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Using tape recorders to warm up tracks w/o recording into tape
Old 12th June 2006
  #1
Lives for gear
 
Farshad's Avatar
 

Using tape recorders to warm up tracks w/o recording into tape

Hi everyone,

I am new to this very interesting forum (which I was luckily reffered by a link from another website that I do not rememebr). One of the first topics I searched for here was: "warming up digital blah blah" and not surprisingly found a bunch. I have been recording digital for a while and own some outboard gear and so called "warmer" plugins. Recenetly I got my hands on a nice Sony cassette deck and came up with this question which might sound silly:

I have recorded some tracks (not full mixes) back and forth into the unit and got some nice results (in the few cases I tried I believe it worthed the extra noise and signal deterioration). Now, I am wondering does only passing the signal trough the unit, by just having it paused in recording mode, without actually recording into tape, impart any character to the sound? I am not sure if the signal pass would be totally passive this way. I will give it a shot myself but I thought it is better to ask you guys to prevent myself just believeing that it sounds better.!

Thanks in advance for any input.

Cheers,

-Farshad
Old 12th June 2006
  #2
Lives for gear
car tape adapter?

Putting a casstte deck in record mode only allows you to loop the signal through the amplifiers. No tape rolling = no tape effects.

Get a 3-head deck. Monitor from the playback head while rolling tape in rec-mode. You get noise/compression, and a little slappy delay! Fun for pre-delaying a reverb chamber/ventilation duct.

If you put a car cassette adapter into a tape deck, you can feed signal to the head. That may give you a certain ugliness that you are looking for. Phat magnetic coupling and such.
Old 12th June 2006
  #3
Lives for gear
 
Farshad's Avatar
 

HI Karl,

Thanks for the reply. Do you know any 3-head tape recorder or any online retailer? I will also look at that car tape adapter.

Cheers,

-Farshad
Old 4th January 2019
  #4
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by Farshad View Post
HI Karl,

Thanks for the reply. Do you know any 3-head tape recorder or any online retailer? I will also look at that car tape adapter.

Cheers,

-Farshad

No one is making cassette decks anymore. You can go on Ebay and buy some nice restored 3 head Nakamachi and Sony decks. Be forewarned - the Nakamachi cassette decks hold their value. Even after 30 years. For example a Nak 582 (I owned one in 1980. A gift from Father.) which was about $1000 back in 1979 will go restored in good condition for the same price if not more. A restored 3 head Sony might be your best beat. There is even a site which sells new Chrome and Metal tape.

Last edited by john morris; 4th January 2019 at 03:26 AM.. Reason: mistake
Old 4th January 2019
  #5
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by john morris View Post
No one is making cassette decks anymore.

Well that's not true. Tascam makes one right now. Not exactly like the 3-head dbx equipped Mkiv studio models of yesteryear (which is maybe a good thing what with all the problems I had).....but hey....it's a cassette deck. With a pitch control no less.
Old 4th January 2019
  #6
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by Farshad View Post
Hi everyone,

I am new to this very interesting forum (which I was luckily reffered by a link from another website that I do not rememebr). One of the first topics I searched for here was: "warming up digital blah blah" and not surprisingly found a bunch. I have been recording digital for a while and own some outboard gear and so called "warmer" plugins. Recenetly I got my hands on a nice Sony cassette deck and came up with this question which might sound silly:

I have recorded some tracks (not full mixes) back and forth into the unit and got some nice results (in the few cases I tried I believe it worthed the extra noise and signal deterioration). Now, I am wondering does only passing the signal trough the unit, by just having it paused in recording mode, without actually recording into tape, impart any character to the sound? I am not sure if the signal pass would be totally passive this way. I will give it a shot myself but I thought it is better to ask you guys to prevent myself just believeing that it sounds better.!

Thanks in advance for any input.

Cheers,

-Farshad
I don't know what your setup is but mixing your digital tracks through an analog mixer is one good way of warming up the sound. But I realize that for a home/small studio this would expensive. 100 tracks or more make the idea almost impossible. But if you could keep or knock your track count to 24 tracks or less it would be possible. But even a 16 channel DAC and a used 16 channel analog mixer would $2500.

The plugins that emulate analog tape distortions, tube sound and tube even harmonic distortion have gotten quite good. It might be better to use those. And you would have more control. They even have a plug in for emulating EMI Tube REDD mixing board channels. Not cheap but a lot cheaper than my first suggestion.

Best of luck.

Last edited by john morris; 4th January 2019 at 03:47 AM.. Reason: mistake
Old 4th January 2019
  #7
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by john morris View Post
I don't know what your setup is but mixing your digital tracks through an analog mixer is one good way of warming up the sound. But I realize that for a home/small studio this would expensive. 100 tracks or more make the idea almost impossible. But if you could keep or knock your track count to 24 tracks or less it would be possible. But even a 16 channel DAC and a used 16 channel analog mixer would $2500.

The plugins that emulate analog tape distortions, tube sound and tube even harmonic distortion have gotten quite good. It might be better to use those. And you would have more control. They even have a plug in for emulating EMI Tube REDD mixing board channels. Not cheap but a lot cheaper than my first suggestion.

Best of luck.
You might want to check the date before you reply my friend. This thread is 13 years old.
Old 4th January 2019
  #8
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by thenoodle View Post
Well that's not true. Tascam makes one right now. Not exactly like the 3-head dbx equipped Mkiv studio models of yesteryear (which is maybe a good thing what with all the problems I had).....but hey....it's a cassette deck. With a pitch control no less.

What I should have said was that no one is making good 3 head casstte decks anymore. Yes, there is plenty of consumer stuff around. I see them occasionally. But no one is making 3 head casstte decks that operate at the pro level.
Old 4th January 2019
  #9
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by gravyface View Post
You might want to check the date before you reply my friend. This thread is 13 years old.

Checking the date? Mmmm.....Good idea.
I will do that in the future.
Old 28th February 2019
  #10
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by thenoodle View Post
Well that's not true. Tascam makes one right now. Not exactly like the 3-head dbx equipped Mkiv studio models of yesteryear (which is maybe a good thing what with all the problems I had).....but hey....it's a cassette deck. With a pitch control no less.

Yes, I forgot about that Tascam unit. But it has the frequency response of a 4 track Portastudio: 50 - 12 000 hz +-2db. It wouldn't do for his purposes. I recently picked up a Denon DR-3M cassette deck for $100 Can at a local pawn shop. It is a 3 head, direct drive machine in prime condition from 1983.
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