Looking for advice on recording to cassette tape...!

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Khazul
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Re: Looking for advice on recording to cassette tape...!

Post by Khazul » Sun Apr 25, 2010 4:12 pm

lolalola wrote:Hi - I'm looking for advice on recording to cassette tape,
Thought at first you had decided to give up with buggy DAWs and computers ;)
Nothing to see here - move along!

3phase
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Re: Looking for advice on recording to cassette tape...!

Post by 3phase » Sun Apr 25, 2010 4:25 pm

this is how a good tapedeck looks...but they still get quite pricy
http://cgi.ebay.de/Revox-B710-Cassette- ... 1e5b71b6de
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3phase
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Re: Looking for advice on recording to cassette tape...!

Post by 3phase » Sun Apr 25, 2010 4:36 pm

and..even when its probably a waste to share the cheap tricks .. because with the internet they are quickl< no cheap tricks anymore...

http://cgi.ebay.de/SABA-CD-262-hochwert ... 389wt_1162


things like that are the real mc coy regarding tapedecks... 100% discrete circuit in the sound related electronics..

that is doing half the job.. the rest is done by tape magic.. and they are usually cheap.. however allways a risk that rubberparts need to be replaced..which can be difficult with such old machines.. however..usually possible..

there are similar units from sony or marantz.. late 70´s stuff.. after that time only pro models are usable for musical needs
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leedsquietman
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Re: Looking for advice on recording to cassette tape...!

Post by leedsquietman » Sun Apr 25, 2010 11:49 pm

Trust me, as someone who grew up with cassette portastudios before moving up to reel to reel, if you can use a reel to reel you will get a better effect, you have better noise reduction and mixer capabilities (so long as you hook up a reasonable mixer). You also typically get more speed and tape bias control.

Of course, a reel to reel is much more maintenance work and costs much more than used 424 mkIIs or Portastudio Ones etc which are all over ebay for cheap, but especially if recording to good quality 1/2" tape, gives a better stereo image, less crosstalk and can be pushed more than Chrome cassette tape. You can typically hook up an external noise reduction unit, instead of being stuck with dbx or dolby B , Dolby SR totally kicks tape portastudio noise reduction to the kerb in terms of performance and much less trading off of high end.

My first 18 months working in a studios was mostly tape op/reel tape editing, so I still have some affection for the medium.
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oblique strategies
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Re: Looking for advice on recording to cassette tape...!

Post by oblique strategies » Mon Apr 26, 2010 3:13 am

Nice thing about multi-track portastudio tapes is that you can play them back on a regular cassette deck & some tracks will be slowed down & backwards.

shuutobi
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Re: Looking for advice on recording to cassette tape...!

Post by shuutobi » Mon Apr 26, 2010 3:17 am

leedsquietman wrote:Trust me, as someone who grew up with cassette portastudios before moving up to reel to reel, if you can use a reel to reel you will get a better effect, you have better noise reduction and mixer capabilities (so long as you hook up a reasonable mixer). You also typically get more speed and tape bias control.

Of course, a reel to reel is much more maintenance work and costs much more than used 424 mkIIs or Portastudio Ones etc which are all over ebay for cheap, but especially if recording to good quality 1/2" tape, gives a better stereo image, less crosstalk and can be pushed more than Chrome cassette tape. You can typically hook up an external noise reduction unit, instead of being stuck with dbx or dolby B , Dolby SR totally kicks tape portastudio noise reduction to the kerb in terms of performance and much less trading off of high end.

My first 18 months working in a studios was mostly tape op/reel tape editing, so I still have some affection for the medium.
Some people like the noise and other nasty artifacts, from cheap cassettes and portastudios. Hence the request for lofi. :)
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leedsquietman
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Re: Looking for advice on recording to cassette tape...!

Post by leedsquietman » Mon Apr 26, 2010 3:52 am

you can get this from reel tape too, just with more control !

Mostly what people like about 'analog' sound are the 'summing' and the tape compression/saturation - these are what people are mostly trying to emulate in plugins etc. Tape compression on reel tape is typically smoother and gives you more headroom before clipping than cassette tape.

Although I get you ...
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pamplemousse_mk2
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Re: Looking for advice on recording to cassette tape...!

Post by pamplemousse_mk2 » Tue Sep 14, 2010 4:34 pm

Hi everybody,

yes, this post is old, but I would to talk a little about myself. I've just got an old cassette tape from a friend. A Pioneer cassette recorder, for home, not for a studio. And despite the fact that it is not a pro device, but for common customers, I find that the sound it produces is interesting. Perhaps not as good as with a professional recorder, but it is still fun. And moreover, it is free: it is easy to know someone who owns a cassette recorder and does use it anymore. You can start with this first.

Here is the first test I've done. Please don't focus on the "artistic" part of this test :). The cassette was a really cheap and bad quality one, perhaps 10 years old.

http://www.sunwukong.free.fr/TestK7.mp3
http://www.sunwukong.free.fr/TestK7.alp

jbarkilo
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Re: Looking for advice on recording to cassette tape...!

Post by jbarkilo » Sat Oct 24, 2020 10:02 pm

slatepipe wrote:
Sun Apr 25, 2010 2:22 pm
some stuff i been doing lately involved just using a minijack to minijack cable from my laptop's headphone socket straight into the mic socket of a sony tcm 20dv tape dictation thing :

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sony-TCM-20-DV- ... B00005K4HI

listening to what was recording via the tape's headphones. it took a bit of fiddling about to get a reasonable level but it worked out pretty well - then i just switched the inputs round and recorded it back into ableton. i really like it as it has variable speed and pitch so you can really mess around with it, you can almost play it like an instrument

ive recorded whole jam sessions onto little tascam 4 tracks too - then recorded each separate track into the laptop and lined them up

here's me messing around with some loops with the cassette player in sri lanka : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-AfQL2rAy_4

there's also the great wow and flutter vst thing which i use a lot : http://www.interruptor.ch/vst_overview.shtml

i think its only pc though so i dont know if that's any use to you
Hi! I know it's like......10 years on haha, but how do you set up what you described? I've got a little old Sony TCM aswell but can't work out how to record Ableton's audio onto a tape. Any tips for settings/routing? Cheers

TLW
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Re: Looking for advice on recording to cassette tape...!

Post by TLW » Tue Oct 27, 2020 11:30 pm

The connections are simple enough.

Set your Live master track to output to a couple of hardware outputs on your audio interface.
Connect those outputs to the tape deck’s inputs.
Connect the tape deck outputs to a stereo pair of inputs on the audio interface.
Set a Live audio track to receive audio from the interface inputs the tape deck is connected to.
Set the tape deck to record and start it running then start Live’s playback.

Keep an eye on the input levels indicated by the tape deck - you’ll probably need to experiment a bit to find the best settings for the effect you want.

Once recording has finished record arm the Live track set to receive from the tape back, start Live recording then hit “play” on the tape. Again, watch the levels - keep both the audio interface and Live meters in the green to avoid digital clipping (which is pure, loud wide-spectrum noise and nothing like analogue or analogue emulating distortion/clipping).

Alternatively use one of the many plugins which emulate tape decks - they may not be a 100% accurate emulation but save the hassle of dealing with the many tape speed related issues that can afflict both cheap tape decks and old decks that aren’t reliable any more. Plugins also don’t need their heads cleaning or demagnetising, setting the bias to match the tape, “striping” a track on the tape to provide a SMPTE “clock” source and the rest of the fun that goes with using tape. Probably including a lot of time spent warping the taped audio once it’s back in Live to get it properly synchronised with the rest of the project.
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