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Poll: Who's using 2" tape nowadays...
Old 2nd June 2002
  #1
Capitol Studios Paris
 
jon's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Poll: Who's using 2" tape nowadays...

...and for what instruments?

....and before or after ProTools/Radar/Nuendo, etc?

How long has it been since you saw a track recorded to 2" AND stay there 'til mixdown?
Old 2nd June 2002
  #2
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I use 2" tape all the time. I bought my JH-24 last September it's been used on 95% of what's come in the door since then. The rest of it goes onto Adat's which still run fine. Once I start a project on there it doesn't see the DAW unless major surgery is required and even then I'd rather bounce, erase and splice my way to "perfection". So yeah, everything from basic drums to final vocals go onto tape. If someone wants to bring in the DAW of their choice that's cool. I'll hook it up without a problem.

I recently bought a Studer A80MkII 1/4" and I've been mixing to that whenever I can and it sounds better. If I mix to digital I hit a Mytek A/D and hit the DAT and DAW at the same time.
Old 2nd June 2002
  #3
Lives for gear
 
Knox's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
For us, tape is run every session. It's why everyone comes here.
Old 2nd June 2002
  #4
Lives for gear
 
Mike Tholen's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I use 2" and 1" tape for most all sessions where the client isn't putting some kind of rediculous strain on time/money.
when that happens I usually show them the door as they are not going to find what they are looking for here.
I do have a Radar coming next week and I will be doing edits and clean-up in there after I've tracked to tape.
as far as seeing a track stay till mix goes...it slumped off a bit but is starting to come around more often now that I've convinced people of the importance of feel/vibe and the such.
I find it straining to listen to stuff that has been edited with a ****ing cuisinart.tut
Old 2nd June 2002
  #5
Lives for gear
 
e-cue's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I think a lot of engineers put way too much emphasis on the format they use. (next time a peer compliments a mix of yours they heard on the radio, lie about the format you used and watch them swear they could tell) I've always tried learning how to best deal with the pro's & con's of each type of session, and not let the medium limit my engineering skills.
Old 2nd June 2002
  #6
Lives for gear
 
Knox's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I know this argument is old as hell, AND boring as hell. . . and I am not trying to create another one here (Pro Tools versus analog). But, for me, music is suppose to 'move me'. It's why I got into the business in the first place. I was moved by it.

I had Jerry Lee Lewis records as a little kid. My father took me to a concert with Jerry Lee, James Brown, Chuck Berry . . a lot of old soul greats as a kid. I had many of Jerry Lee's records . . . he sat down and signed them for me. Still have most of them . . . even his Sun records (signed). I remember being 'moved' that night especially by James and Jerry Lee.

Then seeing the Beatles live . . I was moved. Though the thing that nailed it for me was buying the first Hendrix record the day it came out . . guess I was 13 or 14 . . going back to the place and listening to it over and over and realizing that NO MATTER WHAT . . . I was going to HAVE to do this for the rest of my life. (music business / I played guitar)

I started when bands played instruments . . . wood shedded with them for years, then went into a studio and played them ALL the way through! I loved the smell of the tape boxes when you opened them, as I was somehow engineering things more then playing on them. I was 'moved' by the whole process.

Staring at a computer all day and copying and pasting / auto tuning / modeling . . whatever it may be doesn't 'move me'. Not judging anyone . . . speaking ONLY for me. Of course I use it when need be, but I am like some other post I just read here . . . . play it over if you made a mistake, don't copy and paste it. I'm interested in the emotion created by the next take . . . not the mouse move.

And . . I DO hear the difference, the warmth, the dimension difference! Let's face it though. . . I KNOW a kid buying a cd at Tower is NOT going to go . . ."Eck . . Pro Tools!" and throw it away, but "I" still want to be moved as I work. I AM 'moved' by a great musician playing an incredible instrument, going through a great mic to tape and the sound coming back. Sadly, that chance is getting further and further apart as the days of "music and talent" being the main stay of the music business has been replaced by lawyers, videos / make someone sound like a star when they aren't / let's make money and haul ass.

Again, it is simply what moves ME . . . . not trying to get anyone else feel the same or put down your medium of choice, simply speaking for me.
Old 3rd June 2002
  #7
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I know what you're talking about. I recently had a band in and a few members had recorded in different bands before, but this was their first time working on 2" tape. They all loved it the sound and watching the reels go around and around. The best comment though came from a band that had recorded several times on DAW's and Adats. When they listened to the first playback while I was still working on sounds the bass player said "wow, it sounds just like a record". It doesn't get much better then that.
Old 3rd June 2002
  #8
Lives for gear
 
C.Lambrechts's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
woohaa .... quite a busy place this has become while I was gone ...


got my eye on a Studer A827 .... but not going to tell you guys where of course ... you might beat me to it ... heh heh

It will be my first one in YEARS ... been thinking about getting one for a while now ... matter of finding a "good" deal ...
Old 3rd June 2002
  #9
Capitol Studios Paris
 
jon's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Well, I've got to admit that tape is an expensive PITA nowadays...and yes, e-cue, it's possible to mix a record from any format...but there's no way I can contradict what Jay, Knox and Mike are saying.

I love to hear real performances hitting the tape as it rolls. I love it when the producers'/artists' attitude is, if the take isn't there, let's do it again or go woodshed it and come back when it's ready. As the PT years go by, I increasingly want to avoid editing performances, soundreplacing, autotuning and other bull****. Whereas before I saw PT as saving my ass, I now resent the endless tweaking possibilities that it forces on the session when the talent just...isn't.

Nowadays, I try to use PT just for picking the best entire sections or for fixing the lone bad part of a great take.

If a project was tracked to PT, I'll usually prefer to transfer it (at least the drums, bass and guitars) to tape for the mix because, if well done, it sounds bigger, better, more organic, more glued, more like a record to me. BTW the PT to 2" transfer is critical, not something that I would entrust to the average assistant.

One topic that I haven't yet figured out for myself is, if the project will need editing, whether it's better sound-wise to track to digital, edit, then go to 2"...or the opposite. Digital first is faster, more convenient and wears the 2" tape less than analog first. But sound-wise? I don't know which is better.

Now for a quick dose of reality...the majority of our clients, both major and indie, are coming in with PT sessions, doing PT overdubs, and mixing individual outs from PT onto the 9k. The best chance most projects have of seeing analog tape is at mixdown down to 1/2"...if then. But that doesn't change what I like.

Jon
Old 3rd June 2002
  #10
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by jon

If a project was tracked to PT, I'll usually prefer to transfer it (at least the drums, bass and guitars) to tape for the mix because, if well done, it sounds bigger, better, more organic, more glued, more like a record to me. BTW the PT to 2" transfer is critical, not something that I would entrust to the average assistant.
Why would you transfer to 2" for mixing? Why not mix to 1/2" instead? I've transferred a few projects from Adat or DAW over to 2" for mixing. It's not something I do often and there has to be another reason besides the "basic tape sonics". Like if the tracks are in really bad shape and I want to EQ, compress and adjust levels for better gain structure into the console. If all that stuff is good I'll mix to my A80 1/4" at 15ips and slam SM911 at +6 over 185.
Old 3rd June 2002
  #11
Capitol Studios Paris
 
jon's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Hi Jay,

I do it because I like the basic sonics to be at hand before the mix begins. And, it's not the same thing; each individual instrument hitting the tape the way I want it to is a quite different thing than a stereo mix hitting tape globally. Finally, not all projects will end up on 1/2".

Anybody agree / disagree here?

Jon
Old 25th June 2002
  #12
Capitol Studios Paris
 
jon's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
and while we're sort of on the subject...

Here we go again. A rock album to mix. Great band, good songs, fifth album now after four successful records.

They had the budget to do it right -- but this time they wanted to try tracking everything at the singer's house without a pro engineer into ProTools...drums, gits, vocals, everything.

They then tried mixing it themselves in their Mix3 system. Of course, it doesn't sound anywhere near as good as their previous records and now the major label wants me to mix it (i.e. fix it).

Most of the audio sounds like ass. The kick and snare were "soundreplaced" and the original tracks are gone. On the tom tracks they deleted all the audio around the tom hits. The OHs and vocals sound cheap and nasty. The drums were tracked without room mics (in what sounds like a very small, crappy room). The bass sounds like it was tracked through a cheap DI box that was probably impedance-mismatched. The lack of engineering and decent gear is evident in every track.

The band want it to sound huge... The irony is that they had done it right on their previous albums and they had the resources to do it even better this time, instead of this.

Maybe PT and DAWs and home studios aren't the whole problem, but geeeeeez...the dumbass decisions some people are making with them.

Anybody have similar or contrasting experiences to share?

Jon
Old 25th June 2002
  #13
Lives for gear
 
Knox's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
hey Jon . . .
Yep . . . . isn't it a shame? Listen to the last Aerosmith record. It is so damn Pro Tools'd out it sounds terrible (IMHO). It has no meat, no balls, no emotion. Put it next to Toys In The Attic where the guys were playing in a studio with a great engineer, a great producer with a great old Neve, and you get . . . . truth.

Personally, I hate where technology has taken us. It has taken the 'truth' away from our craft in many ways. The sad thing is . . . Aerosmith were raving about Pro Tools in all the interviews, about "all the great things" it allowed them to do. Like not play as a band.

The thing it did to me was . . . . allow a band that can really play together, make a disjointed, "over produced", lifeless hodge podge of noises with no guts that never quite gels.

I know Pro Tools fans are going to say that it is not Pro Tools that is at fault here, but I disagree somewhat. I think it has given way to people that have no clue how to engineer make lack luster records that the listening public has become used to. Young engineers making platinum records that have no clue how to engineer a live take, producers that have lost the sense of a track with emotion, by putting everything on the beat. Record companies signing Britney Spears over someone with talent. Musicians not woodshedding and studying their craft in place of Auto Tune. Sound Replacer and Modeling in place of getting good sounds. And great bands like Aerosmith to get lazy.

I know Pro Tools does allow us to do great things when used properly but so many are over abusing it and MUSIC 'seems' to be suffering. I wonder, would Janis Joplin not be signed today because she is not "video ready" over Britney Spears that can be Pro Tool'd into sounding like she can sing? I also wonder, are we as music lovers, and the ones making some of these records, suffering the most?

I know there is not much we can do about it as technology is here to stay . . . but it is sure nice to hear certain records come busting out every now and again that are so obvious that it is a group of musicians playing live to a nice old machine with real mics. Sad thing is . . they are getting fewer and fewer between these releases.
Old 25th June 2002
  #14
member no 666
 
Fletcher's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Knox
Listen to the last Aerosmith record. It is so damn Pro Tools'd out it sounds terrible (IMHO). It has no meat, no balls, no emotion. Put it next to Toys In The Attic where the guys were playing in a studio with a great engineer, a great producer with a great old Neve, and you get . . . . truth.
Knox, no argument from me on the last Aero-record... but the bulk of the record was done at "The Boneyard" [Joe's home studio]... on a "great old Neve"... and the drums were cut out at "Longview Farm" on a later model [8078] "great old Neve"...

My only point is that "great old Neve"s don't guarantee good sounding recordings...
Old 25th June 2002
  #15
Lives for gear
 
Knox's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Hey Fletcher . . . very true
Old 25th June 2002
  #16
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Knox
Though the thing that nailed it for me was buying the first Hendrix record the day it came out . . guess I was 13 or 14 . . going back to the place and listening to it over and over and realizing that NO MATTER WHAT . . . I was going to HAVE to do this for the rest of my life. (music business / I played guitar)
id be pretty confident in betting that if hendrix were either a] alive today or b] was born in these times... he would definately be using anything and EVERYTHING and not only using DIGITAL but abusing the **** out of it.

also, hendrix records arent the most pristine sounding albums out there... nor even sonically that great [technically speaking], but what he put together on them was the magic. not the medium he used.
Old 25th June 2002
  #17
Capitol Studios Paris
 
jon's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Knox, (aside from the 'Neve' part), you spoke my feelings exactly.

Thanks for a great post.

Sometimes it feels lonely giving a ****...looking to capture two things that are truly rare nowadays: really good sound and breathtaking, authentic performances.

Any labels or artists out there who are looking for a producer/engineer to make a great record done right, give me a call.

dfegad PT. I'd love to never use it again.

AJ, if I recall correctly, Hendrix's albums sound pretty much state of the art relative to the equipment of the day.

The problem is, from a sound quality point of view, records today rarely sound better than they did 10 years ago, and sometimes considerably worse. Convenience and cost reduction and digital editing have taken priority over the quality of sound, acoustic spaces, and producing/engineering/performance talent. In a nutshell of sorts...YMMV,
Old 25th June 2002
  #18
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
oh yeah... and the new aerosmith album sucks ass because well aerosmith sucks ass. they are MTV darlings playing overly formulaic pop drivel. if i ever worked with them, id get them back ON the drugs, and then make em play loud rock and roll all in one room together. it the medium still wouldnt matter.

thats what amazes me about all these comments, everyone is so full of ****. its easy to blame a medium. but give me a great ****ing band and the ****tiest of equipment and it will sound big as ****.
Old 25th June 2002
  #19
Lives for gear
 
Knox's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
and i wonder if you and i would be talking about how great he was 30 years later if he HAD put everything on beat and auto tuned his vocals?
Old 25th June 2002
  #20
Capitol Studios Paris
 
jon's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Alphajerk, my experience with the band I'm about to mix is the opposite.

No engineer, bad room, cheap gear, no 2", all done in a DAW...they can be the greatest band in the world (and in this case they are in fact the best-selling rock band in their country)...it still sounds like ass.

Definitely not like a B as F record.

On the other hand, most of us can make a mediocre band sound B as F without any problem if we track and mix it in a good studio with a great space to 2". It won't necessarily be a great record, but it WILL be B as F.

Old 25th June 2002
  #21
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Knox
and i wonder if you and i would be talking about how great he was 30 years later if he HAD put everything on beat and auto tuned his vocals?
oh come the **** on man. just because its there doesnt mean you have to use it. i NEVER beat/autotune ****. and frankly, im sure he might come up with a use for it that wasnt its intended use but would blow your ****ing mind.
Old 25th June 2002
  #22
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by jon
Alphajerk, my experience with the band I'm about to mix is the opposite.

No engineer, bad room, cheap gear, no 2", all done in a DAW...they can be the greatest band in the world (and in this case they are in fact the best-selling rock band in their country)...it still sounds like ass.

Definitely not like a B as F record.
well, look at your statement... NO ENGINEER. that is what makes the difference. and best selling does NOT equal great. just look at the best selling bands in america, they all suck ass.
Old 25th June 2002
  #23
Capitol Studios Paris
 
jon's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I believe that even with a excellent engineer, the rest is also important and makes a difference.

I also feel a good engineer or producer would be keenly aware of what is needed and lacking in the production and would try to obtain the rest in order to make the record as good as it can be.

Certainly this goes for mega-budget productions, but also IMO for mid-level and indie projects as well.
Old 25th June 2002
  #24
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by jon
I believe that even with a excellent engineer, the rest is also important and makes a difference.

I also feel a good engineer or producer would be keenly aware of what is needed and lacking in the production and would try to obtain the rest in order to make the record as good as it can be.

Certainly this goes for mega-budget productions, but also IMO for mid-level and indie projects as well.
well that would kinda implicate what is a good engineer. unfortunately obtaining what is needed is very dependant on the budget dontchathink? i mean its like someone building a house for someone who can only afford so much and then contractor going out an hiring hand craftsmen for detail work that the client cannot pay for. and in todays high end envoriment, the client doesnt seem to give a **** about craftsmanship.

btw, i have heard INCREDIBLE all digital productions... just get Clutch's Jam Room CD. its fan****ingtastic, all done digitally... on ADAT/PT no less mixed through an O2R. in fact, the aspects of it i love are because it IS done digitally. none of that ****ing hiss [uh, "glue"] in the production.

and dont get me wrong. i would LOVE to own say an ATR 2" 16track [or just 8 really +timecode track] with David Hills Aria electronics and some sweet heads. im not saying a hate analog but it isnt the be all end all. anyone who believes that is only fooling themselves.

and to say that the medium is the sole basis for sonic greatness is fooling themselves. it goes in this order.... the band, the room, the engineer, the equipment, the recording medium. it just seems like a lot of this thread reads the opposite of that when its just not the case. i put a bigger blame on the mediocrity of music over the medium that captured it. and i have heard enough ****ty ass analog recordings to not put much faith in the medium.

so you all can carry on your tape worhip if it makes you feel better about yourselves, but i find no legitimate point in it.
Old 25th June 2002
  #25
Lives for gear
 
Knox's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
AJ . . I did not imply that the medium is the only reason. I said that the medium has created mediocrity in many forms. Not all, but it has in many instances.

And lighten up man.

"so you all can carry on your tape worhip" . . . . among your many other comments

I'm sure to get by on the angry, mean streets of Asheville, NC makes a man ACT hard . . . but lighten the **** up with some of the jabs ok?

We all have opinions . . . it's kool. We all have our reasons why we like certain things . . . I really don't give a **** what you use that makes you happy. I give a **** what I use.
Old 25th June 2002
  #26
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
they arent jabs at you as a person. btw, i grew up in DC.... not asheville.

but the medium hasnt created the mediocrity. unless they invented artificial intelligence and failed to let the world know... its PEOPLE who run the machines.
Old 25th June 2002
  #27
Capitol Studios Paris
 
jon's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
AJ, once you get beyond the demo stage, I believe it is often a question more of priorities than of budget.

If a band can really play and they have enough budget to hire a pro engineer, for example, rather than advising that they buy a Digi 001 and a decked-out G4 with flat screens and drives galore, I would advise them to rehearse intensively in pre-prod with the producer, buy a few reels of 2" and rent a good room at a cut rate (say, during a holiday weekend when the major budgets aren't working).

If an album has enough budget for a pro engineer, it should, if well thought-out and coherent, have enough for a few reels of 2" and a few days' of room rental too -- if that's what the music needs.

It's a question of priorities.
Old 25th June 2002
  #28
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by jon
AJ, once you get beyond the demo stage, I believe it is often a question more of priorities than of budget.

If a band can really play and they have enough budget to hire a pro engineer, for example, rather than advising that they buy a Digi 001 and a decked-out G4 with flat screens and drives galore, I would advise them to rehearse intensively in pre-prod with the producer, buy a few reels of 2" and rent a good room at a cut rate (say, during a holiday weekend when the major budgets aren't working).

If an album has enough budget for a pro engineer, it should, if well thought-out and coherent, have enough for a few reels of 2" and a few days' of room rental too -- if that's what the music needs.

It's a question of priorities.
i fully agree. i wouldnt advise ANYONE to buy a digi001. and i most certainly not recommend they engineer it themselves.

and i would also agree with everything else... but my session would certainly include using analog AND digital in the project using a combination of all the tools.

i would buy more than a few reels of 2" though and i would use a 16 track over a 24 track [possibly slaving 2 if/when more tracks were needed]... and i would find the absolute best analog machine [most likely with d. hills electronics] to do it on. and i would also find the most beautiful sounding room around. and i would pick and choose what convertors i would use on the project for the digital side. i would also be redundant running to both analog and digital to keep ALL my options open. and i would rent the best outboard and a veriety of pres and microphones.

im not slagging analog but i am slagging close minded thinking that one is absolutely best in all situations over another. hell, i use digital in my studio and dont think digital is best no matter what. its just tools one can use and both have their +'s and -'s.
Old 25th June 2002
  #29
Gear Addict
 
🎧 15 years
Interesting thought to reopen the conversation: going further back than PT allowing people to not play together as a band and so forth, how about the advent of 16+ tracks of tape to be able to overdub, where generally even with 8 tracks you had to make some decision at an early stage. Consider the time frame and the changes in music around that time. (To my after-the-fact perspective) bands that had done good albums before generally continued to make good or great albums, but there seemed to be fewer new bands that impressed as much. Maybe the ability to redo individual tracks opened up opportunities for less talented bands to make technically competent records.

Back in the day of wax cylinders, when musicians could really play . . .

Bear
Old 26th June 2002
  #30
Lives for gear
 
drundall's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by alphajerk

hendrix records arent the most pristine sounding albums out there... nor even sonically that great [technically speaking]

That's wierd. I always thought Electric Ladyland sounded amazing...

πŸ“ Reply

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