Thursday, June 16, 2005

Analog Mastering?

Well after my seeming dismay at the state of digital audio I have started to explore the analog realm a little again.

I've experimented with bouncing down the 24 bit 48 kHz mixes processed through Ozone 3 to the SX-980's AUX input and recording onto the Pioneer RT-707. Funny I have managed to scrounge these two pieces of vintage audio equipment. I had the Reel to Reel for years and M2 broguht the SX-980 by the other day. So I am well on my way of putting together a "silver face" 70's vintage system. I also bought a JVC KD-10 Cassette deck. Not fancy by any means just a solid classic deck and I also have coming a 79' vintage Hitachi turntable. Nothing fancy their but it's direct drive and seems like a solid unit.

Pioneer Model SX-980 Details Page on

Pioneer Model RT-707 Details Page on

I am playing these units through some simple vintage Kenwood two way speakers. they sound surprisingly good. They handle 100 Watts and the SX-980's 80 watts per side send a delightful signal to these low Kenwoods.

Well any way I have some new Qauntegy 456 1/4" tape on the way and I have already did a little repair work on the RT-707. The left recording input RCA jack had broken loose from the PC board. I attempted to solder it back but it failed to fix the issue without wedging a cassette tape case in the back to keep pressure on the jack. So I guess I will try todo a more thorough
fix another time. It works

I recorded a test track by playing "Shove" on the Mac and running the signal from the MOTU 828 to the AUX input on the SX-980 and recording it with the RT. So far it is quite interesting. I can only think of non-fatiguing. Something has for sure happened to the sound and it is not bad by any meams. The sound though slightly more bassy (the stereo is more bassy as the speakers sit on the hard floor) it is "warm" well defined and actaully quite smooth. Running the tape at 7 ips (the highest speed without changing the speed knob) the songs takes on a classic sound that is quite pleaseing. the next step will be to return that recording back to the Mac as a 24 bit/48 kHz stereo file and do some analysis of the same song . If it not a big hassle and the organic analog tone is acceptable then maybe we'll master all the tracks like that. Hard ot say.

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