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Author Topic: 499 @ 15 ips or 30 ips?  (Read 4673 times)

J.J. Blair

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499 @ 15 ips or 30 ips?
« on: January 05, 2005, 07:31:30 am »

Just curious as to who runs 499 at 15 ips.  Is there a noticeably lower signal to noise ratio than at 30 ips?  Can you still print at +9 or do you have to back it off?  I know some people prefer 15 ips because they say they get extended range in the low end response that's not there at 30 ips.  I've just always gone with 30 ips because my experience with people using 15 ips was always with dobly SR (granted, they were using 456),  but it seemed like noise was more of an issue.  Anybody care to enlighten me please?

And not to answer my own question, I found this http://www.endino.com/graphs/, but I am looking anecdotal evidence.  I am using an 827, btw.  15 looks mighty nice on these graphs.
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They say the heart of Rock & Roll is still beating, which is amazing if you consider all the blow it's done over the years.

"The Internet enables pompous blowhards to interact with other pompous blowhards in a big circle jerk of pomposity." - Bill Maher

"The negative aspects of this business, not only will continue to prevail, but will continue to accelerate in madness. Conditions aren't going to get better, because the economics of rock and roll are getting closer and closer to the economics of Big Business America." - Bill Graham

lord

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Re: 499 @ 15 ips or 30 ips?
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2005, 12:52:48 pm »

I was wondering the same.

I've been using 499 at 30ips, but this week's session is going to be at 15ips due to the great Alabama Tape Crisis of 2005. I'm hoping it goes ok. But I'm on a MM1200 which is sort of a different bag of fish.

No NR, no way.

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lucey

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Re: 499 @ 15 ips or 30 ips?
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2005, 01:22:01 pm »

J.J. wrote on Wed, 05 January 2005 07:31

Just curious as to who runs 499 at 15 ips.  Is there a noticeably lower signal to noise ratio than at 30 ips?  Can you still print at +9 or do you have to back it off?  I know some people prefer 15 ips because they say they get extended range in the low end response that's not there at 30 ips.  I've just always gone with 30 ips because my experience with people using 15 ips was always with dobly SR (granted, they were using 456),  but it seemed like noise was more of an issue.  Anybody care to enlighten me please?

And not to answer my own question, I found this http://www.endino.com/graphs/, but I am looking anecdotal evidence.  I am using an 827, btw.  15 looks mighty nice on these graphs.



his graphs are not true for all machines ... my 1200 16 looks nothing like that one


yes you can go +9 but it's going to smear a bit depending on the set up and the instrument. +7 for some things.  drums i always cut lower.

the main 15 ips advantage in tone is not so much low "extension" as it is the low bump around  125 (and the roll off on top (for some cases) is preferred)


i always record on a 1200 @ 15 ips yet on a 16 track that's a different animal.  the 24 will be tougher to manage.   if you're used to 30 and you go to 15 you will definitely want to spend a few hours on bias and eq and experiment with levels to tape

yes it can work as well or better, yet it's all about the tweaking, and that's time consuming.




not very clear of an answer for you,  but true as far as i can tell...
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Brian Lucey
Magic Garden Mastering

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J.J. Blair

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Re: 499 @ 15 ips or 30 ips?
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2005, 02:40:13 pm »

LOL, Bryan.  I had actually originally mentioned the low end head bump and accidentally edited it out.  Yeah, I can't stand Dolby either.

Well, one great things about the 827 is its ability to recall calibrations, and that you can save two settings per speed, as well as store the settings on tape.  That should make it easier to try tweaking, at least.  My real time spectrum analyzer is a not amazing, but I suppose I can use it in this case to check out the response curve.  I've never actually analyzed the response of my machine before.  

Now when you talk about smear, what type of saturation and tape compression will I get with something like the kick drum?  Does this altered response curve actually give me more headroom or less headroom?  Also, can I alter that high end roll off through less bias?
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studio info

They say the heart of Rock & Roll is still beating, which is amazing if you consider all the blow it's done over the years.

"The Internet enables pompous blowhards to interact with other pompous blowhards in a big circle jerk of pomposity." - Bill Maher

"The negative aspects of this business, not only will continue to prevail, but will continue to accelerate in madness. Conditions aren't going to get better, because the economics of rock and roll are getting closer and closer to the economics of Big Business America." - Bill Graham

trexrox

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Re: 499 @ 15 ips or 30 ips?
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2005, 06:09:01 pm »

Just wanted to share my experiences with you...

I recently started using my Studer A80 VU 24 track at 15 ips CCIR (had previously only run 30ips on it).  The CCIR EQ curve has a suprisingly lower audible noise than the NAB curve.  

If you already own a 30ips cal tape, you can use this to set it up, as it is the same EQ curve (I got this from Jay McKnight of MRL, straight from the horse's mouth).   You can also find this in his paper "choosing and using" on the MRL site.

If you have the sweep, it makes it pretty easy to perform this alignment, and of course you will set your low frequency repro EQ in record...  Use 2k (1k low speed) to set repro level and 20k (10k low speed) to set HF level.  I found that on my machine, it is so flat that I could use 1k (500Hz low speed) and 10k (5k low speed) and get the same results, but your results may vary depending on the machine you use. This will get you the CCIR (or IEC) EQ curve, of course if your machine has the slection to use it...

I have been recording with 456 tape at +6 with wonderful results.

I'm planning on running at 15ips for a while now, unless something calls for me to go back to 30ips recording.  I also plan on getting a CCIR tape from MRL asap.
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Fletcher

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Re: 499 @ 15 ips or 30 ips?
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2005, 07:05:49 am »

J.J. wrote on Wed, 05 January 2005 07:31

I found this http://www.endino.com/graphs/, but I am looking anecdotal evidence.


I just looked at the graphs... it seems about right [though I read what Endino had to say about JH-24's and I think he's a fucking moron, but that's just my opinion regarding one aspect of the presentation].  The best explanation I have ever heard about the 15/30 debate was that yeah, you move the head bump down an octave [you should have heard Michael Beinhorn's 2" 8-track Studer A-800's runing at 7.5 ips with a 3db>355nWb/m alignment... sick bottom!!!], you also move the noise down an octave, more into the audible range.

What's really interesting is what happens when you run a machine at like 20ips.  You get about 80% of the lowend benefits of 15ips with like 80% of the noise benefits of 30ips.

We had a client who had some machines that ran on AC motors and were set up for 220v 50Hz operation.  When we plugged those machines into US 220v at 60Hz they ran at like 18.5ips... the improvment on the noise floor was palpable, the bottom was astounding... now we didn't do any charts or graphs, but just listening to the audio coming back from that thing was far and away enough proof for me.
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CN Fletcher

mwagener wrote on Sat, 11 September 2004 14:33
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If you've spent most of your life with a few thousand dollars worth of musicians in the studio, making a decision every second and a half... and you and  they are going to have to live with it for the rest of your lives, you'll get pretty arrogant too.  It takes a certain amount of balls to do that... something around three"
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lord

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Re: 499 @ 15 ips or 30 ips?
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2005, 10:44:22 am »

Don't have a handle on the noise level yet, but my current alignment +6 on 499 at 15ips is shockingly flat compared to its previous set up at 30ips.

It was +-2db before, but now when I run a sweep the meters stand still.

I might be confused by the DeOxit/Headcleaner cocktail I had for breakfast.
One more of those and running at 22 ips may look like an ace idea.
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Lee Flier

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Re: 499 @ 15 ips or 30 ips?
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2005, 12:07:18 pm »

I've done quite a few recordings on 499 @15 with no SR.  IME it really depends what kind of material you're talking about... for rock'n'roll and similar the noise is really not a problem and I never noticed much difference vs. 30.  If you have very quiet pieces, it may be.  I really love the way cymbals sound at 15, electric guitars... it does something to the high end that's extremely cool for certain material.

As far as running at +9... I've never found that Studers deal with that particularly well at 15... they seem best at +6, you might be able to get away with +7 or +8, however Ampexes seem to take +9 fantastically well at 15, and MCI's somewhere in the middle.  My general experience with Studers is that they are magical when operated within reasonable specs but they aren't as great when you really push them, as opposed to some other decks.  But, YMMV, and different machines even within the same model sound different, etc.

But as a very general statement... 499 @15, no SR, no problem.

electrical

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Re: 499 @ 15 ips or 30 ips?
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2005, 12:35:16 pm »

Fletcher wrote on Thu, 06 January 2005 07:05


We had a client who had some machines that ran on AC motors and were set up for 220v 50Hz operation.  When we plugged those machines into US 220v at 60Hz they ran at like 18.5ips... the improvment on the noise floor was palpable, the bottom was astounding... now we didn't do any charts or graphs, but just listening to the audio coming back from that thing was far and away enough proof for me.


I think Tim DiParavincini made a few 1-inch stereo machines out of old Studer J37s that ran at 18.5ips. Custom EQ curve, sorta like Ampex's AME as well.

Now that's a niche market.

I have been running about 90 percent of my sessions at 15 ips (CCIR), no NR. The CCIR curve is a must, as NAB artificially exaggerates tape hiss.

On a 2-inch 16-track, the noise level is negligible. On 24-track, you should be careful about open tracks, but it's not a drastic difference. You will love the low-end. For HF extension, do a sweep to see. Our machines (Studer 820s) are dead flat up to 25kHz, with significant extension above that, though track-to-track matching starts to get wobbly around 30kHz.
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lucey

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Re: 499 @ 15 ips or 30 ips?
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2005, 12:53:15 pm »

J.J. wrote on Wed, 05 January 2005 14:40

 
Now when you talk about smear, what type of saturation and tape compression will I get with something like the kick drum?  Does this altered response curve actually give me more headroom or less headroom?  Also, can I alter that high end roll off through less bias?


For kick and drums in general you just have to set it up and see.  But cut them lower for sure.

Kick and bass can be biased differently yes ... it's all about the machine, the tape and the settings... no hard and fast rules (except what everyone has said, that CCIR is lower noise, and that NR sucks).


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Brian Lucey
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J.J. Blair

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Re: 499 @ 15 ips or 30 ips?
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2005, 08:09:23 pm »

I think we are all in agreement.  SR stands for "sucks royally".  Oddly enough, the only times I ever had sessions here that required it, there were a bunch of Yo Cats eith playing or producing the thing.  And when he was producing, one of them would actually hit the talkback and say, "Yo, Cats..."

Can anybody recommend a good but inexpensive software RTSA?  That would be very helpful in setting up the EQ.  My RTSA has LED meters, which is fine if you are tuning a nightclub or rehearsal room, but .5 db here can really make things sound different.
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They say the heart of Rock & Roll is still beating, which is amazing if you consider all the blow it's done over the years.

"The Internet enables pompous blowhards to interact with other pompous blowhards in a big circle jerk of pomposity." - Bill Maher

"The negative aspects of this business, not only will continue to prevail, but will continue to accelerate in madness. Conditions aren't going to get better, because the economics of rock and roll are getting closer and closer to the economics of Big Business America." - Bill Graham

Level

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Re: 499 @ 15 ips or 30 ips?
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2005, 08:10:20 pm »

I would much rather live with the extra little noise at 15 than to have tape bounce issues at 30. So many cintage machines just can't keep the head to tape pressure where it needs to be at 30ips. I have heard this and went to 15 in this instance.
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J.J. Blair

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Re: 499 @ 15 ips or 30 ips?
« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2005, 08:19:39 pm »

Bill, do you prefer 15 ips for 1/2" 2 trk?
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studio info

They say the heart of Rock & Roll is still beating, which is amazing if you consider all the blow it's done over the years.

"The Internet enables pompous blowhards to interact with other pompous blowhards in a big circle jerk of pomposity." - Bill Maher

"The negative aspects of this business, not only will continue to prevail, but will continue to accelerate in madness. Conditions aren't going to get better, because the economics of rock and roll are getting closer and closer to the economics of Big Business America." - Bill Graham

compasspnt

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Re: 499 @ 15 ips or 30 ips?
« Reply #13 on: January 06, 2005, 10:20:10 pm »

For 2 track, that's where between 18 and 22 IPS would really shine, especially on 1/2" (since few are able to use a 1" machine).

I've done some experiments using varispeed, and really liked the in-between speeds.  Of course, you can't mix using varispeed.

But perhaps all a moot point, since there won't be any tape to use.
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lucey

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Re: 499 @ 15 ips or 30 ips?
« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2005, 04:25:47 am »

compasspnt wrote on Thu, 06 January 2005 22:20



But perhaps all a moot point, since there won't be any tape to use.


Rolling Eyes    of course there will be tape!




analog recording is on the upswing, in fact.
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Brian Lucey
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Level

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Re: 499 @ 15 ips or 30 ips?
« Reply #15 on: January 07, 2005, 04:44:59 am »

Quote:

Bill, do you prefer 15 ips for 1/2" 2 trk?



Depends on the machine. I can say overall, yes.

Noise VS guide quality here.

Noise can be reduced. Tape bounce cannot.
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trexrox

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Re: 499 @ 15 ips or 30 ips?
« Reply #16 on: January 07, 2005, 02:33:11 pm »

Level wrote on Fri, 07 January 2005 04:44

Quote:

Bill, do you prefer 15 ips for 1/2" 2 trk?



Depends on the machine. I can say overall, yes.

Noise VS guide quality here.

Noise can be reduced. Tape bounce cannot.


Tape bouce?  You speak of it as though it's a natural phenomenon... If the tape is bouncing off of your heads at ANY speed, then you have got a problem in the transport.  Maybe you're talking about scrape flutter?  In this case, a scrape flutter idler will do the trick, and it actually pushes the flutter frequency higher when operating at 30ips, which is the purpose of the idler (to cut the scrape flutter into two different, higher frequencies, which are much less audible).
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Bob Olhsson

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Re: 499 @ 15 ips or 30 ips?
« Reply #17 on: January 08, 2005, 06:29:45 pm »

MCI tried to sell an 18 ips machine for a while. I don't remember if this was also the 3" 32 track.

The guy who devised the NAB curve at Ampex admits that it was a kludge to flatten out the Ampex 300's response and deal with the hum. The CCIR curve actually has some real engineering behind it.

Fletcher

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Re: 499 @ 15 ips or 30 ips?
« Reply #18 on: January 08, 2005, 06:34:52 pm »

It was the 3" 32 trk... and I believe it ran at 20ips.  
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CN Fletcher

mwagener wrote on Sat, 11 September 2004 14:33
We are selling emotions, there are no emotions in a grid


"Recording engineers are an arrogant bunch.  
If you've spent most of your life with a few thousand dollars worth of musicians in the studio, making a decision every second and a half... and you and  they are going to have to live with it for the rest of your lives, you'll get pretty arrogant too.  It takes a certain amount of balls to do that... something around three"
Malcolm Chisholm

Ross Hogarth

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Re: 499 @ 15 ips or 30 ips?
« Reply #19 on: January 08, 2005, 07:39:53 pm »

I totally agree with Steve that if you are running at 15 ips than you will be better off with a CCIR alignment, this the way it used to be before NAB.
Now I also do not use or like Dolby SR but funny enough since Eddie Kramer is one of my best friends, I know he loves and uses Dolby SR. As I post today, I just got off the phone with him from the studio he is in here in LA and was making sure his session is going smoothly. I found out his Dolby rack was incorrectly aligned and it caused him to lose some time. I hate those things ...they are so fickle ...

15 IPS is an interesting beast, for me, if properly aligned, it tends to be more even across the spectrum even with the noise.
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