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After a year of procrastination, got an MRL reel, some tape, and a freeware oscilloscope program. Mechanically it was just replace the capstan belt that needed replacement. Did a rough calibration, and deguassed/cleaned heads. We recorded live in a basement w/ some blankets and stuff. We'll do it at our studio w/ the machine at some point, but this is where we're at so far. Seems like every moving part has an adjustment, but just wanted to see what this thing sounded like. NO promotion here, just snapshot of my open reel journey. http://soundcloud.c…"]I Need Some Money by Gushusound on SoundCloud - Create, record and share your sounds for free[/]="http://soundcloud.c…"]I Need Some Money by Gushusound on SoundCloud - Create, record and share your sounds for free[/]
Used a 414 OH/nady kick mic thru art mpa, 57 snare, guitar, AT 3035 on bass thru Mackie vlz board. Vocs overdubbed thru 57/mpa.
Just wanted to show some personal WIP's. I'm pretty stoked, getting ready to try the spring verb unit that came w/ it. The rough balancing was digitized in DP modestly using liquid mix compression/eq, Apogeeconverters.
JW if any of the more experienced ears hear some inherit problems w/ the machine, as the adjustments get quite baffling to me, beyond a mechanicaly functioning recorder. I think there's a lot of work that could be done, but i'm pretty happy w/ the recorder so far. I think mybe the erase head needs some adjustment, maybe? cuz i can hear our old takes on 'blank' spaces of tape. we're using the same tape again, and again.
Where do i go from here, now that the recorder is recording? any tips? thanks.
P.s It seems i caught a 34, not the 34b which has some more comprehensive stuff goin on, just gonna use what i got for what it does.

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RemyRAD Wed, 04/18/2012 - 15:46

I like your recording. You did a nice job. Mostly monaural sounding. Monaural is good. It's got a classic sound. You used the right microphones. It's got a good feel.

Not getting proper depth of erasure on that machine probably means that the erase head is slightly out of alignment more than anything else? I sure hope you de-magnetized the heads and the tape path before you ever put that MRL calibration tape on? The record bias adjustments have no effect on the depth of erasure. There is a whole lot I could tell you about analog tape and the proper way to tweak that machine. If you'd like, you can PM me with your personal e-mail and we can go over alignment procedures and/or actually talk on the phone about it. It's a decent deck and totally worth using.

Former authorized 3M, Ampex, MCI & Scully service technician
Mx. Remy Ann David

kmetal Wed, 04/18/2012 - 21:46

Cool, most definately. the guitar was panned to about 10 o'clock, other than that it right down the middle. The biggest difference we found in the drum sound when setting up was the phase of the overhead. We opted for the invert pressed in.
The erase alignment is the next thing to work w/ i think, not that we didn't get some cool residual sounds, but i think the machine should erase completely when it's called for, otherwise we'll just keep feeding tape.
I did demagnetize the heads/path before the MRL touched the thing. The MRL was the most pricey piece of the project so far, so we tried to eliminate as many mechanical variables as we could before we loaded it.
My buddy picked the take-up reel we needed and it had some brittle tape on it, thats what we tried first (it had some beverly hills cop theme vibe lol), it left a noticeable residue on the path, and didin't move through the machine smoothly. we expected that. Got sound though. Also recorded on the tape.
Cleaned up the machine, few days later ran the makeshift calibration setup, and took it to the practice spot. We did have some dropouts in one of the reels we bought, which means we probably need to test each reel, w/ maybe a 1k tone, and listen for dropouts.


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