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Offline ButchAlmberg

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Analog set up
« on: June 11, 2019, 02:35:06 PM »
Back story... I got into taping fairly recently and never had the opportunity to record a show with analog equipment. I'm intrigued by the gear that you guys used 'back in the day' and sometimes feel like I never earned that merit badge. That said, I know there is old analog equipment floating around out there and I've been inclined as of late to buy something in order to tape a few shows... just to say I did.

So, I'm looking into different decks. I've considered the Sony D-5 and the Marantz PMD430, but... that tape flip  :angry3: I guess the question is, if you had to record in analog today, what deck would you dust off?
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Offline heathen

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Re: Analog set up
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2019, 02:46:46 PM »
If I had to record analog today my first concern would be obtaining quality tape.  I haven't looked into it, but my understanding is that quality cassette tapes are kinda' pricey these days.  I imagine reel-to-reel even moreso.  If it's just for a few shows, though, it might not be that big a deal.

As to decks, I'd look for a Sony D5 or the Marantz deck that was popular among tapers (I can't remember the model number).  The Sony D6 is pretty good and even more portable, and is what I had/have, but the metering is very crude and it can't pass a signal while doing a tape flip.  There is probably other functionality it lacks compared to the D5 or Marantz, but I never used either of those so I can't say for sure.

There is a thread on here where someone recreated a '70s cassette rig...I believe with a big Nakamichi deck.  That project is pretty awesome, so you may want to dig up the thread.
Recordings on LMA: https://archive.org/search.php?query=taper%3A%22Lucas+Lorenz%22
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Offline jefflester

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Re: Analog set up
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2019, 05:14:44 PM »
There is a thread on here where someone recreated a '70s cassette rig...I believe with a big Nakamichi deck.  That project is pretty awesome, so you may want to dig up the thread.
Yep.
http://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=186430.0;all
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Offline ycoop

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Re: Analog set up
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2019, 07:40:11 PM »
Hope I’m not high jacking the thread too much, but I’m unclear on the mechanics of the tape flip and subsequent patching from other sources. Could someone explain to me how that would work?
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Offline jefflester

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Re: Analog set up
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2019, 09:46:54 PM »
Hope I’m not high jacking the thread too much, but I’m unclear on the mechanics of the tape flip and subsequent patching from other sources. Could someone explain to me how that would work?
There are all sorts of factors in deciding when to perform a tape flip. Biggest factor is who the band is - how long are their songs and how much time do they take in between them, if any. And how long of sets they play. When you get close to end of Side A and a song ends, you do a quick flip. If there is time you can rewind Side B to the start to save tape. If they only play 60-75 min sets though, you don't need to worry so much about using up most of Side A or rewinding back to start of Side B (for standard C90). But if the band starts up quick while you're flipping or rewinding, yeah you lose a few seconds. To patch it, you load both sources into a multi track DAW, align them, match levels, and switch over to the alt source to cover the gap in the first one.
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Offline daspyknows

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Re: Analog set up
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2019, 09:50:23 PM »
Hope I’m not high jacking the thread too much, but I’m unclear on the mechanics of the tape flip and subsequent patching from other sources. Could someone explain to me how that would work?
There are all sorts of factors in deciding when to perform a tape flip. Biggest factor is who the band is - how long are their songs and how much time do they take in between them, if any. And how long of sets they play. When you get close to end of Side A and a song ends, you do a quick flip. If there is time you can rewind Side B to the start to save tape. If they only play 60-75 min sets though, you don't need to worry so much about using up most of Side A or rewinding back to start of Side B (for standard C90). But if the band starts up quick while you're flipping or rewinding, yeah you lose a few seconds. To patch it, you load both sources into a multi track DAW, align them, match levels, and switch over to the alt source to cover the gap in the first one.

How I remember the days of running 6 D-5's and having to do the flip/rewind thing.  I was so glad to go digital with the PCM F-1/SL2000 with 2 hour tapes.

Offline ycoop

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Re: Analog set up
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2019, 10:15:23 PM »
Hope I’m not high jacking the thread too much, but I’m unclear on the mechanics of the tape flip and subsequent patching from other sources. Could someone explain to me how that would work?
There are all sorts of factors in deciding when to perform a tape flip. Biggest factor is who the band is - how long are their songs and how much time do they take in between them, if any. And how long of sets they play. When you get close to end of Side A and a song ends, you do a quick flip. If there is time you can rewind Side B to the start to save tape. If they only play 60-75 min sets though, you don't need to worry so much about using up most of Side A or rewinding back to start of Side B (for standard C90). But if the band starts up quick while you're flipping or rewinding, yeah you lose a few seconds. To patch it, you load both sources into a multi track DAW, align them, match levels, and switch over to the alt source to cover the gap in the first one.

Thanks. I imagine there were some tricky moments if there were long, unexpected jams.

Surely one didn’t patch in this way when taping was all analog.
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Offline jefflester

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Re: Analog set up
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2019, 10:52:52 PM »
Thanks. I imagine there were some tricky moments if there were long, unexpected jams.
Yeah. Usually with a Dead show set two Side A would take you into drums and you wouldn't care so much about losing a few seconds on the flip. But sometimes pre-drums would run long and you might have a cut while they were still in a song or doing some interesting jamming.
Quote
Surely one didn’t patch in this way when taping was all analog.
Ah, is that what you were asking? Yeah, nobody bothered patching from other sources back in the tape days. You'd just live with the cut.

For the few cases of splicing/patching, it would have been done on reels rather than cassettes. IIRC, someone put together a splice job of 11/08/70, since the best quality source (Ken and Judy Lee) had lots of cuts from starting/stopping the deck.
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Offline lerond

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Re: Analog set up
« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2019, 11:36:21 PM »
Hah! I got acquainted with tapers soon after becoming a deadhead in the early 80's ... but I waited for DAT to show up to become a taper, in large part because I didn't want to have to deal with analog tape flips.
Been very happy with the progress in taping technology ... these are the good old days!
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Offline DATBRAD

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Re: Analog set up
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2019, 06:35:40 AM »
I recall plenty of Dead shows in the '80s when I counted up to 12 decks running out of my rig, D5s first, with a few D6s at the end. When flip time came, it was usually a crowd of dudes that looked like they were giving somebody CPR from a distance, lol. Holding down the record button with the right thumb, you flipped the tapes with left hand to keep signal from cutting the next decks. Between that and riding levels, taping in the cassette days was not a "set it and forget it" proposition. One of the biggest benefits DAT delivered was to eliminate flips.
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Offline ButchAlmberg

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Re: Analog set up
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2019, 12:16:30 PM »
Were portable reel to reels ever a thing?
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Offline lsd2525

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Re: Analog set up
« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2019, 12:27:24 PM »
 ;D

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Offline heathen

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Re: Analog set up
« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2019, 12:32:41 PM »
Were portable reel to reels ever a thing?

Absolutely.  Lots of great audience recordings came from portable reel-to-reel recorders. 

Edit: Check out this discussion https://archive.org/post/344701/reel-to-reel-question
« Last Edit: June 12, 2019, 12:34:59 PM by heathen »
Recordings on LMA: https://archive.org/search.php?query=taper%3A%22Lucas+Lorenz%22
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Offline ButchAlmberg

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Re: Analog set up
« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2019, 01:45:50 PM »
Isd2525 that guy's doing the mic stand block before there were mic stands  :) Great pic!
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Offline ButchAlmberg

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Re: Analog set up
« Reply #14 on: June 12, 2019, 01:49:30 PM »
Heathen, cool information in that link. Thank you. That Ampex mm1000 weighed in at only 650 lbs
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