dumping tape to tools

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rhombus
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dumping tape to tools

Post by rhombus » Fri Oct 10, 2003 4:36 pm

this is in reference to an earlier thread but didnt get what i needed.

heres the scenario:
have 1/2 inch 8 track and pro tools digi001
want to track all to tape but will end up with more than 16 tracks total.
ill use 7 tracks for drums and 1 for the scratch instruments.
dump the 8 tracks through the 001 to tools.(simple)
send a mixed mono drum track to track 1 and the scratch instrument track
to 8 on the tape machine.
over dub instruments onto tracks 2-7.
now the problem i have is syncing the new 8 to the original drum tracks
already in pro tools. ive read it is simple but i just dont understand time
code or word clock.
im know im going to need an external device for this
i would rather not lose a track on the tape machine for printing this if possible.
need help with a device and how to make it work
maybe i said too much but i need to sync my tape machine to pro tools

thanks mark

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Re: dumping tape to tools

Post by moogrocker » Fri Oct 10, 2003 7:23 pm

Theres a much easier way to deal with this. Just use the tape machine as a processor and go straight from that into Pro Tools.

Just set the channel output on your multitrack to an input on PT. Hit record on Tape and just let it run so what ever you are playing (ie guitar) will be recording onto the tape. Now just record in PT and what you will be recording will be an instant bounce off the tape. No real sync up required.

Assuming you have PT set to the minimal latency setting you should have no problems.

John

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Re: dumping tape to tools

Post by MoreSpaceEcho » Fri Oct 10, 2003 7:39 pm

moogrocker wrote:
Assuming you have PT set to the minimal latency setting you should have no problems.

John
but if he's monitoring off the tape there's gonna be the delay from the gap between the record and playback heads. i suppose you could monitor in sel-rep, but at least on my machine the frequency response is way different (highs only go to 15k...) so i wouldn't wanna do that unless it was for effect. i guess you could also just figure out exactly how many milliseconds the gap is (just record a click from protools out to tape and back and see how far off they are) then you can compensate for it afterwards...

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Re: dumping tape to tools

Post by @?,*???&? » Fri Oct 10, 2003 8:39 pm

Tried this with a band called 'los Villains'. They had recorded on an 8-track 1/2" machine, submixed and then overdubbed again.

The tape machine never ran the same speed twice. After much editing, realigning tracks, it became a subjective nightmare. I ended up making things feel better than they were originally performed, but it cost the band alot with regard to time. Lots and lots of slivering was needed to make up for the irregular tape speed. Punk record that it was, one never noticed upon listening.

For your situation, I'd suggest getting a Midi timepiece. Stripe Smpte on your 8-track, dedicating one track solely to the timecode. Run the timecode into the Timepiece so it can be converted to midi, then have your 001 read the midi. It will use the midi timecode to align to the smpte code in the Pro Tools session. No better way to do it with an inexpensive 8-track. There are many boxes I could recommend for a professional 24-track 2" machine.

I think you may still have a problem because of the machine speed and you'll be asking for a buttload of error correction in the Pro Tools using midi as I've described.

Time to go to timecode school on this. Experience in a real studio would leave you with a much better understanding of this.

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Re: dumping tape to tools

Post by @?,*???&? » Fri Oct 10, 2003 8:51 pm

Why not just track into Pro Tools to begin with? If the analog deck has noise reduction, you're already makng a serious compromise with regard to sound quality anyway...you'll likely get more faithful reproduction from Pro Tools. If you had a 16-track 2" machine or a 24-track 2" machine I'd say something different...

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Re: dumping tape to tools

Post by soundguy » Fri Oct 10, 2003 9:12 pm

jeff's experience is not isolated. NO machine except one will run at speed without external clock capstan control. If you want the sound of tape, you can free run like you described with a nagra so long as you have the crystal installed (which it more than likely will be). Turn the thing on, wait till it comes up to speed and you are good to go. Only problem is that biasing a nagra for tape popular with music studios will cost a FORTUNE as there are only a small handful of dudes in the US who can bias a nagra. when you buy a used nagra, you can be virtuallly guaranteed that it will be biased for a stock popular with dialogue recording and you wont want to track music on that stuff. 478 is not a cool stock for rock and roll. The upside is this wonderful thing called Nagra master eq, which is at the 15ips setting on the deck. Needs to be heard to be believed. You can probably find a nagra 4-s without timecode, now, sadly, for under $1k. All you'd have to do is slide the tracks back in protools and you'll be in synch, every time. Of couse, once you have a nagra you can find out about all kinds of other stuff, like the world class mic pre's that are an institution in the film biz, but nobody outside the industry knows about them. Or the limiter. hell. Nagras are quirky, but there is NOTHING built like a nagra.

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Re: dumping tape to tools

Post by JasonMc » Sun Oct 12, 2003 7:05 pm

if you are dead set on recording your drums to 1/2" then i would suggest you take 6 tracks or so for drums and one track for a bass, another for other scratch instruments. Once you record a drum take you like, perhaps clean up the bass track by punching-in or rerecording... But I would ultimately dump all 8 of these tracks into protools and overdub in the computer. Provided you aren't going crazy with you number of tracks. I've know several people using this method and usually have grerat resuts.
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Re: dumping tape to tools

Post by joel hamilton » Mon Oct 13, 2003 12:08 am

who cares about recording the overdubs to tape again?

why not do the drums to tape, load them in at one time, then do all your overdubs straight to protools, then print groups out to tape(1-2 drums stereo submix/ 3-4 guitar stereo submix/5-bass-6 main vocal/7-8 backing vocal or keys or whatever else you want to stay stereo.)

That is how I would deal with it. What you gain from doing everything on tape, you lose in the cumbersome, convoluted nature of what you claim to want to do.

The groups will sound great off tape for mixing, and you wont have any bullshit "lock" issues.

Track to protools through the tape machine in input if you are hearing the transformers.... (i do this a lot with a studer and HD).

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Re: dumping tape to tools

Post by Gebo » Mon Oct 13, 2003 12:32 am

I usually just do drums or drums and bass on tape, than bounce that down to protools and track the rest on the computer. You could always do 6 drum tracks, than instead of using the other 2 for scratch tracks, figure out the other tracks you think would most benifit from tape, and do those on tracks 7 and 8. Than bounce the whole shabang and your doing good. or you could always do this... Track the drums and whatever else, making sure there is an audible and solid 4 stick clicks before, than bounce that down, and send it back (to tape) as 2 stereo tracks, over dub whatever else using the stereo tracks, ya know, listening to those. than bouce all 8 back again. Using pro tools witchery make sure the 4 clicks line up (its easier to line up for solid clicks [visually and audibly] than it is a whole song, than all you do is remove the stereo tracks in protools, and all the rest of the tracks will line up... assuming your tape runs and a solid speed... So yea, theres some tricks that I use.
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Re: dumping tape to tools

Post by tiger vomitt » Mon Oct 13, 2003 9:05 am

MoreSpaceEcho wrote:
but if he's monitoring off the tape there's gonna be the delay from the gap between the record and playback heads. i suppose you could monitor in sel-rep, but at least on my machine the frequency response is way different (highs only go to 15k...) so i wouldn't wanna do that unless it was for effect. i guess you could also just figure out exactly how many milliseconds the gap is (just record a click from protools out to tape and back and see how far off they are) then you can compensate for it afterwards...
this so far seems like the best solution. finding the length of the gap would take all of 30 seconds for someone that knows protools. are there any drawbacks to this method?

(i've been trying to figure out the best way to incorporate 1" 8 track into my DAW setup)


peace

evan

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Re: dumping tape to tools

Post by joel hamilton » Mon Oct 13, 2003 9:20 am

Without a consistent way to lock the two, I personally would just fill up all 8 tracks, and transfer them in at the same time. What is wrong with that?

What are you hoping to achieve beyond that, i guess is the real question.

Like I said, I track basics to tape and then do the rest, including mix out of HD a lot these days, and I actually enjoy the flexibility, and lack of rewind/shuttling time.

It is "quaint" to sit through 25,000 rewinds during mixing, but why bother?

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Re: dumping tape to tools

Post by Electricide » Mon Oct 13, 2003 9:24 am

I'm going to reinforce what's been said already by Jeff, Joel, etc.

Track your drum and bass to tape, dump to PT, and overdub in Protools.
You could lay SMPTE timecode to track 8, and use your reel as a master to your 001 via a SMPTE to Midi Time Code converter. But MTC is far less reliable, and as was said, I'm not sure it can compensate for the speed varaition from your reel.

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Re: dumping tape to tools

Post by jack's perforated eardrum » Mon Jan 17, 2005 2:28 pm

I'm dredging up a really old post. There are some really great posts on SMPTE, dumping from tape to PT, etc. I feel smarter already.

I wanted to bounce this idea of ya'll, and see if this seems like it would work: After recording drums and bass to 8-track, I want to dump that stuff into PT. But rather than doing overdubs in PT as I've seen suggested (I think guitars sound brittle and crappy when tracked digitally), what about just sacrificing the original drum tracks one at a time until I have tracked everything to tape?

For example, let's say I lay 1 SMPTE track, 6 drum tracks and 1 bass track to tape. I then dump the drums and bass to PT. Then I record guitar over (say) the snare track, and vocals over (say) the kick track on the tape. Then I dump the guitar and vocals into PT, relying on SMTPE to keep everything locked in.

Would that work? Or would I still be seeing wow and flutter since the second dump to PT would be a second physical rolling of tape with all its inherent inconsistencies? Did I just answer my own question? :)

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Re: dumping tape to tools

Post by Zeppelin4Life » Mon Jan 17, 2005 2:42 pm

I used to do this with cassette because I had limited soundcard inputs...I had a problem where the beginnings would be synced perfectly, and then at the ned of the song they would be lightyears off. I think it was beause of the horrible cassette machine I was using. I imagine that the R2R recorder is much more consistent
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Re: dumping tape to tools

Post by KennyLusk » Mon Jan 17, 2005 4:21 pm

I may be an idiot, and please feel free to call me an idiot, but why not just track the drums on 2 tracks to begin with? Why not simply work with what you have rather than all the gymnastics required to work around your concrete limitations?

Just a thought.

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