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Old 08-19-2019, 04:44 AM
kalony kalony is offline
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 122
Default parallel master daw and tape

I had a live recording of a Johnny Cash tribute Band to mix and master. And for mastering I tried to use an Tascam 103 Casette Tape.
It was funny, but a lil too much, so I tried to make it parallel and to sync it with the original mix. But that didn’t worked.

I placed a 1-sample-long piece of audio in front, to have a good visualization to sync the tracks.
I played back the mix, send it to tape and immediately back into PT again so that the tape won’t have 2 different speeds while recording and than playing back afterwards. It was just 1 run. So I thought the deal would be only the technical latency and the time from the recording head to the playback head.

But I could not sync the tracks in pro tools. Every Time I was on point, I got a weird scratching of high frequencies. It was no chorus and no phasing like you get, when you come close to sync. To describe it, I think more of a Lesley effect in the upper frequencies….

is there anyone who tried something similar?

Am I doing something wrong?

Is my tape vary the speed just a lil bit so fast, that I can’t hear it in solo mode, but when I listen to mix and tape in parallel?

Cheers and Greetings

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Old 08-19-2019, 06:12 AM
Sardi Sardi is offline
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Perth
Posts: 1,791
Default Re: parallel master daw and tape

There will ALWAYS be some sort of chorusing effect. Wether you hear it as that or something else, what you’re describing is pretty much that.

You’re trying to sync a digital file with a source running through a machine that relies on a motor spinning a head. If you were running it through hardware like a comp or EQ, no prob. But not a machine that has a physical motor spinning.

Essentially, it’s just wow and flutter. Better machines have better specs in this regard, but they ALL will have it. Turntables, reel to reel, cassette etc.

If you want to avoid that, and you probably should, use a plugin simulation and make sure to disable any wow and flutter settings.

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Old 08-20-2019, 03:02 AM
kalony kalony is offline
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 122
Default Re: parallel master daw and tape

yeah, i total see your point.
I saw that technique in a vid. I found it again:


I thought, if you do it in 1 run, it could be possible. And since it was working in that vid, and in my case it wasn't, I thought, there could be a mistake somewhere...

With plugins its easy. sure. but still not the same, and for that project I was in mood to try something special :)

now I will give the clients two masters. one with plugins only and one recorded to tape and back and finished in the daw.

Lets see...

Thanks for your help

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Old 08-20-2019, 09:10 AM
amagras amagras is offline
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Ottawa, ON
Posts: 3,344
Default Re: parallel master daw and tape

I wouldn't belive much of what's on YouTube, most times is just a guy trying mind-blowing techniques that 99% of the time are completely unnecessary

(Ps. yes, I know )
Dell XPS 8700. Intel Core i7-4770 CPU @ 3.40GHz. RAM: 16GB. Windows 10 Home x64. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 645. NI Komplete Audio 6. Pro Tools Software 2019
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Old 08-20-2019, 08:52 PM
albee1952 albee1952 is offline
Join Date: May 2004
Location: nashville
Posts: 35,018
Default Re: parallel master daw and tape

Analog tape can do nice things to a mix, BUT, expecting "good" from any cassette tape is not a great idea(cassette tape sound quality is generally bad). If you really want what tape does, buy a good tape emulation plugin(it will do a much better job and you won't have to deal with tape hiss, wow/flutter or the poor frequency of cassette). Just because you CAN do something, doesn't mean you SHOULD
Gigabyte X79/intel i7 3930K, 32GB RAM, DIGI003 Rack

The better I drink...the more I mix.....

BTW, my name is Dave, but most people call me.........................Dave
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