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Empirical Labs Fatso vs tape

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by heyman, Nov 28, 2004.

  1. heyman

    heyman Guest

    Anyone care to comment on Pros vs cons on the EL- Fatso vs lets say 1/4 inch or 1/2 inch tape for mixdown ?

    Diffrence in sound?
    What you like better?
     
  2. LittleDogAudio

    LittleDogAudio Active Member

    I don't think the Fatso can be directly compared to a 1/4 or 1/2" mixdown deck. The Fatso is more colored and variable.

    The idea of a good mixdown machine is accuracy, not color/manipulation/distortion.

    That being said, the Fatso is a very cool tool to use in many applications. I like it across a drum 2-bus or on electric guitar to round it out or pretty much anything that makes sense to use it on.

    Chris
     
  3. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Depends how you run your mix deck and/or your FATSO Jr... the sound of each machine and each formulation is different... how you set up the tape machine is critical [overbias vs. level vs. formulation vs. level you hit the front end of the deck].

    I've gotten the FATSO Jr. to sound very much like 456 1/4" on a Studer A-80 RC aligned to 4db>250nWb/m and GP-9 on a 1/2" Ampex ATR-104 deck aligned to 3db>355nWb/m but it takes some time and effort to get the results... and a bit of experience with what you can expect to get back from an analog deck and some experience with the occasional [as Steve Albini like to call them] "stunt alignments".

    Sometimes you can come out with stuff that's even cooler with the FATSO Jr. than you could with a tape machine... sometimes if you're not careful you can do irreparable harm.

    Best of luck with it.
     
  4. heyman

    heyman Guest

    Thanks for the info Fletch and little dog. Basically, I would be looking to an alternate of mixing down to tape. Not that I dislike tape, but the cost issues envolved and time with properly maintaining it.

    Just looking for another way to mix. We are using a Radar right now and would like to have some more options at mixdown.

    Taking the tracks to another studio to mix down does not appeal to me right now.
     
  5. Nathan_Eldred

    Nathan_Eldred Active Member

    The FATSO is not going to replace tape. Tape is reality, it's even hyperreal in many ways. Yes tape does saturate and compress, but it's not overt when set up correctly. My advice, because I recorded and mixed ONLY digitally for many years (and am now recording and mixing to analog primarily) is to try and achieve what you need to do in your individual tracks, during tracking and mixdown with a very high quality front end. If you need a little of that extra added harmonic distortion use it sparingly, like on guitars and snare for example. Don't worry about slapping something on the main bus output and expecting it to be a cure all for digititus.
     
  6. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Nathan has a point... and I will say that most of the time I use my FATSO [serial #666!!] in tracking to digital [I work on a RADAR-24 system... so my converters are amazing... and the FATSO Jr. often helps take things into a lovely place where they mix like a wet dream].

    I recommend using the FATSO Jr. to heavily across a mix bus... but sometimes between a little of the warmth settings [2, 3 and 4 seem to be the most common in my world] and occasionally with the 'tranny' switch engaged it can indeed be of some service. I wouldn't recommend using it like a crutch, or magic bullet or making a steady diet of it, but every now and again for a snack it's a damn neat tool.
     
  7. heyman

    heyman Guest

    Thanks again Fletch... BTW loved your comments on John Oram under the trident Posting.. I think you went to soft on him...

    Try to kick it up a notch next time...
     

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