JJWL wrote: ↑
Mon Oct 25, 2021 7:09 am
I was wondering if I want to use up 4 slots on 4 tape machines. So I took a look at the product page. The marketing for this is quite something.
Analog tape audio recorders are complex systems. They impart magic to the audio material, lifting the art within the music to a higher level. They add musicality to music.
More than just saturation, compression, or EQ alone, these factors work together, one affecting each other with the dynamics of music, adding a “movement” that goes into the soul of what we perceive.
Decades of music produced on these pieces of artful human engineering have tailored the way we think music should sound. It’s imprinted in our DNA.
Here's my favorite.
The program coming out a professional tape recorder is very similar to the one coming in, just better. It's subtle but you can feel that it is not.
The easy answer is to demo one of them first, or just go ahead and get one using just one free choice and play with it.
The idea that running your signal through an analog emulation adds some kind of magic isn't anything new as far as marketing goes. If you go back and read the pages describing the channel strips, the Black 76, White 2A, Vintage 670, the Vintage Tube (EQ-1A), and even the Lurssen Mastering Console, you'll find mentions of how just passing through these devices adds some kind of special sauce to a signal.
There's some truth there: it certainly helps a mix if all of the components end up feeling like they belong together and were recorded in similar fashion. For example, you probably wouldn't want your instruments to have heavy reverb like they were recorded in a large hall, then add vocals with no reverb whatsoever. But if everything in the mix is "close enough" already, passing the whole thing through something that adds subtle coloration can bring them even closer together, in addition to the other benefits of proper mastering.
The tape machines can add a bit more to that effect, though it really shouldn't be necessary after the mastering process. If you already have other effects like the 670, try playing sound through them and turning the bypass on and off to see if you can "feel the magic", so to speak.
What I find hilarious about all of this is that back in the days of the Tascam Porta-Studio (part of the just released Tascam collection) or Fostex recorders, everyone wanted to go for a pristine digital sound and make things sound like they were NOT recorded on a home studio 4-track or the analog tape in the local no-budget studio.
But now that we all have pristine digital instruments recorded to digital workstations with digital effects and saved in digital media formats, we're going back and adding extra effects specifically to make our stuff sound just like it was recorded on a cassette tape on an old Porta-Studio.
With all that being said, sure, any of those Tape Machines will give you some analog coloring without ruining your sound. The only questions after that are whether you need exact emulations of specific recording devices, and if so, which ones.
If you do crave those exact machines, without a doubt the IK engineers have emulated them in perfect and painstaking detail, right down to the differences in recording speeds and the choice of different tapes.
If you don't need that level of detail, you might already have sufficient tape coloring through other effects you might already have - particularly Saturator X. That effect is also part of MixBox, along with a Phonograph and a new Tape Cassette effect that I had not previously seen elsewhere in IK products.
(No word yet on a future 8-track effect, where you have degradation like the Tape Cassette effect but once every 8 minutes or so the volume fades to zero, a second later you get a "click" sound, and a second after that the volume fades back in and returns to normal. That one should be out around the same time as the Vuvuzela Collection for Sampletank.)