Tape machine 'mojo'

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JohnRoberts

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Whats your favourite sounding album John ? would you have tried and to tell the Beatles or Creedence to turn their amps down because they were producing too much THD ? :D
To clarify I am not imposing my subjective opinions on anybody else. The last time I designed a studio effect was the Loft delay line/flanger back in the 70s/80s. It was well received as I recall, but that is ancient history.

I like the cooking analogy, I always start with clean pots and pans. (not a perfect analogy). I prefer to design pristine, linear, audio paths and let the customer add distortion to taste. I was friends with a few serious guitar amp designers and they were all about making euphonious distortion.

JR

PS: To be polite the Beatles used some "inventive" mix strategies. If you perform a L-R on "I hear its your birthday" the instruments cancel out and all you hear them shouting the vocal. Of course "Sgt Peppers" was a standard back then, along with the Stones (kind of a good boy/bad boy dichotomy).
 
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Are you all out of your cotton-pickin' minds? It's not the electronics that saturate, unless the machine is broken; it's the tape! It saturates when the magnetic stimulus created by the program level exceeds the tape's ability to have its magnetic domains orient faithfully to the stimulus. Period. Having the tape in proximity - as in, stuffing it inside a transformer - would accomplish nothing.
 

JohnRoberts

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Are you all out of your cotton-pickin' minds? It's not the electronics that saturate, unless the machine is broken; it's the tape! It saturates when the magnetic stimulus created by the program level exceeds the tape's ability to have its magnetic domains orient faithfully to the stimulus. Period. Having the tape in proximity - as in, stuffing it inside a transformer - would accomplish nothing.
This is not a serious pursuit (I hope) but indeed in a tape recorder chain one (the?) dominant sonic mechanism is tape saturation.

It is not cra cra, at least in theory to use ferric tape (iron) in place of the typical transformer core, to try to mimic tape saturation.

Of course the physics is not even close, but it is fun to think about it. :cool:

JR
 

abbey road d enfer

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Are you all out of your cotton-pickin' minds? It's not the electronics that saturate, unless the machine is broken; it's the tape! It saturates when the magnetic stimulus created by the program level exceeds the tape's ability to have its magnetic domains orient faithfully to the stimulus.
No one contests this. No need for high horses.
Naa. There are several other mechanisms at work, that you can't neglect. these happen even with as close to perfect electronics as can be.
Having the tape in proximity - as in, stuffing it inside a transformer - would accomplish nothing.
How do you know? Have you tried it, or the scientific knowledge to prove it?
 

MaxDM

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IMO it's not the best use of your time to try and get a tape sound without tape, especially given the amount of tape recorders out there.

You might as well just make a distortion box, however you like it, or buy a three head tape recorder and use it as an effect
 

abbey road d enfer

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IMO it's not the best use of your time to try and get a tape sound without tape, especially given the amount of tape recorders out there.
The idea is to produce "tape sound" without the inherent delay of a tape recorder. Since the non-linearities are quite well-known, it's not ridiculous to try to produce them with a real-time simulation device.
 

Newmarket

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Whats your favourite sounding album John ? would you have tried and to tell the Beatles or Creedence to turn their amps down because they were producing too much THD ? :D

Well tbf the greatness (or otherwise according to your opinion) of The Beatles output is not inherently dependent on distortion generating signal processing in the tracking/mixdown process. In many ways they provided a catalyst to improved audio engineering quality. Much of their early output was via 4 track / bouncedown. But I don't see people (including Paul Mc') advocating that over uncompromised multitrack recording these days. And as soon as more individual tape tracks were available they took the opportunity to use that.
 

chrissugar

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The tape "mojo" is the result of several effects, of which magnetic saturation is certainly the dominant one, but also the way bias modifies it, self-erase effects and time modulation due to transport.
It is probably possible to simulate the former with a xfmr using a tape oxide core, but the rest is within the domain of non-minimum phase effects. It would need serious research IMO.

I don't want to encourage this, but could one just wad up a bunch of old magnetic tape and stick it inside a transformer in place of an iron core?

Asking for a friend.... :cool:

JR

Ha ha, this is something I already proposed (piece of tape in a transformer gap) almost two decades ago at the old forum and later here in a thread :)
 

MaxDM

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The idea is to produce "tape sound" without the inherent delay of a tape recorder. Since the non-linearities are quite well-known, it's not ridiculous to try to produce them with a real-time simulation device.

ok, if it’s a question of focusing on those non linear characteristics, at least there is something specific to aim for.
 

gyraf

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naa, the anamod is different - a result of doing an analog-computing model of a (early) digital "plugin" model of tape saturation. At the time of it's origin, tape sat plugins were primitive to say the least

chrissugar - yup, I remember that :) - and I even thought of trying it several times since then, but never got around to it.

On the other side of summer vacation, I'll try to persuade my intern to wind us a toroid transformer on a core of 1/4 inch tape, and I'll report back

btw: anyone have suggestions for a magnetic material with good heavy hysteresis? I'm a bit rusty on the material sciences side

/Jakob E.
 
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No one contests this. No need for high horses.

Naa. There are several other mechanisms at work, that you can't neglect. these happen even with as close to perfect electronics as can be.

How do you know? Have you tried it, or the scientific knowledge to prove it?
Did you read the part in my post about the impetuous of tape saturation?
 

abbey road d enfer

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Did you read the part in my post about the impetuous of tape saturation?
High horses again!

Dictionary:
  • impetuous (adjective)
    What's it gotta do with tape recording?

    We're all talking about saturating a magnetic material. Isn't "tape" a magnetic material? Or does tape have other properties than magnetism that would explain its "sound"?
 

JohnRoberts

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Neither word makes sense describing the behavior of magnetic domains in the presence of a magnetic field.

JR
 

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