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Reel to Reel to ?
Old 15th March 2014
  #1
Gear Nut
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Reel to Reel to ?

Hey guys,

I'm planning on using my own gear to record some songs with drums, guitars, and vocals this summer, but I'm not sure if I have everything I need.

First off, I will be recording everything onto a Fostex 8-track reel to reel, from a matching Fostex mixer. Once everything is on the reel, I want to dump it into Pro Tools so I can edit everything appropriately and have a digital copy of the music.

My main question is... What equipment do I need to dump everything from the reel, onto Pro Tools? What are my options here?

I was thinking of purchasing a new Firewire interface (Focusrite Sapphire Pro 40, the Apollo Duo/Quad, or anything with good converters) so I could use the 8 inputs to connect the RCA's on the back of the reel to reel to the TRS inputs on the interface. Would this work?

Any thoughts welcome, just trying to figure this out.
Thanks guys
Old 15th March 2014
  #2
Gear Addict
 
czoli's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toakley ➑️
Hey guys,

I'm planning on using my own gear to record some songs with drums, guitars, and vocals this summer, but I'm not sure if I have everything I need.

First off, I will be recording everything onto a Fostex 8-track reel to reel, from a matching Fostex mixer. Once everything is on the reel, I want to dump it into Pro Tools so I can edit everything appropriately and have a digital copy of the music.

My main question is... What equipment do I need to dump everything from the reel, onto Pro Tools? What are my options here?

I was thinking of purchasing a new Firewire interface (Focusrite Sapphire Pro 40, the Apollo Duo/Quad, or anything with good converters) so I could use the 8 inputs to connect the RCA's on the back of the reel to reel to the TRS inputs on the interface. Would this work?

Any thoughts welcome, just trying to figure this out.
Thanks guys
Don't use the Fostex board, even use a Mackie 1604VLZ. This is from someone who owned both in the 80s. It's not clean enough. The Focusrite Saffire Pro 40 is a good choice. Better yet just record straight into the Focusrite Saffire Pro 40 and just sell the Fostex gear. Buy some analog plugins like PSP Vintage Warmer 2, Klanghelm SDRR or Izotope Alloy 2 exciter to make up for some analog warmth.
Old 15th March 2014 | Show parent
  #3
Gear Nut
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by czoli ➑️
Don't use the Fostex board, even use a Mackie 1604VLZ. This is from someone who owned both in the 80s. It's not clean enough. The Focusrite Saffire Pro 40 is a good choice. Better yet just record straight into the Focusrite Saffire Pro 40 and just sell the Fostex gear. Buy some analog plugins like PSP Vintage Warmer 2, Klanghelm SDRR or Izotope Alloy 2 exciter to make up for some analog warmth.
I actually prefer the mid-fi sound of the fostex gear to the digital plugins. My main concern is being able to convert that to digital without losing anything.
Old 15th March 2014
  #4
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
Which Fostex mixer? Some of the 80s Fostex stuff had a nice sound. I did a nice sounding album in the late 80s using a Fostex 450 and it came out good. Of course there are better sounding vintage mixers and I have at one time or another used most of them. But don't discount Fostex. The main difference I find with newer mixers is that they are usually quieter. But Ill accept a little higher noise level if it gets the sound Im looking for. And recording to analog you should not even notice the slightly higher noise level.
Old 16th March 2014 | Show parent
  #5
Gear Addict
 
czoli's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toakley ➑️
I actually prefer the mid-fi sound of the fostex gear to the digital plugins. My main concern is being able to convert that to digital without losing anything.
If you want the crispy crunchy sound of a slightly distorted top end, then the Fostex board is for you. After an audio engineer I worked with closely in the 80s recommended I "move up to the Mackie 1604" I promptly did.
Old 16th March 2014 | Show parent
  #6
Gear Nut
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by thrustman ➑️
Which Fostex mixer? Some of the 80s Fostex stuff had a nice sound. I did a nice sounding album in the late 80s using a Fostex 450 and it came out good. Of course there are better sounding vintage mixers and I have at one time or another used most of them. But don't discount Fostex. The main difference I find with newer mixers is that they are usually quieter. But Ill accept a little higher noise level if it gets the sound Im looking for. And recording to analog you should not even notice the slightly higher noise level.
I have the 450, could you compare the sound to anything?
Old 16th March 2014
  #7
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
had issues before with firewire interfaces and the rca i/o on the fostex. it was somewhat fixed with a Aphex 228 but what ended up working nice was using a behringer modded atdat interface. it was ground loop noise with the computer.
Old 16th March 2014 | Show parent
  #8
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toakley ➑️
I have the 450, could you compare the sound to anything?
Fostex, Ramsa an Tascam's of that era had a certain sound that I guess was acceptable in certain circles. Kind of neutral a little on the dark and rich side. The early Mackies had a more clinical sound and had better specs, especially noise specs. For analog they might have had a little brighter sound but with a little less character or mojo. The 450-16 I used for a couple of albums I actually liked better than the more expensive Tascam's and Ramsa's.of the same vintage. But that's just my opinion though. Knowing your mixer and its strong or weak points is important also. If you are going to daw from reel you will probably find you will need less plugins and less massaging of your track after recording. I would suggest any current interface with 8 ins and 8 outs. Even budget stuff today is quiet and sounds good. I definitely would not sell my analog gear. For one thing its not worth anything and if you like the sound you are not going to get that vibe from any plugin. Ive tried and none of them quite have the sound of tape. Tape and hardware have a certain sound that cant be duplicated with plugins. From your comments I assume clean isn't what you are after so just try what you have and search for a sound that fits you and your music. Good luck, just go for it.
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