves the same thing, just a different way of looking at it.

The effect is also easily achieved with a sampler that can map a single sample to the entire keyboard.

I'm not convinced that tape is necessary for sound design.
Old 21st June 2006
  #10
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I have done the sampler thing. It's not the same as tape. It works ok, but still introduces a digital aliasing that is often annoying. And, as far as the DAW goes, I've tried many different plugins and algorithms. Nothing is as clean as tape.

Tape may not be "necessary" to most, but it is to me.

Anybody out there got a solution?
Old 21st June 2006
  #11
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Find a tape deck with the quality you need, and pay someone to install a custom variable speed controller.

Many years ago, my dad used to build a two transistor flip/flop circuit that could turn a cassette player into a half speed unit. Very simple, and it worked well. I used to play with double/half speed effects as a kid, which probably explains my interest in recording.

I'm sure a similar circuit could be made continuously variable.

But i'm not convinced you've heard digital at it's best ...

Sure, a 16 bit hardware sampler aliases like crazy, but i'm very happy with software varispeed effects - 24 bits, 32 bit floating ... works for me.
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