What tape machines are used in the (electronic) music industry today?

Discussion in 'Studio' started by Obo, Mar 17, 2018.

  1. Obo

    Obo Noisemaker

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    u hear a lot about them: tape machines in order to make your tracks warm and analog and kind of alive.
    esp in the so called electronic underground music they use them a lot.

    but what tape machines (company and models) are exactly used ?
    Studer A 80 is the one I discovered to be used a lot, like from robert babicz. are there others?

    Maybe you have one at home and can speak a little bit about this. You know like what to consider when buying one.. is there a tape machine that deliver good results, that isnt that expensive? Studer A 80 costs about 3000-5000 Euro.
     
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  3. Willum

    Willum Platinum Record

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    I suspect that you, or me, wouldn't be able to tell the difference between a 5000 euro tape machine and a copy of U-he's Satin on a track.
     
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  4. Splicementality

    Splicementality Kapellmeister

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    Tape saturation is a wonderful thing indeed, but if you're not into maintenance i suggest you go for a good tape plugin, like the one suggested above, VTM by cdsoundmaster sounds great too. :yes:
     
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  5. stevitch

    stevitch Audiosexual

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    This isn't a direct answer to your question, but if you see some reputable-brand tape machines for sale, relatively inexpensively, and you can find the tape to run on it, try them out to see if you like them. A good old 2-track Tascam or Ampex, for example.
     
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  6. Pipotron3000

    Pipotron3000 Rock Star

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    As a "trick" to avoid rewind/playback on tape, i seen a guy on youtube using "Voxengo Latency Delay" as recording track plugin input.
    So the DAW automatically "move back" recording track to compensate delay.

    He used "monitoring output" from tape recorder, to record back in his DAW in real time.
    With Voxengo Latency Delay, he compensated time between direct recording and tape recording, sample accurate.
    Just use Audacity to compare direct input/tape input latency. Set it once in VLD, as preset.

    No more need to rewind/playback tape : real time direct tape recording, without any latency :wink:
    Just need to pause tape, when not recording. And when tape is over ... just switch the wheels.

    Very easy, real time and free plugin :wink:
     
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  7. Fudsey Plange

    Fudsey Plange Rock Star

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    What tape machines are used in the (electronic) music industry today?

    What tape? You can't get the best tape any more and professional production is always done on new stock. There's some eastern european stock that's easily available.
     
  8. Blorg

    Blorg Producer

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    Back in the day, recording sound pretty much meant playing into a big horn (later a mic or 2) & scratching a spiral groove in plastic
    [​IMG]
    ...with a vibrating thingamabob called a cutting stylus
    on a record lathe --
    [​IMG] .

    .
    a metal lathe bit, but smaller & cruder.
    [​IMG]
    This was a pain, because the whole thing had to be right, the first take -- no editing.


    Then came magnetic tape -- metallic powder mixed in gluey emulsion spread on plastic substrate -- a lot like emulsion on photographic film. This meant a whole bunch of things, this
    [​IMG]
    being cake: it was now possible to edit sound -- chop it, cut out parts you don't want, make loops, etc., etc. Things like this

    ...were suddenly possible.

    Tape doesn't have a sound, or, rather, shouldn't. If there is a sound, it's something like this:

    If you want that, buy an 80s cassette deck.
    Expensive gear (like the Studer you mentioned) took great pains to avoid that (tape hiss (white/pink noise), wow/flutter, limited bandwidth & distortion (compression)).

    Today, tape means "OG," or "mojo" or "je ne sais quoi"; used to sell plugins.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2018
  9. The-RoBoT

    The-RoBoT Platinum Record

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    I still use AGFA 2" 468 and 469 on certain jobs, those in the know will know why
     
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  10. davea

    davea Platinum Record

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    I've got a lovely Akai MG614 which is "considered the best 4trcks ever built"
    with 2busses, right rec on a cassette tape.
    1 - preamps are awesome, you can push them and still get a nice overdrive distortion to a huge gritty one + plus 2band eQ
    2 - its a tiny desk with multiple inputs/outputs (with individual outputs too!) + 2send & 2returns
    3 - great cassette system with the ability to rec in different speed + a dbx noise system.

    Fantastic machine to warm up, sculpt and glue anything. Still affordable but rare but definitely worth to hunt one unit ;-)

    Couple with a nice TASCAM M-30 or a Mackie CR 1603 to byte, for example, synths &/or basses, you will get the top for relatively good money.

    Cheers
     
  11. Blorg

    Blorg Producer

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    *
    :unsure:
     
  12. davea

    davea Platinum Record

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    multitrack cassette dude :)
     
  13. Blorg

    Blorg Producer

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    ^^Plain old audio cassette. It's a good thing tho, you could've done worse -- AKAI was dishing out some proprietary 1/2" weirdness back then, too (MG 1212 & 1214):winker:
     
  14. relexted

    relexted Member

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    Slate Digital's VTM and Waves J37 is all you'll ever need for electronic music.
     
  15. kidstretch

    kidstretch Noisemaker

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    I have a Revox A77, works great on drums if you push it, not using it on all materials, but it glues things together, brings the sound forward.
     
  16. davea

    davea Platinum Record

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    Maybe, didn't have the chance to try the other MG :)
     
  17. Adamdog

    Adamdog Platinum Record

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    Studer A80 with Dolby system was probably the best.
    but if you re planning to use it intensively you d have to calibrate the heads every 6 months.
    so you d need a real technician to do the job. They are rare nowadays. look for him before buying a 5000€ tool.
    personally with that summ I d buy an used Chandler minimixer and record it s output, if your looking for an analog slam.

    edited: maybe the one with Dolby was the A800 if I remember well, sorry it s a long time I don t calibrate my head lol
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2018
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  18. Obo

    Obo Noisemaker

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    why? :yes:
     
  19. Obo

    Obo Noisemaker

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    very interesting answers here, seems like many roads lead to rome.

    yes fortunately I have a big music store around the corner that maintains tape machines. I could not do it on my own, but hey you can learn everything if you are really interested, right? It's kind of a new adventure going analog and trying out what this does to my music. I want to have good results right from the beginning. At the same time I am willing to understand this whole thing and appreciate those old ladies.

    there are some guys on the internet who run your stuff through their tape machine for a couple of bucks and my music sounded awesome after that. It truly had the affect that I kind of sounded like my fav. producers.

    I dont think a tape machine can make bad music (arrange, music theory, sh*tty voice and sounddesign, mixing) good. like mastering cant make a bad mix good. But I was very satisfied with my sound I achieved with digital stuff only. tape machine added the extra 5%. I think its absolutely necessary in these days if you want to keep up when it comes to quality. I need to know more.. guess there is a lot of diy, try&error and so on. But isnt it kind of exciting to endeavour your own personal sound? it's awesome I love it. To know where you wanna go, meaning how you want it so sound, but not knowing how exactly to achieve it, yet. yea, makes me kind of horny I have to admit :bow:
     
  20. Introninja

    Introninja Moderator Staff Member

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    Those don't seem to wanna die, at the studio i do mobile work from now & then have them. i can play, rewind, & forward for hours at end and it still craving for more.

    I just recently used them also for my contribution for the Jazz album, See Here
    Record for the Jazz Album, Need Ideas or Closure!
     
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