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  • #16
    Originally posted by ram3n
    BryanMichael,

    No one's gonna deny that analog media costs money. But first, 2" reels aren't $280.00, they're in the $130-$170 range depending on the quantity and what type you buy. Second, high quality CD-Rs are more than $0.09. So please don't exagerate prices.

    Now don't foget there's also archiving costs involved in digital hard disk recordings that must be considered. For example, you go to some studio and your recording 24 tracks of 24 bit data with a high sample rate, aka high fidelity, you can expect to pay at least a couple hundred on up of archiving expenses because you'll have a tremendous amount of data that'll need archiving. As for the reels, that, in a way, is the archiving. And yes, I know that 2" reels at 30ips last about 17 minutes, but as a recording artist/band you need to ask if it's worth it.

    As for ADATs, you definitely save on media expenses. But I've used ADATs (I even own a couple) and I'm not a huge fan of them.

    I think the point I was trying to make to chadomac is that don't let cost deter him from analog, because it seems that he's going to be more in the range of 1" tape (which I buy for $65 from Full Compass in bulk of 5). And since my machine runs at 15ips, I get about 32 to minutes per reel. So it's not that bad.


    I'm not going to disagree with you on some of this- but seriously, the last time I bought 2" tape ( about three years ago) it was running pretty close to that (maybe 225.00 per reel now that I reconsider) and I bought 20 reels Quantegy (used to be Ampex) perhaps the price has dropped ?
    High quality CD-R's ??? I've noticed no difference in the ability of a Mitsui or Sony CDR (Or Imation OR Maxell OR etc...) to retaining data as a bulk Micro-Center buy of CD-R's- The bottom line is that they all basically come from a couple manufacturers and are re-branded appropriately. I used to operate an $80,000 recordable media budget at the production house I used to work for- and I dealt with all kinds of wholesale suppliers.

    As far as archiving costs- I never considered that, but you are correct that you must archive. But your price point is including the SERVICE of archiving- Buying a DVD-R (once) 400.00 and blank DVD's are running down in the 4.00 range now= FULL ARCHIVING system. (DVD's can hold DATA as well) I'm not exaggerating anything- If you want to go analog that's fine, I'm not trying to stop anyone from following their dream. A 1" machine would be much more economical. And my other question still stands- Which parts of the Joshua Tree were recorded at home on a Tascam porta studio, on an Otari Hard Disc recoder, and on analog tape?

    My point is that analog does NOT = Good sounding recording automatically. Nor does digital= crappy sounding recording automatically.
    Utinam logica falsa tuam philosophiam totam suffodiant!

    Creativity is a Work Ethic

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    • #17
      Great discussion going on here I am an admitted novist when it comes to recording but I know what sounds good to me. Maybe I am just too dam lazy or stupid but the digital set ups I have seen are far too complex for me to ENJOY working with. A friend of mine has one and never uses it as in his words "I have to hit 7 or 8 buttons to record anything and half the time I **************** it up and end up not recording anything". My set up is admittedly far from ideal but I am happy with it, for now. I have a Fostex B-16 it uses 1/2 tape. I have dozens of reels I bought on ebay for less than $10 a reel (found a web site that sells it for $43 a reel new, also a place near me sells it for $50 and stocks 1/2 tape). I also am kind of lazy when it comes to fixing things. My goal is not perfection just good karma, low stress enjoyable recording. I use an old Mackie 1604 mixer I have to repatch all the time (would like to get a second one so I don't have too). I also have a CDR recorded I can mix to, a consumer grade Phillips one. Is my set up the best? No. Am I going to get the same results as a pro studio will? No. Is my set up easy to use and am I happy with the results? Yes yes!


      I used a Fostex X-15 cassette 4 tracker for many years. Last year I went through all the old tapes I could find and was surprised at the quality of some of the recordings. Most of them were never finished as we ran out of tracks and reductions on a cassette machine makes a **************** load of tape hiss. I just transferred some of those 4 track tapes onto 16 track. Kind of strange working with yourself 20 years later. A new twist to the "Free as a Bird" idea? Than again it would be very hard to work with myself if I were dead?

      Now I AM confused!

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      • #18
        I am not a die hard "digital head" or a die hard "analog head". I am a die hard "take what you have and do the best you can with it-head".

        I am very comfortable with analog, that's pretty much all I have used for multitracking since I started six years ago. I started on a little Tascam Portastudio cassette 4-track, then moved up to a Vestax MR66 cassette 6-track, and have been able to make some very good recordings on them. I'm in the process of moving up to a Tascam MSR-16 and a Tascam TSR-8 and can't wait to use them.

        For mixing and mastering, I am very comfortable with digital. I have mixed to analog before, both to cassette and to a very old Roberts reel-to-reel (vaccuum tubes, no kidding). The digital package I use for mixing is Cool Edit by Syntrillium fo the PC, and I have been very happy with it.

        But before I go out and do any recordings for other people, I'm going to make recordings of my own and learn all of my equipment inside out, because that's the only way to get a recording--know how to use your equipment well.

        I would suggest (if you have not already done so) do some research on what is available both in the digital and analog domains. When you make your decision, learn your equipment and do the best you can with it.

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        • #19
          A few important considerations Chadmoc.........

          First, I have found that peoples description of "warmth" and "analog" really vary. One guy described "warmth" the same as "tube sound" and said "warmth" is extra boost in the low-mid frequencies. I wish it were that simple.

          So, Chadmoc, do you mean tape satuation? I think tape saturation is the reason people record to tape and dump into digital. Ever consider the tape saturation tools or something like Cubase True Tape? No, nothing will sound exactly like the real tape saturation but is the extra expense worth it? Can you honnestly detect a bass kick over-saturating on tape as opposed to a bass kick going through something like Cubase True Tape? If I'm serious about a blind A/B test, I ask a frend to conduct it so Im completely impartial. If you are using quality preamps, good mics, and a quality pro audio card you might surprise yourself when your freind conducts the tests.

          I cringe when I hear an analog groupie preach the wonders of analog, only to discover he was quoting word for word excerpts from an engineer. After all, isnt it cool to sound like veteran engineers and mastering engineers who use pure analog gear and can detect the differences?

          Like the hundred others here Im not trying to sway you from using old high maintenence quality equipment. The old good stuff like Studer, Atari, Revox, WILL cost you money. My Atari is a work horse but it has to be maintaned continually. What I am trying to say is dont get wraped up in the outdated debates about digital vs analog. When digital was new in the early 80s it sounded harsh. It turns out that the problem was the AD/DA converters. So how is the quality of your AD/DA converters? Do yourself a favor and get a freind to conduct A/B tests so you will be completely impartial.

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          • #20
            yeah dude-
            get used to punching, punching, punching - accurately-
            because any "editing" will be a nightmare compared to using a digital system


            ah come on now, it's not a nightmare, it's FUN ! and really, who needs to edit anyway ?

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            • #21
              hrm

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              • #22
                Alright, i'll share my analog experience.

                I bought an 8-track 1/4" machine back in 97; my first real (reel? no, I won't make that pun) multitrack machine. It sounded good, granted it's no Otari or Studer. It was fun, to, and I got pretty good at punching. I used it for about 3 years pretty regularly, did a lot of recording of myself, my band, and a few clients. I never had to align the heads, never had to do much more than clean it up and oil it now and then. The biggest bummer was having to come up with workarounds when I ran out of tracks, and having to come up with $13 for a reel of tape whenever I had another song idea to lay down. Still, sometimes limitations are good.

                I have a nice Sonar system now that cost me about the same money and has tons more capability. Does it sound more "digital"? I guess a little bit, whatever that means, but my 8-track has been in the closet for 3 years. I might use it one day to track drums or remix my old tunes. Maybe I'll teach my son about analog recording when he's older. For me (and YMMV) the tradeoff for analog isn't worth the small difference in sound.

                Chadomac, I think the reason everyone is steering you to digital is because you distictly give off the impression of being a newbie. (for example, the fact that you wanted "10-20 tracks", when most of us know that analog recorders are generally 4, 8, 16, or 24 tracks.)While there are certainly viable reasons to record analog, there is also a lot of hype around analog recording, and a lot of newbies buy into the hype. I think people just want to make sure you aren't ruling out digital prematurely. Analog systems are nice and certainly have their own sound, but the cost in terms of time and money are steeper.
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                • #23
                  Spinman, very well said........

                  Unless we are dealing with tape saturation issues which can also be emulated, I fear a lot of these digital/analog tests conducted in bedrooms with less than quality converters are not very objective.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by ANTILIFE
                    Analog is overrated except for laying down drums. Anyone that had to work in that format without a million dollars to buy the best anti-hiss/noise hardware should love digital.

                    When I hear those guys going on and on about analog this and that I just want to puke.

                    Analog has crappy high end too.

                    For something tracking to analog is cool--drums--but everything else no thank you.


                    Bingo.

                    I've done some stuff on 24 track 2" MCIs mixed to 1/2" with Dolby SR NR and still when I listen to it, even with the bad mix, the sounds are airy, punchy and cool.

                    Analog in that realm is great. But I don't have 30K to drop on a tape machine or the supporting HW, or the inclination to maintain it. And today's digital stuff for the semi-pro makes recording to 8-16 track Tascam RtoRs seem silly.

                    I think I would lose my mind if I had to wait for a tape to rewind or cue.

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                    • #25
                      Most people who argue the digital versus analog problem are digi people who never had analog or much of it. As one who has mucho years with both I just sold my last 2 RTR's not because they didn't sound as good as digital but because at the end of the day it adds up to more than just sound. I actually feel I gave up a bit of something but it was minimal and the benefits outweighed the loss. I just don't have the time and desire to thread tape and track drums and dump it and etc. I have yet to need to clean the heads of a hard drive. It is just too fast and too powerful for me to go back and the quality is enough. For that matter the average joe should consider an all in one. They sound great, are easy to operate, and it takes the computer hassle out of the equation. My big thing is don't waste tons of time time deciding what to buy, just buy something and get going, you will learn and get things accomplished. Regardless of what you buy you will end up upgrading at some point in time.

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                      • #26
                        Most people who argue the digital versus analog problem are digi people who never had analog or much of it. As one who has mucho years with both I just sold my last 2 RTR's not because they didn't sound as good as digital but because at the end of the day it adds up to more than just sound. I actually feel I gave up a bit of something but it was minimal and the benefits outweighed the loss. I just don't have the time and desire to thread tape and track drums and dump it and etc. I have yet to need to clean the heads of a hard drive. It is just too fast and too powerful for me to go back and the quality is enough. For that matter the average joe should consider an all in one. They sound great, are easy to operate, and it takes the computer hassle out of the equation. My big thing is don't waste tons of time time deciding what to buy, just buy something and get going, you will learn and get things accomplished. Regardless of what you buy you will end up upgrading at some point in time.

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                        • #27
                          Analog is overrated except for laying down drums. Anyone that had to work in that format without a million dollars to buy the best anti-hiss/noise hardware should love digital.

                          When I hear those guys going on and on about analog this and that I just want to puke.

                          Analog has crappy high end too.

                          For something tracking to analog is cool--drums--but everything else no thank you.


                          ANTILIFE: isn't it a bit strange that you so dis analog recording, but all the bands that you mention in your sig tracked most all of their albums to analog tape ?

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                          • #28
                            hrm

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                            • #29
                              Ignoring the more general debate for the moment - I think that the digital suggestions for this thread specifically are the right ideas. This is because you want 10-20 tracks and as the number of tracks increases, the expense/maintenance vs. result ratio gets better and better for digital. Also, as more and more people use digital, your options of transferring recordings from station to station increase, while they decrease the more people abandon analog for digital.

                              That being said, I still record extensively on an Yamaha analog 4 track. Why? Because I have it already, and I like the sound. Also, as I've gotten better as a musician, the number of tracks I want has actually decreased, to the point where I rarely want more than a single guitar part along with my vocals/bass etc. If I wanted complex arrangements and felt I could pull it off, I think digital would be my next step. Certainly instead of moving past the 4-track stage in analog. I should also mention that taking analog recordings to digital mixes is a perfectly fine way to go as well.

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