home studios equipment staff/friends booking/rates for sale forum contact

Reference Fluxivity

Got a question about our studios? Ask us.

Moderators: kerble, Electrical-Staff

Reference Fluxivity

Postby Yoski on Sun Aug 30, 2015 11:55 am

Hi!

I’m new to this forum and I have a question to the electrical audio staff.

When I listen to the recordings made in your studio I don’t hear any tape-hiss or any significant amount of tape saturation. Assuming that you don’t use any noise reduction I’m wondering how hot do you hit the tape? I mean to what reference fluxivity (recording level) are your multitracks aligned? +6 or +9dB over 185nWn/m? Or even higher? It would be great to know it - if it’s not a state secret of course :smt002

I’m new to tape recording and I’m experimenting with different fluxivity levels at the moment just to gain experience. If you don’t use or don’t want to use noise reduction it will always be a compromise between noise floor and tape saturation effect. But your recordings are so clear and hiss-free at the same time, so that I’m wondering how you guys manage this problem.

I hope to hear from you soon!

Greetings from Berlin,

Robert.
Yoski
newbie
newbie
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Aug 29, 2015 11:31 am

Re: Reference Fluxivity

Postby greg on Tue Sep 08, 2015 4:58 pm

Most of the time we are recording to the 24 track at 500nWb/m (about +9 over 185), 15 IPS, CCIR/IEC eq.

You can limit the amount of tape hiss by recording at a healthy level to tape, and by muting unnecessary tracks when you're mixing quiet parts. Some tape machines have "Dolby HX Pro" which increases the high frequency head room of the machine. This allows you to record at a slightly higher level with less distortion.

There's always a little hiss, but if you're careful you can avoid distractingly high amounts.
User avatar
greg
Master Of The Computer
Master Of The Computer
 
Posts: 4942
Joined: Wed May 14, 2003 7:26 pm
Location: Chicago

Re: Reference Fluxivity

Postby greg on Tue Sep 08, 2015 4:59 pm

Of course, there's a lot recorded here on the computer, so there's that as well...
User avatar
greg
Master Of The Computer
Master Of The Computer
 
Posts: 4942
Joined: Wed May 14, 2003 7:26 pm
Location: Chicago

Re: Reference Fluxivity

Postby steve on Thu Sep 10, 2015 8:03 pm

Greg's points about tape format are relevant, but he didn't mention that the CCIR eq curve has less noticeable tape noise than the NAB eq, which many studios in North America use as a default for 15 ips. The NAB curve exaggerates HF noise on playback, the CCIR curve does not.

When I do a session I try to suit the format to the music, so for a simple band without an elaborate production (only a couple of overdubs per song) then I'm likely to use the 2-inch 16 track format which has less noise per track and fewer tracks summing noise than 24 track sessions, which makes the tape noise less noticeable. If I'm recording very quiet music without a lot of bass content (acoustic instruments or a folk setting) then I'm likely to run the session at 30 ips which moves the noise spectrum higher and also makes it less noticeable.

The most important aspect though is track management, so at the mixing stage you don't have extra tracks open contributing noise but no music.
steve albini
Electrical Audio
sa at electricalaudio dot com
Quicumque quattuor feles possidet insanus est.
User avatar
steve
Present-day God
Present-day God
 
Posts: 9155
Joined: Wed Jun 04, 2003 3:25 pm
Location: chicago

Re: Reference Fluxivity

Postby Yoski on Fri Sep 18, 2015 2:06 pm

Thank you for the response Greg + big thanks to the Maestro for chiming in!

And sorry for the delay on my part but I didn’t expect to hear from you anymore and stopped to check the thread for answers.

Can I ask you one more question?
What is your take on noise reduction in general? There is this saying that noise reduction = music reduction. Recently I bought a Dolby XP24SR Frame with DOLBY No 431 cards. I’m about to experiment with it just to gain experience, ‘cause as you know, first hand experience is the true source knowledge. I’m wondering what Dolby SR is doing to the sound.

As I mentioned in my opening post I’m new to analog tape recording. But my work respectively my experimentation with this medium turned out to be essential for my understanding of analog sound in general. I understood that what I used to call ‘vintage’ or ‘warm’ sound is in reality the tape saturation effect. It was a big eye-opener (or should I say ear-opener) for me to understand what this effect does to the sound of a given instrument and to a recording in general. Now I listen to music which was made in the era of tape recording with completely new ears!

Of course with the appearance of the so called ‘modern tape’ the saturation effect became more or less non-existent, but in the time before that it had an essential impact on the sound of a recording.
I know that it’s nothing new to you guys but I just wanted to share my findings with you.

I hope to hear from you again 8)
Yoski
newbie
newbie
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Aug 29, 2015 11:31 am

Re: Reference Fluxivity

Postby greg on Tue Sep 22, 2015 3:53 pm

We have Dolby SR and A for our Studer A820s, and it almost never gets used. When it does, it's usually when we're playing a prerecorded tape from the '70- '80s.
I've used SR a couple of times for some really dynamic stuff. The general impression I had was that the air was removed. When I used to record on a 1" 16-track, I would use the on board noise reduction for some quiet recordings. Definitely experiment around and see what works for you.

When I hear people talking about that old "analog" or "vintage" sound I want to play them this -
phpBB [media]


That was recorded on all vintage analog tape. Probably using a vintage analog Neve console even.
User avatar
greg
Master Of The Computer
Master Of The Computer
 
Posts: 4942
Joined: Wed May 14, 2003 7:26 pm
Location: Chicago

Re: Reference Fluxivity

Postby tmoneygetpaid on Wed Sep 23, 2015 10:59 am

That gated snare...
tmoneygetpaid
pod
pod
 
Posts: 149
Joined: Sat Apr 06, 2013 1:13 pm

Re: Reference Fluxivity

Postby Yoski on Thu Sep 24, 2015 1:27 pm

Thanks Greg for sharing your knowledge with me. I will make some test recordings with the Dolby-SR pretty soon and see for myself how it sounds. I had some difficulties to understand how to connect the Dolby-Frame with my tape machine, but now I think I figured out. Just need some time to solder all the wires together;)
Actually I don't think I need the Dolby for noise reduction. I just want to educate myself, trying to learn as much as possible about tape recording. The Dolby-thing is just a part of it.

I will post my impressions here.

Robert.
Yoski
newbie
newbie
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Aug 29, 2015 11:31 am

Re: Reference Fluxivity

Postby greg on Fri Oct 02, 2015 4:33 pm

Yoski wrote:Thanks ....
I will post my impressions here.

Robert.


That'd be great.
User avatar
greg
Master Of The Computer
Master Of The Computer
 
Posts: 4942
Joined: Wed May 14, 2003 7:26 pm
Location: Chicago


Return to Studio Questions

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest