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Discussion in 'Recording' started by bluesy10, May 6, 2009.

  1. bluesy10

    bluesy10 Guest

    for 20 years Ive used a Fostex 160 analog 4 track for home recording/ songwriting etc and found it quite easy to mix basic guitar and vocals and drum machine etc... and finished with a little pseudo stereo reverb Boss rrv10 the results were easy and warm with a pleasent stereo feel ....but now Ive decided to try digital via cool edit and Im really surprised at how cold and abrasive the results are. Although I was never an expert, good results were relatively easy....but now with my new venture..... my ears are not happy...
    I assume there is more technical knowledge required to get something warm out of digital ??

  2. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    Cooledit is crap, btw. On the whole.

    I find free alternatives like Kristal and Audacity to be far more flexible and useful.

    Kristal allows the use of VST plugins, and plugins are available to add "tape sound" which you may or may not desire to use.
  3. bluesy10

    bluesy10 Guest

    Thanks for the info...codemonkey
    Someone gave me cooledit and they seem to get some reasonable results...have to pick her brains too I think... Or buy some tapes for my fostex

  4. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    You may want to also re-examine the signal path you've been using.

    It's just a hunch, but perhaps the "Tape" effect you're used to has been hiding/washing over a variety of things that have been passing for "analog" sound all this time. The "Cold digital" (if it really is the case) is perhaps revealing things you didn't notice before. No more tape Hiss and rounded-off top end. More audible room noise and dynamic ranges, for example; also less bass buildup from 80 hz head bump, no more wow and flutter from the tape mechanism, and so on, just for starters.

    Four tracks of 80 hz head bump - which is often what people mistake as "Warmth" from tape - can really build up and give you a lot of low end, automatically. Since it's likely NOT happening with Cool Edit, your impression might be that it's cold. Possibly, it's "Accurate" - at least in the digital version. (I dont' know your interface or how you're getting from the mic to the sound card to the digital software itself. These too are all part of the "Sound" you're getting - good or bad.)

    As others have suggested, you can warm thing up with plug ins (and a little EQ), as well as mic placement (mic CHOICES, too) and a variety of things.

    You may also find that now that your Genie is "out of the bottle", you've got a whole new sonic palette to paint with, from warm to "cold", and everything in between. Embrace the change, and see what you can come up as work-arounds, with before racing back to tape. :cool:
  5. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Thanks Joe. I think what a lot of people regard as
    Cold is really just the clarity of digital. There are some nice things about tape but digital is far quieter and more "true". But that's just my opinion.
  6. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    You also might have to realize that the sound quality of that little Fostex was...CRAP. Sure, YOU got what you were happy with, but in the scheme of things, cassette-based multitracks sound pretty gnarly- noisey, dull, and lots of that lovely wow-and-flutter that gives you that good ol' pitch fluctuation that makes sustained tones grate on your nerves.
    Now that you can record tones below 100Hz and hear them above 10KHz., it's quite a shock ain't it?
  7. bluesy10

    bluesy10 Guest

    Thanks for all the information.
    The thought of all the extras and flexibility of digital is very exciting for an old stuck in the mud 4 tracker.... so yes Im going to stick with it and work at improving those sounds... Im sure I just need re educating ,,a bit !!!

    thanks again
  8. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    Well I believe there's enough info kicking around here.

    I say Cooledit is crap, really I outgrew it (and hated how I was using a knocked off version). I found a better program with more flexibility on the effect side (with some work) and learned to use it my way.

    Doesn't really matter what brand of hammer you used, so long as the nail's in the wall.
  9. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Cool Edit has evolved into Adobe Audition (now ver 3) which certainly isn't crap. I used CE in the 90's a time or three and also outgrew it but it was quite possible to make decent recordings. Audition definitely is superior in all regards.

    That said, there are other options out there that aren't terribly expensive like Reaper or Krystal.

    Digital is definitely cold if you are used to noise disguising what is actually going into a mic. Lots of folks say analog sounds better (including me) but what they mean to say is that good analog with a list gear sounds better. Good digital will also sound good.

    It's sort of like computer programming. Crap in=crap out.
  10. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Too true. 2" tape is a lot different than 1/4" cassette. Still, I remember when I first started using the old Sony PCM 3324's. A lot of people would complain that they were cold. I don't hear it. With an SSL console and a couple of 1176's it sounded pretty awesome. Mind you that studio was also equipped with a couple of vintage U47's.
  11. BDM

    BDM Active Member

    if i had a little 4 track, i'd use it as an effect. i would patch (especially drums) into it and put the meters into the red, and then bring that back in to mix tastefully (or not) with the original track. there is your warmth and tape saturation (and hiss...errr character) my old TASCAM 4 track gave up the ghost long long long ago... >insert little sad emoticon here.<
  12. bluesy10

    bluesy10 Guest

    Thanks for all the comments...
    When I actually bought the 160 analog..erm circa 1988 (£400) for songwriting only..it was supposed to have been ahead of some of its rivals and compared to other 4 track efforts It did seem to hold its own...in the days when I guess home recording was in its infancy..no computers at home, no internet..
    I think.. for the money and the fact that its still working after 20 years without a service has to say something for its costruction at least...... but Im glad to have a lot more options now and know I just need to get reading.


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