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Polytrix

Recording to reel to reel to warp and stretch loops

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Hi Everyone. Hope you're well.

 

One of my favourite things to do at the minute is to send a nicey mixed loop from my DAW, which might already have some tape echo channels from the r2r itself on some tracks, and record it to tape. I'll record it at the faster tape speed then play it back at the slowest speed and obviously the original loop is warped and pitched down..it can sound amazing and inspires me to often start again from that warped loop.

 

What's actually happeneing with the frequqnecy response though? Just recording back in I find I lose a lot of high end information with it all kind of smeared into one mass.

 

Also, what will happen if I rerecord the resampled loop back into the r2r and repeat the process again? I'm assuming it will just progressively get slower and lower frequency? Not sure if it's worth experimenting doing it.

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No idea, it might be hard to inquire about because those dealing with tape loops are fine with lo-fi aesthetics and either don't care about those technical aspects and/or perform tape loops live in environments where the natural reverb and echo of a room would factor in

 

You could PM Amulets, he's become something of a tape loop guru lately and uses them in conjunction with digital recording and mixing

 

http://www.amuletsmusic.com/

 

You could also poke around tapeheads.net or tapeop and see if there is an answer buried in those forum threads

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Thank you! Yeah Amulets is amazing :)

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Posted (edited)

This is a decent overview of tape speed and what it does.

 

This is also solid, and shorter.

 

 

A very simplistic (but adequate for the sort of things we're talking about here, not so much if you run an analog studio or are a mastering engineer or archivist or something) rule of thumb is

 

higher speed = better high frequency response and dynamics at the cost of low end

Lower speed = thicker low end and more compression at the cost of highs and overall fidelity

 

I run mine at 7.5ips and lower, and usually have the reference flux switch on the back set incorrectly (by ear) because I like what it does to the low end.

Edited by RSP

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Higher speeds:

 

r960-795a7d05e0285b44a50f59d2631a573f.jp

 

 

 

 

Lower speeds:

 

70f575985b85a467495df6ab57890119.jpg

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This is not tape speed, but I want some VST where I put something in and get back something like this

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i mean... you pretty much do. you just need to record a band and slow it down :-) 


cvaOnKK.jpg

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Yeah but doesn't there have to be a specific algorithm or thing to use for slowing it down - Ableton Live's got like 5-6 different warp modes and they all sound different. I am thinking that it's sort of DAW specific. I remember listening to one of our band's stuff slowed down on Cubase or Logic and it was pretty nice. Then I guess it makes a difference if the material is recorded on 44.1k or 96k, etc..

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every method/medium for slowing stuff down sounds different, but they all sound good - everything sounds better slowed down.

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Thanks everyone:)

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Posted (edited)

This is not tape speed, but I want some VST where I put something in and get back something like this

 

 

I can only use layman terms but slowing down tape has a sound that isn't replicated by time-stretch / pitch-shifted digital files. There's an analog wow and flutter and "warble" that occurs between the notes and beats in the spaces of silence or quieter interludes. It's why this Chipmunks at 16rpm sounds so good. A work is to record a .wav to tape and then use a tape deck with pitch control to play it back slow. This is how DJ Screw did his trademark and infamous mixes - he recorded his 12" vinyl slowed down -8-12% or so on Technics and THEN he slowed the mix again 20-30% on his Sony tape decks. Most pitch control decks only do 12% or so (Denon for example) but there are some Sony decks that do up to 30%. I have a few myself, WE-TC475s. One of the last models they made up through the 2000s. Matthewdavid has used these decks as well on his older albums. He'd pitch them down then record them back into Ableton and adjust the pitch as needed while maintaining the aesthetic you get from slowed down tape.

 

VST wise Paulstretch kind of emulates analog sound of slow vinyl and tape, the alogorith addsreverb or something, I forget, BUT that's for stuff stretched say, 800% versus 10-30% or 45 to 33rpm, 33 to 16rpm, etc. IIRC it's not as effective as a slow tape/vinyl effect.

 

No idea if 44.1 vs 96k will make a difference. I asked about this years ago on EKT and awepittance mentioned 96k is better if you are going to be editing the fuck out it. 96k is probably better for digitally time-stretching, in fact I think a WATMMer did that for one of his vaporwave projects and it sounded lush. 44.1 seems fine though as a pre-tape slow down sample source. I really overthought it in the past and never even went through with earnest recording. I just stick to 44.1 now when I digitize obscure tapes.

 

Another former WATMMer to possibily ask is Jake Muir, he puts out music that heavily samples and alters field recordings along with old vinyl exotica and stuff like classic Beach Boys turned into digital soundscapes. Akin to Fennesz. 

Edited by joshuatx

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So paulstretch is still the go to software for this ?

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On 4/30/2019 at 3:59 PM, joshuatxuk said:

 

 

 

I can only use layman terms but slowing down tape has a sound that isn't replicated by time-stretch / pitch-shifted digital files. There's an analog wow and flutter and "warble" that occurs between the notes and beats in the spaces of silence or quieter interludes. It's why this Chipmunks at 16rpm sounds so good. A work is to record a .wav to tape and then use a tape deck with pitch control to play it back slow. This is how DJ Screw did his trademark and infamous mixes - he recorded his 12" vinyl slowed down -8-12% or so on Technics and THEN he slowed the mix again 20-30% on his Sony tape decks. Most pitch control decks only do 12% or so (Denon for example) but there are some Sony decks that do up to 30%. I have a few myself, WE-TC475s. One of the last models they made up through the 2000s. Matthewdavid has used these decks as well on his older albums. He'd pitch them down then record them back into Ableton and adjust the pitch as needed while maintaining the aesthetic you get from slowed down tape.

 

VST wise Paulstretch kind of emulates analog sound of slow vinyl and tape, the alogorith addsreverb or something, I forget, BUT that's for stuff stretched say, 800% versus 10-30% or 45 to 33rpm, 33 to 16rpm, etc. IIRC it's not as effective as a slow tape/vinyl effect.

 

No idea if 44.1 vs 96k will make a difference. I asked about this years ago on EKT and awepittance mentioned 96k is better if you are going to be editing the fuck out it. 96k is probably better for digitally time-stretching, in fact I think a WATMMer did that for one of his vaporwave projects and it sounded lush. 44.1 seems fine though as a pre-tape slow down sample source. I really overthought it in the past and never even went through with earnest recording. I just stick to 44.1 now when I digitize obscure tapes.

 

Another former WATMMer to possibily ask is Jake Muir, he puts out music that heavily samples and alters field recordings along with old vinyl exotica and stuff like classic Beach Boys turned into digital soundscapes. Akin to Fennesz. 

Thanks man. Enjoyed reading this. 

 

Yes, I'm doing exactly what you are describing there. Getting some very Biosphere esque bass sounds but I definitely lose high end so my plan is to superimpose that back on later. I'm doing at 44.1 myself.

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Obviously, if you pitch down 96khz you will still have a lot of high end which you might lose when doing the same to a 44.1khz file. Also you obviously still have lots of samples per time unit left so the fidelity is higher.

 

Cubase Pro has a ton of different time stretch algorhithms which sound really good. Especially the "élastique Pro Tape" one should be interesting in this context. Though I doubt that it can sufficiently emulate real tape time stretch, sounds too perfect

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Posted (edited)

Thanks! 

Also, Am I right in thinking my r2r acts as a kind of limiter? Or maybe it has one built in?

 

Is that a natural result of the tape itself? I wasn't actually driving the signal too hard but kick drums were always hitting 0dB when I recorded back in. I can still send it into the red at source but I believe it does some kind of limiting/compression?

 

I'll share some stuff later. I really enjoy doing it as an experiment really as it turns a 'dry' loop into something instantly different so it kind of excites me to see what comes back.

Edited by Polytrix

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I'm not sure but if the maximum level was at 0db, through the time stretch there could be an unexpected change in levels happening (because of tiny imperfections caused by millions of impredictable fringe conditions that are part of the analog world) which would drive the signal above 0db which as a natural result of da physix of da tape leads to a brickwall-ish kind of limiting (as there is a physical boundry for the level which is impossible to exceed). But I'm not entirely sure about da physics

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Not specifically related to what you are doing, but I thought this was interesting. A comparison of an effect slowed down that was recorded at 48kHz on a 20Hz - 20kHz frequency response mic, and also at 192kHz with a 20Hz - 100kHz mic. On the latter the inaudible frequencies (+20Hz) become audible. There are some great recordings of bats using similar techniques.

 

 

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Thank you. Very rough recordings but this is just raw back in from the R2R:

 

 

 

 

 

When I do this in the future I'll ensure to do it at 96K then yeah. I just love how everything gets smeared together.

utted that my Zoom H4N is being all noisey actually. Luckily I've got tonnes of samples already but the mics on it are fucked I think...getting a high frequency interferanc buzzing thing. Really upsetting 😞 Ah well. Shame as that records natively at 96k if you set it that way.

Been listening to this a lot:

 

And this:

 

I'm getting very similar perc to that Actress sound when recording stuff back in at times.

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It's not going to be the same as analog formats but Composer's Desktop Project also has some pretty unique sounding time and pitch related stuff.P

 

olytrix, what was that other, old freeware program I recommended to you a while back called? Mammut? I never ended up using it much because but I remember it did some pretty unusual stuff too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Not sure dude. Sounds good though!

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