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PLEASE, THE TRUTH! Why are 2" tape machines so cheap these days ?
Old 17th May 2006
  #1
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
PLEASE, THE TRUTH! Why are 2" tape machines so cheap these days ?

Is it because 24 bit, 192khz HD recording sounds just as good ?

Is it because the machines have a predetermined life span, and many are soon to be out-of-service permanently ?

Is it because so many ****ty sounding digitally recorded records have come out in the last 10 years that were MAJOR hits anyway, reducing the standard ?

Is it because so many GREAT sounding digitally recorded records have come out in the last 10 years ? If so, PLEASE name some of them where ALL the tracking was ONLY digital, and mixing digital also.

Is it because many studio owners who were high on the hog 15 years ago can only make a tenth of the money they used to make, due to the overwhelming abundance of crappy sounding "home recorded" music these days.

Is it because the biggest selling genre today is RAP, where most of the artists get their sound from sample CDs of pre-recorded beats already tweaked at great studios, largely bypassing the need to record in a great studio ?

Is it because the record companies are going downhill themselves, and no longer putting out big studio budgets for their artists to make a record ? Is this why alot of BIG studios with the 2" machines are going out of business and "liquidating" ?

Or is it just because these machines will soon be considered completely antiquated, because their sound will be fully replicated by high-end digital plug-ins in a DAW environment like PT ?


WHY ? WHY ? WHY? These machines (like the Studer A80) used to be $100k if I remember correctly. They were "untouchable" for most of us!

Why are they SO CHEAP NOW!!!!!!!?
Old 17th May 2006
  #2
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
..........Why are they SO CHEAP NOW!!!!!!!?...."

Same reason a 1982 Cadillac is so cheap now...because they're used and abused!

The "cheap" prices you're talking about are not for new machines. Gotta keep the distinction straight in your logic there.

Hey though, I'm thinking seriously about buying one of the last brand new 24 tracks sitting over in the Studer factory. They were down to the last 17 machines when I last talked to them. And the price is definitely right.
Old 17th May 2006 | Show parent
  #3
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
YO Noodle


What's the price Studer has going on those new machines at their warehouse ?
Old 17th May 2006 | Show parent
  #4
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by sage691
YO Noodle


What's the price Studer has going on those new machines at their warehouse ?
They told me they were having a hard time "giving" them away for 17k
Old 17th May 2006
  #5
Gear Addict
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by sage691
Is it because 24 bit, 192khz HD recording sounds just as good ?

Is it because the machines have a predetermined life span, and many are soon to be out-of-service permanently ?

Is it because so many ****ty sounding digitally recorded records have come out in the last 10 years that were MAJOR hits anyway, reducing the standard ?

Is it because so many GREAT sounding digitally recorded records have come out in the last 10 years ? If so, PLEASE name some of them where ALL the tracking was ONLY digital, and mixing digital also.

Is it because many studio owners who were high on the hog 15 years ago can only make a tenth of the money they used to make, due to the overwhelming abundance of crappy sounding "home recorded" music these days.

Is it because the biggest selling genre today is RAP, where most of the artists get their sound from sample CDs of pre-recorded beats already tweaked at great studios, largely bypassing the need to record in a great studio ?

Is it because the record companies are going downhill themselves, and no longer putting out big studio budgets for their artists to make a record ? Is this why alot of BIG studios with the 2" machines are going out of business and "liquidating" ?

Or is it just because these machines will soon be considered completely antiquated, because their sound will be fully replicated by high-end digital plug-ins in a DAW environment like PT ?


WHY ? WHY ? WHY? These machines (like the Studer A80) used to be $100k if I remember correctly. They were "untouchable" for most of us!

Why are they SO CHEAP NOW!!!!!!!?
How much is cheap?
Old 17th May 2006 | Show parent
  #6
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Otari MTR-90: have seen 2 on Ebay this past week, 1 for $3000 and 1 for $2500

Studer A 80 (TOP DOG): have seen these going for $5000-$7000 on Ebay.

All sellers claim they are workhorses still functioning up to specs and with 80% or more life left on the heads. If so, then WHY are they selling them this cheap when you know they must have paid ALOT more ??!! Is it because most of their clients don't care about the sound quality and would rather record digital, perhaps because most studio clients these days are RAP clients who care more about their gold chains and Glock handguns than they do about the sound quality of their records ? WHY ? WHY ? WHY ?

I'd like a 2" 24 track exclusively for the SOUND of it, NOT because I run a commercial studio. If I get one, I'll use it about 20% the time that a commercial studio would. ALOT of people on here and elsewhere RAVE incessantly about how superior the analog 2" sound is to digital (YES, even 24 bit 192khz digital). They say it has much greater warmth, BIG-ness, and detail.

Since I have yet to record to 2" tape (I've ALWAYS recorded digital), I'm curious to see for myself what all the analog fuss is about. And at $5000 I can finally afford to carry out this experiment.

Will I be dissapointed ? PLEASE SOMEBODY, THE TRUTH !!!
Old 17th May 2006 | Show parent
  #7
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lefthando's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Demand. Or rather... lack of demand.

Not very many folks want them so the price goes down.

Sure anybody can say they love the analog sound but is it really worth $5000+ to you? What else could you buy with the 5k that would be a better value?

How about the on-going costs as well? Maintenance, alignment, the cost of tape. They're not cheap to run.

Footprint. They are relatively large items. Square footage is something the folks in larger cities take very seriously.
Old 17th May 2006 | Show parent
  #8
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mixerguy's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by lefthando
Demand. Or rather... lack of demand.

Not very many folks want them so the price goes down.

Sure anybody can say they love the analog sound but is it really worth $5000+ to you? What else could you buy with the 5k that would be a better value?

How about the on-going costs as well? Maintenance, alignment, the cost of tape. They're not cheap to run.

Footprint. They are relatively large items. Square footage is something the folks in larger cities take very seriously.

exactly!
Old 17th May 2006 | Show parent
  #9
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GYang's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Tastes are different, but I really couldn't justify to have time consuming and ineefective 24 track tape machine despite all nuances it can add to sound. We don't talk about price here, as I don't mind to pay 8-10 k for mic I really dig.
I think people don't need tape anymore and for right reasons.
Tape is part of great history and despite 'genuine sonic differences, warmth etc' I think that we have indeed much better tools that can bring us to any desired result if we know what we do and spend enough time to learn how to do it.
Tape is dead, despite what bunch of real gear slutzs write here , but it has certain charm, so we'll probably see some revivals, before it disappears fully.
Old 17th May 2006 | Show parent
  #10
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gsilbers's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
before going into a 2' machine check out the prices and availablitlity for the actuall 2'inch tape.

i think there is one or 2 really small companies that provide that tape but i am not sure. i know we sold those old tapes to some guys who looked at them like it was the last piece of crack around. and they said that all those companies closed or stopped selling tape. but if theres a demands there must be a supplier.
Old 17th May 2006 | Show parent
  #11
Gear Guru
 
Musiclab's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by GYang
Tastes are different, but I really couldn't justify to have time consuming and ineefective 24 track tape machine despite all nuances it can add to sound. We don't talk about price here, as I don't mind to pay 8-10 k for mic I really dig.
I think people don't need tape anymore and for right reasons.
Tape is part of great history and despite 'genuine sonic differences, warmth etc' I think that we have indeed much better tools that can bring us to any desired result if we know what we do and spend enough time to learn how to do it.
Tape is dead, despite what bunch of real gear slutzs write here , but it has certain charm, so we'll probably see some revivals, before it disappears fully.
As someone who uses a 2" deck every day with DAW, I can tell you it's definetly not dead, for me it sounds better, is a way more reliable form of storage, and as a method of working makes you commit to something. Yes you have to align it, you have to wire it up, you have to have a console, tape costs are substantial. I have to say though, my deck has been incredibly reliable.

These days its seems it's easy for people to convince themselves that you can have it all for not alot of money, a whole studio in a computer, the plug ins sound the same, as the real thing, the tape emulators make your track sound like analog. Why not it cost a whole lot less, why not convince yourself its as good. I don't buy it, and I have both, in my place I can usually convince my clients to go for a reel of tape, when the day comes that I can't, I'll probably still use tape for my own projects. The big problem for mid size studios these days is what happens with all this data. Clients think they get it for free, don't have to pay for backups, dont want to buy their own drive. It's freakin ridiculous! For me I dig the daw for what it does and I dig tape for what it does, so wthey will continue to coincide together here.
Old 17th May 2006 | Show parent
  #12
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covert's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
They are high maintenance machines, and still expensive compared to computers. This means that a certain degree of dedication is required to use them. Add that to the fact that tape costs are igh enough to make it impractical for many projects, and you get tape machines sitting idle. Add that to the footprint and you get machines being sold. Then supply and demand get involved and prices plummet.
Old 17th May 2006 | Show parent
  #13
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GYang's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Musiclab
I don't buy it, and I have both, in my place I can usually convince my clients to go for a reel of tape, when the day comes that I can't, I'll probably still use tape for my own projects.
I still use expensive real analogue synths despite rather small and sometimes almost non-existent difference to virtual analogue, so if you like tape for whatever it brings to your music you are right in your concusions
Old 17th May 2006 | Show parent
  #14
Lives for gear
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Economics

Digital has become the rave for convenience and price point. The demand for digital went way up and became the standard. Tape machines and tape demand went down. Lots of tape machines on the market and not as many people wanting them, so the price drops.

A good recording made on both mediums will definitely show that tape is better. Tape definitely sounds better for most sound sources.

Upside for digital
Digital has given the average guy an important tool though: automation, and the ability to recall mixes.

Old 17th May 2006 | Show parent
  #15
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Drumsound's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Tape machines require a certain sense of commitment. They are big and take up space and need maintenance (Like computers don't...?). They are not in vogue. You can't go don't to Guitarget an get 90 days same as cash and have "a whole studio" for $1500. They have a finite number of tracks, and a finite length of time per reel.

Did you know that at one time you could buy 1176s for $200 (or less) every day of the week? How about tube amps in '75? My friend Jerry bought a stack of 12 DBX160VUs for $50 each in the 80s. There are rumors of the studios in NYC dumping piles of Pultec EQs at the docs to "get rid of that old junk."

Those of us who use tape, and can somehow continue to do so, know how it sounds, why we like it. We know how relate those thought to our clients and let them make the choice.

I work on tape as much as possible. I believe my clients appreciate that I have it available and that they are happy I care so much to have it.
Old 17th May 2006 | Show parent
  #16
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MIKEHARRIS's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Analog tape machines are being phased out because we are cheap and lazy...these days no one even wants to wait for a machine to rewind. How can you expect a musician to play a part TWICE correctly....just cut and paste. 2" tape is $200 a roll...only to be used once.
If you ever listened to a properly set up 2"(and no one wants to pay an engineer to do that) you'll wonder why we accept digital at all
Old 17th May 2006 | Show parent
  #17
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
sage.
much as i like the times i used studer tape machines...
they are dam fantastic in fact,,,,
but if you want to get into a tape machine cheap consider maybe a tascam tsr8
for a cheapie. i was quite surprised at the quality i could get a few years back from one. youll save on the tape also. just an idea as i think they are underrated and have heard great tracks done on them.
Old 17th May 2006 | Show parent
  #18
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Plush's Avatar
 
5 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
The idiot leading the ignorant and lazy have led us to this point.
Running analog machines is twenty times as expensive as making a digital recording.

However, analog tape is still better than the best digital. There is current tape from Quantegy and the lovely new offerings from RMG (Emtec 911, 900.)

That said, the reason the machines are cheap now is that they are worn and are used equipment in a market that does not value high maintenance items.

Strangely, two track 1/2" machines are terribly overpriced in the market while 24 track machines are at an all time low. Likewise for Nagra IV-S machines which sound better than most studio machines.

YOu can find a good bargain. You then just have to be willing to re-make and repair the machine to top notch specification.

Professionals are willing while the dilettante resists.
Old 18th May 2006 | Show parent
  #19
Gear Guru
 
Musiclab's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumsound
Tape machines require a certain sense of commitment.
Did you know that at one time you could buy 1176s for $200 (or less) every day of the week? How about tube amps in '75? My friend Jerry bought a stack of 12 DBX160VUs for $50 each in the 80s. There are rumors of the studios in NYC dumping piles of Pultec EQs at the docs to "get rid of that old junk."

Those of us who use tape, and can somehow continue to do so, know how it sounds, why we like it. We know how relate those thought to our clients and let them make the choice.

I work on tape as much as possible. I believe my clients appreciate that I have it available and that they are happy I care so much to have it.
I have a friend who got some of those thrown away pultecs, that isn't a rumour
that actually happened.
Old 18th May 2006 | Show parent
  #20
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chrisrulesmore's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
This is a subject near and dear to my heart as I just recently purchased a Studer A80 2" machine.

Speaking from the experience of the last month I have a few points. The value of tape machines can value GREATLY depending on a few factors.

1. 99% of auctions are for machines that are sold 'untested' and 'as-is'...call it the ole 'it was working fine last time we checked 10 years ago, but we have no way of testing it now' scam. Machines that are taken from working studios are worth WAY more.

2. Related to 1, the cost and rarity of replacement parts makes buying a machine a huge risk. You could think you are getting the deal of a century only to find that the heads are worn senseless and it will cost three times as much as the machine to replace them. Same goes for input modules, motors, power supplies, etc...

3. 99% of the machines are in LA or Nashville, and it is a FORTUNE to ship them...we are talking upwards of a grand just for a pallet. Crateing is even more astronomical. Oh, and you can't move them on their side or lying down.

4. Having bought a tape machine, you then have to spend $300 on alignment tape, $200 per reel for tape, god knows how much for a proper console (let's say $3k), and about $500-$1000 for a tech to go through the machine.

So, in my case, I got a bitchin deal on a $2500 Studer A80 Vu MkII 24 Track that looks brand new. Additionally, I had to pay someone $200 to inspect it in LA because the seller couldn't even turn it on, $750 to have it shipped from LA to Denver, and about $1000 for my Tech to fix 13 of the 24 input modules (estimated...could be WAY more). The guy I bought it from didn't include the transport interface making the remote transport useless, so who knows how I'll replace that, and at what cost. I did catch a break and am buying reels of once used GP9 at $50 a piece, but I still need a console and a ****load of cables.

So let's see, my steal of $2500 is looking more like the going rate of $4,500-$5,000. Add in the cost of a console and cabling and I am looking at about an $8k upgrade just to track to tape instead of Pro Tools.

Lastly, did I mention I have no place to put it? It is 6 feet tall, 4 feet wide and weighs about 800 lbs...picture two vending machines side by side.

I've got news for you man...analog ain't cheap.

HOWEVER...when this is all said and done I will have one of the cleanest A80's you are ever likely to see. And when I saw this thing in the flesh yesterday for the first time an entire month of asking myself what the hell I'm doing evaporated in a split second.

-Chris
Old 18th May 2006 | Show parent
  #21
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drundall's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I don't think an MRL tape will run you $300 these day. I think lots of people are will to get rid of theirs. Tape itself will be a bitch and that's the main reason that I'm pretty much alll PT these days. With drive prices where they are now, it's a real hard sell to artists.
Old 18th May 2006 | Show parent
  #22
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1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Hey Chris,

I'm considering a Studer A-80 also, but from a working studio. It may not need all the tech work yours did, according to the seller. Actually, $6k sounds reasonable to me to get one up to specs with all the cabling into a console. I'd be willing to spend that if the sound really is that much better than digital. I'd just keep my old PT Mix 6 system ( 6 mix cards) instead of upgrading to PT HD, which would cost $6k more anyway.


As far as tape costs, I'm hoping I'll only need 1 good reel. This may sound like blasphemy, but I'm assuming you CAN record over tracks on 2" tape, right ? I ask this because I really just want 2" to track to, and then I would immediately dump each good track to PT and digitize it, freeing up the tape for the next song. Like I said, I just want it for the sound of it; so I don't really intend on using it as a storage medium. Anything I record on it will inevitably end up in PT anyway to be edited. This is how all the big producers in the industry do it from what I hear. Record to 2" for the sound, then dump to PT.

Tape costs will not matter to me at all this way, because 1 reel will be used for everything.

So, have you HEARD this machine yet ? Im curious to know to your reaction since you sound like me: somone who only knew the digital sound before!
Old 18th May 2006 | Show parent
  #23
Kush Audio
 
u b k's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
anyone priced a new mac and pro-tools rig lately? what will that be worth in 5 years? i've spent well over a hundred hours in my day keeping the mac, it's os, and all the software up to date, running smoothly. i've spent maybe four hours aligning the studer. i have 5 reels of gp9 and 5 of 456 that seem to have no limit on how many times i can track on them and things still sound gorgeous.

any half decent, modern computer and a (legal) daw with a 24 quality inputs will run you at least as much as these 24 track machines. is analog really more expensive? i don't see that.

these decks are cheap because the huge monster that once fed the big rooms is now struggling, to say the least. budgets are tight and a fraction of what they once were, mid-sized facilities are competing fiercely, and they can do credible productions in a tapeless setup. the economics are simple.

once upon a time you had a tape machine because it was all there was. at some point, along came a couple of exotic (and equally expensive) digital multitracks. now, digital is ubiquitous and tape is an esthetic choice, and gone are the businesses that are in a position to make esthetic choices for $60k a pop.


gregoire
del ubik
Old 18th May 2006 | Show parent
  #24
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edvdr76's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
2" machines

I think 2' machines have gone down in price because the price of tape is ridiculous! youre paying 200 bucks for 15 min. of tape (well that's if you record at 30ips, which sounds better. 30 min if you record at 15ips which is noisier) BUT!! the sound is beautiful! I record on a 2" Otari mtr90. I love it!! That's what I always record to. It sounds the way my favorite records of all time sound. I dont own Pro tools but I have used it in other studios and I have to say that although I love the features, the sound just doesnt compare to tape. The sound of that tape saturation is what gives it that warm fuzzy sound. I cant stand to hear those flat sounding digital recordings. Also the plug-ins, how can someone honestly say that a plug-in sounds the same as an actual piece of outboard gear, that's just stupid! The sound of analog is just amazing. Theres nothing better. Of course Pro tools is a monster of a system but unless you have the best outboard gear in your rack you wont get a good sound. Tape is a little noisy compared to digital recording, but the overall sound is just PUNCHY IN YOUR FACE!!!. For rock drums theres nothing better than 2". I also think that recording completely on 2" is a better way to get musicians to work a little harder in the studio. I think that art has been lost since pro tools and all that other stuff came out. Musicians these days are getting lazy because they know they can just record a little piece of music and just cut and paste the rest of their parts and have a finished song, but then theres no life in their music. On 2" you get to make music the way it is supposed to be recorded. Well, that's all I have to say about that.
Old 18th May 2006 | Show parent
  #25
Here for the gear
 
🎧 15 years
I think a nice trade off is 16 track 2" locked to your DAW. The key is to have your tape recorder and aligned correctly. It also helps to have your clocking situation together. I have an old MCI which gives me very little trouble. Spent some time setting it up several years ago and it has treated me very well
for many years. I think a non-smoking studio helps to keep the gear happy. Also I keep the machine on most of the time.
As far as tape that's a tough one especially since Dig has enabled the us to store many hours of audio on very small devices. Nevertheless the combination of the 2 technologies is just a beautiful thing.
Recording is an art form and if you are truly adventurous and interested as an engineer in having the option to work with the differant technologies available I think a good portion of the engineers would want to have some oxide near by.
And now is the time to grab a deck, who knows they may be worth some lute in 10 years. I know I wish I still had my 63 Mantle card.
peace
Stevie D
www.Sound Spa.net
Old 18th May 2006 | Show parent
  #26
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Greg Wells's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
interesting

Q & A from Bob Clearmountain's webpage, www.mixthis.com. Be sure to check out the final sentence:

Q.
Hi Bob. Was just reading a piece by Bob Ludwig and he suggested you weren't too keen on mixing to half inch or indeed one inch 2 track because it did not represent fairly what the output of the desk was supposed to be doing pre analogue. I know what you mean, but what is it about the analogue process you dislike - the fact that you are not getting back exactly what you are putting in?

A.
That's the main thing. When clients have asked me to rent in an analog machine to mix to (I don't own one) I notice that my mix appears to get slightly smaller and a bit distant when A/B'd to the output of the Apogee's. Before I had heard of digital, I remember wishing analog tape was more accurate. There were times when I would tweak the bias on individual tracks (on a multitrack recording) depending on the type of instrument or voice being recorded, to try to get the tape to react more transparently. It helped a bit, but what a pain in the ass!
Plus there's all the practical aspects:
1) Digital always runs at the correct speed, which makes syncing a breeze, even when there's no timecode.
2) In this age of limited budgets, mixing (or recording) to a hard drive is much more affordable. Or I should say, IS affordable.
3) The amount of analog tape that would be the equivalent of two 250 MB hard drives would probably fill my entire machine room!
4) I can post digital files on my server for a mastering engineer across the planet to download the same day, whereas Fedex is a minimum 2 days to London or Paris.
5) I mix stereo & surround at the same time, so I need 8 tracks. I can edit 5 versions of a mix (stereo & surround) all at the same time in a DAW.
Shall I go on?
Why put up with all the drawbacks of analog, when modern digital (with proper converters) actually sounds better?
Old 18th May 2006 | Show parent
  #27
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
As someone here already mentioned, the market mechanisms are deciding the price. When there is high supply and low demand, the seller needs to lower the price so that the few that are interested in the thing will choose their product. It is a general sign of revaluation.

So what's behind this revaluation?

1. Analog tape machines are big, take up space, their condition become worse, they are time consuming, they are limited...
2. Analog tape is expensive in comparison
3. They are not modern. What is not modern today will be too unmodern tomorrow.
4. People make long term decisions.
5. Analog tape machines are inefficient to work with.
6. ITB records sell as good
7. Great sounding AD converters have a more attractive price tag
8. During double blind testing some plug-in effects today sound better than the analog counterparts. That's only a little glimpse of the future.
9. Digital recording and networking will result in more flexibility in the future, which makes the processes more efficient and the digital medium will be the medium of choice
10. Let's face it. Analog gear will be out within 20 years.
Old 18th May 2006 | Show parent
  #28
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max cooper's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
The price of used pro film cameras has been steadily dropping too.

same deal.
Old 18th May 2006 | Show parent
  #29
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GYang's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Wells

A.
That's the main thing. When clients have asked me to rent in an analog machine to mix to (I don't own one) I notice that my mix appears to get slightly smaller and a bit distant when A/B'd to the output of the Apogee's.
I don't take other's opinion as an axiom, but something similar came to my mind about tape machine several times. I suspected that condition of tape machine was less than ideal, although it was serviced as supposed.
There are many ways to nicely lower resolution and overall sharpness of the track and that's the whole point of high-end analogue nowdays.
Old 18th May 2006 | Show parent
  #30
Gear Guru
 
Musiclab's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Wells
Q & A from Bob Clearmountain's webpage, www.mixthis.com. Be sure to check out the final sentence:

Q.
Hi Bob. Was just reading a piece by Bob Ludwig and he suggested you weren't too keen on mixing to half inch or indeed one inch 2 track because it did not represent fairly what the output of the desk was supposed to be doing pre analogue. I know what you mean, but what is it about the analogue process you dislike - the fact that you are not getting back exactly what you are putting in?

A.
That's the main thing. When clients have asked me to rent in an analog machine to mix to (I don't own one) I notice that my mix appears to get slightly smaller and a bit distant when A/B'd to the output of the Apogee's. Before I had heard of digital, I remember wishing analog tape was more accurate. There were times when I would tweak the bias on individual tracks (on a multitrack recording) depending on the type of instrument or voice being recorded, to try to get the tape to react more transparently. It helped a bit, but what a pain in the ass!
Plus there's all the practical aspects:
1) Digital always runs at the correct speed, which makes syncing a breeze, even when there's no timecode.
2) In this age of limited budgets, mixing (or recording) to a hard drive is much more affordable. Or I should say, IS affordable.
3) The amount of analog tape that would be the equivalent of two 250 MB hard drives would probably fill my entire machine room!
4) I can post digital files on my server for a mastering engineer across the planet to download the same day, whereas Fedex is a minimum 2 days to London or Paris.
5) I mix stereo & surround at the same time, so I need 8 tracks. I can edit 5 versions of a mix (stereo & surround) all at the same time in a DAW.
Shall I go on?
Why put up with all the drawbacks of analog, when modern digital (with proper converters) actually sounds better?
6. Bob Clearmountain is at least a part owner of apogee.
As someone who uses both analog and digital every day, I find it an easier sell
for a reel of 2" as opposed to multiple reels of 1/2 or 1/4 analog mix tape. Usually in doing automated mix passes there will be so many versions of the mix that I will use at least 2 reels for one song. If I'm doing a project with a real budget great, but when
my client is financing this themselves it's usually a cost they don't want to go for. It's one thing to spend 200 for a reel of 2" that you can usually get 3 songs out of, its another thing entirely to spend hundreds on mix tape. Although I'll take analog tape any day for archiving.
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