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Thread: The old primitive Beatles mix-down trick:

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    The old primitive Beatles mix-down trick:

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    I looked at the mixing/mastering category, but ANALOG seems a more appropriate place to post.

    What George Martin did on Sgt. Pepper was: used a 4-track, filled up the four tracks with say, vocals; then mixed the four down to one track on an identical machine; then started over again on four more tracks. This way, he got at least 16 tracks mixed down to 4. Of course there is tape noise and theoretically. quality suffers, but how much did it suffer if it made Sgt. Pepper? (By the way, Martin discusses this is his biography, which should be mandatory reading for anyone seriously interested in recording.)

    Anyway, my question is: for demo purposes. can the same thing be done on a portastudio-type unit, on cassette? Has anyone here done this mixdown thing on cassete (or reels for that matter). I'm wondering if, in cassette, the quality really WOULD suffer, since the tape is just so small.

    Thanks for any feedback.

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    Can you bounce tracks? Absolutely. Will the quality suffer if useing cassette based decks? Absolutely.

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    Cassette porta-studio type units can in no way be compared to the high-end 4-track EMI units that George Martin used with The Beatles.

    Well, except they each had 4 tracks... but that's where any similarity ends!

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    I grew up with some guys who did much the same thing with a Teac A-3340 - except that they only had ONE machine, and did the bouncing internally. They got an excellent sound! It had a lot to do with understanding how a track would sound two generations later, so they rolled off a lot of bass when recording the bass track, because it would be plenty fat 2 or 3 gens later.

    If you ever stumble across an LP by Northwind (ca. 1972?) grab it - it's an interesting listen.

    Daf

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    I understand Bouncing of course, but (unless I'm misunderstanding Martin's process OR it was four CHANNELS at a time per track) I don't get how they synced up the tracks 5-16 between the two machines.
    Was it just more or less multiple passes until it synced?

    Can one of you guys fill me in please?


    Thanks

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    Wink

    BillyFurnett stirs the pot a little.....

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    Mix to 4 tracks of the first machine... do a reduction to 2 tracks on the second, and add 2 more tracks.... then do another redux back to the first machine... and so on... and so on... and so on...!

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    Ohhhh.
    The simplicity and logic of it struck me with such force that I can't even get how I was foolisly thinking it was done into my mind now!

    Thank You Blue Bear.



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    HA.....Isn't it funny...well, for me anyway....Before I even knew about multitrack recording, I'm talkin' 5 years old here....That's how I recorded myself, via bouncing....2 old casette players, a plastic mic, a domestic Yamaha keyboard and a 5 channel Realistic (radioshack) mixer....record something on one tape and then bounced to the other tape player while playing/singing something else....My biggest gold medal winning chalange was to get as many vocals down as I could while still being able to hear them....Anyway, I digress....Still got the tapes though.....
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    What blue Bear just described is what I used to do before I had my 8 track reel to reel set ups and now the 16 track, where I finally no longer have to bounce anything!

    We did a "concept album back in 1986 called the Old Man. A 7 song story about a regular working guy with a family and a good job, turns into a raging alcoholic and completely looses it, drops out of society, runs away from his family and becomes one of the many "bums" you see in any major urban area.

    That project was done with two 4 track reel to reels. A TEAC A3340S and a Sony 740S. Both machines running at 15 ips with external dbx nr and we got great sound by starting one one machine, doing a stereo mix-down of that to the next machine and back again, as the songs demanded.

    It was a ton of work but it was a great learning experience and made me appreciate my 8 track all the more when I finally got it in the early 90's.

    Even with the 8 track, TASCAM 38, we still needed to do the occasional bounce to a DAT and then back to the 8 track and that's why I finally broke down and dropped the serious coin on the MS16 and the bigger mixer set up to accommodate it.

    As for digital. I can't see myself jumping ship at this point in my life as I am comfortable with the equipment and I LOVE the sound quality I get from it.

    Sorry if this went off topic!

    Cheers!

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