#1
Ive got a few isssues that have been bothering me for a while now and im hoping you lot can clear them up!

Basically, most recording these days is done with digital mixers (firewire/usb interfaces etc) and with these a separate channel is created on your PC for each channel on the mixer so once a band has been recorded the vocals could be turned up more or the guitar down, for example.

However, with analogue recording every channel seems to be merged into one, so my question is, how do analogue studios before the invention of digital mixers change ANYTHING after it had been recorded?

If i didnt explain properly what i was getting at just ask...

#2
It's called multi-track tape. Basically the old-school studios use any number of multi-head tape decks running 2" magnetic tape (which is rarer and more expensive than plutonium these days). The highest track counts you can get on 2" tape is about 16 but most studios synch a couple to have enough to work with. Then they run separate outputs through a patch bay to a mixer. Let's just say that it's a lot easier to take the step from analog to digital recording that vice versa because all DAW's these days just mimic what goes on in an analogue studio.
#3
^^ thans man,

its good to see someone on here actually knows what they're talking about! i thought i was the only one that wanted to know more than "what is the cheapest and best recording program" etc..
#4
Way back (60s and the like) you would only get 2 or 4 track tapes. So if you wanted to record more tracks in it you had to bounce down what you allready had to another track to open up more tracks. With many many tracks you got noticeable loss in quality as everything had be bounced down multiple times.
Or you had to record almost everyone at once and get all the levels right the first time. The gear was also expensive so you really had to know what you're doing.

Theres loads of analog studio trickery


For loops for example (and this was still going on the the mid 90s before everything went digital) you'd take an actual section of tape, tape or glue the ends together, and run it through the tape player and around the room around a spare mic stand or other such object
Last edited by seljer at Jun 22, 2006,
#6
tape flanging for example: (taken from wikipedia because I'm too lazy to describe it)
The name flanging comes from the original method of creation. You start with two 3-headed tape recorders - 3 heads means one for recording, one for playback and one for erase - put into record mode. You record the same signal into both machines. The playback head is located after the recording head so you can hear the actual recording. You then take the playback-head output from these two recorders and mix them together, recording them onto a 3rd recorder. Obviously, these tape recorders will be slightly out of sync already and create a phasing effect when you mix in the second machine. In fact, the best effect is created by deliberately making the second machine run a fraction faster than the first. The effect can then be accentuated by putting a finger on the flange (that is to say, the rim) of one of the tape reels so that machine is slowed down, slipping out of sync by tiny degrees. A listener will hear the familiar "drainpipe" swooping effect as shifting sum-and-difference harmonics are created. When the operator removes his/her finger the tape speeds up again, making the effect move back in the other direction"
#7
wow! thankyou seljer and ebon00

I had no idea that recording on tape was soo complicated, its surprising to see how analogue recording required such skilled engineers and im sure alot of experimenting compared to the 'plug and play' world we live in nowadays, of course, thats not really bad thing!
#8
Quote by Guitar_thingy
wow! thankyou seljer and ebon00

I had no idea that recording on tape was soo complicated, its surprising to see how analogue recording required such skilled engineers and im sure alot of experimenting compared to the 'plug and play' world we live in nowadays, of course, thats not really bad thing!


I think once of the nicest things about digital stuff is that you can actually see what you recorded in your program (Cubase, Protools, whatever...). As with tape you've just got some tape and you've got no idea whats on it (if its loud or soft, if its compressed, if its clipping the threshold of your gear, how much noise their as) until you play it. You can easily clean up and cut together different parts, neat stuff.

Find the documentary on the recording of Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, lots of neat stuff that shows you have studios worked in those days. The Beatles - Sgt Peppers one is also good.