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Author Topic: tips for polishing guitar recordings (hopefully on video)  (Read 16551 times)

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rabidgerry

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R is right about the tape.I also find it sounds better and warmer.A friend of mine has a 1" tascam taperecorder (and he uses 456 tape) and this sounds really GOOD.

BTW VHS was analog (it was invented in the early 70's)

Yeah VHS is so not digital. It has a narrow audio strip on it and the rest of it taken up for the visual.  So the outcome of recording onto vhs is not going to be better than a regular home use audio cassette.  Someone suggested using vhs but it's ludicrous.

 Digital video tape came about later, probably mid 80's because that is when digital audio tape came about.

Sure analogue is better, but I asked if Rnolan records to tape now and when does he bring it into the digital realm?

So he said never, does this mean you mix and master all on analogue?  Very interesting.

I mixed and mastered all on DAW, sent the digital file to record label, who then sent it to the vinyl pressing plant and then they will cut the vinyl from that.  I was specifically asked for a WAV file.  Not a tape.  When we released a cassette tape last year we were asked for a wav file also.

I don't disagree with any of the analogue argument, I just know that I don't need it to make a good sounding record.
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El Chiguete

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Wow a lot has been said since my last visit jeje. Yeha I have the Two Notes plugin and the day I need to go more in to IRs I will deffinetly write you... but for now I'm a little obsess with capturing my live sound even tho I don't get the chance to play live :(

BTW just so you can see that I'm totally in to what would be my live sound earlier this year I spend $300 bucks on a pair of speakers! If I would of gone the IR route I would spend that money on something else for sure.

Right now I've come to the conclusion that I'm getting a good sound from my rig and I have a few ideas on how to make it even more flexible, so stay toon on that! :)
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rnolan

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There were VHS players (or was it SVideo ?) which had stereo digital audio, we did a live recoding to one at a gig once (just used the audio) but the players were expensive and it didn't catch on that well. It was better than cassette IIRC. Then as RG says digital audio tape came out, not a huge take up, a bit in the audio industry ??. I have a Marantz DCC my dad left me, I haven't tried it yet. Storing digital on tape is no particular benefit these days as the main reason you'd use tape is coz you could store lots of data (back when hard drives were very expensive and USB wasn't thought of yet etc.). Then we got optical storage...

How I have been recording (at home, until my confuser shat itself last week) is via Ivory tube preamp, desk,  pro tools (DIGI 001) or MP2 (cab sims), desk, protools. So I use what I have and also what's convenient (while I'm an analogue die hard  :facepalm: I'm also pragmatic  :thumb-up: ).  The last studio recording I did we recorded to 16 track 2" (so better qual than 24 track 2" as more space per track) @ 30 ips, sampled them into digital to free the tracks up, then recorded more on the 16 track etc. But at home I've recorded from desk to protools (I use protools like a digital tape player) as in the Rain tracks I posted (little memory, Anchors Away etc.) and I'm reasonably happy with the sound.

@El, IMO your approach is very sensible, no matter what comes after (PA, Recording whatever), capturing the sound as well as you can (and what you like!) is what it's all about. All the rest of this conversation is about how you preserve it.

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rnolan

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R is right about the tape.I also find it sounds better and warmer.A friend of mine has a 1" tascam taperecorder (and he uses 456 tape) and this sounds really GOOD.
The one downside of 456 is it's not (or wasn't back then) as robust as 406/407. So if you played it to often, the top end would start to degrade (where talking studio fussiness here). So you'd make a copy and do all your mixing on it, then do the final mix with the original tape.  Tape sounds great but is nowhere near as convenient as digital. But is a good tool, effect even if you like, to dither and smooth digital.
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rabidgerry

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There were VHS players (or was it SVideo ?) which had stereo digital audio, we did a live recoding to one at a gig once (just used the audio) but the players were expensive and it didn't catch on that well. It was better than cassette IIRC. Then as RG says digital audio tape came out, not a huge

well that's not vhs then and not the common vhs that people talk about when the mention vhs so it's predominantly analogue medium.
 read this:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VHS



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D-VHS

It seems the thing you are talking about is not the same as vhs, or else not regular vhs.  So I think it's safe to call vhs an analogue medium.  It certainly was not digital on any vhs quipment I used from 1989 until now because the vhs player (yes I still have one) I have now which I bought about 10 years ago doesn't have digital either.

I worked in a tv station for a while and they had all these range of digital video formats that looked like vhs but the were the same shit as they talk about in that wiki link I posted.  Which is basically digital video tape and not VHS, not really.

Besides that it was a stupid idea for the guy to suggest recording onto  VHS tape to get analogue benefits because it would have been worse than regular audio cassette.

How I have been recording (at home, until my confuser shat itself last week) is via Ivory tube preamp, desk,  pro tools (DIGI 001) or MP2 (cab sims), desk, protools. So I use what I have and also what's convenient (while I'm an analogue die hard  :facepalm: I'm also pragmatic  :thumb-up: ). 

Sorry man this is a little bit  :facepalm:  You pledge so much allegiance to analogue but you don't actually use it yourself (to record onto)???  No recording to tape   :lol:  ?  So you use DAW like me and probably most of the world?  What is the point in advising anyone else to use tape then if you don't use it?


 
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rnolan

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Hey RG I'm pragmatic (like you). If I can do it analogue I do and will, I work with what I have and can afford. Most of my playing (except for clips for here) recently has been live, all analogue, we haven't been recording it just enjoying the now: that's what live is  :whoohoo!: (as I'm sure you know >:D )
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rabidgerry

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Hey RG I'm pragmatic (like you). If I can do it analogue I do and will, I work with what I have and can afford.

Hey man, of course practicalities and all that, but if it really, really, really mattered then you would use it.

And the point I'm trying to make here is it doesn't matter as long as it sounds good.  I find a lot of the "analogue die hard" s don't come across like that.


Most of my playing (except for clips for here) recently has been live, all analogue, we haven't been recording it just enjoying the now: that's what live is  :whoohoo!: (as I'm sure you know >:D )

So you're telling me you mixed and mastered all onto tape?  Or just recorded using tape? 

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Guitars:1986 Westone Dimension IV, 1989 Korean Squier Fat Strat Silver Series, 1998 Korean Squier Fat Strat, MIM Fender Fat Strat - FR, Squier Stagemaster Deluxe - Thru Neck x 2, Squier Stagemaster 22 Fret - 1st Gen, 1999 Squier Showmaster - Anniversary Edition, Squier Showmaster, Tokai FV40 Flying V

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rnolan

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Hey RG, if I have analogue to hand, I'd definitely use it, particularly for the initial capture of the sound.  But I'm quite fond of digital FX gadgets. And the clip I posted of Reverends Rock in MP1 audio clips, is all analogue live to DAT and then I made a cassette of the DATs (good qual) then resampled (our engineer (good mate of mine) lost the DATs'  :facepalm: . So that's a hybrid mix (like so many are). But if you listen to that clip, you can maybe hear how the tape makes it more pleasing ? Though we don't have the original DAT to compare...

Hey at the end of the day it's whatever works, although the more analogue you can make you original inputs/sounds the better and then reproduce them as well as you can digitally (or analogue).
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rabidgerry

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Hey RG, if I have analogue to hand, I'd definitely use it, particularly for the initial capture of the sound.  But I'm quite fond of digital FX gadgets. And the clip I posted of Reverends Rock in MP1 audio clips, is all analogue live to DAT and then I made a cassette of the DATs (good qual) then resampled (our engineer (good mate of mine) lost the DATs'  :facepalm: . So that's a hybrid mix (like so many are). But if you listen to that clip, you can maybe hear how the tape makes it more pleasing ? Though we don't have the original DAT to compare...

Hey at the end of the day it's whatever works, although the more analogue you can make you original inputs/sounds the better and then reproduce them as well as you can digitally (or analogue).

It's just not flexible enough to make a record using all tape. The cost would be crazy. There is no point in me doing this since I use digital FX.  I am not about to sit and record take after take onto a tape machine then bring that into DAW and then try and capture drums onto tape then bring that into DAW, that's insanity in this day and age.

Off the beaten track here El apologies.
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"whadda ya want? we want Heavy Metal"

Guitars:1986 Westone Dimension IV, 1989 Korean Squier Fat Strat Silver Series, 1998 Korean Squier Fat Strat, MIM Fender Fat Strat - FR, Squier Stagemaster Deluxe - Thru Neck x 2, Squier Stagemaster 22 Fret - 1st Gen, 1999 Squier Showmaster - Anniversary Edition, Squier Showmaster, Tokai FV40 Flying V

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rnolan

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Hey RG, IMO all the different approaches are valid, it depends what you have on hand and what you want to achieve with it. I angle toward analogue if I can, but my main focus would be in the initial capture of the sound, just better granularity (but only if you have really good analogue). Mixing in digital FX is fine. Recording through an analogue layer (to tape then sample) while being a bit more convoluted actually sounds very good. But it's just one technique of many.. IMO it's not insanity yet, A/D D/As are getting better, but very high qual tape does sound (and perform) better still, but how much do you/ should you care ??. To go to vinyl, I'd (personally) go the extra yards as high qual vinyl is better resolution than CD (if you have a decent stereo).
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rabidgerry

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Interesting,  I don't know anyone who works in a studio who records to high quality tape.

I know one guy with an analogue desk and most stuff is analogue he uses but I don't even think he records on tape.

I've already said before I submitted wav files to the record label because they asked for WAV files.  I also made a tape last year for another label and they asked for WAV files as well.  None of them asked for tape.  All asked for 32 bit wav.

So why put it on analogue format Gerry?  Simple answer, format snobbery.  The vast majority of metal heads prefer vinyl.  They will buy our single because it's on vinyl.  I don't care that it's on vinyl myself,  it's novelty, I only care that the music and mix is good and sounds good, I'm just making a tactical decision to release it on vinyl as I know its more likely to sell than had it been on cd.   I have released a cd before and it didn't do as well because of the snobbery.

What's funny is, they want an analogue format even though it came from a digital source.   :lol:

If it's not insanity to you then the next time you make a record you should be recording everything to tape and every take you do will have to go on tape and every one elses takes will have to go on another tape also untill you have a bunch of tapes you can mix together on one big tape!

I bet you wouldn't do it, I bet you 10AUD you'd never do that.

As I have said a few times now it makes no sense for me to introduce tape into my recording process, I record on a Hard disk recording unit and I bring it into DAW.  I would need to spend a stupid amount of money on some crazy multitrack tape machine that is probably gonna break down and need serviced constantly, and gonna be hard to get actual recording medium for it and parts.  Also then I would have to convert it to digital anyways, only to send it off to be converted back to analogue again.

If it wasn't for digital I wouldn't be making DIY records.
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rnolan

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Finding studios that still have multitrack tape available is becoming very hard.  Digital formats are very convenient and also don't suffer from being played too much. If I had to make a record and had access to the gear I would use it. I pretty much use protools like a digital tape machine, I don't copy or paste etc and I use destructive record and thus wipe each track, or use a new track if I want to keep the previous take (even though I don't have to as with no destructive record PT keeps all the takes). For DIY at home I use whatever I have, I try to keep the initial capture as good as I can like using the Ivory 5001 4 ch tube preamp.
Interesting the vinyl snobbery, good vinyl is nice but you need a decent system to play it on.  But I agree with you strategy.
Sometimes using good qual analogue from a digital source works well, like using a decent tape machine to dither between sample formats (often works better than dithering algorithms). Putting a 32bit WAV on high qual vinyl should potentially sound better than dithering to 44.1khz 16 bit CD
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rabidgerry

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Putting a 32bit WAV on high qual vinyl should potentially sound better than dithering to 44.1khz 16 bit CD

Really?  I didn't think there would be any difference in sound really from digital to digital.


I think if I had the means I probably would use a combination but I looked into it a while back it it's asking for trouble.  The maintenance alone would be a nightmare and trying to get someone to fix the machines when the break even more so.

Never heard of this before, destructive recording.  I don't record that was I just use my multitrack you see.  And I play the thing until I get it right and worst comes to the worst I splice with other takes usually.  I take a lot of takes because I can and I'm a perfectionist.  Recording is always like going back to school again.  I can't be raw and dirty like a live show.  It all has to be perfect as best I can get it.
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rnolan

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Hey RG (Really?  I didn't think there would be any difference in sound really from digital to digital.), this is why I crap on about it. You have to "dither" between different digital formats, typically throw bits into the bit bucket (in a slightly intelligent way). There are various dithering algorithms (e.g. MP3 where to rip a CD and then throw 80% of it away turning it into a MP3 file (MP3's have other issues to)). MP3 is a serial (streaming) format, WAV is a word based format (each sample is stored as a word (16 bit, 24bit, 32bit etc). The bigger the word (bit depth) the more dynamic range and finer granularity of each individual sample. While sample rates (44.1, 48, 96, 192 khz etc) make a difference (more samples more accurate), after 48 khz the bit depth make more difference. Hence 48k 24bit is a reasonable sample rate to use.  The least significant bit of a 24 bit sample is -144db (not really audible), the LSB of 16 bit you can hear.

So if you record at a decent sample/bit rate, then need to turn it into another format (e.g. CD) you have to dither it down and throw out detail.  Given the much higher granularity of high quality analogue (a decent mastering machine will go out to 80khz (not chop off at 20khz)), it's a way of doing the dithering more naturally and gives better results, but is much more hassle so depends how much you care.

The closest we get to a decent mastering machine in digital is sony super audio, it's serial like MP3 but samples at 2Ghz and goes flat to 100khz. MP3 sample at various rates, best the Lame codec does IIRC is ~356k and typical internet MP3s are 178k (or there abouts).
Destructive record is a protools option so when you record over a track it blows away the previous track a reuses the space (same as if you recoded on multitrack tape). If you don't select it, PT keeps each take as a separate file (takes more space) which you can recall if you want. When I started using PT, not only was I more familiar with tape, I also suffered a lack of fast disk space, I'd fill a 10,000RPM 10GB drive (very large for back then BTW) and then have to burn the files to CD to record new songs.
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rabidgerry

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I made that sound like I was surprised for the wrong reason.  Of course if you have low quality digital there will be a difference compared to high quality.  Like lower kpbs for an MP3 sound shit compared to an uncompressed wav.

What I am surprised at is that you say there would be a difference between sticking high quality digital onto high quality digital compared to  sticking it on vinyl.  Like a 32bit wav onto 16bit cd I have heard and noticed no deterioration.  Whereas a vinyl starts to introduce noise by its very nature of a needle being dragged across a piece of plastic.  No way in hell am I buying the fact that vinyl is going to replicate a digital source better than a clean playing digital format.

I mean it's really fighting over scraps, miniscule detectable amounts of difference here.  Example there is a big difference in a shitty recording and good recording.  But there is minimal difference over a good recording on a high quality format compared to another high quality format but with slightly less bit rate.  I'll even go as far as saying I don't think many people could tell the difference between a 320kbps MP3 compared with any WAV file.  I myself can only tell when it's like a 128kbps MP3 and even then 128kpbs is regarded as the lowest rate of MP3 that is not meant to sound any different hence that rate being the standard for many purchasable mp3 downloads.  Like they don't sell 98kbps downloads for example but will sell anywhere between 128 and 320 on amazon or band camp.

So because my multitrack a/d converts to 24bit but then it gets dithered down to 16bit in order to create a wav I'm losing quality right?  I bet you couldn't notice it.  This is seriously marginal shit that no one is really going to be aware off.


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"whadda ya want? we want Heavy Metal"

Guitars:1986 Westone Dimension IV, 1989 Korean Squier Fat Strat Silver Series, 1998 Korean Squier Fat Strat, MIM Fender Fat Strat - FR, Squier Stagemaster Deluxe - Thru Neck x 2, Squier Stagemaster 22 Fret - 1st Gen, 1999 Squier Showmaster - Anniversary Edition, Squier Showmaster, Tokai FV40 Flying V

Effects:  Ada Mp1, Peavey Rockmaster, Boss GT5 * Amps:   Rocktron Velocity 300 - Harley Benton GPA400
Cabs: 4 x Bugera 2 x 12"
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