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Thread: Tips and Tricks?

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    Tips and Tricks?

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    I know there are recording techniques and mixing forums here, and I use them often, but my interest here is what are some of your tips and tricks as it relates to analog recording. It seems to me, getting back into analog after many years away, that there are certainly different things one does when recording and mixing to tape vs a DAW.

    There's always the tape saturation thing, but I guess I'm looking for additional ideas in the analog realm, and not debate 0db digital vs analog.

    For example, adding an insert compressor for recording acoustic guitar might be needed more when tracking to tape instead of digital, or perhaps how to setup a tape slap effect and where best to use it.

    Since I also use a DAW, perhaps there are also things that can be done with both, mixing to tape from DAW being just one of them.

    So I'm looking for some new ideas as I get back into full swing of recording to analog.

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    Reverse reverb or reverse tracking are things I do a fair bit. Sometimes I track something with the machine set at a different speed to playback. I use tape loops occasionally. Cutting the motor power on the echoplexor so it grinds to a halt is another fun trick.
    I have also done flanging, but that takes several decks. (You could substitute a digital delay store for one of them, though). And of course slapback echo.

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    I kind of think of digital as analog double plus. What I mean by that is that whatever is done digitally took it's initial cue from analog but is just more efficient. So for example, alot of Beatle songs were edits of separate performances, a song like "Bohemian Rhapsody" started off at under 3 minutes but as Freddie came up with more and more ideas, new bits of tape were recorded onto and spliced into the original song. A similar thing happened with Manfred Mann earthbands' version of "Blinded by the light". I'll be damned if I can find any of the joins.
    My point is that the digital medium is simply a quicker, less risky and therefore more efficient progression of analog. It's as inevitable as more aerodynamic cars, microwaves and mobile phones, a reflection of our world as it is now. My problem is with those that would deny anyone the freedom to remain within the analog field. Or those that intimate that going dij is somehow tantamount to selling one's soul. You love who you love.........
    Not being at all expert but having come from analog and using both currently, I'm interested in hearing peoples' ideas on what can only be done anolg-wise. There seem to be digital equivalents for almost everything analog.

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    its true that you can EMULATE analog effects digitally, but using the real thing usually ends up less "cheesy" and more unique. i think working with the limitations of analog creates more accidents that you cannot fix (or more unique fixes) that give more overall character. you CAN do this with digital, but most choose not too.

    many of the benefits of analog are what you CANNOT do ...

    there are tape formulas and machines that have not been "modeled" digitally, their characteristics are unique to analog. in addition, the unpredictable nature of analog makes it impossible to replicate digitally in my opinion.

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    I'm interested in hearing peoples' ideas on what can only be done anolg-wise.
    The Mellotron.

    Also, I suppose you could do an instrumental piece entirely in the computer. But add a vocal to anything, (unless it is synthesized too and I'd love to hear that... "Daisy daisy...") and you are analog until the preamp hits the A/D converter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lonewhitefly View Post
    its true that you can EMULATE analog effects digitally, but using the real thing usually ends up less "cheesy" and more unique. i think working with the limitations of analog creates more accidents that you cannot fix (or more unique fixes) that give more overall character. you CAN do this with digital, but most choose not too.

    many of the benefits of analog are what you CANNOT do ...

    there are tape formulas and machines that have not been "modeled" digitally, their characteristics are unique to analog. in addition, the unpredictable nature of analog makes it impossible to replicate digitally in my opinion.
    But your last sentence holds the key - "in my opinion". I have no truck with anything that you said because to you, that's why analog is so dear. And so say all of us. But in my earlier post, I was making the point that I'd be interested in what could be done analog that could not be achieved digitally. And emulations, however one may feel about the sound quality, achieve in the digital realm what can be done in the analog. I'm not pitching one over the other. It's just an observation. There are things that my Akai DPS 12i (digital) can't do that my Tascam 488{analog} can. But this is a machine issue, not a digital/analog one because there are other DAWs that can replicate those aspects of the Tascam.
    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Jinn View Post
    The Mellotron.

    Also, I suppose you could do an instrumental piece entirely in the computer. But add a vocal to anything, (unless it is synthesized too and I'd love to hear that... "Daisy daisy...") and you are analog until the preamp hits the A/D converter.
    One of my favourite instruments, it was, I'd say, the original sampler. There are a number of software mellotron samples/VSTis now like Mike Pinder's one or M-TRON. A number of recent albums have been recorded using these and even the guys at Planet mellotron couldn't tell the difference. Incidentally, this is a great book on the subject.

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    you can emulate to a point but when an analog device behaves in an unpredictable manner, how are you to know what to emulate? also, consider this: the main thing that analog can do that digital cannot is the infinite (or non-existent) sample-rate. digital will always be numbers trying to achieve what analog does naturally.

    to address your initial question directly, you could very well create a facsimile of just about anything using digital technology, but it was always be a facsimile.

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    grimtraveller, you asked this question a few posts ago:But in my earlier post, I was making the point that I'd be interested in what could be done analog that could not be achieved digitally. This one's so easy, 1 thing analog can do that digital can't is make music sound good!
    AAAHEHEHHEHEHEEHHHEEEHHHEHHHHE!!!!!!!!!!!

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    From what I've read it seems your asking, what can analog recordings do that digital can't? But you seem to dismiss everything anyone has suggested because there is a plug-in that can emulate it to whatever extent.

    So are you looking for some secret that lies within analog recording that the digital recording manufacturer's have not yet discovered or tried to emulate?

    If this is the case, then I can't even say that analog recorders are analog and digital recorders can not be because there are some digital plug-ins out there that say otherwise

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    Quote Originally Posted by dodgeaspen View Post
    This one's so easy, 1 thing analog can do that digital can't is make music sound good!
    AAAHEHEHHEHEHEEHHHEEEHHHEHHHHE!!!!!!!!!!!
    Cute !
    Quote Originally Posted by Chilljam View Post
    But you seem to dismiss everything anyone has suggested because there is a plug-in that can emulate it to whatever extent.

    So are you looking for some secret that lies within analog recording that the digital recording manufacturer's have not yet discovered or tried to emulate?
    I haven't 'dismissed' anything. In the OP, fstrat76 asks an interesting question. But maybe I've misunderstood it. I thought he was looking for those different things one does when recording/mixing to tape that one does not do digitally. And I've not seen any yet. That's all. In a sense, a question like that is implying that there is something within the analog recording process that makes it stand apart from it's digital counterpart. Something that the dij cannot do. Notwithstanding Dodgeaspen's cute reply, every answer thus far has been opinion. If my son asked me what a bloke could do that a woman couldn't, opinion wouldn't come into it !!
    Working with both, I don't find them essentially different.
    Incidentally, that's not a criticism. I could play alto sax or clarinet or whatever on some good VSTis, but I'd much rather have my friends who actually play those instruments come by and do it.

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