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 Resurecting old cassettes
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guernica Offline
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2008 5:12 pm    Post subject: Resurecting old cassettes Reply with quote

..I dunno if this is the right forum for this, but i figure its work on a 2 track..... ..so mastering it is Rolling Eyes

Any ideas? Ive got a bunch of old band demos on cassette that i want to convert and "clean up". Any of you guys done this with good results (ie: the digital result was much better than the cassette original) ....software, techniques, ........................

thanks

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skulpter Offline
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2008 5:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I did it, but the improvement was minimal. I used to have a Tascam 424mkII that I used to send a stereo sum to my soundcard, then fiddled with it in (at that time) Cakewalk. I was able to eq out some of the hiss, though I don't remember what frequencies I focused on. It still sounded pretty crappy, lol. There's probably some plugs out there designed for this sort of thing. Check KVR. Good luck!
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stainless Offline
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2008 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had 3 cassettes of live from the board one year we played at the State Fair-

I recorded/transfered them into ProTools in real time and then added some low and high shelf and a little compression, but little more-

The most improvement cane from the fact that the recorded used at the fiar and my Tascam (A-500) were a little off in turns of capstan speed, the but Tascam has a 'speed/pitch" control much like reel-to-reels so I was able to get the songs back to a 'real' tempo...

I just read an article where some folks are using the cassette decks as a 2 track mastering deck- I have yet to try, but it sounds appealing, or recording vocals or acosutic to tap and moving back to the digital realm

Interesting idea and tape is definitely cheaper than my 8 or 16 tracks (and a hell of a lot easier/faster to patch in/out of

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guernica Offline
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2008 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks guys, anybody try running a really old cassette recording through a sonic maximizer?
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M.Brane Offline
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2008 9:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would concentrate on getting the cleanest/best raw transfer into digital first. Then you can play with 'em all you want without penalty other than the loss of time. Laughing

Seriously I've done a bunch of old cassettes: 2/4 track: normal, and high-speed. I don't have any expensive plugs for noise reduction so I keep that (and other tweaking) to a minimum.

They are what they are.

If the tapes are from different decks be prepared to adjust the playback head for each side of each tape. Possibly even for each song on some tapes. Cassettes are notorious for poor azimuth.

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guernica Offline
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2008 11:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

how is that done? ....and how do you know if theyre out?
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Dethska Offline
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 6:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got some okay results using parallel compression and eqing.

Still, the actual tape wasn't in very good condition, so the pitch constantly changes on the recording.

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Max Output Offline
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've had pretty good luck using Cool Edit Pro of all things. Hiss reduction Limiting
and EQ worked wonders on a good tape. Like M. Brane said the raw transfer is the
key. I picked up a Tascam 112 rackmount cassette with pitch control for 50 bucks.
And buffered it through a mixer to keep it's output up in the sweet spot without peaking the computer inputs.

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M.Brane Offline
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

guernica wrote:
how is that done? ....and how do you know if theyre out?


On some decks you can access the head adjustment screw by leaving the door open or through a small hole in the door. Some you will have to remove the cover from the door. The adjustment screw is on the side of the playback head.

Adjustment is a simple matter of listening while the tape plays, and tweaking until you get the best/most balanced highs. Make sure whatever tool you use for this is not magnetized!

De-gaussing the heads/tape path is a good idea too since magnetic charge on the heads can actually erase the highs off a tape.

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GT Offline
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2008 6:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey g,

I've got this.

It works pretty well, when used in moderation.

You feed it just the hiss, and when it's at work it pretty well seperates the hiss, from the music, and removes it, without killing too much of the high freqs.

Check out the video.

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/SoundSoap/reviews/#anchor

GT Wink
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