Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by RockHardGuitars, Mar 2, 2012.
CLASP sounds like a modern way to do "ADD" recordings, essentially getting the sound of their Studer machines (with Ampex 456 tape!) and converting it immediately to digital tracks in ProTools.
Glad to see respect for the great old analog stuff and the way it sounds - not just the tape, but also the consoles and the vintage effects.
A lot of that stuff never went out of style: Neve mic pres and lots of other vintage gear has a well-deserved reputation, and costs to match. But it's cool to see the Studers getting their due too. They're a lot of work to keep in top shape, and the tape itself is expensive and hard to find (or in really bad shape if it's older), but tape is the original sound of rock'n'roll.
Man, that was a long commercial.
CLASP works extremely well.
i remember seeing this about 3 years ago at AES convention and was blown away. really cool unit.
How would this compare to tracking & editing digitally then sending the mix (or even stems) to tape? Then create the final master from tape?
In other words what if it were DAD (or DAA) instead of ADD? Is tracking analog the special sauce?
I have 16 track and 8 & 2 track analog tape machines and love the sound and also have digital workstations. I like machines that record in real time without latency issues. I like to capture the moment vs playing around on computers and try to line things up taking far too much time and missing the moment. Not only Aeorosmith. Foo Fighters won a few grammys with their analog recorded CD.
Color me ignorant - I don't get it. Are they ever going back to the analog tape once the tracks are laid down? They said they were doing the editing in Pro Tools, and since it goes directly into Pro Tools (via the analog tape) I assume not. Are they implying that the analog tape colors the sound in a way that is pleasing? Why is going to analog tape and then into Pro Tools superior to going directly into Pro Tools? If your losing something in the AtoD conversion, why does going to analog tape first make it better?
I think with this system you get the natural compression/saturation/clipping of tape that sounds so great on toms/bass/snare/vox etc. It has been a while since I watched the vid, but I think you also get the desireable qualities of running at 30ips or 15ips and can do both in the same session (since each has qualities that are unique). You can also use the same reel of tape multiple times, so that can help reduce cost, since your method of archive is protools..not the actual tape.
Cool system, I would like to see one up close. Aerosmith is evidently using it on their upcoming release.
I owned a Studer A80 24 track and and an MCI JH24. I only wish I had this back then.
Now I am pretty much pro tools. I have done some cool things though like I will record a guitar or a vocal to a 1/2 inch reel to reel, then bounce back into pro tools and manually line up. It takes a bit more time, but the sound is worth it!
I watched the video. Great option if you ALREADY own a Studer and use it productively. But at $8k apiece they aren't cheap.
How much better is this as an option than just using conventional, pristine digital recording and then adding any one of the many decent tape emulator plug-ins out there? Non-destructively? By which you can exaggerate and/or attenuate the effect, alter virtual tape speeds and change oxide formulations at mixdown?
I'd love to hear some A/B samples of a real Studer + CLASP vs. Apogeee Ensemble + UAD Studer A800 plug (and/or NF's Magnetic II, or any of the other good tape sims) recording the exact same program material.
It seems like nothing more than a labor-saving box for a big studio. Some assistant engineer doesn't have to capture takes from 2" tracking into ProTools--it's captured instantly as it's being recorded. Cool idea, but something that probably should have been invented a decade ago, and of no use for anyone putting together a sub-million-dollar studio.
I've used it a few times (or been recorded by it, more accurately). It still blows my mind how work-flow feels like a DAW, yet sounds like tape. Crazy.
Of course, sound quality is dependent on the tape machine you have.
Not for those on a budget, but crazy cool!
I wonder if there could be a prosumer / home studio version of this someday? Imagine the CLASP people + tape machine manufacturer collaborating on a scaled down tape machine with this technology built in. Think about having a reel-to-reel built with the clocking / sync, analog I/O integration direct to your favorite interface / converters (Pro Tools, Apogee Ensemble / Symphony etc.) . CLASP could be built into the machine and you run their plugin to control the machine via your DAW. This would be set up so your signal hits the tape before conversion. This machine could also be minimalist so all monitoring is done through DAW so no need for all the bells and whistles of a stand alone machine.
So ultimitely we are back to analog recording but still listening to these wonderful recordings on either digital CDs or MP3s etc.
What difference will I notice if I'm still limited by 44/16?
There's an audible difference to my ears. Does it "matter" is another story.
It's an impossible question to answer. There is a multitude of differences. From workflow differences, to sonic differences.. Distortion amounts at different recording levels, headroom... etc. etc. etc.
Tape usually ends up more 3 dimensional, and often times for whatever reason digital ends up very 2d.
So you record to tape in 3d and transfer it to digital in 2d and listen back in digital...will I hear the 3dness that I recorded or am I limited by my playback medium?
I understand the advantages in working with it that it saves time by transfering to the digital medium in real time what I'm not so sure about is will those sonic differences be really audible if the playback medium is digital...
"tape is usually more three dimensional" • "limited by 44/16"
I bristle when I hear stuff like that. Audiophile marketing BS.
People like the sound of analog tape machines because they COLOR the sound in a particularly pleasing way. That coloration comes from slightly lower fidelity, compression, and distortion, not inherently superior accuracy. From a fidelity/accuracy standpoint analog tape is clearly (and quantifiably) inferior to digital recording. For a rock music recording projects, however, fidelity/accuracy take a back seat on the priority list to the nostalgic familiarity of slightly overdriven analog tape fidelity. But let's not pretend that there is some magical "3D" quality to tape.
Also, in scores and scores of repeatable and verifiable ABX-based studies it has been firmly established that 44.1k/16 bit PCM audio is indistinguishable from any higher format once all other factors are properly controlled in the experiment. One is not, therefore, "limited" by 44/16 in any significant way.
Even if tape did impart some "magically 3D" quality via its analog format, it would be immediately lost when captured digitally.
I personally love the sound of a fat analog tape. I use plug-ins that add that character/coloration to my recordings. But the work of the plug-in is hardly one of adding more fidelity or "3D-ness"--rather, it rolls off certain frequencies, boosts others, adds slight even-series harmonics and goofy tape artifacts (wow/flutter, slight random dropouts, etc.) and a soft overall compression. All the CLASP is doing is allowing your Studer to perform the exact same function, except that you're getting 100% the real thing rather than a simulation. Also, it is a real dazzler to clients, seeing those wonderful 2" tape spools spinning as they are tracking their rock epic.
So if you have a Studer and need to keep it in working order (perhaps for archival purposes if you have a huge backlog of client projects recorded with one), this $8,000 machine effectively turns your $10,000 Studer into a combination analog tape plug-in/AD converter for ProTools. Does that make more sense than just buying a decent audio interface and an analog tape sim plug-in for 1/10th the price and just keeping the Studer mothballed instead of putting extra miles on its motors, heads, and transport mechanisms?
and, the magic word is: simulator.
i love my high-quality analog simulators; i really do.
when it comes down to digital recording,
44.1/16 sounds "ok".....
but, working at 88.2/24 (or, higher) is incredibly sonically satisfying;
that definitely competes, in its own way, with analog.....
until it's time to downsample.
then? still great, but a bit of a crapshoot.
so, do you
--- as a guitarist ---
prefer to play & record great tube-amps w/great analog mics/mic-pre(s) over modellers & simulators?
forgive me in advance for asking..... just a question, there!