Tape Recording Studio London South
Here at the Coolest Recording Studio In London Town – we got all manner of capture devices – from high end soundcards to old school tape machines. Our fave tape recorder is our Soundcraft SCM381B 1 inch 8 track tape machine – which we purchased in the early 90’s from the Corbett family – who used it to record the Sooty Show !!!
This model was also used by Sly & the Family Stone to record all manner of Funk gold back in the 70’s, & also by classic rock band Foreigner.
It has been in storage for the last 20 years as tape got really expensive to buy (It’s approx £150.00 for 30 mins run time) – lucky we found a chap on ebay selling a bunch of hardly used stock – which we snapped up double pronto! So now it will be considerably cheaper for our artists to get that beautiful tape compression into their albums & singles.
We all love digital recording – it’s super high quality – it’s easy – & non destructive editing makes it mighty quick to use – & to get well edited results ready for mixing.
So why do bands & engineers all have a soft spot for tape recording?
Well …….. mainly it’s because in the digital realm you’re actually recording binary code – which is 1’s & 0’s – & yeah – a hard drive is much cheaper & easier to store than tape – but tape – Tape records actual sine waves – actual music – the stuff that puts shivers down your spine.
Recording Studio Magic
Also in recording studios you’re limited to the speed you can work with tape – you have to rewind the thing to punch in overdubs – you only usually get 30 minutes per reel, so you have to do a lot more forward planning to make sure that what you track (record) is near to what you want the finished record to sound like.
Also – it makes the band think more like a whole unit – limited tracks mean limited trial & error – it’s expensive to just try stuff & see how it’ll turn out – which makes the artist think really hard about all aspects of their music – which is not common these days – it’s generally left up to the modern producer to iron out all the defects on modern music.
Which is lazy – & a bit sad.
Mainly – the reason to use tape though – is the sound.
Everything sounds beautiful recorded onto tape – & different types of tape (we have 3 different makes) all have their own character & eq characteristics. Our Soundcraft tapes sound full fat & rich – our Sony tape is tight & punchy (think Motown) – this new tape we just bought sounds somewhere in the middle & is probably the favourite.
Tape also seems to absorb all the bad frequencies from an audio source – so all the harshness from vocalists disappears, all the nasal whinyness from guitars is gone – all the nasty high mid shriek from cymbals is replaced by something sweet, rich & beautiful.
Lucky so & so’s that we are – we also have a huge variety of microphone preamplifiers – which also shape the tone of whatever the microphone is capturing – valve pre’s are rich warm & lovely – solid state pre’s are sharper, more defined with bigger headroom – they all have their place in the recording chain.
So – we may well be the last medium sized studio in London Town to offer tape recording – which is a bit sad for all the Jazz, Blues, Classical, Classic Rock & Soul artists out there. For sure we’re the cheapest tape based recording studio – which is why producers doing expensive major artist records come visit us for a couple of days to get the tape vibe into their current projects.
So – more next week kids – for now we’ll leave you with a live recording video we did using our amazing Vortexion tube mic pre – as used by Joe Meek & the Who!