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#1153368 - 05/15/19 09:34 PM Analog Recording  
Joined: Apr 2006
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ben willis Offline
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ben willis  Offline
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Ft. Myers, FL. USA
Just wondering, I started recording in 2006 after learning how to use the recording software I got with an M-audio interface for the computer. Never used tape except to remember things. I don't think it's too early to ask if anyone has experience with analog recording nowdays or if anyone has ever paid for a studio tape recording back in the day. It was way beyond my pay grade. I know John S. has because I saw the 45 he made, and maybe an old timer like Ray. Anyone record back then?

#1153369 - 05/15/19 10:17 PM Re: Analog Recording [Re: ben willis]  
Joined: May 2001
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Ray E. Strode Online content
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Ray E. Strode  Online Content
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Brunswick, Ga. USA
You should know everything starts out as Analog and ends up Analog, otherwise you couldn't hear it. The only place Digital comes in is when it is converted to digital in a recording device that is using a micro chip to put it on a disc or other conversions such as putting photo files in a computer program. Now, is digital better? No but tape recorders are not being used much anymore. The specs for a good recorder is 50 to 15000 Khz plus or minus 2 db. I think specs on a digital recorder are much better but you can't hear it.

The audio tape recorder was brought back from Germany after the second world war. Ampex Corporation, not sure it exists anymore, was charged with improving the tape recorder and the 3M company, Scotch tape with improving the audio tape.
A lot of great recordings were made with tape and still exist in catalogs.

I don't have a digital recorder but I think is is a lot easier to use.

A note about today's recordings. I saw a question over on Gearsluz of how could they record all that music at the same time? Well that's how they used to do it. Can you imagine a Symphony Orchestra being recorded one Mic at a time?

Ray E. Strode
#1153375 - 05/16/19 04:17 PM Re: Analog Recording [Re: ben willis]  
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ben willis Offline
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ben willis  Offline
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You are correct about the history of magnetic tape Ray. The nazi's used it in Europe for radio propaganda. The Ampex guy (Don't know if that was his name) actually raided a radio station in Europe and brought it back to the US. The rest is history. Before the war we were recording on disk.

#1153395 - 05/17/19 11:13 AM Re: Analog Recording [Re: ben willis]  
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Sue Rarick Offline
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Sue Rarick  Offline
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I've done both and a friend who recorded and produced many disco versions of songs and I had a long discussion as to how to make digital music more analog sounding and we weren't talking about tape saturation plugins - but from the outset of the recording. Basically when recording digitally stay within the operating parameters of what a good Tape machine worked within... Get outside of that and it automatically sounds digital. The next thing is wow and flutter but considering people spent a lot of time trying to get rid of it there is no reason to try and introduce it - consider it 'problem solved'
24/48 will get you closer than 24/192 and most people today are using 24/48 anyway. Makes syncing up to video much easier.
Speaking of video - If you are recording something for video you might want to do a simple final mixdown using MixBus. It comes closest to sounding like a big budget mix because often the mixdown for a major movies has used a Harrison console (mixbus)

#1153399 - 05/17/19 03:27 PM Re: Analog Recording [Re: ben willis]  
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John Lawrence Schick Offline
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John Lawrence Schick  Offline
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Yep, I still have my tapes from the good old days. In some ways, it seemed more exciting going to the analog recording studios. But very expensive.

In case some of the young whippersnaps never seen analog 16-24 track tape. I dug one out of my closet. Jeez, I reckon I should give my keypad a blast of air. laugh

[Linked Image]

Best, John smile

#1153403 - 05/17/19 05:16 PM Re: Analog Recording [Re: ben willis]  
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Ray E. Strode Online content
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Ray E. Strode  Online Content
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Brunswick, Ga. USA
Are ye sure that isn't a boat anchor? I still have a stack of quarter inch reel to reel tapes out in my shed and I still have a bulk tape eraser! I have an Ampex Tape Deck that needs to be refurbished but what for. I doubt if any studios are still using tape.

Ray E. Strode
#1153404 - 05/17/19 06:08 PM Re: Analog Recording [Re: ben willis]  
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John Lawrence Schick Offline
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John Lawrence Schick  Offline
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Yeah Ray, not like today’s digital wimps that carry a USB flash drive home with their recording. We had to work out daily to be able to carry our recordings home. laugh

John smile

#1153410 - 05/18/19 07:09 AM Re: Analog Recording [Re: ben willis]  
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niteshift Offline
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Hey John,

Ahhh, 2 inch Ampex. Yep, still have my masters in the vault..

And Ben, yes, it is still being used at a high end level, generally for orchestral/film sound tracks, and these days double downed, i.e. 2 machines synced to provide 48 ( sorry 46 tracks minus the sync track )

As Ray said, everything is analogue, digital is simply a storage and playback mechanism.

cheers, niteshift

#1153416 - 05/18/19 11:05 AM Re: Analog Recording [Re: ben willis]  
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Dave Rice Offline
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Dave Rice  Offline
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Like Ben... a trip to the studio was about five notches above my "pay-grade." (At least for recording something I had created.) By the time I had made enough progress to even knock on a Studio Door, the big tape gear had all disappeared. I did a great deal of recording with tape at first but keeping track of it was a chore and the Memory Stick quickly converted me to going digital.

Ray, you mentioned recording via only one track... and that is precisely what I do, including vocal. No mix-down required... but it may take me a dozen attempts before I get everything to sound the way it should. LOL! I do get a lot of practice with this method. Recording "live" has it's benefits... as well as a ton of pitfalls.

In the end, we must each do what works best for us.

John, thanks for sharing that photo with us. That "thing" would make a great boat anchor, wouldn't it!

Have a great weekend, folks. ----Dave

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