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Hey Mixerman, 1/4" or 1/2" question

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by drumsound, Apr 24, 2001.

  1. drumsound

    drumsound Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2001
    Location:
    Bloomington, IL
    Mixerman, (and others too),
    I remember a while ago on RAP that you posted about an upcoming mix that you were going to do on 1/4" tape instead of your normal 1/2". I never saw the follow up and was wondering if you might sum up your observations here as well. :roll:

    BTW, what method does everybody use for Usenet? The whole google/deja thing has put me out of the posting loop.


    Thanks A Lot
     
  2. Ang1970

    Ang1970 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2000
    I used to use Forte Agent to read r.a.p.
     
  3. Mixerman

    Mixerman Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2001
    The plan is to print a mix of a song from source to 4 different formats. Those would be 1/2", 1", 1/4" and a digital master recorded on Masterlink through the db technologies gold series converters. Then I would ask Dave Collins to put the mixes to CD, bringing them to level, he too is interested in the opportunity to A/B/C/D the mixes on the 4 formats.

    I was going to do it on this project I mixed in April. I had thought that it was going to be a good project to do this on, but when I found out that I had over 76 tracks per song to deal with, along with major discrepencies as to the direction of the album, I decided to wait.

    A good opportunity to do this will come up at some point this year. I haven't forgotton about it. I just need the right circumstances. When I do it, we'll take the next step which is figuring out dirbursement.

    Mixerman
     
  4. drumsound

    drumsound Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2001
    Location:
    Bloomington, IL
    Thanks Mixerman!

    I was hoping to get your observations, but an actual chance to hear it would be even better! Very cool indeed.
     
  5. Ang1970

    Ang1970 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2000
    Ooh, you're talking about the dB Technologies 122? That's my favorite adc! :)

    I'd love to hear this test also. But won't the make, model, electronic & head condition, tape, bias, ref. level, azimuth and other calibrations make a huuuuuge margin for deviation on the analog side of things? How do you intend to approach this (without looking too suspicious to the label who's going to pay for it)?
     
  6. MadMoose

    MadMoose Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2001
    Any chance you could do a fifth mix right to DAT using the machines onboard converters? I'd like to hear how that sounds in comparison plus it'll give bottom feeders a better clue as to what missing mixing to tape or high-res digital compares to 16/44.1.
     
  7. Ang1970

    Ang1970 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2000
    Originally posted by Jay Kahrs:
    Any chance you could do a fifth mix right to DAT using the machines onboard converters? I'd like to hear how that sounds in comparison plus it'll give bottom feeders a better clue as to what missing mixing to tape or high-res digital compares to 16/44.1.

    Ya, good point Jay. I agree. Show em there really is a difference.
     
  8. Mixerman

    Mixerman Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2001
    Originally posted by Ang1970:
    Ooh, you're talking about the dB Technologies 122? That's my favorite adc! :)

    I'd love to hear this test also. But won't the make, model, electronic & head condition, tape, bias, ref. level, azimuth and other calibrations make a huuuuuge margin for deviation on the analog side of things? How do you intend to approach this (without looking too suspicious to the label who's going to pay for it)?


    They'll all be ATR's in comparable head condition. I know the studio that has all three machines at the ready. I'd use the same formats and the same head alignments. I can't say that it's a perfect experiment. But it will definitely give us all a very good idea of which formats do what. Knowing this studio, and these machines, I'd say it'll be a pretty fair experiment.

    As to the labels, they won't notice, nor care. Particularly since I'll be doing it on the first mix of a project, and I'll be choosing a format based on the experiment. The cost of this wouldn't even be noticed on a typical mix budget.

    Mixerman
     
  9. Mixerman

    Mixerman Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2001
    Originally posted by Jay Kahrs:
    Any chance you could do a fifth mix right to DAT using the machines onboard converters? I'd like to hear how that sounds in comparison plus it'll give bottom feeders a better clue as to what missing mixing to tape or high-res digital compares to 16/44.1.

    Good idea. I'll try to include that as well.

    Mixerman
     
  10. Bear's Gone Fission

    Bear's Gone Fission Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2001
    And to make it an even greater pain, maybe it would be illuminating to mix two very different sounding tracks to the different formats. 1/4" 15ips still works great for hard rocking stuff, but 1" 2 track would show more obvious benefits on something more subtle and airy. Maybe just one track that covers a lot of sonic territory would be enough to show the difference.

    Bear
     
  11. MadMoose

    MadMoose Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2001
    Originally posted by Bear's Gone Fission:
    And to make it an even greater pain, maybe it would be illuminating to mix two very different sounding tracks to the different formats. 1/4" 15ips still works great for hard rocking stuff, but 1" 2 track would show more obvious benefits on something more subtle and airy. Maybe just one track that covers a lot of sonic territory would be enough to show the difference.

    Bear



    Even one track of middle of the road rock/pop stuff should be enough that most of us will have a clue as to what 1/2" 30 vs. 1/2" 15 will sound like when compared to 1" 30. Even if we don't know exactly we should still be able to make logical assumptions about what the difference tape speeds for a given width will make.
     
  12. Speedy

    Speedy Guest

    Originally posted by Mixerman:
    The plan is to print a mix of a song from source to 4 different formats. Those would be 1/2", 1", 1/4" and a digital master recorded on Masterlink through the db technologies gold series converters.

    Mixerman


    ... While at this topic...
    My current project (rock) was recorded analog, and then we moved it on to PT through RME converters for editing and (sigh) overdubs.
    I'll b mixing it from PT, through individual outs (RME & 888s) to the board (small faders when possible) and back to PT.
    I can still use the 827 so I'll b printing analog (2") too.
    I was wondering if anyone has had any experience in mixing back to 2" tape. (No Fletcher, I have no 1" 2tk Studer at my disposal... :) :D)
    2 tracks vs 4 multed tracks, speeds, tapes - any tip U've got.
    10x,
    zooot
     
  13. Sounds like a cool project Please try to retain the complete dynamics of the masters. In other words, DON'T create a "radio-friendly" master by finalizing until the dynamics are gone.
    Good luck, let us know how to get copies.
     
  14. RandomGuest

    RandomGuest Guest

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2001
    Originally posted by Ang1970:
    I'd love to hear this test also. But won't the make, model, electronic & head condition, tape, bias, ref. level, azimuth and other calibrations make a huuuuuge margin for deviation on the analog side of things?

    No. That's what alignment tones are for. Granted tape, bias, reference level are all user decided, they can certainly be recreated alignment wise when the tapes get to "mastering". As for "head condition", any studio that has that many of that quality tape recorders in the house...they keep an eye on things like head wear and have the heads lapped when it's appropriate to do so.
     
  15. Bear's Gone Fission

    Bear's Gone Fission Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2001
    Jay Kahrs wrote:
    Even one track of middle of the road rock/pop stuff should be enough that most of us will have a clue as to what 1/2" 30 vs. 1/2" 15 will sound like when compared to 1" 30. Even if we don't know exactly we should still be able to make logical assumptions about what the difference tape speeds for a given width will make.


    I should have been clearer. I could see the DAT with good converters sounding better on the bridge where the 1/4" 15 ips sounds better on the verses if the song covers enough territory. Since 1" two track is out of the question for most of the lower end guys (i.e.- me), knowing a distinction like that is pretty valuable when picking the right format for the job. So I'd love a song where I can listen and take notes of where each format shines or doesn't quite give back magic. 1" 30 ips is no doubt cool, but I'm sure in certain cases 1/4" 15 ips isn't appreciably worse. And that's worth knowing.

    Bear
     
  16. MadMoose

    MadMoose Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2001
    Originally posted by Bear's Gone Fission:

    I should have been clearer. I could see the DAT with good converters sounding better on the bridge where the 1/4" 15 ips sounds better on the verses if the song covers enough territory. Since 1" two track is out of the question for most of the lower end guys (i.e.- me), knowing a distinction like that is pretty valuable when picking the right format for the job. So I'd love a song where I can listen and take notes of where each format shines or doesn't quite give back magic. 1" 30 ips is no doubt cool, but I'm sure in certain cases 1/4" 15 ips isn't appreciably worse. And that's worth knowing.

    Bear[/B]

    I never said DAT with a good converter. I was talking about using whatever converters on the DAT machine that are in the rack. A 3700 and DA-30 sound different but they're close enough ya know? I've mixed to 1/2" 15 and 30 on an A820 and ATR-102 before vs. going to a 3700 so I know what that sounds like. FWIW, In my studio I mix to a DA-30MkII with the stock converters. As for part of the song sounding better on one format vs. another well, pick the one with lesser evils and live with it.
     
  17. Mixerman

    Mixerman Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2001
    Originally posted by captain_analog:
    Sounds like a cool project Please try to retain the complete dynamics of the masters. In other words, DON'T create a "radio-friendly" master by finalizing until the dynamics are gone.
    Good luck, let us know how to get copies.


    Don't worry. That would pretty much invalidate the experiment.

    As much as I'm glad about everyone's enthusiasm, I can only do so much, and so far, I haven't been able to do even that. It's not like I couldn't do other experiments at a later time.

    For the first CD it'll be 1/4", 1/2", and 1" all at 30 ips, all on GP9. Included will be one top of the line digital printing. I may or may not include the 3700 stock converters mix in the experiment. There are some logistical problems in getting the stock converter example to CD at the same level as the rest without 'upgrading' it in the process. Mind you, I said logistical.

    I will try and pick a song that covers some ground, but that's not necessarily something I can control. We'll all just make a promise that it's not a be-all end-all experiment, and there are no decisive winners.

    Mixerman
     

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