Why do we twist our minds with all this digital tech when most of the greatest records ever made were made on tape deck ?

Because some of the best historic buildings, cars, aircraft, ships, medicine and other stuff we built without modern cutting edge skills and techniques, but they weren't all good?

In music we've had some incredible old recorded music, and rubbish contemporary stuff, but the reverse is also true. Digits are tools, and it's up to the person using them? When exactly did CDs appear? Are you saying there's been no great music since then?
 
Of course I am not saying no new music is great I am talking about how I get obsessed with tech and it sort of becomes the recording process is too important to me and my two favourite albums are relatively modern Keane first album and Corrinne bailey rae The Sea.
 
Mr Flash, WTGR this is a very narrow view of the history of recorded music. In the 'classical' field the dynamic range of even a small ensemble, even the grand piano defeated the best recording equipment prior to digital.
Much effort and ingenuity was expended on such wonders as Dolby A but that only improved tape noise by 10dB, added considerably to operational complexity (levels and FR had to be held to fine limits) and did FA to improve tape distortion or clucking vinyl!

AS SOON AS there was a viable digital recording system (Sony VCR?) the classical guys went for it...Sixteen glorious bit!s 90 clucking decibels of dynamic range! THEN the daft bloody pop boys smashed it all onto the top 3dB of a CD!

THIS is the golden age of sound reproduction the shame of it is that the vast majority of people listen on devices and to programme that is of worse quality than a live FM stereo broadcast of 1980!

Dave.
 
I think when I have a tech problem which I have, I get sick of it
IF! You had to maintain racks of valve gear and clean and line up multitrack tape decks every day AND curse because you misjudged how much tape time was left and missed the BEST take that singer ever managed...YOU would be spewing far more often!

Called "Rose coloured reto-specs". Just buy a Zoom or other hand held!

My son spent his teenage years in a bedroom with a Teac A3440 some guitars and cheap mics and bits an impecunious dad could make him. Pig in *** happy he was, building tracks and learning Beatle and other songs. Today, at 52 he has an A&H ZED10 an M4 some mics and a modest laptop.."SO much easier dad!" I loved that Teac but it really was a PITA to work with".
Dave.
 
Last edited:
Up until the early nineties I struggled with 4-track cassette to do recording myself. If I had to get decent recordingsd I had to pay lots to go somewhere decently equipped. From the nineties on the digital era emerged in force, and that was groundbreaking for me. I could afford to create complex and pretty decent recordings that would have been impossible earlier. My outboard hardware is the minimum, and I do everything inside the box. I don't feel the need to chase every new bit of gear as it emerges.
 
My brief and foolish attempt to return to the world of tape was frustrated. I had totally forgotten so much! The snatches, nearly ruining a £70 reel of tape, the azimuth adjustments, the constant cleaning, the time it took to rewind back to the start, the need to squeeze the last dB or so out of the signal levels - the annoyance of the slight mismatch between the 4 track ¼" and the 2 track ¼" - the need to re-learn stuff with razor blades and tape. Having the really simple 'repairs' to a track become a real pain. Editing simple stuff like dialogue recorded on different days and finding one louder than the other. That horrible swish as the reel with the slightly bent flanges rotates.

In all honesty, I was so pleased to forget the machines. They're great for transferring other people's archive stuff to the computers, but I will never go back to actually recording on them. It's like wanting to go back to the cars I had in the 70s - classic, they may be, but they were just not nice - my current mode of travel is a van - and it's quieter, faster, comfier, faster and more useful!
 
IF! You had to maintain racks of valve gear and clean and line up multitrack tape decks every day AND curse because you misjudged how much tape time was left and missed the BEST take that singer ever managed...YOU would be spewing far more often!

Called "Rose coloured reto-specs". Just buy a Zoom or other hand held!

My son spent his teenage years in a bedroom with a Teac A3440 some guitars and cheap mics and bits an impecunious dad could make him. Pig in *** happy he was, building tracks and learning Beatle and other songs. Today, at 52 he has an A&H ZED10 an M4 some mics and a modest laptop.."SO much easier dad!" I loved that Teac but it really was a PITA to work with".
Dave.

IF! You had to maintain racks of valve gear and clean and line up multitrack tape decks every day AND curse because you misjudged how much tape time was left and missed the BEST take that singer ever managed...YOU would be spewing far more often!

Called "Rose coloured reto-specs". Just buy a Zoom or other hand held!

My son spent his teenage years in a bedroom with a Teac A3440 some guitars and cheap mics and bits an impecunious dad could make him. Pig in *** happy he was, building tracks and learning Beatle and other songs. Today, at 52 he has an A&H ZED10 an M4 some mics and a modest laptop.."SO much easier dad!" I loved that Teac but it really was a PITA to work with".
Dave.
You have reminded me of that terrible warble after over use no problem now
 
I'm with you CF. If digital recording was so great, why didn't they use it back in the days when they were making those great recordings?


..... oh, maybe because they didn't HAVE it.

So many people have never lived in a period where there wasn't digital recording. Plus, are you saying that there haven't been any great recordings make with digital recording? How about Dire Straits Brothers In Arms, one of the first albums on Sony's 24track digital tape system. Sounds great to me!

Look at major movie studios and see how many are filming movies on 70mm film. Some big projects still use it but it's only for really big productions with big budgets. How many people are taking photos with cameras using 35mm Kodachrome film (yeah, they don't even MAKE it anymore!) You can still get Ektachrome, or Agfa, Ilford, Fuji slide or print film, even B/W film, but I would guess that 95+% of photography these days will use a good 25, 40 even 60MP camera. No developing chemicals, easy backup and duplication, easy printing and distribution.

Cleaning up some stuff a week ago, I came across an old copy of Byte magazine from 1991. The big story was comparing 24 80486 systems... BIG processing power in those days. System pricing for a Dell 486DX-66 with SVGA 4MB RAM and 230MB (not GB) hard drive was over $3000, no monitor included. The other day I recommended a friend buy her son a laptop for school... 12th Gen I7 with 500GB SSD and 16GB for $500. Times are different.

If you don't want a computer, get a DP32SD or a Zoom R24, or a Soundcraft UI24R, or Tascam Model 16 or 24.

Or you can spend THOUSANDS on a refurbished 40 yr old machine, and another thousand on a few cases of tape, plus another thousand on a mixdown machine, and a bunch more on a mixing board, and some compressors and EQs and make believe that you're recording in 1980s at the Record Plant or Electric Ladyland.

Now lets talk about cell phones. Land lines are SO much more reliable.......
 
I used 4 and then 8 track R2R machines for 25 years before converting to a DAW. I absolutely loved the ability to overdub and I was able to produce some good recordings using those machines along with a rack full of outboard gear and a million cables. It was a PITA but it's all that was available. I don't miss it at all and would never want to go back.
 
I'm with you CF. If digital recording was so great, why didn't they use it back in the days when they were making those great recordings?


..... oh, maybe because they didn't HAVE it.

So many people have never lived in a period where there wasn't digital recording. Plus, are you saying that there haven't been any great recordings make with digital recording? How about Dire Straits Brothers In Arms, one of the first albums on Sony's 24track digital tape system. Sounds great to me!

Look at major movie studios and see how many are filming movies on 70mm film. Some big projects still use it but it's only for really big productions with big budgets. How many people are taking photos with cameras using 35mm Kodachrome film (yeah, they don't even MAKE it anymore!) You can still get Ektachrome, or Agfa, Ilford, Fuji slide or print film, even B/W film, but I would guess that 95+% of photography these days will use a good 25, 40 even 60MP camera. No developing chemicals, easy backup and duplication, easy printing and distribution.

Cleaning up some stuff a week ago, I came across an old copy of Byte magazine from 1991. The big story was comparing 24 80486 systems... BIG processing power in those days. System pricing for a Dell 486DX-66 with SVGA 4MB RAM and 230MB (not GB) hard drive was over $3000, no monitor included. The other day I recommended a friend buy her son a laptop for school... 12th Gen I7 with 500GB SSD and 16GB for $500. Times are different.

If you don't want a computer, get a DP32SD or a Zoom R24, or a Soundcraft UI24R, or Tascam Model 16 or 24.

Or you can spend THOUSANDS on a refurbished 40 yr old machine, and another thousand on a few cases of tape, plus another thousand on a mixdown machine, and a bunch more on a mixing board, and some compressors and EQs and make believe that you're recording in 1980s at the Record Plant or Electric Ladyland.

Now lets talk about cell phones. Land lines are SO much more reliable.......
 
I had just seen that video pop up on my feed.

I think the biggest point made is that you have something "physical" in your hand. It's not dependent on being on a service and it's not being spoon fed to you by someone's algorithm. That doesn't just apply to cassettes. It applies to albums and CDs, as well as DVDs, Blu-rays and VHS tapes. To me, cassettes are the audio equivalent of a VHS tape. It's the lowest rung of the physical ladder (ok, 8 tracks might be worse but they really aren't around anymore). It's cheap and easy to produce. Its not particularly durable, and the quality is, for me, the worst of the available formats (disregarding low bit rate MP3 and Sirius radio).

I still have lots of CDs, and a bunch of DVDs. For my car, I've ripped several hundred CDs to 256K MP3 and put them on a 32G miniature USB drive. I don't subscribe to ANY streaming music services. Given the choices of buying an album, it would be 1 CD, 2 Download WAV or FLAC, 3. Download 320K MP3, 4 Vinyl album, 5 Cassette. The downloaded WAV, Flac or MP3 can be burned to a CD. I probably have 200 blank CDs downstairs now.

Being the future of music? I doubt it. If you go from 200,000 cassettes to 400,000 cassettes, that's a 100% increase. That sounds impressive, the 460,000 cassettes sold is a drop in the bucket compared to the 4 TRILLION streams that took place in 2023. (actually 0.0000115%)

Doesn't sound so impressive now, does it.
 
I had just seen that video pop up on my feed.

I think the biggest point made is that you have something "physical" in your hand. It's not dependent on being on a service and it's not being spoon fed to you by someone's algorithm. That doesn't just apply to cassettes. It applies to albums and CDs, as well as DVDs, Blu-rays and VHS tapes. To me, cassettes are the audio equivalent of a VHS tape. It's the lowest rung of the physical ladder (ok, 8 tracks might be worse but they really aren't around anymore). It's cheap and easy to produce. Its not particularly durable, and the quality is, for me, the worst of the available formats (disregarding low bit rate MP3 and Sirius radio).

I still have lots of CDs, and a bunch of DVDs. For my car, I've ripped several hundred CDs to 256K MP3 and put them on a 32G miniature USB drive. I don't subscribe to ANY streaming music services. Given the choices of buying an album, it would be 1 CD, 2 Download WAV or FLAC, 3. Download 320K MP3, 4 Vinyl album, 5 Cassette. The downloaded WAV, Flac or MP3 can be burned to a CD. I probably have 200 blank CDs downstairs now.

Being the future of music? I doubt it. If you go from 200,000 cassettes to 400,000 cassettes, that's a 100% increase. That sounds impressive, the 460,000 cassettes sold is a drop in the bucket compared to the 4 TRILLION streams that took place in 2023. (actually 0.0000115%)

Doesn't sound so impressive now, does it.
I personally think she’s pitching the idea. And Indy, unknown bands can definitely make more money doing that instead of risking being buried on Spotify.
That was my take on it.

And yes, there’s still a lot of people that like to own and hold something.

Now, going that route, it may be better to put the music on an SD card or thumb drive. Almost everyone has a computer. Many more that those still owning a functioning cassette player.
 
Back
Top