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Mastering on Otari btr-5
Old 23rd November 2009
  #1
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tekno808's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Mastering on Otari btr-5

Hi,

I have a Otari btr-5 and using emtec SM 468 tape.

I did a few A/B test for mastering, made a song with Cubase 5 and recorded (at 15 IPS , EQ is IEC) on the Otari thru AD/DA 24bit 44.1 khz .

Now when i listen to the mastering on the Otari i hear a subtle difference but not that BIG compare to the mastering directly out of Cubase !

I hear and read all about the goods from Tape mastering but for me the difference is minimal !

Is there something wrong with my ears ?

P.L.U.R

Danny.
Attached Thumbnails
Mastering on Otari btr-5-otari-btr-5-studio.jpg  
Old 24th November 2009
  #2
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dcollins's Avatar
 
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by tekno808 ➑️
Hi,

I have a Otari btr-5 and using emtec SM 468 tape.

I did a few A/B test for mastering, made a song with Cubase 5 and recorded (at 15 IPS , EQ is IEC) on the Otari thru AD/DA 24bit 44.1 khz .

Now when i listen to the mastering on the Otari i hear a subtle difference but not that BIG compare to the mastering directly out of Cubase !

I hear and read all about the goods from Tape mastering but for me the difference is minimal !

Is there something wrong with my ears ?
It's a pretty good machine, 468 is probably one of the best tapes ever made, so the difference shouldn't be too outrageous. It might be educational to really crank the level to tape to hear what a ton of saturation sounds like. Also, after finding the correct point, turn the bias up and down and see what that does to the hi-end, as well.


DC
Old 24th November 2009 | Show parent
  #3
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wado1942's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
You know, I keep saying this and being shunned for it but masters from digital sources always sound digital. If you're comming from an analogue source, the difference would be bigger.
Old 24th November 2009 | Show parent
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wado1942 ➑️
You know, I keep saying this and being shunned for it but masters from digital sources always sound digital. If you're comming from an analogue source, the difference would be bigger.
What does "digital" sound like?
Not trying to be snide with a naive question - but seems to me the words "digital" and "analog" are much better descriptors of an architecture and less of a sonic quality.
I've heard it sound everything from miraculous to horrendous - and the same goes for analog.

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Old 24th November 2009
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tekno808 ➑️
Hi,

I have a Otari btr-5 and using emtec SM 468 tape.

I did a few A/B test for mastering, made a song with Cubase 5 and recorded (at 15 IPS , EQ is IEC) on the Otari thru AD/DA 24bit 44.1 khz .

Now when i listen to the mastering on the Otari i hear a subtle difference but not that BIG compare to the mastering directly out of Cubase !

I hear and read all about the goods from Tape mastering but for me the difference is minimal !

Is there something wrong with my ears ?

P.L.U.R

Danny.
I don't think there's really anything wrong with your ears. The whole point of both DAW and tape (when properly setup) is to capture what is already there. There's good and bad points to both formats - but in a test such as you have done the differences should be in fact subtle (unless the tape recorder or the ADC are broken).

As DC pointed out already you should be able to hear more dramatic differences if you push the level going onto the tape.

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Old 24th November 2009 | Show parent
  #6
ORC
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🎧 10 years
I'm curious as to what style of music you're recording. This would help me decide which tape to use. 468, 911, 900. If you can get ATR magnetics over there, I'd use it. Also how well is your machine calibrated? What is your reference level? How much overbias are you using for the 468? How hard are you hitting the tape according to your VU meters? (You must know your reference level so that when your meters read 0vu you know exactly how hard you're hitting the tape.)
Old 24th November 2009 | Show parent
  #7
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cellotron ➑️
What does "digital" sound like?
Not trying to be snide with a naive question - but seems to me the words "digital" and "analog" are much better descriptors of an architecture and less of a sonic quality.
I've heard it sound everything from miraculous to horrendous - and the same goes for analog.

Best regards,
Steve Berson
+1

I have mixes here done on 18bit Adats that sounds amazing, then some guys come in with tape wich sounds like ice cold crap.
Old 24th November 2009 | Show parent
  #8
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tekno808's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ORC ➑️
I'm curious as to what style of music you're recording. This would help me decide which tape to use. 468, 911, 900. If you can get ATR magnetics over there, I'd use it. Also how well is your machine calibrated? What is your reference level? How much overbias are you using for the 468? How hard are you hitting the tape according to your VU meters? (You must know your reference level so that when your meters read 0vu you know exactly how hard you're hitting the tape.)
First ,thx to all for your comments .

The style of music i'm recording is House, Electro ,Trance....
The machine is been calibrated for the emtec SM 468 tapes .
In the recording test ive done i was using a Powercore 6000 Brickwall Limiter set at -0.1 dB and on playback it gives me the same level.

From te manual the input level is +6 dBm ( 1.55 v ) standard and the maximum input level is +30 dBm !

So now i'm gonna do a few more test without BWL .

P.L.U.R
Old 24th November 2009
  #9
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by tekno808 ➑️
Hi,

I have a Otari btr-5 and using emtec SM 468 tape.

I did a few A/B test for mastering, made a song with Cubase 5 and recorded (at 15 IPS , EQ is IEC) on the Otari thru AD/DA 24bit 44.1 khz .

Now when i listen to the mastering on the Otari i hear a subtle difference but not that BIG compare to the mastering directly out of Cubase !

I hear and read all about the goods from Tape mastering but for me the difference is minimal !

Is there something wrong with my ears ?

P.L.U.R

Danny.
The difference is minimal and you will have to spend some time with it to be able to recognize it .
Are you monitoring from the tape deck or from already converted signal ( back from tape ) ? Try monitoring direct from tape deck and then from converters to hear what are your converters doing to the sound.
Sm 468 sounds pretty transparent to my ears , maybe trying different tapes could give you better/different results.
I work with RMG Sm 468 and Per 528 almost every day and and the per 528 is little darker so check it out . I am about to check SM 911 and sm 900 from RMG....
To my ears the benefit of transferring to tape vs only digital is that the files transferred to tape and back to DAW react different to processing ,you can up sample the files ( record 24/48 back from tape at 24/96 or even 192 ), this bump at 50 Hz on my Studer A80 which makes the music sound bigger and maybe some saturation if you want it need it ....
Old 24th November 2009 | Show parent
  #10
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tekno808's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by bass man ➑️
The difference is minimal and you will have to spend some time with it to be able to recognize it .
Are you monitoring from the tape deck or from already converted signal ( back from tape ) ? Try monitoring direct from tape deck and then from converters to hear what are your converters doing to the sound.
Sm 468 sounds pretty transparent to my ears , maybe trying different tapes could give you better/different results.
I work with RMG Sm 468 and Per 528 almost every day and and the per 528 is little darker so check it out . I am about to check SM 911 and sm 900 from RMG....
To my ears the benefit of transferring to tape vs only digital is that the files transferred to tape and back to DAW react different to processing ,you can up sample the files ( record 24/48 back from tape at 24/96 or even 192 ), this bump at 50 Hz on my Studer A80 which makes the music sound bigger and maybe some saturation if you want it need it ....
Thx for the info , tomorrow i'm gonna try a few test setups !

P.L.U.R
Old 25th November 2009
  #11
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Table Of Tone's Avatar
 
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by tekno808 ➑️
Hi,

I have a Otari btr-5 and using emtec SM 468 tape.

I did a few A/B test for mastering, made a song with Cubase 5 and recorded (at 15 IPS , EQ is IEC) on the Otari thru AD/DA 24bit 44.1 khz .

Now when i listen to the mastering on the Otari i hear a subtle difference but not that BIG compare to the mastering directly out of Cubase !

I hear and read all about the goods from Tape mastering but for me the difference is minimal !

Is there something wrong with my ears ?

P.L.U.R

Danny.
A lot of it can depend on how it goes to tape in the first place and what you are recording from.

I find that there is very little point in recording a digital mix, summed ITB, over to tape, unless you are after a certain type of saturation.
You won't really be getting more resolution out of it!

2" or PTHD mutitrack playback, mixed through an SSL, captured to 1/2" tape, is what many mix engineers swear by and many of the top mastering engineers like to cut from.
Old 25th November 2009 | Show parent
  #12
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Karloff70's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Table Of Tone ➑️
A lot of it can depend on how it goes to tape in the first place and what you are recording from.

I find that there is very little point in recording a digital mix, summed ITB, over to tape, unless you are after a certain type of saturation.
You won't really be getting more resolution out of it!

2" or PTHD mutitrack playback, mixed through an SSL, captured to 1/2" tape, is what many mix engineers swear by and many of the top mastering engineers like to cut from.
I don't know about that. You will still get a "hugging" of the mix, variable by level to tape. How much this does for your music is of course arguable, and for the style of music mentioned I might personally not bother. However you do get a mix that will react completely differently to further treatment, i.e. mastering tweaks, as mentioned before. EQing something off tape is to me infinitely smoother than a digi mix. Takes the potential pain out of top boosts for one.
Old 25th November 2009 | Show parent
  #13
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 ➑️
However you do get a mix that will react completely differently to further treatment, i.e. mastering tweaks, as mentioned before. EQing something off tape is to me infinitely smoother than a digi mix. Takes the potential pain out of top boosts for one.

totally agree....
Old 25th November 2009 | Show parent
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 ➑️
I don't know about that. You will still get a "hugging" of the mix, variable by level to tape. How much this does for your music is of course arguable, and for the style of music mentioned I might personally not bother. However you do get a mix that will react completely differently to further treatment, i.e. mastering tweaks, as mentioned before. EQing something off tape is to me infinitely smoother than a digi mix. Takes the potential pain out of top boosts for one.
I did mention that it's all part of the saturation.
"Hugging" of the mix is a kind of saturation, or the onset of it.

Tape nearly always smears the top end to some extent.

Sometimes that's just the ticket!
Old 25th November 2009 | Show parent
  #15
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Table Of Tone ➑️
I did mention that it's all part of the saturation.
"Hugging" of the mix is a kind of saturation, or the onset of it.

Tape nearly always smears the top end to some extent.

Sometimes that's just the ticket!
To my ears the gentle compression I'm thinking of as hugging takes hold long before any percieved saturation. Have not heard a plug to date that can do this. Smear? Hmmm, maybe if you push it on there hard. Other than that I'd say you might actually get away with more perceived clarity because of being able to open up the top more without pain. YMMV of course.
Old 25th November 2009 | Show parent
  #16
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tekno808's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Ok, i did a few test with record level to tape @ +3dB and +6dB and no plugins on the master like the PoCo 6000 MD3 that is used before.
it's sound great !! To my ears no distortion , nice saturation ,smooth low frequencies and sound mutch louder and on the dynamic range meter reading +- 6 a 7 db RMS !

When i get on the dynamic range meter +- 6 a 7 db RMS with plugins in the master i can hear distortion !

For now i'm happy with it but i'm gonna do a few more test !

P.L.U.R
Old 25th November 2009 | Show parent
  #17
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Karloff70's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by tekno808 ➑️
Ok, i did a few test with record level to tape @ +3dB and +6dB and no plugins on the master like the PoCo 6000 MD3 that is used before.
it's sound great !! To my ears no distortion , nice saturation ,smooth low frequencies and sound mutch louder and on the dynamic range meter reading +- 6 a 7 db RMS !

When i get on the dynamic range meter +- 6 a 7 db RMS with plugins in the master i can hear distortion !

For now i'm happy with it but i'm gonna do a few more test !

P.L.U.R
see what happens when you put a little sizzle back into the hihat region.....smooooooth sizzle....heh
Old 26th November 2009 | Show parent
  #18
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by tekno808 ➑️
Ok, i did a few test with record level to tape @ +3dB and +6dB and no plugins on the master like the PoCo 6000 MD3 that is used before.
it's sound great !! To my ears no distortion , nice saturation ,smooth low frequencies and sound mutch louder and on the dynamic range meter reading +- 6 a 7 db RMS !

When i get on the dynamic range meter +- 6 a 7 db RMS with plugins in the master i can hear distortion !

For now i'm happy with it but i'm gonna do a few more test !

P.L.U.R
-6 db rms might be way too hot , where are you reading -6 db rms, on converters ?
Old 26th November 2009 | Show parent
  #19
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tekno808's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by bass man ➑️
-6 db rms might be way too hot , where are you reading -6 db rms, on converters ?
No in cubase with Brainworx TT Dynamic Range Meter 1.0 Plugin.

Same as this on DYNAMIC RANGE | pleasurize music!

P.L.U.R
Old 26th November 2009 | Show parent
  #20
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 ➑️
To my ears the gentle compression I'm thinking of as hugging takes hold long before any percieved saturation. Have not heard a plug to date that can do this. Smear? Hmmm, maybe if you push it on there hard. Other than that I'd say you might actually get away with more perceived clarity because of being able to open up the top more without pain. YMMV of course.
It's all a type of distortion, saturation, compression, bending things etc

I'm not splitting hairs.

It does one of two things, depending on the actual material.

It either Rocks (works)
Or it sucks (doesn't work)

I know where you're coming from though!
Old 27th November 2009 | Show parent
  #21
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Table Of Tone ➑️
It does one of two things, depending on the actual material.

It either Rocks (works)
Or it sucks (doesn't work)
thumbsup ...easy to tell within seconds
Old 27th November 2009 | Show parent
  #22
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tekno808's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Here a zip file with 3 wave files ,

1: Test No mastering no Otari
2: Test Mastering No Otari with a litle eq and Powercore 6000 MD3 (Tape Sim 15 ips Preset)
3: Test Otari Recorded file No Mastering ( eq:IEC ,Tape SM 468 )

All tracks Level Hitting @ -0.2 to -0.1 db

For me the Otari wave sounds great, what's your opinion ?

P.L.U.R

http://dominium.telenet.be/music/Otari.zip
Old 29th November 2009 | Show parent
  #23
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🎧 10 years
Otari version is the best but it is louder so its kind of hard to compare ...
Did you use Sm 468 ?
Old 30th November 2009 | Show parent
  #24
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tekno808's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by bass man ➑️
Otari version is the best but it is louder so its kind of hard to compare ...
Did you use Sm 468 ?
It's sounds louder because i'ts like compressed from the Otari, as you can see al test are @ the same level and yes i used the SM 468 !

P.L.U.R
Old 2nd December 2009 | Show parent
  #25
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by tekno808 ➑️
It's sounds louder because i'ts like compressed from the Otari, as you can see al test are @ the same level and yes i used the SM 468 !

P.L.U.R
It can not sound louder because its compressed unless you make up gain for compression .....
It sounds louder cos your Input/ output on Otari is hotter....
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