Tascam MS-16 & Otari MX70

Discussion in 'Tape Recorders' started by ChrisH, Apr 24, 2017.

  1. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Distinguished Member

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    I'm working on that almost. :)

    You know D, I'm wondering if you were working with that level of gear today, just using the daw as a playback device, if you wouldn't equal the coolness of the analog mixes but in a different way. I'm not sure what can match the intuitiveness or instinctual workflow better than the 1:1 knob to function ratio. Although being 12 feet over on channel 64 of the console requires wheeling over and a potential move outside the sweet spot. But having dedicated knobs faders and levers is downright almost like performing on the console as a musical instrument. The bank button, fat channel button, just doesn't have the same thing going on. Even though it's mindless and just as fast, it's like 'extra'.

    I like softubes approach to a dedicated pluggin controller laid out for an ssl channel. It also runs other pluggins as well.

    Probably the next step is voice command daw/control surface. Hey Siri turn up .2 db on the kick. Lol. 'Sorry Kyle nick isn't available'.... 'no, KICK'...

    That's when you find yourself angry that you have to get out of bed to make the adjustment, then stop being angry because you realize how ridiculous it is you actually can mix by voice. (Sometimes)
     
  2. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

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    Lol. You made me spit coffee with that one.
    I envy you K ... because you're younger and you still have the fire for the craft. I remember that feeling, of being totally consumed by the journey; of learning and then applying, making mistakes (sometimes big ones LOL) and committing those things to memory.
    Even troubleshooting problems used to be fun at times, "that" moment where the lightbulb goes on over your head, that "ahh! I get it!" sensation.
    Honestly, I don't know how much more I want to invest in the craft. There's still a part of me that gets excited when I look at gear porn LOL but there's also a feeling that's creeped in over the past year or so that buying gear like that would just be a personal indulgence now. I don't think I could really make a substantial living off of having a pro commercial facility again, at least not here in my area.
    And... it needs to be said... I'm woefully out of touch with what people like musically these days. I'm really not the guy you want recording or mixing your hip-hop track, or sample-driven pop songs.
    I have one more big project coming up ... it's a fundraising album in which the proceeds are going to charity -specifically opiate addiction recovery. I've signed on the best of the best of northeast Ohio's veteran musicians, (and one very cool, talented and knowledgeable engineer/musician from Pennsylvania) ... everyone is enthusiastic about the project, myself included. It's going to be fun to track entire rhythm section takes at once. I miss that.
    But in the end, I'm a writer, arranger, musician and producer who specializes in music from a time that's now past - what is now referred to as "classic rock".
    I'm not familiar enough with current styles to even pretend that I could do a good job for those clients. The rub is ... at my age, I'm
    not really motivated to want to get familiar with those styles.
    And that's no one's fault but mine.
    I'm sure I'll always be involved in music and recording somehow, to some degree. But I don't feel quite as passionate about it as I once did.
    I also envy guys like Chris (@audiokid ) who still have the passion and fire for the craft, and who have maintained familiarity with current musical styles and mixing trends, who still look to build recording facilities of their own and to never give up. That's impressive to me. I'm jealous of you guys and your mind sets.
    ;)
    -d.
     
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  3. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    Thanks. I don't think it ever leaves any of us. It comes goes but never leaves. Its our gift and burden. I'm on a new trend which is acoustic pop. Maybe you could go that way too Donny. You have the chops for it. Its fun and timeless imho.

    On that note... wait for it.......... I'm told there is software coming that we will be able to type in the lyrics, then attach any voice emulator you want and it will actually sound like that person singing with dynamic. So... not that I am saying this is my dream come true lol! But, since I can't sing like Katy Perry, I can write like her no problem. And, I think it might me fun to create my own vocals no differently than I play keyboards.

    This technology means there is going to be a new trend that will most likely sound pretty whacked but who cares I say. Bring it on.I will always have some added sense of true to add to the plastic world. Hopefully I nail one good song before I quit.

    I'm glad I can actually play the guitar. Laptop musicians.... its just getting started. Who would have ever thought 4 piece bands would become dated. Crazy computers,
     
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  4. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Distinguished Member

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    Best thing I did for my career in years was go on hiatus last year. I did some design work for a studio in Ny but beyond that nada. it's helped me maintain the fire. i encountered a plethora of technical problems at the two big studios which really got me on this computer science / electronics kick in the last couple years. I intend to develop a realtime remote system, as well as have a situation where all relevant OS an Daws are available for people like me who have their life's work on a stack of CD-Rs and a USB drive under the couch... basically seamless file sharing, realtime remote, are necessary in a situation like mine where there's two studios, and several engineers involved. And gear is expensive lol so if there's anything I can learn to make or improve it's a good way into better sound on a mucians budget.

    It's funny how picking up a guitar at my cousins 25 years ago turned into watching physics classes in my spare time to better understand sound properties... wtf. It takes a lot of people around the world.

    I always feel like guys Chris and Donny and Kurt were of age thru the best era music and recording will see for a long time. There was such a convergence of cultural shift and technology with art.

    @DonnyThompson congrats on the new gig! Working with pro mucians takes the work out of recording. It's for a good cause too probably something far too many people can relate to one way or another. I would love to see more money time and technology devoted to brain research, since it's an area we know little about relative to other areas of science. I saw a ted talk the other day with a guy who's company was contracted to map a rats brain down to like an atomic level or something, using a core sample of the rats brain, and a high tech like X-ray type video of the rat having a thought while it was alive, like in a basic press a button test or whatever. They are actually printing this map out on tape lol, which is timely her on RO, he said there's miles of this brain map basically a DAT tape for it. Anyway it was actually a legit Stanford professor or something like that. It's facinating to look at something like dependency from a biological, chemical, socialiological, and metaphysical perspective, there's no complete answer yet. Best of luck to you, that guy from Penn, and the rest of the cast and crew, they're in good hands!
     
  5. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

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    It's not really a "gig" per se', as it's gonna be a labor of love, I'm not going to make any money off of it, I'm doing it because I feel close to the cause. ;)
    I am looking forward to tracking sections of cats at one time; it's through this method that I think the greatest percentage of spontaneous "magic" can happen, at least it's been that way in my own experience.

    There's gear being pooled for the sessions; last count, we had over 50 different mics - dynamics, condensers, LD, SD, tube, FET, Ribbons... a slew of preamps, some nice OB gear... I think it's gonna be a lot of fun.

    At this point I need to find a space near me that I can rent on a temporary lease basis, like 90 days; somewhere where we can get in and treat the space the best that we can, that has 24/7 access... I'm in the process of looking now.
    I don't need the space to mix, only to record.

    If I do end up calling it quits once the project has been put into the can, then I honestly can't think of a better "last hurrah", than to record an album that way, with cats I have a great deal of respect and admiration for, all working on the same ultimate goal.

    ;)
     
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  6. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

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    @DonnyThompson, I often think the 20kHz top end frequency response of modern gear is more of a curse than a blessing. To my ears, the natural HF roll-off of analog tape added subtlety to the top octave, where digital puts a glaring spotlight.

    PS: I'm not buying any of this "last hurrah" business. There's no 12-step program for life-long musicians.
     
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  7. ChrisH

    ChrisH Active Member

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    @DonnyThompson That sounds like a great time you have ahead of you.
    To be honest your post made me a little sad because I personally can't imagine throwing in the towel but I'm sure you understand where i'm coming from, haha.

    Today I mixed a track ITB that was recorded to a 2 inch 16 track tape machine and some outboard compression here and there.
    It was well recorded and took about 2-3 hr's to get to the "alright, this sounds good, i'll double check tomorrow".
    Pretty minimal EQ was needed, mostly just trickery to get the song to come across the way I felt it needed to.
    Nothing from 400hz-1500hz had to be tweaked, which is sort of rare.
    Minimal 2k adjustments as well, which is an area I always find myself trying to "get right".

    Just like @kmetal has mentioned, there's something special about the mids with the electric guitars especially, only way to desribe it is they sound loud.

    The spot in the audio spectrum that the tracks "bite" in the top end is much different then digital.

    In the end, my takeaway (as of now) is that the song pretty much mixed itself, I dont know exactly why either..
     
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  8. ChrisH

    ChrisH Active Member

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    @audiokid Chris, in regards to summing.
    I have a Soundcraft 600 console that I acquired that currently I am doing some maintenance on.
    Would the Folcrom you suggested be superior for summing in comparison to the soundcraft?
    The problem I see with the Folcrom is the lack of ability to do parallel compression on bus' with hardware compressors that I will eventually get.
     
  9. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    Buy a Nail. but yeah... I see your point

    I much prefer working ITB for the most part. Maybe its because I use Samplitude.
    Give me all the analog outboard gear you got for tracking. love it, After its ITB... I'm pretty much in the camp of "once ITB, stay ITB".

    The Folcrom is dependent on the preamp you use and I would suspect the API's would sound as good or better to the Soundcraft but I really have no idea. I doubt the Folcrom its likely as fun!
    You are never going to achieve sonic excellence with your current rig but you are going to achieve a lot of fun. Maybe fun is were you should stay focused. Sounds like you have the rock and roll thing going on in a good way.(y)
     
  10. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Distinguished Member

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    @DonnyThompson you know man, Phil retired from the recording business about 15 years ago, and has pretty much been working steadily in the recording buisness since then.

    @ChrisH another thing about the fulcrum is only one main output, most of the other boxes have a parallel main as well to feed like your monitor switcher and mixdown daw/deck. I'm sure someone like boz could stir up a nice splitter, but, just throwing it out there.
     
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  11. ChrisH

    ChrisH Active Member

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    I'm guessing you say this because of the console and the lack of outboard processing ? Could you please elaborate?
    It's good to have fun but as much as I thought it was a priority, when it actually comes to mixing/recording I go into work mode and become hyper focused and at that point whatever is going to get the mix done the best becomes priority.
    So as fun as using/keeping the console might sound, I am looking audio excellence and I don't want any weak links.
    One thing I think the console could be good for is monitor mix's.

    Truth is, where I stood a couple weeks ago with the direction I'm headed with my rig is different than it is now. I went a couple months without mixing or tracking anything for anyone and was just focusing on my own songwriting which gave me too much time to think about what my recording setup "could be" instead of what it probably "should be".
    Then this week I got hit with a couple records to mix and while I'm doing it I'm reminded of how nice modern approaches are.

    Sort of "turned the car around".
     
  12. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    Your console would be terrible for monitoring "your" mix but okay for talent mixing. Is this what you are more referring too, talent monitor controller?

    Thats how it starts! I can relate.

    Okay, here is my direct opinion.

    It lacks headroom and clarity. The preamps aren't very good, and from what I understand, they are always inline, adding a poor sonic degradation. I'm sure it was good 20 years back. A great price and Soundcraft boards have always been something I like for live. But for mixing today... get rig of it, is what I say. When it comes to "mixing (not tracking) you are way better off ITB.

    Hope that helps.

    As far as outboard hybrid processing (mixing OTB) ITB compression rocks. There is no comparison imho.
     
  13. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    That being said, it could be the perfect method to get a 70's rock band sound though. Wooly bass, nothing past 16k and all mid. That's the sound of the 70's. In comparison to "today", everything smeared together. Its was more about the performance and band than it was about the sound. Nothing wrong with that.

    Perfect for the 4/5 piece garage band, track start to finish, print and done.
     
  14. ChrisH

    ChrisH Active Member

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    Yes sir, just for having options for headphone mix's.
    I still have my SPL MTC Controller that you helped me decide on a few years back and I love that thing for many reasons, game changer.

    Yeah, that is correct, I don't know how "good" they are but they are always inline which is something I overlooked and didn't find out until I got to testing.

    Absolutely, I hear ya.
    So that being said, if I can mentally stay in the headspace while recording (like i'm tracking to tape) where performance is priority and avoid falling back on relying on the DAW's capabilities, that would be a sweet spot for me I believe, I just hope I can.
    Seems to be like the old money sang "my more you have the more you spend".

    After mixing a couple tracks that were professionally tracked to 2 inch tape, it really spilled out a lot of gas I had for getting a tape machine.
    I wasn't fond of the noise floor and I know I wouldn't want to track every song to tape.

    So given I've posted my current rig above, where do guys think my next 2-3k should be placed then?
     
  15. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Distinguished Member

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    I'd go w a pultec or do like a summing rig. 3k nearly gets a nice summing mixer, 2ch lynx converter card, and a little computer to run it. The mixer adds something to your tracking arsenal and maybe mixing some stuff too. That's why I'd move into something that breaks ground.

    You could also tighten things up with more utilitarian stuff like atlas or k&m heavy duty stands, power backup/isolation transformers, a NAS drive for backup and private access for clients to their files, better cabling ect.

    Lol or... you could get an HD projector and screen and get a little Hollywood in your life.

    Dude the radial re amp/splitter rack unit is a winner. Its on my hitlist.
     
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  16. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    Without question, a UA LA2A and I have one for sale that is brand new if you are interested. They are vocal and bass tracking game changers. I just listed it. $2800 and its yours. Do it, you will never regret this.
    https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/LA2A
     
  17. ChrisH

    ChrisH Active Member

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    @audiokid I don't know if I have a vocal mic that can justify such a high end compressor though :/
    I will let you know if I can take you up on the offer.
    I was thinking more like a Distressor and a Coles 4038.
    @kmetal I could use an atlas stand or two, good idea!

    What about for 2bus compression @audiokid, do you still recommend using a plugin for that?
     
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  18. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    An la2a makes every mic sound good.
    When your vocals sound good, your mix is always easier to do.

    La2a are imho a most essential tracking hardware.

    2 bus comps, ITB.
     
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  19. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

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    Ain't that the truth.
    Oh, and regarding the LA2A, you don't even need much of it to get things to glue and fit nicely. Many times I'd insert it on an individual track or parallel, or on the 2 bus, and it's not like I had to push it to get it to sound great. Often times, just barely moving the VU could really set the sound up nicely. I felt the same way about most hardware Compressors... I get that you can slam them if you want, (such as the "all buttons in mode of some 1176s) and that they have a vibe of their own that way, but you don't have to do that to make them effective.

    FWIW
     
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  20. ChrisH

    ChrisH Active Member

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    Very cool, this is exciting.
    So now what about compression for drum tracking, what do I need/want there?
    From what I've gathered seem that most engineers leave the close mic's alone with the exception of snare top, couple db reduction on OH's, and possible smashing of a room mic.
     

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