FDP Home Page / FDP Forum / FAQ's

The FDP is made possible by the following companies and individual members like you.
Please use the links below to show them we value their sponsorship.

Musician's Friend

Yellowjackets Tube Converters

Amplified Parts


Advertise here

WD Music

Antique Electronics Supply

Jensen Loudspeakers


Guitar Center

Apex Tube Matching

* God bless America and our men and women in uniform *

* Illegitimi non carborundum! *

If you benefit and learn from the FDP and enjoy our site, please help support us and become a Contributing Member or make a Donation today! The FDP counts on YOU to help keep the site going with an annual contribution. It's quick and easy with PayPal. Please do it TODAY!

Chris Greene, Host & Founder



Find musicians
in your area!
  Search the Forums  

FDP Forum / Home Recording Forum / Otari Acoustic guitar test...


U.S. - Virginia

May 16th, 2015 06:50 PM   Edit   Profile  

So I realized why channel two wasnt working. Probably at some point someone had messed with the record eq and bias knobs - the bias was all the way down. Without measuring anything, I just set the knobs to be the same as channel 1.

I really am disappointed in my converters here.

I know there is a big debate about analog vs digital, and personally my stance is that if you have good converters, digital is fine. It records exactly what the mic hears. People werent used to that when it came out. Analog adds allot - phase anomalies, crosstalk, distortion, eq shifts, compression(wow and flutter with tape) - the list goes on.

I digress,

Tape is allot more work than digital for sure. Its expensive, too. It's also not "better" if you ask me. Just different. It can certainly make things sound heavenly.

I put this acoustic track out of the Otari in through my Vintech 573 switched to line level for some "warmth" on the way in.

However, when listening straight into my monitors with the Otari - it's still "better" sounding, to me.

I really would like to transfer this to digital via some Lynx Aurora's or some other ridiculously true-to-source converters, and see what I hear. Perhaps the straight tape to monitors would then be indiscernible from the transfer.

In any case I added some verb in the DAW. This is a pretty damn clean machine in its sound(as well as this ampex 407 mastering tape)

Edited to bleep my frustration F's. lol.

Otari Acoustic Test

(This message was last edited by Achase4u at 10:28 PM, May 16th, 2015)

Contributing Member


Too Much GAS
May 17th, 2015 09:22 AM   Edit   Profile  

It certainly does sound good.


LA-la-land, CA

Insert clever comment here
May 27th, 2015 12:04 PM   Edit   Profile  

What about just running it through the Otari without actually rolling tape, just to get that analog saturation?


U.S. - Virginia

May 27th, 2015 01:32 PM   Edit   Profile  

You could go straight through the monitoring section, but it sounds much different without the tape, as this is a late 70s very clean sounding design. So there's not much to be had there.

I was actually stunned at how clean this machine sounds. A band posted their results going through a console to pro tools and simultaneously going to the Otari (just the 2 bus stereo track) - the results are stunning at how close they are. What you hear is just a pinch of that harmonic from the tape and some bass punch. Its crazy subtle when properly set up. The digital is definitely a little clearer.

I wonder how much tape is worth it, though? I mean, a little inventive eq etc can give you that fatness. The harmonics can be generated otherwise. I know tape is unique, but unless its an old machine, gosh is it subtle.

Here is the file I speak of - it starts out Otari, then at 1:05 it switches seamlessly to digital, then back to Otari at 1:35.

Otari Test White Rabbits

Contributing Member

USA, Lubbock

Anybody got a band-aid?
May 28th, 2015 07:00 PM   Edit   Profile  

It is very subtle. If you hadn't given me the times then I wouldn't have ever noticed.

I'm not sure what you are talking about completely, but it sounds interesting.


U.S. - Virginia

May 28th, 2015 09:21 PM   Edit   Profile  

The thing to really listen to in my opinion is the bass guitar fatness and punchyness, as well as the kick drum. Then on the very very tip top air of the track. Mostly down low, though. That third harmonic "thickens the sauce" just a little. Kind of a dirtyness/chewyness. Hard to put into words.

When it goes digital, the bass and kick drum seem to be less fat, and more "singular" in its frequencies - mostly fundamental tones. Cleaner and with more space.

Many people rave about tape - and it's true, it has a sound - but it's because of non-linear artifacts, phase shifts, crosstalk, compression(also non-linear in dynamics and freqency) as well as some eq shifts - a 50hz head bump at 15 inches per second - and some even order harmonics from transformers on older machines. The newer late 70s designs and Otari's were nearly transformerless as perfect audio capture was always the goal. Once GP9 came out in 1998, tape really was at its zenith - unfortunately at the exact same time it was on its way out, quickly.

The example in the White Rabbits song is actually a little more obvious than others, in my opinion. I heard a track using wonderful A/D/A converters vs a Studer with GP9 tape - and it was really hard to tell at all. The digital captured the high frequencies more.

I used a program called Foobar 2000 with an ABX module to test myself in a double blind fashion. It plays 4 files. A, B which are the two files, and X, Y which are the same two files, but you have no idea whats what. I could only match them 7 out of 16 excruciating trials. The probability I was guessing was 77%.

Tape does demand a different session workflow, which I do think is great in the world of pro tools when so many youngsters have never had to play a song straight through with their band to record.

(This message was last edited by Achase4u at 11:30 PM, May 28th, 2015)

Contributing Member

USA, Lubbock

Anybody got a band-aid?
May 29th, 2015 05:02 PM   Edit   Profile  

You've referred to a converter multiple times. I can only assume this means getting the tape to a digital format on playback.


U.S. - Virginia

May 29th, 2015 05:49 PM   Edit   Profile  

You are correct. The analog voltage signal must be converted into the computer and to be played back it must be converted again for the speakers to understand the program material.


U.S. - Virginia

May 29th, 2015 05:49 PM   Edit   Profile  


(This message was last edited by Achase4u at 07:50 PM, May 29th, 2015)

FDP Forum / Home Recording Forum / Otari Acoustic guitar test...

Reply to this Topic
Display my email address             Lost your password?
Your Message:
Link Address (URL):
Link Title:

Moderators: Chris Greene  Iron Man  reverendrob  

FDP, LLC Privacy Policy: Your real name, username, and email
are held in confidence and not disclosed to any third parties, sold, or
used for anything other than FDP Forum registration unless you specifically authorize disclosure.

Internet Application Development

Copyright © 1999-2018 Fender Discussion Page, LLC   All Rights Reserved