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Tape machines

All about the tools and techniques involved in capturing sound, in the studio or on location.

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Re: Tape machines

Postby Arpangel » Thu Jan 21, 2021 9:47 am

MadManDan wrote:Ehhhhh, just wait for behringer to make one :headbang: :bouncy: :roll: :clap: :headbang:

That will never happen, too complex, fiddly, for Behringer, all that mechanical stuff, plus, they go wrong, warranties etc.
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Re: Tape machines

Postby JRC1 » Fri Jan 22, 2021 1:41 am

Arpangel wrote:
MadManDan wrote:Ehhhhh, just wait for behringer to make one :headbang: :bouncy: :roll: :clap: :headbang:

That will never happen, too complex, fiddly, for Behringer, all that mechanical stuff, plus, they go wrong, warranties etc.

I thought going wrong was Behringers specialty 10 years ago.

as a tape person I wish they made new machines, I'm finally taking my first steps into computer recording and looking at behringer umc404 to have the same jotting abilities that I always had with a four track.

Reading this was so interesting as I just can't believe so many people have never worked with tape or without a computer at all. I use an HD24 if Im not in a studio that has a machine. I love the things and dont think ill give up on them as long as they still manufacture tape
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Re: Tape machines

Postby Arpangel » Fri Jan 22, 2021 9:25 am

JRC1 wrote:
I thought going wrong was Behringers specialty 10 years ago.

as a tape person I wish they made new machines, I'm finally taking my first steps into computer recording and looking at behringer umc404 to have the same jotting abilities that I always had with a four track.

Reading this was so interesting as I just can't believe so many people have never worked with tape or without a computer at all. I use an HD24 if Im not in a studio that has a machine. I love the things and dont think ill give up on them as long as they still manufacture tape

I still use a four track cassette, and it wasn’t until 2004 that I first used a computer for music.
I used to have two DAT machines and an ADAT, mixed through a Soundcraft RacPac mixer, plus a Fostex 280 and a Tascam 32-2B.
There is something so immediate and satisfying about tape, and some things still sound best on it.
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Re: Tape machines

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Jan 22, 2021 10:51 am

JRC1 wrote:I just can't believe so many people have never worked with tape...

Tape effectively died in the early 90s -- 30 years ago -- so an entire generation has grown up without tape being a fundamental feature of the recording industry.
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Re: Tape machines

Postby Luke W » Fri Jan 22, 2021 11:01 am

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
JRC1 wrote:I just can't believe so many people have never worked with tape...

Tape effectively died in the early 90s -- 30 years ago -- so an entire generation has grown up without tape being a fundamental feature of the recording industry.

Yep, guilty as charged!

In fact I don't think I've even worked completely computer-free either. The first studio I did any pushing of buttons in was based around ADAT machines but there was a very basic PT rig in there as well.
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Re: Tape machines

Postby Arpangel » Fri Jan 22, 2021 12:05 pm

Luke W wrote:
Hugh Robjohns wrote:
JRC1 wrote:I just can't believe so many people have never worked with tape...

Tape effectively died in the early 90s -- 30 years ago -- so an entire generation has grown up without tape being a fundamental feature of the recording industry.

Yep, guilty as charged!

In fact I don't think I've even worked completely computer-free either. The first studio I did any pushing of buttons in was based around ADAT machines but there was a very basic PT rig in there as well.

The very first studio I worked in had a Ferrograph four track, a home made mixer, and a pair of massive Tannoys built into the corners of the control room
That was about 1976. I loved it all, but back then, we didn’t have any choice, and a lot of the time we fought against all odds to get what we wanted.
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Re: Tape machines

Postby Tim Gillett » Fri Jan 22, 2021 12:11 pm

JRC1 wrote:I just can't believe so many people have never worked with tape...

I guess you mean analog signals recorded to that tape. The first, and at that stage only viable medium for recording audio digitally was tape (actually videotape on modified videotape machines in the 70's) and it stayed that way for many years. Behind the scenes magnetic tape is still very much entrenched across the world for digital data backup. So "digital vis a vis tape" is not really a clear way of seeing it. Tape can be used digitally or analogically - if that's a word.
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Re: Tape machines

Postby MOF » Fri Jan 22, 2021 12:26 pm

I use an HD24 if Im not in a studio that has a machine. I love the things and dont think ill give up on them as long as they still manufacture tape
Is this the Alesis HD24? I’m not sure what you’re saying here.
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Re: Tape machines

Postby blinddrew » Fri Jan 22, 2021 1:45 pm

I had a four track cassette recorder for about 10 years I guess, but as soon as I could afford a digital unit that went. I moved to computer recording a couple of years later.
No waaaay would I go back to tape. People talk about the inspiration suck from booting up a computer and software but, to me, it's nothing to waiting for the godd@mn tape to rewind! :D
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Re: Tape machines

Postby MOF » Fri Jan 22, 2021 2:25 pm

No waaaay would I go back to tape. People talk about the inspiration suck from booting up a computer and software but, to me, it's nothing to waiting for the godd@mn tape to rewind! :D
Me too!!!
I love unlimited tracks (storage dependent, but hard drives have so much capacity it’s almost a non caveat), undo/redo, the ability to cycle and audition different edits and arrangements, also creating different versions using the same elements without having to bounce to another tape, never mind the quality loss.
Oh and then there are excellent “tape” plugins, what’s not to like?
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Re: Tape machines

Postby James Perrett » Fri Jan 22, 2021 2:55 pm

blinddrew wrote:I had a four track cassette recorder for about 10 years I guess, but as soon as I could afford a digital unit that went. I moved to computer recording a couple of years later.
No waaaay would I go back to tape. People talk about the inspiration suck from booting up a computer and software but, to me, it's nothing to waiting for the godd@mn tape to rewind! :D

It may be worth saying that a 4 track cassette recorder is nothing like a real studio tape machine. The one session that I did with one early on was enough to tell me that I didn't want to go down that route. With a 4 track cassette you spend too much time struggling against its limitations and planning how to best over come them.

A 2 track reel to reel gives you two simple options - record everything all at once down to a stereo mix or build things up layer by layer, mixing as you go. A multitrack with 8 or more tracks allows you to give things their own tracks and leave mixing until later. A 4 track is just too much of a compromise between the two.
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Re: Tape machines

Postby ManFromGlass » Fri Jan 22, 2021 3:00 pm

But digital still can’t do justice to having the tape touch the playback head as it’s fast forwarding or even better, going in reverse!
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Re: Tape machines

Postby OneWorld » Fri Jan 22, 2021 3:09 pm

I once had an old ex-BBC Dokorder, lovely old 4-track it was, and came with a batch of used reels of Ampex tape which had been erased.

So me and the band recorded a song, about homelessness, the singer did her usually sterling performance, a really emotive performance and on the day it was one of those times when the band just nailed it first take, it was bob on. We took the tape to a sutdio to be mixed and mastered.

We went back a few days later and the engineer said, "great job, great song and I really like the bit where there is the interview with a homeless man"

"What interview?" we asked, the engineer played the tape and sure enough, when the singing stopped and the instrumental bit came in, the lament of a sax solo, a recorded interview faded in, in time with the music, it was right on cue!!!!! it was in time with the music, the phrasing in sync and then the vocalist's part came back in!

Obviously during the bulk erase operation, not all was erased, but it was the way the interview sort of slipstreamed into the music!
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Re: Tape machines

Postby Exalted Wombat » Fri Jan 22, 2021 3:16 pm

James Perrett wrote:A 2 track reel to reel gives you two simple options - record everything all at once down to a stereo mix or build things up layer by layer, mixing as you go. A multitrack with 8 or more tracks allows you to give things their own tracks and leave mixing until later. A 4 track is just too much of a compromise between the two.

It's amazing what we used to do on them though, isn't it! Back when we were still thinking more in terms of recording a performance than playing with a musical construction set.
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Re: Tape machines

Postby JRC1 » Fri Jan 22, 2021 10:53 pm

MOF wrote:
I use an HD24 if Im not in a studio that has a machine. I love the things and dont think ill give up on them as long as they still manufacture tape
Is this the Alesis HD24? I’m not sure what you’re saying here.
yep the ALesis I use that when I don't work in a studio that still has a tape machine or with solo artists who are playing everything themselves as it's just an easier workflow.

I started when tape was on its way out and it was adat unless you were in a "fancy" studio.
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