#1
In short: I want to record in Analog, the whole process, recording, editing, mixing. Can anyone point me in the right direction, in terms of equipment, guides, help, tips, anything at all? Because I'm not able to make head or tail of anything I find on the internet.


Cheers!
#2
First think you need is a lot of money...

I can't really help you with anything else. In fact there is only probably 3 or 4 people who probably can on this forum.

Not to be a dick, but to save you money. Do you really know what doing all this in analogue requires (the amount of work)? Do you also realize there is no real benefit from recording analogue?

Your best bet is to find a studio that offers his service and hen charges you out the butt to record on tape.

Note: Ignore future posts from users saying to buy a four track cassette recorder. That isn't real analogue recording and sounds like garbage.
#3
Short answer: go to a suitable analog-equipped studio.

It's a very vague question, 'analog' could mean anything from reel-to-reel 2" tape to a crappy cassette recorder to wax cylinder.

What's your plan and what attracted you towards analog recording?
#4
Seriously, if you're justing looking to record yourself, there is absolutely no reason to go analogue. Either get an interface to use your pc or a digital multitracker, both will offer much more than an analogue setup would.

Even if you were setting up a pro studio there aren't many reasons to go analogue, and even then they all mostly use digital technology anyway, but let's face it- if you were seriously considering setting yourself up as a professional studio, you'd know that and wouldn't have needed to start this thread in the first place.
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#5
Equipment:

The front end is the same as it would be in digital:

mic > preamp

... only instead of A/D converter to computer, it would go:

mixing console > tape machine

Now, for a tape machine, you're looking at 2" tape, ideally. 2" tape will give you 24 tracks. Alternately, you can cheap out and go to 1/2" tape, but your track count is then limited to, I believe, 8 tracks.

A 24-track tape recording machine will set you back about $5000 on eBay.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/AMPEX-MM1100-24-track-2-w-remote-xtender-cards-more-RARE-Sonic-Goodness-/290694820609?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item43aec2f301#ht_678wt_932

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Studer-Revox-A80-24-Track-2-inch-2-Analog-Reel-to-Reel-Tape-Master-Recorder-/270954517214?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3f1625d2de#ht_4134wt_932

Unless you're in the market for even more cost in the name of buying stand-alone preamps, then you'll need a mixer. If you're going to spend five grand on a recorder, though, holy hell... don't cheap out on a console! As a minimum standard, you're looking around $1500 for an Allen and Heath or a Soundcraft mixer.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Allen-Heath-GL2400-24-24-Channel-Mixing-Console-NEW-/400290650303?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item5d332e98bf#ht_500wt_949

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Soundcraft-Ghost-24-Channel-Analog-Recording-Console-Mixer-/150793017014?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item231bf6d6b6#ht_500wt_949

Of course, if you *really* want to go in style, might I recommend this nice SSL console. SSL is one of those brands that just screams "I've arrived!!" Mind you, lots of people don't even own houses that cost $106 000.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/SSL-AWS948S-Super-Analogue-Mixing-Console-/290675488300?pt=UK_Mixers&hash=item43ad9bf62c#ht_2669wt_982

Keep in mind that the quality of your EQ is dependent upon the quality of your console also. You can't just load up another EQ plugin and try again.

You'll also want some effects. As a minimum, you'll want probably four compressors. (say, one for the drum bus, one for the lead vocal, and one or two more for whatever else. You'll also want probably a couple of different reverbs and delays too, as a minimum. So, you're looking at an effects rack with eight items in it. Going modest in price without getting anything too splashy will have you spending about another $3000 on rack gear. (mind you, you could easily blow three grand just on a nice Universal Audio compressor....)

Editing: No digital editing here, of course. I've seen this done but have never tried it myself... you cue up the tape, mark it, cut it and literally tape it together with special tape to do edits. This is an art in itself. Keep in mind that most music stores will look at you like you've just asked for a side of beef when you walk in asking for splicing tape.

Which reminds me... tape!! Yes, tape! No analogue system can function without it. It can be tricky to get, and is not cheap. It really is a niche market.

Then of course, you need all the stuff you would need for digital recording anyways - monitors, microphones, cables, stands, DI boxes, headphones, etc.

Finally, don't forget maintenance. Tape machines are high-maintenance. You'll need to learn to clean heads, calibrate the machine, do biasing, and assorted other tasks that nobody knows how to do any more.

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/mar10/articles/taperecorderadvice.htm

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#6
So, my advice is go digital.

And before people go on about, "man, analogue recording just sounds soooo much warmer, dude!" let me ask you this:

Turn on the radio or load up your favourite iTunes playlist. Tell me which songs were recorded to analogue and which were recorded to digital.

Or don't, because you can't. A great recording is a great recording, and a crap recording is a crap recording, regardless of what medium it gets stored on.

Can you really feel the analogue warmth of Dire Straits "Brothers in Arms" disc? Do you really cringe at the digital crispness of Aerosmith's "Get a Grip?" Do you really?

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#7
If you want to put yourself up for the test, try these (all of which were either entirely analogue or entirely digital):

Nine Inch Nails - Downward Spiral
Weezer - Weezer (with Buddy Holly, The Sweater, etc.)
Dire Straits - Brothers in Arms (with Sultans of Swing, Brothers in Arms)
Aerosmith - Get a Grip (with Cryin', Livin on the Edge)
Thomas Dolby - Golden Age of Wireless (with She Blinded Me With Science)
Def Leppard - Hysteria (with Pour Some Sugar on Me, and Animal)
Extreme - Pornograffiti (Get the Funk Out, More than Words)
Motley Crue - Doctor Feelgood (Dr. Feelgood, Kickstart My Heart)
Soundgarden - Superunknown (Black Hole Sun, My Wave)
AC/DC - Fly on the Wall (Shake Your Foundations, Fly on the Wall)

I tried to pick albums that were of a date range to make it difficult to guess. Led Zeppelin IV was obviously analogue. Digital didn't exist then. Pretty much anything in the last five years is assumed to have been worked in the digital domain for at least part of the time, so is a little harder to measure, and has a natural bias towards guessing digital.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#8
ITT: Hipster BS

All I want is for everyone to go to hell...
...It's the last place I was seen before I lost myself



Quote by DisarmGoliath
You can be the deputy llamma of the recordings forum!
#10
I'm saving my nickels for the Waves SSL bundle.

Anything that gets that kind of review on ProSoundWeb HAS to be the bees-knees.

http://www.prosoundnetwork.com/article/waves-ssl-4000-collection/7906



CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#11
Woah. That is tons of money, and tons of help. Thanks a lot! And I read up some more after posting, and yeah, I realised it's way too much money, and well, I am a newbie at this, so I'll stick to digital for whatever and whenever I need it.

Again, thanks a lot for the help all you guys, especially @axemanchris!
#12
No prob!
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#13
We used to record our band in the 70's with 2 AKAI Reel-to-Reel decks and an old Peavey Mixing board - we used mostly Audio Technica mics... we actually made some great sounding demos back then.
Now running an Eleven Rack with Pro Tools 10.3.3 - it's amazing and I'm having ball with it - worth every penny. PT 10 is tops IMO and the Eleven Rack is a work of art!