Become a Site Supporter and Never see Ads again!

Author Topic: Analog Reconsidered  (Read 6913 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

runonce

  • Guest
  • Trade Count: (0)
Analog Reconsidered
« on: July 03, 2012, 09:27:10 AM »
I've been doing some experiments with analog lately. (Probably experiments that I should have done 3 decades ago.)
I've been buying every blank cassette I can get my hands on and recently picked up a nice Yamaha Natural Sound cassette deck.
At the same time - I've had some transfer projects that forced me to find a few working reel to reel decks as well.

I only record local bands, where I have access to AC, Board Feeds, Stage, occasionally even drafted into mixing as well.
Recording Digital - is generally set it, and forget it, so its not hard to tend to another deck.

The Experiments - these are posted with companion digital passages. Streaming links as well as mp3 downs.

The first experiment was with reel to reel. I ran a 1969 AKAI X1800-SD reel to reel with some AMPEX 651 tape.

Comparison 1 here [mu3 stream]  mp3 dl [sample 1] [sample 2]

The second, I ran a Yamaha Natural Sound Cassette deck - with a TDK D-90 (Type I) with Dolby C. I hammered the levels for this source, LEDs touching +12 at times.
I never would have driven a cassette deck this hard back in the day. This one blows me away how good it came out.

Comparison 2
here (warning: Country Music alert!) m3u stream [Source comp 2] mp3 dl [source 1] [source 2]

I dont think it's that hard to spot the digital source - but, the analog recordings came out far, far better than I expected.

I'll hold off on the reveal as to which is which.

Conclusions

I've long suspected that - back in the Grateful Dead days - We probably should have been running normal tapes with Dolby ON - and hammered the levels.
Towards the end of my analog days (Sony D5) I used a few Maxell XLIS tapes - these are the normal bias ones. And, I was surprised they sounded so darn good.
Those normal bias tapes can produce a nice soft compression, and give the recording a bit fuller sound and more "drive."
With practice - I think you could really use this to one's advantage. I dont think Type II tapes are as forgiving with high levels. They just have inherently lower noise, and perhaps better frequency response.
I tend to believe that a lot of us under-recorded. Sometimes analog aud recordings have too much "treble-air" that mixes in with the noise too much - and sounds smeary.

Its also astonishing how good the reel to reel source sounds - for a machine made in 1969...running used/abused tape.
A more modern 1980s deck with dbx would probably require the golden ears to really pick out.

Enter Digital

Today I can see a new role for analog - you can master live analogs, and immediately remaster to digital. You dont have to be concerned about tape alignment (well, unless you drop the deck on the way out the door) - or other issues one encounters when transferring old analogs. You really couldnt do this in the DAT days - too expensive. And I never cared for standalone CD burners. Now its cheap and easy to make a digital re-master to preserve the recording. Studios did this for years in the early digital days. (master analog, mix digital) Perhaps some still do.

What does it mean?

Not much I guess - but If I were a guy who wanted to get into live recording - I would get going and dont wait around for a digital recorder. Grab Dad's old cassette deck and go!!!
I acknowledge that this is slightly impractical and esoteric, but damn interesting nonetheless.
I think sometimes we think there have been these huge strides in audio fidelity, and back in the 70s and 80s we all used tin cans and dixie cups...but - it seems we've had good sound for a long time.
I still probably wouldn't want to use analog record a un-amped acoustic session - but for amped music, where you can stay ahead of the noise - its fine.

Offline it-goes-to-eleven

  • Trade Count: (57)
  • Needs to get out more...
  • *****
  • Posts: 6698
Re: Analog Reconsidered
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2012, 09:37:15 AM »
Cool project!  I've been wanting to drag a cassette to a gig for years and try this.


New product - Get your NEUMANN active mounting bars
Active microphone mounting bars for Schoeps and AKG, and Naiant AKG, ready to ship

Offline darby

  • Trade Count: (58)
  • Taperssection All-Star
  • ****
  • Posts: 1216
  • Support artists and venues that allow recording
Re: Analog Reconsidered
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2012, 09:43:34 AM »
both sources were recorded with AKG 451/ck1s... same stand and configuration
one into Whirlwind 18V phantoms > Teac DA-P20 (DAT @16/48)
the other into AKG 18V phantoms > Sony TC-D5M (metal cassette no Dolby transferred @ 24/48)

http://archive.org/details/gd1994-07-26.AKG451.Darby.119445.Flac1648

http://archive.org/details/gd1994-07-26.AKG451.Darbys2nd.120292.Flac2448

http://archive.org/details/gd1994-07-27.AKG451.Darby.119473.Flac1648

http://archive.org/details/gd1994-07-27.AKG451.Darbys2nd.120300.Flac2448

I prefer the cassette masters transferred @ 24/48  ;)

Offline page

  • Site Supporter
  • Trade Count: (25)
  • Needs to get out more...
  • *
  • Posts: 8389
  • Gender: Male
  • #TeamRetired
Re: Analog Reconsidered
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2012, 09:54:35 AM »
Those normal bias tapes can produce a nice soft compression, and give the recording a bit fuller sound and more "drive."
With practice - I think you could really use this to one's advantage.

Yep, that's the entire point of the saturation/coloration VST makers; replicate the effects (good and bad) of tape, especially that light compression and harmonic distortion.

Now its cheap and easy to make a digital re-master to preserve the recording. Studios did this for years in the early digital days. (master analog, mix digital) Perhaps some still do.

Yeah, I can think of some smaller shops that still do regularly (some out of necessity, others out of choice), and I suspect that the bigger ones retain the capability even if they don't use it often.
"This is a common practice we have on the bus; debating facts that we could easily find through printed material. It's like, how far is it today? I think it's four hours, and someone else comes in at 11 hours, and well, then we'll... just... talk about it..." - Jeb Puryear

"Nostalgia ain't what it used to be." - Jim Williams

runonce

  • Guest
  • Trade Count: (0)
Re: Analog Reconsidered
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2012, 10:19:57 AM »
Those normal bias tapes can produce a nice soft compression, and give the recording a bit fuller sound and more "drive."
With practice - I think you could really use this to one's advantage.

Yep, that's the entire point of the saturation/coloration VST makers; replicate the effects (good and bad) of tape, especially that light compression and harmonic distortion.

Now its cheap and easy to make a digital re-master to preserve the recording. Studios did this for years in the early digital days. (master analog, mix digital) Perhaps some still do.

Yeah, I can think of some smaller shops that still do regularly (some out of necessity, others out of choice), and I suspect that the bigger ones retain the capability even if they don't use it often.

Thanks page.

For the record - Im not trying pretend I've discovered anything new or unknown - just something that I didnt practice at the time - and something that makes a lot more sense in light of the past 8-10 years of digital/hard disk recording and having access to DAW, etc...

runonce

  • Guest
  • Trade Count: (0)
Re: Analog Reconsidered
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2012, 10:22:12 AM »
both sources were recorded with AKG 451/ck1s... same stand and configuration
one into Whirlwind 18V phantoms > Teac DA-P20 (DAT @16/48)
the other into AKG 18V phantoms > Sony TC-D5M (metal cassette no Dolby transferred @ 24/48)

http://archive.org/details/gd1994-07-26.AKG451.Darby.119445.Flac1648

http://archive.org/details/gd1994-07-26.AKG451.Darbys2nd.120292.Flac2448

http://archive.org/details/gd1994-07-27.AKG451.Darby.119473.Flac1648

http://archive.org/details/gd1994-07-27.AKG451.Darbys2nd.120300.Flac2448

I prefer the cassette masters transferred @ 24/48  ;)

Thanks Darby - Dl'ing a few comp tracks...

And thanks for all the etree seeds - you seem to have recorded a lot during the crossover from analog > digital.

Offline Gutbucket

  • record > listen > revise technique
  • Trade Count: (13)
  • Needs to get out more...
  • *****
  • Posts: 11033
  • Gender: Male
Re: Analog Reconsidered
« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2012, 10:35:47 AM »
Cool thread.. making to come back and listen.
volition > vibrations > voltages > numeric values | numeric values > voltages > vibrations > virtual teleportation time-machine experience

"Narrow or widely spaced microphone configurations are preferred. It is well-known experience that pure coincidence microphone concepts are not able to produce a satisfying natural spatial impression, due to the lack of adequate interchannel temporal relations (time-of-arrival, phase, correlation)" -Günther Theile
"The mix of the Double M/S signals with a large A/B configuration of omnis results in the spacious sound that is often desired. This option also provides decorrelated low-frequency signals." -Helmut Wittek

Offline page

  • Site Supporter
  • Trade Count: (25)
  • Needs to get out more...
  • *
  • Posts: 8389
  • Gender: Male
  • #TeamRetired
Re: Analog Reconsidered
« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2012, 10:39:57 AM »
For the record - Im not trying pretend I've discovered anything new or unknown - just something that I didnt practice at the time - and something that makes a lot more sense in light of the past 8-10 years of digital/hard disk recording and having access to DAW, etc...

yeah, me too. I didn't get it at first until I started playing around with it. I baught a tube amp for playback once just to see how it altered stuff so I could get an idea of when I'd want that sound versus when I wouldn't.

 :coolguy:
"This is a common practice we have on the bus; debating facts that we could easily find through printed material. It's like, how far is it today? I think it's four hours, and someone else comes in at 11 hours, and well, then we'll... just... talk about it..." - Jeb Puryear

"Nostalgia ain't what it used to be." - Jim Williams

Offline Popmarter

  • Trade Count: (2)
  • Taperssection Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 521
  • Gender: Male
Re: Analog Reconsidered
« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2012, 01:22:34 PM »
Very nice project! Would love to see some real field test. :)

What about some 48v powered mics into a mix-pre-d, recording into a Sony D3...  8)
Currently in use:
Recorders: Edirol R44, Sony M10 & Sony D6
Microphones: Milab VM-44 Links (cards), AT853 (cards) & Nakamichi CM300 (all CP-s)
Preamps: JK Laboratories DVC-X-17b, Chris Church 9200 preamp & Nakamichi MX-100 modded for 9v battery use

http://archive.org/search.php?query=taper%3A%22Popmarter%22/

Offline darby

  • Trade Count: (58)
  • Taperssection All-Star
  • ****
  • Posts: 1216
  • Support artists and venues that allow recording
Re: Analog Reconsidered
« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2012, 02:01:56 PM »
Thanks Darby - Dl'ing a few comp tracks...

And thanks for all the etree seeds - you seem to have recorded a lot during the crossover from analog > digital.

I held out until 93 going to DAT since the D5 was so simple to operate, that's when I finally felt comfortable with external batteries for the DA-P20

Offline Scooter123

  • "I am not an alcoholic. I am a drunk. Drunks don't go to meetings."
  • Trade Count: (9)
  • Taperssection Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 879
Re: Analog Reconsidered
« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2012, 06:11:12 PM »
Skip the tape, and go right to vinyl. Old School

Regards,

Scooter123

mk41 > N Box  > Sony M-10
mk4 > N Box > Sony M-10

Offline Gutbucket

  • record > listen > revise technique
  • Trade Count: (13)
  • Needs to get out more...
  • *****
  • Posts: 11033
  • Gender: Male
Re: Analog Reconsidered
« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2012, 08:53:52 PM »
^^^
Build that into the bottom of your wheelchair!
volition > vibrations > voltages > numeric values | numeric values > voltages > vibrations > virtual teleportation time-machine experience

"Narrow or widely spaced microphone configurations are preferred. It is well-known experience that pure coincidence microphone concepts are not able to produce a satisfying natural spatial impression, due to the lack of adequate interchannel temporal relations (time-of-arrival, phase, correlation)" -Günther Theile
"The mix of the Double M/S signals with a large A/B configuration of omnis results in the spacious sound that is often desired. This option also provides decorrelated low-frequency signals." -Helmut Wittek

Offline Gutbucket

  • record > listen > revise technique
  • Trade Count: (13)
  • Needs to get out more...
  • *****
  • Posts: 11033
  • Gender: Male
Re: Analog Reconsidered
« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2012, 11:26:14 PM »
The first experiment was with reel to reel. I ran a 1969 AKAI X1800-SD reel to reel with some AMPEX 651 tape.

That sounds amazinlgy good.
volition > vibrations > voltages > numeric values | numeric values > voltages > vibrations > virtual teleportation time-machine experience

"Narrow or widely spaced microphone configurations are preferred. It is well-known experience that pure coincidence microphone concepts are not able to produce a satisfying natural spatial impression, due to the lack of adequate interchannel temporal relations (time-of-arrival, phase, correlation)" -Günther Theile
"The mix of the Double M/S signals with a large A/B configuration of omnis results in the spacious sound that is often desired. This option also provides decorrelated low-frequency signals." -Helmut Wittek

Offline JasonSobel

  • Trade Count: (8)
  • Needs to get out more...
  • *****
  • Posts: 3329
  • Gender: Male
    • My show list
Re: Analog Reconsidered
« Reply #13 on: July 04, 2012, 01:12:46 PM »
both sources were recorded with AKG 451/ck1s... same stand and configuration
one into Whirlwind 18V phantoms > Teac DA-P20 (DAT @16/48)
the other into AKG 18V phantoms > Sony TC-D5M (metal cassette no Dolby transferred @ 24/48)

http://archive.org/details/gd1994-07-26.AKG451.Darby.119445.Flac1648

http://archive.org/details/gd1994-07-26.AKG451.Darbys2nd.120292.Flac2448

http://archive.org/details/gd1994-07-27.AKG451.Darby.119473.Flac1648

http://archive.org/details/gd1994-07-27.AKG451.Darbys2nd.120300.Flac2448

I prefer the cassette masters transferred @ 24/48  ;)

Thanks Darby - Dl'ing a few comp tracks...

And thanks for all the etree seeds - you seem to have recorded a lot during the crossover from analog > digital.

not necessarily the best comparison, as the DAT's recorded on the Teac DA-P20 were recorded with pre-emphasis, and it looks like it was never removed.  Run the DA-P20 tapes through a de-emphasis EQ and then compare to the analog tape recordings, and you'll have a better comp.

runonce

  • Guest
  • Trade Count: (0)
Re: Analog Reconsidered
« Reply #14 on: July 04, 2012, 01:25:05 PM »
both sources were recorded with AKG 451/ck1s... same stand and configuration
one into Whirlwind 18V phantoms > Teac DA-P20 (DAT @16/48)
the other into AKG 18V phantoms > Sony TC-D5M (metal cassette no Dolby transferred @ 24/48)

http://archive.org/details/gd1994-07-26.AKG451.Darby.119445.Flac1648

http://archive.org/details/gd1994-07-26.AKG451.Darbys2nd.120292.Flac2448

http://archive.org/details/gd1994-07-27.AKG451.Darby.119473.Flac1648

http://archive.org/details/gd1994-07-27.AKG451.Darbys2nd.120300.Flac2448

I prefer the cassette masters transferred @ 24/48  ;)

Thanks Darby - Dl'ing a few comp tracks...

And thanks for all the etree seeds - you seem to have recorded a lot during the crossover from analog > digital.

not necessarily the best comparison, as the DAT's recorded on the Teac DA-P20 were recorded with pre-emphasis, and it looks like it was never removed.  Run the DA-P20 tapes through a de-emphasis EQ and then compare to the analog tape recordings, and you'll have a better comp.

That^ - and werent those DA-P20 mic pres a little iffy at higher SPLs?

 

RSS | Mobile
Page created in 0.291 seconds with 42 queries.
© 2002-2017 Taperssection.com
Powered by SMF
Website Design by Foxtrot Media, Inc., a Baltimore Website Company