Oldskool Drum Distortion using Cassette tapes!
#1

I've been doing this for a while. Here's a break I recorded and distorted yesterday:

MP3: http://www.sendspace.com/file/8xnfgl
WAV for the purists: http://www.sendspace.com/file/zcnhc6

I'm using a really old cassette deck from 1974 and so there's loads of hiss on it. Anyone know how I could fix the tape deck to work more cleanly again without all that hiss? Someone told me to "re-align and de-magnetize the tape heads" ages ago but I have no idea what that's supposed to mean. I don't want to buy a new tape deck because they're made differently these days in ways to stop you getting distortion on the tape. Roll Baffled Baffled Baffled

Or... Is there any outboard gear which can do this same type of distortion? Or is it only tape that can do it? I've been looking at 2 inch tape machines on ebay but they're a bit expensive, sometimes going into the £1000s... Baffled Someone recommended this:

http://www.behringer.com/T1952/index.cfm?lang=eng

Any good?

What sort of shit is Paradox using? Icon_eek
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#2

any tape deck with an input control can give you distortion.

the reel to reel kind sounds better to me, but if you were going for that super low-fi vibe, then the cassette would do.
Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creative!" 
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#3

bhima Wrote:I've been doing this for a while. Here's a break I recorded and distorted yesterday:

MP3: http://www.sendspace.com/file/8xnfgl
WAV for the purists: http://www.sendspace.com/file/zcnhc6

I'm using a really old cassette deck from 1974 and so there's loads of hiss on it. Anyone know how I could fix the tape deck to work more cleanly again without all that hiss? Someone told me to "re-align and de-magnetize the tape heads" ages ago but I have no idea what that's supposed to mean. I don't want to buy a new tape deck because they're made differently these days in ways to stop you getting distortion on the tape. Roll Baffled Baffled Baffled

You can buy (well, you could once upon a time) buy cleaning tapes - they were literally tapes made of a sort of felt cloth, which cleaned and demagnetised the heads. However, in a machine from 1974 there's likely to be a lot of other things you can't fix that are causing the noise, beyond the heads.

Besides all this, cassette tapes lack the fidelity and range of good proper tape, which is one reason why Dolby systems became standard on tape players. Each Dolby method (A, B, C) worked differently as I remember, but nevertheless you don't really want to be messing too much with your signal in those ways (they are detrimental to the signal, but reduce noise) if all you want is tape saturation.

I'm sure you must have read about this - tape saturation was and still is THE holy grail of plugin manufacturers. There's just nothing that really does it.

Far and away the most convincing tape emulation I have heard is in the UAD Space Echo. However being modelled on Space Echo tapes, which are due to design/choice/cost/manufacture/whatever not-amazing-fidelity, this has limited bandwidth, ie no top end above ~ 8kHz and reduced bottom end response too I think.

So, bottom line; proper tape machines are the only way to get proper tape which is..........

Quote:Or... Is there any outboard gear which can do this same type of distortion? Or is it only tape that can do it? I've been looking at 2 inch tape machines on ebay but they're a bit expensive, sometimes going into the £1000s... Baffled

....... the reason they are so expensive nowadays. 20 years ago people were slinging them in the bin, or just letting them sit and collect dust. Now old Revox and Studer machines go for silly money.

I'm not going to tempt fate, but there's a small chance I may be coming into one, two or maaaaybe even three reel-to-reel tape machines. I don't know what exactly they are yet, but they will be available for sale should I get them....


Quote:Someone recommended this:

http://www.behringer.com/T1952/index.cfm?lang=eng

Any good?

A tube has very different distortion/saturation characteristics to tape. It's not the same thing at all, I dunno why whoever it was suggested that. The only 'tape box without a tape' I know of is the Neve Portico 5042. That costs 'a few quid' (ie about £1500 I think). Tubes also are not-quite-there-yet really in the plugin world (although the new Precision Maximiser is pretty good, albeit not perfect).

Tube gear is cheaper than tape generally, but that's largely because you still get people making new tube gear, you don't really get people making tape machines. Other important factors here are the quality of the valves, not to mention the huge amount of other things that go into giving a great 'tube box' its character. It isn't JUST tubes, it's design and component selection. So Behringer can stick TUBE on their box all they like, but there's a lot more to it than that...


Quote:What sort of shit is Paradox using? Icon_eek

I don't think he's using any tape machines - just vinyl sampling and a few hardware bits I think.
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#4

to avoid hiss, just record it feckin loud so it clips innit
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#5

creative use of hiss Xyxthumbs
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#6

I have this (well technically Goldenchilds), not used it yet though, need to get this baby in action.

[Image: Akai_GX-4000D.jpg]

[Image: akai_GX4000D_large.jpg]
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#7

Icon_eek

Not sure if this is correct but it appears there is a Akai GX4000D for sale for 20.00 Euros on this site:

http://www.jvanschaikconsultancy.nl/verkoopap.html

Sound unbelievable! Icon_eek

Let the fight ensue.
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#8

You can pick up some of the akai machines dirt cheap cos they made a shedload of em Smile
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#9

markgabba Wrote:You can pick up some of the akai machines dirt cheap cos they made a shedload of em Smile

at 20euros that is value for money!! Cheaper than most shitty vst distortion plugins.
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#10

Might be more trouble than it's worth, but well..... 20 euro!!
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Don Cherry Wrote:Every human is blessed in her or his life with one love (passion), no matter how long it may last. This Absolute love will last in one's heart and soul forever.
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#11

macc Wrote:might be more trouble than it's worth, but well..... 20 euro!!

yeah i can't tell if its actually working, my dutch is not so great.

for my first experiment i'm gonna try and use the one we got as a mic-pre to see what it sounds like. Chin
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#12

i have a valve 1960 philips and an akai4000ds reel to reel i have been recording breaks through them for a while and they are pretty nice, the saturation is great , im in the process of reconditioning the akai , once i've done that and made my 1176 i'll
be set Smile , i have untold tapes to check through too from the 60's im hoping im gonna find some nice bits in those
www.soundcloud.com/dsp

[url=www.reroutemusic.com][/url]
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#13

i used to get the greatest comp./dist. using a four track, the Yamahas were our favorite.. but for some really outrageous shit you should try those sony boom boxes, and make sure you're running the drum machine, sampler or whatever into a tube amp overdriven.. massive oldskool sound!! -just add some bass and hp later on in digital and you,ve got some 'ard kore shit right there.
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