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Thread: Connecting Reel-to-Reel to computer for recording?

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    soma89 is offline Newbie
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    Connecting Reel-to-Reel to computer for recording?

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    Hello,
    I'm in the market for a decent recording set up (just for Demos and Myspace stuff) but to be honest I think a lot of digital recording is a TAD too clean for my liking.

    I was thinking of getting a Reel to Reel deck (there's a Revox A77 for sale locally) and record through it but then sending it to my computer so i can edit it using recording software. I'm thinking of seperating tracks with the software...in a sense, I'd be using it as an interface for my computer.

    Would this work out? If not, how else can I use a reel to reel to combine it with digital recordings?

    I was looking to get an interface but I'd be happy to use the money on a reel-to-reel deck instead, if it can do what I want it to.

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    Armistice's Avatar
    Armistice is offline Son of Yoda
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    You'd need a way to convert the analogue output of your reel to reel to a digital signal that your PC can deal with... so you're probably still up for an interface unless you feel like going the standalone converter route.

    Then there's the monitoring question. Your PC's sound card is nowhere near good enough to mix reel (sorry) music on... so you need a monitoring solution, and that's often done via an interface as well.

    Others may have different views... I'm not really a PC recording guy.
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    soma89 is offline Newbie
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    Well I was thinking i could use an AMplifier to connect right to the back of my PC...the same way I have recorded some of my vinyl to my computer (Source ---> AMplifier----> PC Input.)

    I'd do this for all my tracks and lay them down seperately on recording software so I can edit them.

    Would i still have to go through an interface if i have a stereo amplifier in between the reel-to-reel deck and computer?

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    Armistice's Avatar
    Armistice is offline Son of Yoda
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    Well, there's recording and there's recording.

    PCs are digital devices. Your reel to reel is analogue. The analogue signal has to be converted to 1s and 0s to appear in your PC. Putting an amplifier in between does nothing... it's still an analogue signal. Only louder. And stereo makes no difference as your mic input, which is, I presume what you're talking about as your PC input, is mono.

    What you propose will get you a mono signal into your PC, converted by your PC's $0.50 sound card.... "cleanliness" won't be an issue for you...

    Good luck. See you back here when you've tried it.

    Do some research is my advice, and understand what it is you're trying to do...
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    I'm actually a big fan of tracking to tape and pulling right off the repro heads to digital.

    But if you're using a questionable interface to begin with, don't bother. If you need more than two tracks, don't bother. If you don't have at least some sort of idea the type of maintenance and precision necessary to take advantage of open reel decks, don't bother.

    I was looking to get an interface but I'd be happy to use the money on a reel-to-reel deck instead, if it can do what I want it to.
    That line scares the hell out of me.
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    These guys are right

    1st- Don't connect an amplifier to a pc input. You'll blow it.

    2nd - Don't use the pc input unless you're happy with very low quality, and a maximum of 1 track at mic level or maybe two tracks at line level.

    Technically, built in sound is an 'interface' It's just a crap one. Buy something that has TRS line ins (one per track on your reel to reel), and a usb connection.

    You wont be "separating tracks with the software.", you'll be recording the separate tracks into your software.
    Quote Originally Posted by Grawlf View Post
    That's a tad too much terminology. What do you mean by 'mix'?

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