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How many engineers would rather track to tape?
Old 23rd January 2009
  #1
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
How many engineers would rather track to tape?

In a perfect world, with no limitations, and expense not being a factor, how many engineers would rather track to tape? Let's say you had the chance to produce your favorite artist. You are recording at a studio with an endless array of gear. What reasons would you give that artist for tracking to tape? Or would you opt to go digital and why? This is primarily the analog versus digital debate all over again, but i'm trying to see if attitudes are changing and why.

Best,

Blackie
Old 23rd January 2009
  #2
Lives for gear
 
superburtm's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
project depending....if its a well rehearsed rock band that is tracking live-ish..yes. if not-no
Old 23rd January 2009 | Show parent
  #3
Gear Guru
 
Musiclab's Avatar
yep I would. reasons 1. It sounds Better, 2. It's a much better form of storage
Old 23rd January 2009 | Show parent
  #4
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RCM - Ronan's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
If sound was the primary concern I would absolutely track to tape. If its an artist that will need tricky editing, Pro Tools.
Old 23rd January 2009 | Show parent
  #5
Here for the gear
 
🎧 15 years
Tape absolutely! If not to just dump down in to a digital format for editing. Tape is what I grew up listening to have since longed for in albums I track that can't afford it. Either way I still mix down to my studer. But tracking. ABSOLUTELY!
Old 23rd January 2009 | Show parent
  #6
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Benmrx's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Pretty much like everyone else. Project depending. I'm tracking to 2" tape tomorrow though.
Old 23rd January 2009 | Show parent
  #7
Gear Head
 
Gtr917punk's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
if 2" was cheap and the machines didnt need a ton of maintenance, oh heck yeah tape is awesome. huge difference in quality and head room
Old 23rd January 2009 | Show parent
  #8
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John Suitcase's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Tape is cool, but I've made some recordings on tape that sucked. On one occasion, back in the mid 90's we recorded at a studio with 2" 24 track just to get some tape goodness (I was not engineering this session, but performing.) Then we dumped to Adat. The tracks recorded on tape sounded so bad I demanded my money back from the studio. Then we retracked on Adat with a tascam desk and it sounded 100% better. My point is that people make it out like all you need is to buy a crappy old tape deck and it'll be magic. It's just like anything else. It CAN suck. It can be cool, it can be great. But it's not automatic.

I'd track the way I always do, to digital. Why? It's way faster, it sounds the way I put it down, and if I want to drop mics all over the place, I can. Track count is irrelevant.

Could I get a different sound on tape? Maybe. Would it be better? Probably not, since I work in digital 100% of the time nowadays.

Have fun with this discussion!
Old 23rd January 2009
  #9
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drmmrboy's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by blackened ➑️
In a perfect world, with no limitations, and expense not being a factor, how many engineers would rather track to tape?
This reads like a netflix commercial. heh

What is the square root of orange? - Turquoise!
How many engineers would rather track to tape? - All of them except 14.06582%
Old 23rd January 2009 | Show parent
  #10
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Mike Brown's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Not me.

I know a bunch of A-list engineers/producers who wouldn't either.
Old 23rd January 2009 | Show parent
  #11
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indie's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Definitely - 2" 16 track for drums, bass and gtrs. then dump to digital for doing vocals etc.... oh sweet money!!
Old 23rd January 2009 | Show parent
  #12
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vernier's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Forget tracking ..I quit buying new music because of the way it sounds. It's over.
'
Old 23rd January 2009 | Show parent
  #13
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goldenlotus's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Maybe I'm in the minority... but I'll take PT anyday.
Old 23rd January 2009
  #14
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by blackened ➑️
In a perfect world, with no limitations, and expense not being a factor, how many engineers would rather track to tape? Let's say you had the chance to produce your favorite artist. You are recording at a studio with an endless array of gear. What reasons would you give that artist for tracking to tape? Or would you opt to go digital and why? This is primarily the analog versus digital debate all over again, but i'm trying to see if attitudes are changing and why.

Best,

Blackie
I do all the time. It's faster, better and easier.

If you learn from the right techs, there's zero maintenance.
Old 23rd January 2009 | Show parent
  #15
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
I would track to tape, although it will never happen since in reality we can't really throw out all those things that make it inconvenient or prohibitively expensive. There is something magical with the sound, and I'm not talking about the rolled off highs and bass boost that makes it "warm" or the pleasing distortion from "saturation" of aggressive levels. I appreciate tape for its hi fidelity qualities, not as an effect. 2" 8 track would be my dream with a 1/2" 2 track mixdown deck. If I ever am wheelchair bound, maybe I'll get a studer built into my chair and roll it around with me, but until then, I am happy to be mobile and working with digital.
Old 23rd January 2009 | Show parent
  #16
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gtr917punk ➑️
if 2" was cheap and the machines didnt need a ton of maintenance, oh heck yeah tape is awesome. huge difference in quality and head room
What ton of maintenance?
Old 23rd January 2009 | Show parent
  #17
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Tetness's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by indie ➑️
Definitely - 2" 16 track for drums, bass and gtrs. then dump to digital for doing vocals etc.... oh sweet money!!
Absolutely -- thumbsupthumbsup
Old 23rd January 2009 | Show parent
  #18
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dualflip's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by rcm ➑️
If sound was the primary concern I would absolutely track to tape. If its an artist that will need tricky editing, Pro Tools.
i completely agree with this comment, i always find myself in between this two choices: sound quality VS fast workflow.. so, if what im tracking deserves tape (most will know what i mean by that) ill go for it, but if ill have to do a million recalls, a lot of editing and some heavy automation, ill go PT and wont look back.
Old 23rd January 2009 | Show parent
  #19
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BOWIE's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Tape.
Old 23rd January 2009 | Show parent
  #20
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by rcm ➑️
If sound was the primary concern I would absolutely track to tape. If its an artist that will need tricky editing, Pro Tools.
Do you find that tracking directly to protools gives you and advantage to tracking to tape and then transferring to protools?
Old 23rd January 2009 | Show parent
  #21
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picksail's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I'm happy tracking to ProTools.

No need to take two steps backwards.

Let tape go by way of the dinosaur.

I don't mix in a way that would accentuate the "tape sound" so it would do me no good anyway.
Or at least, wouldn't make much difference either way.
I just don't think that my approach would benefit much from using tape.

I do however love the sound of tape. When I've received sessions that were tracked to tape they sounded great.
Though it didn't really enhance the mix to any degree.

I suppose if it were a Keith Olsen or Roy Thomas Baker production from the late 70's/early 80s.
That sounds like tape to me! Brilliant work from those guys!!!
Old 23rd January 2009 | Show parent
  #22
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Chaellus's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
you bet everyday all day
Old 23rd January 2009 | Show parent
  #23
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dualflip's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Caffrey ➑️
Do you find that tracking directly to protools gives you and advantage to tracking to tape and then transferring to protools?
Well yeah, for instance punch-ins punch-outs, they are much more easier on PT and if you screw it up ITB, you only press the Z key..., i dont have problems punching on tape, but if i have to do it a lot, then i prefeer to track directly to protools
Old 23rd January 2009 | Show parent
  #24
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RCM - Ronan's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Caffrey ➑️
Do you find that tracking directly to protools gives you and advantage to tracking to tape and then transferring to protools?
Yes, if its the kind of thing where we will need to do editing involving several playlists.
Old 23rd January 2009 | Show parent
  #25
Gear Nut
 
pvoc3000's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
For me its all about sound quality, not convenience. Which is why I prefer to cut my tracks directly to lacquer discs.

I'll use tape if I am working with a really crappy band who can't play a song from start to finish. With tape we can cheat and I can edit takes together, or I can do a lot of punching in, or record parts individually... Its a godsend in situations where the musicians I'm working with can't play or sing.

But if given the choice, man nothing beats the sweet sound of music cut straight to lacquer. Anything less is a compromise.
Old 23rd January 2009 | Show parent
  #26
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O.F.F.'s Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I like tape BECAUSE it limits the amount of editing that can be done after the fact.
Over time I've come to the conclusion that it is the little inconsistencies (some would call them mistakes) that give life/feel to a recording.
Old 23rd January 2009 | Show parent
  #27
Gear Maniac
 
Tunes 666's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I would use 2 inch for Guitars and Drums, and digital for vocals and bass.
Old 23rd January 2009 | Show parent
  #28
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Bob Ross's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I definitely prefer tracking to tape, but for purely selfish reasons: I'm so much more comfortable with the old analog console/tape deck paradigm that no amount of editing/punching "convenience" (sic) offered by DAWs can make up for the detours & delays in workflow that they invariably cause.

I know, that's my problem...
Old 23rd January 2009 | Show parent
  #29
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Shane Michael Rose's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
screw tape. what is this? a nursing home?
Old 23rd January 2009 | Show parent
  #30
Registered User
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Caffrey ➑️
Do you find that tracking directly to protools gives you and advantage to tracking to tape and then transferring to protools?
-Flat frequency response vs limited frequency response with tape
-more dynamic range before you need compression.
-Non Destructive Punch ins
-No Tape rewinding smoother work flow
-Comping tracks on tape you loose quality when you bounce you comp'd vocal
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