how to record on tape

Discussion in 'Recording Studio' started by Username1, Jul 23, 2012.

  1. Freddy G

    Freddy G V.I.P. Member

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    That's very interesting. It's about $200? I'll buy it just based on your recommendation Joey.
     
  2. Drew224

    Drew224 "Obvious BS Artist" V.I.P. Member

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    That's what I noticed.

    StuderĀ® A800 Multichannel Tape Recorder Plug-In | Universal Audio
    Watch the videos for this, it sounds sooooo good.
     
  3. Username1

    Username1 Senior Member

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  4. Joeydego

    Joeydego your mom is a nice lady V.I.P. Member

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    I'm a mercury owner so I got it for free in an update. Shop around, if the site says 200 you'll find up to half off retail if you're patient. Google dutch music. I did a lot of plugin business with them. I'm on the road now or I'd provide a link.
     
  5. Drew224

    Drew224 "Obvious BS Artist" V.I.P. Member

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    Something along those lines. Yeah, it is. I'd definitely look for a good alternative before dropping the coin, but it does sound damn good.
     
  6. Thumpalumpacus

    Thumpalumpacus Senior Member

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    Indeed. Most people who prefer the sound of tape have that preference exactly because they like what it does with the signal -- it takes some of the top end off, and beefs up the lower mids. Whether the stuff you worked around sounded awful because of the tape or some other factor is not clear to me, because firstly I haven't heard it, and secondly I'm not sure how you define "awful."

    I mentioned deterioration because your question was phrased in the present tense ("If tape is such a wonderful medium them why is it that most demos and low budget recordings from back in the day sound so crappy?"), which implies that listening to older masters should present the exact same sound today as at the time of recording, which we agree isn't the case. I know that the demos I recorded back in the 90s didn't fare too well with the years, but with a couple of exceptions, they didn't sound all that great to begin with. :shock:

    Still I find tape to be a great option for recording guitars, myself. As I said above, I'd record guitar and drums to tape, and then dump them into software, if I were still regularly recording.

    If you're happy with your digital stuff, more power to you.
     
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  7. Leendrix

    Leendrix The Cheeky One V.I.P. Member

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    Digital still sounds great, but the tape mix has a wider EQ range and the instruments breathe more. It sounds less compressed.

    I hope I don't seem to be sniffing cork, but those are the differences I hear. :) Thank you for posting those, Freddy!
     
  8. slapshot

    slapshot Senior Member

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    when our studio went to digital he was running a signal to the tape machine & the whateverdigitalthingtorecordon then we ran a track to the everyday tape machine and tried it out on the boom box & car stereo and maybe it wasn't fully dialled in as it being new but there was a noticeable difference between the two even in our lofi hacked out tunes.

    i believe the word they use is "warmth" .... but yeah tape is one of those things that should still be taught even though its an outdated technology.
     
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  9. Joeydego

    Joeydego your mom is a nice lady V.I.P. Member

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    When the tape guy was in the studio calibrating the machine, he demo'd the beauty of tape. We recorded a kick to tape from protools. Then A/B'd the 2 tracks. They were 2 very different kicks, for sure. The tape one sounded far more real. I would revisit tracking to tape in the future, just not sure how much if any benefit taking a multi track protools session and dumping that to 2 track tape to master. If it was really that much better, the mastering house should take the stereo .wav mix and do it. That ought to be where it happens. Not for a mix, this day and age. Unless the whole session is done with analog tape, console and outboard. Lets remember the tools arent the most important thing. I'm sure Eddie Kramer could blow my mixes away using freeware available online in half the time. I've heard and played on some HORRIBLE sounding tracks done on an SSL board (probably upwards of 100 grand). If the engineer knows what he's doing, it'll sound good, regardless.
     
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  10. Joeydego

    Joeydego your mom is a nice lady V.I.P. Member

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    Agreed. Just isn't cost or space effective for me. I'd need half my living room cleared out.
     
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  11. Thumpalumpacus

    Thumpalumpacus Senior Member

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    Well, I hated most of those, but not for reasons of mixing decisions. :)
     
  12. Thumpalumpacus

    Thumpalumpacus Senior Member

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    Understood. I've got a bud who has a digital setup that's fine by me; I tracked some stuff for him and while I didn't really care for the very stark sound environment given in part by the choice of gear and/or DAW, it worked fine, was convenient, and I can imagine a couple of easy fixes to give me much of what I like in tape.

    I'm not hidebound about it. When I do get back into recording, it will almost certainly be digital, for many of the reasons presented here in this thread.
     
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  13. slapshot

    slapshot Senior Member

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    i'm not a "digital is bad" guy though at all we were just there before during & after they made the change and it was cool to hear the differences even if i have less than zero idea what causes them all.

    Some of my favourite recordings were done on a boom box & 4 track though and nowadays the macbook pro services all my needs for recording.

    any australians in sydney who've been to Zen studios might be hearing me on this one though :thumb:
     
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  14. Joeydego

    Joeydego your mom is a nice lady V.I.P. Member

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    I have this
    Tape Plugin | Kramer Master Tape | Waves
    It does what tape does, pretty much. On a track by track basis, it's subtle. On the mix it seems overkill as was my experience with actual tape.
     
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  15. middy

    middy Senior Member

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    Hat's off to Freddy and the musicians that performed this little tune. Really enjoyable listen. Both sound warm enough to me. While the hat seems a bit crisper in a good way on the tape version it has a bit more shluppy sound in a good way on th digi version . I think there's a tid bit more of a bell like sound on the guitar in the tape but the digi has a clarity and quality that's attractive. I really believe it's very subjective and I will say from the small amount of recording I've heard from Freddy that I'm not surprised that he can muster clarity and definition from tape and a bit of analog warmth from digi bringing them very close. Thanks for the pepsi challenge. Great thread OP.
     
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  16. Freddy G

    Freddy G V.I.P. Member

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    Thanks middy!
    This tune is from the same record as my other recent thread on recording an alternative country band.

    And for the record, I'm definitely not a "tape is better than digital" guy. I like them both for their strengths. I just look at them as tools...two different flavours. The alternative country record that I just mentioned had some tracks that were purely digital and some that passed through analogue tape. Some tracks just sounded better to me one way or the other.
     
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  17. middy

    middy Senior Member

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    You know.. I honestly was wondering that. I said to myself it sounds similar production but I wasn't sure because of the nature of the first tune having great instrumentation but to really to back up the song/lyrics. I was thinking an album full of great songs. That's fantastic that the band has major chops and write and perform a jam tune like this. Hope there's more of this as well with the rest of the production.
     
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  18. Freddy G

    Freddy G V.I.P. Member

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    Yeah, they have chops! The tune in this thread was written by the guitar player. He wrote out the entire violin part and she sight read during the take :wow:
     
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  19. babatube

    babatube Senior Member

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    :)
    the tape mix is more compressed but in a good way.
    it has more in your face feeling.
    the digital mix also sound great but more sterile and clean IMO.
    i liked the tape mix better.
     
  20. yeti

    yeti Senior Member

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    Does CocaCola really taste better than H2O?
    I think it's important to understand what "it sounds better" means to different people. For example many listeners respond to loudness as "sounding better" yet that louder track attenuated down to be compared to an lower level/ more dynamic track will sound worse OBJECTIVELY. Strapping an Aphex Aural Exciter across the mixbus used to "sound better" to most listeners during the 80's yet to trained ears it was the equivalent of crack cocaine. Digital reverb sounded better to most than an EMT plate.Putting a "smileyface EQ" on the mix used to sound better to the disco-generation. Parallel processing on drums as well as the (IMO) dreaded distressor sounds better to most ears but it's just added distortion and to illustrate my point, to most listeners pitch correction with Melodyne will sound better than the "raw" track, but does any of this really "sound better". The classical guys have the right idea regarding this subject (IMO) and it goes roughly like "who do you (engineer) think you are to f@#k with the sound of my Stradivarius". get it recorded the way it's supposed to sound. Many of the old engineers could do that and then get creative from there but the tool that lets you do the faithful stuff is the better tool, especially if you can muck it up later ad nauseam. That's why it's so revealing to talk to older engineers who were there, tape, tubes (don't get me started on that one) and all that and were trying their hardest to make their recorders sound transparent. These days an IZ RADAR and a decent console is probably the best combination, feels like a tapemachine, bulletproof performance, good analog frontend and then import to DAW where you can go crazy.
     

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