R/E/P > Terry Manning

1/2" 456 at 15ips .....!!!!!

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I am mixing a record for some folks, sort of Elliot Smith, sort of Tom Waits, sort of Kurt Weil, and very organic. I talked em into tape for the mix and was able to find a bunch of 456 for sale here in NYC. I must admit that I have been a GP9 guy and sometimes a 499 guy and almost always a 30ips guy. I wanted to try 15 ips and told the label and client why and they asked for a comparison. I thought it was a cool idea so first we printed to PT back through AD8000, then to ATR at 30ips, then to ATR at 15ips. (I should mention that we run 15ips with IEC1 equalization.)

The 30ips sounded smoother, more relaxed, perhaps not as silky as gp9, but had good body and the music was glued up as expected. Compared to PT everyone agreed that it was nicer to listen to and sounded more "finished". Very true.

15ips? All I can say was the split second I heard 15 I was sold. Can't remember the last time I went 15 and then never to 456, but my god it is so good. If you are like me and have been a GP9/499 user give 456 a whirl when its available again and mix one to 15ips - IEC1 makes a good difference - you won't be sorry.

As for the sound, creamy, rich, big, finished, solid, and much easier to get your ears around... Someone in the control room remarked that it sounded like the sound on tape felt much closer to capturing a live performance in energy and continuity. Glad 456 will be available again. The mastering guy is going to be very happy.


I've mixed almost every record I've made for the last 25 years to 456 at 15ips (0 VU = +6 over 250nW/m).
The one thing I'd suggest strongly is to print DIRECTLY to the analogue.. instead of only giving the analogue the already digitally castrated mix.

You can do it by leaving the machine in input and feeding that to the digital.
Or you can do it in two separate passes.
But either way, there's no reason to A-D and D-A the mix before it goes to the analogue.

Then you'll REALLY see what you've been LOSING.... not just what the tape "adds".

15ips is king ..(weird how many still don't know).


Hi William-

Yes, I only print to tape straight from board mix buss. (For me, Inbox=bad, console=good). And I print to pro-tools through the ATR electronics. I just like what it does. I am a true believer now in this tape/tape speed combo. I am interested in gp9 at 15ips again too. Would like to compare the two.

Gotta run....stems! ((

Brian Kehew:
Hey ! How about 1/4" - the way one zillion records we love were mixed. Unless are your tracks are bright digi-stuff, you might not need that much low end subsonic. And DO DO DO try mixing to the machine with less bias than recommended, bias is a "recommended" setting that can easily be bettered if you listen. 30 minutes of experimentation to make every mix sound better!

...And Dolby "A" adds a character you probably will like too - as one person put it "It sounds just like a record should". (NOT Dolby SR)

Rediscovering past methods is interesting - seeing how much GREAT knowledge is left behind in the name of convenience and "progress". Not all old is good, but much of it was...


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