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The high end revisited!


tube fanatic
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Always been a problem with analog tape in the studio. Imagine that master going back and forth thousands of times, particularly when "punching in" vocals and other overdubs. The cause is both oxide shedding and the residual current in the 3 heads (erase, record, playback) slowly wiping the masters.


One solution applied on lengthy album projects is to mix 48 track using two 24 track machines locked together. You do a submix of your basic tracks onto a 2nd tape and then do the extensive overdubbing only on that reel (in the case of one album I remember ending up with 4 reels that had to be submixed to 2 reels!). Once mix time comes, you lock the original master to the overdub master and enjoy pristine tracks.

I had an old interview with Bruce Swedien, on recording either Quincy Jones or Michael Jackson. He liked to record the drums on analog, and imediately bounce them over to Pro Tools. It kept the original analog quality he liked and then allowed him to edit and manipulate in the digital domain. The same as transfering a film to digital, It still looks like film.

Bruce

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I saw an interesting docu on the making of Fleetwood Mac - Rumour. They said during the mixing they noticed at the end that something was missing from the high end and the drums sounded dead and realized this came from the degeneration of the master tapes since they heard them so often. They decided to redo all of the drum parts to bring the livelyness back into the songs. A guy sat there with headphones and a vso with the "new" drums on one ear and "old" drums other had to manually adjust the speed so both were in takt. That guy was a maestro in analog engineering in my book.

So... they replaced Mick Fleetwod's drum tracks with whose? They could have done this more than one way, a couple which probably would have been easier than others and sounded great. I even imagine Fleetwood would have been able to play along with his own drumming in a satisfactory manner.

Bruce

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He liked to record the drums on analog, and imediately bounce them over to Pro Tools.

Very common procedure. There's a natural compression achieved by pushing analog tape hard which gives a nice punch to drums and is difficult to replicate in other ways. A favorite is to use a 16 track 2" machine which gives a wider path than 24 track.

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He liked to record the drums on analog, and imediately bounce them over to Pro Tools.

Very common procedure. There's a natural compression achieved by pushing analog tape hard which gives a nice punch to drums and is difficult to replicate in other ways. A favorite is to use a 16 track 2" machine which gives a wider path than 24 track.

Does this support the contention, by some recording engineers, that recording the drum (and I have also heard that the piano can be included) with analog gear produces a superior product as opposed to digital recording equipment?
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Does this support the contention, by some recording engineers, that recording the drum (and I have also heard that the piano can be included) with analog gear produces a superior product as opposed to digital recording equipment?

To some ears yes. It depends on the product too.

I worked with a tremendously talented, extremely tortured acoustic player (similar style to Leo Kotke). He liked the attack on his Martin to literally smack you in the face. Therefore I used close micing with small capsule condensors and a Mitsubishi digital recorder to capture his sound. He decided that we needed a break from each other and hired another engineer. Within a week he was calling me again. I asked him what went wrong and he told me the other guy had shown up with a wonderful (and valuable) collection of vintage tube mics and preamplifiers. "He just made me sound like s**t" was the comment from the artist!

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Does this support the contention, by some recording engineers, that recording the drum (and I have also heard that the piano can be included) with analog gear produces a superior product as opposed to digital recording equipment?

"He just made me sound like s**t" was the comment from the artist!

LOL... Points well taken..

As I recall, the engineering/recording work on this album is "outstanding."

(plug for a fellow forum member)

philipbarrett

MIGUEL ANTONIO  (1993)

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Actually different artist, but thanks.

Miguel's album was recorded live with close spaced Neuman KM-84s on his guitars. The ambient mics were probably AKG-414s but don't hold me to that.

It was recorded direct to digital and I did some final post eq via a Midas XL-42 analog parametric equalizer but the final product is no more than 3 generations form the original.

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Actually different artist, but thanks.

Miguel's album was recorded live with close spaced Neuman KM-84s on his guitars. The ambient mics were probably AKG-414s but don't hold me to that.

It was recorded direct to digital and I did some final post eq via a Midas XL-42 analog parametric equalizer but the final product is no more than 3 generations form the original.

I find the album excellent. I listen to it with McIntosh tube gear, with McIntosh XRT 18 speakers.
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