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Thread: Analogue (tascam 488) to digital

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    I don't know why there's so much fuss over converting all tracks at once, I've always done them one at a time, take longer but I think the lion's share of effort goes into setting the gear up and starting up the daw than the actual transfers.
    My method is tracking onto cassette, not too many effects unless they're a key part of the song, then mix/master on the DAW. Not saying my method is the better than anbody else's but this works for me, it preserves the cassette vibe and gives me flexibility in the 2nd half of production. Have fun.

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    Now that the thread has been resurrected...


    Quote Originally Posted by maxdoubt View Post
    I don't know why there's so much fuss over converting all tracks at once, I've always done them one at a time...
    How are you synchronizing your one-at-a-time track transfers...?
    AFAIK...there is no sync box that was designed to work with any cassette recorders...plus, the transport on cassette decks is not anywhere near as stable as it is on larger format decks, so tape drift is going to be more obvious.

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    Also the errors vary with duration. Syncing tracks for a 3:30 minute song is going to be a lot less pain than a 25-minute epic.

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    It's actually very easy to realign/sync the individual tracks once they're in the digital world by just using editing and time-stretch capability. As JP said, there's not going to be that much drift over a 3 or 4 minute song. I've done it more than once and never noticed any artifacts --- and neither did anyone else when I posted the songs here.

    But if you can do it all at once, then that saves a bit of time (assuming you have the interface and cables to do it).
    famous beagle

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    Quote Originally Posted by famous beagle View Post
    It's actually very easy to realign/sync the individual tracks once they're in the digital world by just using editing and time-stretch capability. As JP said, there's not going to be that much drift over a 3 or 4 minute song. I've done it more than once and never noticed any artifacts --- and neither did anyone else when I posted the songs here.

    But if you can do it all at once, then that saves a bit of time (assuming you have the interface and cables to do it).

    Well...it may not be "noticeable" in some cases, but I know I can hear a difference in a groove when something is just a couple of milliseconds ahead or behind *where it originally was*...and no amount of "sliding" and "streatching" can fix that across the entire piece, because you adjust in one spot, and it's out in another...if you stretch enough, it becomes "deformed"...but yeah, most people listening will think that's what you intended, but I can't get past it since I'm the one who recorded it, and I can hear the difference, and know the feel has changed.

    I mean...if you slide a track even by a handful of samples...you change the interaction of the transients from the other tracks...and that changes the sound and feel. Of course, as I said...listeners will just assume that's how it's supposed to be, and as long as you don't care that the feel/sound has been altered, then it's OK.

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    yeah i suppose so, tape drift can be an issue for some instances on some machines. I haven't had much of an issue aligning in the DAW. I've nudged a few tracks her and there when mixing thats about all. OK fair enough, multitrack digitization is best but I've been fine with 1 at a time. My machines are very regularly serviced and i use 60 minute tapes, less prone to stretching....if that helps.

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    Quote Originally Posted by maxdoubt View Post
    yeah i suppose so, tape drift can be an issue for some instances on some machines. I haven't had much of an issue aligning in the DAW. I've nudged a few tracks her and there when mixing thats about all. OK fair enough, multitrack digitization is best but I've been fine with 1 at a time. My machines are very regularly serviced and i use 60 minute tapes, less prone to stretching....if that helps.
    If it sounds good enough to you, then don't worry about it...but you're just not going to get rock steady transport from a cassette deck or cassette tape, especially as the songs get longer.
    Sliding tracks can work up to a point, but if you want to preserve the exact track relationships that were on tape, how it sounded on tape...moving them one at a time without solid synchronization will never do that, and no amount of sliding or "stretching" in then DAW will make that relationship identical to what you had on the multitrack tape.
    Granted, you can then mask some of that lost multitrack interaction from the tape...and/or you can accept the differences as good enough...but there's a reason people use synchronization. It maintains the relationship between tracks substantially better than "doing it by ear"...if that relationship is key to you.

    I once transferred from tape to DAW, and made some very minute track adjustments to correct some timing issues I heard from a couple of the players.
    I'm talking really minor stuff. The next day, the drummer came over, and I played back the DAW tracks...and right away he said it sounded different.
    Of course...when people never hear the original version...they won't know that you moved tracks around and all that...so it's your choice.
    I like to preserve the tracks off the tape as they were...having gone to great lengths to implement a synchronization system into my tape/DAW rig.

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