The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
How Do You Perform '60s-'70s-Style Tape Flange With Three Mastering Decks?
Old 22nd November 2012
  #1
Gear Nut
 

How Do You Perform '60s-'70s-Style Tape Flange With Three Mastering Decks?

Hi folks! Been building a '70s replica studio for some time now and I have 3 1975 Pioneer-1050 Mastering decks and I would like to know the procedure for arranging analog tape flange.
From what I understand you're supposed to feed the main recorder (in my case a '77 Teac 80-8) into two of the mastering decks.

How? And when I say how, I mean what did they do in the '60s/'70s for this? Any history here? I guess my mixer should have multiple outs to send to two tape machines? I'm using a 1978 TeacM15 as a Mixing desk.

And finally, I'd really like to know how they went about feeding the two tape machines into the final third one for mastering. Is the mixer, or some other mixer involved in this step? Thanks for the time.

Old 22nd November 2012
  #2
Lives for gear
 
lowland's Avatar
This may help to get you started:

Understanding & Emulating Vintage Effects

BTW, love the quote from your website:

"Don't ask if Psychedelic Sound Recorders can handle your musical project - ask if your musical project can handle Psychedelic Sound Recorders".

Does that include the use of sunglasses with a heavy orange filter?
Old 22nd November 2012
  #3
Gear Maniac
 
johnnygri's Avatar
No idea about the flanging with three decks, but I dig the photo - insane looking place man.
Old 22nd November 2012
  #4
Lives for gear
 
wado1942's Avatar
 

I don't think many studios in the 70s looked like that, nor did they use Pioneer decks, unless it was a small commercial studio, but it is a cool notion.

Any way, the effect isn't done in the mastering, it's in the mix. You just use a splitter (or multiple outputs from the board) to feed two decks, each in record mode. Then, you play back both tapes (getting them in sync is a pain) and press your thumb against the flange of the supply reel to cause drag and change the difference in timing between the decks. You can go back & forth, thumbing the flanges of both decks to get the signals to cross over each other.
Old 22nd November 2012
  #5
Gear Nut
 

How do you then patch the two stereo decks to one stereo deck? This is mastering in my mind because I'm mastering the two flanging decks to a third mastering deck, not using computers here

The pioneer 1050 is a 15 ips half-track mastering deck with no ICs designed in 1973. If not being built in a stand makes this not professional then fine! Also, you must use vintage DBX 155 noise reduction modules. The sound is unreal on these decks; don't bother unless you're looking for a mid '70s sound.
Old 22nd November 2012
  #6
Lives for gear
 
wado1942's Avatar
 

I'm well familiar with the 70s tape decks as I've been an owner of several myself. I believe the 1050 design is derived from the AMPEX 440, which I have. Aren't the 1050s' heads all .25 mill though?
I also had an 80-8, very good deck in its day. I rarely used the DBX, though. It tends to take the life out of the recording, even though it's very effective noise reduction. I still have a stereo Type-I module, but have yet to actually use it on anything!

Any way, you can just use a small mixer of some sort, even a 4:2 passive summing buss will do, which you can make yourself for about $15. Both machines plug into the mixer, which passes the signal to the destination deck.
Old 23rd November 2012
  #7
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

The way I did it was to first bounce a copy of the track I wanted to flange to another track on the multitrack. Then I'd play one of the tracks in sync, feed it to an outboard machine and mix the playback of that machine with the other track. The effect was greatly enhanced by holding your thumb against the flange of the delay machine.
Old 23rd November 2012
  #8
Lives for gear
 
Larry Elliott's Avatar
Like Bob said. The pressure of thumb on one of the spools was the key too much and it became an echo. A fun but often very time consuming process.
Old 24th November 2012
  #9
Lives for gear
 
wado1942's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
The way I did it was to first bounce a copy of the track I wanted to flange to another track on the multitrack. Then I'd play one of the tracks in sync, feed it to an outboard machine and mix the playback of that machine with the other track. The effect was greatly enhanced by holding your thumb against the flange of the delay machine.
This is very interesting. So you're saying you play off the sync head to record on another track. Then, you mix most of the tracks off the repro head but send the copy off of the sync head to record on another machine? There would be a loss of fidelity through the sync head and two extra generations. If the spacing of the heads is similar on both the multitrack and "delay" machine, you could even have the copy get a tiny bit ahead of the original. This would yield a sound similar to Abbey Road's "automatic double-tracking". Unfortunately, when you only have eight tracks, sacrificing one of them can be a big loss for an effect. This would allow better sound quality on the final mix, though, because only the effect itself would be degraded and not the "dry" signal. I'm going to go measure the spacing between heads on my machines now, because a client of mine just asked me about The Beatles "artificial sound" and using it on his band's next project.

So THANK YOU!
Old 24th November 2012
  #10
You can also get the same wind up flange effect in the digital domain without using a flange plugin by duplicating the track and shifting the dupe track back or forward 5 to 10 ms from the original, then applying a couple cents of pitch change to the dupe track with or without a slight modulation.
Old 24th November 2012
  #11
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

One thing the Beatles had going for them was the separate sync head amplifier on the Studer J 37s.

The effect actually began with radio DJs playing two copies of the same record on two turntables and mixing them together.
Old 24th November 2012
  #12
Gear Nut
 

I went upstairs and fished out a 4-in 2-out mixer panel that came with my 1973 Teac 3340 when it was new! It's passive and will totally work.

A few words about the Pioneer Rt-1050 as a mastering deck. It's phenomenal. It has a wonderful, robust sound. I recorded some drums yesterday with a 1975 unit and tape from about 1976:


http://psychedelicsound.yolasite.com...s/untitled.mp3

I have bass drum on track one and snare (close mic) on track two. Each track has a 1978 Ashly SC50 comp on it, and the snare track has a 1978 MXR phaser on the in/out patch of the channel. Mics are '70s condensers. The last bit with the bass guitar was recorded to my broken down 3340...sounds rubbish...

This is my makeshift studio in the living for the time being, until I move to a separate location soon with even more '70s gear!









Old 24th November 2012
  #13
Lives for gear
 
wado1942's Avatar
 

Yeah, you'd do well with a move for no reason other than to get your speakers away from the walls & off the desk. The single biggest improvement I made to my studio out of tens of thousands of dollars worth of gear is setting up my room symmetrically, with the monitors on some stands between the wall & desk.

On that note, here's a rough mix of something my writing partner & I recorded on my AG-440C with 1/2" 4-track head using largely 70s equipment, except for the mics & mixer.
http://www.gcmstudio.com/audioonly/d...s_roughmix.mp3
Old 25th November 2012
  #14
Gear Nut
 

thanks for the tip. thanks to johnnygri and lowland for the words and good link. I listened to the mix and it was interesting. Slightly analog sound, but in a lot of ways you could tell me it was tracked to pro tools and I'd believe it. For an old machine (how old?) you would really hope for a more "classic" sound.......it's sort of like playing a '60s Gibson Les Paul. A wonderful experience ordinarily, but if the pickups were replaced with active EMGs and you're using a Line 6 spider amp......well a lot of the class associated with a '60s Les Paul sound will go out the window....

Overall nice capturing of sound, and I think tape effects are completely rad, but I might make a suggestion. Do a better mix of the drums through the headphones. It's not just my taste - practically every recording made in the '70s has a sensitive sounding snare and a solid bass drum. your snare is distant and less sensitive sounding and the bass drum hasn't enough bass. In the headphone mix prior to hitting record push that sucker up. I compress my bass drum to the tape. I use a 1977 Ashly SC50 going into the machine with reasonable results! I think the bass drum can live with a slight bass roll-off before going to tape but better to just track it flat.

It's kind of a lot of work, but if no one is around and you can spend 30 mins on the bass drum it's all worth it. I made yet another drum recordng yesterday on this mastering machine the Pioneer 1050 with more sensitive results than the day before:

http://psychedelicsound.yolasite.com...rces/Drums.mp3

-'70s Tempro drums/'70s ludwig supra snare
-'70s Condenser mics (one on bass drum, one close mic'ing snare at the side! bass drum front is wrapped in a blanket to prevent leakage.)
-1979 (stamp dated) Teac Model 5B mixer
-1975 (serial dated) Pioneer RT-1050
-Pre 1979 (from original owner) Ultra Dynamic 1/4" tape
-Pre 1979 (serial dated) Ashly SC50 Compression on bass drum and snare

The two tracks are mixed straight down the middle. Here's my trick: make the mix sound as good as it can in mono with one speaker. That way stereo separation can't fool you into thinking the tracks are actually spacious when they could actually be improved.

*if this has gone off topic enough from mastering I would encourage this thread's relocation.
Old 30th November 2012
  #15
Lives for gear
 
wado1942's Avatar
 

Yeah, definitely no computer except for capturing the rough mix off the board. The final mix will be to 1/4" GP9. I don't think I used any EQ, but there's some compression on the way to tape on the guitars, bass, vocals and *maybe* a touch on the bass drum. We were actually going for a more 60s sound, I just don't have any 60s equipment aside from one mic. What you have to remember is that a properly designed and maintained deck's output pretty much sounds like the input. Also, the VU meters load the main outputs in a strange way, so I set the meters to monitor the bias oscillator and use the mono "headphone" outputs on each channel's electronics module to bypass the transformer, which leads to a cleaner sound. This isn't something everybody did, but those who knew the machines well often did this or merely disconnected the meters. I don't have an exact date on this machine, but the transport itself is probably 70-72.

You have a pretty authentic sounding bass drum, but the rest is fatiguingly bright.
Old 1st December 2012
  #16
Gear Nut
 

Do you have a website with other recordings performed on this tape machine? I always love to hear analog recordings. Thanks. And, thanks for the tip. I hate the brightness too. Seems my bass drum is nice and gutsy, but the snare is a bit bright, without guts yeah. I always wondered how those old recordings made gutsy drum sounds.
Maybe you need to try hitting the tape machine with a slight treble roll-off at the snare? Will give another go today if I can

Getting back to the original thing -
I listened to "the valentyne suite" by Colosseum from 1969 the other day (awesome song by the by) and I noticed that at 9 minutes and 42 seconds the most awesome tape flange appears in the soundfield (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQQIivolsOw) and I would like to know exactly these engineers did to achieve this effect placement. Am I to understand that two mastering machines are playing simultaneously from the beginning and at 9 minutes 42 seconds one of the two machines is turned up into the third one at final mixdown? I mean doesn't that sound impossible....I mean to play two machines from the beginning like that? I would think that after 9 minutes they would be far too much out of sync to be useful for a flange effect. Can please someone clear this up for me? The search for psychedelia continues Thanks for reading!
Old 1st December 2012
  #17
Lives for gear
 
lowland's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by CherryFive View Post
I listened to "the valentyne suite" by Colosseum from 1969 the other day (awesome song by the by) and I noticed that at 9 minutes and 42 seconds the most awesome tape flange appears in the soundfield (The Valentine Suite - YouTube) and I would like to know exactly these engineers did to achieve this effect placement. Am I to understand that two mastering machines are playing simultaneously from the beginning and at 9 minutes 42 seconds one of the two machines is turned up into the third one at final mixdown? I mean doesn't that sound impossible....I mean to play two machines from the beginning like that? I would think that after 9 minutes they would be far too much out of sync to be useful for a flange effect. Can please someone clear this up for me? The search for psychedelia continues Thanks for reading!
It wouldn't be necessary to run the two machines in sync for the whole track: mix as normal, then set up and record the flanged section to tape, creating an edit piece , then edit that into the relevant section replacing the non-flanged part. There are probably several ways to produce a similar result (I don't know the song or the recording techniques used), but that's probably what I would do.

How's your tape editing skills? If none at the moment, perhaps now's a good time to develop them - get a block, blades, edit and leader tape and have a go. Try not to edit your finger (I did that twice BITD, not recommended) and you should find it also really helps with honing listening skills. There are loads of good tricks as well, cutting in favoured takes, looping around a jam jar and many more.
Old 2nd December 2012
  #18
Gear Nut
 

Of course, of course......isn't it so funny how the easiest solution can solve a potentially dreadful mess? Your idea clicks well in my brain, and I can do that edit. I'm not great, but that's an easy edit from my point of view. Thanks for the thoughts.

I tried another drum recording today to make it warmer and I wound up going beyond that. I put the drums from the Pioneer into Reaper and I performed all of the overdubs on reaper. But the funny thing is this - this is a cover of "Alan Parsons Project" I Robot which was made in 1977! It's odd, but I almost hear more lowness in my recording compared to his original version which is weird to me. You'd think Abbey Road could get more bass than that. Whatever, here's the recording I made today and I think it holds up to the '70s dream well. I really think the drums sound pretty good here. Let me know:

http://psychedelicsound.yolasite.com/resources/YES.mp3

The organ is a 1977 Hammond Piper
The amp is a 1974 Traynor Tube
The bass is a '60s Hollowbody vioin shape
Bass and normal guitars all run through the '74 Traynor tube amp
The guitar is a '70s LP ventura copy through a 1978 MXR phaser100

There you go, for the gear nuts. That's pretty much it, all the other gear is the same as listed before.

I would like to add one thing though. What's odd is that the guitar in the room was CRANKED. I mean, the thing is an 85 watt tube amp and it was beginning to distort it was so loud. I was thinking upon playback that the guitar would sound HUGE, but not so huge at all. It sounds quiet but you know what? It cuts through at low volumes. The bass guitar was cranked loud to0 but the guitar was just awfully loud. I'm sure the neighbors were annoyed but forget about them.
Old 3rd December 2012
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by CherryFive View Post
But the funny thing is this - this is a cover of "Alan Parsons Project" I Robot which was made in 1977! It's odd, but I almost hear more lowness in my recording compared to his original version which is weird to me. You'd think Abbey Road could get more bass than that. Whatever, here's the recording I made today and I think it holds up to the '70s dream well.
Records mastered for vinyl generally have the low end limited to control the width of the groove, otherwise you get problems with the needle skipping due to excessive velocity and groves running together and/or insufficient run time per side.
Old 7th September 2013
  #20
Here for the gear
 

Real Tape Flange

So this is a technique I've been practicing, you only need two multi-track recorders. And here's how it goes:

1) Make sure your mix is tight - if you're going to EQ or perform other processing the flange will lose it's potency because it has to be done with an exact copy of the audio signal.

2) Take the output of the recorded tracks you want to flange and record them onto your second tape machine. Once recorded take the output of that second machine, and send it to the available tracks on your first machine (You can sum to mono or stereo).

3) Make sure your levels are cool going into the first machine and put that in repro. Put the second machine in repro, align the sync point, (where you want the flange to begin on the repro - play head)

4) When you are ready to perform the flange, put the first machine into record and push play. When you arrive to the point in time where you want the flange to occur (your sync point on the second machine) push play on that second machine.

5) If your timing is good you will hear some phase cancellation immediately. If not, re-sync the machine and start over. Now, this is where it gets tricky. Once you nail the sync point, speed up the take up reel on the second machine with your finger, you will start to hear the flange working, you then need to find a balance by slowing down the supply reel on that same machine with your thumb.

6) Practice a lot. Remember that the flange occurs within a 10ms offset, making it very sensitive to time shifts. Too much either way can become a reverb, then a delay.

Glad to find another whose enthusiastic about analog FX. Hope this helps!

- Nathan
Old 7th September 2013
  #21
Gear Maniac
 
iacntspell's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CherryFive View Post
Of course, of course......isn't it so funny how the easiest solution can solve a potentially dreadful mess? Your idea clicks well in my brain, and I can do that edit. I'm not great, but that's an easy edit from my point of view. Thanks for the thoughts.

I tried another drum recording today to make it warmer and I wound up going beyond that. I put the drums from the Pioneer into Reaper and I performed all of the overdubs on reaper. But the funny thing is this - this is a cover of "Alan Parsons Project" I Robot which was made in 1977! It's odd, but I almost hear more lowness in my recording compared to his original version which is weird to me. You'd think Abbey Road could get more bass than that. Whatever, here's the recording I made today and I think it holds up to the '70s dream well. I really think the drums sound pretty good here. Let me know:

http://psychedelicsound.yolasite.com/resources/YES.mp3

The organ is a 1977 Hammond Piper
The amp is a 1974 Traynor Tube
The bass is a '60s Hollowbody vioin shape
Bass and normal guitars all run through the '74 Traynor tube amp
The guitar is a '70s LP ventura copy through a 1978 MXR phaser100

There you go, for the gear nuts. That's pretty much it, all the other gear is the same as listed before.

I would like to add one thing though. What's odd is that the guitar in the room was CRANKED. I mean, the thing is an 85 watt tube amp and it was beginning to distort it was so loud. I was thinking upon playback that the guitar would sound HUGE, but not so huge at all. It sounds quiet but you know what? It cuts through at low volumes. The bass guitar was cranked loud to0 but the guitar was just awfully loud. I'm sure the neighbors were annoyed but forget about them.
This sounds amazing.
Old 7th September 2013
  #22
Lives for gear
If the syncing is the difficult part, and you've got free tracks, or you intend to fly the flanged tracks into the original piece, why not print the part you plan to flange to a track on each machine with a lead in of snare hits or something. You can use the snare hits to get the sync correct then start recording and flanging when the time is right (punch in).
Topic:
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
MeatPye / So Much Gear, So Little Time
8
Iain Hutch / High End
20

Forum Jump
Forum Jump