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Author Topic: Is 1/4 inch good enough for mastering?  (Read 9886 times)

minister

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Re: Is 1/4 inch good enough for mastering?
« Reply #30 on: March 08, 2006, 11:40:45 pm »

believe it or not, i got eddie ciletti to make a house call.

well, it will only take an hour or so (barring any unforseen) and he teaches 3 blocks from here....

i'll let ya know, if ya care.
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bobkatz

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Re: Is 1/4 inch good enough for mastering?
« Reply #31 on: March 09, 2006, 11:42:10 am »

minister wrote on Wed, 08 March 2006 23:40

believe it or not, i got eddie ciletti to make a house call.

well, it will only take an hour or so (barring any unforseen) and he teaches 3 blocks from here....

i'll let ya know, if ya care.



Fantastic. Eddie I'm sure will tell you if 15 is better than 30....

It's a potential tradeoff. 30 has better transient response and lower noise, but for most typical machines, 15 has a smoother low end (less peaks and dips and goes down lower), but only on the repro side. On the record side, 15 and 30 are equal as far as I'm concerned. So if you are going to be transferring back from the analog tape to digital, then the quality of the repro side of the analog tape is what counts.

BK
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Teddy G.

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Re: Is 1/4 inch good enough for mastering?
« Reply #32 on: March 09, 2006, 03:53:53 pm »

I don't drink coffee! Tried... couldn't handle it...

But, I have backed off on my case of Pepsi a week, down to about one bottle a week. Maybe it'll help??? Now, if I can just stay awake..?

And poster, werewolf10, don't get "caughtup" going along with these guys by making cutesie comments on my mental attributes. I am not a desenter. I give you my opinion, which you asked for, for free, on my own time. READ WHAT I SAY! READ WHAT OTHERS SAY! DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH/EXPERIMENTATION! Make your choice.

I have to admit, if you get Eddie Celletti to drop in for even an hour, maybe there's a chance..? I really enjoy - and learn - from his writings, I envy your proximity!

A forum wish: That all you guys would forget the "quote" button and just "talk" - whatever you have to say. Holler if you like - but don't "react", think, espose, enjoy. This is OUR, collective life, here.

A comment - MY COMMENT - or two:

The Beatles used what they had, good, bad or indifferent. You will attain little new fame doing what the Beatles did. The Beatles, the early Beatles, at least, if they were recording today, would be recording on ProTools, or something very like it and would not be involved in the mastering process at all, as they were not then(The Mastering Department at Capitol Records would be handling that.). Though,  probably some time, early-on in their recording career, they did get a "tour" of the mastering department, where they were likely kind enough to "ooh and ah" at the mysterious equipment and the, equally, mysterious people, who ran the gear. "This is where your recordings go to get them ready to be pressed to records, boys!" "Well, it sure is im-press-ive!(They were "cutesie", too!) Thankyou very much for doing such wonderful work on our songs!"(I hear they were also very polite.)

Here's something I really hope you DO read - again:

DO WHAT YOU WANT! JUST DO NOT THINK THAT MASTERING TO TAPE, ANY TAPE, ANY MACHINE, IS SOME SORT OF HOLY GRAIL!!! It's just "a way". My worst thought is that someone should "try analog tape"(Holding up some of these outlandish statements made here as their "guide".), using a cheap, antique machine, improperly maintained and setup, running inferior tape, get to the end of the "process"(Likely incorrectly implemented) and say ..."Gee, that doesn't sound very good..?" and quit. You guys get so wrapped-up in your "vast experience and knowledge" that you forget just how much experience and knowledge is(Was) needed to make this stuff work correctly! As well as to how much of this technology is just no longer there, for the potential 'entrant' into it, today...

ATR, said they were getting into the tape providing biz, 'cause there ain't no more tape(At least good tape) - or something like that? Didn't they? I have no "quote button", for their comments. If ATR is now making tape, I trust it is "good tape". I guess I could jump in the pickup and drive over and ask them(About 30 miles west), been a long time since I've been there..? Maybe next week?

The original question was something like - Is 1/4" good enough for mastering? MOST OF US SAID, YES. Most of us, conveniently, left out the "qualifiers" - lots of "quotes" on things we felt we could fight with, but, not enough of the "oxide shed and tears", not enough reality. Not "knowing" the technology, I have to say(I have no other choice), that if 1/4" was "best", that's what ATR would push. Is 1/4" "good enough"? Yes - a definite, qualified, yes.

Did the Beatles use 1/4"? I'm sure they did. A 30 year old  Otari 5050B? Did John Lennon, himself, align the tape machine? Did he ever see the tape machine? Maybe..? Was there anything else the Beatles could have used, besides 1/4"? I don't know? For sure, they used what Capitol Records mastering department used - period. If 1/4" was it, that's what the Beatles used. Today it would be Protools, or something very like it, for recording and whatever Capitol Records would be using today for mastering. If it's still 1/4" tape(And the same old guys in the dept.), that's what they'd be using. This, in itself, does not make it "right". Right? Today, "Luck Lindy" would take a 747 to Paris(Though it is rather an antique itself!). Though, that, in itself, does not make the "Spirit of St. Louis, somehow, "wrong", just that he would not still be flying it, today - and I'm sure it was a fine plane and - still is - far as it goes... I would like to learn to fly, today. If it ever happens I will try to learn in a Piper Cub, from the 50's. Why? Not because it's "still the best plane, dammit!", just because, to me, personnally, the piper Cub "is" flying(I was born and raised in the town where they were made) - but, that's a personal thing, from it's history... and mine. "The sound", would, I'm sure... be a beautiful thing...

I've got to get some work done(Painting the living room, today - notp flying or recording - dammit!), so I'll leave you to your "fightin' quotes" and the latest episode of "The Antiques Roadshow" - already in progress:

...ankyou very much for bringing in this, delightful, Otari 5050B, model, tape recorder! As I said, it was not exactly the "premier" machine of it's day, and it's not worth much this day, in the best condition(And, of course yours is missing the STOP button and the take-up arm is quite bent-over, like so many others, heh, heh...), but it looks in good shape, otherwise, and as long as you're willing to take the time to know how to make it work, you're going to have alot of fun with it. It was a pleasure showing the young folks in the audience how audio recording used to be done! Thankx again, for lugging that brutally heavy thing in here for all to see! Ya'know that case is made of wood! well, sort've wood, anyway... And... heh, heh, a little Tiger Balm, may sooth those back muscles tonight... ha, ha... Now here's Jane with a lovely 1966 Chevrolet Corvette operators manual discovered in an old garage, right here in Portland...

TG
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bigaudioblowhard

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Re: Is 1/4 inch good enough for mastering?
« Reply #33 on: March 09, 2006, 11:57:05 pm »

bobkatz wrote on Thu, 09 March 2006 09:42



Fantastic. Eddie I'm sure will tell you if 15 is better than 30....

It's a potential tradeoff. 30 has better transient response and lower noise, but for most typical machines, 15 has a smoother low end (less peaks and dips and goes down lower), but only on the repro side. On the record side, 15 and 30 are equal as far as I'm concerned. So if you are going to be transferring back from the analog tape to digital, then the quality of the repro side of the analog tape is what counts.

BK


Yeah, back in the tape days Hip Hop guys routinely recorded at 15 ips claiming better low end. With little more than a lead vocal and a hihat for top end, it wasnt hard to dial in a little 'air' if you needed to open out a mix.

Eddie Kramer still prints at 15 +6 SR. His patent quote, "30 IPS is for wimps". He's a funny guy.

bab

bigaudioblowhard

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Re: Is 1/4 inch good enough for mastering?
« Reply #34 on: March 09, 2006, 11:58:55 pm »

bigaudioblowhard wrote on Thu, 09 March 2006 21:57



Eddie Kramer still prints at 15 +6 SR. His patent quote, "30 IPS is for wimps". He's a funny guy.

bab


Oops, forgot to add that Eddie Kramer is using 1/2" tape, which would make this OT.

Oh well.

bab

Werewolf10

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Re: Is 1/4 inch good enough for mastering?
« Reply #35 on: March 10, 2006, 12:28:32 am »

Well Mr. Katz I just got a  Lynx Two Card .. would that qualify as 24/96?  I know when you say 24/96 it must mean somthing like BenchMark / Mytek / or Cranesong..  Don't get me wrong I would love to stack both of them up and give it a go,, but as you know 24/96 is not always 24/96.  Maybe since Im thinking about a lower end analog machine it would be even against a lower end converter like Lynx... Well low end in the "PRO" world.



And yea I am young (25),, and most of you guys are much older and more experienced than me... But I don't appreciate the constant  condescending bullshit by (Teddy G).. OK we get it, you hate analog , you think digital is the cure all.. And you hate young people ... we get it asshole!!  I don't go around calling you (grandpa) or make jokes about you squeezing your old ass into some (depends) in about 5 or 6 years....Teddy G?? what kind of name is that, sounds like Kenny G's gay little brother... see I can be an asshole to, its not hard, it doesn't envolve much "real" talent..so stop talking to me like a baby... You should be happy younger people are comming to this board and asking for advice, face it , we live in a time were (nobody gives a shit about the engineer) you are getting older and all this shit you have learned over the years is going to die with you.. You should spread your knowledge with a better attitude.. Why do you have all of this hostility to younger generations?? We are not all pop/punk/mindless/ungratefull/foolish/jerkoffs....


Oh yea.. The only reason I even thought about analog tape is because I heard John Frusciante's new album (Curtains) it was done completly in analog and it sounds tons better than his other albums, so yea that was it , not that im young and dumb and falling victim to some analog conspiracy you jackass.


Thanks BAB,,, made me think about alot of older recordings... I did'nt know half of them were mastered that way..







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vernier

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Re: Is 1/4 inch good enough for mastering?
« Reply #36 on: March 10, 2006, 01:36:42 am »

Only thing I'd mix to if the Ampex broke, is another Ampex.
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MI

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Re: Is 1/4 inch good enough for mastering?
« Reply #37 on: March 10, 2006, 09:51:52 am »

Werewolf10,

Please keep personal comments private. REP is no place
to flame anyone who is offering you his opinion.
You may or may not like the response, but all you have
to do is not read it.

As for your Otari, I'm glad to other younger people giving a
go at Analogue, but yes keep in mind that technology will
always be used to the fullest. I take advantage of all
my digital gear.

Good luck, and let us know how the Otari works out!

Mario






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Werewolf10

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Re: Is 1/4 inch good enough for mastering?
« Reply #38 on: March 10, 2006, 02:33:42 pm »

Mario

werewolf10 , please keep personal comments private



What? ... did you even read his post?  How many times did Teddy G give his rude personal comments?? I counted about 25..You need to tell him that, not me.  Refering to me as "KID" and even making fun of my name!? That's not his professional opinion on audio related material, it's him being an asshole.

But thanks for the encouragment regarding the Otari, I am buying one from a local theater center (at my college). I will post some 24bit/wave files in a few weeks.  It probably won't do much in the eyes of many because its a sub-par tape machine and some mid-grade converters, but I might be able to get some wheels turning.  I think I will make it a blind test.

Does anyone know a Technician in the San Francisco Bay Area that can tune this thing up?  I looked at the heads, they look really nice. The School has a maintanence log that shows they where replaced 3 years ago.  But I'm sure it will need calibrating.
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MI

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Re: Is 1/4 inch good enough for mastering?
« Reply #39 on: March 11, 2006, 05:17:05 pm »

Actually no, I didn't read everything in his post.
But I did take the time to read yours, and found it was
worth replying to try and help you out.

Mike Gore is in the Bay Area. He probably one of the best.
http://www.analoguerules.com/contact.html

He's even got free info on his site.

Good luck.

Mario

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bobkatz

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Re: Is 1/4 inch good enough for mastering?
« Reply #40 on: March 11, 2006, 06:25:19 pm »

Werewolf10 wrote on Fri, 10 March 2006 00:28

Well Mr. Katz I just got a  Lynx Two Card .. would that qualify as 24/96?  I know when you say 24/96 it must mean somthing like BenchMark / Mytek / or Cranesong..  Don't get me wrong I would love to stack both of them up and give it a go,, but as you know 24/96 is not always 24/96.  Maybe since Im thinking about a lower end analog machine it would be even against a lower end converter like Lynx... Well low end in the "PRO" world.






Actually, Lynx makes one of the most respectable A/D converters on a card you can buy. A genuine shootout of Lynx versus a high end external A/D would be very surprising. So don't be embarrassed. Go for it!  And then do that shootout.

It's the holistic total that counts; maybe analog tape is what you want, maybe analog processing of a particular type, maybe all digital processing, it all has to be looked at as a whole. I try not to mix what I master, but this weekend a good client who is mixing their own album asked me to tweak his mix and then master. He came down with his Sonar and we had a good time mixing in the box using the mastering quality reproduction system. I tightened and fixed a number of problems in his mix and he was very grateful.

Then we cleared the plate and the next day we mastered. I never try to put mastering processing on while mixing. You want to get the best sounding mix possible and then concentrate on getting the best possible master. So, with no preconceptions I listened in the cold Florida morning air <g> to the mixes of the days before and I decided that the sound was a bit brittle and a bit "digital", whatever that means. Running it through my analog chain produced a nicely warmer, fatter, and even more spacious master. That was the answer.

But I've gotten plenty of mixes on analog tape that for me sound best when mastered on my high end digital chain. If I received a nice, fat, hopefully not "overstuffed" analog tape I would consider my digital chain first.

BK
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Bob Weston

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Re: Is 1/4 inch good enough for mastering?
« Reply #41 on: March 11, 2006, 09:24:16 pm »

Werewolf10 wrote on Fri, 10 March 2006 13:33


Does anyone know a Technician in the San Francisco Bay Area that can tune this thing up?  I looked at the heads, they look really nice. The School has a maintanence log that shows they where replaced 3 years ago.  But I'm sure it will need calibrating.





Michael Gore:
http://home.pacbell.net/base10/

bob weston
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Werewolf10

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Re: Is 1/4 inch good enough for mastering?
« Reply #42 on: March 12, 2006, 10:02:14 pm »

WoW , Thanks guys.  Bob , Bob , and Mario.. Thanks for being so helpfull.  And getting a post like that from Mr. Katz is always gold in my book.
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Guest

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Re: Is 1/4 inch good enough for mastering?
« Reply #43 on: March 13, 2006, 02:34:18 pm »

hey guys, i don't want to be off topic, but i think this just takes the discussion to the next point.

i also wanted to get something like a 5050 for mixing down to (and also for tape delay), and have never used tape. I"ve read a bunch of websites, but still have a few specific questions.

1. if i get say an mx5050, what exactly do i need? (i.e. a specific alignment tape? a demagnetizer, etc. . . )

2. people have been talking about hitting the tape with a high level, but i've heard that a lot of people --> specifically STEVE, send a really low level to tape because that's where the compression happens. is that true? would that work as a mixdown thing? on that machine? how low is low?

thanks, hope it's not too off topic,
chris
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scottoliphant

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Re: Is 1/4 inch good enough for mastering?
« Reply #44 on: March 13, 2006, 04:09:18 pm »

Quote:

and have never used tape. 1. if i get say an mx5050, what exactly do i need? (i.e. a specific alignment tape? a demagnetizer, etc. . . )


alignment tape, demagnatizer, some cleaning fluid for the heads, them manual, some sort of scope if you want / can align azimuth / zenith, know what to look for in a poor condition deck. If you get one with crappy worn out heads you are wasting your money

Quote:

2. people have been talking about hitting the tape with a high level, but i've heard that a lot of people --> specifically STEVE, send a really low level to tape because that's where the compression happens. is that true? would that work as a mixdown thing? on that machine? how low is low?


the hotteru the signal, the lower the noise floor, but the increase in distortion /  compression. I doubt steve sends a "really low level" to tape, but, i learn something new every day. I suppose we could debate what too low a signal would be. Anybody still record at "0"? I hang around -6 to 3 on a deck aligned +6, biased for 456. Other folks slam GP9 way into the red with all the peak meters flickering constantly. You'll find the flavor that works for you and that soudns best to you

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