Getting tape sound in a digital studio

Discussion in 'Tape Recorders' started by megajoe, Oct 9, 2005.

  1. megajoe

    megajoe Guest

    I'm going to record my band, and I want to get some oh so sweet tape sound. Without going into detail I'm using a Yamaha DM2000, a Digidesign I/O 192 and I have a Teac 80-8 and a Ampex ATR 800 at my disposal.

    Now it would be real hip if I tracked on the Teac and mastered it on the Ampex. Buuuut, since everything on the mixer including the mic pres is digital. It seems like it would be too much of a pain in the ass to do everything on tape if it's not a 100% analog signal chain.

    So now I'm thinking maybe doing all the tracking on PT, then dumping onto one of the tape machines.

    Obviously there are a ton of different ways you could go about this. Finally, here is My question:

    What ways have people had the most sucess with tape+digital as far as awesomeness of sound?
  2. rudedogg

    rudedogg Guest

    I wouldn't say a lot of people do anything one way, cause lord knows everyone does it different, but I would suggest tracking drums + bass onto tape, dump it to protools, and then mix and record the rest in digital. when using protools, I would suggest recording at 96k to get the highest quality sound in the digital domain.

    good luck.

  3. megajoe

    megajoe Guest

    hmmm, I like that idea. I think I'm going to send signal from the drums, bass, and both guitars to both pro tools and the 8 track. That way I just have more options and I can decide what sounds the best. Thanks for the input!
  4. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    It sounds like you're running a Macintosh/ProTools system?? I run all Intel-based PCs but have found a piece of software for both PCs and Macintosh from a company called I. K. multimedia. The software is called T-Racks. The software, I've had an opportunity to play with on the PCs is not a plug-in but a complete standalone program that will process up to only 2 channels at a time, or mono. It has an interface that looks like actual analog equipment with vacum tubes at the top and knobs with meters! As you change the settings, the tubes will glow brighter. It is not necessarily a tape emulator per se but with adjustable distortion components and asymmetrical artifacts, compression, multiband limiting, peak clipper, etc., it sounds great! It's actually a piece of mastering software but I've used it on individual tracks in a multitrack situation, as well. For ProTools it is a plug-in. You will love it! No hiss unless you're a lousy engineer with bad equipment to begin with. Just kidding! Have fun!
  5. AFinlayV

    AFinlayV Guest

    Also Izotope's Ozone can do a lot to warm up tracks. Similar to what RemyRAD's talking about, it's made for mastering, but it can work wonders on an individual track or strapped across a drum bus
  6. AFinlayV

    AFinlayV Guest

    Sorry I forgot to include the link in my last post:
  7. McCheese

    McCheese Well-Known Member

    Mar 24, 2005
    T-Racks is also available in plug-in form. The EQ is included as a standalone plug-in with all the PTLE kits. It's a pretty good set of tools.

    I have frequently recording things to tape, then dumped them into the DAW for editing/mixing. I almost always do it with vocals and drums (alas, I no longer have access to a 24 track though).
  8. megajoe

    megajoe Guest

    Thanks for all the input fellows.

    Now it's time to experiment.
  9. drstudio

    drstudio Active Member

    Nov 16, 2007
    Home Page:
    I try to track as much as I can to Tape, including vocals, then transfer to Digital. I find I get a much more rich, fat sound. I'm using 2" still, problem is the cost of the tape.
  10. jonyoung

    jonyoung Well-Known Member

    Dec 31, 2003
    Also try BLOCKFISH by stereo compressor with a great saturation feature. You can "pop the hood" on this plugin and mess with various parameters to dial in a wide variety of saturation and tape compression effects.
  11. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Well-Known Member

    Apr 19, 2006
    Home Page:
    You can do this in one shot, with only a little bit of post editing.

    Run the tracks you want to have the warm tape sound into the Ampex or the Teac and then out of the playback head into channels on the DM2000 (or, second best, line ins on the I/O 192). That way, you track everything in real time, but you have to realign the tape tracks in post production to correct for the few hundred milliseconds of record head - playback head tape delay. This technique also minimizes the effect of wow from the tape mechanics.

    BTW, the mixer preamps are not digital! You can use them as conventional analog preamps if you take the insert outs.

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