Matt D
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Reel To Reel To Make A Comeback?

Tue Apr 05, 2005 9:09 am

Ok maybe reel to reel will never reach the level of CD's in terms of widespread use, but it cannot be denied that it is not the dead format that purveyors of digital audio would have us believe. No matter how good of a digital system you come up, it will ALWAYS have a few Achilles Heels that analog is immune from. To name just a few:

No "An error occurred. All files lost"
No viruses
No defragmenting

Besides, analog simply sounds better. I'm convinced that out of everyone who has embraced digital recording, it's for one of the following reasons:

1. They have never heard of reel to reel.
2. They can't afford or locate quality condition equipment (it isn't cheap)
3. Digital is "modern", "new", "hip", "today". Not a throwback to a "has-been" generation.
4. They are lazy.

And perhaps, maybe 10% of digital recording "artists" actually DO like the sound. But then again, that's simply because they haven't heard real pure sound. Remember.....even most Trance/Techno compilation CD's are mixed and mastered using *ahem* analog LP's first.

And if sales activities of reel to reel machines and tapes on sites such as Ebay and Yahoo are any indication, the format is alive and well and has the potential to grow-if only a manufacturer would let it.

Well for those in the know, Quantegy (the last maker of tape) ceased ops on 12/31/04. But a new company, tentatively named ATR Magnetics is in the process of setting up shop to introduce a new full line of high quality 7" and 10" tapes, ranging from standard quarter inch to full studio 2 inch, in lengths of 1200', 1800', 2400', and, of course, 3600' for us home users.

Now rumor has it that an as-yet un named company has designed a new reel to reel machine. I'm not talking about that cheesy Retro RCA unit with the built in CD player. Nor am I talking about the Otari MX-5050 and the Tascam 34 that are nice, but sell at a whopping $4000 a pop (add $500 for a quarter track headstack). From what I've heard, it will be something similar in design to the Revox B77 or Teac X-2000. It will be 10" capable, have half or quarter track heads, and have a selling price in the $1500 range-which will make it within affordability to most analog lovers. Wouldn't this be great?

I will update news as I get it.

Oh and by the way...
can anyone guess the song that's playing on the X-2000R in this clip?

 
aa777flyer
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RE: Reel To Reel To Make A Comeback?

Tue Apr 05, 2005 9:13 am

They will likely stay popular for true enthuist...but not a wide spread comeback. They still bring fairly good money on ebay. Some of the higher end ones bring over $1000.00 bucks. But overall the American public is too lazy to operate a machine like a reel to reel. They want convience...So as far as a wide spread comeback...Dont think so.

PS. I miss my reel to reel. I was storing it at my parents house, my mom thought I did not want it anymore so she gave it to the good will!
The TSA was created to make the post office look efficient!
 
Superfly
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RE: Reel To Reel To Make A Comeback?

Tue Apr 05, 2005 9:19 am

Matt D:
And if sales activities of reel to reel machines and tapes on sites such as Ebay and Yahoo are any indication, the format is alive and well and has the potential to grow-if only a manufacturer would let it.


You can say that again!
Look at how much this Moody Blues quadraphonic reel tape went for!

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...1&sspagename=STRK%3AMEWA%3AIT&rd=1

I would have bid on it but once it surpassed $100.00, I said forget it.


Will this brand make a 4-channel recorder?
That will get me engaged.
Bring back the Concorde
 
Matt D
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RE: Reel To Reel To Make A Comeback?

Tue Apr 05, 2005 9:20 am

On some level, you are probably true. The Mass Market IS lazy, which is at least part of the reason cassettes, CD's, and DVD's all got as popular as they did (I'm not saying it's the ONLY reason. I'm just saying that it's a factor).

There is no question that everyone who has a deck now, or wishes they had one will buy one of these new decks if/when it comes out. As for widespread popularity, my gut instinct agrees with you.

But I have been fooled before. If the general population had relative easy access to these machines (sold at the high end sections of Good Guys, Hollytron, and Circuit City), then you never know. Not even counting the converted that would already buy them, you would have a whole new generation of people exposed to them (the under 30 crowd who, when the last consumer reel to reel deck [the Teac X-2000R] rolled off the line in 1994, were only 20 or younger couldn't afford one). And considering that things "Retro" are in right now, you might see a lot of people look at them and say "Wow! That's pretty cool", and buy one, even if just for looks.
 
Matt D
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RE: Reel To Reel To Make A Comeback?

Tue Apr 05, 2005 9:21 am

Superfly, I doubt it will be a 4-track. It will most likely only be available in stereo half and quarter track. But if it takes off, then who knows....maybe sometime down the road, a 4-channel variant will be offered.
 
Superfly
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RE: Reel To Reel To Make A Comeback?

Tue Apr 05, 2005 9:25 am

Matt D:
Quality of music has to improve too.
Why should anyone care about the sound quality of Creed, Toby Keith, 50 Cents or Beyonce Knowles?
Since modern pop music is crap at the source, I doubt people will spend top dollar to get the best possible sound quality. Resurrecting old catalogue just isn't going to cut it.

I agree that people are lazy. Back in the 60s & 70s, 8track tape sometimes cost more. It was a lot easier to use than an LP or reel tape.
Bring back the Concorde
 
Matt D
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RE: Reel To Reel To Make A Comeback?

Tue Apr 05, 2005 9:31 am

Why should anyone care about the sound quality of Creed, Toby Keith, 50 Cents or Beyonce Knowles?
Since modern pop music is crap at the source, I doubt people will spend top dollar to get the best possible sound quality.


Well I'm afraid I have to agree with you there. But you do raise an intriguing question:

If this stuff (regardless of format) really IS of such canned, mass-market, low quality (which I think just about 99% of everything released since 1989 is), then why DOES it get as popular as it does?

In other words, if Brittney Spears is the crystallization of shameless vapid mediocrity (which I think she is), then why DO her concerts sell out time after time?

Are we just a nation of conformity whores swallowing whatever MTV and VH1 shove down our throats, or are there an awful lot of "closet" fans?
 
bristolflyer
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RE: Reel To Reel To Make A Comeback?

Tue Apr 05, 2005 9:31 am

As long as they still feature 'The Mad Stuntman' they should be good. Their masterpiece "I like to Move it Move it' was a seminal classic.

BF
Fortune favours the brave
 
Superfly
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RE: Reel To Reel To Make A Comeback?

Tue Apr 05, 2005 11:27 am

Quoting Matt D (Reply 6):
Are we just a nation of conformity whores swallowing whatever MTV and VH1 shove down our throats,

Yep. The masses will eat up anything that is spoonfed to them by the large recording industry.


Any chance of Metal (type IV) cassette coming back?
We you able to click on that ebay link?
Bring back the Concorde
 
Matt D
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RE: Reel To Reel To Make A Comeback?

Tue Apr 05, 2005 11:31 am

I saw the tape. That's a bit much. As for type IV metal, I wouldn't hold my breath. You'd be better off stocking up on all that you can find now.
 
Matt D
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RE: Reel To Reel To Make A Comeback?

Tue Apr 05, 2005 11:31 am

By the way....you didn't recognize the song being played?
 
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TheRedBaron
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RE: Reel To Reel To Make A Comeback?

Tue Apr 05, 2005 12:20 pm

I have a Pioneer Rt 909 (wanted a Teac but they were quite $$$$), the analog tape has a kind of distortion and IM D that set it appart, Symphonic music and jazz are perfect for that kind of equipment.....
Ill be buried with my tapes...hehehhe
The best seat in a Plane is the Jumpseat.
 
Superfly
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RE: Reel To Reel To Make A Comeback?

Tue Apr 05, 2005 1:54 pm

Sorry Matt D.
All I got was a big Q in a white square.  Sad
It's the man f--king with my computer.
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DeskPilot
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RE: Reel To Reel To Make A Comeback?

Tue Apr 05, 2005 2:55 pm

Quoting Matt D (Reply 6):
(which I think just about 99% of everything released since 1989 is)

Every generation has their music. Just because you don't get/like it, doen't mean it's crap.  Smile

My experience with analogue tape based recording always had "hiss". Maybe it was quality of the equipment I used. Is this something that exists on a quality Reel to Reel, Matt D ?
By the way, is there anyone on board who knows how to fly a plane?
 
gkirk
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RE: Reel To Reel To Make A Comeback?

Tue Apr 05, 2005 5:53 pm

Congratulations Matt D, you are the newest member of the Airliners.net Grumpy Old Men Club
 old   old   old   old   old 
When you hear the noise of the Tartan Army Boys, we'll be coming down the road!
 
KROC
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RE: Reel To Reel To Make A Comeback?

Tue Apr 05, 2005 7:59 pm

Reel to reel isn't coming back, and when all you old fossils kick the bucket, it will be gone forever. Face it.
 
CaptOveur
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RE: Reel To Reel To Make A Comeback?

Tue Apr 05, 2005 11:18 pm

The A.net luddites are alive and well I see.

Reel to Reel is nice, I have messed with it some but it is a dead format, accept it. I can't recall the last time I saw a NEW reel to reel tape for sale somewhere.
Things were better when it was two guys in a dorm room.
 
Klaus
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RE: Reel To Reel To Make A Comeback?

Wed Apr 06, 2005 9:08 am

Matt D: Ok maybe reel to reel will never reach the level of CD's in terms of widespread use, but it cannot be denied that it is not the dead format that purveyors of digital audio would have us believe.

Well, it´s "not dead" the way horse carriages are "not dead" due to a tiny but steadfast group of hobby enthusiasts (and, of course, the Amish people ). But that´s it.


Matt D: No matter how good of a digital system you come up, it will ALWAYS have a few Achilles Heels that analog is immune from. To name just a few:

No "An error occurred. All files lost"


Has yet to occur to me. But maybe it´s because I don´t use Windows.  crazy 
Anyway, since digital recordings can be backed up without loss, this is easily prevented. On the other hand, all my old reel-to-reel tapes have by now become unplayable and would by now only offer degraded sound quality anyway even if they hadn´t.


Matt D: No viruses

Get a Macintosh.


Matt D: No defragmenting

The low data rates required by any audio format (even by uncompressed audio) are easily supported by modern harddisks, even if massively fragmented. (MacOS transparently defragments "small" files such as MP3s in the background, by the way - see above.)


Matt D: Besides, analog simply sounds better.

Uh, no, it doesn´t. Especially when you´ve got an interest in classical music (which generally pose the biggest challenge), digital recordings were a revelation when they finally arrived. Some screwed-up digital transfers of analog-tuned original masters notwithstanding, but a lot has changed since then.

You could always find a crappy MP3 encoding played back on a crappy MP3 player which will sound inferior to an excellent recording on a high-end analog deck. But that doesn´t say anything about the comparison between the actual base technologies.


Matt D: I'm convinced that out of everyone who has embraced digital recording, it's for one of the following reasons:

1. They have never heard of reel to reel.


That´s what I´ve started with. I can live without the hiss and the hassle, even if I´ve got a soft spot for that ancient technology for purely nostalgic reasons.


Matt D: 2. They can't afford or locate quality condition equipment (it isn't cheap)

You get farther in the digital domain for the same amount of money.


Matt D: 3. Digital is "modern", "new", "hip", "today". Not a throwback to a "has-been" generation.

Don´t confuse marketing and substance. Digital is much more than just that.


Matt D: 4. They are lazy.

Convenience is not a bad thing when coupled with excellent quality. And a free mix of several thousand titles, easily filtered and re-combined at a touch of a button can be a whole new experience with all the music you love.


With analog recordings, you have progressive quality degradation through wear and chemical decay without any hope of a perfect backup. Plus the usual analog quality limitations. The world is moving on.

But if you still like to stick to reel-to-reel I don´t have the slightest problem with that; Just please don´t do it for the wrong reasons. No shame in nostalgia!  bigthumbsup 
 
Superfly
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RE: Reel To Reel To Make A Comeback?

Wed Apr 06, 2005 9:17 am

Klaus my friend, are you  stirthepot  ? Big grin

Digital superiority?
Macintosh?


You losing lots of points man!
Bring back the Concorde
 
Klaus
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RE: Reel To Reel To Make A Comeback?

Wed Apr 06, 2005 9:40 am

Superfly: Klaus my friend, are you  stirthepot  ?  

Hi, Fly! Big grin
Just responding to Matt´s declaration... You can do a lot of things, but you can´t get away with claims like that!

Superfly: Digital superiority?
Macintosh?
You losing lots of points man!


Too bad... and I still like you - even though you´re an analog-worshipping, Windows-afflicted gas-guzzling-pimp-mobile-driving american!  bigthumbsup 
 
Lemmy
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RE: Reel To Reel To Make A Comeback?

Wed Apr 06, 2005 10:06 am

Quoting Matt D (Reply 6):
If this stuff (regardless of format) really IS of such canned, mass-market, low quality (which I think just about 99% of everything released since 1989 is), then why DOES it get as popular as it does?

Nothing new here. Every generation has its alarmists who see cultural decline as a recent development. In fact, the verifiable badness of so much of mass culture is more or less constant. There's a lot of sucky stuff out there, but when has there not been? Remember the Bay City Rollers?

One big upside to digital recording technology is its ease of access. Not so good for the thousands of small to midsize recording studios that have gone out of business, but great for the tens of thousands of musicians who, with a Mac, Pro Tools, and a few good mics can do some really cool stuff. Maybe it doesn't sound like it was recorded at Abbey Road, but who cares? Some of my favorite albums were recorded on a 4-track in somebody's basement.

I certainly won't argue with Matt D about analog sound quality, though. But if bands like the Moody Blues were the only ones who could afford top-notch recording, then I'm frankly not interested.
I am a patient boy ...
 
sccutler
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RE: Reel To Reel To Make A Comeback?

Wed Apr 06, 2005 10:33 am

"If I Can't Have You," by Yvonne Elliman.
...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
 
sccutler
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RE: Reel To Reel To Make A Comeback?

Wed Apr 06, 2005 10:34 am

..and somehow, Superfly, wasn't it inevitable that either you, or I, would be the one to recognize that song?
...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
 
Superfly
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RE: Reel To Reel To Make A Comeback?

Wed Apr 06, 2005 12:38 pm

Klaus:
Funny, very funny! Big grin
Despite being pro-digital & Apple, you're still a cool dude and great asset to Airliners.net

Quoting Lemmy (Reply 20):
But if bands like the Moody Blues were the only ones who could afford top-notch recording, then I'm frankly not interested.

YIKES!
I love the Moody Blues. One of the best rock groups ever. They are top notch musicians, songwriters and arrangers.

Quoting Lemmy (Reply 20):
Nothing new here. Every generation has its alarmists who see cultural decline as a recent development. In fact, the verifiable badness of so much of mass culture is more or less constant. There's a lot of sucky stuff out there, but when has there not been? Remember the Bay City Rollers?

I am glad you used Bay City Rollers as an example of bad 1970s band. Guess what, they are STILL more talented than acts that are passing as good rock music! Bay City Rollers may have beeen the lowest hanging fruit on the tree of 1970s rock groups but they still are better than Green Day & Creed!
Can you think of any genre that is better today than 30 years ago?
I can see if it's just one style of music that is in decline but it's across the board. Rock, R&B, jazz, country, easy listening is absolute garbage compared to 25+ years ago.

Quoting Lemmy (Reply 20):
One big upside to digital recording technology is its ease of access. Not so good for the thousands of small to midsize recording studios that have gone out of business, but great for the tens of thousands of musicians who, with a Mac, Pro Tools, and a few good mics can do some really cool stuff.

That's a problem right there. It's not supposed to be easy. A talented musician will be willing to put in the hard work of recording music and putting together a finished and well polished piece of work. Now any simpleton can buy pro-tools and fart around and call it music.
The few bands out there on the club circut still like to go to the small recording studio and use 2" reel tape machines and cut vinyl as well.
There is a certain magic that only a musician can understand when being in a studio with a huge mixing consil with several dozen VU meters, cables, reel tapes spining, back cueing, bouncing tracks and of course, waiting for the tubs of the amplifier to warm up and having to replace fuses when needed.
To some it sounds like a pain in the ass but a true musician understands that it's part of the process.
Bring back the Concorde
 
Lemmy
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RE: Reel To Reel To Make A Comeback?

Thu Apr 07, 2005 1:51 am

Quoting Superfly (Reply 23):
I love the Moody Blues. One of the best rock groups ever. They are top notch musicians, songwriters and arrangers.

I shouldn't have mentioned any particular band, since that just leads to arguments over a particular group's merits, and those arguments rarely go anywhere. There's just no productive way to say Band X is better than Band Y. We both have different criteria for judging.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 23):
I can see if it's just one style of music that is in decline but it's across the board. Rock, R&B, jazz, country, easy listening is absolute garbage compared to 25+ years ago.

I was trying to think of a way to respond to this when I realized of course we think that music was better 10 to 20 years ago. Look at our age! Popular music has always been a youth culture, and the whole point of youth culture is that it's inaccessible to adults. With few exceptions, my parents didn't like my music, and I probably won't like my kid's music. Isn't there something kind of creepy about the middle-aged guy in a club full of 18 year olds?

Trying to think of some really great music that's less than 5 years old, I was shocked that most of my favorite albums are close to 15 years old. Crap! I'm old! Why can't any modern music live up to the standards set by Black Flag and the Bad Brains? Because music has moved on, and I've gotten old and out-of-touch.

Also, I truly believe that, while the genres you mentioned (rock, country, easy listening) might be in decline, the vitality in popular music is in the types of music nowadays that didn't exist 30 years ago: rap, techno, indie rock, black metal, hardcore, etc. Creed sucks because they're rehashing old rock cliches. Green Day sucks because they've been playing the same song since 1988. Some forms are just tired and worn out, but there are lots that aren't, and they're not the ones being played on MTV.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 23):
That's a problem right there. It's not supposed to be easy. A talented musician will be willing to put in the hard work of recording music and putting together a finished and well polished piece of work.

I agree with you 100%. Absolutely true. But do you really need a multi-milion dollar studio that costs $500/hour, complete with a middle-aged guy in a Skynrd t-shirt to make your guitars sound "punchy but warm"? I'd argue that, while you're right that home-recording technology leads to a sea of crappy recordings (this is the real mark of the internet age ... but we manage nonetheless), there are also legions of talented musicians who spend their lives hammering out music in their bedrooms. What's more, these folks don't have to rush their recordings just because they don't have a major label paying for two weeks of studio time.

On the other side of the analog/digial argument, legendary punk-rock musician and producer Steve Albini is a rabid proponent of analog. His own band, Shellac, records analog and still presses LPs and, yes, they sound amazing. There's an interesting video of a talk he gives arguing for analog at http://www.mtsu.edu/~nadam/downloads/Stevealbiniweb.html
I am a patient boy ...
 
Superfly
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RE: Reel To Reel To Make A Comeback?

Thu Apr 07, 2005 2:15 am

Lemmy:
Well I am 31 years old (same as Matt D) and we like music our parents listen to. Hell I even like some music from my grandparent’s generation (30s &40s).
By the time I was in high school (late 80s / early 90s), I was already disappointed with new pop music. I knew than that it was a compromise of the great music and culture of the 1970s.
I never would have imagined that pop music would get even worse later in to the 90s and today.

On the other hand, 'new' music I like isn't even coming from the US/UK or Canada. I am impressed by a lot of music coming out of the Middle-East, West Africa, Cuba and Brazil.
They are still playing instruments!  Wow!
Imagine that!  Wow!
That music has caught on in some circles in Europe but is too sophisticated for the masses here in America.

You like Bad Brains?
A friend of mine has been trying to get me in to them for years but they aren't my cup of tea. I do acknowledge that they are good musicians. As for as punk goes, I never had an ear for it. Same with rap. I guess I am just not angry enough to appreciate it. Big grin
Bring back the Concorde
 
Klaus
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RE: Reel To Reel To Make A Comeback?

Thu Apr 07, 2005 2:27 am

Lemmy: On the other side of the analog/digial argument, legendary punk-rock musician and producer Steve Albini is a rabid proponent of analog.

That figures - Punk is supposed to sound dirty and distorted!  bigthumbsup 
 
Superfly
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RE: Reel To Reel To Make A Comeback?

Thu Apr 07, 2005 2:33 am

Lemmy:
Also worth noting, many older artist did embrace newer styles of pop music in the past. Frank Sinatra wanted the rock group Chicago to compose a song for him in 1970. Frank Sinatra was already 'old peoples music' by 1970.
Andre Kostelanetz made a tribute album to Chicago in 1972.
Ray Conniff played many pop hits of rock, r&b and disco artist of the 1970s and yet Ray Conniffs fan base was the WWII generation.


This album in which I proudly own sums up what I am talking about.
Even Arthur Fiedler of the Boston Pops went disco in 1979 at the age of 85 years old !



You don't see Paul McCartney or Stevie Wonder wearing gold chains, tattoos, gold teeth riding around in H2s bragging about there 'bling bling'.
You don't see Neil Diamond or Aretha Franklin screaming about how much they hate themselves and want to shoot up heroine.

People with musical taste simply aren't buying the myth that today’s noise is music. There is definitely a decline in Western pop culture.
Bring back the Concorde
 
Superfly
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RE: Reel To Reel To Make A Comeback?

Thu Apr 07, 2005 2:54 am

And also there were many tribute albums to the Beatles, Cledence Clearwater Revival, The Doors, Rolling Stones and Cream by older artist such as Burt Bacharach, Enoch Light, Frank Chacksfeild, Percy Faith, Andre Previn and Dick Hyman just to name a few.


Have you seen George Burns sing 'Fixing A Hole'?
It's a riot! Big grin
Bring back the Concorde
 
PMN
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RE: Reel To Reel To Make A Comeback?

Thu Apr 07, 2005 3:19 am

Great. A thread where I can have a rant!

Quoting Matt D (Reply 6):
In other words, if Brittney Spears is the crystallization of shameless vapid mediocrity (which I think she is), then why DO her concerts sell out time after time?

Her concerts sell out because there are millions of people out there who like what she does. It may be utter crap to a lot of people (including me) but as long as it sells out arena tour after arena tour it will always be around.

I've done countless concerts with boy/girl bands and for me, in my personal opinion, for the most part they're a total load of money making bollocks (with the exception of Gareth Gates, who after mixing front of house sound for him I can say is an excellent, talented musician. The only problem was fighting the racket produced by the 15,000 screaming 14 year old girls that made up the audience).

There's so much unimaginitive music out there. So many 'artists' and producers seem to lack the originality and ability to do something different. Take Indie for example. Almost every new band sounds like the last one. In probably 85% of Indie I hear the same harsh guitar sounds, the same messy drumming with a hi-hat that never seems to close (which I personally hate), the same whiny vocals and the same chord structures.

As someone who works in music I rarely see bands doing anything different to most others out there, although bands playing Indie or Metal seem to me to be the most un-original. I've mixed hundreds of Indie and Metal bands and only two or three of them has stuck in my mind as being musically good (that's just my opinion of course).

Anyway, as for the reel to reel tape discussion, I'm an absolute analogue fanatic (to my right as I type this The Nightfly by Donald Fagen is spinning on my record deck sounding nice and warm as vinyl does). I've never had a domestic reel to reel but I wish I had. The only time I've ever heard analogue reel to reel is when I've been recording in studio's and we've gone onto 24 track. It ALWAYS sounds far better to my ears than going into Cubase or Pro Tools. I've heard some awesome sounding digitally recorded and mastered recordings but for me nothing beats the sound when you hit play on an analogue recorder and hear back what you've just played. Analogue somehow seems so much bigger than digital.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 17):
Plus the usual analog quality limitations.

The technical limitations of analogue recording and playback don't necessarily mean your ear will hear them as sounding inferior to digital. The human ear doesn't respond like a piece of test equipment! Many people (including myself) consider analogue to have a warmth that can not be re-created with digital. With digital you have a higher signal to noise ratio, better dynamic range etc, but to me these technical benefits have no place when feel and emotion play such a huge part in how we percieve music. To me sounds reproduced by analogue equipment 'feel' better. There are several albums I own both on CD and vinyl. The CD copies haven't been played for a long time. Will reel to reel ever make a comeback? I have no idea. I certainly hope so.

You could apply a similar analogue v digital argument to valve equipment. I'm also a valve freak. All my bass amps are valve. Again, they sound warmer to me than transistor amps, but I'll leave that argument for another time!

 Wink
Edith in his bed, a plane in the rain is humming, the wires in the walls are humming some song - some mysterious song
 
Superfly
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RE: Reel To Reel To Make A Comeback?

Thu Apr 07, 2005 3:26 am

PMN:
Great post!  Cool
Do you use a Ampeg, VOX,...... ?


I need a bass amp. I own a Rickenbacker 4001 bas but I no longer have an amp. I used to own a Peavy Century 120. It was a bass head and cabinet with one 15" woofer. The thing sounded like total $h!t!
I'd love to pick up a used Ampeg amp someday.
Bring back the Concorde
 
PMN
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RE: Reel To Reel To Make A Comeback?

Thu Apr 07, 2005 3:51 am

Cheers Superfly 

Have to agree Ampeg are great! I don't really get on with the Ricky's although one of the nicest bass necks I've ever played was on a 4001. It just felt so right, but the sound isn't what I tend to be after. Beautiful basses though!

When I'm doing light acoustic stuff I use a 1973 Fender Dual Showman Reverb usually with an EAW 12" + 2" monitor (one of the advantages of working for a sound rental company!). It's really a guitar amp but there's easily enough drive in it's 4 6L6's to do even loud-ish gigs with it. It sounds awesome with both my G&L L2500 and my 5 string Jazz Fretless. It's the fattest, warmest bass sound I've ever played with. For noisier stuff where I need more power and headroom I use a TL Audio 5051 valve pre-amp, Chevin power amps and Hartke cabinets. The TL Audio unit is great for recording as well, and I quite often insert it on the lead vocal channel when I'm mixing. It's a great unit. My prize possession after basses has to be the Fender amp though. I love that old beauty!

By the way Superfly, you and MATT D are the first people to be added to my respected users list. You guys talk sense!

Happy playing (and listening)!
Paul

[Edited 2005-04-06 20:54:55]
Edith in his bed, a plane in the rain is humming, the wires in the walls are humming some song - some mysterious song
 
Klaus
Posts: 20700
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RE: Reel To Reel To Make A Comeback?

Thu Apr 07, 2005 5:53 am

PMN: The technical limitations of analogue recording and playback don't necessarily mean your ear will hear them as sounding inferior to digital. The human ear doesn't respond like a piece of test equipment!

Depends on what you´re looking (or rather: listening) for. You can use the limitations and distortions of analog recordings like an additional instrument - in that case, you´re right.

And generations of sound engineers have learned to compensate for those limitations, resulting in a bunch of horrible early CD transfers, when the compensation became audible without being filtered through the analog reproduction chain.

It´s a different cup of tea when you´re actually trying to reproduce the original (as is generally desirable for classical music). In that case all that proposed "warmth" is merely a distortion of the original. And the ear does indeed recognize the loss of information and clarity, in addition to the inevitable analog noise floor.


PMN: Many people (including myself) consider analogue to have a warmth that can not be re-created with digital.

That´s actually not correct. You could very well create a suite of digital phase shifters, low- /high-pass filters and noise generators as a plugin for any digital mastering system which would reproduce the effect of analog reproduction.

But so far, it seems that nobody found it desirable enough to actually do that.

Effecting subtle changes in the digital domain is even more controllable than on the analog side; It just takes some further development of the respective software tools plus a few decades of engineer experience.

There´s nothing analog you can´t do digitally, while the reverse is certainly not true. But you need the tools and the knowledge of how to use them.
 
Superfly
Posts: 37705
Joined: Thu May 11, 2000 8:01 am

RE: Reel To Reel To Make A Comeback?

Thu Apr 07, 2005 7:03 am

PMN:
That is one sweet rig you have!
Fender Jazz 5 string?
Those go very deep and have a beautiful warm sound.  Cool




Klaus:
Are you just saying this to feel like you have a connection with today's youth?
I had an argument with a guy in his early 50s and he was trying to say that Ipods sound quality was better than records and reel to reels. I think it was some sort of mid-life crisis for him.
I guess he was from the school of thought; think young, you stay young.  Smile
Bring back the Concorde
 
PMN
Posts: 547
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2005 7:44 am

RE: Reel To Reel To Make A Comeback?

Thu Apr 07, 2005 7:09 am

Quoting Klaus (Reply 32):
PMN: The technical limitations of analogue recording and playback don't necessarily mean your ear will hear them as sounding inferior to digital. The human ear doesn't respond like a piece of test equipment!

Depends on what you´re looking (or rather: listening) for. You can use the limitations and distortions of analog recordings like an additional instrument - in that case, you´re right.

Like I said, don't NECESSARILY mean!

Quoting Klaus (Reply 32):
That´s actually not correct. You could very well create a suite of digital phase shifters, low- /high-pass filters and noise generators as a plugin for any digital mastering system which would reproduce the effect of analog reproduction.

So a bit of phase shift, EQ and a few random crackles re-creates the sound of analogue? I have to say I'm somewhat sceptical of your theory on this one. The analogue sound will not even partly be re-created by cutting off a little high or low end with filters, and presumably by noise generators I assume you mean a few artificially created crackles and a bit of pink noise?

Even if you did that, the original character of the digital recording would remain. It is this clinical character of sound that myself and many others dislike. I don't see how what you suggest would give true analogue tonality. You're still only emulating the sound of analogue. You still have a DIGITAL recording which still has DIGITAL character.

By the way, could you explain exactly what degree of phase shift you would apply and to what frequencies?. I'd just be curious to know.

  

[Edited 2005-04-07 00:31:56]
Edith in his bed, a plane in the rain is humming, the wires in the walls are humming some song - some mysterious song
 
PMN
Posts: 547
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2005 7:44 am

RE: Reel To Reel To Make A Comeback?

Thu Apr 07, 2005 7:30 am

Thanks Superfly.

Yeah Jazz Basses are one of my favourites. Mine started life as a fretted, but a friend de-fretted it for me (and did a great job). Like you say they're deep and warm, unlike bass sounds from those nasty DIGITAL keyboards  cheeky 

Has to be said though there arn't many basses that go deeper than a Ricky (although my Sting Signature Precision comes close!)

Anyway I'm bored and have nothing to do but take photo's (and listen to records), so here are the three most important material things I own. Three beautiful Fender creations:

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y36/MMSR5/Picture392.jpg

Any photo's of yours Superfly?

Paul
Edith in his bed, a plane in the rain is humming, the wires in the walls are humming some song - some mysterious song
 
Superfly
Posts: 37705
Joined: Thu May 11, 2000 8:01 am

RE: Reel To Reel To Make A Comeback?

Thu Apr 07, 2005 9:07 am

Quoting PMN (Reply 35):
Any photo's of yours Superfly?




I have a few others but there on 35mm slides.
Bring back the Concorde
 
Klaus
Posts: 20700
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2001 7:41 am

RE: Reel To Reel To Make A Comeback?

Thu Apr 07, 2005 10:14 am

Superfly: Are you just saying this to feel like you have a connection with today's youth?

Why would I want thatBig grin
Young people have their own world and it´s not mine - occasional communication notwithstanding.

No, I´ve just looked a little deeper into both analog and digital audio technology, starting a while before CDs have been introduced...


PMN: So a bit of phase shift, EQ and a few random crackles re-creates the sound of analogue? I have to say I'm somewhat sceptical of your theory on this one. The analogue sound will not even partly be re-created by cutting off a little high or low end with filters, and presumably by noise generators I assume you mean a few artificially created crackles and a bit of pink noise?

It´s quite a bit more difficult than that, as the entire analog chain can accumulate pretty complex sound modifications. In order to emulate them all, you´d have to perform a rather complex analysis of your individual reference systems in order to replicate them in the digital domain.


PMN: Even if you did that, the original character of the digital recording would remain.

No, that´s the point: Digital recording is entirely neutral on its own - it does not have a "character" at all, unless analog or digital modifications are added explicitly.

As I said, sound engineers need to get used to this neutrality; If "ambience" effects are desired for a specific recording, they must be added explicitly.


PMN: It is this clinical character of sound that myself and many others dislike.

It requires a rather different approach and mastership of the new digital tools - transitions as fundamental as this have always left many people behind who didn´t want to adapt to the new challenges.

Up to a point, of course, the digital tools themselves are still in need of further development. They´re pretty far along and can already do a lot of things you could only have dreamed about before, but they´re still not really mature by any stretch.

But that matters only if you do indeed intend to manipulate the sound instead of simply reproducing it exactly which is the digital default (completely regardless how many intermediate copies are required).
 
CaptOveur
Posts: 6064
Joined: Thu May 06, 2004 3:13 am

RE: Reel To Reel To Make A Comeback?

Thu Apr 07, 2005 10:34 am

Quoting Superfly (Reply 36):
I have a few others but there on 35mm slides.

Wow, you really are stuck in the 70s... You don't by any chance post on A.net from an IBM 360 or something? Do you?

Note: I am not knocking slides, but print film has come a long way in the last 25yrs. Not to mention Digital.
Things were better when it was two guys in a dorm room.
 
PMN
Posts: 547
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2005 7:44 am

RE: Reel To Reel To Make A Comeback?

Thu Apr 07, 2005 11:17 am

Quoting Klaus (Reply 37):
It requires a rather different approach and mastership of the new digital tools - transitions as fundamental as this have always left many people behind who didn´t want to adapt to the new challenges.

I'm sure the way it's approached is different. I'm not a studio engineer, I'm a live engineer. The approach of live engineers tends to be very different from that of studio guys. Basically I don't have the technical knowledge of digital equipment that you have, but I know what I like to hear.

What you seem to be saying is that no-one has yet come up with a digital system that can replicate the sound of analogue, but it CAN be done. How exactly do you know that if such software were developed, you could play a song processed by this system to a group of die hard analogue fans and have them ALL agree it equals analogue, if it hasn't yet been done?

Do you genuinely believe it can be done or are you simply defending digital? I see you're into software development. Perhaps this could be a new project? If you ever develop this software I'd love a copy! Even if such software were ever produced, it would be a matter of opinion as to whether it has succeeded in it's intended purpose as is almost everything concerning sound and music, which for me is part of what makes it such a great thing to be involved in Smile

By the way you didn't explain the part phase shift would play. I know phase shift occurs whenever EQ is applied (like in an RIAA curve), although I've heard a few demonstrations that show the ear doesn't hear these EQ induced phase shifts. Please explain, I'm curious.

Quoting CaptOveur (Reply 38):
print film has come a long way in the last 25yrs. Not to mention Digital.

Was that supposed to be sarcastic?  cheeky 

Anyway, it's 3:15AM and I think it's time to turn this awesome sounding 30 year old Joni Mitchell record off and go to bed. I have a long hard day of listening to music to do tomorrow Smile

'Nite all
Paul
Edith in his bed, a plane in the rain is humming, the wires in the walls are humming some song - some mysterious song
 
Klaus
Posts: 20700
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2001 7:41 am

RE: Reel To Reel To Make A Comeback?

Thu Apr 07, 2005 12:23 pm

PMN: I'm sure the way it's approached is different. I'm not a studio engineer, I'm a live engineer. The approach of live engineers tends to be very different from that of studio guys. Basically I don't have the technical knowledge of digital equipment that you have, but I know what I like to hear.

Yeah, you´re working to entirely different specifications... While a recording will have to be "standardized" to an ideal reproduction system which the real systems are trying to approximate, a live setup can and must compensate for the locale acoustics and everything else... And the performance of the musicians can´t be "standardized" anyway (short of using full playback, of course
).


PMN: What you seem to be saying is that no-one has yet come up with a digital system that can replicate the sound of analogue, but it CAN be done. How exactly do you know that if such software were developed, you could play a song processed by this system to a group of die hard analogue fans and have them ALL agree it equals analogue, if it hasn't yet been done?

Because it follows from the operating principle. A digital system can - sufficent sampling resolution provided - emulate any sound with extreme precision. With proper A/D and D/A converters you can produce any sound that can be described mathematically (and that means anything).

Conversely, it is not possible in practice to achieve the same precision and flexibility with any analog system known to man (or even conceivable theoretically).

By the way, you´d have major problems getting your experts to agree even if all samples were in fact played back on either analog or digital systems...
So I´d take that test with a few grains of salt in any case.


PMN: Do you genuinely believe it can be done or are you simply defending digital? I see you're into software development. Perhaps this could be a new project? If you ever develop this software I'd love a copy!

I bet... Big grin
No, that´s not an area I´m currently working on; And as I said: Why would anybody actually want that? When you´re working on that level of subtlety, you can achieve much better results by pursuing the sound that´s actually the best for the given material, rather than emulating a fixed setting that´s the result of analog imperfections.

Still, for classical material I´d want as little modification as possible. Even though digital filters can be made mathematically perfect contrary to analog ones, it´s still easy to damage the original material without noticing right away.


PMN: By the way you didn't explain the part phase shift would play. I know phase shift occurs whenever EQ is applied (like in an RIAA curve), although I've heard a few demonstrations that show the ear doesn't hear these EQ induced phase shifts. Please explain, I'm curious.

As far as I´m aware, the human ear can still recognize phase relationships in mixed signals (wich means practically any "real" sounds and music). So twisting the phase of one frequency range can very well become audible when the signal is combined with another one (at a multiple or fraction of the frequency) whose phase has remained unchanged. It´s subtle, but still audible.

And since analog filters always have to fight with the imperfections of their electronic components, digital filters are (or at least can be) vastly superior since they´re completely unhindered by such baggage as parasitic capacitance/resistance/inductivity or op-amp feedback effects.

A digital filter is merely a mathematical computation which performs as close to perfect as mathematically possible (if implemented properly, of course). It´s thus possible to realize arbitrary filter characteristics to a quality which would not be feasible at all with analog electronics.

Electronic analog filters are always just a relatively crude approximation and a compromise between the desired effect and the available components with all their part tolerances, manufacturing imperfections and calibration creep. All these limitations are entirely absent in digital filters. If they´re implemented properly, they´re always perfect and uniformly stable every time, under any circumstances.

Still, one of the biggest advantages of digital reproduction is that phase shifts and other distortions are strictly optional and are simply absent unless explicitly introduced (again assuming properly functioning A/D and D/A converters). The analog reproduction chanin will always have them, just to varying degrees.
 
Superfly
Posts: 37705
Joined: Thu May 11, 2000 8:01 am

RE: Reel To Reel To Make A Comeback?

Fri Apr 08, 2005 12:15 am

CaptOveur:
I do have a digital camera as well as a standard 35mm camera and tons of prints. I had bought some slide film just for the heck of it because I have have my father's old slide projector from the early 1960s.



Klaus:
You certainly have an in-depth knowledge of all the strides sound engineers have been attempting to emulate natural sound but our ears don't lie.




Matt D:
I finally heard Yvonne Ellman's 'If I Can't Have You'.
Sccutler heard it first but I jusy wanted to hear how it sounds on your system.  Smile
Bring back the Concorde
 
PMN
Posts: 547
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2005 7:44 am

RE: Reel To Reel To Make A Comeback?

Fri Apr 08, 2005 1:25 am

Quoting Superfly (Reply 41):
Klaus:
You certainly have an in-depth knowledge of all the strides sound engineers have been attempting to emulate natural sound but our ears don't lie.

You just summed up in one short sentence exactly what I have been trying to say. Couldn't agree more.
Edith in his bed, a plane in the rain is humming, the wires in the walls are humming some song - some mysterious song
 
Superfly
Posts: 37705
Joined: Thu May 11, 2000 8:01 am

RE: Reel To Reel To Make A Comeback?

Fri Apr 08, 2005 2:26 am

PMN:
I'd like to have Klaus over so he can get a a true audio experience.
You haven't heard fine audio until you've heard Quadraphonic reel to reel.  Cool
Bring back the Concorde
 
PMN
Posts: 547
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2005 7:44 am

RE: Reel To Reel To Make A Comeback?

Fri Apr 08, 2005 3:17 am

Quoting Superfly (Reply 43):
I'd like to have Klaus over so he can get a a true audio experience.
You haven't heard fine audio until you've heard Quadraphonic reel to reel.

That's something I'd love to hear. My greatest audio experience so far has been listening to music on my boss's Quad ESL 63 electrostatics powered by Leak valve amps down-rated to 7 watts each. They sound stunning! The purest sound I've ever heard reproduced electronically.

Paul
Edith in his bed, a plane in the rain is humming, the wires in the walls are humming some song - some mysterious song
 
Superfly
Posts: 37705
Joined: Thu May 11, 2000 8:01 am

RE: Reel To Reel To Make A Comeback?

Fri Apr 08, 2005 3:24 am

PMN:
Another great audio experience I've heard was a demo at an audio store.
I heard the Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs Original Half-Speed pressing of Pink Floyd's Dark Side Of The Moon and Steely Dan's Aja LPs.
They were played on a VIP external belt-driven turntable with a Sumiko phono cartridge through a McIntosh vaccum tube amplifyer and pre-amp.
I forgot what speakers they were but I was blown away by the sound fidelity.
Bring back the Concorde
 
Klaus
Posts: 20700
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2001 7:41 am

RE: Reel To Reel To Make A Comeback?

Fri Apr 08, 2005 10:22 pm

Superfly: Another great audio experience I've heard was a demo at an audio store.
I heard the Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs Original Half-Speed pressing of Pink Floyd's Dark Side Of The Moon and Steely Dan's Aja LPs.
They were played on a VIP external belt-driven turntable with a Sumiko phono cartridge through a McIntosh vaccum tube amplifyer and pre-amp.
I forgot what speakers they were but I was blown away by the sound fidelity.


What you´re talking about is that you´ve liked the sound; That´s a very different thing from sound fidelity.

Especially the classic Dark Side of the Moon is one of the greatest example of a highly artificial sound of its time and is about the worst reference for sound fidelity you could possibly find.

Replacing the analog pre-compensation for the shortcomings of the analog reproduction chain by a mild sound modification somewhat reminiscent of the overall effect is one of the reasons why many old recordings are being remastered today. But the sound fidelity once lost cannot be restored entirely (even if desirable).

I love the Dark Side of the Moon - I´ve basically grown up with the LP version - but today I happily listen to the remastered CD version or the encoded MP3s.  bigthumbsup 

If you like equalized and modified sound that´s fine. But especially classic recordings can and should be recorded with as little loss as possible - and that´s only possible with digital technology.
 
NoUFO
Posts: 7397
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2001 7:40 am

RE: Reel To Reel To Make A Comeback?

Fri Apr 08, 2005 11:58 pm

Quoting Superfly (Reply 30):
I need a bass amp. I own a Rickenbacker 4001 bas but I no longer have an amp.

Give Glockenklang ( http://www.glockenklang.de/en/products.htm ) a try!!

[Edited 2005-04-08 16:59:13]

[Edited 2005-04-08 16:59:48]
I support the right to arm bears
 
Superfly
Posts: 37705
Joined: Thu May 11, 2000 8:01 am

RE: Reel To Reel To Make A Comeback?

Fri Apr 08, 2005 11:59 pm

Klaus:
What on earth are you talking about?

Quoting Klaus (Reply 46):
greatest example of a highly artificial

Are you talking about the sound effects?

Quoting Klaus (Reply 46):
one of the reasons why many old recordings are being remastered today

That's because the first compact disc issues were awful. Today's compacts disc re-re-re-release aren't as bad and come close to what the LP and reel to reel tape sound like.
Bring back the Concorde
 
PMN
Posts: 547
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2005 7:44 am

RE: Reel To Reel To Make A Comeback?

Sat Apr 09, 2005 8:14 am

Klaus, I have a lot of respect for your knowledge of this subject. There's no doubt, on the technological side of things you know your stuff, although nothing you say will change my mind on this! (And I doubt it will change Superfly's either!)

I appreciate you're approaching this from the point of view of what is TECHNICALLY correct and superior, but you can not argue with people's ears and the way they perceive sound. That is a very, very personal thing, and the basis of people's opinions on this run far deeper than what is technically better. Sometimes people prefer one sound over another and yet can't explain the reason for their preference. It just FEELS better.

I respect your both your opinion and your knowledge, but ultimately how people feel about the sound they hear is the most important thing. I spend my life behind mixing desks trying to please up to 40,000 people at a time, and every one of those 40,000 people has a different opinion on what they hear. While I've found the majority would tend to agree, if someone's opinion is different to yours, nothing you say will convince them otherwise. That I am sure of.

I know what I like to hear, Superfly knows what he likes to hear, and whether or not one format is technically superior to another has no relevance to what our ears tell us and how we feel about what we hear. Emotion and technology in my opinion are not related in any way!

By the way Superfly, I have every Steely Dan album from Can't buy A Thrill to Everything Must Go (with the exception of Two Against Nature) and Dark Side Of The Moon on vinyl. To my analogue-loving ears they all sound superb .

[Edited 2005-04-09 01:22:59]
Edith in his bed, a plane in the rain is humming, the wires in the walls are humming some song - some mysterious song

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