Analog recording/mixing tips

Joyo

New member
Hello, I’ve had my analog recording setup since the late summer and I’ve been working away figuring out through trial and error what sounds good with my space and equipment. (Colour Box-Toft atb 8- WA76-Tascam 38) I’ve got a big recording assessment coming up for college and I wanted to use my analog gear to its full potential.

Does anyone have tips for getting the best sound when recording, mixing or just generally using analog gear in particular tape machines.

thanks, Jo
 

famous beagle

Well-known member
Hi, and welcome to the forum.

This is kind of a big, non-specific question, which may explain why you haven't gotten replies so far. If you can scale things down a bit and get a little more specific, you may get more help. That said, here are a few things:

1. Print a hot signal when you can: Obviously, you don't have tape hiss when dealing with digital, but it can become problematic in analog if you don't print your signals hot enough.
2. Depending on what kind of production you envision, it might take a bit more planning when dealing with the (relatively) limited restraints of 8 tracks. You can save tracks by combining two different instruments on the same track if they don't occur at the same point in the song, for example. Also, if you do bounce some tracks together, try combining ones from different ranges if possible. For example, instead of bouncing a bass guitar and kick drum together, try a kick drum and a lead melody. This will still allow you some relative control over their blend via EQ. In this instance, you could bring the kick drum up or down in volume by boosting/cutting the lows while leaving the high melody relative untouched.
3. Obviously, keep your heads clean and your machine well-maintained.
4. Take advantage of recording "live tracks" along with a bounce when possible if you're short on tracks. For example, if you're going to bounce down a kick (track 1) and a lead guitar (track 2) onto track 8, record the tambourine on track 8 as well at the same time.
 

RRuskin

Rick Ruskin
Proper use of dbx I will keep the noise levels down without having to print ultra hot. It's also beneficial when bouncing tracks.
 

Joyo

New member
Hi, and welcome to the forum.

This is kind of a big, non-specific question, which may explain why you haven't gotten replies so far. If you can scale things down a bit and get a little more specific, you may get more help. That said, here are a few things:

1. Print a hot signal when you can: Obviously, you don't have tape hiss when dealing with digital, but it can become problematic in analog if you don't print your signals hot enough.
2. Depending on what kind of production you envision, it might take a bit more planning when dealing with the (relatively) limited restraints of 8 tracks. You can save tracks by combining two different instruments on the same track if they don't occur at the same point in the song, for example. Also, if you do bounce some tracks together, try combining ones from different ranges if possible. For example, instead of bouncing a bass guitar and kick drum together, try a kick drum and a lead melody. This will still allow you some relative control over their blend via EQ. In this instance, you could bring the kick drum up or down in volume by boosting/cutting the lows while leaving the high melody relative untouched.
3. Obviously, keep your heads clean and your machine well-maintained.
4. Take advantage of recording "live tracks" along with a bounce when possible if you're short on tracks. For example, if you're going to bounce down a kick (track 1) and a lead guitar (track 2) onto track 8, record the tambourine on track 8 as well at the same time.
Thanks that’s exactly the kind of stuff I was looking for! I have been bouncing tracks a lot but never thought about doing it that way.
 

Joyo

New member
Proper use of dbx I will keep the noise levels down without having to print ultra hot. It's also beneficial when bouncing tracks.
Do the DBX units work like a noise gate? I’ve not seen any kind of threshold or attack/release controls so how can you control the reduction levels? Wondering because I love my amps spring reverb and I wouldn’t want to cut the trail off. Thanks!
 

RRuskin

Rick Ruskin
Do the DBX units work like a noise gate? I’ve not seen any kind of threshold or attack/release controls so how can you control the reduction levels? Wondering because I love my amps spring reverb and I wouldn’t want to cut the trail off. Thanks!
The are called, "companders." If you have the companion TASCAM dbx units for the 38, you just leave them alone. Assuming your machine & dbx units are aligned properly, AND you don't print ultra hot, they will keep your tape nearly as quiet digital. They won't mess with reverb tails.
 
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