Muddy Waters Folksinger - A bugger to tape!

Prime Minister

Site Owner
Staff member
Was taping the MQA version of Muddy Waters Folksinger last night, and it's a challenging one to tape. Tons of stuff happening at really low level, followed by sudden, short peaks. I used another 1990 vintage XL-IIS, with Dolby C this time to really try and push down any tape hiss. I'll let yuns know tonight how it worked out .
 

mhardy6647

Señor Member
As long as the deck gives you the dynamic range, use it! Don't be afraid to record at low(er) net levels with actual dynamic source material. So much commercial music is soooooooo compressed. Sounds like you're taping one that's not - and ya gotta work with what ya got.

I know the album, but only on vinyl (FWIW).

If you get bored & have the hardware, try dubbing it onto a VHS HiFi or (even better) a Beta HiFi VCR deck sometime. The claimed dynamic range of the FM analog recording (using rotating heads) technique used on those decks is supposed to be on the order of 90 dB. Of course, the electronics in any given deck may or may not be up to the task -- but it'd be a fun experiment!
 

Prime Minister

Site Owner
Staff member
I definitely did use the dynamic range! Good deck, good heads and a great cassette. It was a bugger because you spend so much time down in the weeds, that it was challenging to set maximum levels. Hence also why I chose Dolby C. Wanted to make all of that quiet time, well, quiet.

I had one of Sony's totl HiFi beta decks once. I always meant to try doing some audio recordings, but with the quality of available cassette gear at the time, it didn't seem worth the bother. Might be fun to try in the future.

But I've got to get a reel to reel and am Elcaset first. :)
 

TubeHiFiNut

Administrator
That recording will test your system, the deck/tape and your skills. :)

The result should be pretty phenomenal.

Regarding recording audio to a Beta VCR: I wonder if anyone has ever looked at designing quality outboard electronics for a Beta deck? ;)
 

mhardy6647

Señor Member
That recording will test your system, the deck/tape and your skills. :)

The result should be pretty phenomenal.

Regarding recording audio to a Beta VCR: I wonder if anyone has ever looked at designing quality outboard electronics for a Beta deck? ;)
I'll bet not -- but one never knows ('til one Googles, I suppose) :)
 

airdronian

Junior Member
As long as the deck gives you the dynamic range, use it! Don't be afraid to record at low(er) net levels with actual dynamic source material. So much commercial music is soooooooo compressed. Sounds like you're taping one that's not - and ya gotta work with what ya got.

I know the album, but only on vinyl (FWIW).

If you get bored & have the hardware, try dubbing it onto a VHS HiFi or (even better) a Beta HiFi VCR deck sometime. The claimed dynamic range of the FM analog recording (using rotating heads) technique used on those decks is supposed to be on the order of 90 dB. Of course, the electronics in any given deck may or may not be up to the task -- but it'd be a fun experiment!
Back in the early/mid eighties I recorded a bunch of album sides on my VHS hi-fi deck in order to preserve them as I was diggin' the novelty of the CDs. A few years later I went to play some back and they were unlistenable. What a waste of time that was !
 

Prime Minister

Site Owner
Staff member
That recording will test your system, the deck/tape and your skills. :)

The result should be pretty phenomenal.

Regarding recording audio to a Beta VCR: I wonder if anyone has ever looked at designing quality outboard electronics for a Beta deck? ;)

I've thought about that too. Two tubes sticking out of the top of a Sony Beta VCR. How cool would that be?
 

mhardy6647

Señor Member
Back in the early/mid eighties I recorded a bunch of album sides on my VHS hi-fi deck in order to preserve them as I was diggin' the novelty of the CDs. A few years later I went to play some back and they were unlistenable. What a waste of time that was !
Interesting data point. My data point, FWIW: we have VHS HiFi video tapes that I made starting in the late 1990s ("holiday music") that we listen to every year -- and they're all still fine.

holidaydubbing121209 by Mark Hardy, on Flickr

I have even done a wee bit of live recording to VHS HiFi Stereo with good results (and backup tapes on reel to reel, just in case).

This is the "serious" HiFi deck that we've had, and used, since ca. 1986.

borrowed image, source: http://vintageelectronics.betamaxcollectors.com/zenithvhsvcrmodelvr2300.html
 

Audionut

Next Round Is On Me
Oddly another audio enthusiast I met was swearing by this undiscovered secret of recording his albums to hifi vhs tapes. He swore by the quality and ability to store large amounts of music. He owns a audio repair shop for whatever that’s worth.
 

airdronian

Junior Member
I'm not sure what the issue was for me. One or two tapes were distorted, another had a distinct buzz. Operator error perhaps. Back then I had a JVC deck, and still have a Proscan hi-fi unit in case I get the urge to view the two remaining tapes I have.
 

DC

Active Member
Am I remembering correctly? (I'm on my second Manhattan of the evening...) Was there a tape deck that would "preview" or "scan" a tape for audio peaks, then set the recording level accordingly, helping make sure that peak didn't saturate/distort?
 

mhardy6647

Señor Member
Am I remembering correctly? (I'm on my second Manhattan of the evening...) Was there a tape deck that would "preview" or "scan" a tape for audio peaks, then set the recording level accordingly, helping make sure that peak didn't saturate/distort?
Dunno about that -- but there were CD players that would do that (to set the level for dubbing to tape). I have one of 'em (a Sony 5-disc changer from the early/mid 1990s).
 

DC

Active Member
Dunno about that -- but there were CD players that would do that (to set the level for dubbing to tape). I have one of 'em (a Sony 5-disc changer from the early/mid 1990s).

Maybe that's that I'm thinking of...and thinking is a little fuzzy at present. :D

Ok, now that I typed that, I think I remember, and I think you're right - the "peak search" function was on the CD player and allowed you to find the audio peaks on the CD so you could set the tape-recording level appropriately before taping the CD.
 

mhardy6647

Señor Member
Maybe that's that I'm thinking of...and thinking is a little fuzzy at present. :D

Ok, now that I typed that, I think I remember, and I think you're right - the "peak search" function was on the CD player and allowed you to find the audio peaks on the CD so you could set the tape-recording level appropriately before taping the CD.
Sounds plausible to me ;)
 

4-2-7

Smart Ass Member
I used another 1990 vintage XL-IIS, with Dolby C this time to really try and push down any tape hiss
Don't go to crazy racking your brains to eliminate tape hiss on Folk Singer. You can hear the tape hiss from the original master tape they recorded on. It's clearly heard on the Classic Records and Analogue Production records made from that master tape. The hiss with this record pretty much goes hand in hand with the true analog sound quality. The dynamic range difference on this record is around 20db hitting transient peaks.
 
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