What Are You Using To Make Music Recordings?

I'm stuck in the past with cassette decks for recording music. 8-)
A good metal tape on a direct drive cassette deck with Dolby S is a charm to listen

I know the technology has gotten much better since cassette. What are you guys using to record your music and store it?
 
I switched from open reel recording to DAW about 13 years ago and it was an easy transition. The learning curve was much faster than when I was learning to use tape and outboard gear. The DAW software that I use is Reaper and it come with quite a bit of signal processing and effect plugins. Reaper is extremely cheap for what you get and it does not require much processing power so you can run it on just about any computer. I store my projects on my laptop hard drive but I also have an external drive for backup.
 
I use Vegas Pro software and different audio interfaces depending on the location. It's not the most common software, but it can do audio and video in one application (using very similar ways of controlling things). If you're just doing audio, there are quite a few different applications to choose from. The differences are mostly in the details of the user interface. The trick is to find the one that best fits your natural style. Sonic differences are pretty much negligible.

Before using software, I used digital tape, and before that I used analog tape (though mostly for stereo rather than multitrack recording). It wasn't too hard to make the transition, but there are quite a few new things you'll need to learn. For all the new technical challenges you'll need to overcome, you become freed from the ones presented by analog tape. The payoff is the vast increase in control and flexibility you get in software.
 
Still have two 238's but I haven't used them in years. Now I track to an Alesis HD24. That gets dumped into a PC via a MOTU 828.
 
I've got a Tascam 16x08 into a Lenovo H50 Core I5 tower running Reaper 5.99. For portable recording, I've got a Zoom R24 and a Zoom H4n. The old 4 channel Dokorder tape deck is sitting in the basement, probably never to power up and run again, but I just can't bring myself to dump it in the recycled electronics bin... I'm sentimental, I guess.

I never went the multitrack cassette route.
 
Well, you guys may get a kick out of this but I'm using a KANN ALPHA DAP using balanced to RCA in my modified Sony TC-KA7ES. I have to tell you the sound is near perfect. When looking and zooming in on the oscilloscope you see minor differences, but these are on the scope, and the frequency goes out to 23 kHz on metal tape like the Sony Super Metal Master. You encode/decode with Dolby S and you get a slight gain from the source. You can't hear any issues in the music, and I use a Sony TA-F808ES for amplification. You couldn't believe you were hearing a cassette recording. Hooked up to a pair of 5-foot-tall transmission line loudspeakers. I love the setup. But it could be that I'm running old relics from the past, even though I modified this TC-KA7ES to perfection with Nichicon Muse & Fine Gold. Replaced op amps and created new bias curve.

Your suggestions are appreciated. May be time to step out of my comfort zone
 
Well, you guys may get a kick out of this but I'm using a KANN ALPHA DAP using balanced to RCA in my modified Sony TC-KA7ES. I have to tell you the sound is near perfect. When looking and zooming in on the oscilloscope you see minor differences, but these are on the scope, and the frequency goes out to 23 kHz on metal tape like the Sony Super Metal Master. You encode/decode with Dolby S and you get a slight gain from the source. You can't hear any issues in the music, and I use a Sony TA-F808ES for amplification. You couldn't believe you were hearing a cassette recording. Hooked up to a pair of 5-foot-tall transmission line loudspeakers. I love the setup. But it could be that I'm running old relics from the past, even though I modified this TC-KA7ES to perfection with Nichicon Muse & Fine Gold. Replaced op amps and created new bias curve.

Your suggestions are appreciated. May be time to step out of my comfort zone
Got an old Atari STFM upgraded to 4mB with an Atari HDD and hi res mono monitor and Cubase 3.1 Score. Korg X5 synth and a great Alesis SR16 drum machine. Running to a Yamaha MT8X 8 track chrome cassette based analogue machine with an SMPTE code stripe module to MIDI track Cubase and sync it up. Old condenser mike to record my guitar and vocal. Alesis Midiverb 4 for effects. Mastering down to an old Phillips 7 series DCC with an optical output port so I can U/L to my PC. All of this stuff from circa 1995. Still all works great. You can still play a good tune on an old fiddleπŸ˜…πŸ˜‰πŸ‘
 
I am using a Tascam dp24 SD Portastudio.
If you know how to handle cassette decks, this should be easy for you. It's the same, just with digital SD cards. Admittedly, it does not have the power and flexibility of a moder DAW, but it forces you to focus on the music and not get lost in thousands of options and parameter fine tunings.
+ It looks fancy in the living room (not just another computer screen). ;)
 
Well, you guys may get a kick out of this but I'm using a KANN ALPHA DAP using balanced to RCA in my modified Sony TC-KA7ES. I have to tell you the sound is near perfect. When looking and zooming in on the oscilloscope you see minor differences, but these are on the scope, and the frequency goes out to 23 kHz on metal tape like the Sony Super Metal Master. You encode/decode with Dolby S and you get a slight gain from the source. You can't hear any issues in the music, and I use a Sony TA-F808ES for amplification. You couldn't believe you were hearing a cassette recording. Hooked up to a pair of 5-foot-tall transmission line loudspeakers. I love the setup. But it could be that I'm running old relics from the past, even though I modified this TC-KA7ES to perfection with Nichicon Muse & Fine Gold. Replaced op amps and created new bias curve.

Your suggestions are appreciated. May be time to step out of my comfort zone
Modern DAW uses a lot of Data Compression and the bandwidth and EQ is also very compressed. Analogue recording done well was so much warmer and dynamically expressive especially with tape media. Your set up sounds amazing, metal tapes were state of the art and with a top notch machine and Dolby S it is the sort of thing Benny and Bjorn and also Richard Carpenter would have used in their studios back in the day.

I am using a Yamaha MT8X nice 8 track analogue machine, uses CR02 at double speed and both sides, very clean and great S/N ratio, but it has limitations, it is what it is. Also running an ADAT and 7 series DCC. Looking to add a really good analogue cassette deck to my rack with Dolby S and get some metal cassettes. So hoping to get some advice from you. Would you advise getting the dolby system and the deck as seperate units, is that an option? Thanks mate πŸ˜‰πŸ‘

Nice one Clam!!!

Smithers πŸ˜‰πŸ‘πŸ‘
 
Well, you guys may get a kick out of this but I'm using a KANN ALPHA DAP using balanced to RCA in my modified Sony TC-KA7ES. I have to tell you the sound is near perfect. When looking and zooming in on the oscilloscope you see minor differences, but these are on the scope, and the frequency goes out to 23 kHz on metal tape like the Sony Super Metal Master. You encode/decode with Dolby S and you get a slight gain from the source. You can't hear any issues in the music, and I use a Sony TA-F808ES for amplification. You couldn't believe you were hearing a cassette recording. Hooked up to a pair of 5-foot-tall transmission line loudspeakers. I love the setup. But it could be that I'm running old relics from the past, even though I modified this TC-KA7ES to perfection with Nichicon Muse & Fine Gold. Replaced op amps and created new bias curve.

Your suggestions are appreciated. May be time to step out of my comfort zone
Is this any good Clam? And is the price reasonable?
Cheers mate πŸ˜‰πŸ˜…πŸ‘
 
Well, you guys may get a kick out of this but I'm using a KANN ALPHA DAP using balanced to RCA in my modified Sony TC-KA7ES. I have to tell you the sound is near perfect. When looking and zooming in on the oscilloscope you see minor differences, but these are on the scope, and the frequency goes out to 23 kHz on metal tape like the Sony Super Metal Master. You encode/decode with Dolby S and you get a slight gain from the source. You can't hear any issues in the music, and I use a Sony TA-F808ES for amplification. You couldn't believe you were hearing a cassette recording. Hooked up to a pair of 5-foot-tall transmission line loudspeakers. I love the setup. But it could be that I'm running old relics from the past, even though I modified this TC-KA7ES to perfection with Nichicon Muse & Fine Gold. Replaced op amps and created new bias curve.

Your suggestions are appreciated. May be time to step out of my comfort zone
Hmm had a look at the Dragon and the Tandberg but silly money. I was hoping for something around the Β£400 mark πŸ€¨πŸ™
 
I never went the multitrack cassette route.
That was where I started. I loved it.
But then, I once loved tea and I haven't drunk it since I was 7....
I'm stuck in the past with cassette decks for recording music. 8-)
A good metal tape on a direct drive cassette deck with Dolby S is a charm to listen
If you make music you're happy with and cassette supports your workflow, then that's where you should be.
I know the technology has gotten much better since cassette. What are you guys using to record your music and store it?
I loved my 8-track cassette portastudio. I only liked the 4-track portastudio for a short while. I was lucky enough to discover its limitations very early on in the game. And even though experts told me not to go the 8-track cassette route, I ignored them because in 1992, cassette recording was what I knew. I used to mix in real time, direct to a CD.
12 years and 10 albums on, I was finding 8 tracks limiting. So I looked into computers and in the course of my research, discovered standalone DAWs. The first one I had was a Zoom MRS1266, which was brilliant in every way imaginable except 2 ~ there was no varispeed and there appeared to be no way of monitoring other tracks while bouncing. No good for me. So I did extensive research and found the Akai DPS12i in 2005 or 6 and I've been using it ever since. It's a 12-track with 238 virtual tracks, varispeed {crucial to my workflow and ideas}, and a whole lot more. It's now ancient technology, but I have 4 of them. When I'm mixing, I go from one machine to the other and mix in sections, then join the bits together. Then I transfer in real time to a CD, back up on a CD, computer, and hard drive. I back the projects up onto a CD via SCSI. I listen to each song on a couple of stereos, the car, the iPod, the computer, sometimes a laptop, a boombox, and the TV.
I love the DPS12i and I don't care that it's something that the cavemen of yesteryear wouldn't touch nowadays. For me, it's the perfect halfway house between computer power and technology and portastudio simplicity. My motto here used to be "Digital is my razorblade."
I feel I should heartily hug whoever came up with the idea of the undo button !
 
DAW is a Tascam DP24SD, used only for tracking and simple mixing, and bypassing as much as possible the built-in pres (line level in.) It being my third Tascam, from the 788 through the 2488, I am well familiar with their units by now.

I'll throw things into Audacity for polishing; my stuff doesn't need heavy effects work, sampling or such, so that works well for me.

The front end is where I have spent the money: pres, a compressor, a reverb unit and a batch of lovely mics....and acoustic treatment.

Personally I would love to run an 8-track reel to reel, but I don't think that is feasible for me.

C.
 
DAW is a Tascam DP24SD, used only for tracking and simple mixing, and bypassing as much as possible the built-in pres (line level in.) It being my third Tascam, from the 788 through the 2488, I am well familiar with their units by now.

I'll throw things into Audacity for polishing; my stuff doesn't need heavy effects work, sampling or such, so that works well for me.

The front end is where I have spent the money: pres, a compressor, a reverb unit and a batch of lovely mics....and acoustic treatment.

Personally I would love to run an 8-track reel to reel, but I don't think that is feasible for me.

C.
Nice one, I only use legacy gear coz I love the whole vintage thing. Logic dictates I should just use DAW... but I am not logical. Havent got a R 2 R though, one day maybe. Just 2 ADATs.

Hope to learn both πŸ₯°πŸ˜‰πŸ‘
 
DAW is a Tascam DP24SD, used only for tracking and simple mixing, and bypassing as much as possible the built-in pres (line level in.) It being my third Tascam, from the 788 through the 2488, I am well familiar with their units by now.

I'll throw things into Audacity for polishing; my stuff doesn't need heavy effects work, sampling or such, so that works well for me.

The front end is where I have spent the money: pres, a compressor, a reverb unit and a batch of lovely mics....and acoustic treatment.

Personally I would love to run an 8-track reel to reel, but I don't think that is feasible for me.

C.
Yeah mate, you can get some good outboard stuff for ok money for a home studio these days. If you are on a budget like me.
I got new.... Alesis Quadreverb, Behringer stereo graphic, Behringer compressor expander. These are not pro studio quality rack mount units by any means, just budget and maybe a bit old tech, but for value for money for decent quality for around Β£100 each you cant beat em IMVHO.
I also got a couple of Rode NT1 condenser mikes for Β£100 each new which included the frames and pop shields. They have a brilliant S/N and dynamic range and sensitivity response for the price and just about the best bang for your buck studio mike.
Again just my VHO.
Cheers Cos πŸ₯°πŸ˜‰πŸ‘
 
DAW is a Tascam DP24SD, used only for tracking and simple mixing, and bypassing as much as possible the built-in pres (line level in.) It being my third Tascam, from the 788 through the 2488, I am well familiar with their units by now.

I'll throw things into Audacity for polishing; my stuff doesn't need heavy effects work, sampling or such, so that works well for me.

The front end is where I have spent the money: pres, a compressor, a reverb unit and a batch of lovely mics....and acoustic treatment.

Personally I would love to run an 8-track reel to reel, but I don't think that is feasible for me.

C.
Also got an AKG D5S dynamic to mike the guitar amp, very flat FR and like the SM57 I used way back in the day... and AKG K240 closed cans for mixdown.
You don't need to spend a fortune πŸ˜‰πŸ‘
 
I use Reaper on a Lenovo T450s with a Zoom R16. It's an extremely capable setup.

I started with a cassette recorder that came with one of those small plastic mics. I thought that was the coolest thing. Then I found a sound-on-sound Sony reel to reel and that was awesome. After that came a 4 track Fostex X-15 cassette recorder. It came with a 4 track mixer that had a really nice compressor. I tracked many tunes on that thing. The sound was great for the money.

Some time later I bought a Tascam DP24.....an awesome digital machine.....with a mysteriously warm sort of sound. After a while the buttons began to have problems working. Someone previously mentioned that he liked his because it forced him to concentrate on the music instead of the options a DAW offers??? I'm not sure how a DAW distracts you from the music....unless you let it. As it happens.....I still have my DP24 but I use it as a mixer for live and studio stuff. I love the unit.....and yup....it does look really cool in the "studio"....but it's basically too limiting for effects....editing and other functions.

In all honesty though........that old Sony sound-on-sound reel to reel was the most fun. Not sure why.....but it was always like swtching on a minor musical miracle. I guess it was just that time in my life when recording first got into my blood.

As always....just my 2 cents worth.
Mick
 
I use Reaper on a Lenovo T450s with a Zoom R16. It's an extremely capable setup.

I started with a cassette recorder that came with one of those small plastic mics. I thought that was the coolest thing. Then I found a sound-on-sound Sony reel to reel and that was awesome. After that came a 4 track Fostex X-15 cassette recorder. It came with a 4 track mixer that had a really nice compressor. I tracked many tunes on that thing. The sound was great for the money.

Some time later I bought a Tascam DP24.....an awesome digital machine.....with a mysteriously warm sort of sound. After a while the buttons began to have problems working. Someone previously mentioned that he liked his because it forced him to concentrate on the music instead of the options a DAW offers??? I'm not sure how a DAW distracts you from the music....unless you let it. As it happens.....I still have my DP24 but I use it as a mixer for live and studio stuff. I love the unit.....and yup....it does look really cool in the "studio"....but it's basically too limiting for effects....editing and other functions.

In all honesty though........that old Sony sound-on-sound reel to reel was the most fun. Not sure why.....but it was always like swtching on a minor musical miracle. I guess it was just that time in my life when recording first got into my blood.

As always....just my 2 cents worth.
Mick
Interesting and very valid point you make about the tech dictating musical creativity.... I am so with you on that score. I just picked up an old Akai Sampler at a bargain price for my home rack setup. I always stayed away from that format at music college in the early 90's as I just thought it was used by the young Acid House and DJ generation of the time to make loops and noises. But now I can see there is so much more to that tech and can be used to be sonically creative in my p....p.....p...p..process...p...p..process....s...s..s..sonic...s...s...sonn...sonn..
πŸ₯°πŸ€£πŸ€£
 
I'm stuck in the past with cassette decks for recording music. 8-)
A good metal tape on a direct drive cassette deck with Dolby S is a charm to listen

I know the technology has gotten much better since cassette. What are you guys using to record your music and store it?
Hi Clam

I am using my DCC for my home stereo setup now as although it is a nice machine I really dont think it was primarily designed as a studio recording rack machine unlike the rack mount DAT. It came with feet and without rack brackets and even when I fitted rack mount brackets it needed a few plastic washers to segway it in. The frequency response and data compression rendered it inferior to the DAT as a studio mastering machine. So it is a nice part of my home stereo now πŸ‘

Anyway, sorry... I digress and wish to ask your advice please Clam?

I have played analogue tapes on it... but my gut feeling is that this is not the best thing to do... I know that analogue tapes may leave more residue on the heads than the dedicated DCC tapes and require more cleaning, so I will only use the DCC tapes in future. The machine has been used very little but I got the .... CLEAN HEADS" message today and the volume was up and down a little today with the DCC tape
Also when I played it sometimes the tracking timing mode would go off and then come back with the time of the tape a couple of seconds later.
So I am hoping it just needs a head clean and not a more serious electric hardware problem and I will no longer use analogue cassettes.
I am very wary of using head cleaning tapes as I think they are abrasive and can cause damage. But it is difficult to get access to the heads.
I have researched this video as below and it is a bit of a PITA to have to take it all apart... but if I have to do this then so be it.
I respect your knowledge a lot so could I ask your advice and opinion on the easiest way to resolve this please Clam?
Kind Regards Paul,
Steve πŸ‘πŸ‘
 
Well, you guys may get a kick out of this but I'm using a KANN ALPHA DAP using balanced to RCA in my modified Sony TC-KA7ES. I have to tell you the sound is near perfect. When looking and zooming in on the oscilloscope you see minor differences, but these are on the scope, and the frequency goes out to 23 kHz on metal tape like the Sony Super Metal Master. You encode/decode with Dolby S and you get a slight gain from the source. You can't hear any issues in the music, and I use a Sony TA-F808ES for amplification. You couldn't believe you were hearing a cassette recording. Hooked up to a pair of 5-foot-tall transmission line loudspeakers. I love the setup. But it could be that I'm running old relics from the past, even though I modified this TC-KA7ES to perfection with Nichicon Muse & Fine Gold. Replaced op amps and created new bias curve.

Your suggestions are appreciated. May be time to step out of my comfort zone
PS refering to my original query... I think I may have answered my own question... but I would still like your advice on the matter. As I said.. my gut feeling even as a novice is to avoid cleaning tapes of any sort on magnetic heads and do the work manually. Cleaning tapes by there very nature are contact abrasive so are only going to cause wear. I have a nice Panasonic VHS machine so I will try to take the cover off as well.
So just need confirmation of the best approach, thanks πŸ‘
 
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