#1
so i just bought a cheap cassette deck because i thought it would be fun to experiment with low-fi sounds. i recorded a bit of a song on my computer through my mixer and m-audio fast track, then rerecorded the song to tape and back to my computer.

i was planning on attempting to layer the tape track with the original track. i got the first transient of the original and the tape in time with each other, but as i'm playing through the whole thing, the tape slowly gets more and more out of time. to the point where it's more than a beat off. i have absolutely no experience with tape/analog. was just wondering if someone could give me some pointers on what i'm doing wrong and how to fix it, if possible.
#2
Check the motors, they may have gotten caught or something. Also try new tape, since it is analog there are a whole bunch of things going on that can affect the sound.
#3
I think you already know the answer to this one.

You say that you bought a cheap cassette deck. The problem with cheap tape decks, is the voltage regulation isn't always up to snuff. If the voltage varies even the slightest, you end up with a motor that doesn't maintain an accurate speed. Unless you decide to spend more, you can really forget about trying to synch this cheap unit to your other audio source - it ain't gonna happen.
#4
If you want to experiment with that sort of thing, maybe get an old cassette four-track?

*shudders*

It won't take you long to wonder "what the hell was I thinking?" Back in the day, when it was our only way to make multitrack recordings, we thought it was pretty awesome. After being spoiled with the offerings of newer technology, I think I'd rather give up recording altogether than to go back to that, personally.

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.
#5
Quote by maggot9779
Check the motors, they may have gotten caught or something. Also try new tape, since it is analog there are a whole bunch of things going on that can affect the sound.


checked them. nothing wrong, and i was using new tape.

Quote by KG6_Steven
I think you already know the answer to this one.

You say that you bought a cheap cassette deck. The problem with cheap tape decks, is the voltage regulation isn't always up to snuff. If the voltage varies even the slightest, you end up with a motor that doesn't maintain an accurate speed. Unless you decide to spend more, you can really forget about trying to synch this cheap unit to your other audio source - it ain't gonna happen.


aaah. okay, that makes sense. thanks.

Quote by axemanchris
If you want to experiment with that sort of thing, maybe get an old cassette four-track?

*shudders*

It won't take you long to wonder "what the hell was I thinking?" Back in the day, when it was our only way to make multitrack recordings, we thought it was pretty awesome. After being spoiled with the offerings of newer technology, I think I'd rather give up recording altogether than to go back to that, personally.

CT


i'm thinking about it now. just bought a cheap one because i'm in college so my money is pretty tight, thought it might work but you get what you pay for i guess.

and i don't know dude. tape has a different sound to it and i wanted to see if there was any way i could exploit it and make something interesting. plus i don't know anything about analog, just figured that if i'm going to learn how to record and produce i might as well know more about the different methods you can use. even if it's outdated.
#6
Quote by Dregen

and i don't know dude. tape has a different sound to it and i wanted to see if there was any way i could exploit it and make something interesting. plus i don't know anything about analog, just figured that if i'm going to learn how to record and produce i might as well know more about the different methods you can use. even if it's outdated.

If it works for your sound, go ahead. For what it's worth, one of my favorite bands recorded the drums from their newest album digitally first, then to analog tapes (probably on a decent quality deck, but still), and then ripped it back to digital. I thought they were a bit crazy to do that, but to each his own, I guess.
#7
When people talk about "recording to tape," they're not talking about cassette tape, they're talking about reel-to-reel 1/2" and 2" tape machines.
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#8
The difference between professional reel-to-reel tape (generally 2" at 15IPS or above) and consumer cassette tape (1/8" at 1⅞ IPS or so) is absolutely enormous.

Bouncing to cassette tape and back is a waste of time unless you're seeking a very specific effect. If you just want to add analog warmth to your mixes without the high cost, try free plugins like Ferox, Reelbus, FerricTDS, TesslaPRO etc.


That cassette deck you bought is far from worthless though - it's still a really quick and fun way to record rough demos and ideas with minimal hassle.
#9
If you really want to hear warmth in a recording, may I suggest "Brothers In Arms" by Dire Straits. It's a wonderful sounding record.

Compare it to the harshness of AC/DC's "Fly On the Wall" album, recorded at the same time, the difference is really quite remarkable.

Oh, and by the way.... one was digitally done from start to finish, and the other was recorded to tape and only converted to digital in the manufacturing process... but which was which might surprise you.

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.