What tape should I use? (First time recorder)

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thefanbelow
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What tape should I use? (First time recorder)

Post by thefanbelow » Thu Jul 05, 2012 6:45 pm

Just got a original Tascam 424 for free, but it has no power supply and I'm not sure if it works. So I am buying a 424mkIII and would like some tapes. Going for the lo-fi sound, thinking early Iron & Wine or Springsteen's Nebraska. What tape should I use?

Mane1234
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Post by Mane1234 » Thu Jul 05, 2012 10:21 pm

Since it's a cassette format then any 90 min CrO2 tape will do. I'm a Maxell man myself. You'll have to find them on Ebay or Amazon although there some tape houses still out there.
Of course I've had it in the ear before.....

eh91311
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Post by eh91311 » Fri Jul 06, 2012 4:42 pm

I;ve had much more luck with TDK C60 chrome tapes, whether the Super Avilyn (SA) ones or the TDK Professional ones that I scored from GC. 60 minute tape stock is physically thicker than what is in C90's, work more reliably in the cassette shell and have less print-thru (ghosting) when stored.

If you have a free 424, maybe you should try and source an aftermarket power supply for it, rather than buy a newer mkIII. The original 424 you have might be in good working order.

Magnetic Services
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Post by Magnetic Services » Tue Jul 10, 2012 10:32 pm

http://tapeworld.com/product_detail~id~ ... e%20II.htm

TDK sm60. High Bias, Type II. That's the important part, cuz the manual cites those two stats. Lots of folks here can tell you more about that than I can.

Also: Don't use tapes over 60 minutes, because the backing is thinner and thus more prone to stretching and print-through artifactz. It's 30 minutes at normal speed and 15 at high speed, so you'll likely need more than one tape for your epic prog rock odyssey ("E-PRO" hereafter) anyhow. I find that it's more practical to think in terms of "What speed am I using and how long is the very longest track on the record?" when choosing tape length.

The shell is also built much better than many cheaper cassettes and you will come to appreciate that as your tapes age.

Belo you'll find the Normai Bias, Type I equivalent (for mass unsolicited or non-consensual distribution of the aforementioned E-PRO.)

http://tapeworld.com/product_detail~id~ ... pe%20I.htm
Last edited by Magnetic Services on Tue Jul 10, 2012 10:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Magnetic Services
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Post by Magnetic Services » Tue Jul 10, 2012 10:53 pm

That said, Purposely abusing shitty tapes can result in some awesome sounds.

Tucker_ma
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Post by Tucker_ma » Tue Jul 17, 2012 5:18 pm

Follow up question for you guys about print through artifacts... I've used a bunch of 90min Type II tapes for some past recordings so I'm a little nervous based on what you all are saying. They're stored in dry basement that never really gets above 80 degrees, so I'm not worried so much about temp. Read somewhere else that you can reduce print through by rewinding. Any idea how often they should be rewound, and what exactly that means?, do you just wind them the opposite direction and leave them that way for a while?

thefanbelow
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Post by thefanbelow » Tue Jul 17, 2012 8:15 pm

Thanks for the replies.

My songs are about 3 mins a piece, and I will have around 4 when I put out my first demo. Does anyone recommend getting TDK 60's first (since they are cheaper) and practicing on that how to drive levels and things cause I've never done it before and THEN upgrade to the Maxell's for real recording, or can I mess around on the Maxell's first and then just tape over them with my real stuff without degradation in quality?

ithoughticouldrelate
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Post by ithoughticouldrelate » Wed Jul 18, 2012 8:22 am

thefanbelow wrote:Thanks for the replies.

My songs are about 3 mins a piece, and I will have around 4 when I put out my first demo. Does anyone recommend getting TDK 60's first (since they are cheaper) and practicing on that how to drive levels and things cause I've never done it before and THEN upgrade to the Maxell's for real recording, or can I mess around on the Maxell's first and then just tape over them with my real stuff without degradation in quality?
I prefer recording "good" stuff to fresh tape, but when I first got my Portastudio, I got a Maxell and just wore the crap out of it trying different things / erasing / re-recording, etc.

It's probably FINE to record over the old stuff and the difference would be negligible at best, but there's not too much of a price difference and different brands of tape often behave differently, so I'd think it's best to practice on what you plan to use. Just my $0.02 though!

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