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Jim

Is Reel to Reel really that good?

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That's not really how it works...

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14 hours ago, HDBRbuilder said:

That is YOUR opinion...not mine.  Digital has its own faults, the worst of which is that in any particular point in time, if there is MORE than ONE thing (be it voice or musical instrument) which is producing a sound in the same exact frequency as the other(s) is(are) doing, then it is ONLY the strongest of that particular frequency at that particular point in time that is getting digitally recorded... that in itself keeps the digital recording from ever being able to contain everything that is happening at the same point in time on a particular track.  That is where analog beats the hell out of digital.  You can have more than one "bit" of information in that finite point in time...using analog recording...plain and simple!  You simply lose some of the information in digital recordings, or at least have the POTENTIAL to lose some of it.  It is what it is...because it is digital.  Each time something is digitally compressed information is also lost...it is the nature of being digital to begin with....bits and bytes, ya know?

http://www.realhd-audio.com/?p=5381 from Mark Waldrep. Now this guy is an authority you can trust.

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8 hours ago, bracurrie said:

http://www.realhd-audio.com/?p=5381 from Mark Waldrep. Now this guy is an authority you can trust.

 

Perhaps I got it wrong but if I'm not mistaken, this article attacks the statement; "make it sound more analog" and leaves the digital/analog preference up to the listener.

 

I see (and hear) the benefits of both but my ears hear something different (read that "gooder"!)  when I listen to a good analog recording. The few times I made it in to a studio with my band, the engineer(s) highly praised analog and the use of high quality mic preamps to get the best sound. They even recorded certain tracks on tape and then mixed them down to digital via Protools. 

 

Also, most of the listening public gets CD quality. If we all had access to 96k 24bit, perhaps the argument wouldn't be as prevalent as it is.

 

In any event, I have some reel to reel recordings I will always cherish. There is some magic there... a certain "I dunno what" but it sure sounds good to my old ears.

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On 2/24/2017 at 7:57 AM, BamaMike said:

They even recorded certain tracks on tape and then mixed them down to digital via Protools. 

I am not an audio engineer, but I will take a stab at this anyway: Analog tape full potential is captured at a digital level no better that CD Redbook. Digital potential far exceeds CD Redbook so it can capture and record with greater fidelity, dynamic range, and lower noise.  Analog effects loops seem to be a thing these days and I like those effects for the most part. Mark, from a point of view of an audio engineer that came up in the pre-digital age and fully embraced digital as it has developed, maintains that there is nothing wrong with enjoying analog music, but it's remixing, remastering and A/D conversion can never improve its fidelity and dynamic range beyond what it was when it was recorded.  I really enjoy the sound of a great analog R2R recording over either the CD or in some cases the "remastered" digital download of the same music. And it's way more fun to run the machine:lol:.

Brad

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If its the one inch analog master tape, you can't get much better depending upon the recording.

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1/2 inch was about the widest used for masters.  Usually 1/4 inch 2 track.

 

One inch had 8 tracks until Fostex and Tascam and a few others pulled off 16 tracks on 1/2 inch tape. A lot of albums were recorded on those machines, and if properly maintained and set up, were a boon for musicians to take back control of the recording process.

 

Bruce

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On 2/26/2017 at 11:57 PM, bracurrie said:

I am not an audio engineer, but I will take a stab at this anyway: Analog tape full potential is captured at a digital level no better that CD Redbook. Digital potential far exceeds CD Redbook so it can capture and record with greater fidelity, dynamic range, and lower noise.  Analog effects loops seem to be a thing these days and I like those effects for the most part. Mark, from a point of view of an audio engineer that came up in the pre-digital age and fully embraced digital as it has developed, maintains that there is nothing wrong with enjoying analog music, but it's remixing, remastering and A/D conversion can never improve its fidelity and dynamic range beyond what it was when it was recorded.  I really enjoy the sound of a great analog R2R recording over either the CD or in some cases the "remastered" digital download of the same music. And it's way more fun to run the machine:lol:.

Brad

 

Being an x musician with a decent amount of time spent in recording studios....the engineers(I am far from one) really liked what tape could do.  I really didn't understand it at the time but now I try to watch videos on youtube with engineers who like tape over digital and it seems to me that they are able to push or saturate tape in certain instances that works really well.   Here is an interesting video interview of the great Phill Brown.  He talks about tape for a good portion of it.

 

I like this thread though and its pushing me to get a reel to reel soon as I can.  A couple years ago I bought someones 100+ reel to reel collection.  Most were recorded off vinyl but there are some factory ones.....I look forward to someday getting a reel to reel fired up in my system

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Bruce Sweiden, who produced some of Michael Jackson's music, used to record drum tracks to tape and then bounce over to digital for editing and mixing. He liked the 'fatness' of tape. Indeed, it it the ability to saturate the tape to your liking that many engineers like.

 

I used to record at a small studio in central Illinois, and they had some MoTown guys come in to try out a console (the studio owner did equipment sales). They put on a two inch 16 track tape, and the owner said the meters stayed pegged the whole time. BUT it sounded clean and not overdriven.

 

Bruce

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24 minutes ago, Marvel said:

Bruce Sweiden, who produced some of Michael Jackson's music, used to record drum tracks to tape and then bounce over to digital for editing and mixing. He liked the 'fatness' of tape. Indeed, it it the ability to saturate the tape to your liking that many engineers like.

 

I used to record at a small studio in central Illinois, and they had some MoTown guys come in to try out a console (the studio owner did equipment sales). They put on a two inch 16 track tape, and the owner said the meters stayed pegged the whole time. BUT it sounded clean and not overdriven.

 

Bruce

 

I wonder how those clean and over driven passages sound on the K-horns high end of the spectrum instead of those studio monitors with soft cones?

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8 hours ago, JJkizak said:

 

I wonder how those clean and over driven passages sound on the K-horns high end of the spectrum instead of those studio monitors with soft cones?

Yes, then and now, many recordings depend on being played on speakers that veil and "soften" the sound, especially in the upper mids and treble, and some cone mids and tweeters do just that, IMO.    To be fair, most studios I visited in the San Francisco Bay Area in the 1970s used speakers with HORN midrange/treble as their main monitors.  Wally Heider used Altec 604 (Es?), powered by McIntosh tube 275s; others used JBLs, etc., almost always customized in some way.  The only studio I visited (out of, maybe, 8) that used cone mids and tweeters was The Different Fur Trading CO., which used JBL 4310s.  BTW, many of these studios used 2" tape, with, I think, 16 channels, but it was eventually mixed down to 2 channels on 1/4" "Half Track" which had tracks about twice as wide as the usual 4 track, 1/4" tape used in the home.  My own 1/4 " Half Track Crowns @ 15 ips were as (subjectively) capable as any digital format for home playback that I've heard, with the exception of Blu-ray DTS Master Audio . 

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^^^^^ what he said. The larger JBLs, Westlakes, Altecs, all had horns of various types. 

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