a question for the "PROFESSIONAL'S" "GEEKS" or "GURUS" on this site.

czar of bizarre

New member
a question for the "PROFESSIONAL'S" "GEEKS" or "GURUS" on this site.

i have a question for all the "pros" on this site. i need insight and clarification. i took the advice of several people on this forum and mixed down to a reel. so you guys can now say "I TOLD YOU SO"....

however i have several questions.

1.why is it that the digital recording LACKED low end but when it was put to tape the low end was noticible? the same with the hi's


2.15 ips took less tape and had BETTER low end than 30 ips. why is that?


3.does tape add frequencies to the music? why does the music sound more FULL and FAT and in your FACE than the digital recording?


4.is it possible to loose frequencies? i know its possible to loose bits but is it possible to loose frequencies?


5. i know my reasons for going digital analog back digital. why do OTHERS do it?


thanks


czar


ps. you guys arent REALLY pros........are you?
 

BBB

Member
Re: a question for the "PROFESSIONAL'S" "GEEKS" or "GURUS" on this sit

czar of bizarre said:
1.why is it that the digital recording LACKED low end but when it was put to tape the low end was noticible? the same with the hi's

The tape can add tape compression and even order harmonics which is pleasant to the human ear. In fact, that is why some prefer analog to digital recording.


2.15 ips took less tape and had BETTER low end than 30 ips. why is that?

Can't explain that except that maybe you lost some high frequencies and thus the low end appeared stronger. Also, you might have recorded each differently. For example, a hotter mix at 2.15 ips.


3.does tape add frequencies to the music? why does the music sound more FULL and FAT and in your FACE than the digital recording?

See above regarding tape compression.


4.is it possible to loose frequencies? i know its possible to loose bits but is it possible to loose frequencies?

In a sense. Lower sampling rates will not produce freq's above a given frew. Also, lower quality equipment may not pass freq's above a certain freq.


5. i know my reasons for going digital analog back digital. why do OTHERS do it?

See above regarding tape compression. Similar uses with tubes and other analog devices that can also affect the recording process in a manner that is pleasing to our ears. End result is a pleasant sound due to added even order harmonics, etc.


thanks


czar


ps. you guys arent REALLY pros........are you? [/B]

Define pro. I thougth this was "homerecording.com."
Call me a home-pro (in my own little world...)
 

RWhite

New member
I am definately NOT a pro. However, eons past when I used to use TEAC 2340 (3 3/4 and 7.5 IPS) and 3340 (7.5 and 15 IPS) 4 track open reel decks it was always the case that lower tape speeds (even 3 3/4) had better bass response, while higher speeds had better high end. Faster being better is easy to figure, you are putting less data on each inch of tape, but I never did figure out why slower speeds gave better bass.

BBB answered your other questions well, I'll just add this - digital and analog are the same in that better hardware + knowhow = better sound. $50, $500, and $50,000 digital recording gear is going to sound progressively better.
 

czar of bizarre

New member
i think everything was recorded the same. i have a couple of more questions.

1.once FREQUENCIES are lost can they be regained?


i told this guy that if you take a digital recording and record it to tape you would get a different sound with better low end and better hi's(from my experience). he asked some teacher guy about this and the guy told him it was USELESS to go digital analog back digital. the guy also said once the FREQUENCIES are lost they are lost and that tape cant recover this. i know once BITS are lost they are gone but frequencies?


tape compression is the culprit hear? is that why the low end sounds better? the hi's hi but not harsh? BEFORE the stuff was recorded to tape the low end was discernable. AFTER the tape it was REALLY DISCERNABLE and IN YOUR FACE.

this is called "even harmonics"?


thanks guys


czar

ps im no pro but i was told pros hang out here. i also know its not WHAT you use but HOW you use it.
 

sjoko2

New member
Couple of things:

- When frequencies are lost they are lost, that's all there is to it.

- What you heard, both czar and RW, is a different frequency spectrum. Use tape at higher speeds and you will get a more accurare representation of the higher (and lower) frequencies. Use it at a lower speed and the tape will loose some of its ability to accurately represent higher frequencies, therefore the lower spectrum will appear more dominant.

- It is now possible to record digital audio at a quality level well beyond the possibility of 2" analogue, with an extremely accurate representation of the entire audible frequency range, and a very substantial dynamic range. Therefore, with the right choice of equipment, there is no longer a need to dump digital recordings on analogue in order to regain "warmth". You are able to get better results through the use of good converters and accurate clocks.

- What remains 'attractive' of analogue is the effect of tape saturation. Tape saturation, however pleasant you might think it to be, is nothing but harmonic distortion. There is sence in applying this on some instruments, for effect, but to apply it to an entire mix results most often in a quality reduction.
 

barefoot

barefootsound.com
Re: a question for the "PROFESSIONAL'S" "GEEKS" or "GURUS" on this sit

czar of bizarre said:
2.15 ips took less tape and had BETTER low end than 30 ips. why is that?
Maybe another explanation is the "missing fundamental effect"?

There is an interesting psychoacoustical effect where if you hear the harmonics of a tone, but not the fundamental tone itself, your brain will invent the fundamental. You will actually perceive the missing tone an octave below the first harmonic even though it's completely absent on a spectrum analyzer.

Likewise, harmonics enhance the perception of fundamentals which really do exist. Perhaps, since the slower tape produces more harmonic distortion, this increases the perceived amount of bass?

barefoot
 

czar of bizarre

New member
ok im starting to understand this stuff a lil bit better.

sjoko2
- When frequencies are lost they are lost, that's all there is to it.

my question is HOW do you loose frequencies? why cant they be recovered with eq?

heres another question i have. lets say i have a song and all the instruments of the song are 16bit wav file samples like acid or something. is it possible to increase the bits by playback or recording in 24 bit? i know once bits are gone they are gone but if i record a 16 bit sound file TO a 24 bit system FROM a 24 bit system what do i have????? i hope i was clear with this.


quick question as far as equipment is concerned. is the MACKIE DB8 and the 24 track system it records to able to get good results that arent the typical "cold" digital sound? is it capable of producing sound like the analog tape?

czar


ps sjoko i know i have been an ass at times. thanks a lot for your help.
 

sjoko2

New member
Look at it like this:

pretend this is sound:

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Now you are going to make some cuts here and there with EQ:

- - _ - - _ - - all fine. Now you take this file and record it to 2 tracks.
You'll have an exact copy: - - _ - - _ - - , with your EQ flat.

But now you want those frequencies back to - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
so you boost those frequencies again. You use the same you used to cut them, but this time you boost. As the frequencies were cut before, boosting them will increase your noisefloor considerably. You boost all what's there, because the stuff you cut before has gone.

As soon as you dump sound onto another track / disk / tape, whatever you cut or boosted is fixed.

Does that make it clear?

If you record a 16 bit file onto a 24 bit system you have a file which is 16 bit quality in a 24 bit format. If you wish to process or manipulate those files this would be the right thing to do, as processing at a higher bitrate is infinately better than at a low (16) bitrate. Just ensure you take care when you go back down to 16 bit.

The Mackie D8B is a very good console for the money, with extremely good automation. I have had very good results working on a D8B with 20 bit ADATS, you can listen to some MP3 files of that at http://www.mp3.com/pete_bardens Quality should be slightly better with a D8B 24/96 hard disk recorder.
It would be very easy to increase the quality further by clocking both the console and the recorder with an accurate external clock like the Lucid GEN6, which would make a big improvement for under $500.
 

getuhgrip

Bring Back Transfat!
sjoko, happy belated birthday by the way.

What remains 'attractive' of analogue is the effect of tape saturation. Tape saturation, however pleasant you might think it to be, is nothing but harmonic distortion.

Is this kind of like "aliasing" in sense?
 

sjoko2

New member
sjoko2 said:

As soon as you dump sound onto another track / disk / tape, whatever you cut or boosted is fixed.


I'm confusing :rolleyes: with "is fixed" I ment "its set"

Thanks getuhgrip - I strategically manage to forget my birthdays lately:cool:

I don't understand the aliasing bit - but then again, I'm European and call many things stange names ;)
 

czar of bizarre

New member
ok so im starting really graps this now. so the TAPE isnt adding frequencies? its adding DISTORTION correct? so lets say i have

------ and i make it --_--_ .when i record --_--_ to tape can i return --_--_ to its PREVIOUS state of ------ by EQ? or will the tape harmonics and eq boosting change the noise floor?


czar
 

sjoko2

New member
Of cause you had to open a can of whoopass didn't you

Quote: "so the TAPE isnt adding frequencies? its adding DISTORTION correct?"

I'll try and answer it without going into technical crap to much.

Is the tape adding something? You could say that.
Is the tape taking something away? You could say that as well.
The easiest thing way to describe it is that the tape "shapes" the sound in a certain manner. The level of this shaping can be in the form of adding the normal character of tape sound, or it can be accentuated by different levels of harmonic distortion.

Lets look at how you get, and what is, tape induced harmonic distortion (abbreviated version x 1000 - you can write a book on it).
Lets say you record a track to tape, you set your input level at 0dB, and every ow and then it reaches +2dB. If it was digital, you'd clip eveything above 0db - that would just be a horrible noise. With analogue tape, your signal will not clip, but it will simply try and squash everything you put in on the tape anyway. This in effect compresses the audio onto the tape in a certain tape-like manner. You "overfill" the tape, you saturate it with sound.

And here we enter the domain of good engineers and tape ops., because you can vary this saturation - harmonic distortion - call it what you like - by the manner in which we calibrate the inputs of a tape machine. This is a decission to be made prior to recording, as changing the calibration of a machine takes time. (something that should be - and often is not - done every day!).
How is this done? In the first place consider that equipment is optimised / designed for peak performance up to 0dB. So, we do not want to boost our signal to tape (through a pre - console etc.) to much over its optimum level in order to get to tape "hot". So what we do is calibrate the input of each channel on the tape machine to be hotter than the signal coming in. The extend to which we do this decides the level of tape saturation we can obtain when we put a 0dB or higher level signal to tape.
In other words, we can set the machine in a way that means a 0dB input actually goes to tape at +2, +4 or even +9 or more dB.

I hope that makes it a little clearer.

As a side-note to the above: Good D/A converters included noise-shaping in their conversion from a digital to an analogue signal! If anyone has read my posts on converters - this is the key secret to a great sounding D/A.

Next part of your question, boosting the _'s to become -'s again.
Just think. Say your - = 0dB, and your _ = -6dB. And lets say for this purpose that your noise floor is 0.5dB.
Now you boost your -6dB signal by 6dB to arrive at 0dB. In the process of doing this you have also increased the volume of your noisefloor by 6dB. Compare this to digital, where you would not have increased the noise floor.

All the above are, of cause, simplified. Recording on tape is an art.

All in all, I come back to todays realities and possibilities.
Whereass in the past I used to use a 2 track Studer very often for mastering, I now use it very rarely. Where I did / do use it, it mainly applies to material recorded at 16/44.1, material which lacks noiseshaping, lacks a "pleasant to the ear" feel.

The reason why I hardly ever use a Studer anymore? Because I can use better noiseshaping programmes by means of high quality converter noise shaping, and I can artificially introduce noise-shaping of the tape saturation kind in the digital domain, thereby avoiding increasing the noise-floor of a track.
In other words, for your own stuff, you'd achieve more if you'd use better clocks and converters than dumping things to tape.
 

regebro

Insane Genious!
I've been going through my ignore list today, to see if anybody is worthy of getting off it, so I haven't seen this until today.

When it comes to bass response and tape speeds, the simple answer is: Tape is weird. :)

Tape simply is very non-linear in its response, both in frequency and amplitude, and this is something you have to "overcome" with different tape recorder magic.

Therefore, the frequency response will differ with tape, tape deck manufactrer, tape speed, bias settings, and equalization and so on and so forth.

In general, the frequency response for high frequencies will be better the higher the tape speed is. Depending on equalization, this could well give the impression that the bass response is better on lower tape speeds. If you run both tape speeds on the same recorder without adjusting the equalization, the response would be kinda strange, I guess.
 
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