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4-Track on a 2-Track

 
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Drone
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Joined: 18 Dec 2009
Posts: 584
Location: Uranus

PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2017 9:02 am    Post subject: 4-Track on a 2-Track Reply with quote

I thought there was a topic on this before, but I can't seem to find it.

How feasible is it to play back 4-track tapes on a 2-track system into a DAW?

I have a friend with a bunch of old 4-track demos he wants digitized, I have a 2-track deck hooked to my DAW. Is it as simple as playing the tape forward, then backward and reversing the second pair of tracks?
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A.David.MacKinnon
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Joined: 07 May 2003
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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2017 4:21 pm    Post subject: Re: 4-Track on a 2-Track Reply with quote

That would work but getting the 2 sets of tracks in synch would be a nightmare. You might also run into weirdness on the backwards tracks if there is some kind of noise reduction involved. I'd expect DBX noise redux would react differently to backwards audio then forwards. It's compression and expansion.
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Drone
buyin' gear


Joined: 18 Dec 2009
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Location: Uranus

PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2017 9:26 am    Post subject: Re: 4-Track on a 2-Track Reply with quote

You mean difficult because of finding a common point, or difficult because of wow and flutter causing the two sets of tracks to drift?
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A.David.MacKinnon
mixes from purgatory


Joined: 07 May 2003
Posts: 2921
Location: Toronto

PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2017 9:54 am    Post subject: Re: 4-Track on a 2-Track Reply with quote

Drone wrote:
You mean difficult because of finding a common point, or difficult because of wow and flutter causing the two sets of tracks to drift?


Tape in general isn't super consistent in terms of playback speed. Cassette is even worse. You may have luck lining up short sections but over the course of a song or whole cassette you'll have a fair bit of drift.
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