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Author Topic: Analog Tape - which one?  (Read 829 times)


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Analog Tape - which one?
« on: December 09, 2005, 11:12:01 am »

I am entering the world of mixing down to analog - getting an ATR 102 1/4"

I'll have more time to experiment later in terms of really finding my sound, but for now I need a quick recommendation as I am trying to mix my album in a not too long time frame.

Style - rock, acoustic rock, psychedelic stuff, occassional piano

456? Gp9? others brands? (new to all of this - last analog I used was my 4 track cassette) Or does it not matter too much.

Explanations as to the differences between them would be greatly appreciated!
don't forget to eat your khao niao



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Re: Analog Tape - which one?
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2005, 11:46:07 am »

you're not to be so blind with patriotism that you can't face reality. wrong is wrong, no matter who does it or says it  -       malcolm x

Dave Davis

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Re: Analog Tape - which one?
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2005, 12:32:10 pm »

456 is closer to what the machine was originally designed to roll with, which is a good thing.  Its also a pretty stable, good sounding formulation.

GP9 sounds best when printed hot, which an ATR is certainly capable of, but it's not a free lunch.  There's bleed through, and inherent issues that come whenever one works outside the original design parameters of their gear.  For some styles of music, the non-linearities might be desireable, and it can certainly improve s/n overall.  GP9 might be great for some projects, and even as a good effect, but i'd use 456 as a default, and work diligently to control s/n end to end.


Jerry Tubb

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Re: Analog Tape - which one?
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2005, 04:20:42 pm »

We see lots of 456 printed at +3 to +6/185, and lots of GP9 at +6 to +9/185.

Unless you want to print at really hot levels, 456 should be fine.

1/4" 456 sounds really good, it's the "baseline" for modern tape.

I've baked more than my share of reels from the late 70's and early 80s.  

At some point in the early '80s they fixed the formula Cool

Analog Rules !
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