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Just came across a 1/4" tape machine, about to track a few synths
Old 30th January 2009
  #1
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
Just came across a 1/4" tape machine, about to track a few synths

I just ran the output of a synth bass (that was previously tracked through my API 3124) from my daw into the tape machine. It's a AKAI 1730-dss 1/4" with 4 inputs and outputs. It's running at 3 3/4???? the only other option was 7 1/2....

I recorded the synth bass and then mixed that back into the original signal to taste. The signal from the akai was so distorted it lost a lot of the transient information and that's why I mixed the original in track back in.

I was just wondering if this should be done another way, should I track the virus straight through the api then to directly to tape? Am I losing anything by just routing the virus track from my daw? How is do most people use tape machines to "flavor" tracks one at a time like this?

Thanks a lot in advance.
Old 31st January 2009
  #2
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Popbott's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I have used a tape machine to add "tape saturation" to my final mixes coming from my DAW. Adding it to every track seemed a bit much for what I was doing at the time.

In your case, I would run the Virus into the API and then record that signal into your tape machine, get it as clean as possible from the start. Too much digital bouncing does funny things IMO. There are many variables at play depending on what kind of converter you are using, DAW system and what bit rate your are recording at.
Old 1st February 2009 | Show parent
  #3
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Dirty Halo's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Tape problems

I too like the sound of tape of whole mixes and use some tape emu like the Anamod and Neve 5042 on individual tracks.

But...

I'd think you might encounter problems blending the orignal track with a bounced tape version of that track because virtual no tape machine runs consistently at the same speed from start to end.

I'd think at the VERY least you'll line up the start perfectly and then start to encounter phase issues as the speed varies even a little.

Did that happen?


-andrews
Old 1st February 2009 | Show parent
  #4
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loujudson's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Use the higher speed on the tape.3.75 never sounded any good anyway - usually as bad as a cassette.

But, that is not a pro tape deck and it will never sound very good, so have fun but it is just playing around. I did anaog recording for 30 years and there is defintiely an art and a learning curve. You can't just plug it in and expect it to work without some serious study and practice. Do you now how to align and calibrate the tape deck? Do you have a test tape and measurement gear? Do you know what kind of tape to use? If not you wil be unhappy with the results.

Lou
Old 1st February 2009 | Show parent
  #5
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years

Old 2nd February 2009
  #6
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by deck ➡️
The signal from the akai was so distorted it lost a lot of the transient information and that's why I mixed the original in track back in.
I think this is the clue here why it's not a good idea... If what's coming back off tape is SO distorted, you aren't actually adding 'tape flavour' you're just adding distortion, not the same thing at all.

Do you know if the distortion is tape overload, or overload of the tape machine's electronics? If it's just distortion you're after why not use a decent guitar pedal, much more controllable & no faffing around with tape either.

If you really want to add tape flavour (and as you're using API gear I suspect you're not after that lo-fi sound) you need a decent semi-pro machine running ideally at 15 ips or at least 7 1/2 ips, forgot 3 3/4. Get it lined up with the correct tape. That's a domestic machine you're using & the fact it has 4 channels will make the track widths even narrower, probably not much better than a top end cassette deck.

As has been said, you'll get phase issues mixing it back with the original.
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