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PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2016 7:37 am 
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mnml maxi
mnml maxi

Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2008 1:01 pm
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Location: Worcestershire
Hey all, been thinkin whether to pick up somethin like a Tascam 4 track to record stuff onto and then record back in the DAW aain but I don't know whether the results are oin to jusify the expense/hassle. I'm thinkin about synth lines, drums, parts etc, not the whole mix.

Thin is, I also have Waves Kramer tape pluin and I'm not sure whether that is authentic enouh to et me the same results and whether I will just be disappointed.

( sorry my 'Jee' note on this laptop doesn't work ) :lol:


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2016 11:29 am 
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mnml admn
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interesting approach. worse case you can always sell if you think wasn't worth it.
I used to have a 4 track tascam tape recorder many years ago.
you found a good price for one?

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2016 5:15 pm 
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mnml maxi
mnml maxi

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No, I'm at the thinking about stage at the moment. I watched a production video on legowelt a while back and he did exactly this and I since discovered that others have used them. Unfortunately, I don't know anyone directly in order to ask but I have heard that it's useful when looking for some smearing, and gluing of sounds and parts and that you can get a warm rounder sound. Whether this sound is worth chasing is what I'm trying to establish, in that with plugins like satin and waves Kramer tape, have I already got the means to achieve this type of thing or will real cassette offer something that cannot be replicated in software?


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2016 8:02 am 
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mnml maxi
mnml maxi

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My personal tries with tapes were not successful, the result was not worth the hassle, and although the signal was compressed, there was a lack on certain frequencies.
I got much better results with saturation plugins (e.g. the one in Ableton) and loading samples into devices that have a typical 12bit compression like old EMUs.
If you really want to try, then I would suggest trying with a Revox... (Don't know if it is worth the investment).

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2016 12:28 am 
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mnml maxi
mnml maxi

Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2008 1:01 pm
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4am wrote:
My personal tries with tapes were not successful, the result was not worth the hassle, and although the signal was compressed, there was a lack on certain frequencies.
I got much better results with saturation plugins (e.g. the one in Ableton) and loading samples into devices that have a typical 12bit compression like old EMUs.
If you really want to try, then I would suggest trying with a Revox... (Don't know if it is worth the investment).


I am aware of the restricted frequency range and it is welcomed, in fact, the 4 track machine I looked at recently on EBay ( I don't even need a 4 track, a single track would suffice ) specified a 40hz to 12.5khz frequency range - although I didn't quite understand this as I thought it would be the recording medium and tape type rather than the machine itself which dictated the bandwidth.....

If you've ever listened to Boards Of Canada stuff, there's a warmth and lo-fi quality to a lot of the synth parts, I also like some Legowelt tracks and I know for certain a lot of his synth lines and mixes get their 'aged character' from a tascam 4 track, basically recording onto the cassette and then recording the tapes output back in the computer.

I've also looked into replicating the effect digitally and for say a synth line ( say some pad chords ) if you restrict high end information and cut off at about 12khz, you immediately start getting near to this vibe already. If you then use mid/side processing to keep any lower end mono and restrict an reverb stereo width, this also helps. But then, once you add subtle saturation, maybe add a sampled layer of genuine tape hiss and pitch modulation ( to simulate wow and flutter ) you can get very very close indeed to a tape style recording. Maybe it's psychological but I am aware that I have a digital recording TRYING to sound 'aged' rather than a genuine 'aged' recording.

What I can't figure out is whether these type of production techniques are equal to doing the real thing, ie: lets say I buy a Tascam 4 track off ebay, set it up and record some stuff. Is it necessarily going to satisfy what I am looking for, or am I already going to get what I need by continuing trying various emulation methods and production tricks?

Shame I cannot find any sounds online where I can hear a live synth line and then the same synth line after it has been recorded to tape. ( I'm not talking about reel to reel stuff btw, specifically, cheaper cassette tape. )


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2016 12:33 am 
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mnml maxi
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Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2008 1:01 pm
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Location: Worcestershire


This is kinda what I mean, a lot of roundness, warmth and glued together thing going on.



Not a fan of this track but right at the end, he records to tape and explains that he will re-record it back into the computer. A Tascam 4 track is used here.


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