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Do you guys mixdown from a DAW to analog tape ?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by HMNP, Oct 8, 2004.

  1. HMNP

    HMNP Member

    Im very curiouse about all this analog stuff I keep reading. I read in an article that alot of short budget pro's are tracking to digital and then mixdown to an analog reel 2 reel and then back into the DAW to add more warmth, punch and depth to the music. By "short budget pros" I mean, Professional recording engineers that still dont have the cash to pay for a full blown 24 analog reel to reel. If this method really helps it would be used to record mainly rock music.

    I would like to hear what you guys have to say about that. Waste of time ?? or do they really help?? How amny of you practice it, tell me your expirienes.

    Would a Tascam BR-20 or a OTARI MX 5050 2 TRACK RECORDER be a wise choice for this??? thanks for all responses in advanced.
     
  2. RecorderMan

    RecorderMan Distinguished Member

    Arrangement/Performance, Mic Placement, balance and Mix will all yeild signifcantly greater increase in results than any digi/analog differrences. period. Of course experiance plays into that as well. If you don't know where to go and what to adjust, you'll have to learn.

    Your'e asking the right questuions. That's a step in the right direction. This stuff takes years to learn, for most of us. Keep at it.
     
  3. HMNP

    HMNP Member

    Thanks alot man, helpfull tips from people like you and other in this forum have really taken me far in my studio. I have seen ALL the pages from this forum and the "Studio equipment"forum, took em almost 2 weeks. We can write a book out out of all the stuff that's been discussed here. Thanks again!!

    Juan
     
  4. mikE@THECAVE

    mikE@THECAVE Guest

    yea but i wish i had a deck that ran at 15ips those sound great
     
  5. dustbro

    dustbro Guest

    All of my mixes go down to an ATR 102 1/2" machine. It makes all the difference in the world.
     
  6. mikE@THECAVE

    mikE@THECAVE Guest

    a top engineer likes 1/4 15 ips the best
     
  7. dustbro

    dustbro Guest

    ha ha ha
     
  8. mikE@THECAVE

    mikE@THECAVE Guest

    all right i had to get the article his name is tchad blake grammy award winner.This guy says he also always has a stereo compressor on the mix bus even during tracking so he can get an idea what it gunna sound like
     
  9. nandoph8

    nandoph8 Active Member

    Hey dustbro, is that at 30 ips or 15? And do you hit the tape hard? or do you stay under +3dbs

    As far as pro's using 1/4 the best, better check again man. I believe most mastering places that have analog tape have 1/2 mainly
     
  10. mikE@THECAVE

    mikE@THECAVE Guest

    home recording mag oct.2002 read for yourself man
     
  11. dustbro

    dustbro Guest

    Dude.. I sit in pro mastering facilities all the time... there is no question that not only does 1/2" tape sound the best, but the BEST sounding 1/2" is an ATR. Dont believe me? Call Sterling Sound, call Masterdisk... they'll tell you. Better yet...
    http://www.sterling-sound.com/home/engineers

    Ted Jenson - Studer A-820 + Ampex ATR Stock & Tube Pre-Amp
    Chris Athens - Ampex ATR-102
    Craig Calbi - Ampex ATR-102 + Studer A-820
    Tom Coyne - Ampex ATR 102
    Chris Gehringer - Ampex ATR 102
    George Marino - Ampex ATR-102

    Should I go on? They mastered 53 out of the top 100 on Billboard this week. How's that for proof.
    Anyway, I like to be conservative with my tape. I run 499 or GP9 at +6/185 (30ips), and touch around +2 at the heavy places.
     
  12. nandoph8

    nandoph8 Active Member

    Wow, I just received the price lists for the ATR-102 1/2 and I can't afford that. Anyone know where I can get a 1/2 30 ips 2 track machine that's not too expensive?
     
  13. dustbro

    dustbro Guest

    If you're on a budget, a 1/2" probably isn't going to fit in the picture for you.
    Old MCI tape decks will probably be the way to go. In my opinion, even the JH24 (2" 24 track) has more "character" than a Studer or Otari tape deck... Some people I know use 2" machines to mix down to (using a pair of tracks as a stereo mixdown device of course) and then bounce back to digital 96K for the final master. The old JH24's go for about $2000 in great condition, and I've seen some pretty cool ones going for $900 on ebay.
    Another option is to head in the 1/4" tape realm.
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=3278&item=3753228484&rd=1
    Excellent machine for $600. It's no ATR102, but it's pretty fuckin good.
     
  14. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    dustbro is right on about the MCI JH24's ... great machines, many still in use around the world. Think "Eagles" if you wonder about the sound .. a lot of their stuff was done on MCI consoles and tape machines as was Eric Claptons Layla and subsequent records. All the stuff from Criteria Studios in Miami was MCI gear.

    I had a JH24 for a few years and loved it to death ... some maintenance involved though. I also had a JH110B 1/4" 1/2 track machine that ran at 15 / 30 ips ... I liked tracking on the JH24 at 15 ips and then mixing to the 110B at 30 ips .. putting the tape hiss from each machine in different octaves really helped to keep the noise levels low..

    A good JH 110B can be found for under $1000 ... but you will have to have JRF make you a 1/2" head stack and rollers / guides to do a conversion to 1/2" ... and that will cost a lot more than the machine did. But the JH 110B was designed to handle up to 1" tape (for 8 tracks) so it should do fine as a mastering deck with 1/2" tape.
     
  15. nandoph8

    nandoph8 Active Member

    I use a 1" 30ips machine, should I mix down to it from my DAW
     
  16. sneak

    sneak Active Member

    "Some people I know use 2" machines to mix down to (using a pair of tracks as a stereo mixdown device of course)"

    I don't understand this, using a pair of tracks ?
    Do you mean they are using more tracks on the tape device for two track mixdown ? But then you get tracks with the same sound ?

    Thank you.
     
  17. sneak

    sneak Active Member

    Hi,

    Can anyone explain ?
    This week I will mixdown a project to tape, maybe it sounds better with this technique....
     
  18. dustbro

    dustbro Guest

    Run your mix to tracks 1+2 of a 2" machine.. then when you run out of tape, leave track 3 empty (to reduce tape crosstalk) and then start printing on tracks 4+5. Rinse and repeat... when you're done, you can bounce the stuff back from 2".
     
  19. nandoph8

    nandoph8 Active Member

    So if I record the same signal (left cahnnel) into 3 or 4 tracks I will get phase problems?
     
  20. dustbro

    dustbro Guest

    I don't think we're on the same page.

    a mixdown device is usually a 2 track machine. one track for your left channel, and one track for your right channel. instead of feeding your stereo mix to a 2 track machine, you can mix back to tracks 1+2 (in stereo) of a 2" machine, not print your left channel to 3 tracks of the 2".
     

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