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I Love Recording on Cassette Tape
Old 24th November 2007
  #1
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Talking I Love Recording on Cassette Tape

I have a...

4 track cassette recorder
6 track cassette recorder
8 track cassette recorder

I love them and I love recording on them.
No digital for me, no sir.
I mix analog, too.

I really like the sm57, too.
Who wants to fight?
Old 24th November 2007
  #2
Lives for gear
 
6dyslexicelephnt's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
you couldn't have a harder time picking a fight unless you went over to the tape op message board

you are happy! thank GOD! it's so hard to be happy when you record. everyone says they love it but they're always having problems with things not sounding right and bitchy clients.

it's sort of like golf. everyone says they love playing golf and they get out there and slice a few and miss a few puts and they are cursing like mad

tape gives recordings that "instant cool" AND on a budget!
Old 24th November 2007 | Show parent
  #3
Lives for gear
 
roxxon's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Real drums sound so "great" on cassettes!
LOL!

Old 24th November 2007 | Show parent
  #4
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Yes, cassette does have a noticeable cool factor but it can also sound very good! I measured my 6 track machine running at 3 3/4 ips and it has a frequency response of up to 19 khz. What about the pitch shift knob? Now that's hard to do on a digital setup.

Pick good tape stock and record signals as hot as possible and you're in good shape. Find a good room and most of all execute good technique when recording and you will be rewarded.

Gotta love that DBX type II, too!

Does anybody want to hear any of my recordings?
Old 24th November 2007 | Show parent
  #5
Gear Maniac
 
Marty J's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Nice to see someone who is happy with their setup...no worrying about installing updates for you!

I'd love to hear some recordings if that's not a problem.
Old 24th November 2007 | Show parent
  #6
Lives for gear
 
TREMORS's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by KSwan ➑️

Does anybody want to hear any of my recordings?
Me! I miss my portastudio...at least I didnt have boot up and turn on bunch of stuff just to get an idea down..
Old 24th November 2007 | Show parent
  #7
Gear Guru
 
theblue1's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by roxxon ➑️
Real drums sound so "great" on cassettes!
LOL!

And acoustic guitars and pianos just shimmer on cassette. Or is that tape flutter? Well... whatever.

I've owned 10 reel machines and I don't even know how many cassettes. I own one reel machine for playing old mixes and what must have been one of the more expensive cassettes around (and maybe a couple of throwaway cassette machines in the garage -- or did they finally get thrown away?)

Anyhow, I don't miss any of it. When I spent almost 800 bucks on a cassette machine in the nineties I thought, finally, I'll have one of the better cassette machines around -- and, guess what, I suppose it is. But it still sucks, soundwise. I couldn't wait to get a CD burner (which I did in '96) so I didn't have to send home mixes on crappy cassettes. I don't miss my cassettes, I don't miss my four track reel machines, and I don't miss my 8 track 1 inch. I don't miss any of it.

I did my first overdub to magnetic tape on a 1/4" machine in 1964. And when I got my first digital multitrack in '92 I never looked back, except to be glad I wasn't still demagging or busting my neck trying to align machines that were designed by contortionists. And I was even gladder to move beyond tape altogether in '96 when I set up my first 8 track PC DAW.


But if other folks like the peculiarly layered distortions and degradation implicit in cassette recording, cool. No fight here.
Old 24th November 2007 | Show parent
  #8
Lives for gear
 
bcgood's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by KSwan ➑️
Yes, cassette does have a noticeable cool factor but it can also sound very good! I measured my 6 track machine running at 3 3/4 ips and it has a frequency response of up to 19 khz. What about the pitch shift knob? Now that's hard to do on a digital setup.

Pick good tape stock and record signals as hot as possible and you're in good shape. Find a good room and most of all execute good technique when recording and you will be rewarded.

Gotta love that DBX type II, too!

Does anybody want to hear any of my recordings?
I would like to hear your analogue recordings, go ahead and post them!
Old 24th November 2007 | Show parent
  #9
Lives for gear
 
Farout's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I would dig hearing some of your recordings, too.
Thanks
Old 24th November 2007 | Show parent
  #10
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Alright, I have hand-picked two tracks recorded on cassette tape:

This first track was recorded a few years ago on an 8 track recorder (with handclaps added in garage band.) It also features a nice cassette tape loop that I made from a children's story tape I found at goodwill (all you need is scotch tape, scissors and about 15 minutes.) Recorded with two sm57s. No effects, compression, etc.

http://www.d.umn.edu/~swan0935/02%20...Summertime.mp3

The second track was recorded this summer on my 6 track. This track features backround vocals recorded at different speeds. It also features a "special" feature of tape that I dislike: running out of tape in the middle of a recording. That explains the abrupt ending. Also recorded with two 57s. Mixed into a stereo recording with the little mixer right on the machine. No effects, compression, etc.

http://www.d.umn.edu/~swan0935/21%20...0Blessings.mp3
Old 24th November 2007 | Show parent
  #11
Lives for gear
 
Farout's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Neat stuff, sir. Thank you for sharing with us.
Old 24th November 2007 | Show parent
  #12
Lives for gear
 
TREMORS's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
i really like it. a lot
Old 24th November 2007 | Show parent
  #13
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
very nice music thumbsup
Old 24th November 2007 | Show parent
  #14
Moderator
 
Tim Farrant's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by KSwan ➑️
No effects, compression, etc.
With cassette, who needs it!
Old 24th November 2007 | Show parent
  #15
Gear Guru
 
theblue1's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
It has a lot of charm.

Still, the charm of this particular music notwithstanding, I think there's a difference between rising above lo fi limitations and imprisoning yourself within them.

I mean, Devendra Banhart didn't intentionally make hissy, phasey, fluttery mixes to make his songs more precious -- it was merely all he could afford when he was starting out -- and he didn't hobble himself by sticking with cheap cassettes.

But, you know, I recognize that there's a postmodern thing going on here. People are so used to the phenomenon where a given artist's earliest recordings so often are those with the most character and promise -- it's tempting to conflate the scratchy/hissy/lo fi sound so often found on first records and demos with the spark of newly discovered artistry.
Old 24th November 2007 | Show parent
  #16
Lives for gear
 
roxxon's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Suffering acid flash-backs, Batman!

If you're having fun, it's all okay!

I remember when my friend spent a huge amount of cash on two 8 track ADATs, when they first came out...

I've heard a number of porta-studio recordings that blow a lot of ADAT recordings away.

I truthfully miss my Reel to Reel 80-8.

I know some guys who knew how to get the best out of their porta-studios and old reel to reel decks. Knowing your gear is the key.

Still, I've never heard any great-sounding drum-tracks which were recorded on cassette format muti-tracks.


I do own a TASCAM 488MKII PORTASTUDIO 8-TRACK CASSETTE, I used to use it to record live jams... And for songwriting. It is a cool songwriting tool...
Sound-quality-wise it's kind of cool for layered guitars, bass, keys and vox...
But my old 80-8, blew the 488 away...Sonically.

Old 24th November 2007 | Show parent
  #17
Gear Maniac
 
naked-puritan's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I've mixed down to cassette (Tascam 4 track) from my Daw once. I dug it and may try it again if the situation presents itself. It's way cheaper than a Fatso Jr and I imagine that it's better than a using a "tape" plugin.
Old 24th November 2007 | Show parent
  #18
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Thanks to theblue1, I have been forced to reconsider just why I record on cassette tape. I wasn't offended, but you certainly made me think hard about it.

It's not intentionally an ode to nostalgia or for novelty. In fact, I am against the cassette as a media for casual listening; It's not practical, and at the standard tape speed... It doesn't sound good... high frequencies are missing.

I am poor. I can't afford a decent "real" tape machine. I have recorded on a 2" machine at 30 ips, and I agree it does sound better. But... 2" tape is expensive (Not to mention the cost of a 2" machine.) I am a college student and I only make 9 dollars an hour (I am an A/V technican at the University of Minnesota.)

I have recorded digitally, and I do prefer my 6-track cassette machine over that. I have never owned an A/D converter, though, I just use the two tracks provided in my computer's internal soundcard. Once again, I can't afford a digital set-up. My 6 track cassette recorder was 75 dollars. Decent cassette tapes are 1-2 dollars.

Someday, I will upgrade. For now, though... Cassette is my favorite and I think it sounds pretty good, too.

I love music. I study music at my university. I love listening to music and I love recording music.
Old 24th November 2007 | Show parent
  #19
Lives for gear
 
mikecorwin's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Rock and roll, brother!
Old 24th November 2007 | Show parent
  #20
Gear Guru
 
theblue1's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by KSwan ➑️
Thanks to theblue1, I have been forced to reconsider just why I record on cassette tape. I wasn't offended, but you certainly made me think hard about it.

It's not intentionally an ode to nostalgia or for novelty. In fact, I am against the cassette as a media for casual listening; It's not practical, and at the standard tape speed... It doesn't sound good... high frequencies are missing.

I am poor. I can't afford a decent "real" tape machine. I have recorded on a 2" machine at 30 ips, and I agree it does sound better. But... 2" tape is expensive (Not to mention the cost of a 2" machine.) I am a college student and I only make 9 dollars an hour (I am an A/V technican at the University of Minnesota.)

I have recorded digitally, and I do prefer my 6-track cassette machine over that. I have never owned an A/D converter, though, I just use the two tracks provided in my computer's internal soundcard. Once again, I can't afford a digital set-up. My 6 track cassette recorder was 75 dollars. Decent cassette tapes are 1-2 dollars.

Someday, I will upgrade. For now, though... Cassette is my favorite and I think it sounds pretty good, too.

I love music. I study music at my university. I love listening to music and I love recording music.
The unexamined life... not worth living. heh

That said, the magic words, "I am poor," speak nobly and need little elaboration. Poverty is the mother of invention, plenty of times -- and some fine invention, I've heard, too.

The exaltation of limitations one has to live with strikes me as far different from self-hobbling -- but, in fairness, I think sometimes it is a good exercise to limit yourself arbitrarily... we can become overwhelmed by our tools.

I know that in the 90s when I had an elaborate 16 track ADAT rig synced up to as many as five different MIDI modules via my computer that I kept looking at those two and three hundred dollar tape four trackers and thinking... maybe just something little for when I'm watching TV in the living room... heh (I was too cheap to actually do it, though. I've lived on tight budgets a lot more than the other way around, myself.)


PS... in addition to the previously mentioned charm factor -- I thought those two tracks sounded pretty darn decent for cassette!
Old 24th November 2007 | Show parent
  #21
Ben
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by roxxon ➑️
Suffering acid flash-backs, Batman!

If you're having fun, it's all okay!

I remember when my friend spent a huge amount of cash on two 8 track ADATs, when they first came out...

I've heard a number of porta-studio recordings that blow a lot of ADAT recordings away.

I truthfully miss my Reel to Reel 80-8.

I know some guys who knew how to get the best out of their porta-studios and old reel to reel decks. Knowing your gear is the key.

Still, I've never heard any great-sounding drum-tracks which were recorded on cassette format muti-tracks.


I do own a TASCAM 488MKII PORTASTUDIO 8-TRACK CASSETTE, I used to use it to record live jams... And for songwriting. It is a cool songwriting tool...
Sound-quality-wise it's kind of cool for layered guitars, bass, keys and vox...
But my old 80-8, blew the 488 away...Sonically.

Hey, you're in luck! I just finished building my new studio room last week and switched from analogue (80-8) to digital (digi 003). I still love the 80-8 but I'm cleaning house to afford a pair of adams. Make me an offer.
Old 24th November 2007 | Show parent
  #22
Lives for gear
 
bcgood's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Sounds good man, thanks for sharing. I listened to "She Died In Summer" and to me it sounds better than the average digitally made demo that I often hear. One thing I didn't understand is that you said you used no effects but there is reverb on the guitar. Does that mean you used a gym not in use or some large space and recorded playing your guitar inside that space? I would actually prefer that more people recorded this way as long as they knew what they where doing.
Old 24th November 2007 | Show parent
  #23
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
heres a "giggle".
some "ruff" original song recordings i did years ago..
useing 2 cassette deks n bounces etc.
for a laugh.
1. i'm too old to rock n roll.
(bout an old bloke who still wants to do rock n roll.)

2.lady in the white corvette.
(about a lady gang leader.)

3. lets move it man.
(guitar instrumental i was in a crazy mood.)


and.as its xmas coming...

4. rock with me at christmas.
(just a daft xmas song.)

5. the siamese cat song.
(about a siamese cat and how a bloke uses the cat to meet women....lol
listen to the last line it gives folks a smile.
note....adults only.)

6. the working mans song.
(bout lifes struggles as a working person.)

7. hi tech man.
(about how hi tech changes lives.)

all songs at >>>>SoundClick artist: bmanning - songwriter that creates and produces songs in many different genres.
just click on the music.

n "please" no comments bout not recorded in a million buk studio.
they were just songs i did for fun.
with no gear hardly. just to see what i could do with no gear.
Old 24th November 2007 | Show parent
  #24
Lives for gear
 
Unclenny's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Tell you what.....I really like that tune ('She Died In Summer'). Really.

There's so much stuff out there that tries so hard to be a song and just ends up being a bunch of tracks....

As far as cassette goes, I dug out my Portastudio a month or so ago intending to track some vox or acoustic guits and then dump it on to my PTLE rig.
Forget it. I'm in the box now, with a little analog outboard at mixdown.

I'm poor too, man. But my DAW has opened SO many creative avenues for me. Take the plunge, man...it's not that expensive and your music deserves to be set free.
Old 24th November 2007 | Show parent
  #25
Here for the gear
 
franklloydwrong's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
i dig the songs too. i miss the days of my 57, at drum mics, realistic mixer and tascam 4track. it seems like it was so easy to focus on the songs and music rather than what bit/sample rate, converters, etc. pro tools has made me lazy as a musician, because i can edit instead of actually play the song right. i'm sure it's not like that for everyone. also, before i got my computer (for recording only [right]) i spent less time reading forums about recording and more time doing it. thanks for your inspiring post.
regards.
Old 25th November 2007 | Show parent
  #26
Lives for gear
 
miqer's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Dig!! It's all about the vibe and performance... these days we tend to focus on sound first, and then performance...

Would you think a "modern" one, like this would be ok?

Tascam*Porta 02 MKII Portastudio *@*Music Store

haha, or is it the same as with mic's and pre's: the vintage once are the once you want... ?
Old 25th November 2007 | Show parent
  #27
Lives for gear
 
Acoustic Cloud's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Yall makin'me cry!!! :(.....

I miss my Tascam Syncasette 238 now!!!

Oh well, at least I held out on the minidisc 8 track years, and stuck with it instead......
Old 25th November 2007 | Show parent
  #28
Gear Guru
 
theblue1's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Now... let's get some perspective here, guys.

KSwan's music doesn't sound good just because it was recorded to cassette.

How stinkin' many cassette/4 tracker mixes have you heard that didn't charm and delight?

Huh?

Something tells me KSwan would be making cool music -- even if he was stuck with a Digi HD system...




As a lost poet of the 60s or 70s once observed: It ain't the meat -- it's the motion.
Old 25th November 2007 | Show parent
  #29
Lives for gear
 
bcgood's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Analogue tape even low-fi
Old 25th November 2007 | Show parent
  #30
Lives for gear
 
themaidsroom's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
dig the songs
dig the sounds
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