Using tab to transient on analog tape bounces

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maa386
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Using tab to transient on analog tape bounces

Post by maa386 » Sun Apr 18, 2021 6:18 pm

Hi everyone, I recorded an album on 1/2" tape, and while I'm able to line most of them up in protools with tab to transient, there are a few that aren't lining up to the grid. I talked to a professional engineer, and he said the subtle analog clipping may have changed the waveform in a way that's confusing the DAW. Any ways of getting around this? I'm trying to line these up the old fashioned way and it's very difficult.

Thanks so much for your time, Michael

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A.David.MacKinnon
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Re: Using tab to transient on analog tape bounces

Post by A.David.MacKinnon » Sun Apr 18, 2021 6:45 pm

Can you give some more detail on what your trying to do? Are you trying to put the project to a grid? Or are you transfering the tape a few tracks at a time and trying to line it up in the box? If it's the latter stop. Transfer all the tracks together at the same time in one pass.
Analog tape drifts imperceptibly. Each pass will have a slightly different drift.

maa386
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Re: Using tab to transient on analog tape bounces

Post by maa386 » Sun Apr 18, 2021 7:36 pm

It's the latter. I've been recording the record this way off and on for the last year and a half and it's gone really well except for a few things.

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Rodgre
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Re: Using tab to transient on analog tape bounces

Post by Rodgre » Mon Apr 19, 2021 3:19 am

I had a lot of problems the one time I tried to do this. Because the analog tape is constantly drifting in and out of sync and the motor was constantly, imperceivably fluttering (you don't notice it until you play it back against a digital recording that is not fluttering), I ended up abandoning my idea.

My young mind thought it would be cool to track kick and snare and a few other tracks to 1/2" 8-track simultaneously with ProTools, printing the output of the playback head to open tracks in PT then thinking I would just group-time align all those tracks with the kick and snare I did into PT. The tracks would start out okay, but the phase would be constantly wavering. They'd stay vaguely in time, but just drifting constantly in and out, back and forth, by milleseconds, which is plenty enough to completely destroy any phase coherence. If I tracked ALL the drums to tape, lined them up in PT, then muted the tracks recorded straight into PT, it could have worked, but I was trying to blend tape kick and snare with PT overheads and that was just not going to happen. I even tried to Tab-To-Transient and line hits up together, like you said, but the tape was drifting according to the oscillator that was trying to keep the motor steady. It sounded like there was a fast flanger on the tracks. That might sound cool, but it is not what I was looking for.

Roger

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Re: Using tab to transient on analog tape bounces

Post by jacksaturn » Mon Apr 19, 2021 11:35 am

maa386 wrote:
Sun Apr 18, 2021 7:36 pm
It's the latter. I've been recording the record this way off and on for the last year and a half and it's gone really well except for a few things.
This can be done much more painlessly if you stripe time code to one of the tracks on your tape machine and then set up your DAW to follow it while you're doing each round of transfers to the computer. I've done this with a cassette 4-track, so I'm sure that it can be done with whatever tape machine you're using.

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A.David.MacKinnon
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Re: Using tab to transient on analog tape bounces

Post by A.David.MacKinnon » Mon Apr 19, 2021 7:16 pm

Or if it's a three head machine record through the machine to the DAW taking a feed from the play head. I started a thread about that a few years back but I'll be damned if I can find it to link.
Long and short - Split the signal from the pre and send one side right to the DAW. Send the other to tape and then to the DAW from the play head (while tape is recording). Always use the digital version of the tracks when monitoring for overdubs. The tape version will be delayed from the digital version because of the time it takes the recorded tape to move from the record to play head, BUT it will always be delayed in exactly the same way so all the tape versions of the overdubs will always line up. Throw away the digital tracks when you're done and mix from the tape version. No sliding waveforms, no tab to transient, no time code.

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Nick Sevilla
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Re: Using tab to transient on analog tape bounces

Post by Nick Sevilla » Tue Apr 20, 2021 2:08 am

Typically, you'd record all these tracks at once time into Pro Tools.

Thsi way all tracks line up with EACH OTHER. Which matters far more than the grid in the DAW.

Do you have an audio interface with enough inputs?
Howling at the neighbors. Hoping they have more mic cables.

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