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Killing tape hiss and saving the sound...
Old 28th February 2003
  #91
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Tim L
Jay, I learned and am most familiar with the Otari machines (90's of various mk's in particular). I know people have different methods of going about alligning a deck but to me yours seems to bounce around the MRL quite a bit. When I locate and loop a tone I'll allign everything related to that tone. For instance; while I'm on 1k I'll do "Repro gain" (all safe/ all repro) then switch over to "Sync gain" (all safe/ all sell rep)...viola 1k's done, off to the next tone. I don't know if this relates to the MCI or not, but it might.
Yeah, looping it is one way to do it. I don't bounce around all that much although it sounds like I am. I could do the synch gain with the method you use, but I feel like I'm getting a more even response by biasing both synch and repro to the same set of tones. Also, it saves a pass or 5 on the MRL. You should go back and check 1khz after setting everything, sometimes it'll change. Once in a while I'll have a channel off by 1.5dBVU which is lot. If it's a half dB or less then I'll leave it be.

Honestly the whole thing doesn't take that long, maybe 30-40 minutes if I'm not setting the bias or azimuth on the 24-track and about 10 minutes on a 2-track. I set the bias at least once a month, more often if I'm switching tape types like SM900 to SM911, GP9 etc. It's a real pain to do it on the MCI's because there isn't a master bias and 10khz waves around a bit so it's tough to get it exact. If there was I'd do it for each session that has a new set of tones. But since the deck is pretty stable, with bands coming in for 3-4 days at a time if I'm sticking to the same type of tape the extra time needed to bias (about an hour) doesn't benefit the recording. With the 2-track I bias for each new set of tones, which is each project.

Sorry for the lesson, maybe someone else could use it. I wasn't sure what you remember or didn't remember. Once I got away from it I had to relearn the whole process when I bought the Jeep. It's kind of like riding a bike though, it came back mighty fast.
Old 1st March 2003
  #92
jon
Capitol Studios Paris
 
jon's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Hi Jay,

I think you did a good job of summarizing your technique. It's always interesting for me to read how others are doing it and compare notes a little.

Jon
Old 1st March 2003
  #93
Lives for gear
 
Tim L's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Well, thanks for clearing that up for me fella's you've been... helpful...
Old 1st March 2003
  #94
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by jon
Hi Jay,

I think you did a good job of summarizing your technique. It's always interesting for me to read how others are doing it and compare notes a little.
Thanks. Since you saw mine, I wanna see yours. Is there anything you do that's really different?
Old 1st March 2003
  #95
jon
Capitol Studios Paris
 
jon's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Since getting the Studer A820 a year and half ago (the JH has been pretty much unused since), what I now do is very specific to that machine and its automatic alignment programs.

There are two tape settings in memory...tape A and tape B. I use A for my personal work, B for the free-lancers. Everyone has used GP9 at 30ips, no NR, for the past year.

Tape B is all flat and done by the book as follows (assuming azimuth is fine, de-mag and alcohol swabbing is done):

1. Auto playback alignments: PB and sync head with MRL tape: 1kHz, 16kHz, 100Hz to the requested flux level (usually +4, +6 or +9).
2. AutoBias and Rec program (the full program requires 3 minutes of time and blank tape). I've been setting the overbias at 1.7dB...for GP9 at 30ips.
3. Look at PB levels with the MRL, re-do. Typical 'flat' frequency response at 30ips includes head bumps of +0.5dB at 55Hz and +0.8dB at 110Hz, a wide very shallow trough of -0.3dB centered around 350Hz, flat to about 10k, then rising gently to +0.4dB at 16k.
4. Print 1k, 10k, 16k, 100 and 50 Hz tones.

Tape A is my personal sound, with custom bias, rec/PB levels/EQ for each channel. I have dedicated channels for each drum mic and for bass, guitars, and vocals...all customized.
Old 1st March 2003
  #96
Lives for gear
 
guittarzzan's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Jon, I just got an used Fostex 8 track. Would you catch the next Concord over here to Oregon and set it up for electric banjo tracks? I want those big, warm electric banjo that is so popular today.

Let me know,
Steve
Old 1st March 2003
  #97
Lives for gear
 
Tim L's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Sorry Steve, You're not "High End" enough or part of the "massage your fellow moderators colon society"... you don't rate brother. tutt

...Sorry, couldn't resist.
Old 1st March 2003
  #98
Gear Head
 
nick's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by jon
Tape A is my personal sound, with custom bias, rec/PB and EQ for each individual channel. I have dedicated channels for each drum mic and for bass, guitars, and vocals...all customized.
Jon, would you be able to go into more detail about what sort of EQs / bias settings you use for various instruments? I'd be interested to hear what they are. Thanks...
Old 1st March 2003
  #99
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by jon
Tape B is all flat and done by the book as follows (assuming azimuth is fine, de-mag and alcohol swabbing is done):

1. Auto playback alignments: PB and sync head with MRL tape: 1kHz, 16kHz, 100Hz to the requested flux level (usually +4, +6 or +9).
2. AutoBias and Rec program (the full program requires 3 minutes of time and blank tape). I've been setting the overbias at 1.7dB...for GP9 at 30ips.
Interesting. A lot of guys over here run at 30ips +8/185. I've never seen or had anyone request +4/185. Also, why are you using 16khz up top rather then 10khz? Is that an Euope vs. USA thing?
Old 1st March 2003
  #100
Gear Addict
 
mplancke's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Tape Hiss

Quote:
Originally posted by Tim L
Hmm, shouldn't that be 10k @ 0Vu on record?
Yes, my brain was tired.


Mark
Old 1st March 2003
  #101
Gear Addict
 
mplancke's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by jon
During rec alignment, you set levels so that the PB head output level, while recording, equals the input signal.

If the HF PB is down 1dB, during the rec alignment you will compensate for that when you adjust the rec HF level to tape until PB HF output equals source HF input.
Yes, this is correct.

Mark
Old 1st March 2003
  #102
Lives for gear
 
Tim L's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Tape Hiss

Quote:
Originally posted by mplancke
Yes, my brain was tired.
Thank's Mark... I figured that's what you meant.
Old 4th March 2003
  #103
Gear Head
 
Skwaidu's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
GUITTARZZAN, you requested good- sounding direct- to PT- guitar examples. Did you listen to those that I gave in an earlier post?

I have been told that they sound pretty great compared to many records. I'd very much appreciate comments and criticism.

(For reference, it was http://prode.rules.it and click "rock". "Progression" is the only one starting fairly full- on, although it's not the best track. "KingMegaMaster#1" has a VERY hilarious twist near the end...)


-Mikko
Old 4th March 2003
  #104
Lives for gear
 
guittarzzan's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Mikko, I did give em a listen. The guitars sound pretty good. It's always hard for me to tell exactly where the guitar stops and the bass begins with this type of music. On some of the songs it sounded like there was a good amount of track stacking. Am I right? I wouldn't say they were the most "real" or natural sounding guitars I've ever heard, but the sound you got is just right for that style of music. I have a few songs in that genre with a similar sound and I think it works fine. You are definately ahead of me in the mixing game haha. I'd need to send my stuff to a pro to get it that polished.

If you would like to share how you recorded some of those tracks, I'd be very interested to hear what gear and techniques you used.

Thanks,

Steve
Old 6th March 2003
  #105
Gear Head
 
Skwaidu's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Guittarzzan, thank's for your comments! The Guitars were recorded with a DEFINITIVELY oddball setup...

We basically used what we had available. A Marshall 100W 10th- anniversary 1x12 combo, it's 1x12 extension cab, a Laney VC30 combo, a Fender HotRod BluesDeVille combo, Mesa/Boogie V- Twin preamp, Coron Distortion 10 cheapo fuzz, a 15" Bass cab and a 15- watt Tech 21 combo(!).

I don't remember the routings, but it was something like: The guitar was DI'd(for effect- AmpFarm's later) and split into 3 or 4 different sources(Look at the pics), Tech21 into Marshall 1x12 cab(miked with a '57), The Marshall(miked with 421[?]) went into the 15" bass cab(miked with D112), The Mesa pre-amp went into the Fender(414), and probably into the Laney also(421). The oddball Fuzz was also somewhere. Then there was a ambience-414 in the middle of the room, but I didn't use that(for at least the stereo version, I'm doing a surround mix of one song soon where I might use that) I have 2 pics from the setup:
http://cmt.siba.fi/mraita/Prode-kuvat2/DSCN1136.JPG
http://cmt.siba.fi/mraita/Prode-kuvat2/DSCN1137.JPG

So it was 7 tracks per take, 5 used. The massive guitars were tripled L-C-R, with a bit of different voicings and stuff in the middle(Sometimes extra- guitars were added. The less- distorted guitars were tracked with the same setup adjusting the preamps involved(Mesa and Marshall on "rhythm" and "blues" and the oddball fuzz off)

So, there was a bit of track layering involved, as I had something like 30+ tracks of guitars! The Mix+ 64 voice limitation was barely enough.

The guitars could be better, but considering the circumstances I'm pretty satisfied. (Tip: Ampeg 8x10" bass cab is THE guitar cab combined with regular guitar stuff... last time I used it with a Vox combo and it sounded SO good driven trough a Marshall...)

Hope this makes any sense,
Mikko
Old 6th March 2003
  #106
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Skwaidu


So, there was a bit of track layering involved, as I had something like 30+ tracks of guitars! The Mix+ 64 voice limitation was barely enough.

Man, most of the stuff I do have 3-5 tracks of guitars on average. I miss being able to listen to a record and figure out how many guitars are there and what each of the parts are.
Old 7th March 2003
  #107
Gear Head
 
Skwaidu's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Jay Kahrs
Man, most of the stuff I do have 3-5 tracks of guitars on average. I miss being able to listen to a record and figure out how many guitars are there and what each of the parts are.
Yeah, I know. It's nice to do a band with ONE guitar player who has figured everything he needs to do for the song as one performance and one take! I've done some of those too and love both ways! (Of course I'd take a DI and possibly also multiple- amp him.... )

Well, in this case(Prode) the style is modern arty-nu- metal- depeche mode- tool- something. The idea is to have the guitars as a big, huge wall that attacks you from all angles! All the tracks are playing basically the same thing, at least rythmically.
With that layering I'm doing fattening of the sound. Then there are synth things, samples and additional "small" guitars doing things with rhythmical counteraction to make it more alive.
Still, basically it IS 3-4 tracks at a time. I just left my options open for mixdown(and surround).

-Mikko
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