You are here

consumer reel to reel for "machine electronics"

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

Moderator: Moderators

consumer reel to reel for "machine electronics"

Postby heavenorlasvegas » Fri Jun 04, 2021 1:10 am

greeting SOS,

I'm looking for a deck where I can use it to pass signals through and get some mojo just by using the decks electronics. the tape won't be used at all here.

what machines in particular should i be looking for for this use?
heavenorlasvegas
Poster
Posts: 25
Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2021 3:41 pm

Re: consumer reel to reel for "machine electronics"

Postby James Perrett » Fri Jun 04, 2021 1:17 am

You might as well choose any arbitrary piece of audio electronics to pass the signal through. If you don't use tape you'll hear very little difference in the sound. The only exception would be if the machine had some kind of limiter which was in the monitor path - I used to have a Sony cassette deck with a limiter that I used as a compressor in the days before I had a proper compressor.
User avatar
James Perrett
Moderator
Posts: 10799
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2001 12:00 am
Location: The wilds of Hampshire
JRP Music - Audio Mastering and Restoration. JRP Music Facebook Page

Re: consumer reel to reel for "machine electronics"

Postby heavenorlasvegas » Fri Jun 04, 2021 1:29 am

James Perrett wrote:You might as well choose any arbitrary piece of audio electronics to pass the signal through. If you don't use tape you'll hear very little difference in the sound. The only exception would be if the machine had some kind of limiter which was in the monitor path - I used to have a Sony cassette deck with a limiter that I used as a compressor in the days before I had a proper compressor.

hey there! thanks for the reply.

So what would you suggest if i wanted to use the tape and not just the electronics? Do you know of any consumer machines that have a lot of warmth and character? I'm looking for a big sound, with some grain and dirt.
heavenorlasvegas
Poster
Posts: 25
Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2021 3:41 pm

Re: consumer reel to reel for "machine electronics"

Postby Tim Gillett » Fri Jun 04, 2021 6:10 am

heavenorlasvegas wrote:
James Perrett wrote:You might as well choose any arbitrary piece of audio electronics to pass the signal through. If you don't use tape you'll hear very little difference in the sound. The only exception would be if the machine had some kind of limiter which was in the monitor path - I used to have a Sony cassette deck with a limiter that I used as a compressor in the days before I had a proper compressor.

hey there! thanks for the reply.

So what would you suggest if i wanted to use the tape and not just the electronics? Do you know of any consumer machines that have a lot of warmth and character? I'm looking for a big sound, with some grain and dirt.

The machine doesnt add the warmth. It's the tape but only when the tape is deliberately, or accidentally overloaded. Most historic analog tape recordings of any quality werent saturated unless by ignorance or accident IMO.

Many consumer decks werent really designed for massive saturation of the tapes. Trying to saturate the tape can just produce a cheap and nasty distortion.
Tim Gillett
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 2384
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:00 am
Location: Perth, Western Australia

Re: consumer reel to reel for "machine electronics"

Postby Arpangel » Fri Jun 04, 2021 6:39 am

Mojo is a word often used by over zealous vintage equipment salesmen.
I think you need to establish exactly what your recordings are lacking, something you can identify, something you like, something tangible, then try and figure out how to get that sound, once you’ve figured out what it is try and get it as simply and as cheaply as possible.
Just step back a bit, god forbid, but, pretend you’ve lost your vision, you can’t see, the audio world would sound like a completely different place.
User avatar
Arpangel
Jedi Poster
Posts: 7797
Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2003 12:00 am
That would be an ecumenical matter.

Re: consumer reel to reel for "machine electronics"

Postby The Elf » Fri Jun 04, 2021 7:57 am

Don't fall for the hype. Just make music. Leave the hardware 'mojo' to those who desperately want to, or have a vested interest in making others, believe.
User avatar
The Elf
Jedi Poster
Posts: 16776
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2001 12:00 am
Location: Sheffield, UK
An Eagle for an Emperor, A Kestrel for a Knave.

Re: consumer reel to reel for "machine electronics"

Postby RichardT » Fri Jun 04, 2021 8:10 am

The Elf wrote:Don't fall for the hype. Just make music. Leave the hardware 'mojo' to those who desperately want to, or have a vested interest in making others, believe.

I agree - if you need a saturation type effect, plugins are very good, much more flexible, and easier to use.
RichardT
Frequent Poster
Posts: 953
Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2004 12:00 am
Location: London UK

Re: consumer reel to reel for "machine electronics"

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Jun 04, 2021 9:52 am

heavenorlasvegas wrote:I'm looking for a big sound, with some grain and dirt.

Use a plugin. Easier, cheaper, more reliable, more controllable, and more likely to give you the sound character you're seeking. Very few tape machines and virtually no electronic devices are as 'dirty' as you think they should be!
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 31085
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound
In my world, things get less strange when I read the manual... 

Re: consumer reel to reel for "machine electronics"

Postby Martin Walker » Fri Jun 04, 2021 10:37 am

RichardT wrote:I agree - if you need a saturation type effect, plugins are very good, much more flexible, and easier to use.

+1

Plug-ins are SO much more controllable, and the tape-style ones can be instantly switched between different brands of 'virtual tape', tape speeds, amount of head bump, distortion...


Martin
User avatar
Martin Walker
Moderator
Posts: 17666
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 9:44 am
Location: Cornwall, UK

Re: consumer reel to reel for "machine electronics"

Postby ManFromGlass » Fri Jun 04, 2021 12:18 pm

I used to think tape plugins would give me that grain and dirt and I found they were all too subtle. Some I couldn’t even hear what they were doing. The effect seemed to get lost in the final mix too.
Seems I was looking for a nice touch of distortion now and then. There are so many cool flavours of distortion mojo!
User avatar
ManFromGlass
Jedi Poster
Posts: 4558
Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2011 12:00 am
Location: O Canada

Re: consumer reel to reel for "machine electronics"

Postby heavenorlasvegas » Fri Jun 04, 2021 2:05 pm

thanks for all your replies guys, without social media i'd be lost! looks like i'll be sticking to plugins ;) thanks again!
heavenorlasvegas
Poster
Posts: 25
Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2021 3:41 pm

Re: consumer reel to reel for "machine electronics"

Postby Arpangel » Sat Jun 05, 2021 7:19 am

Hugh Robjohns wrote:Very few tape machines and virtually no electronic devices are as 'dirty' as you think they should be!

That is very true, recording on my Tascam 424 cassette, the sound is very good, and you have to go some to make it dirty, but normally, the overall sound of it is a very subtle thing.
User avatar
Arpangel
Jedi Poster
Posts: 7797
Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2003 12:00 am
That would be an ecumenical matter.

Re: consumer reel to reel for "machine electronics"

Postby Frank Rideau » Sat Jun 05, 2021 11:17 pm

Check out Kush Audio plugins. His Omega series which emulate 70's transistor clipping might be doing what you are looking for.
Frank Rideau
Regular
Posts: 242
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2011 1:00 am
http://soundcloud.com/orgasmo-sonore Revisiting Obscure Film Music

Re: consumer reel to reel for "machine electronics"

Postby Tim Gillett » Sun Jun 06, 2021 2:46 am

Frank Rideau wrote:Check out Kush Audio plugins. His Omega series which emulate 70's transistor clipping might be doing what you are looking for.

Tape saturation distortion is not amp clipping. Very different sound.
Tim Gillett
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 2384
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:00 am
Location: Perth, Western Australia

Re: consumer reel to reel for "machine electronics"

Postby Frank Rideau » Sun Jun 06, 2021 3:01 pm

Hey Tim, I know. :roll:
Maybe you might want to read the initial question again. He was not looking for tape saturation, more an effect of going through electronics and transformers. Thus my recommendation.
Frank Rideau
Regular
Posts: 242
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2011 1:00 am
http://soundcloud.com/orgasmo-sonore Revisiting Obscure Film Music

Next