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Reel to reel tape to bounce track

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Reel to reel tape to bounce track

Postby Frank Rideau » Wed Feb 20, 2013 10:31 pm

Hi,

I'd like to acquire a reel-to-reel tape deck to bounce some tracks to it to add some lo-fi tape coloration and have some fun with tape recording. I'm just wondering what kind of brand/model would be nice to it. I don't want something to clean neither something too noisy. What kind of price range should I aim at?
I recently find this ad and I was wondering if it could do the job. I'm currently trying to deal the price down.
Any opinions? Thanks !
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Re: Reel to reel tape to bounce track

Postby Frank Rideau » Wed Feb 20, 2013 10:35 pm

The link doesn't want to work...

The model is a TEAC A 3300sx
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Re: Reel to reel tape to bounce track

Postby James Perrett » Thu Feb 21, 2013 10:13 am

Personally, I'm more of a Revox fan but a good one is probably going to be more expensive than a Teac.

However, what are your expectations regarding the sound of reel to reel? Are you aware of how subtle the colouration is unless you abuse the format? Many years ago I was producing a CD and I needed to copy the master DAT for some reason but I only had one DAT machine. I ended up copying the DAT to analogue reel to reel on a Revox B77 and then back to DAT. No-one has ever commented on the CD sounding different to the original master - and there were quite a few people involved in that project.

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Re: Reel to reel tape to bounce track

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Feb 21, 2013 10:14 am

There have been a couple of threads discussing tape machines recently. You could start HERE
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Re: Reel to reel tape to bounce track

Postby The Elf » Thu Feb 21, 2013 12:38 pm

James Perrett wrote:However, what are your expectations regarding the sound of reel to reel? Are you aware of how subtle the colouration is unless you abuse the format?
+1

This new surge of interest in tape smacks of wishful thinking to me. Tape won't wave a magic wand on anyone's music.
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Re: Reel to reel tape to bounce track

Postby Frank Rideau » Thu Feb 21, 2013 3:51 pm

Yeah sure, I'm not expecting magic, I'm looking for experimentation, fun and challenge. I'm willing to pay a little 200$ to make my own idea of it. Maybe it will be a total waiste of time and I know it won't help if I have shitty mic placement and bad recording technic in the first place, it won't do "hey everything sounds great because I bounced to tape". I'm not looking for the expensive kind of Revox tape either it's not the purpose (my goal is no to "mix" to tape). I was curious to hear experiences in the use of some specific domestic brand for bouncing tracks like drums and then back into the mix. Maybe I should stick to some good plug-in as suggest, it will surely be more effective and even more customizable. But there also maybe the attraction of trying something different. Thanks for the warning and opinions.
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Re: Reel to reel tape to bounce track

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Feb 21, 2013 5:00 pm

Tape machines look cool and they are great fun to play with, but running costs are far from cheap even with a 'budget' machine. $200 won't get much of any quality and a decent reel of tape will cost about $60 before you even start...

If you have money to burn or are determined to gain some useful experience then go for it -- but do it with your eyes openand with a serious approach that will be genuinely useful -- which means learning how to align the electronics and the mechanics.

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Re: Reel to reel tape to bounce track

Postby chris... » Thu Feb 21, 2013 5:25 pm

Frank Rideau wrote:I don't want something to clean neither
And be prepared to clean it!
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Re: Reel to reel tape to bounce track

Postby slightly » Sat Feb 23, 2013 8:59 pm

A cheaper alternative is cassette decks/ recorder
I got obsessed with tape colourisation after
Using several warming tape plugins,
A couple of records I had been buying
Had be stated as tape bounced trks
Prior to vinyl pressing and I really
Started to like what I was hearing there too.

I bought a tascam 424 and now I'm finicky about
The tape cassettes I use, who would of thought

Even this route to cassette def adds a
Very pleasant warming colourisation
I made sure to do the best comparison
With daw straight bounced trks

warmer tone is what I end up with,
I'm in fact now looking to purchase
A handy reel to reel to investigate this
Stuff further, I'm sure I could get massively
Into that too.

One cool thing which I'm doing with
The tascam 424 cassette machine is
recording drum samples at high speed
And record back to an audio editor playing
At slow speed, very cool- love it
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Re: Reel to reel tape to bounce track

Postby Chaconne » Mon Feb 25, 2013 6:46 pm

OK - I went through a bit of an obsessive tape phase to - bit of a tinkerer anyhow - we all like machines no?

Anyhow try to sum it up. Some of the domestic machines are quite good for grunge, I can see why people use Akai 17 hundred series or 4000 machines for guitar parts. In fact I came across an Akai 1700 which is all valve - and has an incredible sound. In fact I think people take the amps out of these and similar Roberts machines and rack them up - so nothing to do with the tape really- I'm going to modify mine as an ipod dock! So domestic machines combination of early amp/pre amp tech and tape - fun and kinda useful.

Mid range machines like Teac and Tascams - definitely impart something, and they are fun to use - there is something about 'getting it right to tape' - but I found that it was a combination of a good front end AND tape that was the magic, plus the psycholog of "sit up and play"and you may as well just get the best front end into a computer and do the rest with plug ins.

Mastering. Only tried 1/4" 2 tracks. With three heads you can switch out the monitoring and quite easily hear whats going on no doubt, but again the eq characteristics and saturation/compression are easily modeled - and I would say it is never predictable as to wether I would use the tape master or I.t.B bounce.

Cassette is useful as well, as poster above, in fact its amazing what you can get in terms of drive and saturation - but it aint so sexy as those big reels!

So in short, i think everyone should have a go at playing round with this, its a history lesson if nothing else - but only if you are the kind that likes to mess around with junk and just see - we all know that plug ins are fantastic - but i have yet to see a studio with just a mac and a big screen in it - despite the fact that deep down everyone knows that would probably do!

We just dont want to sit around all day looking at cartoons of spinning reels and VU's do we!
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Re: Reel to reel tape to bounce track

Postby johnny h » Tue Feb 26, 2013 1:53 pm

Reel to reel tape is a rather complicated. Like others have said, cassette can sometimes really smooth the high end of some tracks. Also a cheap option is using VHS tape. Recorders are available everywhere for almost nothing so you can experiment without spending.

Nebula by Acustica Audio is pretty good for tape emulation. If you have a reasonably powerful computer its worth looking at.
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Re: Reel to reel tape to bounce track

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Feb 26, 2013 3:51 pm

johnny h wrote:Also a cheap option is using VHS tape. Recorders are available everywhere for almost nothing so you can experiment without spending.

The VHS option is not quite what it seems. The linear tape speed is very low and the audio tracks very narrow, so noise and bandwidth are major problems on VHS. The modesl with hi-fi audio tracks use an FM modulation system to embed the audio with the video, and so there is no cocmparable tape saturation process at all -- you'll just get whatever overload characteristics the electronics impose.

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Re: Reel to reel tape to bounce track

Postby chris... » Tue Feb 26, 2013 4:48 pm

and all the other weird / hideous artefacts associated with VHS hifi sound.

*shudder*
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Re: Reel to reel tape to bounce track

Postby vinyl_junkie » Tue Feb 26, 2013 7:35 pm

Chaconne wrote:
We just dont want to sit around all day looking at cartoons of spinning reels and VU's do we!


Hehehe

I recently picked up an old valve hybrid (transistor pre, valve everything else) Tandberg reel to reel for free, it's knackered well and truly but all the electronics still work.
It's got those amazing magic eye VU meters, I could watch that stuff all day.
My grandparents when I was a kid, all their stuff had those on everything hahah :-D

Yea cassette is great as it's cheap and a great way to experiment with sound using different tapes to get a different tone/compression.

To be honest I don't generally over drive much but I got these old crappy BASF chrome cassettes and they sound lovely when you start driving them hard!
You get to a point where it just starts limiting but it still sounds groovy.
Example here (First clip) Tape Overdrive

Actually edit, if any one in Kent wants that Tandberg I have no real use for it.. Basically none of the tape bits work (motors, dirty heads, seized capstan, damaged tape roller guide etc) but all the electronics work well and it has two built in speakers which sound pretty cool.. Could use it as a guitar amp and all valves are ok. I don't want anything for it
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Re: Reel to reel tape to bounce track

Postby Richie Royale » Tue Feb 26, 2013 8:00 pm

chris... wrote:and all the other weird / hideous artefacts associated with VHS hifi sound.

*shudder*

Has its place in some types of music.
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Re: Reel to reel tape to bounce track

Postby Chaconne » Sat Mar 02, 2013 11:18 pm

^^^ yeah there is a whole sub sub genre tagged as V.H.S on soundcloud - keep up!
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Re: Reel to reel tape to bounce track

Postby ef37a » Sun Mar 03, 2013 12:19 am

http://www.hifiengine.com/library/teac/a-3300sx.shtml

If you want more info.

The best quality machine is the 2T as it is 1/2 track and 15ips. I have an A3440 4 track 7.5/15ips machine and my son loves to record stuff on it. Our machine has proved extremely reliable and only needed new capstan belt about 2 years ago. The pots and front switches get crackly but a blast of cleaner every 6 months and a wiggle sorts that one.

Best of luck.I can't be doing with it myself. I remember only too well the struggle and frustration of the limited dynamic range of tape (could not afford Dolby!)now all that limits me is the ambient sound level(25dBC atmo!)

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