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Maes

Modern music on vintage recorder

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One of the reasons I got into this project was to see how modern musical genres, especially Electronica, would sound on sound hardware designed with a totally different technology and different musical genres to deal with in its heyday. So I made a video, and commented my impressions "au chaud". IMHO, it would still be awesome if such devices were still made and used for this purpose ;-)



About the infamous subject of tube sound...well, it did have a really impressive midrange response (which worked quite well for genres that place emphasis on melody) but it softens up bass/rhythm too much. It works best for electronica genres with emphasis on melody, rather than rhythm. The same midrange response is very hard to capture and reproduce properly, it makes my laptop's speakers and chassis vibrate.

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I used to have access to a couple of recorders of similar vintage. I think they may both still be in my parent's house somewhere. IIRC, one of them had been built from a kit. The non-kit one was a 4 track. Both machines had the ability to record and play tapes at different speeds. I used to play with them when I was a kid and record all sorts of stupid stuff then mess around with the speeds.

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This one is also 4-track (well, it's mono so you can only use tracks 1-2 or 3-4 paired), and single-speed (3 3/4"). I am fairly lucky that all of the electronics are in working order, including the erase head and HF oscillator. It also had no problem erasing and recording a relatively high-bias tape (good quality EMI Hi-Dynamic).

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Have you tried plugging the audio out directly into the line-in of a computer? I wager you'd get a much higher fidelity recording that way.

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Xeros612 said:

Have you tried plugging the audio out directly into the line-in of a computer? I wager you'd get a much higher fidelity recording that way.


Yeah, that will be the next step. I need to fashion a line-out-to-DIN adapter though, to match the physical and electrical signal differences. The microphone just allowed me to get some results quicker, and BTW, it's VERY sensitive and records crystal-clearly.

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That cassette definitely aged well, Malinku. What's your secret? I don't think I own a cassette anymore that doesn't have at least distinguishable tape hiss. (Then again, I never bought a lot of tapes so I don't have much to go on.)

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I don't really do anything different with my cassettes. So I'm going to say that it is just the quality of my player

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Malinku said:

I'll judge it once a better quality recording is made


I finally tried recording through the line-in directly from CD and MP3 sources as well as a compatible Grundig tape recorder, and of course the resulting quality is much better. Very little hiss compared to a compact cassette, due to higher tape speed.

However, I need to build a special line-out cable though (uses those old German 5-pin DIN connectors) to make direct recordings of it playing not limited by the camera's miserable 8 KHz PCM. In general, it sounds like a good ferric tape from the 80s on a decent deck.

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GeckoYamori said:

Modern = 20 year old dance music?


That's when "modern" reached the pinnacle of perfection ;-) Afterwards it was just a bunch of nigga and autotune crappiness..

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