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  1. #1
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    Default Reel to Reel Tape mastering

    Hi everyone, this is my first post on this site, I look forward to becoming a contributing member on this forum.

    My Question:
    I've seen a lot of engineers use tape in the mastering process by sending their digital stereo mix to tape just to add that hint of "Fairy dust." I like this idea, as I have an affinity for any unique and vintage sounds. And it does seem to give the mix a bit of ****th. I do my tracking all digitally, I use digital and analog equipment for mastering, but I've never sent the stereo mix to tape before.

    What tape machine would you recommend for this and what size tape? IPS?

    I've included a mix that I would want to try this out on. Any input on this would be appreciated! Thanks in advance
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  2. #2
    paul999's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reel to Reel Tape mastering

    I have a studer b67. The difference is very slight actually. You'll get more fairy dust from a tube 2 buss compressor. I use a manley variable mu for this. The studer is cool don't get me wrong but digital actually has MORE full low end The studer compresses the lows more then the rest of the music fattening it up plus it rolls off some low and high frequencies actually thinning the sonic information a little. Albeit it does this in the most musical way I've ever heard.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Reel to Reel Tape mastering

    Can't answer your question, but I just wanted to say I really dig the mix you put up!... sounds pretty "vintagey" already... Love the "boingy" snare sound - it really suits the vibe... Look forward to hearing some of your other stuff.

    PS. Top song too - Who's the band?
    Last edited by fHumble fHingaz; 06-15-2010 at 05:53 AM.

  4. #4
    brandondrury's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reel to Reel Tape mastering

    You'll get more fairy dust from a tube 2 buss compressor.
    It's not quite in Manley territory, but I've REALLY liked my Chameleon tube compressor on the 2bus. I use just enough to get the meters doing something and it definitely adds some harmonic content to the mix in a pleasing way.

    Brandon

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Reel to Reel Tape mastering

    The studer compresses the lows more then the rest of the music fattening it up plus it rolls off some low and high frequencies actually thinning the sonic information a little. Albeit it does this in the most musical way I've ever heard.
    I have an Otari MX-5050 Mk-II I use for this. I usually use BASF 900 (sometimes Ampex 456) and get the kind of results Paul mentioned. It's also a great-sounding medium-knee limiter. I don't use it for everything. I (almost) always compare internal bounce to tape to externally summed and see what works best.

    Yeah, I wouldn't necessarily characterize the effect as "fairy dust". More like a really cool suit for your mix to wear.
    "Well, if music's gonna move me, it's gotta be action packed!" - Johnny Dollar


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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Reel to Reel Tape mastering

    You can get basement tape sounds as Pentagram did, you can slick it up a bit with high-speed, you can half-speed, miss-match BIAS etc.. And, you can just find some tube gear. I think most people would go 2-track, or what ever uses the most tape width per track.
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Reel to Reel Tape mastering

    Originally Posted by fHumble fHingaz
    Can't answer your question, but I just wanted to say I really dig the mix you put up!... sounds pretty "vintagey" already... Love the "boingy" snare sound - it really suits the vibe... Look forward to hearing some of your other stuff.

    PS. Top song too - Who's the band?
    Thank you and thank you, it's my band the simple pages, this is one of the new songs we're about to release on a free EP.

    And thanks to everyone for the input! I'll be looking into these ideas

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Reel to Reel Tape mastering

    Catchy tune. Reminds me of this band called The Cavedogs.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Reel to Reel Tape mastering

    Not much to add but IPS should be as high as your machine will run. 15 ips preferred, it will give you better highend response. As a tool for adding tape saturation, 1/4" will get you there but as has been mentioned it is not a night and day difference. I have a Crown 724 and a Tascam 22-2, both good machines. Neither gives a WOW effect.
    Kent
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Reel to Reel Tape mastering

    I think most of the WOW will actually come from worked over electronics and using the biggest two-head track width you can find. That suggests it's really the electronics and the tape effect as two different things. 15ips is certainly capable.
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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Reel to Reel Tape mastering

    Originally Posted by garww
    I think most of the WOW will actually come from worked over electronics and using the biggest two-head track width you can find. That suggests it's really the electronics and the tape effect as two different things. 15ips is certainly capable.
    True. I recapped my Otari and it made an immense difference. There might be some magic in there now...
    "Well, if music's gonna move me, it's gotta be action packed!" - Johnny Dollar


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