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Thread: generation loss

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    generation loss

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    So I have a question on generation loss . . .

    If one were to record all eight tracks on a 1/4" machine and then bounce them down to a 1/2track 1/4" machine . . . then re-record that stereo track to the eight track . . . .would this produce serious generation loss or would this be a feasible option for bouncing and still using eight tracks? I hope this is a clear question. Thanks guys.
    -Nate








    Quote Originally Posted by miroslav View Post
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    That's exactly how it works. Generation loss depends on your equipment but shouldn't be bad. You do have to plan ahead because what you mixed to stereo and back to the multi-track it can't be changed.

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    When I had my 8 track, I used to record 6 tracks and then do an internal stereo bounce to the two remaining tracks. This way, it would only cause one generation to be done on the beds. Then I'd have 6 more tracks to play with at first generation quality which was good for things like vocals and lead instruments. Then just master that off to a CD recorder with pretty good sound quality maintained.

    If you were dealing with a more complex song that required the extra tracks then you could do it your way still. Otherwise, keep it simple if you can.

    Cheers!

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    +1 to all that.

    IMHO "generation-loss" was a pet "evil of analog" that got broadcast by the advent of digital. Sure, analog generation loss is going to present itself much sooner than digital, but I believe it to be of more strategic concern in cassette multitracking, particularly 8-track cassette...BUT, I was involved in even a cassette 8-track full-length production in the early 90's and we had to do some bouncing of tracks and the project STILL sounded great IMO.

    On a good 1/4" 8-track (Tascam 388 or Fostex M-80 or R8) with a decent mixer doing the internal bounce can be done with unnoticeable results, even 2 generations if handled properly. Don't get freaked by the hype...even doing the 8 to 2 and back to the 8-track, again depending on the gear is no deal-breaker at all AFAIC.

    Sheesh...if you haven't checked out Famous Beagle's stuff he did with his wife with bounces on a 414... It should lay all concerns to rest. Period.

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    yeh don't worry too much about it, the most important thing (as mentioned by others) is that you really need to focus on getting the mix right when you bounce. for this reason, i prefer to do internal bounces of smaller sections rather than one group of 6 or 8 tracks. like, record 1, 2, 3 then bounce those to 5, etc and so on. i usually end up with 2-3 submixed groups of 2-4 tracks and then the rest individual discrete tracks. it is a good idea to mix together instruments that can be "separated" with EQ ... you can also bounce and record new tracks at the same time to avoid generation loss. for example, i recently did a submix of a glockenspiel and kick drum while recording live bass (played by someone else!) all to the same track. if the mix is not perfect, i can boost high mids for more glockenspiel, cut low end for more bass guitar and less kick, boost low end for more kick, etc, you get the idea. there are for sure limitations but if your submix is close then you have some extra wiggle room later in the final.

  6. #6
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    Yeah, what Ghost said... fill up 6 tracks if that's enough and bounce those to the remaining two. You eliminate a generation that way. I've always done it that way. But keep in mind generation loss is a bit overrated and was hyped to beat hell during the digital revolution. The reality is two or three generations aren't a big deal if you know what you're doing as far as levels to tape, etc.

    Whenever I hear people rant about analog generation loss I point them to Tom Scholz and the Boston debut album. According to Scholz he did so much bouncing and layering he lost count... and no noise reduction whatsoever on the Scully 1” 12-track he did most of it on in his basement. He used noise gates on everything. And after all that it was transferred again to 2” 24-track for the studio... and of course finally to half-track analog for mastering. But it wasn't all that uncommon in the golden days of rock for a piece to see a few analog generations. Frankly, when comparing today's finished product to those of the 70's and 80's I'd say we could use a few more analog generations.

    I do try to keep them to a minimum however. I’ll usually only bounce once during tracking. And the way I work with SMPTE some things go first generation to the half-track master. Any synth or drum machine that can be synced with MIDI is first generation right to the final mix.

    And it depends on the genre of course. You wouldn’t want to put a symphony through too many analog transfers. But guitar dominated rock… it just might be the sound you’re looking for.

    Oh by the way when bouncing within the same machine avoid bouncing to adjacent tracks. So for example if bouncing tracks 1-6 to 7 & 8 make sure track six goes to track 8 and not track 7 right next to it.


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    don't sweat it........alot of what was released by Motown was eighth generation at least from what i've read. when i was a broadcast major many years ago when digital editing was just coming around we did tons of stuff that was 3rd 4th generation or more on otari 5050s cause we didn't have multitracks available. You couldn't usually tell a difference.

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    Most of the albums you might listen to were bounced like mad. Pet Sounds, SGT Pepper ETC ETC

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    Quote Originally Posted by nate_dennis View Post
    So I have a question on generation loss . . .

    Here is a great example of generation loss:




    Where did it all go?





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    Quote Originally Posted by dodgeaspen View Post
    Most of the albums you might listen to were bounced like mad. Pet Sounds, SGT Pepper ETC ETC
    Court of the Crimson King, done on an 8 track. Tons of bouncing in that.

    I've a couple multi tracks of the Boston record. There are a lot of cut ins and cut outs of different instruments on the same tracks. Which is another way to free up tracks.

    BTW does anyone know where the link was to the article about the recording of the King Crimson album? Somebody posted it here a little while ago and I can't find it.
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