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Tape simulation for 909 kicks sounding like in 90s techno?
Old 18th June 2020
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Tape simulation for 909 kicks sounding like in 90s techno?

Hi,

what kind of effect plugin do i need to let my "clean" 909 kicks sound like the techno ones of the early 90s?

Is this some kind of "tape saturation"? https://varietyofsound.wordpress.com...-the-kvr-dc09/ ?

Thanks!

PS: I don't want "wow", "fluttering" etc. only the "ooomph" of the 90s kicks.
Old 18th June 2020
  #2
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
they were overdriving (mackie) mixer channels with the 909 kick...
Old 18th June 2020
  #3
Lives for gear
Try an overdrive plugin with a little high-end roll off on EQ, then compression.
Old 19th June 2020 | Show parent
  #4
Lives for gear
 
XAXAU's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by olafmol ➡️
they were overdriving (mackie) mixer channels with the 909 kick...
I just got an old Mackie mixer which I think sounds nice for driving synths

Will def try to slam some drums thru it

I drive drums thru my analog synths, works like a charm
Old 19th June 2020
  #5
Gear Guru
 
jbuonacc's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
this thing is awesome:

https://www.wavesfactory.com/cassette/

Old 19th June 2020 | Show parent
  #6
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jazzcabbage's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by olafmol ➡️
they were overdriving (mackie) mixer channels with the 909 kick...
And into ADAT
Old 19th June 2020
  #7
It depends how fussy you are. I'm NOT an analogue purist, but getting anything other than tape to sound exactly like tape is hard ... yet, you can get pretty close. So ... some people will be more than happy with approximations while others will be left wanting. Of course, in the real world every tape machine sounds different now given the ravages of time, so I'm honestly not even sure what we are comparing to.

Anyway, regards abusing Mackie mixers, the newer designs are far more polite than the 80s and 90s ones. Bear that in mind if you rely on that technique.

Since the main processes of tape are compression and saturation, any combination of those can produce tailor-able effects across a wide spectrum of color, dynamics and tone. Of course a lot of characterful compression does some saturation and some saturation adds compression as well. Anyway, this becomes a valid way to get a kick with the oomph and presence in a mix you want whilst also having options of unique character if you choose - very versatile. It's probably my overall favorite approach.
Old 19th June 2020 | Show parent
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzcabbage ➡️
And into ADAT
Good point. I remember those Alesis ADAT converters being pretty darn harsh.
Old 19th June 2020
  #9
Gear Guru
 
zerocrossing's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I feel like if you’re doing modest tape saturation, any number of plugins sound really good. It’s not until you really hit them hard to they start to not sound as good. If you want the real deal and can’t be bothered buying a real tape machine for the process (I won’t) you can try these. Really good.

https://www.goldbaby.co.nz/tdmc.html

Load those babies up into Maschine or my RYTM and you’re good to go.
Old 19th June 2020
  #10
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
To be clear: tape was not their weapon of choice. Abusing digital stuff and crappy old mixers and outboard. Techno mentality.
Old 19th June 2020 | Show parent
  #11
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by olafmol ➡️
To be clear: tape was not their weapon of choice. Abusing digital stuff and crappy old mixers and outboard. Techno mentality.
Correct, not sure why tape was brought up in this, as that was not the tool used here.
Old 19th June 2020
  #12
Gear Addict
 
🎧 5 years
There's plenty of sample packs of drums processed with tape etc. Goldbaby or samples from Mars. Unless you really want to do the processing yourself
Old 19th June 2020 | Show parent
  #13
Deleted c1736c2
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by Primativ ➡️
Correct, not sure why tape was brought up in this, as that was not the tool used here.
It's popular myth I read from time to time. Probably stems from not knowing the differences between overdrive, clipping and saturation. Some people (I remember a blog article a few years ago) seem to not distinguish between these as „it's all distortion“.
Old 19th June 2020
  #14
Gear Guru
 
chrisso's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Early Techno was mixed live, often to DAT.
So yes, the other posters are correct about abusing mixer channels and digital.
Not much actual tape involved.
Old 19th June 2020
  #15
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
If you want to sound like the 90's, get the same equipment.

Get an Akai sampler, a Mackie mixer or something similar and you're done.
Old 19th June 2020
  #16
Deleted 5974f48
Guest
The SSL 4000 drive feature of Console 1 works well . If you boost the EQ a bit in the mid range, you get that typical hardwood-disto-kick.
Old 19th June 2020 | Show parent
  #17
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Synthio ➡️
If you want to sound like the 90's, get the same equipment.

Get an Akai sampler, a Mackie mixer or something similar and you're done.
I agree with you, I have a TR8, old A&H mixer, Drawmer compressor and a Alesis Midiverb 3 and I can make it sound like an Advent record, similar to Daft Punk.

I kinda love it, but when the novelty rubs off, its like right.. Time to make something that pushes the envelope a bit now after 20+ years !!
Old 19th June 2020
  #18
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
As stated, not tape - distortion.

The WavesFactory Cassette plugin is fantastic. I use it on every track I do but rarely on drums. It works more for what I want on synth pads and stabs.

For extra processing on drums, I use UHE Satin.But the main core sound of the kick is overdrive or bitcrushing.
Old 20th June 2020
  #19
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usedtohaveajuno's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
To echo everyone else here, it's overdrive not tape saturation. I know because I was in your position!

909 owner here. I kept trying with some good tape plug-ins from AirWindows - could never get the sound.

Bought a Boss BX-8 old-school, cheapo mixer, and overdriving the 909 input sounds absolutely perfect!
Old 20th June 2020
  #20
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clusterchord's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
solid percentage of these recording thruout the 90s, were Akais loaded with samples of 909, not all involved the use of actual 909.


and this also imparts a change in the sound. in all old akais. then, use (and misuse) of cheapo compressors, and mentioned driving the inputs of mackies. also, MXR distortion+, Rat and other pedals were put to good use for acid or more hardcore styles.

resampling was also involved a lot - make a kick, squash it thru mackie, record the output back to sampler, re-use in track.



as for tape i think it was more an exception than a norm. i know of some early Squarepusher dnb multitracked to tascam. semi-demo era of idm, with aphex releases mixed to cassette. probably others i am not aware of.

i defo hear some masters from early 90s that have that nice rms and rounded transients, that might have employed a 2track tape in mastering phase on the way to vinyl release, even if originally mixed to Dat.
Old 20th June 2020
  #21
Gear Addict
 
A lot of late 80’s/early 90’s techno was mixed and recorded to tape (1/4” 4 track reel) but agree the biggest factor in “the sound” was the mixers used.
Old 20th June 2020 | Show parent
  #22
Deleted d6ffc70
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by clusterchord ➡️
solid percentage of these recording thruout the 90s, were Akais loaded with samples of 909, not all involved the use of actual 909.
Or various Korg or Roland Romplers which were quite popular at the time and could be used with multitimbrality to create pretty complete tracks
Old 21st June 2020
  #23
Gear Head
 
AnalogDomain's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I don't use plug-ins a lot but the waves vinyl works a treat on kicks and percussion. It gives a mastered and played off of vinyl sound that is saturated and slightly chunky.
Old 21st June 2020 | Show parent
  #24
Gear Maniac
 
Jon Silva's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by martino_ ➡️
A lot of late 80’s/early 90’s techno was mixed and recorded to tape (1/4” 4 track reel) but agree the biggest factor in “the sound” was the mixers used.
If late 80ies/early 90ies means until 1992, then that may be true. But after that, a lot of people used an Aiwa HD-S100 to record, myself included.

I have seen numerous setups in person from European Techno and House guys in the 90ies and none of them had reel to reel. Most of them would have been overwhelmed with maintaining such a machine tbh. A DAT machine (namely Tascam DA-20 starting from the mid-90ies) could be found in all of them and they all recorded 2-track straight to DAT though. Very often in several attempts because the (manual!) filter sweep wasn't right or the Aux send was opened too early/too late when you wanted a reverb boom on the kick or selective delays. It might be that SOME went to serious studios to record there but in that case, it's even less likely they recorded four tracks onto 1/4" as those places would have had 1/2" 2-track as their master machine.

I also keep reading on Gearslutz that ADAT was used very often. That may be true for the US but at least in Germany and the UK, none of the electronic guys had one - you could maybe find some in project studios that were recording bands.

Edit: here's Ralf Hildenbeutel of Eye-Q/Sven Väth fame using an Otari DTR-7 to record (timestamp 02:06) in 1995.



Edit2: ok, check this out - I found Juan Atkins using a multitrack:
http://www.muzines.co.uk/articles/future-shock/2304#

The article is from 1988 and says "THESE DAYS, ATKINS works out of his 16-track Metroplex studio, which is currently located in his basement. The studio is based around a Fostex B16 with a Tascam desk and assorted outboard effects."

Last edited by Jon Silva; 21st June 2020 at 12:36 PM.. Reason: added info
Old 21st June 2020 | Show parent
  #25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Silva ➡️
Edit2: ok, check this out - I found Juan Atkins using a multitrack:
http://www.muzines.co.uk/articles/future-shock/2304#
Hawtin used a reel 2 reel machine (unsure of model) as well in the early 90's, before moving to DAT round about 1991/92 i think.
Old 21st June 2020 | Show parent
  #26
Gear Maniac
 
Jon Silva's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Syn303 ➡️
Hawtin used a reel 2 reel machine (unsure of model) as well in the early 90's, before moving to DAT round about 1991/92 i think.
Nice find - thanks! But also looks more like 1/4" 2-track rather than multitrack. The picture is pretty blurry so it's hard to tell but with the three large knobs, it could well be a Revox B-77, so 1/4" 2-track indeed.
Old 21st June 2020
  #27
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Definitely better off spending the money on a cheap little mixer that burns nicely when caning the input gain than a plugin if you want to go back there. Or an S1000, and literally just use it to distort through, don't even need to sample with it, it burns in that particular way and you will instantly recognise it.
Old 21st June 2020 | Show parent
  #28
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted d6ffc70 ➡️
Or various Korg or Roland Romplers which were quite popular at the time and could be used with multitimbrality to create pretty complete tracks
Yes, but they couldn't be used to make anything resembling proper techno. The drum sounds on those things varied from lackluster to seriously WEAK, and they were totally unsuited for dance music. The patches were all mainstream pop, General MIDI stuff, almost none of the bloops and bleeps needed for heavier stuff. Many had no resonant filters, real time control, or any of the other things essential for making techno. By the mid-90s you started to see some manufacturers making ROMplers which targeted dance genres (Quasimidi etc), but the problem with those was the sounds were already stale by the time they hit the market.

A typical budget setup for making techno was based around a sampler, which could fake almost any instrument including the necessary 909 sounds (real units were expensive and hard-to-find even back then). Then add whatever other cheap gear one had: then-unfashionable analogs (but MIDI-to-CV converters were hard to find too), maybe a current ROMpler for some auxillary sounds, cheap effects like Alesis Quadraverb/MIDIverb 4/3630 compressor, a Mackie 1604 mixer, and a DAT machine for mixdown. Multitrack beyond crappy portastudio quality was still expensive.

Ralf Hildenbeutel was mentioned earlier in this thread but I think it's worth pointing out that his stuff was quite polished, bigger-budget, and perhaps even a bit over-produced compared to much of what else was out there.
Old 21st June 2020 | Show parent
  #29
Deleted d6ffc70
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruno Republic ➡️
Yes, but they couldn't be used to make anything resembling proper techno. The drum sounds on those things varied from lackluster to seriously WEAK,
If that's what you think just know you are wrong

But I am guessing you were not around in the 1990s and have never actually used one

Also please explain what "proper" techno is?
Old 21st June 2020 | Show parent
  #30
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted d6ffc70 ➡️
If that's what you think just know you are wrong

But I am guessing you were not around in the 1990s and have never actually used one
I'm 49, so yes, I definitely was around in the 1990s. I owned most of the gear that I mentioned. And if there are ROMplers that can produce decent techno right out of the box, I'm really curious to know what they are. It certainly wasn't any of the Korg, Roland, or Yamaha ones, or those horrid Proteus modules that sold by the truckload back then. Roland sold expansion cards for their JV ROMplers with "dance" sounds, but even these weren't up to scratch, first because they were instantly dated, second because those ROMplers were designed to sound clean, clear, and polite, and third because you couldn't do the necessary separate processing (overdrive, compression, etc.) within the ROMpler itself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted d6ffc70 ➡️

Also please explain what "proper" techno is?
A track that would've actually gotten played at a club or a rave, not something that sounds like a smooth jazz artist who took on some soundtrack work and had to come up with something for a "club" scene.

I saw articles in the magazines at the time which claimed new club tracks were being produced entirely within ROMpler workstations, but those articles were written by people with no first-hand knowledge of then-current music, and their remarks were basically an insult to techno producers, insinuating that it was such simple stuff that all you needed was one box and not talent to produce it. As I mentioned, a lot of techno was produced with very simple and low-budget means, but still, it took more than a ROMpler.
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