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 Introduction To Analogue Recording
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Mark Offline
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2004 1:21 pm    Post subject: Introduction To Analogue Recording Reply with quote

Okay, this thread is going to be an "idiots" guide to analogue recording; to which you can refer anyone whose questions are just a little too basic.

So, the first question is:

What is Analogue Recording?

Thank you for your cooperation Very Happy

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jake-O.W.A. Offline





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PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2004 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think to answer the question you pose you need to first answer a slightly simpler version.

What is recording?
Recording as we know it is entirely based on the concept and control of electromagnetism. Elecromagnetism is used in nearly every type of microphone as well as every type of speaker or inductor.

Tape is magnetic but so is a harddrive...

What is the difference between the way a harddrive records sound and a tape records sound?

Any newbies care to ponder this?

We all think we understand what binary is but how does tape actually store sounds?

Fuck this is stupid....someone ask something.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2004 4:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Magnetic tape stores sound (or video) by imparting an electrical current to a film of electrons that coat the surface of the tape. This charge is imparted to the electrons on the tape by the record head.

Technical explanations aren't my forte.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2004 6:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Magnetic tape stores sound (or video) by imparting an magnetical field current to a tape coated with a material full of magnetic particles. This field makes the magnetization of the partices change. When the tape is then run through a playback head, the magnetical charges in the coating will create a small electric current in the playback head.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2004 7:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was hoping a newbie would ask something but...

I knew you guys would know. Rolling Eyes

We need some analog newbies to answer. Mad

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2004 7:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

True.


But how do we get them? Confused

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2004 7:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"What is Analogue Recording?"

So, when I hear this question, I think, tape, rather than hard drive. But does this also have to do with connections?

Example: when I do track (tracks) on my Tascam 788 digital recorder, and "mix" them down to a stand-a-lone cd recorder thru analogue connections, is this "analogue recording"? I know that the end product (cd) does not play in ALL players. So my next step is to convert these tracks (on my computer) to a "music cd", which do play in ALL players.

Of course now, I have the cd drive for the 788, and I can "mix down" and burn the cd there, which play in All players.

So am I correct in saying, in this example, the first cd (from the stand-a-lone recorder) is an analogue recording, and the cd from the computer and the 788 cd drive are digital recordings?

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2004 9:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Magnetic tape is explained above. Basically it's sticky tape coated with rust. Wink

Next we have the record head. It is basically a electromagnet. An alternating current proportional to the audio signal being recorded is fed into a coil in the head. The coil is wound on an iron core which when fed current creates a magnetic field. There is a gap in the core where the tape passes against the head surface. Magnetic force called flux bridges this gap when the head is energized, and as the tape passes by the gap the magnetic particles on the tape are charged by the flux since the tape is the path of least resistance to the current flow.

Pretty cool, eh? Cool

Next we have the playback head. It's pretty much the same as the record head only it's purpose is the opposite. As the magnetically charged tape passes the gap in the playback head it creates an electrical current in the coil which is fed to an amplifier.

The transport is the mechanical devices that enable the tape to move past the heads. A basic transport system would have a supply reel, several tape guides, a capstan/idler to drive the tape at the desired speed, and a take up reel. The motors for the reels are designed to keep proper tension on the tape, and quickly wind the tape in either direction as required.

Anybody care to explain tape bias? Laughing
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2004 7:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tape bias is a high-frequency signal (generally from 40 to 150 kHz) added to the audio signal recorded on an analog tape recorder. Magnetic tape has a nonlinear response at low signal strengths (see coercivity); bias increases the signal quality of most audio recordings significantly compared to unbiased recordings by pushing the signal into the linear zone of the tape's transfer function. As the tape leaves the head, the bias partially demagnetizes the tape and the remaining net induction is essentially the difference between the positive and negative half-cycles of the previously recorded. This differencing operation further cancels some of the nonlinearity.

Early tape recorders simply applied the unadulterated input signal to the record head, resulting in mediocre recordings with poor low-frequency response. In 1940, J. von Braunmühl and Dr. W. Weber accidentally discovered that the addition of a high-frequency tone kept the recorded signal in the linear response zone, resulting in a striking quality improvement.

Different levels of bias are needed for different types of tape, so most recorders offer a bias setting switch on the front panel, or, in the case of the compact cassette, may switch automatically according to cutouts on the cassette shell.


Hehe, I love cut and paste.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2004 10:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jake-O.W.A. wrote:

Hehe, I love cut and paste.


Cheater! Laughing

Should we now go into coercivity, retentvity, remenence, etc. or are your fingers tired. Razz

Of course for those of you dealing with cassette machines all you have to do is pop in a high-bias tape, and go. Wink

With high-end RTR decks things can be a bit more involved unless the machine has already been set up for your tape of choice, and all the electricals/mechanicals are in good working order.

Maybe that's the next thing to cover: routine maintenence of tape machines. That should scare away all but the most dedicated newbies. Twisted Evil
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2004 8:10 pm    Post subject: Newbie here Reply with quote

Well I'm a complete recording newbie, and you'll see my questions over on the Software and Stand Alone forums.

After completely confusing myself coupled with limited space at home, AND in the interests of not getting frustrated and lobbing a digital machine out the window,,,I've decided that I'm going to get an analogue machine for a year or so.

Reason for this is that I want to get to know the concepts of recording and to know what the terminology means. Like bouncing, mastering, panning etc, and not only to know what those terms mean but also how to do them. Then I figure the learning curve from analogue to digital will not be as daunting as it currently is for me.

Equipment I have at home now is an electric guitar (G&L US Legacy with Kinman p/ups) an acoustic (Taylor 314, no C or E), a Staus 4str bass, a Yamaha DGX200 keyboard (actually the wife's) a Bass V-AMP and a Laney LC15R amp and some Sennhieser headphones (I don't do vocals)

So apart from the recording unit itself (I'm looking at something like a Tascam 414) I also intend to buy a SM57 mic and a condenser mic of some kind.

So, get ready for some REALLY basic questions, coming from a luiddite near you soon Laughing
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2004 8:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like a noble pursuit there Ian.

Hit us with your best shot when you think of it.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2004 8:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dtb wrote:
"What is Analogue Recording?"

So, when I hear this question, I think, tape, rather than hard drive. But does this also have to do with connections?

Example: when I do track (tracks) on my Tascam 788 digital recorder, and "mix" them down to a stand-a-lone cd recorder thru analogue connections, is this "analogue recording"? I know that the end product (cd) does not play in ALL players. So my next step is to convert these tracks (on my computer) to a "music cd", which do play in ALL players.

Of course now, I have the cd drive for the 788, and I can "mix down" and burn the cd there, which play in All players.

So am I correct in saying, in this example, the first cd (from the stand-a-lone recorder) is an analogue recording, and the cd from the computer and the 788 cd drive are digital recordings?

I notice no one has ever answered this so:
NO ......... it's only analog if it's originally recorded on an analog machine which ( for all practical purposes) will always be a tape format of some sort.
So if the original tracks are done on a digital machine ...... it's digital.
if the original tracks are done on an tape machine ........ then it's analog unless it's a tape-based digital machine like an ADAT.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2004 10:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Sounds like a noble pursuit there Ian.

Hit us with your best shot when you think of it.


Hi Jake,

OK here's my first question. In another thread someone mentioned putting analogue tape recordings on to CD. How would you do that?
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2004 7:34 am    Post subject: Re: Newbie here Reply with quote

IanL wrote:


So apart from the recording unit itself (I'm looking at something like a Tascam 414) I also intend to buy a SM57 mic and a condenser mic of some kind.


The 414 is an excellent choice as a starter machine IMHO.

To use a condensor with the 414 it'll have to have an onboard battery, integrated power supply, or you'll need an external phantom power adaptor as the 414 has no phantom power.

To put your recordings on CD you'll need a stand-alone CD recorder, or you can hook the output of the tape machine to the sound-in on your computer. You'd then use recording software to make audio files that you can burn to CDR.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2004 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
To use a condensor with the 414 it'll have to have an onboard battery, integrated power supply, or you'll need an external phantom power adaptor as the 414 has no phantom power


Thanks M.Brane, I didn't realise that. I do have the Bass V-AMP which has phantom power (even though it's primarily a unit for bass, it has acoustic settings also) but not sure how 'transparent' that unit would be in the signal chain.

To make matters worse my wife said last night. "You know, you've got enough time to learn the digital process if it's what you really want". Arrggh, confusion.

She is right of course, as due to an injury I won't be racing cycles or competing in triathlon for a good while.

But I've always been a little alternative (hey I'm married to a Korean and go to Colombia for my holidays!), and now my interest in the analogue 'sub culture' has definitely been piqued. Wink
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2004 4:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Go analog, you will learn all the things the spoiled little digibrats will never know.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 30, 2004 7:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jake-O.W.A. wrote:
Tape is magnetic but so is a harddrive...


Wouldn't it be neat if someone invented some piece of hardware which recorded analogue audio data to hard drive the same way it's recorded to tape, rather than in 1s and 0s? Probably impossible. Interesting to think about though.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 30, 2004 7:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Wouldn't it be neat if someone invented some piece of hardware which recorded analogue audio data to hard drive the same way it's recorded to tape, rather than in 1s and 0s? Probably impossible. Interesting to think about though.


Wouldn't that be like a really thick record with spaces in between?
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 30, 2004 10:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's a neat thought until you think about how much magnetic surface area there is on a reel of say 2" compared to the platters on a HDD. Shocked

Maybe tape isn't so expensive after all! Laughing

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 1:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What's the difference between analogue and analog?

Can I have a dialog with a rog too? In a synagogue?

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Trojka wrote:
What's the difference between analogue and analog?


Whether or not it's used as a noun.

Trojka wrote:


Can I have a dialog with a rog too? In a synagogue?


Of course you can can as long as it's a not a rogue rog. They are banned from synagogues, and opposed to analog.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2010 2:04 pm    Post subject: Re: Newbie here Reply with quote

M.Brane wrote:
IanL wrote:


So apart from the recording unit itself (I'm looking at something like a Tascam 414) I also intend to buy a SM57 mic and a condenser mic of some kind.


The 414 is an excellent choice as a starter machine IMHO.

To use a condensor with the 414 it'll have to have an onboard battery, integrated power supply, or you'll need an external phantom power adaptor as the 414 has no phantom power.

To put your recordings on CD you'll need a stand-alone CD recorder, or you can hook the output of the tape machine to the sound-in on your computer. You'd then use recording software to make audio files that you can burn to CDR.


Is there any XLR inputs on the 414. I need to get a start up recorder too but am still looking for solid quality. I'm way more into analog recordings as opposed to digital. I'm looking to go small then work my way up.
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