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Author Topic: The Future Without Tape  (Read 10832 times)

Arf! Mastering

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Re: The Future Without Tape
« Reply #45 on: February 10, 2005, 11:20:15 pm »

Not making a value judgment here - most of my favorite pop records have probably been tracked to analog tape, but the "glue" that is often spoken of is in reality is a euphonic side-effect of the loss that is incurred by the blurring of transients, "edges" that separate sounds if you will, caused by wow, flutter, and saturation.   A/B'ing an acoustic recording done to analog and high-quality digital, you'll hear that the analog has the "glue" but the digital has the imaging and detail.  The choice would have to be subjective.  Then there is that love it or leave it analog tape head-bump thing that plumps up the bottom.
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compasspnt

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Re: The Future Without Tape
« Reply #46 on: February 11, 2005, 12:24:29 am »

slicraider wrote on Thu, 10 February 2005 23:05

In other words, is analogue a desirable, non-losable "effect" that can be utilised?


I have to say yes. I have recently tracked straight to PT HD and all other times I have gone to 2" analog prior. Going to analog has always provided glue between all the recorded instruments which provided a much more musical sound. Listening to the tracks going straight to PT I can see where my energies will be spent during the mix.

Rick Slater

New York


AlanS wrote on Thu, 10 February 2005 23:20

Not making a value judgment here - most of my favorite pop records have probably been tracked to analog tape, but the "glue" that is often spoken of is in reality is a euphonic side-effect of the loss that is incurred by the blurring of transients, "edges" that separate sounds if you will, caused by wow, flutter, and saturation.   A/B'ing an acoustic recording done to analog and high-quality digital, you'll hear that the analog has the "glue" but the digital has the imaging and detail.  The choice would have to be subjective.  Then there is that love it or leave it analog tape head-bump thing that plumps up the bottom.



Both perfect answers.  No deep physics, no euphemistic, nebulous terms (except for "glue," which is unavoidable and expositionary), but excellent real-world empirical observations.  I think the truth lies right here.
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Rob Darling

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Re: The Future Without Tape
« Reply #47 on: February 12, 2005, 05:41:15 pm »

Wow.  A lot of stuff here.  

Bob, I think you've hit something with the fact that digital often gets the bad rap because many people have heard A-List analog but few have heard A-List digital.  In the same way that the digital mix busses suck because so many people who don't know what hell they are doing are mixing through them.

In addition, people who DO know what they are doing ignore that the two are very different mediums and as a result don't change their recording techniques.  I recently was cleaning a closet and found a magazine with a very old report from the head engineer at, I think, Polar, who was talking about his first experiences with a 3324.  His summary was that he would have to relearn recording because it was so different.  This is the only time I've ever heard an older engineer say that.  20 years later, it is still true- most records are made with knee-jerk use of the methods learned early in careers, handed down from the past.

Third, while tape is the sound of rock, many great musicians- singers, guitar players, piano players alike- that I work with who have amazing tone and dynamic prefer digital.  They always feel that their efforts are lost with tape.  

Ultimately, all nostalgia aside, tape will continue to exist only on the margins of recording.  Even if you are able to often use tape, you will still have to understand digital for what it is, and find out how to use its strengths, as much as several generations of analog recording engineers worked to make tape all that it could be.  

Let's stop the bitching.  Hell, most people don't even use the 16 bits we're given let alone the 20 they really could use.  That's the challenge- to make a record no one's heard before.  The race is on, guys.  Go for it- use the new tool as a new tool instead of trying to make the same damn record everone's been making for the last 40 years.  From the arrangements to mics to the placements to the gain structures, there is a whole lot of stuff that can be done very differently if the brain just opens up.

Best,

r.


 
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maxdimario

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Re: The Future Without Tape
« Reply #48 on: February 12, 2005, 06:18:56 pm »

This argument is similar to what I am experiencing now as I am testing different types of capacitors for sound quality.

The 'cleanest' caps that I have tested so far are the plastic film types, although that clean high end tends to be harsh and somewhat emphasised by a form of hysterisis which adds 'bad' harmonics in the upper midrange (we are talking slight but significant differences).
I have yet to try auricaps and the like, so I hope the hysterisis issue does not apply to them.
there are also polystirene which are very clean and don't add too many artifacts, but they are usually small values and expensive.
Paper caps don't have this annoying characteristic, but they do tend to lose a little top end detail and have a similar effect to tape as far as rounding the edges, depending on the condition and quality of the cap.

electrolytics are different beasts altogether and seem to have an 'aural exciter' kind of distortion, due to the fact that they are bypolar among other things.

there are plenty of ways to screw up sound by using components that were not selected by ear for music reproduction.

and glueing things together by distorting the sound can be obtained in other ways.

The main concern for tape vs. digital is if digital really can capture the live feel (imaging/resolution/speed/natural-ness) of music.

gotta try out that SLAM or the weiss.

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