AE-240: Analog Recording Technology
Instructor: Eddie Ciletti
Spring 2012

Week-8b: Z's alt World

My World is Empty
My World is Empty w / Bari Sax
My World is Empty w / Sax + DS

Week-8a: Mid Side Processing and In-The-Groove Vinyl Insights

Here's a link to a PT Mid-Side session and template

This link is a folder from which you can download all the files.  I will condense to one file in the near future.


Week-6b:  Two members down, we got a new handle on the mix after realizing...

  • the first attempt was mostly mono
  • the vocal was too forward (and dry as a bone) 
  • the kick drum  had the low-end full-on boosted ;( 
  • the snare polarity was reversed. 
Surprisingly, the 24 track went berserk and we able to work around it.  The kick is just a bit too round - even flat - so there's a multi-band processed version as well.  Listen closely to 'raw' for the mix details - that you love or realize were missed - and then listen to the mastered / proc version to see if it helped.  I want a full report.

Love to all!

A job well done by David, Jonathan, Sean and Justin.

(multitrack goes crazy)
(multiband processed)
Full session details:
  • Recorded 15ips to Studer A-827-24 in early 2009 on baked 3M 226 (circa 1991)
  • +6/250 nWb/m IEC EQ
MIX-ed on Altec 604Es in utility cab powered by modified Groove Tubes Dual-75 running KT-66 output tubes.
  • Mackie 16-input 8-buss with 8-input Berhinger sidecar (don't laugh)
  • Drums and bass through side car to JBL 7110 comps, 1.5:1 ratio to Mackie FX return
  • Mackie feeds a modified UREI octave graphic to a Crane Song STC-8
  • Mixed to Otari MTR-10 @ 15ips, 250nWb/m IEC EQ
Week-6a: Who's Gonna Help a brotha?

Week-5b:  Mix 24 track "If You Want Me To Stay"

Reverse Guitar band
Week-5a: Listen to John Kargol Session

Week-4b: John Kargol 4 track session

Week-4a: Flange-O-Rama plus Echo-per-plexed
We take many things for granted in the Digital Lomain and week-4's class continued on that theme.  Analog Editing and Looping is hard work!  It incorporates fine motor skills, a more in-depth musical knowledge plus the ability to discern the nuance of kick, snare and hat-a-tat-tat at less than 1/8th normal speed!

This week's lesson involved bouncing an Elvis Presley cover - MY BABY LEFT ME - to tracks 1 & 2 of two separate 4-track tapes that were played on two seperate 4-track machines.   Tracks 1 & 2 of 'A' machine were patched into tracks 3 & 4 of the 'B' machine.  Both machines were started at the same time, with the 'B' machine in RECORD on tracks 3 & 4.  We listened ONLY to tracks 1 & 2 in mono, from the machine's small speaker.  The goal was to keep the machines in sync, by dragging our fingers on the reel flanging.  When locked, the sound appeared 'centered' between the two machines, from which point it was possible to 'pan' through time manipulation.  Sonic localisation favored the machine that was a head.

Once these skills were mastered and under our control, we played back all four tracks in mono on the B machine's small speaker and voila, FLANGING!!!

We then set up the black Fostex machine for stereo ping-pong tape echo.  Again, a simple process, but one that required that we understand signal flow from the Mackie console to the echo machine and back.   A four track session was put up and when everyone else had gone to their next class, Justin stayed behind and continued for another hour or two.  He mixed to both analog tape and digital (via CD burner) so that the two formates could be compared.  Below are two sample tracks, with this caveat:  We did not realize the analog machine was in Vari-Speed mode (from our looping session) running at about 11.5 Inches Per Second (IPS).  I had played with the vary speed (you can hear the result at the very end of take-2).  I put the speed approximately back to where it was.

Screen captures show some of the 'nuance' of the different formats.  High bit rate mp3s will allow comparison.  Even when tape is running on speed, it's not sample accurate, so at best you can just alternately SOLO a looped section.

Take-1 Analog
Take-2 Analog
Take-1 Digital
Take-2 Digital
Class meets in Studio 2 to transfer Aaron's 24 track to Pro Tools, plus, perhaps a bonus.

We bounced  Eddie's version of Andy's loop over to 4-track (it was less wrinkled), OD'd clean ele gtr, djembe, drums, bounced to mono, OD'd Bass and Lead gtr.   From feedback I got so far (18th April), the four track lesson emphasizes performance, simplicity and a vision of what the final version will be.  Keeping the performances simple and uncomplicated improves the feel and leaves room for other parts.  Intonation seemed to be a bit of a problem, especially with lead guitar.  Even though we can isolate parts, It is always important to consider how the parts must sound to live within the track.

It sounded like this...

Andy's Track (raw)
Andy's Track (proc)

Andy refined his edit skills and experimented with bouncing a loop over to the 4-track in prep for a 'more serious session' week three.  We also listened to Aaron's 24-track tape that we will bounce  on Thursday, week-3.  The CD of those sounds was defective, so I did the tape edits at home so that Andy had somethign to practice to...

Chinese Chicken Loop

While we are challenged by 1.5 hour classes, everyone stepped up to the plate to learn how to edit tape.  We also listened to some vinyl and got a bit of a history lesson.