Anyone mixing to Cassette?

Recording Techniques, People Skills, Gear, Recording Spaces, Computers, and DIY

Moderators: drumsound, tomb

recall
alignin' 24-trk
Posts: 74
Joined: Sat Aug 26, 2006 6:24 am

Anyone mixing to Cassette?

Post by recall » Sat May 03, 2008 12:52 pm

Not a late april fools I assure you!

My client loves what his fourtrack does to his demos. Can't quite get that sound from the full album mixes. He wants to try dumping them to his 4 track. I'm not too keen on the idea, as I will have to convert the mixes back to digital through my 002, and its one extra conversion. On the other hand I'm willing to give it a try as it may add more than what the 002 takes away.

He's dropping the 4-track off next week for me. In the meantime I dug out my old Sony Professional WM-D6C recordable walkman

http://picnic.ciao.com/de/21770090.jpg

I've always loved this portable machine. It has the best tape heads I've ever seen in a cassette recorder.

So I've hooked this up as a hardware insert in pro tools. Sending ready mixed songs to it is a bit problematic as the levels are too hot for it.

I suppose I could put my Tfpro P2 before it and pad the inputs.

I figure the mechanism in this machine is better than the 4-track, and i'll have double the tape diameter from it.

My meandering question/musing is therefore does anyone here regularly mixdown to cassette? any tips?

I know Portishead have done for their new album "Third"

User avatar
blackdiscoball
suffering 'studio suck'
Posts: 469
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2005 5:32 pm

Post by blackdiscoball » Sun May 04, 2008 2:51 pm

i bet your client is in love with the idea of his/her demo and not the sound. Its always worth trying something. If you have or can get your hands on some thicker tape to record on (like 1/4, or 1/2) that might be a better idea to liven it up for them. Just a thought.

User avatar
;ivlunsdystf
ghost haunting audio students
Posts: 3290
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2004 7:15 am
Location: The Great Frontier of the Southern Anoka Sand Plain
Contact:

Post by ;ivlunsdystf » Mon May 05, 2008 8:20 am

As the JV self-recordist that I am, I send stuff to a 4-track and sometimes an 8-track (both cassette) and then playback and record back into DAW. All the time. It does nice things for the sound. Tuning for later overdubs becomes a challenge, as pitch can vary within the song once it's been tainted by a cassette multitrack machine. That's half the fun, though.

I have also mixed from DAW direct to 2-track cassette and have generally hated the ensuing sound. That's my ears' experience, not yours.

Judas Jetski
carpal tunnel
Posts: 1584
Joined: Sun Jan 16, 2005 7:30 pm
Location: The US North Coast
Contact:

Post by Judas Jetski » Mon May 05, 2008 4:33 pm

Eeew. Are you sure he actually likes the cassette format? Maybe what he really likes is the sound of the electronics in his 4-track.
New Judas Jetski EP up! andysmash.bandcamp.com

www.andysmash.com

User avatar
nick_a
buyin' gear
Posts: 508
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2003 2:10 pm
Location: arlington VA
Contact:

Post by nick_a » Mon May 05, 2008 5:13 pm

also, the cassette walkman actually has the same track width as a cassette 4-track (two tracks per direction versus 4 tracks in one direction).

KennyLusk
dead but not forgotten
Posts: 2037
Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2004 10:22 am
Location: Ramah, New Mexico

Post by KennyLusk » Mon May 05, 2008 5:48 pm

Andy Smash wrote:Eeew. Are you sure he actually likes the cassette format? Maybe what he really likes is the sound of the electronics in his 4-track.
+1 on this possibility, FWIW.

It's easy to imitate that "sound" by sending a mix through something like a Tascam PE-40 in Bypass mode - there's really no noise added and in bypass you're not letting the EQ circuit f*&k up your mix. BTW, that little trick also works for trying to get a mic like the 4033 to sound a little darker like a 4047.
"The mushroom states its own position very clearly. It says, "I require the nervous system of a mammal. Do you have one handy?" Terrence McKenna

User avatar
thieves
suffering 'studio suck'
Posts: 408
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2007 10:36 am
Location: Cleveland, OH
Contact:

Post by thieves » Wed May 07, 2008 10:51 am

what other tape machines do you have at your disposal? dumping to cassette isn't going to be pretty at all... but experimenting with 1/4" at various speeds/gains seems like it could yield a wide range of results.
Image

User avatar
beebe
studio intern
Posts: 28
Joined: Fri Apr 16, 2004 10:03 am
Location: Atlanta
Contact:

Post by beebe » Thu May 08, 2008 1:02 pm

you might be able to do that as part of the mastering process. if you send it to tape after compressing you might be able to ride the whole mix hotter to the cassette and get more tape compression, avoid clipping, and and get a better signal to noise ratio. if you master/compress after the 4-track you might bring up a lot of noise.

but if that's not an option, just go for it.

i like mixing down to a 4 track... i still run the mics through a board and compress/limit stuff like crazy so i don't have to worry about clipping at the 4-track input. and it requires mixing a lot of stuff on the fly so you don't have to obsess later. i did the Gaye Blades 7" "I'd Brave Anything For You" like this with some $30 condenser mics and the tape op omni. they had a good time recording (because it's easy) and i'm pretty sure they were happy with the result.

http://www.bompstore.com/servlet/Detail?no=6968
http://www.myspace.com/thegayeblades

Judas Jetski
carpal tunnel
Posts: 1584
Joined: Sun Jan 16, 2005 7:30 pm
Location: The US North Coast
Contact:

Post by Judas Jetski » Sat May 10, 2008 4:55 pm

I wonder if it might be possible to run two channels to the 4-track as an aux send on the final mix. That way you could mix in enough cassette to get some of its ambience, while also having some control over how much "ick" was audible in your final mix.
New Judas Jetski EP up! andysmash.bandcamp.com

www.andysmash.com

qball
pushin' record
Posts: 232
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2007 6:05 am
Location: Central NY

Post by qball » Mon May 12, 2008 6:30 pm

Why not send a squashed mix to tape, then mix that back in with the un-squashed original to taste?
I think women should leave the toilet seat UP!!!

JohnnyDemonic
ass engineer
Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2007 12:57 pm
Location: SLC, UT

Post by JohnnyDemonic » Tue May 13, 2008 3:16 pm

qball wrote:Why not send a squashed mix to tape, then mix that back in with the un-squashed original to taste?
because tape is inconsistent & you'll never get it to match up to the digital files (tape machine runs slow/fast... even if you have a super tuned tape machine I doubt that you'd get the files to line up)

JohnnyDemonic
ass engineer
Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2007 12:57 pm
Location: SLC, UT

Post by JohnnyDemonic » Tue May 13, 2008 3:17 pm

Andy Smash wrote:I wonder if it might be possible to run two channels to the 4-track as an aux send on the final mix. That way you could mix in enough cassette to get some of its ambience, while also having some control over how much "ick" was audible in your final mix.
see my previous post

qball
pushin' record
Posts: 232
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2007 6:05 am
Location: Central NY

Post by qball » Tue May 13, 2008 4:31 pm

JohnnyDemonic wrote:
qball wrote:Why not send a squashed mix to tape, then mix that back in with the un-squashed original to taste?
because tape is inconsistent & you'll never get it to match up to the digital files (tape machine runs slow/fast... even if you have a super tuned tape machine I doubt that you'd get the files to line up)
Got me there. :oops:
I think women should leave the toilet seat UP!!!

Judas Jetski
carpal tunnel
Posts: 1584
Joined: Sun Jan 16, 2005 7:30 pm
Location: The US North Coast
Contact:

Post by Judas Jetski » Tue May 13, 2008 5:11 pm

Yeah, silly me. I was thinking of a cassette player as being a two-head machine, but of course it's not going to be able to play back a given signal at the same time that it's recording that signal. If you did get some kind of signal back, all you'd be getting is the sound of the electronics, not the tape itself. That or feedback. I suppose you could time out the delay, but that'd take a lot of work and you'd probably still wind up with phasing or timing issues all over the place.

Recall--how'd it work out?
New Judas Jetski EP up! andysmash.bandcamp.com

www.andysmash.com

brinnbacka
ass engineer
Posts: 44
Joined: Mon May 12, 2008 12:54 am
Location: Porvoo, Finland

Post by brinnbacka » Wed May 14, 2008 12:22 am

Hi, it's my first post here, so don't kill me or anything.

This guy I know and played some drums for a while back does all his recording to a newish Fostex 4-track cassette recorder that he has modified slightly in the preamps. And I mean everything, vocals, drums, everything.

From there he goes into Nuendo at 96/24 for the final mix.

Check it out here: www.pepedeluxe.com

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 37 guests