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tape: real talk only

offline EpicMegatrax from Greatest Hits on 2023-07-27 03:44 [#02629406]
Points: 24878 Status: Regular

...but also extending to the context of vinyl pressed from
things other than tape [and how vinyl pressed from FLAC is
probably better than cassette]


offline EpicMegatrax from Greatest Hits on 2023-07-27 04:31 [#02629408]
Points: 24878 Status: Regular

serious question: are cassettes shit?

e.g. noise floor, dynamic range simply aren't enough room
for proper quality you'd get out of reel to reel.

for this album, all tracks except for the last were
recorded through the tape recorder's built-in mic.

...however, last track is me on my normal setup, recorded to
cassette instead of computer.

the microphone itself on that little tape recorder
ROCKS. i can say this with absolute confidence. it blew me
away, actually.

however... the mic jack on that tape recorder...
SUCKS? i think?

it sounds very squashed-down. if that's how recording to a
cassette sounds, then truly, i'm done recording tracks to
'em -- yet, the mic recordings sound so much better, that i
suspect it's either the MIC jack being shit, or me using it

the tape recorder was clearly designed to be used primarily
as a standalone unit, with the input jack being a backup, so
the former would make sense.

as for the latter: could be my levels
...or an impedance mismatch because i'm using MIC as a

next move is clearly to record a track with all my regular
gear, through the cassette recorder's microphone. meanwhile,
any thoughts are appreciated


offline recycle from Where is Phobiazero (Lincoln) (United States) on 2023-07-27 05:57 [#02629409]
Points: 39591 Status: Regular

Tapes were cool a hundred years ago and I guess, what’s
old is new again. So
Who am I to say? Let them play their retro tape games and
What they do…..
I used to have 400 live Pearl Jam tapes and hundred of Nin
and others and
Many hundred of many other regular bought ones

Long story short
Wish I still had them all


offline EpicMegatrax from Greatest Hits on 2023-07-27 08:22 [#02629410]
Points: 24878 Status: Regular

you were asking for vinyl. and, well, the USB interface
built into a $400 yamaha mixer is like... good! but for what
it is. and that feels wrong

i should probably just get the two-channel RME knob or
something instead. it's all moot because i don't even have
the budget for a packet of crisps right now.

a sixteen track is like... the good machines are not cheap,
and this is because of wanting to make it more good. then
cost of tape stuff, and... well, never thought i had a 303,
so i'm thinking about it anyways. think uli behringer might
dip a toe in the water with a $75 nagra anytime soon?

perhaps stereo tape would still be better over the RME knob,
because then i could theoretically get it to vinyl without
any computer. more practically, it would probably wind up
being fewer leaps, but... still more direct.

then... would it be better? would it annoy me too much to be
worth it?

so, currently: if this were a video game, i need to beat the
cassettes level before i move on. it's not a hard level tho


offline EpicMegatrax from Greatest Hits on 2023-07-27 09:10 [#02629411]
Points: 24878 Status: Regular

for context of "what's there to fix in the direct to
cassette recording? or is that it?"

album was: record it all to tape. manage to manage this and
not erase over anything despite it being a half-broken,
cantankerous unit.

transfer to computer and do nothing to it, except -- is this
some official standard? -- normalize, then drop it -0.1

tape[D] problems i was a weak man and added some EQ to
dampen the feedback warble (which was @ 5k, 10k, 20k...)

...then the last track was my normal gear, direct into the
mic jack. and see the first sentence of this post


offline EpicMegatrax from Greatest Hits on 2023-07-27 09:16 [#02629412]
Points: 24878 Status: Regular

the tape. my tape. the one tape i've allotted myself. for a
week or so. and how'd i do?

i wound up with some tracks on one side; some tracks on
another after a close call with a bastardly malfunctioning
auto-reverse. before learning to remember which way the
spool was going

despite this, more or less managed to retain the index in my
head [i can tell you what's where on the tape] and there
shouldn't be anything floating in the middle. i give myself
an A-


offline mermaidman on 2023-07-27 10:47 [#02629414]
Points: 8177 Status: Regular | Followup to EpicMegatrax: #02629406

why would you compress the audio with flac before pressing?
you make this shit up and keep repeating them like they're


offline EpicMegatrax from Greatest Hits on 2023-07-27 10:53 [#02629415]
Points: 24878 Status: Regular

because it is, by specification, a wav file that has
essentially been turned into a .zip file. and you can make
it into a wave file and back and it's just smaller to email

if you want to be that sort of special bastard: what sort of
wav file would you like?

DEAIL. pcm_alaw PCM A-law / G.711 A-law
D.AI.S pcm_bluray PCM signed 16|20|24-bit
big-endian for Blu-ray media
DEAI.S pcm_dvd PCM signed 20|24-bit
D.AI.S pcm_f16le PCM 16.8 floating point
D.AI.S pcm_f24le PCM 24.0 floating point
DEAI.S pcm_f32be PCM 32-bit floating point
DEAI.S pcm_f32le PCM 32-bit floating point
DEAI.S pcm_f64be PCM 64-bit floating point
DEAI.S pcm_f64le PCM 64-bit floating point
D.AI.S pcm_lxf PCM signed 20-bit little-endian

tit. keep it real in here


offline EpicMegatrax from Greatest Hits on 2023-07-27 10:56 [#02629416]
Points: 24878 Status: Regular

i could try using varispeed fast to blow through more tape,
slow it down, transfer to computer, then pitch up an octave.
i suspect someone has thought of this before. dunno man i
just work here


offline EpicMegatrax from Greatest Hits on 2023-07-27 11:00 [#02629417]
Points: 24878 Status: Regular

mostly i want to understand the limits of cassettes in a
studio sense, and #9 on that album: an impedance mismatch?
my levels are wrong? that a jack marked for only official
sony "PLUG IN POWER" is simply crap?

or is cassette shit?
because the mic sounded better... but not that much better

i mean, it's charming, but... where's the bass? that's more
where i wonder if mismatched impedance led to sub-optimal
power transfer from to dick to mermaidman's mum's urethra


offline EpicMegatrax from Greatest Hits on 2023-07-27 11:03 [#02629418]
Points: 24878 Status: Regular

and she's a good recorder. but she was meant for voice
recording and has already seen thousands of hours of use
listening to doctors dictating notes. half the mic is
clearly broken, to explain the channel lopsidedNESS. because
through the mic jack it both channels fine; clearly ain't
the tape heds or such


offline mermaidman on 2023-07-27 11:42 [#02629419]
Points: 8177 Status: Regular | Followup to EpicMegatrax: #02629415

you said "pressed from flac" not "flac made into a wav file"
no one is going to use flac's because the computer or
whatever you're playing it on has to decode it before it's


offline mermaidman on 2023-07-27 11:46 [#02629420]
Points: 8177 Status: Regular

you'd only use flac for storage reasons not for pressing


offline EpicMegatrax from Greatest Hits on 2023-07-27 12:33 [#02629423]
Points: 24878 Status: Regular

it would be kind of snerk to just, oh, cat
flac_not_made_into_a_wav.flac > /dev/vinylCtr0a
that's a useless art piece, duder. go make a thread about
dub plates -- because if it honks like a goose, and dresses
like a goose, it's gotta be The Goose Brand™


offline mermaidman on 2023-07-27 13:36 [#02629438]
Points: 8177 Status: Regular

why did you make another thread about tape anyway? why are
you talking about vinyl and flac in a thread you're actually
talking about recording electronic music on "cassette" using
a microphone for some reason? doesn't the cassette recorder
have line in?


offline recycle from Where is Phobiazero (Lincoln) (United States) on 2023-07-27 13:52 [#02629440]
Points: 39591 Status: Regular

Spotted and pinned down.


offline EpicMegatrax from Greatest Hits on 2023-08-14 03:13 [#02629802]
Points: 24878 Status: Regular

so why do i want to work with tape? why did i make another
thread? why do i do anything? you could waste a lot of time
and xltronic extended space with these questions

sidestepping that, for ADR, i bounced it a zillion times
experimenting with levels, and, well, since starting with
musiqpilatikq, so much learned:

- what "normal bias" means
- clean the heads, that's a good idea
- a good tape recorder is not the same thing as a good tape
- how to clean up 20yo exploded batteries in a better tape
- how to EQ and master a normal bias cassette
- tape doesn't get anything below 50hz
- the whole setup is actually mono, mixer is a jerk on some
channels because balanced
- ripping to 96k

...and, well, i haven't tried the mic jack again. but it was
my levels. and the tape heads. and transferring using a good
recorder instead of a good player. and using a normal bias
cassette. and... well, sorry, i'm used to mixing down to
around 20hz and despite all this the 50hz floor does kind of
make my dick sad. this is why i need the good tape, the
sixteen trax


offline EpicMegatrax from Greatest Hits on 2023-08-14 03:15 [#02629803]
Points: 24878 Status: Regular

mermaidman: i'm stubborn, but i do listen. the moment i took
96k seriously was when i read on wikipedia that the old
quadraphonic vinyl nitemares used ~30k ultrasonic to control
the sync. i thot: alright, that frequency range is justified
to me now


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