Mastering from tape to digital rig question

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Re: Mastering from tape to digital rig question

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

No. It's a perfectly good machine if in decent mechanical condition and when aligned correctly.
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Re: Mastering from tape to digital rig question

Post by hannahjazzz »

Hugh Robjohns wrote:No. It's a perfectly good machine if in decent mechanical condition and when aligned correctly.

Thank you

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Re: Mastering from tape to digital rig question

Post by Tim Gillett »

hannahjazzz wrote: Thu Sep 23, 2021 3:56 pm
Hugh Robjohns wrote:No. It's a perfectly good machine if in decent mechanical condition and when aligned correctly.

Thankyou.

I'd add that for top performance it needs to be in good condition in all departments related to playback of your particular tapes. The tapes themselves may need treatment even before winding or playing them. It really depends on how close to ideal you want your transfers to be. Most people seem to err by not optimising the tape playback side of things.
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Re: Mastering from tape to digital rig question

Post by hannahjazzz »

So the revox is in perfect working order. And I have tested all the tapes.

I recorded the mixes onto the 1/4 through a studer b67 from a studer a80. Everything was calibrated and I did check all of the tapes/ cleaned them in between mixes etc.

I was going to go from the revox as a sound source to the digi 003 directly into pro tools. Or I was going to go from the revox through an Avalon mic pre amp to the digi into pro tools. But I just am unsure if it’ll be high quality enough.
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Re: Mastering from tape to digital rig question

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

hannahjazzz wrote: Thu Sep 23, 2021 4:41 pm...I just am unsure if it’ll be high quality enough.

That's something only you can decide, because only you can hear it.

However...

I recorded the mixes onto the 1/4 through a studer b67 from a studer a80.

I'm not really sure what's going on here. It sounds like you're saying you played back a tape on a Studer A80 and re-recorded it (mixed with something else?) on a B67. And now you're going to play that new recorded mix tape back on a Revox A77.

So you've already gone down one analogue tape generation (and that's assuming the source tape was first generation and not a dub-tape itself), and there's quite a lot of scope there for head azimuths and other alignments to be non-perfect... I doubt the digital recording chain is likely to make matters any worse from a sound quality point of view.

I was going to go from the revox as a sound source to the digi 003 directly into pro tools. Or I was going to go from the revox through an Avalon mic pre amp to the digi into pro tools.

Ah... that clears up the confusion about the Avalon interface you mentioned previously. It's a Digi003 interface, to which you've connected the Avalon mic pre.

Personally, I'd connect the Revox straight into the line (or DI inputs) inputs of the Digi003, but if you want some extra 'character' then you could run it through the mic pre. In both cases I'd suggest using a pair of RCA-phono to mono (TS) unbalanced jack cables. (Connect the RCA-phono end to the A77s outputs, with the jacks going into the interface or preamp DI/instrument inputs).
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Re: Mastering from tape to digital rig question

Post by James Perrett »

The signal chain would make sense if the A80 was a multitrack machine. Then mixed down to a B67.

If the A77 is a standard high speed version then it should work fine with a pair of unbalanced phono to TS jack cables. This will give you the most accurate version of the sound on tape. Adding the Avalon may change the sound, and you may prefer that sound so it would be worth a try, but it won't be as accurate as a direct link.
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Re: Mastering from tape to digital rig question

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

James Perrett wrote: Thu Sep 23, 2021 6:58 pm The signal chain would make sense if the A80 was a multitrack machine. Then mixed down to a B67.

Ah yes, of course. Should have realised that! Thanks James.

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Re: Mastering from tape to digital rig question

Post by hannahjazzz »

James Perrett wrote:The signal chain would make sense if the A80 was a multitrack machine. Then mixed down to a B67.

If the A77 is a standard high speed version then it should work fine with a pair of unbalanced phono to TS jack cables. This will give you the most accurate version of the sound on tape. Adding the Avalon may change the sound, and you may prefer that sound so it would be worth a try, but it won't be as accurate as a direct link.

Yea you’re correct. A80 24 track mixed through never to b67. I’m taking the reels on a revox and putting them through digi or Avalon then digi to pt to prepare for mastering. Should I give myself -7db on the Rev input or Rev output? Never done it before as I’m a musician and not well versed in mastering. Only mastered on to finalizer before. Don’t Judge me haha

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Re: Mastering from tape to digital rig question

Post by James Perrett »

In a proper studio it is normal to add test tones to the start of each master tape so that you know what level your recorder was set to. If you have test tones on your tape then I would suggest using the tones that set your reference level (usually recorded at 0dBVU at 1kHz) to read -18dBFS in Protools LE. You should then use the tones at any other frequencies (usually 100Hz and 10kHz) to match the equalisation. The A77 allows you to switch between NAB and IEC equalisation so choose the one that matches the B67 that the tapes were recorded on.

If you don't have test tones then aim for an average level of -18dBFS on the meters and hopefully the peaks won't go too high.

I'm assuming you didn't use Dolby or any other noise reduction on these tapes but if you did then this adds an extra layer of complexity.
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