Digital to CASSETTE ANALOG , Back To Digital.

So I have heard stories of

People doing their stuff digital , record to some type of analog and then play that back into the digital capture.

and then doing all the EQ Stuff and REVERB stuff digitally.

Apparently that helps bring in that OLD Analog feel ?

But how is this possible ? Would I really being wasting my time doing this ?

Would I really being wasting my time doing this ?

Yes, but probably not the reason you think.

That works if you go back and forth with a large Ampex multi-channel reel-to reel machine where you pick up the head optimization, transfer characteristics and speed equalization in your sound. With the appropriate Dolby-A noise reduction (not B or C), you can make a fresh, crisp, live recording sound like an older studio recording with relatively little effort.

Going into and out of a cassette machine is a good way to turn your show into trash.


Yeah I thought the idea sounded DUMB :laughing: Only thing I would do is perhaps record on to analog to store it ? But even so to me that kind of degrades the quality of it.

But even so to me that kind of degrades the quality of it.

The Ampex machines produced distortion, but they got lucky in the distortion sounded OK. At that time, they would have killed to be able to get a bit-perfect transfers that I can do now on my oak desk with a Starbucks in one hand.

Also see: analog vacuum-tube guitar amplifiers. 6550/6L6 vacuum tubes overload with killer sound.

There are tools that allow you to simulate older equipment. I have seen “Robust Tube Sound” plugins and it’s not that much of a mystery. Vacuum tube, Transformer and Audiotape characteristics were published. It’s not good to have mysteries when you’re charging tons of money for a recording session.

There is one caution. Your production and archival storage should be in WAV (Microsoft), not MP3.

MP3 gets progressively worse as you edit and make new versions. If you play your cards right, you can make your performance sound like a bad cellphone.

Nobody wants to hear this, but you can do worlds of good by recording in a quiet room (assuming you’re acoustic recording). We can’t take echoes and reverb out of a recording and Noise Reduction is not a cure-all.


Yup no MP3 here lol.

Perhaps I will get the ABBY ROAD PLUGIN.

Audacity should accept VST plugins, but not all of them. If the plugin is graphics-heavy, Audacity will not be able to manage it and I don’t know any way to tell ahead of time. It’s worth calling them. I’ve gotten some good interaction with Sweetwater and I’m a customer.


Using Audacity. Scroll down.


My favorite plug-in for recreating the famous of vinyl “analog warmth” is iZotope Vinyl (which you can get for free) it’s quite fun to play with:

Easter-egg hint: try taking out the four “screws” at each corner of the GUI panel (just click on them) :sunglasses:


There’s a free tape-simulator VST here …
''IVGI 2'' saturation & distortion VST (free).gif
The effect is subtle: it simulates the (slight) distortions which occur by introducing tape & vacuum-tubes.
Those distortions can include an exciter-effect : adding harmonics which makes the sound brighter.