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Tape Sound Quality
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lsid



Joined: 13 Feb 2012
Posts: 45

PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 1:01 pm    Post subject: Tape Sound Quality Reply with quote

Recently I have been getting back into tape and have been fairly unimpressed with the sound quality overall of a few releases. I got a few Mgla tapes and to me the sound quality is pretty poor.

Dodsengel's Imperator on the other hand sounds fantastic on tape though so it's got nothing to do with my deck. Can you guys recommend any other bands or albums where the tape version sounds really good?
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Fallen_Empire
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 1:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dub tapes are mostly dependent upon who did the dubbing. A lot of tape labels actually don't seem to give a shit about sending out tapes that sound awful.

If a pro-tape sounds bad though then its another issue entirely. Most places tend to produce sound that is as good as the master provided.
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thrashaholickyle



Joined: 14 Feb 2012
Posts: 58

PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 1:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I bought several tapes from Maltkross Productions and all them sound like shit. Really bad dubs.
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abbottur



Joined: 12 May 2010
Posts: 313
Location: Brisbane, Austra-ya

PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thrashaholickyle wrote:
I bought several tapes from Maltkross Productions and all them sound like shit. Really bad dubs.


I got mine from distros but the couple of maltkross albums Ive got have shit sound as well.
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dronevil



Joined: 25 May 2007
Posts: 1730
Location: New Zealand

PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fallen_Empire wrote:
Dub tapes are mostly dependent upon who did the dubbing. A lot of tape labels actually don't seem to give a shit about sending out tapes that sound awful.


The worst offenders are the ones that don't know how to use the gain knob on their tape decks, and the ones that use mono tape duplicators that were designed for speeches.
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the coming of blood angel



Joined: 05 Apr 2010
Posts: 496

PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Every Oriana tape that I've ordered has been dubbed like shit all of them are a key off. One of my Nokturnal Mortum tapes ended halfway through a track as well.

The recent reissue of the first Ungod LP to tape sounds like it was dubbed with the gain turned up all the way, so you can hear static the whole way through.

I have been impressed with the recent Inferna Profundus tapes, they sound great!
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thus



Joined: 26 Jul 2012
Posts: 278
Location: Western Canada

PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 6:55 pm    Post subject: Re: Tape Sound Quality Reply with quote

lsid wrote:
I got a few Mgla tapes and to me the sound quality is pretty poor.


I got their last album on tape and it sounds like shit.
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Descension



Joined: 31 May 2010
Posts: 3561

PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 7:29 pm    Post subject: Re: Tape Sound Quality Reply with quote

thus wrote:
lsid wrote:
I got a few Mgla tapes and to me the sound quality is pretty poor.


I got their last album on tape and it sounds like shit.

Use the CD or lossless files and redub the cassette using the audio IN on your tape deck.
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Emil Tibell



Joined: 07 Dec 2010
Posts: 184
Location: N.Y.

PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You should also consider investing in a QUALITY cassette deck. I used to listen to my tape collection on a shitty/cheap cassette player for years. Then I got a better cassette deck (a Tascam 202 mk IV), and I found the difference remarkable in how much better my tapes sounded all of a sudden... also, having a pitch control on your tape deck is the shit!
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Vega360



Joined: 15 Sep 2007
Posts: 483
Location: USA

PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 9:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As someone who actually runs a tape label and is currently spending a shitload of money to upgrade equipment just so everyone can shut up let me tell some secrets.

1. Most tapes sound like shit because the master I'll get will be a shitty mp3, or burned onto a CD-r. If it's burned onto a CD-r it is never separated by side etc and they shove as many as they can fit on there. If you copy directly from the CD each time (so you don't have to make a tape master of your entire stock) usually you have to take the master they give you rip it to your PC (which almost always causes errors to occur in the audio even if you rip as WAV's) or just go and download it from a blogsite when you get one you can't use.

No WAV on Data DVD-r or CD-r = less chances of actually getting a good sound.

Some/probably most labels may differ in their process (which is fine) however I always just copy from the CD each time I make one for a customer.

Analog tape masters are great unless somebody decided to put multiple releases onto the same side.....

2. Most tape versions of albums are sourced from CD rip's (so you have scuff on disc it affects the audio) because asking the band for their actually high quality master (if it exists) usually results in them having to do work, they might flake and say no. Hence your tape version of album isn't a free release and might not happen.

3. Masters in uncompressed sound formats usually don't exist for demos made by children who are more excited that something actually got recorded then if it sounds good. This is further compounded by most of them being clueless on how to mix anything or what compressing the audio does. It gets worse if they aren't using a windows PC... Many demo bands stay demo bands because there is simply no brain function in the skull cavity.

4. Good tapes/equipment is expensive. A worthwhile and mandatory investment it may be, but getting decks with the ability to copy to tapes beyond type I is expensive. Plus sites like tape.com don't exist in every country.

Home duplication generally sucks and is a hassle. Many people have been/should shift to pro production but that generally requires more money. While there are endless amounts of recordings made with all the heart in the world, how much money gets invested into production is a business decision.

Some labels are getting smarter and just making a small limited tape of their full-lengths for the retards out there that want to listen to stuff only on odd formats to be weird/to get people to stop asking to do tapes of it anyway.

In short, tapes are not a perfect science. Getting the best possible output requires effort, money, hard work and knowledge of the production process. As the black metal underground demonstrates daily (while there are many examples of great people who are the opposite of this) effort, money, hard work and knowledge of the production process are not commonplace.

Not to sound like the bad guy here as I do understand that high quality should be wanted/rewarded. But the process to get there isn't usually known unless you've tried it.
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Haunt In The Dark



Joined: 24 Oct 2009
Posts: 907
Location: Trve De Baal

PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 11:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To be honest, I've had my music pro-pressed on tape by three different factories, each with their own professional equipment, etc... and each time, the sound on the tapes came out as different from the .WAV master I sent them (when they didn't cut the beginning of a song or something...)

I mostly have problems with people who don't know how to dub tapes. I recently received a batch of tapes who were dubbed so low that I have to turn my amp's volume up to 5 to hear anything at all. 1 is usually enough to make the windows from my house shake... I don't mind small fuck-ups or crude sound much but having to do this also adds lots of extra tape hiss and makes the listening session rather unpleasant.

Besides that, I'll still keep buying tapes because I love them and they're the format I listen to the most.
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satanswheels



Joined: 25 Jun 2013
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 1:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Emil Tibell wrote:
You should also consider investing in a QUALITY cassette deck. I used to listen to my tape collection on a shitty/cheap cassette player for years. Then I got a better cassette deck (a Tascam 202 mk IV), and I found the difference remarkable in how much better my tapes sounded all of a sudden... also, having a pitch control on your tape deck is the shit!


agree with this, just got a quality tape deck in my car and it sounds 100 x better than the old one i've got at home, restored my faith in the lowly cassette!
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carbonized_ju



Joined: 29 Sep 2009
Posts: 361
Location: East of France

PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 5:00 am    Post subject: Re: Tape Sound Quality Reply with quote

Really interesting Vega360, thanks!

lsid wrote:
Can you guys recommend any other bands or albums where the tape version sounds really good?

CAULDRON BLACK RAM - The poisoner

The best sound I've heard on tape ! The sound's definition is as clear as a CD ! Really impressive !
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Vidar



Joined: 09 Aug 2011
Posts: 296
Location: Finland

PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 5:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

the coming of blood angel wrote:
Every Oriana tape that I've ordered has been dubbed like shit


This! My Nokturnal Mortum - ''Return of the Vampire Lord / Marble Moon'' tape haves 15min of Nightwish at the start..
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WerewolfPromotion



Joined: 25 Sep 2012
Posts: 118

PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 5:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The problem with many tape labels is they actually don't care about quality of dub. Must be understood by everyone, that person responsible for quality of dub is distributor dubbing the tape, not label which printed covers. Some people ask if my copies of some releases from other labels sounds good or bad. All dubbed here sounds great because i dub it here, from the other hand sometimes my releases comes from other labels with shitty dub or even without stickers prepared for them. Those things all obvious for some people, for other are surprising. Labels don't have at home 50.000 ready tapes just waiting to be sent Smile
So to write once. Important is who dub the tape, not who officially released the tape. Oriana, Maltkross or other from me sounds great, from some shitty distributor may sound like shit as well, if they use some kind of 5 usd cd/tape combo mobile for dubbing
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