New-to-Cassette Recording question

seth3

Member
Messages
946
Hello all,

Well, I just won a Tascam Porta 02 on Ebay, so I'm waiting for it to arrive. I have a pretty stupid, "new guy" question:

While one is urged to use High Bias cassette tapes when using a four track, is it essential (like, will it damage the unit if I use a standard cassette)? What are the benefits of using High Bias over standard?

Thanks!

Seth
 

stevel

Member
Messages
15,477
You probably should buy one of those cheap de-magnetizer/cleaner cassettes and run it through there before you start working.

I used to use the CrO2 (Chromium Oxide) cassettes in mine, and ran it on the highest speed for recording - better sound quality.

Also, look for 30 and 45 minute cassettes, rather than 60, 90, or 120 - the longer tapes are often thinner and are more prone to jam up. IME, the shorter the better.

Steve
 

seth3

Member
Messages
946
Thanks for the replies! I definitely am just learning all this, so any and all other free advice is very appreciated!
 

jb4674

Member
Messages
6,850
I've got a stack of 11 Sony Metal SR Type IV 100 tapes brand new in the shrink wrap that I can sell you if you're interested.
 

Kevbo599

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
646
45 minute hi-bias tapes (not metal) worked best for me. Also pay attention to tape speed. These casette recorders are a good introduction to recording.
 

seth3

Member
Messages
946
I've got a stack of 11 Sony Metal SR Type IV 100 tapes brand new in the shrink wrap that I can sell you if you're interested.

Oh, I think I'm set, man - but thanks for the offer!

Thanks, again, for the thoughts. I'm really excited to get going!

Hey, here's another question:

I have heard that Elliott Smith (one of the best, IMHO, 4 track recording results) had this trick where he would double track his vocals and then (and I have no idea how) "bump" one track so that it started a millisecond later than the other, giving his vocals a unique, sort of panned/reverbed/phased sound naturally.

How does one make one track start later? It's easy enough on Garageband (just move the recordings), but I cannot picture how this would happen in real-time on tape.

Any thoughts? Am I totally off base here? : )
 

taez555

Member
Messages
8,897
I have heard that Elliott Smith (one of the best, IMHO, 4 track recording results) had this trick where he would double track his vocals and then (and I have no idea how) "bump" one track so that it started a millisecond later than the other, giving his vocals a unique, sort of panned/reverbed/phased sound naturally.

How does one make one track start later? It's easy enough on Garageband (just move the recordings), but I cannot picture how this would happen in real-time on tape.

When bouncing the track down, bounce just the vocal track through a quick delay.

Or you could simply record the 2nd vocal pass with a 100% wet delay set to a short 10-20ms delay to start with. When you're limited by only 4 tracks and dealing with a degraded signal with each bounce, this actually may be the best way to do it. Although... experiment, that's the fun of a 4-track. :)
 

seth3

Member
Messages
946
Great idea - I've thought about adding delay, but doing it that way would be really an interesting experiment.

Would analog be okay for that? I've been considering getting a Way Huge AP for a while...
 

taez555

Member
Messages
8,897
Would analog be okay for that? I've been considering getting a Way Huge AP for a while...

For the effect you want, since it's such a quick delay it's almost inauditable till you play it side by side, I'd probably use an outboard rack effect where I could dial in the delay to the exact ms, but there's no reason a delay pedal wouldn't work if you can get a 100% wet signal and a quick enough repeat.

Again, it's all trial and error. Use your ears and experiment. I had a porta-03 for years when I was High School and it's amazing what you can do with only volume and pan when you're forced to make due. I used to use my guitar rack effects as a preamp into it first to get all sorts of cool sounds.
 




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