low budget cheapskate recording tips

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Re: low budget cheapskate recording tips

Postby dai h. » Mon Oct 05, 2015 6:41 pm

recently ended auction for a Tascam 688:

http://page11.auctions.yahoo.co.jp/jp/a ... n156898403

(according to the seller) unit in good condition (heads ok, belts replaced, etc.). 98 bids. Ended at 68,000 yen (about USD $565).

(Link in the item description--I don't think this is the seller but just an example of the unit in use. Might be interesting for fans of "dub" music.) :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5kh42MUajqY

(some musings to try to keep with the cheapskating theme at least somewhat... :lol:) :

Cassette-based recording is not a cheapskating thing anymore (used to be--years ago). Tapes can't be found readily and cheaply. Existing recorders are degrading (caps, rubber parts, motors, etc.) so it looks like in general that deep pockets are necessary to keep things running. Audio quality of the mic preamps and mixer sections seem to generally be poor. IME (in hindsight) some of the best sounds seem to have been from line level or loud mic'ed sources because (I gather) that with higher level/loud sources, there was more feedback to clean up the sound since gain increases were done with reduction of feedback. (Without any prompting from me long long ago) I recall one time a friend (who happened to be a drummer--don't know if that makes any difference) remarked to me that a tape to tape (some tape recorder to my Tascam Porta Two) sounded good. From what I remember, I a) sped up the tap using the speed control to max, b) pre-emphasized the highs by recording with the HIGH EQ control up all the way when recording (flat on playback), and c) turning the dbx noise reduction on. I also remember having a "Hmm...that's not bad" impression when experimenting with recording a CD to my 488mkII. So my basic conclusion: the preamps are not very good (at least conventionally--since aesthetically, "crap" can be "good" sometimes). The advantage with these seem to be the low cost (NOT anymore!)--being able to try things out and learn without having to pay high prices for a professional studio without people you may not be familiar with staring at you waiting for you to give your intimate "performance". But I don't think cassette multitracks are a necessity to enable recording in a comfortable enviroment.

Generally I think it makes more sense (if keeping things low cost is a goal or necessity) to take advantage of current technology--low cost mixers, interfaces, condenser mics, freeware, and so on. I don't think digital or solid state is inherently "cold and harsh", etc. From what I gather/experienced, (like with lots of other things) it seems to depend on how well (or poor!) things are implemented. Cost seems a huge issue, skills of the designer, marketing influence and fads (supposed "tube preamps", trendy op amps, etc.) some of the aspects seeming to affect outcomes.
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Re: low budget cheapskate recording tips

Postby dai h. » Fri Oct 23, 2015 11:09 am

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Re: low budget cheapskate recording tips

Postby dai h. » Mon Nov 02, 2015 10:10 am

an old 1968 Neumann U87 schematic in this thread (has slightly different values--which I've read of but had yet to see in a schematic) in this thread at:

http://repforums.prosoundweb.com/index. ... 863.0.html
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Re: low budget cheapskate recording tips

Postby dai h. » Wed Nov 04, 2015 10:19 am

Mackie, Ampeg (Loud Technologies) schematics:

https://supportloudtech.netx.net/loud-p ... gory/10960
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Re: low budget cheapskate recording tips

Postby dai h. » Fri Apr 01, 2016 11:36 pm

superhuge schematic library:

http://bmamps.com/tech_sch.html

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

interesting article on distortion:

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/apr10/a ... ortion.htm
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Re: low budget cheapskate recording tips

Postby David B » Sat Apr 09, 2016 2:19 pm

Nice find! :D
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Re: low budget cheapskate recording tips

Postby dai h. » Sun Apr 10, 2016 4:05 am

saw it at aron's bbs. Someone downloaded all of it, and it was something ridiculous, like 17GB(?) or somesuch number.
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Re: low budget cheapskate recording tips

Postby David B » Sun Apr 10, 2016 11:18 am

thanks man, the mother load 8)
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Re: low budget cheapskate recording tips

Postby dai h. » Wed Apr 13, 2016 12:09 pm

older British music magazine issues (Music Technology, Home & Studio Recording, Sound on Sound, Making Music, and Recording Magazine) online:

http://www.muzines.co.uk/

seen here: http://groupdiy.com/index.php?topic=62418.0
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Re: low budget cheapskate recording tips

Postby dai h. » Mon Apr 18, 2016 5:18 am

another apparently large cache of service manuals, schematics, info on test equipment, etc. etc.:

http://bee.mif.pg.gda.pl/ciasteczkowypotwor/SM%20scena/

http://bee.mif.pg.gda.pl/ciasteczkowypotwor/
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Re: low budget cheapskate recording tips

Postby dai h. » Fri Jun 10, 2016 12:45 am

thought these were interesting posts:

(speaking about producer/songwriter Robert John "Mutt" Lange)

DaveT
Posts: 5 Member Since:03/06/2016
#26
04/06/2016 15:56

I'm sure you're aware that Mutt is from Sourh Africa. He and his boyhood friend Clive Caulder were in a band in their teens and since It was difficult getting American 50's and 60's records he and Clive would study arrangement, sounds etc and do covers of them with their band. I don't think he would mind me telling this story. That's how he developed his incredible writing and production chops.


source:

http://prorecordingworkshop.lefora.com/ ... y-47053485
------------------------------


zmix
Interact
Aqua Marine
Posts: 3,104 Member Since:20/01/2011
#35
08/06/2016 09:18

seth wrote:Chuck's thread about 32-bit files got me thinking about something else I don't really understand: do 192kHz sampling rate files sound 'better' or 'more accurate' than 96kHz files? If so, why? If not, why not? I know the simplistic argument: higher sample rate equals greater audio bandwidth. I'm working on a project that might have benefitted from being recorded at 192K, but I'd like to hear the real-world arguments for and against. I'm not very good with the mathematical underpinnings of digital audio so I can fall prey to the marketing arguments.


There are technical reasons why 192 is actually worse than 96k, and why 96k is worse than 48k, specifically that there isn't enough time to compute the filter coefficients at higher sample rates so they may be subject to interference from RF signal, and generate aliases, etc which would be avoided at normal sample rates.

Here's a "real world" example:


I recently mixed a Jazz record that was tracked at 96kHz.

The engineer used a Sennheiser 421 on the sax, which rolls off starting around 10kHz and was more than 30dB down at 20kHz, but on the sax tracks there were steady state tones at 27kHz, 32kHz and 46kHz, each about 20-30 dB above the noise floor.


Please note that I said "steady state tones".

These tones were not produced by the saxophone, they were present when she was not playing.

These tones were present in the recording because of RF interference in the studio.


These fixed frequency RF signals, when combined with the audio in any non-linear audio process create audible difference signals below 20kHz which are not harmonically related to the source signal.

These *ultrasonic* signals can create IMD artifacts *within the audible spectrum*.

I (like any competent design engineer) am a proponent of removing these signals before any processing occurs, to avoid these issues.



As for the artist, she was initially furious that the engineer recorded everything at 96kHz, because the session was 60GB for a four song live recording recording of a quartet...
That engineer had also mixed the record for her, "In The Box", using plugins.

She was disturbed by the mixes.
She sent them to me to evaluate.
I thought they were "fine", but she wanted me to mix one for her here so that she could hear what I was hearing and might bring out in the mix.

I sent her my first mix and she was floored. "That's what it is *supposed* to feel like..!! (this, by the way was a 320kbps MP3).

She came by the studio to hear it "in person".

I did a lot of A/B comparing for her with the original ITB mix, and every time I brought up the ITB mix (which as I said was "fine") her face dropped, she looked sad and alone.

My thoughts about the ITB mix was that it suffered from the typical "digital" sound, it was dull and shrill at the same time (which is a symptom of aliasing) and lacked any natural dynamics (not talking about "compression" here, talking about a fluidity of musical gesture).

I used the lowpass filter on my SSL channel strips to roll off the ultrasonic artifacts and this opened up the sound considerably.

Music is an art, and slavish adherence to "numbers" is detrimental to art.


source:

http://prorecordingworkshop.lefora.com/ ... y-47053838

(interesting for me was that apparently it seems the detrimental part of the audio can be corrected after the fact with Low Pass Filtering (high cut), maybe sort of like in a distortion or OD, how often there is a high cut filter after the distortion generating diodes.)
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Re: low budget cheapskate recording tips

Postby dai h. » Fri Dec 23, 2016 1:24 pm

I found a series of (8 Part) YouTube videos on fixing a Tascam (cassette multitrack) Porta Two which I liked because the author makes it easy to understand how some of the mechanical parts can get jammed up due to hardenend lubricants (also other interesting tips such as not letting spray get in to affect parts than can degrade from the solvents in the spray, etc.) :

TASCAM Porta II fix part 1of 8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UynyxbctZ0M

The author has some other interesting gear-related videos on his main YouTube page as well:

https://www.youtube.com/user/glasstronic/videos

Also, saw a comment at a Japanese bbs in regards to Hitachi Maxell doing a limited reissue of cassette tapes, perceiving that there was some great comeback for cassettes, but since these are "Normal" (and a limited run) it didn't seem to be much of a revival. That being said, perhaps with some tweaking (this current thread over at Home Recording came to
mind: )

http://homerecording.com/bbs/general-di ... es-343284/

maybe a bit better quality can be eked out? I used to own a relatively upmarket Nakamichi cassette deck (not the famous "Dragon") and what I remember looking inside it is that it had a lot of trimmers relative to other decks I had looked at (presumably for better optimization for different types of tape (probably one of the reasons for the higher price)). What I remember from using "Normal" type cassettes is that they sounded pretty good (recorded/played on the Nakamichi), but the other "Chrome" and "Metal" types gave hotter recorded signals. Also, from what I understand, "Chrome" types are recommended for cassette multi-tracks since it's possible to erase the signal more thoroughly with them, so maybe an aspect to look into?
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Re: low budget cheapskate recording tips

Postby David B » Fri Dec 23, 2016 5:50 pm

dai h. wrote:I found a series of (8 Part) YouTube videos on fixing a Tascam (cassette multitrack) Porta Two which I liked because the author makes it easy to understand how some of the mechanical parts can get jammed up due to hardenend lubricants (also other interesting tips such as not letting spray get in to affect parts than can degrade from the solvents in the spray, etc.) :

TASCAM Porta II fix part 1of 8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UynyxbctZ0M

The author has some other interesting gear-related videos on his main YouTube page as well:

https://www.youtube.com/user/glasstronic/videos

Also, saw a comment at a Japanese bbs in regards to Hitachi Maxell doing a limited reissue of cassette tapes, perceiving that there was some great comeback for cassettes, but since these are "Normal" (and a limited run) it didn't seem to be much of a revival. That being said, perhaps with some tweaking (this current thread over at Home Recording came to
mind: )

http://homerecording.com/bbs/general-di ... es-343284/

maybe a bit better quality can be eked out? I used to own a relatively upmarket Nakamichi cassette deck (not the famous "Dragon") and what I remember looking inside it is that it had a lot of trimmers relative to other decks I had looked at (presumably for better optimization for different types of tape (probably one of the reasons for the higher price)). What I remember from using "Normal" type cassettes is that they sounded pretty good (recorded/played on the Nakamichi), but the other "Chrome" and "Metal" types gave hotter recorded signals. Also, from what I understand, "Chrome" types are recommended for cassette multi-tracks since it's possible to erase the signal more thoroughly with them, so maybe an aspect to look into?




Fantastic! Thanks Dai

I still have to get new rubber bands & fresh grease for my P1 but it still works dammit :twisted:

db
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