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#40136 - 10/20/09 01:34 PM [Off-Topic] retro-reels
HappyTrails Offline
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Registered: 12/14/08
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Loc: adrift on a raft, far from lan...
I recentlly bought an old Wollensak reel-to-reel off Ebay. It's a stand-alone machine, not a deck. Been having a great time recording my practices with it. Not "for keeps" recording, just for immediate feedback. Sounds great. I just set its mic out and it picks up me and the tracks well enough. I do a couple songs, rewind, then sit back and listen. Only have one tape.

It's so handy because it's all-in-one. And I just love seeing that brown tape spin. Makes me feel like loading up my cap guns and saddlling up Trigger!
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#40137 - 10/20/09 02:06 PM [Off-Topic] Re: retro-reels [Re: HappyTrails]
Ryszard Offline
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Registered: 09/28/07
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I need to unship my TEAC 2340-SX four-track in order to digitize my 25-plus-year-old recordings anyway, but sometimes tape seems easier than fooling with all the digital issues. Except for mono mixes and cumulative noise. And having to do complete retakes for mistakes. And not being able to revoice an instrument with the push of a button. Or revamp an entire piece by selecting a different style. And . . . and . . .

Okay, NOW I remember why I got into computers.

R.
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#40138 - 10/20/09 02:06 PM [Off-Topic] Re: retro-reels [Re: HappyTrails]
Matt Finley Online   content
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Registered: 07/12/00
Posts: 17516
Loc: Hudson Valley & Lake George NY
Sounds like fun. I still have my Teac four-track sound-on-sound reel-to-reel from the early 70s. Nothing compares to the great sound from those. It's just too much trouble now that I'm spoiled by the immediacy of digital editing.

EDIT: I see Ryszard and I posted simultaneously. I checked, and mine is a Model A-3340S. 10" reels. Thanks for the trip back in time.


Edited by Matt Finley (10/20/09 02:12 PM)
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#40139 - 10/20/09 02:37 PM [Off-Topic] Re: retro-reels [Re: Matt Finley]
RickeG Offline
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Registered: 06/19/09
Posts: 484
What's old is new again! It is ironic how many products one can find in the Musician's Friend catalog that boast of their "analog" features. It seems there was a time when we, as musicians, made a fast dash to digitize everything. Now, like with everything, we come full circle to include in the home digital studio artifacts, whether real or logical, a desire to recapture the warmth and characteristics of those earlier recordings. I think it's cool. Would it not be nice to also see a new generation of musicians returning to playing instruments beyond the scope of guitar, bass & drums to follow in the pursuit with the retro sound? I would love to turn on the radio some day and hear a modern style of Blood, Sweat, and Tears, or Chicago or Tower of Power.

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#40140 - 10/20/09 02:50 PM [Off-Topic] Re: retro-reels [Re: RickeG]
HappyTrails Offline
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Registered: 12/14/08
Posts: 280
Loc: adrift on a raft, far from lan...
Without a doubt a modern DAW is best for real recording. I just use the old r2r to see how I'm doing when I practice. There's nothing like immediate feedback to improve your playing or singing. I don't have room for a dedicated studio or might not matter. I keep the r2r up in the bedroom where I practice. My PC set up is in the basement.

I don't think there is anything modern like it. Stand alone, amp, spk, recorder all built in. I'd like something like that, except digital. Something simple and portable. I know they make good portable digital recorders but they don't have built-in amp or speakers.

Maybe I could knock together something.

Another thing is there is less distraction with a stand-alone recorder. When I boot up in my basement I often get sidetracked on Facebook, e-mail, this forum and others. Then there're games, and other stuff.
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#40141 - 10/21/09 05:36 AM [Off-Topic] Re: retro-reels [Re: HappyTrails]
furry Offline
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Registered: 06/28/06
Posts: 5696
Loc: Scottish Highlands
As a DJ, I much prefer the ' warmth ' of vynyl recordings. There's something about them that they've never been able to duplicate on cd.
I never owned a reel to reel but I've heard them and therfor can vouch for the superb quality they had. I know I'm not alone in my thoughts as I've
heard other DJs comment on vynyl
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#40142 - 10/21/09 07:40 AM [Off-Topic] Re: retro-reels [Re: furry]
Mac Offline
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Registered: 05/29/00
Posts: 38502
Loc: Chesapeake, Virginia USA
Try using that old Wollie as a mic preamp, driving your soundcard's line input sometime.

You might be pleasantly surprised at the warm and upfront results, especially for vox, but also for mic'ing guitar amps.


--Mac
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#40143 - 10/21/09 09:56 AM [Off-Topic] Re: retro-reels [Re: Mac]
Brallan Offline
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Registered: 01/18/07
Posts: 385
Loc: Los Angeles, CA.
Yes, Mac is right on. I had one of these little amps back in 1959, and kept it for many years after, using it, as Mac suggests, as a pre-amp, but also, mostly, to put out some neat warm fuzz-tones with a guitar into the mic input. Try it! I think I remember pushing the cable only halfway in, but not sure. This is, what... fifty years ago now, something like that. Sheesh!

Matt: I also had one of those Teac 3340s. Wish I still did. Ah, the nostalgia.

Brad
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#40144 - 10/21/09 02:51 PM [Off-Topic] Re: retro-reels [Re: Brallan]
RickeG Offline
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Registered: 06/19/09
Posts: 484
Hey, I was just looking at a Retro web site where the publisher discussed the Wollensak. He also had great pictures of the speakers used along with them.
Check out this link: http://www.retrothing.com/2006/09/3m_wollensak_t1.html
Talk about nostalgia! Those massive speakers containing multiple speaker types to deliver their own portion of the frequency. I'll bet that had a lot to do with the warmth you were hearing.

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#40145 - 10/21/09 03:45 PM [Off-Topic] Re: retro-reels [Re: RickeG]
HappyTrails Offline
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Registered: 12/14/08
Posts: 280
Loc: adrift on a raft, far from lan...
Thanks Rick. I'd found that one before. I have the T-1515. Only difference is mine has stereo pre-amp out jack. It doesn't record in stereo, but if you have stereo tapes you can output to another amp. It mentions them being used in schools and that's where I remember it from. First grade we'd take turns reading "Alice and Jerry" books into one.

II like is how it's a comlete unit. Most R2R's are decks. The small cassette players have lousy sound. They used to put mic jacks, or built-in mics in boom boxes and those would work for my purpose. But you never see them anymore and I guess they don't put cassette units in new ones either.

I wish they'd make a similar stand-alone digital recorder, or even cassette (but that's even more doubtful). Something where you plug in a mic, record, then listen back with a decent buid-in amp and speaker, or maybe two - one on each side.

Most of the time we're trying to get the best recording we can and that's cool, but much more comlicated. I like the Wollensak to record everything I practice. Then I listen back, rewind the tape and use it again.
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#40146 - 10/21/09 03:46 PM [Off-Topic] Re: retro-reels [Re: Brallan]
HappyTrails Offline
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Registered: 12/14/08
Posts: 280
Loc: adrift on a raft, far from lan...
Quote:

Yes, Mac is right on. I had one of these little amps back in 1959, and kept it for many years after, using it, as Mac suggests, as a pre-amp, but also, mostly, to put out some neat warm fuzz-tones with a guitar into the mic input. Try it! I think I remember pushing the cable only halfway in, but not sure. This is, what... fifty years ago now, something like that. Sheesh!

Matt: I also had one of those Teac 3340s. Wish I still did. Ah, the nostalgia.

Brad




That was just a little before you could buy amp simulators!
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Like the man said, "ain't that a kick in the head!"

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#40147 - 10/21/09 06:49 PM [Off-Topic] Re: retro-reels [Re: Brallan]
Matt Finley Online   content
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Registered: 07/12/00
Posts: 17516
Loc: Hudson Valley & Lake George NY
Quote:

Matt: I also had one of those Teac 3340s. Wish I still did. Ah, the nostalgia.
Brad



I think mine still works. Haven't turned it on in years, though.
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BIAB 2018 Win Audiophile; [& 2018 Mac UltraPak]. Software: Mixcraft, Adobe Audition, Ozone, Encore; Win 10 64 Pro. Hardware: custom i7, 16 Gb; Roland Integra-7, Focusrite 18i20(2), TCE Finalizer, Behringer X-Touch, Adam sub & monitors.

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#40148 - 10/22/09 08:14 AM [Off-Topic] Re: retro-reels [Re: Matt Finley]
HappyTrails Offline
Apprentice

Registered: 12/14/08
Posts: 280
Loc: adrift on a raft, far from lan...
Diverging, but speaking of nostalgia. Around here you can get console stereos cheap or free. I'd like to get one that's cabinet is in good shape, gut it, and install new speakers, CD, mp3 and such. Maybe a laptop. Those old units look so cool. Of course, they take up a good chunk of living room.
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