January 18, 2007

NAMM: Hardy har har...

by Chris Randall

Card-carrying Digidesign Hater that I am, I see the ironic humor in the above screenshots, which I'm sure a lot of users are missing. One (three?) of Digi's Hot New Products For NAMM are these tape simulator plugins. If I put any effort in to it at all (which I won't; typing this post is the absolute limit of the effort I'll put in to it, parenthetically speaking) I'm 100% sure I could find old Digidesign marketing material espousing hard disk recording as a vast improvement over tape, and berating the old MTR-80 to no end.

Full circle, I guess. I got a chuckle out of it, for what it's worth.



Page 1 of 2

Jan.18.2007 @ 11:08 AM
I'd love to see/hear Fletcher's reaction to this.
BTW, how's the Bidule procedural stuff coming?

Jan.18.2007 @ 11:49 AM
I suppose this is the arguement they could make as a comeback:

1. Digital is better than tape because it is easier to edit, easier and cheaper to record, and has pristine sound, and it is worth giving up the warm saturation of tape in order to gain those benifits.

2. Now you can have the best of both worlds - Digital recording with analog tape saturation! Just buy our products, and your dreams come true!

But seriously, how much does a proper multitrack analog tape recorder cost nowadays? How much does hiring a studio tech who knows how to properly record to analog tape cost? (they have to be a dwindling commodity)

Can someone who is not a professional musician afford to record on tape? For a lot of people, these faux tape products is the closest they are going to ever be able to afford to analog recording, short of using this ( link [www.musiciansfrnd.co...]">link [www.musiciansfrnd.co...] ) :)


Jan.18.2007 @ 12:09 PM
Today we simulate a lot recording techniques and sounds from the past. I wonder if at the time of those past technologies whether the engineers and artists thought they were capturing a specific sound of the recording technology, or whether they were just using the cutting edge. And whether we do the same.

Personally I don't know anybody who specifically goes after that "16-bit" sound. But "8-bit," yes.


Jan.18.2007 @ 3:30 PM
There was a great thread on the Electrical Audio forum a while ago where Albini just bitch-slapped people who were trying to get that "tape sound" out of their DAWs. I believe a lot of his point was, a well-maintained and calibrated tape machine shouldn't have "a sound" and if he was working on a machine that sounded like a lot of the tape sims he heard he would have them serviced immediately. His arguement for working on tape is less about "warmth" & "compression" but about it being a pretty fail-safe storage medium.

Jan.18.2007 @ 4:09 PM

I feel the same way about the fetishization of tube "warmth". The people who designed circuits for Pultec, RCA, et al would probably be dismayed at how people cherish their work's nonlinearities and would be shitting bricks of flaming fury over all these starved-plate capacitor-coupled tinkertoys that masquerade as "golden age" replicas. Those VU meters sure sound great!

Tubes can be made linear from thumps to light if you're willing to make the effort. The Philbruck opamp is a shining example of that. But somehow, "tube warmth" means little more than smeared high end and boggy bass.


Jan.18.2007 @ 4:52 PM
DD wrote:
"Personally I don't know anybody who specifically goes after that "16-bit" sound. But "8-bit," yes."

Give it a couple more years. Then we'll start seeing Sony PCM-F1 emulators, and Panasonic SV-3800 "dat-chewing" glitch plugins. ;)

Personally, I used PT for years because people pay me to, but I've gotten so frustrated with Logic since Apple bought them, that I've been using PT for my own projects.

I'll probably get those plugins at some point - even if they don't sound like a real tape machine, or whatever - they might have a useable sound. I really like all the Blue Tubes emulations, even though they don't sound "real". I can't imagine these are any worse.


Jan.18.2007 @ 6:43 PM
Albini likes to bitch slap people because he's a cranky fucker, and believe me I know a cranky fucker. Tape does offer warmth (what I would consider balanced mid range and tamed highs), and compression. Are we to believe that Ringo's drum sounds on pretty much every Beatles record were the result of poorly maintained tape machines? I could go on and on. Please stop me.

Jan.18.2007 @ 7:34 PM
But he's a funny cranky fucker which is why I enjoy listening to/reading him. I'm in no way qualified to make any pronouncements about the quality of tape vs. digital in terms of sound. Though I'm inclined to agree that trying to emulate tape is peculiar. If it's warmth and compression that your looking for it's not like there's a lack of options. Simply saying something emulates tape means nothing, i.e. well, what kind of tape? But, again, what do I know? I'll shut up now.

Jan.19.2007 @ 12:46 AM
I wouldn't use these because I want my masters to sound like they were recorded on tape. But, I could see some useful applications effects wise.

However I side with CR. I don't want to spend a ton of money on software just to be locked into proprietary hardware and overpriced plug-ins. I'll take Logic, my RME interface, and a couple UAD-1s over a big PT rig any day.


Jan.19.2007 @ 7:31 AM
I'm just blown anway they actually put out something for TDM...
I mean why the hell would someone expect their plugins to actually run on their DSP cards? Huh? Why? Why?...

(I know I'm not going to get any ProTools user love over here but I had to vent.)


Page 1 of 2



Sorry, commenting is closed for this blog entry.