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Running Daw mix to 2' tape

Discussion in 'Recording' started by lefty, Jan 26, 2003.

  1. lefty

    lefty Guest

    Ive heard of many engineers who run final mixes onto 2' tape what is the purpose of this ; is it for the tape saturation and if so can magneto do the same thing .. please respond
     
  2. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Lefty,
    I am guessing but I think what you are referring to is 2" tape, there is no such thing as 2 ' (foot ) tape. I am also assumeing you are referring to a plug in (magneto).

    Many recordists and engineers will, if they are presented with the opportunity, print mixes to different formats, CDR in various bit depths and sample rates, DAT and analog tape in differing widths, 1/4" half track, 1/2" half track and even 1" or 2" half track, at different speeds (15 or 30 ips) and then compare playback of these different formats, deciding which sounds better in comparison for the given piece. These last two mentioned are relatively new in use although there are a few instances where these were used in the past. The problem with the ultra wide formats is there can be phase problems if the tape isn't tensioned properly across the heads and azimuth isn't exactly aligned. Due to this, these machines can be difficult to keep in good working order and are usually only found in top flight facilities that have the cash flow to be able to employ techs to keep these machines (and the other equipment) in top condition. These machines also can be very expensive to purchase initially and therefore will not be found in most “home” or “project” studios.

    Plug ins that attempt to replicate the effects of analog tape are close but no banana. There is no plug in or tape saturation effect that nails this effect exactly IMO. They can be useful for those who don’t have the luxury of access to analog formats but if the machines are there and the project budget allows for the cost of tape most recordists will choose to use the analog in addition to various digital formats. Part of this is for the sound quality and part of this is a distrust in the long term ability of digital formats to store the project without loss or degradation. Fats
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Tannoy, Dynaudio, Blue Sky, JBL, Earthworks, Westlake, NS 10's :D , Genelec, Hafler, KRK, and PMC
    Those are good. …………………….. Pick one.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
     
  3. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    I know a lot of people who incorporate tape in their setup. Most initially track to tape and then dump into a DAW. Some track everything into a DAW and then dump it to 2", and some print their mixes to tape. Printing at different levels on different types of tape give you different results. It's not just the saturation that makes it yummy, it's also how different freq's stick to the tape. overly harsh sounds tame, the lowend spreads etc... guys really familiar with tape also know how to take advantage of it and know how to manipulate it. Tape is like film and DAW's are like digital cameras. Certain things become magical on tape just like on film. Nothing beats the real thing just like mic mod isn't going to make a 57 sound like a real 47. A plugin can emulate some of the effects of tape but it's not going to sound as good as real tape. Most of my engineer friends have some form of analog tape in their chain and they use it on certain tracks. By your question alone, I know that your not really familiar with tape and what it can do for you on certain things. Look around a little and you can find really good deals on tape machines. Or maybe borrow one for a couple of weeks a play around with it.
     
  4. lefty

    lefty Guest

    so youre sayin that 2" isnt such a standard procedure in getting that tape effect or youre saying it isnt worth the headache .. the reason i asked cause i wanna run my final mix to 2" to fatten it up the bring it back to my daw..if this process is not recomende what would you recommend
     
  5. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Lefty,
    What I said is, 2" tape is usually a 16 or 24 track format, not stereo. If you want to take all your tracks and run them to a 2" multitrack and then back to the DAW that's a different thing than what you are saying. To run a 2 track (stereo) mix to 2 tracks of a 2” would be the same thing as running it to a 1/4" half track machine (same amount of track surface). Main difference is $20 for a reel of 1/4" tape vs. $150 for a 2" reel. It would give you the effect you are looking for. Especially at 15 ips. ..... Fats :D , Genelec, Hafler, KRK, and PMC
    Those are good. …………………….. Pick one.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
     
  6. lefty

    lefty Guest

    Thanks fats .., ill stick to 15ips .. the reason for me asking is that i notice most mastering houses have tape ... thanks for the advice
     
  7. Pez

    Pez Active Member

    Does anyone know where I can get a large Q-tip to clean my big ass 2' tape machine? :eek:
     
  8. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    I would think a tampon would work. Get a fresh one! ..... :D Fats
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Tannoy, Dynaudio, Blue Sky, JBL, Earthworks, Westlake, NS 10's :D , Genelec, Hafler, KRK, and PMC
    Those are good. …………………….. Pick one.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
     
  9. Pez

    Pez Active Member

    Thanks Cedar, It just goes to show there's always something new to learn here at recording.org! Works like a charm though I've received a lot of strange looks here in the studio lately.
     
  10. GT40sc

    GT40sc Active Member

    back in the day...

    We used to use "kim-wipes" (baby-bottom cleaners) to clean the heads on the 2-inch machine.

    yeah...

    kinda works with John's "big ass" deck, too...
     
  11. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Hey John,
    Just to satisfy my curiosity, what kind of motors (or engines) are on that 2 foot tape machine? I imagine it would take something substantial to get reels that heavy moving. :D like a Ford 427? :D , Genelec, Hafler, KRK, and PMC
    Those are good. …………………….. Pick one.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
     
  12. Pez

    Pez Active Member

    Fats, motors were no problem. I just went to the local dump and found some old washing machine motors. Hey does anyone know why I'm getting such a loud hum on my mixes?
     
  13. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Probably because the washing machine motors don't know the words! Fats
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Tannoy, Dynaudio, Blue Sky, JBL, Earthworks, Westlake, NS 10's :D , Genelec, Hafler, KRK, and PMC
    Those are good. …………………….. Pick one.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
     
  14. Pez

    Pez Active Member

    Yesss..... WooWee....Taped up the lyrics where they could be easily seen and everything is running smoothly now. Another problem solved. Thanks again Fats! Is this the best forum or what?
     

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