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Author Topic: Anyone here use reels?  (Read 7930 times)

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Offline TNJazz

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Anyone here use reels?
« on: March 20, 2006, 11:23:04 PM »
Just wondering if anyone here has any experience running to tape, specifically the Otari 1/4 tape machines (MX5050, etc).

Drop me a line if so!
Dirk
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Offline Patrick

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Re: Anyone here use reels?
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2006, 11:27:17 PM »
Just wondering if anyone here has any experience running to tape, specifically the Otari 1/4 tape machines (MX5050, etc).

Drop me a line if so!
Dirk


I've got an old Teac 1/4" tape machine, with a busted capstan and a slight motor issue.  Haven't had time lately to devote much time to it but I'd love to get it running again.

What's your question? 

Heath (on this board) makes a living working with tape machines, if I am not mistaken.  I have seen him in related threads before...
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Offline TNJazz

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Re: Anyone here use reels?
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2006, 10:22:40 AM »
Thinking about maybe going to tape for mixdowns, for that "analog" sound.  Never worked with them before so I was mostly just curious if anyone on this board had any familiarity.  As specific Q's come up I'm sure I'll be posting them!

Thanks,
Dirk
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Offline Patrick

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Re: Anyone here use reels?
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2006, 12:17:04 PM »
Thinking about maybe going to tape for mixdowns, for that "analog" sound.  Never worked with them before so I was mostly just curious if anyone on this board had any familiarity.  As specific Q's come up I'm sure I'll be posting them!

Thanks,
Dirk

I know of a few studios that do this, sort of.  What they do is track to 2" tape, and then fly those tracks into protools.  Pretty clumsy setup but some people can't let go of analog tape.  Those records sound great too.

I know that tiny telephone studios in San Fran does this.  www.tinytelephone.com
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Re: Anyone here use reels?
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2006, 09:24:36 PM »
Thinking about maybe going to tape for mixdowns, for that "analog" sound.  Never worked with them before so I was mostly just curious if anyone on this board had any familiarity.  As specific Q's come up I'm sure I'll be posting them!

Thanks,
Dirk

I know of a few studios that do this, sort of.  What they do is track to 2" tape, and then fly those tracks into protools.  Pretty clumsy setup but some people can't let go of analog tape.  Those records sound great too.



I've always heard the opposite - tracking in pro-tools, and mixing to analog.  ymmv though
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Re: Anyone here use reels?
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2006, 06:45:09 AM »
i really want this someday:
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Offline TNJazz

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Re: Anyone here use reels?
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2006, 10:30:23 AM »
I know of a few studios that do this, sort of.  What they do is track to 2" tape, and then fly those tracks into protools.  Pretty clumsy setup but some people can't let go of analog tape.  Those records sound great too.

I've always heard the opposite - tracking in pro-tools, and mixing to analog.  ymmv though

Both are equally possible.  In my case I'm currently mixing a record and because we have tape machines available, it just occurred to me to give this a shot.  I know there are quite a few people here in Nashville who track to PTHD and then mix it all down to tape.  Then they run it back in for mastering (or send the reels out for mastering).

Everything was tracked in Nuendo, but the band are all "old school" and the idea of going to tape is appealing.

Don't need any advice or anything; just curious if anyone here had any experience with stuff like this.  I'm a child of the multi-track cassette generation myself - missed out on the reel boom.

Thanks,
Dirk
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Offline jpschust

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Re: Anyone here use reels?
« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2006, 11:41:34 AM »
I know of a few studios that do this, sort of.  What they do is track to 2" tape, and then fly those tracks into protools.  Pretty clumsy setup but some people can't let go of analog tape.  Those records sound great too.

I've always heard the opposite - tracking in pro-tools, and mixing to analog.  ymmv though

Both are equally possible.  In my case I'm currently mixing a record and because we have tape machines available, it just occurred to me to give this a shot.  I know there are quite a few people here in Nashville who track to PTHD and then mix it all down to tape.  Then they run it back in for mastering (or send the reels out for mastering).

Everything was tracked in Nuendo, but the band are all "old school" and the idea of going to tape is appealing.

Don't need any advice or anything; just curious if anyone here had any experience with stuff like this.  I'm a child of the multi-track cassette generation myself - missed out on the reel boom.

Thanks,
Dirk


i will say from experience that punching in and out of tape SUCKS.

tape can also get very expensive.
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Re: Anyone here use reels?
« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2006, 12:10:16 PM »
I have a friend who wants to sell me a r2r, Ill probably grab it. I love what it does to a mixdown....
all my favorite classical recordings were done on tape.(decca, DG, Telarc)


I know of a few studios that do this, sort of.  What they do is track to 2" tape, and then fly those tracks into protools.  Pretty clumsy setup but some people can't let go of analog tape.  Those records sound great too.

I've always heard the opposite - tracking in pro-tools, and mixing to analog.  ymmv though

Both are equally possible.  In my case I'm currently mixing a record and because we have tape machines available, it just occurred to me to give this a shot.  I know there are quite a few people here in Nashville who track to PTHD and then mix it all down to tape.  Then they run it back in for mastering (or send the reels out for mastering).

Everything was tracked in Nuendo, but the band are all "old school" and the idea of going to tape is appealing.

Don't need any advice or anything; just curious if anyone here had any experience with stuff like this.  I'm a child of the multi-track cassette generation myself - missed out on the reel boom.

Thanks,
Dirk


Offline TNJazz

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Re: Anyone here use reels?
« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2006, 12:31:38 PM »
I have a friend who wants to sell me a r2r, Ill probably grab it. I love what it does to a mixdown....
all my favorite classical recordings were done on tape.(decca, DG, Telarc)

Yes, and in case what I'm saying above is not clear - we are probably going to mix down all the recorded tracks from Nuendo onto the reels.  We won't be punching in or cutting anything directly to tape (thank God!)

Dirk
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Re: Anyone here use reels?
« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2006, 01:08:45 PM »
you know it would be fun! ;D

I have a friend who wants to sell me a r2r, Ill probably grab it. I love what it does to a mixdown....
all my favorite classical recordings were done on tape.(decca, DG, Telarc)

Yes, and in case what I'm saying above is not clear - we are probably going to mix down all the recorded tracks from Nuendo onto the reels.  We won't be punching in or cutting anything directly to tape (thank God!)

Dirk

Offline Chris K

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Re: Anyone here use reels?
« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2006, 06:51:02 PM »
i had two fostex model 80 1/4" 8 track machines that i really liked. i tried to sell one on this board a few years back. i switched to and still use adat, but there are days i wish i had the tape back.
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Re: Anyone here use reels?
« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2006, 07:11:21 PM »
Thinking about maybe going to tape for mixdowns, for that "analog" sound.  Never worked with them before so I was mostly just curious if anyone on this board had any familiarity.  As specific Q's come up I'm sure I'll be posting them!

Thanks,
Dirk

I know of a few studios that do this, sort of.  What they do is track to 2" tape, and then fly those tracks into protools.  Pretty clumsy setup but some people can't let go of analog tape.  Those records sound great too.



I've always heard the opposite - tracking in pro-tools, and mixing to analog.  ymmv though


really? :o yikes!  i'd like to think you heard wrong.  It seems that lots of studios, record to 2" tape, mix in Pro Tools(or hopefully something else), and then record to a two track analog master.  However that could explain the plethora of shitty sounding albums out there today.

The last album i mixed we recorded to RADAR24 > mixed on a DDA console > Studer 1/4" 2 track.  Mastering to analog REALLY evened out the sound and gave a nice warm feel.  The natural compression is nice!

Since you recorded straight to Nuendo you won't have to worry about that Pro Tools sound :-X

My dream setup is an Studer 24 Track with an Neve Designed 48 channel / 8 Bus console, all analog compression and EQ in the racks, two EMT plates, and an Ampex MTR102 for the master 2 track machine.  :drool:  The only thing digital would probaly be delay units if i needed something longer than what a random tape machine could provide.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2006, 07:14:43 PM by Brian Sax »

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Re: Anyone here use reels?
« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2006, 08:10:15 PM »
My dream setup is an Studer 24 Track with an Neve Designed 48 channel / 8 Bus console, all analog compression and EQ in the racks, two EMT plates, and an Ampex MTR102 for the master 2 track machine:drool:  The only thing digital would probaly be delay units if i needed something longer than what a random tape machine could provide.

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Re: Anyone here use reels?
« Reply #15 on: March 28, 2006, 12:25:01 PM »

really? :o yikes!  i'd like to think you heard wrong.  It seems that lots of studios, record to 2" tape, mix in Pro Tools(or hopefully something else), and then record to a two track analog master.  However that could explain the plethora of shitty sounding albums out there today.


Studios are dropping tape fast, I'm talking even vs two yearw ago.  Digital has gotten very very good, tape has gotten very very expensive.

I like reels.  My first deck of any kind was a third hand mono Webcor.  Still have a milk crate of tapes I haven't transferred yet.

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Re: Anyone here use reels?
« Reply #16 on: March 28, 2006, 03:45:52 PM »

i will say from experience that punching in and out of tape SUCKS.


totally disagree. although, i did fuck up my share of punches on the old mx-80 back in the day :P


tape can also get very expensive.

Oh man yeah... back in the day when you could buy 2" and ran a 15ips it got really expensive to commit 10 hours worth of material to oxide!
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Re: Anyone here use reels?
« Reply #17 on: April 05, 2006, 04:37:55 PM »
Only when I fish. No one is making tape so its very hard to get new boxes unless they are NOS. I love the sound of tape when you hit it just right and get into that compression sound in the studio its great for drums with Dolby SR its almost as clean as digital.

Chris Church


Just wondering if anyone here has any experience running to tape, specifically the Otari 1/4 tape machines (MX5050, etc).

Drop me a line if so!
Dirk


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Re: Anyone here use reels?
« Reply #18 on: April 05, 2006, 04:45:18 PM »
Only when I fish. No one is making tape so its very hard to get new boxes unless they are NOS. I love the sound of tape when you hit it just right and get into that compression sound in the studio its great for drums with Dolby SR its almost as clean as digital.

Chris Church

Sure they are.  Quantegy is still making tape.  I just picked up two brand new reels on Friday.
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Re: Anyone here use reels?
« Reply #19 on: April 05, 2006, 11:52:04 PM »
Give them a call they are not going to be making it past this year

Chris Church


Only when I fish. No one is making tape so its very hard to get new boxes unless they are NOS. I love the sound of tape when you hit it just right and get into that compression sound in the studio its great for drums with Dolby SR its almost as clean as digital.

Chris Church

Sure they are.  Quantegy is still making tape.  I just picked up two brand new reels on Friday.

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Re: Anyone here use reels?
« Reply #20 on: April 15, 2006, 08:35:39 PM »
For anybody interested I have a CHERRY Tascam BR-20 with 10.5 reels and some extra used tape. This thing has only about 25 hours on it, I got it from a friend who runs the Theatre at a local community college and I know the hours of use is true.  All offers entertained, I don't use it and I doubt if I will since I don't do any studio or mix downs.  The thing works perfectly and is in BRAND NEW condition.  not even scratch marks on the screw holes for the rack mount.  Let me know if your interested, Kirk
« Last Edit: April 15, 2006, 08:38:09 PM by kirk97132 »

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Re: Anyone here use reels?
« Reply #21 on: May 04, 2006, 12:16:09 AM »
One reason people record to analog tape, and then dump to digital is that most highly transient sounds like drums sound a lot better when recorded to analog tape. The transient peaks are absorbed in a very natural organic-sounding way that's pleasing to the ear. The digital domain excells in editing and processing ease.

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Re: Anyone here use reels?
« Reply #22 on: February 27, 2021, 06:28:43 AM »
This is going to be fun.  There was a message on the answerphone - guy gives his name which seemed distantly familiar, wants another copy of a recording I made of him performing at a classical concert in London.  (I moved from London to Melbourne in 1999).  He left his email address. 

I replied that way and said "I never throw anything away - it's all stored in date order".  I assumed we were talking of DAT recordings which I have from 1987 onwards neatly filed in trays.  "What date was the concert?"  Back comes the reply.  "January 1986".  35 years ago if my maths is correct.  Reel to reel days.

So I've been going through the packing cases unopened since my move to Melbourne, containing hundreds of reels in no order whatever, and I've found the master tapes.  Next step, have they gone sticky?  Does my old Tacam 22-2 deck still run (not turned on probably for 20 years)?  Can I remember how to thread it?  Will I remember not to press "record" thus wiping the tape?

This one will run and run...

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Re: Anyone here use reels?
« Reply #23 on: February 27, 2021, 09:04:24 AM »
 :o
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Re: Anyone here use reels?
« Reply #24 on: March 02, 2021, 12:27:21 AM »
Bad news and good news - the capstan belt has died, so playback on my trusty (or rusty...) Tascam 22-2 isn't possible.  The good news is that I've found a nearby company who can still fix those machines for a tolerable price, so if only to be able to replay the hundreds of reels I have, if I ever have time, I'll get it done in due course.

For anyone in Melbourne Australia interested, the company is on this site -

https://techshops.com.au/sales-2/older-and-vintage-equipment/

Their open reel specialist clearly knew what he was talking about and was very helpful.

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Re: Anyone here use reels?
« Reply #25 on: February 05, 2022, 06:31:57 AM »
I know the good people here have been waiting for the outcome of this with baited breath - well, I am happy to share the good news that the above mentioned company did a fantastic job of totally overhauling my Tascam 22-2 and I finally picked it up yesterday. Heck, it's heavy!  I was glad that their technician offered to carriy it to my car (which offer I quickly accepted and then I told him the car was in the next street...)

I tested it using an old recording which would be unlikely now to be required, and that played just fine.  So then I tried the actual tapes that my old client wanted copied, and they sound like they were recorded yesterday!  I am transcribing them using a Tascam DR-60D which I bought in a sale some years ago and never actually used - never could resist a bargain - and it seems fine for this task.

Now I will have the interesting task of rummaging through the removal boxes full of classical concert tapes to see what gems might lurk within, and transcribe them before the tape deck dies again.  Or before I die for the first time.  I think the latter is likely to happen first, sadly!

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Re: Anyone here use reels?
« Reply #26 on: February 05, 2022, 11:29:56 AM »
Every now and then I think about getting a good 2 track tape machine to use for mix down.  And then I come to my senses.

I do have muso friends who still record full analog.  They are pros, and it sounds great.  But, as you well know, you need to make a commitment to maintaining and adjusting those tape recorders.  More than I really want to do.  Good luck with the older recordings.
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