thinking of giving up on tape

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blungo2
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thinking of giving up on tape

Post by blungo2 » Mon Feb 24, 2014 6:39 pm

At least for a while. I have an Otari MTR 12,-4 track which is in pretty good shape, but it seems like the small issues are never ending. When i recalibrated last time, i couldn't get the record eq even close on one channel. I know that's what you get with an old 80s machine. I'm not so good with electrical stuff, so i can usually only fix very simple stuff, or things that people walk me through step by step.

I can get pretty close to tape sound with my UAD plugins, of course i'll lose the magic of tracking to tape (especially drums), but i think the constant hassle of upkeep/problem solving with my tape deck may be nice to not have anymore. If i stay with tape, i feel like i could really use 8 channels, but the expense would be tremendous.

I dunno, just rambling i guess, but there are lot of wise and knowledgable folks here. I guess i'm not really looking for advice, but i'd like to hear your thoughts.

Cheers!

Matt C.
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Post by Matt C. » Mon Feb 24, 2014 6:55 pm

I say ditch the tape machine. I think a person has to either really enjoy tinkering with them when they need fixing, or be willing to spend lots of money have someone else do it. If that's not you, it's probably not worth keeping it around

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timh
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Post by timh » Tue Feb 25, 2014 12:50 am

I'm just about to dive in for the first time on an Mx-70. I guess I don't really know all of what I'm getting myself into. Oh well. That's part of the fun....right? Right, guys? Please tell me I'm right...I'm scared.
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A.David.MacKinnon
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Post by A.David.MacKinnon » Tue Feb 25, 2014 6:44 am

I made the switch to digital about 7 or 8 years ago after running an all tape studio for 5 or 6 years. After one or two records where I probably over "Pro Tooled" things I settled down into a very comfortable relationship with the medium. These days I run the computer more or less like a tape machine. All mixing and processing happens outboard but I get greater editing capabilities (if I want to use them) and greater portability with my projects.
If you've come from a tape background you've likely built up some good skills and have had to focus on the important aspects of a session (like getting good takes instead of fixing bad takes, getting good sounds on the way in etc).
You can easily transfer your tape skills and work-flow to digital you just have to get over the fact that the medium won't change the sound the way tape does. What you put in is what comes back out.

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Post by chris harris » Tue Feb 25, 2014 7:25 am

^yep. exactly! +1

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Post by kslight » Tue Feb 25, 2014 4:43 pm

Big fan of working on tape myself, but ultimately its not the medium, its what you do with it. If tape is an impedance to your workflow, then try something else.

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Post by mrc » Tue Feb 25, 2014 7:21 pm

I tend to do everything like I'm working on tape. I Love not dealing with it's problems any more. I'm still about takes, maybe a punch here and there. It's not as slick or fast as assembly, but it sounds closer to the truth. Nobody I've ever played with or heard play live, played each section exactly the same if it was repeated multiple times in a song, close maybe, but no null. Cookie cutter piano roll sounding stuff doesn't get it.

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JWL
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Post by JWL » Tue Feb 25, 2014 7:36 pm

I sometimes wonder if I'm the only one who doesn't miss tape. At all.

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Snarl 12/8
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Post by Snarl 12/8 » Tue Feb 25, 2014 11:37 pm

I just bought a Fostex R8 and I've got an analog board on the way. I'm trying to sell my DA7 and Tascam MX2424. I miss the limitations. I was most musically productive on my 8-track. I was damn near as productive when I was recording 2 channels at a time into my computer via the 1/8" input, it's been very fast downhill ever since.

Now, other stuff happened during my life at the time I basically slowed to a stop recording my own songs. "Stuff" being 2 very difficult children, so this is kindof an experiment.
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Post by Jim Williams » Wed Feb 26, 2014 8:16 am

I only miss the smell. I don't miss the top end roll-offs, the 4% THD at 10k and 100 hz, the modulation noise, the print through, pitch modulation and other factors like wear.

I love an analog studio setup, I just replaced the tape recorder with a hard drive recorder, the rest of the system is intact and all analog.

Great conversion has weened me off of tape.
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Post by creaturesleeper » Wed Feb 26, 2014 3:18 pm

I believe in using both....I still use a 4 track cassette...and am getting an Otari 5050 soon 8 track...whatever gets you close to what you want to hear...use anything...I think

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Post by A.David.MacKinnon » Wed Feb 26, 2014 5:32 pm

I should add to my earlier post that I still really love working on tape, it's just that as I segued from recording myself for fun to recording other people for a living it became less and less viable.
I find lots of bands talk about wanting to record to tape but as soon a you tell them how much it's going to cost they're more than happy record to digital. It's hard enough to get bands to spring for a half dozen DVD-Rs to back up their masters. Shelling out $500-1000 on tape stock is pretty much out of the question.
That and the fact that so many record I work on now go from my place back to the artists home/jam space/home studio for overdubs means digital is pretty much the only option.

It's been so long since I've used my old MSR-16 for recording that I've decided to use it to try to recreate this - http://www.hughlecaine.com/en/sptape.html

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blungo2
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Post by blungo2 » Wed Feb 26, 2014 5:41 pm

Wow! What a wonderful device!
I'd love to hear how it sounds.

So with a 1/2" 4 track, i could use 4 different 1/8" tapes simultaneously. Maybe tape motors drives from other units and hook them up for the different tape drives. Hmmmm...

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