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Thread: Head bump question

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    Head bump question

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    For those of you who record analog and then transfer to a digital format, do you try to eq out any head bump that you may get from the analog machine? On each track? Like, before you even start digging into the mix?

    Just curious.

    Thanks.

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    They say, never say never.

    But in this case, I'm gonna go with never.

    Cheers!

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    Ok. I'm probably sort of playing devils advocate here, but why wouldn't you? Wouldn't you be starting out with a flatter response on your mix as a whole without the bump across every track?

    Would a frequency bump across every track "build up" making things muddy?

    Again, not an argument here, just trying to learn a little more.

    I'm actually asking cause my fostex b16 has about a +3db bump around 80-100Hz. Using pink noise the bump actually fluxuates between +3 and +5db on each and every track.

    I've been trying to do completely analog mixdowns but on some of my projects I've been rewinding and playing so much I thought I'd give the machine a break. So I transferred everything to my Roland vs-2480 and then lined out of there back to my analog board.

    Anyway, knowing that I had that bump on each track I thought "maybe I should go in the 2480 and eq out the bump at said frequency."

    Thought I'd get some thoughts on it here first.

    Thanks!!

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    Beck Guest
    Head bump frequencies are not "targeted" across the board, but may be altered in the normal process of EQ'ing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Foamfoot View Post
    Ok. I'm probably sort of playing devils advocate here, but why wouldn't you? Wouldn't you be starting out with a flatter response on your mix as a whole without the bump across every track?

    Would a frequency bump across every track "build up" making things muddy?

    Again, not an argument here, just trying to learn a little more.

    I'm actually asking cause my fostex b16 has about a +3db bump around 80-100Hz. Using pink noise the bump actually fluxuates between +3 and +5db on each and every track.

    I've been trying to do completely analog mixdowns but on some of my projects I've been rewinding and playing so much I thought I'd give the machine a break. So I transferred everything to my Roland vs-2480 and then lined out of there back to my analog board.

    Anyway, knowing that I had that bump on each track I thought "maybe I should go in the 2480 and eq out the bump at said frequency."

    Thought I'd get some thoughts on it here first.

    Thanks!!
    From my vantage point, there is no reason for me to track to tape in the first place if I am going to automatically EQ out a big part of the tape sound -- head bump -- before even starting the mix process. Granted there is more to tape than head bump, but if tracking certain parts to tape is causing frequency-specific problems with the mix right from the start then I would either use a different recording medium (digital perhaps?), different tracking techniques (mic or preamp choice, mic placement, etc.), or tinker with the "tape" part of the chain (tape formula or speed choices, tape machine's bias or EQ settings, etc.). Obviously with already-recorded material that is not always an option and you may be stuck with having to use EQs to fix existing problems, but my preference would be to listen to my mix first and see if I have muddiness problems that I can fix conservatively with a few tracks instead of blindly pulling up a global preset EQ bank as the first order of business.

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    Yeh, I've done it indirectly and I don't think it's too uncommon ...

    One example is cutting the low end on the way in. The benefit is you can hit the tape harder without the bump or bass frequencies eating up all of the headroom, so you get saturation across a wider spectrum.

    EQ'ing out the bump after the fact is just EQ'ing to taste I suppose ... as Beck noted, just normal EQ stuff.

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    Just eq it to sound good. Don't over think it. You're not making scientific measurement, you're making art, so "flat response" at all points in the signal path isn't necessarily a good thing. Isn't that why you're recording to tape in the first place?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bouldersoundguy View Post
    Just eq it to sound good. Don't over think it. You're not making scientific measurement, you're making art, so "flat response" at all points in the signal path isn't necessarily a good thing. Isn't that why you're recording to tape in the first place?
    Right.

    It's like always rolling off the low end on mics/pres gtoing in.
    I mean, if there's a real need (floor/room rumble), then yeah...but I prefer waiting for the mix, and then EQing as needed.

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    Very good points from everyone!! Thanks!!


    I guess just knowing its there (head bump) is well enough. That way if there is some sort of build up you know what to reach for. But, not necessarily do it up front across the board.

    Thanks for all the replys!!

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