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Author Topic: recording on tape, transfer to digital useless?  (Read 9965 times)

lek

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recording on tape, transfer to digital useless?
« on: February 05, 2006, 11:59:15 pm »

the deal -
I have a cranesong spider, I've been recording my drummer two ways - letting all 8 channels go to digital separately, and at the same time submixing them to two tracks to the ATR-102 (staying in the analog domain, never converted- yes the spider sums in the analog domain). I then bounce the two tape tracks to digital - through the cranesong spider converters.
The two track tape bounced to digital sounds better than the 8 individual digital tracks (though with some eq, I must admit I got the digi tracks to sound pretty good, had used a little David Hill tape on the kick, snare, great river eq as well).
----
Then - I listened back to the tape machine straight through to the monitors, no conversion. Shit! It IS LEAGUES beyond what it sounds like when it's transferred to digital.

I went back and listened to an acoustic guitar part I did the same thing with - tracked to tape, bounced to digital. NOT EVEN CLOSE - it sounded so beautiful directly from the tape...
----
BUT it kills me that eventually it will be on a cd or mp3, so what the fuck is the point and should I just record everything digitally (through the spider, which does truly does sound great - well at least when not comparing to tape), then mix down to the atr 102? I do realize a certain characteristic and magic of the tape does transfer through to the digital realm, however it's just not the same. I tried it at 96k as well, still not even close...
---
after listening to tracks directly from tape, i want to buy a 2"...but...the pains, the hassles, being a one man studio...aaagh!!
---
the only solution - track to 2", mix to my atr102, press to vinyl? (let's see how many customers I get, and who will have a serious stereo system where they will enjoy it!)

p.s. the killer - I actually still get into certain songs I did 10 years ago on an adat more than now, in fact my old tascam 4 track has some great stuff from 13 years ago... so it's only the song that counts right Smile

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RMoore

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Re: recording on tape, transfer to digital useless?
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2006, 06:20:09 am »

lek wrote on Mon, 06 February 2006 05:59

the deal -
I have a cranesong spider, I've been recording my drummer two ways - letting all 8 channels go to digital separately, and at the same time submixing them to two tracks to the ATR-102 (staying in the analog domain, never converted- yes the spider sums in the analog domain). I then bounce the two tape tracks to digital - through the cranesong spider converters.
The two track tape bounced to digital sounds better than the 8 individual digital tracks (though with some eq, I must admit I got the digi tracks to sound pretty good, had used a little David Hill tape on the kick, snare, great river eq as well).
----
Then - I listened back to the tape machine straight through to the monitors, no conversion. Shit! It IS LEAGUES beyond what it sounds like when it's transferred to digital.

I went back and listened to an acoustic guitar part I did the same thing with - tracked to tape, bounced to digital. NOT EVEN CLOSE - it sounded so beautiful directly from the tape...
----
BUT it kills me that eventually it will be on a cd or mp3, so what the fuck is the point and should I just record everything digitally (through the spider, which does truly does sound great - well at least when not comparing to tape), then mix down to the atr 102? I do realize a certain characteristic and magic of the tape does transfer through to the digital realm, however it's just not the same. I tried it at 96k as well, still not even close...
---
after listening to tracks directly from tape, i want to buy a 2"...but...the pains, the hassles, being a one man studio...aaagh!!
---
the only solution - track to 2", mix to my atr102, press to vinyl? (let's see how many customers I get, and who will have a serious stereo system where they will enjoy it!)

p.s. the killer - I actually still get into certain songs I did 10 years ago on an adat more than now, in fact my old tascam 4 track has some great stuff from 13 years ago... so it's only the song that counts right Smile




I experience the same when I copy tracks from analog to the DAW - the difference is huge especially with bass and drums , its so sad but what can you do other than grin and bear it or get a 2',

And anyway like you say the end result for most listeners will be a CD or MP3 puke chunk.

How I've mainly been working the last 2 yrs or so is build up tracks on an MCI 8 trk (mainly the bass & drums) , transfer that to Logic, keep working with overdubs etc, then for mixdown send stems out to the 8 trk and mix from that,

FWIW - I do have an MM1200 2' I picked up cheep but haven't installed it yet due to some logistical issues which are just about solved actually,







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Han S.

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Re: recording on tape, transfer to digital useless?
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2006, 09:49:46 am »

Track to 2", mix to the ATR and make it a nice SACD?
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Teddy G.

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Re: recording on tape, transfer to digital useless?
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2006, 01:06:14 pm »

I am old enough to have lived through several changes in technology. Best thing? Embrace the new, work to make it better, live with it.

If nothing else, console yourself by considering the marketplace. Who will benefit by your use of tape? Is the average .mp3 player going to "show" the difference? Is the average .mp3 "playee" going to care? When I "digitize" my 4x5 film, sted of just doing a digital snap and send a pic out in an email, who will know? Who will care? If I re-cap my tube radio and get it back up to specs, otherwise, what will I listen to on it that will reflect the possible better quality? Talk shows? Satellite broadcasts of "oldies"? Hip-hop? Rap, even live  broadcasts -- all of it broadcast in nothing close to even "CD" quality - often not even "good" .mp3 quality?

If you have a market for your "better" quality output and customers who agree and are willing to pay the high price of it's use, go to it! By same token, you could buy, carefully restore and "rent" fine, old automobiles, too! Though NOT often at the airport, to some guy just trying to get to his next business appointment... Use 2" tape for tracking, film for photos, manual typewriters - even quill and ink bottle, for your writing, whatever... Just don't get lost in some sort of "saving" of old, formerly "mass" technology, no matter how good it may have been, at the expense of your "only needs to be" output.

Always be better than you have to be, not neccessarily as good as you might be......

TG
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pg666

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Re: recording on tape, transfer to digital useless?
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2006, 01:30:47 pm »

(removed, because i didn't read the first post close enough)
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Bluehorn

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Re: recording on tape, transfer to digital useless?
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2006, 02:31:54 am »

I hope this is not OT. Though I embrace digital technology, I still track to tape. My latest project was recorded at Ocean Way on their tweaked Stevens 2" recorder. I needed to get the tracks to my MX2424 so I took the tapes to DMT(Botnick's place) in Burbank and transfered through the best Benchmard AD convertors they had. They now have the Pacific Microsonics HDCD Model two's. I am quite happy with the result in that I was able to preserve the "analog" vibe whilst editing and mixing in the digital world. I might try tracking to high-end digital someday,but for now this is the best for me.
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vernier

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Re: recording on tape, transfer to digital useless?
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2006, 02:40:11 am »

I used to use 2", but 1" is enough, better even.
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lek

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Re: recording on tape, transfer to digital useless?
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2006, 07:51:14 am »

Teddy G. wrote on Mon, 06 February 2006 13:06



If you have a market for your "better" quality output and customers who agree and are willing to pay the high price of it's use, go to it! By same token, you could buy, carefully restore and "rent" fine, old automobiles, too! Though NOT often at the airport, to some guy just trying to get to his next business appointment... Use 2" tape for tracking, film for photos, manual typewriters - even quill and ink bottle, for your writing, whatever... Just don't get lost in some sort of "saving" of old, formerly "mass" technology, no matter how good it may have been, at the expense of your "only needs to be" output.

Always be better than you have to be, not neccessarily as good as you might be......

TG

perhaps absolutely right in a business sense...
but as an artist I am a perfectionist. Perhaps I am recording this for my own ears and not for someone elses, and will suffer as a result (in a business sense)...Though once again I must remind myself my likelihood for enjoying something I've created is not necessarily linked to its recorded quality (I will repeat this inside as a mantra until either enlightenment is attained or I dissipate into a millions binary molecules)
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John Ivan

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Re: recording on tape, transfer to digital useless?
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2006, 12:17:54 pm »

What I've decided to do is record to the format that I like the sound of the best. Some years back, I picked up 3 DA-88's and a DAW for editing. This was when I was open for Business and recording other people. I am now recording mostly my own stuff. I love tape and always have so I'm going back to tape. I'm hoping this summer is good enough to pick up a 2" 16.

I get fine results from the rig I have {I guess} but hey, record to what you like. Why not.... I hear a huge difference. Maybe because all the audio I heard up close when I was young came off a Tape machine. Who knows... I just like it.

Buy Tape. It sounds good.

Ivan.............................................
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Red Tape

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Re: recording on tape, transfer to digital useless?
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2006, 05:01:47 am »

Hey, I'm operating at the low-end of the market (heh), but what I do is run through a Studer A80 1" and straight off the repro head into a Digi 002 (quite the quality mismatch,eh?). This way I'm getting tape sound into the 01010 world, but avoiding tape wear and a lot of tape winding. I tend to reuse tape a little this way too.
I'm thinking I'll start to mix back through the Studer at some point, and obviously I'd love to have a 2-track, but I wonder how much point there is, since the places that can master from 1/4" or 1/2" in Ireland are rare, and tend to be more expensive than what most of my clients want to pay.
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ericswan

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Re: recording on tape, transfer to digital useless?
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2006, 12:18:50 am »

Teddy G wrote:

Quote:


If nothing else, console yourself by considering the marketplace. Who will benefit by your use of tape? Is the average .mp3 player going to "show" the difference? Is the average .mp3 "playee" going to care? When I "digitize" my 4x5 film, sted of just doing a digital snap and send a pic out in an email, who will know? Who will care? If I re-cap my tube radio and get it back up to specs, otherwise, what will I listen to on it that will reflect the possible better quality? Talk shows? Satellite broadcasts of "oldies"? Hip-hop? Rap, even live broadcasts -- all of it broadcast in nothing close to even "CD" quality - often not even "good" .mp3 quality?


I will argue that the quality upstream will still be apparent downstream. What looks better on a digital TV or even a video display on a cell phone, a beautifully filmed Hitchcock or David Lean movie or The Phantom Menace? I can still distinguish a superior recording even played back on a crappy mp3 player or even on music on hold. Not everyone may care but I believe most people do respond to higher quality, even if only on an unconscious level.

I try and track as much stuff to tape as I can and then transfer to digital for the ease of editing etc. I believe getting it as good as possible at the source is still important.
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dodlum

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Re: recording on tape, transfer to digital useless?
« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2006, 03:55:32 am »

Oh the many thread titles for the tape versus digital debate...  

Honest to god.. does it not simply boil down to using the one you prefer the sound of?  There are so many advocates of both, the only thing it proves is that there is a sonic difference between them - use the one that sounds best to you.  I prefer coffee to tea hence I drink more coffee..

David
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SuperBurtM

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Re: recording on tape, transfer to digital useless?
« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2006, 07:06:13 am »

lek wrote on Sun, 05 February 2006 20:59

the deal -
I have a cranesong spider, I've been recording my drummer two ways - letting all 8 channels go to digital separately, and at the same time submixing them to two tracks to the ATR-102 (staying in the analog domain, never converted- yes the spider sums in the analog domain). I then bounce the two tape tracks to digital - through the cranesong spider converters.
The two track tape bounced to digital sounds better than the 8 individual digital tracks (though with some eq, I must admit I got the digi tracks to sound pretty good, had used a little David Hill tape on the kick, snare, great river eq as well).
----
Then - I listened back to the tape machine straight through to the monitors, no conversion. Shit! It IS LEAGUES beyond what it sounds like when it's transferred to digital.

I went back and listened to an acoustic guitar part I did the same thing with - tracked to tape, bounced to digital. NOT EVEN CLOSE - it sounded so beautiful directly from the tape...
----
BUT it kills me that eventually it will be on a cd or mp3, so what the fuck is the point and should I just record everything digitally (through the spider, which does truly does sound great - well at least when not comparing to tape), then mix down to the atr 102? I do realize a certain characteristic and magic of the tape does transfer through to the digital realm, however it's just not the same. I tried it at 96k as well, still not even close...
---
after listening to tracks directly from tape, i want to buy a 2"...but...the pains, the hassles, being a one man studio...aaagh!!
---
the only solution - track to 2", mix to my atr102, press to vinyl? (let's see how many customers I get, and who will have a serious stereo system where they will enjoy it!)

p.s. the killer - I actually still get into certain songs I did 10 years ago on an adat more than now, in fact my old tascam 4 track has some great stuff from 13 years ago... so it's only the song that counts right Smile





I'd say save yourself the headache and just trk to digi and be done with it.
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lek

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Re: recording on tape, transfer to digital useless?
« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2006, 11:19:55 am »

SuperBurtM wrote on Sat, 11 February 2006 07:06



I'd say save yourself the headache and just trk to digi and be done with it.

Perhaps...
After this album, I thought I'd go all analog - real console, 2" machine, mix to 1/4".

But a bit apprehensive - there doesn't seem to be too many top technicians in the NYC area (I've contacted a few who specialize in particular machines), most are pretty far away, and charge a lot per hour, including some serious driving time to get to my studio (if they even would do that).

I far prefer the sound of tape, but I guess the current state of the industry/times isn't exactly conducive to a feeling of support - be it parts or service. Wish I could afford a new a827.
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lek

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Re: recording on tape, transfer to digital useless?
« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2006, 11:29:24 am »

dodlum wrote on Sat, 11 February 2006 03:55

Oh the many thread titles for the tape versus digital debate...  

Honest to god.. does it not simply boil down to using the one you prefer the sound of?  There are so many advocates of both, the only thing it proves is that there is a sonic difference between them - use the one that sounds best to you.  I prefer coffee to tea hence I drink more coffee..

David

Yes, your nice simple thread makes me think, might as well just take the leap and hope for the best - I'll probably regret it if I don't.

Unfortunately, it doesn't just boil down to which one I prefer the sound of - I am concerned about support as well as how much money it will take to get a well working machine AND console
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