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Author Topic: Do any commercial releases never see tape??  (Read 7463 times)

Bubba--Kron

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Do any commercial releases never see tape??
« on: March 15, 2011, 11:11:27 pm »

Ive read that Massenburg does not use tape at all anymore.     Does the majority of stuff making money ever get bounced to tape??      Is that only in the mastering phase usually?


Is there certain types of music that using all tape would be a disservice to the music??

Thanks
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BobSchwenkler

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Re: Do any commercial releases never see tape??
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2011, 02:08:29 am »

Not a direct answer to your question at all, but "disservicel to the music" is very subjective.

Gio

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Re: Do any commercial releases never see tape??
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2011, 09:17:29 am »

I would imagine these days there are plenty of major releases that never see tape.
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Jim Williams

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Re: Do any commercial releases never see tape??
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2011, 11:11:25 am »

The closest a commercial CD ever gets to tape is that packing tape used on the box that shipped them.

Modern music production has bigger issues to solve than formats, like the sound for example? Or the music maybe?
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rosshogarth

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Re: Do any commercial releases never see tape??
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2011, 01:11:33 pm »

i recently cut some mixes to vinyl in the mastering process to see if they were altered in a cool way ....
and they were
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Jim Sam

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Re: Do any commercial releases never see tape??
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2011, 01:24:48 pm »

The closest a commercial CD ever gets to tape is that packing tape used on the box that shipped them.

Or the data tape the Archives server is running for backups. :)
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Extreme Mixing

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Re: Do any commercial releases never see tape??
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2011, 03:04:30 pm »

Tape???  I think tape may account for 2% of the work being don in 2011.  Tape is over.

Steve
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Sean Eldon Qualls

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Re: Do any commercial releases never see tape??
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2011, 05:58:30 pm »

Tape???  I think tape may account for 2% of the work being don in 2011.  Tape is over.

Steve

What about all of the truly great work? What percentage of that is done on tape?

Mid-high double digits.

Lots and lots of great studios and engineers still using tape. ATR is currently manufacturing fantastic tape, too.
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Fletcher

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Re: Do any commercial releases never see tape??
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2011, 03:40:54 am »

i recently cut some mixes to vinyl in the mastering process to see if they were altered in a cool way ....
and they were

I've gotta ask... did the label pay for the "cut to lacquer" session - and was it released on vinyl?
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meverylame

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Re: Do any commercial releases never see tape??
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2011, 03:52:43 am »

Rented a ATR 102 1/2" with extended frequency heads (and own a a80) and a Lavry Blue.. The producer and I were absolutely astonished as to the sound of the ATR. Maybe its that one, but damn... I certainly would say it was a superior mix format to the lavry, in this instance.
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Michael Brauer

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Re: Do any commercial releases never see tape??
« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2011, 08:45:14 am »

tape is great, it has a gluing factor unlike anything else. depending on the brand and the type of machine, it can make a rock mix rockier, jazz jazzier, R&B...umm R&Bier?

My favorite was a Studer 1/2" 827 using quantegy 499 or before that BASAF. there's a setting in the menu that you can extend the high end so my mixes always had a really cool air on top of the mix. I did primarily R&B or pop rock at the time and it was great for that sound. most guys doing rock used the ATR with Ampex 499 tape. It always sounded like there was a midrange bump around 2k and a small dip around 400 hz on ATR's I think.
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saint

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Re: Do any commercial releases never see tape??
« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2011, 11:10:14 am »

I know several mastering engineers, whose ONLY resort is to transfer the mixes to tape in a last ditch effort to 'hand rub' or bring some fading ember of warmth and 'glue' to the finish of the digital crunch that is delivered to them as a 'final master'. The size (1/4", 1/2" or 1"), the type of tape (brand of manufacture), the alignment choice (NAB?, CCIR?), bias choice ('0'/180nwbm, '0'/250nwbm, +6, +9), and speed (7.5 ips, 15ips, 30ips) ALL affect the final sound.

Sadly, tape is effectively 'done' in this 'bizness' now, (more an effect of economics and sheer laziness), but the sound it has (along with the vinyl that was cut from it) will never be 'done'. Also GONE with tape is the fact that ALL the 'digital only' music created in the last 2 decades will NOT be preserved to be remixed, remastered or re-released in the emerging formats to come because the archiving of the current product is not being done properly or thoroughly! I recommend to ALL my clients to 'back up' their masters to multitrack tape and mixes to 2-track analog tape because it has PROVEN itself to last at LEAST 25 years and as much as 40 years.

Because computers have replaced tape it is now a REQUIREMENT to store not only 3 copies of your Masters in 3 different locations, but because the computer hardware AND software are dynamic; constantly evolving simultaneously, if you are not ALSO archiving several of the computers that you worked on with spare drives for them along with several copies of the operating software for the computer, the software for the DAW you used, the versions of plug ins used at that time, as well as paying someone to store them in a bonded, insured location with temperature and humidity control (ideally to not exceed +/- 2.5 degrees or 2.5% excursions), along with paying someone to EXERCISE those hard drives (and replace with working copies of your masters, those which will INEVITABLY break), then your 'Masters' will effectively, NOT EXIST either. DVD & CD have a very limited shelf life in comparison to tape and are notorious for having digital error much more frequently than a hard drive. The hard drives that have replaced the SCSI drives as "professional" are a joke... temporary at their VERY best. You all know how obsolete a computer is in 6 months to 2 years; IMAGINE what computers will be in 25 to 40 years! Do you actually think your Mac Pro, G5, WHATEVER, will be around, supported and actually WORK when you decide you want to put out that 25 year anniversary release?

There is, IMO, by comparison to the "heyday" of music when tape and vinyl ruled, much less WORTH archiving,
but there are a FEW things deserving of being heard several generations down the line. I fear that one of the REAL losses (not just the great audio) with the demise of tape is our ability, attention and concern for proper archiving our music at all!
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Extreme Mixing

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Re: Do any commercial releases never see tape??
« Reply #12 on: March 19, 2011, 06:22:39 pm »

What about all of the truly great work? What percentage of that is done on tape?

Mid-high double digits.

Lots and lots of great studios and engineers still using tape. ATR is currently manufacturing fantastic tape, too.

Well...  I suppose "Truly great work" would be different for everyone.  Depends on who you are.  I know that for my son, it would be different that your definition.  He's 19 and he likes what he likes because it defines his world.  It's in the eye of the beholder, that's for sure.

I'm going to quote from Michael Brauer's post here:

My favorite was a Studer 1/2" 827 using quantegy 499 or before that BASAF. there's a setting in the menu that you can extend the high end so my mixes always had a really cool air on top of the mix. I did primarily R&B or pop rock at the time and it was great for that sound. most guys doing rock used the ATR with Ampex 499 tape. It always sounded like there was a midrange bump around 2k and a small dip around 400 hz on ATR's I think.

You'll notice his choice of words--was, had, at the time, was great, most guys doing rock used, it always sounded like there was.

See what I mean?  Past tense.

I'm also not sure how I feel about masters being saved so that they can be remixed later for the 25 year re-release.  Maybe they should be left as they were.  Final mix?

I'm in LA.  The last time I used tape was to make a digital copy of an old master.  But I'm not doing that much great work. 

Does mid high double digits mean 50-90%.  I think that's way too high.

Steve 
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Jim Sam

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Re: Do any commercial releases never see tape??
« Reply #13 on: March 21, 2011, 07:49:15 pm »

Because computers have replaced tape it is now a REQUIREMENT to store not only 3 copies of your Masters in 3 different locations, but because the computer hardware AND software are dynamic; constantly evolving simultaneously, if you are not ALSO archiving several of the computers that you worked on with spare drives for them along with several copies of the operating software for the computer, the software for the DAW you used, the versions of plug ins used at that time, as well as paying someone to store them in a bonded, insured location with temperature and humidity control (ideally to not exceed +/- 2.5 degrees or 2.5% excursions), along with paying someone to EXERCISE those hard drives (and replace with working copies of your masters, those which will INEVITABLY break), then your 'Masters' will effectively, NOT EXIST either. DVD & CD have a very limited shelf life in comparison to tape and are notorious for having digital error much more frequently than a hard drive. The hard drives that have replaced the SCSI drives as "professional" are a joke... temporary at their VERY best. You all know how obsolete a computer is in 6 months to 2 years; IMAGINE what computers will be in 25 to 40 years! Do you actually think your Mac Pro, G5, WHATEVER, will be around, supported and actually WORK when you decide you want to put out that 25 year anniversary release?
I highly suggest you read the archival suggestions of NARAS (which AES endorsed) regarding these issues.

http://www.grammy.org/recording-academy/producers-and-engineers/guidelines
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Jim Williams

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Re: Do any commercial releases never see tape??
« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2011, 12:35:45 pm »

Rented a ATR 102 1/2" with extended frequency heads (and own a a80) and a Lavry Blue.. The producer and I were absolutely astonished as to the sound of the ATR. Maybe its that one, but damn... I certainly would say it was a superior mix format to the lavry, in this instance.

Great idea, IF the product released is analog tape too. When I was a kid I could buy commercial 7" reels of albums on 1/4" tape. Then came 4 track cartridges, then 8 track, then cassette.

Now days, it's a MP-3 download, unless you are one of those weird people that still buys CD's (like me).

The means you must STILL digitize that master tape if you want to release the music. The question remains: Does the music suffer or is it flattered by taking the listener one additional generation away from the artists by using an analog recorder between the mix and release platform? Is it better to just use the Lavry before or after the analog pass? Which format sounds best on MP-3 or does it make any difference?

Is this the best way to "encode" the analog tape sound? Or is it a better idea to track to an analog 24 track and then bounce to a digital platform?
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