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Thread: 16 track reel to reels..

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    Spider is offline Expert Member
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    hi all , my first time in the analogue world , feel kinda lost ... just kidding..
    what im wondering is , how much am i looking at if i wanted to use a 16 track reel to reel .. are these common?? and if so how much roughly do they cost?? Aus. if possible..
    I would like to be able to record 16 tracks at once , also i would like the recorder to have 16 direct outs so i can mix down to digital (pc) or even dat ....(i know , its still digital) any help here would be much appreciated , cheers all...
    spider
    ps .. i would also be interested in a meterbridge for it , r these available, also any good secondhand ones out there ??? i think tascam make a decent 16 track dont they ..?? cheers

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    Tim Brown's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Spider
    hi all , my first time in the analogue world , feel kinda lost ... just kidding..
    what im wondering is , how much am i looking at if i wanted to use a 16 track reel to reel .. are these common?? and if so how much roughly do they cost?? Aus. if possible..
    I would like to be able to record 16 tracks at once , also i would like the recorder to have 16 direct outs so i can mix down to digital (pc) or even dat ....(i know , its still digital) any help here would be much appreciated , cheers all...
    spider
    ps .. i would also be interested in a meterbridge for it , r these available, also any good secondhand ones out there ??? i think tascam make a decent 16 track dont they ..?? cheers
    Well, a used Tascam or Fostex machine is going to run you from $1,000 to $2,000 used; they no longer make them, so that is one issue...
    A Reel of 1/2" Tape goes for anywhere from $35 to $50 depending upon where you buy it.

    I see them for sale all the time on E-bay.
    Part of the problem, is readily available parts and support for the Semi-Pro formats (which is what these machines are).
    I would encourage you to look into the Tascam DA-38's.
    My original intent was to go with a 2" Analog machine-but I could not Justify spending $130 for a reel of tape.
    Anything less than a 2" machine, and you'll be dealing with Noise Reduction (dbx SUCKS!) and tape hiss.

    That's my take on this.

    Tim

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    John Sayers's Avatar
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    It's a shame they stopped making the fostex GS24 - it was a great machine for the price - good noise reduction, great transport etc. This should make me an expert member!!

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    Spider is offline Expert Member
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    hey thanks for that tim , and happy aniversary john..keep up the good work..
    Sorry if this sounds a little dumb, but i really have never used tape.. Reels , can they be recorded over, cos at first i will be experimenting a lot with it , and also if it is possible to tape over things is there a lot of quality loss.. So would u say its a good investment?? or are there any newer forms of recordable medium , something along the same line??
    cheers all
    spider

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    Tim Brown's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Spider
    hey thanks for that tim , and happy aniversary john..keep up the good work..
    Sorry if this sounds a little dumb, but i really have never used tape.. Reels , can they be recorded over, cos at first i will be experimenting a lot with it , and also if it is possible to tape over things is there a lot of quality loss.. So would u say its a good investment?? or are there any newer forms of recordable medium , something along the same line??
    cheers all
    spider
    Hi Spider,

    I personally LOVE Analog, BUT I hate Tape hiss. In any of these types of Formats, you're going to be fighting the hiss.
    I transferred some tapes from 1992 for a friend last night into digital.
    The singer on the tapes killed himself 2 years ago, and my friend wanted to be able to make copies-so I transferred it to digital, so that we would only have to run the analog tape 1 time.

    It was HISS CITY man!! Hahaha
    I've already gotten used to the no hiss factor of my Digital machines.

    Okay, what exactly is your budget for this?
    You have to have a ball park figure that you're looking to spend, otherwise we can't really help you too much, without being very general with our answers.

    I still say go Digital. If you want tape-get either a Tascam or an Alesis machine. I chose Tascam simply for the fact that I Trust Tascam machines-while I would NEVER trust anything that says Alesis on it.
    I had too many problems with their effect units during the late 80's and early 90's to be willing to risk wasting the money on their machines.

    Tim

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    Paulie is offline Senior Member
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    There is hiss on every great recording ever made. I bought a used Tascam 85-16B off E Bay for 2800. it is a 1 inch format. Set up for 499 tape there is no need for noise reduction. , and the sound quality will blow away any form of digital in existance.

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    virtual.ray is offline Force of Nature
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    Wink Nostalgia

    Before returning to this country,I had an Otari MX5050 MkIII 1/2" 8 track.I used to mail order Ampex 456 from Manny's NYC for like $35 per 10" reel.It sounded great but with the shipping and duty I would've had to pay for it to make the trip with me,it wasn't cost effective.Now I have a VS-880EX,and although I still love the analog sound I gotta admit I've gotten really used to the speed and flexibility of hard disk recording.I still think that that model Otari is probably the best small format analog multitrack ever made; at 15ips the unweighted S/N was 66db w/o noise reduction!(I never used any)and the frequency response went out to 26khz (again at 15ips).Pretty good for 1/2" tape!

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    Spider is offline Expert Member
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    well im already recording onto digital , using a pc based setup.. but i visited a studio recently for some work experience and i was quite impressed with the 16 track tascam he was using. Plus i like the idea of being able to run everything back out (still seperate Chans.) the recorder and through my desk so i can mix down to digital..is this a bad way of doing it ?? but basically i was hoping to be able to pick something up around the 2000 dollars AUS. , is that about $1000 US , not sure.. Am i dreamming ,
    i looked on ebay , theres a few things there but they just look so old .. am i too accustomed to the flash looks of digital rcording?? i hope not cos i liked the sound , warmth and feel of the analogue setup i saw ... but it also didnt look too old either .. cheers all
    spider

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    Tim Brown's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Spider
    well im already recording onto digital , using a pc based setup.. but i visited a studio recently for some work experience and i was quite impressed with the 16 track tascam he was using. Plus i like the idea of being able to run everything back out (still seperate Chans.) the recorder and through my desk so i can mix down to digital..is this a bad way of doing it ?? but basically i was hoping to be able to pick something up around the 2000 dollars AUS. , is that about $1000 US , not sure.. Am i dreamming ,
    i looked on ebay , theres a few things there but they just look so old .. am i too accustomed to the flash looks of digital rcording?? i hope not cos i liked the sound , warmth and feel of the analogue setup i saw ... but it also didnt look too old either .. cheers all
    spider
    Well Spider,
    You have to realize that it's been awhile since Small format Open Reel Multitracks were in vogue. I think that as soon as the news that Alesis had designed the ADAT was released, all the manufacturer's started scrambling to get into the digital field.
    I'm not sure when Fostex quit making 16 tracks, I think their last model might have been something like the E-16, which was 16 tracks on 1/2" tape.
    Tascam probably quit making the MSR series in the early 90's, so you're looking at a machine that's at least 5 to 7 years old.
    My main to problems with the small format units are noise/hiss, and the availablitiy of parts.
    Have you thought about getting an 8-track?
    I use an analog 8-track for somethings, and then just copy it into digital-I run the 8-track into my mixer, through Limiters-and put the maximum volume onto digital to help give me the levels that I want.
    The only reason that I've even hung onto my Analog machine-is that I have $500 into the machine, and I know i can't get that back out of it.
    I bought a Fostex A-8 that had ZERO hours on the headblock!
    I got it from a friend; and He paid more for the Headblock and Installation of it, than I paid him for the Machine.


    My first experience with "real" multitrack was on a Fostex 16 track at a local studio in 1986; before that we were ping ponging everything between a 1970-something Sansui 2 track reel to reel, and a cassette deck, then eventually got a Yamaha MT44 (or something like that?) it was a rackmount unit-and you had to have this "sensor" tape to put on the back of the cassette to make it read all 4 tracks.

    Tim

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    El Barto's Avatar
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    Cool

    So is it the general opinion that Tascam reel to reels are the best? Or Otari? Or are they both equally great? And are these the units that pro studios use...cause I know a lot of recording studios still use reel to reel (for example, Steve Albini does), but what brand do they use? One of the above? According to Otari's website, from what it looks like, Otari still makes a 24 track recorder...1" or 2", can't remember. Anyone know where to get one? I bet they cost an arm and a leg. Then there's the matter of mixers...it's kinda pointless to have 24 tracks with a 4 or 8 buss console...who makes really good 16 and 24 buss mixers? I'm not looking to buy anytime soon (maybe even never), but getting a general idea is what I'm after.

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