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Thread: Analog newbie. Why does this seem easier?

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    Analog newbie. Why does this seem easier?

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    Hello again,

    Just finished doing some of my first (rough) mixes completely analog. Using a carvin mx1688 with Fostex b16 and some outboard compressors. The only fx was using a Tascam 32-2 for tape delay and some real room reverb.

    I must say I'm impressed. The mixes have a certain grittiness to them but I'm doing sort of a classic rock stuff so I really like it. The first mix I took out to the car, then headphones and then home stereo and everything seemed to translate better than I've ever heard. I thought at first that I just got lucky so I did another mix (different song) and it was the same.

    I'm coming from a vs-2480 and before that a vs-880. Although I enjoyed those machines and my mixes weren't bad they just seemed, well, ah.....(loss of words).

    For some reason I was constantly struggling to get things to just "sit" right together. Now it seems things just "blend" better. I used much less eq and compression than I would have normally used on the digital machines. Not sure why exactly, it just felt like it didn't need it.

    As far as the part about being easier, I just seemed to enjoy it more. It seemed to take about half as long far twice the results, and I really like turning real knobs, watching the tape roll, etc. I don't miss the screens or a mouse at all. In fact I really liked just sitting back listening to the music. And the rewind time gave me a chance to slow down and think about what I was doing.

    I can only imagine what a much higher quality board, recorder, and compressors would sound like. But, although I still have gear lust, I'm completely happy with the results. Also, I don't do this for a living, so I just acquire what I can and make the best of it. If anyone wants to donate a really nice board and 2" 16 track I'll take it though.

    Anyway, just wanted to share my experiences so far.

    Thanks for the help on the questions I posted earlier.

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    Welcome to analog. Since journeying into it I simply cannot understand why not everybody isn't using at least a good halftrack for mastering...it makes so much other monkeying and equipment unnecessary AFAIC.

    Certainly not everybody agrees, but I can tell you I agree and can relate to 100% of the experience about which you wrote. 100%.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Foamfoot View Post
    I'm coming from a vs-2480 and before that a vs-880. Although I enjoyed those machines and my mixes weren't bad they just seemed, well, ah.....(loss of words).


    .
    I was using a vs1880, so I know exactly what you're talking about. You'll go crazy trying to even come close to the same sound on one of those.

    I'm glad you're enjoying it. It's a huge difference.
    "He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance."

    _________________________
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    Awesome post man. Ya, analog is the best and the cool thing is it's fun. Why not post a few tunes so we can give a listen to them. BTW I'll try to shoot a few points your way.

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    Obviously, there is a sonic goodness and a way the parts seem to hold together with tape. For a musician, the process advantages (no screen, no plugins, no microediting and copying, etc., etc.) foster a focus on music and performance. I also find it more intuitive and more inspiring, and that counts for something, too. Have fun!

    Cheers,

    Otto

    BTW, what the heck happened to the look of this forum?

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    I used to have a Roland VSR-880...rack-mount version of the VS-880. Navigating was a nightmare. It actually was a neat unit though and well-made IMO...and did sound good. But I don't miss it one bit.

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    In addition to my tape machines, I do have a Yamaha AW1600 standalone recorder. It mainly sees use as a portable machine, since it is relatively small, portable and complete if I bring along mikes and headphones.

    It actually sounds good in a different way and is very handy. I'm careful to keep average levels down around -20dB, and I usually hang a pair of real VU meters off one of the outputs to check that.

    The mixer is pretty good, too, with full parametric eq and dynamics always available on every recorder track and input and every bus. Even if I do tracks on it, I usually mix to 1/4" tape. In the studio, though, I pretty much always track to the 8-track if multiple tracks are needed. Somehow, it seems a lot quicker and easier to get great sound on the tape machines without nearly so much effort.

    Cheers,

    Otto

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    Quote Originally Posted by Foamfoot View Post
    Hello again,

    Just finished doing some of my first (rough) mixes completely analog. Using a carvin mx1688 with Fostex b16 and some outboard compressors. The only fx was using a Tascam 32-2 for tape delay and some real room reverb.

    I must say I'm impressed. The mixes have a certain grittiness to them but I'm doing sort of a classic rock stuff so I really like it. The first mix I took out to the car, then headphones and then home stereo and everything seemed to translate better than I've ever heard. I thought at first that I just got lucky so I did another mix (different song) and it was the same.

    I'm coming from a vs-2480 and before that a vs-880. Although I enjoyed those machines and my mixes weren't bad they just seemed, well, ah.....(loss of words).

    For some reason I was constantly struggling to get things to just "sit" right together. Now it seems things just "blend" better. I used much less eq and compression than I would have normally used on the digital machines. Not sure why exactly, it just felt like it didn't need it.

    As far as the part about being easier, I just seemed to enjoy it more. It seemed to take about half as long far twice the results, and I really like turning real knobs, watching the tape roll, etc. I don't miss the screens or a mouse at all. In fact I really liked just sitting back listening to the music. And the rewind time gave me a chance to slow down and think about what I was doing.

    I can only imagine what a much higher quality board, recorder, and compressors would sound like. But, although I still have gear lust, I'm completely happy with the results. Also, I don't do this for a living, so I just acquire what I can and make the best of it. If anyone wants to donate a really nice board and 2" 16 track I'll take it though.

    Anyway, just wanted to share my experiences so far.

    Thanks for the help on the questions I posted earlier.
    Quote Originally Posted by ofajen View Post
    Obviously, there is a sonic goodness and a way the parts seem to hold together with tape. For a musician, the process advantages (no screen, no plugins, no microediting and copying, etc., etc.) foster a focus on music and performance. I also find it more intuitive and more inspiring, and that counts for something, too. Have fun!

    Cheers,

    Otto
    Welcome to the world of analog!!! I do agree that not mucking about with screens, and GUIs, and Plugs is a much more inspiring process. Part of the reason things seem to be "meshing" better is that you are summing real waves in real time and moving oxide on real tape. So you have a physical reaction to a physical process. It's not math, it's nature. So it's going to sound more natural. (IMHO) I'm glad you enjoy it. We'd all love to hear what you've been doing.
    -Nate








    Quote Originally Posted by miroslav View Post
    No...the Neve doesn't have all those high-tech, upgraded options like the Behringer....

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    Quote Originally Posted by nate_dennis View Post
    Welcome to the world of analog!!! I do agree that not mucking about with screens, and GUIs, and Plugs is a much more inspiring process. Part of the reason things seem to be "meshing" better is that you are summing real waves in real time and moving oxide on real tape. So you have a physical reaction to a physical process. It's not math, it's nature. So it's going to sound more natural. (IMHO) I'm glad you enjoy it. We'd all love to hear what you've been doing.
    Try explaining this to some of the more clinical types and they'll swear you're some kind of New Age hippie nutcase.
    Quote Originally Posted by Steenamaroo View Post
    One day I'll make it into somebody's signature line.

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    I thought I replied to this already.... (?)

    Anyway, my $0.02: I've had more trouble with device drivers this, general protection fault that, does it work on ALSA, do I need to recompile (I use both Windows 98 and Linux) SCSI device not recognized.....................

    I find it is always a *lot* easier to troubleshoot why sound isn't getting from here to there when its a cable run, switch, or knob issue (and it usually is a switch or knob issue) than trying to figure out why windows can't write to drive D....

    It is easier to line up tracks on a computer, than it is to splice 1/4" tape, I'll grant that. (at least for me) But otherwise, I completely agree that analog is actually easier in a weird sort of backward way. You can go down way too many rabbit holes on a computer that you just don't have when it is just knob at seven or five...

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