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Author Topic: recording on tape, transfer to digital useless?  (Read 9966 times)

Werewolf10

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Re: recording on tape, transfer to digital useless?
« Reply #15 on: February 11, 2006, 01:26:19 pm »

Ya know I look at this thread and then all the other threads like this on the internet, and then I wonder, why the hell isn't there a company out there thats jumping on this market?  I mean I understand an A/D converter chip is much more cost effective in certain areas, But im sure there has to be an innovative company out there that can find a way to mass produce a new generation of Reel to Reels.  Like a stripped down version that is small and light wieght that use good quality recording heads.  NO preamps, just high quality durable plastic and light wieght aluminium.  I mean, just look at VCR's.  RCA and JVC seem to have found a way to make two reels turn using 1/2 inch analog tape with heads that are fairly accurate.  Im sure RCA could find a way to manufacture a high quality stripped down Reel to Reel using old technology from studer heads and combining it with modern electronics to make the price be as cheap as a $300 sound card or 16 track for the price of a $1000 A/D converter.  Maybe even have a sort of auto-aligning system.

Can you imagine the marketing campaign?  It would turn the soundcard market on its head.  The fact that all this cheap ass tube equipment has been successfull, proves that R to R will be big sellers. The Market is here, why the hell isn't there anyone jumping on this??


I got an Idea!  Lets all start a massive campaign to gather signatures from all over the net.  Lets go to every recording forum and everyone we know and get up thousands of signatures and submit it to new companies so maybe they can see the demand for it.

Ok Ok I'm a dreamer, but I would be willing to try.
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SirDonut

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Re: recording on tape, transfer to digital useless?
« Reply #16 on: February 11, 2006, 11:00:30 pm »

Werewolf10 wrote on Sat, 11 February 2006 18:26

 I mean, just look at VCR's.  RCA and JVC seem to have found a way to make two reels turn using 1/2 inch analog tape with heads that are fairly accurate.


I appreciate the sentiment and the idea but a transfer to a VCR generally looks like shite. I would say the videocassette compared to a good DVD is generally about as good as an cassette compared to an SACD.
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Bobro

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Re: recording on tape, transfer to digital useless?
« Reply #17 on: February 13, 2006, 05:54:38 am »

Recording to tape then going to digital isn't useless at all.

Tape captures information in a stochastic manner, and that in my opinion is a fundamentally elegant aproach to "you are thereness" because the level of reality we live at, and our perceptions, are also stochastic in nature. Even an 40 year old mono Dictaphone has that particular kind of eerie presence- digital captures reality from a different angle, also can be cool IMO but not the same, no way. Writing to a fine cloud of  particles or clocked sampling, how could it possibly be the same?

Of course if the actual purpose of going to digital is to edit, effect, and sample-replace the hell out it, it doesn't matter if you record direct to a pizza crust because the end result is so different from the original and you might as well just synthesize everything at that point, hehe.

-Bobro

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ted nightshade

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Re: recording on tape, transfer to digital useless?
« Reply #18 on: February 15, 2006, 06:05:27 pm »

I had the same problem with the HEDD converters. Then I sprung for the SLAM!, and honestly it sounds a hell of a lot like it did on tape. Not the same, but translation is a lot more straightforward and emotionally and groovaciously effective.

for straight to 2 track stuff I prefer straight to SLAM! to straight to tape. I did a whole session where I split everything after the mic pre, straight to SLAM! and straight to ATR 1" 2 track. I very, very much preferred straight to SLAM!.

But I'm really nuts about dimension and dynamics and not very many people seem to value those things these days.

Anyway there is some really good digital but accept no substitute, whether or not Dave Hill signed the front panel.
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Ryan Leigh Patterson

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Re: recording on tape, transfer to digital useless?
« Reply #19 on: February 16, 2006, 02:49:03 am »

Why audio engineers need to stop debating the merits of analog vs digital and why it doesn't matter, at all, ever....

1. Live music sounds better than recorded music...... Go see your local symphony in their concert hall, frequently, they sound really f##$in good, almost all the time, especially if you live in a big city.

2. Musicans that can play well, sound better than crappy musicians, even after they've been Tool'd n Tune'd.  But my little cousin swears that Shania Twain is the best singer in the world....

3. Most people can't tell a 128K MP3 from 24/96, let alone CD audio.... and they listen to music on $4 pos ear buds thown in with their iPod

4. If a song rocks, it could have been recorded on that little brown Fisher-Price cassette recorder you used to play the read along story book cassettes when you were 3...

5. Most of our girl friends can barley pick out the snare drum from the rhythm guitar (although mine has now been trained to even pick out a Wulitzer from a Rhodes) Cool Do you think they really give a S*&T that you tracked it "analog", now imagine if she wasn't your girlfriend.  She's more impressed with who you tracked than what you tracked.  Just make sure to keep all girlfriends away from drummers, and all drummers away from girlfriend....

6. Most people think their $30 sattelite with a sub speakers for their computer are "hi fi", and wow those iPod docking stations, what amazing sound, and  I personally love to listen to music in my car on the highway and with all the road noise and traffic I find I can really focus on the finer elements in the music.

7.  When a DJ plays your track (usually an mp3 thess days) on the radio or in a club, the sound will be even, further "degraded", but suprisingly, this "ultra degraded" track, will have the most impact....

8.  Why pay for music when I can download it for free?  




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Ryan Patterson
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Irie Penguin

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Re: recording on tape, transfer to digital useless?
« Reply #20 on: February 16, 2006, 11:49:56 am »

A while back when exchanging MP3s with a collaborator I was super disappointed with mix-in-progress that I was going to e-mail. Compressed files sound like asss I'm sure most of you will agree but the files are generally lesser representations of the original.

Anyhoo - it got me wondering how good MP3s (now MP4s) could sound if mixed and mastered to the medium.

Accept the limited (in the traditional sense) imaging, the skewed tonal response and the tricks the psychoacoustic algorithms are likely to play - could some compelling productions be crafted?

There are the virtues, lest we forget, of low noise, no wow and flutter, and extended bass response.

Could the right music (possibly with special arrangements by savvy musicians), combined with the proper choice of mics and recording chain elements further combined with mixing sensitive to the medium, and finally, the application of specialized mastering approaches be something groovy?

To restate the question; could great music be made that stands up as (fine or popular) art in this medium?

I'll be starting a project soon and I'll try to get the artist enthusiastic about trying something a little different and allowing a couple MP3 iPod remixes included on the release.

Bill

P.S. I'll keep the 24 bit mixes for my archives and possible for SACD (or DVD-A) release at a later time. (if the music buying public cares!)
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wwittman

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Re: recording on tape, transfer to digital useless?
« Reply #21 on: February 16, 2006, 01:24:48 pm »

Ryan Leigh Patterson wrote on Thu, 16 February 2006 02:49

Why audio engineers need to stop debating the merits of analog vs digital and why it doesn't matter, at all, ever....

1. Live music sounds better than recorded music...... Go see your local symphony in their concert hall, frequently, they sound really f##$in good, almost all the time, especially if you live in a big city.

2. Musicans that can play well, sound better than crappy musicians, even after they've been Tool'd n Tune'd.  But my little cousin swears that Shania Twain is the best singer in the world....

3. Most people can't tell a 128K MP3 from 24/96, let alone CD audio.... and they listen to music on $4 pos ear buds thown in with their iPod

4. If a song rocks, it could have been recorded on that little brown Fisher-Price cassette recorder you used to play the read along story book cassettes when you were 3...

5. Most of our girl friends can barley pick out the snare drum from the rhythm guitar (although mine has now been trained to even pick out a Wulitzer from a Rhodes) Cool Do you think they really give a S*&T that you tracked it "analog", now imagine if she wasn't your girlfriend.  She's more impressed with who you tracked than what you tracked.  Just make sure to keep all girlfriends away from drummers, and all drummers away from girlfriend....

6. Most people think their $30 sattelite with a sub speakers for their computer are "hi fi", and wow those iPod docking stations, what amazing sound, and  I personally love to listen to music in my car on the highway and with all the road noise and traffic I find I can really focus on the finer elements in the music.

7.  When a DJ plays your track (usually an mp3 thess days) on the radio or in a club, the sound will be even, further "degraded", but suprisingly, this "ultra degraded" track, will have the most impact....

8.  Why pay for music when I can download it for free?  







this is all more or less true...

but, so what?

All of us are HERE, discussing recording becasue we CARE about sound quality and because it's our belief or experience that others do as well.

If the answer is always going to be "it doesn;t matter if you have a great song that rocks" then we can close up the board, the studios, and everything else.

it DOES matter beyond that, although that has to come FIRST.

but this week there will be another song that rocks just as much as yours and is just as deep and important and emotional as yours and just as clever and well thought out and pithy as yours and just as ctahcy and hooky and unforgettable as yours... but it will be recorded better and SOUND more accessible or heavier or cooler or whatever.
and the guy with the 99 cents is only going to download ONE of them on iTunes.. yours or the better sounding one?

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William Wittman
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Ryan Leigh Patterson

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Re: recording on tape, transfer to digital useless?
« Reply #22 on: February 16, 2006, 01:47:05 pm »

I totally agree... do the best you can with the best stuff possible....

I'm somewhat of a gearslut myself, so I understand...

Just thought the thread needed an interjection
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Ryan Patterson
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rankus

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Re: recording on tape, transfer to digital useless?
« Reply #23 on: February 17, 2006, 06:43:11 pm »



If your existing DAW does not sound "analog enough"  try Nuendo.... Not that it sounds like analog, but it sounds more like anny than others....
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Re: recording on tape, transfer to digital useless?
« Reply #24 on: February 17, 2006, 07:38:33 pm »

This is one of the dilemmas I am working through now.  I record to tape, and for mixdown I can mix to tape or into my PC.  if I mix to tape I can then transfer to PC.  My current converters pass the audio through to the outputs as you are mixing, so when you play back the file, it is the same exact volume, etc as when you were recording it.  When playing back the recorded file, it is obvious to everyone in the room that something was just "lost".  So I was looking at upgrading to something like an older Apogee or a Mytek.  Any comments or sugesstions would be greatly appreciated.  
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bobkatz

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Re: recording on tape, transfer to digital useless?
« Reply #25 on: February 18, 2006, 09:58:55 am »

rankus wrote on Fri, 17 February 2006 18:43



If your existing DAW does not sound "analog enough"  try Nuendo.... Not that it sounds like analog, but it sounds more like anny than others....



Try some great converters on ANY decent DAW. Nuendo's engine is the same as Cubase's... shouldn't sound any different if the same converters are used.

BK
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Re: recording on tape, transfer to digital useless?
« Reply #26 on: February 18, 2006, 11:21:36 am »

Wow!!!

Bob,  I was always wondering this...

Are all windows audio software the same engine?  Just a set of windows libraries or something?  Is the only difference in the user interface and available options?  Because I've also heard that certain software packages have "improved" their engine over differnet revisions...is this simply how the software handles the audio and not how it is recorded and stored?  I would imagine that any piece of software would put the same ones and zeroes to the hard disk as they come off the converter?  Is this right?  
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bobkatz

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Re: recording on tape, transfer to digital useless?
« Reply #27 on: February 18, 2006, 09:01:26 pm »

stellar wrote on Sat, 18 February 2006 11:21

Wow!!!

Bob,  I was always wondering this...

Are all windows audio software the same engine?  




Oh, no... not at all. I was simply saying that Cubase and Nuendo have the same underlying audio engine.

And whether that produces the same output to the hard disc as what comes in the converter, it's VERY important that be true if the DAW is set to unity gain, pans left and right and no equalization or other processing. But if you change any of that, then the "engine" comes into play and that could, conceivably sound different from DAW to DAW.

BK
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Werewolf10

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Re: recording on tape, transfer to digital useless?
« Reply #28 on: February 18, 2006, 10:21:53 pm »

I totally agree.  I started with Cubase and switched around to differant software through the years.  I have found that for "Windows" the only audio engine I like is "Samplitude". And for "Mac", Logic sounds good too..

Most are subtle differances but for "me" In my humble opinion, Samplitude is a "big" differance.  It also has Pow-R dither, which at first I did'nt really think mattered, but the more I work with UV-22 and others, I am starting to notice a diffrence when it comes to my car mixes.
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Guest

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Re: recording on tape, transfer to digital useless?
« Reply #29 on: February 19, 2006, 10:32:26 am »

Werewolf10 wrote on Sun, 19 February 2006 03:21

 It also has Pow-R dither, which at first I did'nt really think mattered, but the more I work with UV-22 and others, I am starting to notice a diffrence when it comes to my car mixes.


werewolf10,

do you think UV-22 is necessary to make a solid 'car mix'?  Or can you get by with software?  Do you actually run the audio back through your apogee in order to get the UV-22 dithering down to 16-bit?  
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