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Sorry to continue this ridiculous discussion, but I just have to...

 

Let's forget about CDs in 15 years...do you HONESTLY think they'll be around in 50? The digital world is moving towards very, very small, NON-REPAIRABLE FLASH MEMORY! And that's RIGHT NOW! Forget about 50 years from now!

 

Another huge difference between analog and digital recorders, YOU CAN FIX THE ANALOG STUFF IN YOUR HOUSE WITH THE MOST BASIC OF TOOLS. Please do not fluff my rear and try to tell me that you can, in confidence, remove the top of a CD player and identify and fix every component and circuit in there. Don't tell me you can do that. You can't. You CANNOT.

 

And let's pretend for a minute that in 50 years your CDROM will still be 100% functional and operational....

 

Where are you gonna find a player for it? Where? The same place that'll still have ADATs, I guess!

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well once the move is made to solid state drives, ALL your arguements are invalid in regards to the mechanics.... but there are many storage capabilites of digital that analog will NEVER be able to do.

 

you obviously have little to no experience working with computers because all your points are VERY easily dealt with to fix.

 

and no, you have 1/4", 1/2", 1" [2,4,8,16], 2" [8, 16,24] formats.... do you have all those headstacks and machines? sorry but your analog arguement is as flawed as you claim digital to be.

 

there is story after story of last pass tapes going to digital... MANY of them. maybe you have the "secret" to tape use, maybe you should share it with all the people on the last pass to digital to archive the magnetic tape medium.

 

 

its FINE if you want to record to magnetic tape but get off your {censored}ing high horse or ride out of town.

 

the BOUTIQUE referred to are the tape MANUFACTURERS now. not the studios. then again, i know people with tape machines they cant get rid of. nobody wants them. you are part of a last stand that probably wont exist in much force in 15 years as the new generations move in growing up on digital have no interest in an archaically slow and limited medium.

 

 

and your recall? ONLY in your studio with your gear.... and 10 minutes? i can do it in 10 SECONDS, if that. and its PERFECTLY back where it was, unlike yours with can very quite significantly.

 

 

in 50 years, that cd will be able to be read.... dont kid yourself.

 

and why bother to fix a $50 CD player? just buy another, with better convertors, lower jitter, and better components.... but yeah, i do fix them in my house with the most BASIC things.... have had to fix my playstation MANY times.

 

 

the beautiful thing about digital is you can make exact replicas as many times as you want, even from the children. so it doesnt really matter what the storage medium moves to.

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There is just SO MUCH UTTER BALONEY in what you say, seaneldon.

 

Someone who claims to use tape recorders every day but can make a statement like, " Tape will NOT degrade from PLAYBACK unless the machine you're working on is in dire need of a hefty surgery," is simply either being disingenuous or is just plain nuts.

 

Of COURSE tape degrades with every pass by the heads. There is physical contact. The oxide sheds. Will you hear it in a few passes? In ten? In fifty? In two hundred? At some point the degradation will, indeed, become noticeable. But it is happening every time you run that tape. It is simple, physical reality. Tape -- with iron oxide held in suspension -- runs across metal heads at 15, 30, maybe even 60 ips...

 

Heads wear down. Don't they?

 

fig4.jpg

 

They do.

 

And they are made of METAL. Very hard METAL.

 

And YOU are trying to tell us that your TAPE will NOT wear in normal circumstances?

 

That is simply idiotic.

 

__________

 

 

Since you seem to want to keep conflating issues of choice of recording medium with archival issues -- let me say ONCE AGAIN, I am only quarreling with your assertions that analog tape makes a better archival medium. If YOU want to record on analog tape machines, and you know how to keep them running properly (which, given some of the bizarre misconceptions you claim to hold seems a somewhat incredible proposition) I say that's great -- go for it.

 

I, myself, love and miss the sound of a big ol' beautiful tape machine going into action, the thunk of the pinch has it hits the capstan, the (mechanical) hiss of the tape as is spools off the reel... I don't miss the poor signal to noise ratios, diminished frequency response, wear factor, flutter, crosstalk, print-through, phase anomalies -- and HEAVEN KNOWS I don't miss the maintenance headaches.

 

But -- in terms of recording -- those are tradeoffs some folks are willing to take and I say more power to them. I appreciate their iconoclasm and I appreciate that the best among them will probably preserve and maintain some beautiful old machines that played a big part in some of our musical lives.

 

That is recording.

 

Archival is a WHOLE different ball of wax (no puns intended) and your assertions about tape as an archival medium are just complete and utter fantasy and I don't mind saying it.

 

But -- again -- no one needs to take this from me.

 

All they need do is spend some time looking at archival best practices as outlined by the nation's library and archival associations.

 

THAT should straighten out anyone who is confused about this issue quite quickly.

 

 

seaneldon didn't seem to take much away from the quote from the UCLA professor, Elizabeth Cohen -- who was Cochair of the AES Technical Committee on Archiving, Restoration and Digital Libraries (in 2000) -- so let's try well-known audio technology authority, Eddie Ciletti:

People who make analog recording part of their daily routine take for granted that the tape is new and the machine is operable. When called upon to remaster or remix a vintage analog recording, it goes without saying that the machine must be in top form AND that your business should be insured. That said, there is one variable for which you have no control: tape condition. This is especially true for mid-seventies era high-output tapes such as AMPEX 406/407 and 456, 3M 250, and AGFA 468. It does not exclude those made well into the eighties.


Don't attempt to play a "vintage" tape before reading this article! In order to expect full recovery, tapes that have been shelved for an extended period deserve special treatment just like a scuba diver must slowly return to the surface.

 

 

seaneldon, you're not really arguing with a couple of guys in a computer BB -- you're arguing against the prevailing wisdom of virtually the entire audio preservation movement as well as professional organizations stretching from the American Library Association to the Audio Engineering Society.

 

 

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ahem:

 

the various tape sizes and track counts of analog recorders is entirely different from the various digital formats. each of these machines/tapes has it's use and none of them makes another one obsolete. in the digital world, as soon as one new product comes out, support for the legacy products is dropped and it dies shortly thereafter. plus, *I* personally don't need all of those machines, because someone else near me is always gonna have one that I don't. I do offer multiple headstacks, by the way, I could buy more machines if I wanted to, but it's just not currently in the list of priorities.

 

if the guy you know absolutely can't find a buyer for his tape machine, he's not listing it or pricing it properly. someone wants to buy it. he's just either not advertising in the proper way or he's asking way too much money for it. OR HIS TAPE MACHINE IS SOME FOSTEX PIECE OF CRAP THAT NO ONE WANTED TO BEGIN WITH.

 

your perfect-10-second digital recall will only work as long as you have that software, all of those plugins, and a 100% working drive. as soon as one of those factors is removed, kiss your recall goodbye. recall isn't even all that important, especially when we're talking about old tapes. 99% of the time I revisit a recording from tape, it's not to get the same exact sound that I got when I first mixed it. if that was the case, i'd put the mix reel on the 2-track.

 

what's slow about analog tape? i could make a full length album just as fast as any cookie cutter pro tools studio, if not faster and less expensive. and i won't have to dedicate myself to repeatedly updating the format of the {censored}ing thing every 2 years or worrying about making countless backups. and "limited" is a very ridiculous word to use if you're trying to bash my recording practices and thoughts. limitless conditions lead to no important decision being made. maybe you need unlimited track counts and repeated use of the same EQ plugin over and over because you're incompetent as an engineer. i certainly don't, and i still make plenty of records under these "limits". and guess how they sound.

 

if you pass through the same piece of tape 200 times during a recording, the band you're working with is not rehearsed enough to even warrant a recording. period. this simply would not happen. after the recording sessions are over, the tape !!SHOULD BE STORED!! for archival purposes. for general listening to that album, you wouldn't exactly throw it on your reel to reel. you'd put on the album over a stereo. if the same reel is played 200 times, its either the band's fault, or your fault. {censored}, it doesn't even need to go on a shelf. it could go under your bed and collect dust. i'll still be able to play the {censored}ing thing 50 years from now and it'll sound just like it did the last time you heard it.

 

and again, if PLAYBACK of the same reel does THAT MUCH DAMAGE to the tape, why can I continue to use the same PREOWNED alignment tape every day? why? PLEASE tell me. it must be some magical alignment reel! i really scored with that one!

 

what i said is that tape will NOT WEAR SIGNIFICANTLY WITH REGULAR, NORMAL ASSED RECORDING AND MIXING USE. you know...what it's intended for. if the opposite were true, the format would have been abandoned long ago and excellent machines would NOT command the multi-thousand dollar prices that they still do (yeah, people are STILL buying brand new multitracks direct from studer for $17K+). instead, thousands and thousands of professional engineers continue to use analog machines. end of story. absolutely ridiculous.

 

i can't do this anymore. this argument is ridiculous. i refuse to take part anymore. everything that i needed to say, i got out there. use it as a reference instead of asking me to back up my "wild claims".

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I'm afraid seaneldon simply does NOT have a grip on the peculiar realities of analog tape and I STRONGLY recommend that anyone reading what he writes here -- or anywhere -- NOT accept it at face value and does his own research on the subject.

 

 

If you're interested in recording with analog tape, I recommend you read one of the many excellent articles on the challenges you'll face -- they are considerable but only you can really decide if they're worthwhile. A good place to start (since it's on the newstands right now) is Electronic Musicians March 2007 ish with the article "Joining the Reel World" -- by Eddie Ciletti.

 

If, on the other hand, you are looking to ARCHIVE your material, I would strongly recommend reading the best practices advised by archival organizations, by the American Library Association, and/or the Audio Engineering Society.

 

DO NOT take it from me. And for heaven's sake -- do not take what seaneldon writes above at face value. Much of it is simply not true. As you will find out with a little research.

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i'm sorry, and i know that i said i'd keep out of this, but:

 

when someone starts calling into question my knowledge and experience with recording, i've gotta stick up for myself.

 

this is my job. this is my ONLY job. this is what i do all day and all night.

 

and i hate for it to even ALMOST come to this, but i'd go so far as to say that i'd love to put my work up against your work. see if my results don't show that i DO, in fact, know what i'm talking about. a lot.

 

and to put up the names of two "associations" which are undoubtedly biased towards and/or FINANCED BY the digital world AS A REFERENCE is absolutely unbelievably misleading. and an "electronic music" magazine which is funded by advertising of every digital audio company under the sun WILL NOT publish an article saying that analog recording is important as i (and many, many others) say it is. they'll tell you to just go with the flavor of the month 24bitwhateverthe{censored} because it's for sale right now. and if you really wanna get into it, guess what trusty recording format our own United States government (love 'em or hate 'em) uses to document presidential, congressional, judicial, and senatorial rulings. the library of congress, for christ's sake. go ahead. guess.

 

i'm sorry, but put a sock in it. saying that i don't know what i'm talking about is not only offensive...it's just completely untrue.

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Well, I'm sorry to have to say this, but I definitely -- without any doubt -- call into question many of your assertions above. They simply do not comport with reality as I understand it -- or as it is described by true authorities in the field of audio, preservation, and restoration.

 

I'm DEEPLY AMUSED by your condemnation of (particularly) the American Library Association as some kind of tool of the digital audio industry. That's FRIGGIN' HILARIOUS. And, think what you will about EM, but the author of the article (which I presume you haven't seen), Eddie Ciletti is a very well-established authority on tape and other vintage equipment, who has also written for Mix (where his three part series on ANALOG TAPE MACHINES ran in 2000), EQ, and other pubs, and who is considered such an authority on restoring magnetic tape recordings that his article on same is reprinted on the website of no less a seminal figure than Wendy Carlos.

 

 

But, again, no one should feel they have to take MY word for any of it. If they do the research, they will likely very quickly answer all their questions.

 

 

I'm sorry if the tone has taken a somewhat personal angle and I want to assure you that I bear you no animosity whatsoever (maybe a little frustrated, as I'm sure you are).

 

Again, I'm not calling into question your decision to record and produce on magnetic tape (as long as you're aware of the trade-offs, something I'm not entirely sure of) -- only your assertions as to the supposed durability of the medium and its suitability as an archival medium at this point in history -- which are wildly off the mark, IMHO.

 

And, whatever your factual understanding or misunderstanding, I feel sure that it bears little reflection on your abilities to deliver the sounds you or your clients are looking for.

 

With that, I'll say, Good luck and good day!

 

:)

 

[Hope that qualifies as "putting a sock in it," my friend! ;) ]

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One last thing... I SURE WISH seaneldon was right...

 

See... I have 85 reels of analog tape-- not counting cassettes, DATs, ADAT tapes, etc -- and I REALLY WISH seaneldon was right.

 

 

 

PS... the VERY first recording I ever did was on a WIRE RECORDER. ;) I think I might have a spool of that around somewhere, too (not that particular recording, though, which was so garbled as to be almost unidentifiable).

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See... I have
85 reels of analog tape
-- not
counting cassettes, DATs, ADAT tapes, etc -- and I REALLY WISH seaneldon was right.


But he ain't. Plain and simple.

 

 

so make that bet that i made earlier. send them to me. i'll make them play if they were cared for in any fashion while you were properly using them, and stored them vertically in their original boxes, tails out. {censored}, i don't even care how you stored them as long as you left them in the box! seriously. i'll bet you $100 per reel. i could use some extra scratch for peter luger's steaks. $80 if i need to bake them.

 

if you're REALLY a betting man, wait 10 years and i'll up the ante to $500 a reel. we can even adjust for inflation!

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Sean (I feel like we go back far enough now that I can call you by what I imagine is your first name :) )

 

If I was prepared to spend money trying to restore old tapes I think I would be going to someone like Eddie Ciletti, who has got a proven track record and is a recognized authority.

 

Thanks for the offer, though.

 

Have a good one! :)

 

 

[PS... I must have edited out the "plain and simple" part of my previous post while you were responding. Sorry to present a moving target. I was just trying to tone things down a little. ;) ]

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i'm not offering to restore them at all. i just want to show you that they'll play. and i won't charge you for the service. i'll just take the money when i win the bet. 85 times.

 

you said i was wrong. i'm betting you that i'm not. that has nothing to do with restoration. and i don't even need to be a "recognized authority" to show you that i'm right.

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Sean

 

You seem to be under the odd notion that I'm claiming it's impossible for a tape to still be playable in some fashion twenty odd years later.

 

Did I say that?

 

No, I did not.

 

What DID I say?

 

I said that tape (and heads for that matter) wears to some extent with every play. Whether it's immediately noticeable or not, it IS cumulative.

 

I also said that tape is not a good choice for archival vis a vis today's technology.

 

I said that archives have had considerable problems with tapes that have deteriorated with age (even without wear).

 

And I said that archival professionals and organizations -- as well as THE dominant audio engineering professional society, AES -- are pretty clear in their recommendations as to archival strategies and best practices.

 

 

Now, even if one DID get all 85 of my tapes to play with something like the original fidelity -- and I can assure you from sad experience that that is most DEFINTELY NOT GOING TO HAPPEN (though the reels are, of course, all stored tails out, in their boxes, with a generous scattering of silica gel packets in the locker) -- it STILL would not "prove" anything and would hardly argue against the experience and advice of archival and restoration professionals.

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I missed this before.


Can I just stipulate that your dick is bigger than mine?



Geez. Wotta {censored}in' loser.

 

 

What do you expect when you start slamming my credibility, saying in a public forum that no one should listen to me or anything I say? Absolute slander. And if you wanna talk "big dick", then quit your bull{censored} attempts at trying to pull rank because you're older than I am and had your first recorder when all muslims got along. You're implying that your "statements" hold more water than mine because of that. Bull{censored}. You could have owned a piano for that long too, but I can still show you thousands of 10 year olds who can play sideways over you and even have a better understanding of it.

 

What it comes down to is this: Neither side will be able to prove they're right until enough time passes to get right down to business. So far, analog tapes have far, far more time in print and a higher survival rate. Maybe that'll change in a hundred years. I happen to believe that it won't. And I'm in the profession of RECORDING!!! Some {censored}head who has a job in "archiving research" is about as credible on this subject as 1300's scientists who were 100% POSITIVE that the world was flat at this point in time. And I don't care who the {censored} he works for or where he went to school.

 

What's so "{censored}in' loser" about offering to back my statements up with evidence of actual knowledge and experience in the form of audio? You know, what I get paid for. Your statement that *nothing* I say on this forum should be "taken at face value" could certainly be discredited then. Because I do, in fact, know what the {censored} I'm doing.

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Hey, people. LIKE I SAID a number of times... don't take it from me.

 

Do your own research and see what you find.

 

 

[sorry about the language folks... I was on my way back here to clean it up but I guess it's too late. It's certainly an accurate representation of my thoughts at the time.]

 

 

And, seaneldon, I'm going to send you a personal message that says this (in case you miss this post): I apologize for losing my temper. I felt like I tried to cut you a lot of slack earlier in the thread (please note that I did NOT call into question your abilities at recording and producing the music your clients want -- only your advice that people use analog tape for archival.) Apparently, not enough slack.

 

Anyway, that's pretty much it. I suggest you and I avoid each other here and at GS for the forseeable future.

 

I wish you absolutely no ill will -- and do wish you good luck with your work.

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As far as the replication goes... I'm making final graphics changes as I type this... So it'll get sent in tomorrow, hopefully. Then about 13-14 business days later I'll have the cds. We're getting 1000... So we won't sell out anytime soon.

 

Matt

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There may be a few available analog multi~tracks, in about 10 years ...but, for sure there will be a premium charge *** to access the few studios :: who may house one.

 

We still have a Tascam 8trk 1/2in --and charge nearly double what it would cost for you to turn on a DAW. SO, yes >> they may be around in the future but, I we definitely see no reason, to not charge $200 hr :: just to plug it in ...

 

SEANELDON So how do we transfer an 8trk 1/2in recorded @ 3/4 :: to a Roland VS format. DO you have access to a 8 trk deck with a non~professional speed ?

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There may be a few available analog multi~tracks, in about 10 years ...but, for sure there will be a premium charge *** to access the few studios :: who may house one.


We still have a Tascam 8trk 1/2in --and charge nearly double what it would cost for you to turn on a DAW. SO, yes >> they may be around in the future but, I we definitely see no reason, to not charge $200 hr :: just to plug it in ...


SEANELDON So how do we transfer an 8trk 1/2in recorded @ 3/4 :: to a Roland VS format. DO you have access to a 8 trk deck with a non~professional speed ?

 

 

1) I posted my counterargument to your first statement before. Don't feel like digging that up, so I'll just once again say that this will simply NOT happen. Anyone who is charging a premium charge now is missing out on tons of business that the thousand+ shops around the country that have no extra charge -- save for the tape costs -- are getting, and will continue to get. I can absolutely provide a list of 30-50 studios in my area alone that all have PROFESSIONAL tape recorders. In some of those studios, it's the main, or ONLY recording medium. These studios are the ones that are doing the best as far as the amount of days booked per month, and the caliber of talent they're getting through their doors. That's gotta say something. A lot of them are less expensive than your typical PTHD/ProControlbull{censored} studio. Want that list? Loho, Avatar, Monster Island, Cloud 9, Studio G, Brooklyn Recording, Seaside Lounge, Metrosonic, Excello Recording, Headgear, Threshold, Bushwick Studio, One East, Echosound, Music Lab, Music Palace, Sabella, PIE, The Bunker, Audiomagick...should I continue? What if I told you a lot of those rooms have MULTIPLE tape machines, and have NO INTENTION of selling them?

 

2) This second statement is absolutely ridiculous. You charge people extra to record to an awful tape machine? Your business model needs some work. And anyway, if you had a properly set up patchbay and could calibrate your machine (it should take a maximum of 5 minutes to set up that deck, by the way), there would be no "plugging in". You'd patch your pre outs into the tape ins and you're rolling. Absolutely no reason to charge extra to do your REGULAR job.

 

3) Do I have a worthless consumer tape deck? No. But someone around here does. Believe me. Especially if the machine in question is a 388. There's a boatload of those still in use. There is one in my building, if you're curious. You can dump those tapes to anything digital...if you wanted to. There's no real reason to. There should be no extra cost. It should be built into the rates you already charge. A 15 minute reel only takes 15-20 minutes to pass to digital!

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