Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by waynenet, Oct 17, 2008.
Are half speed masters a thing of the past?
Stan Ricker still does his mastering in half-speed.
When I transfer 7.5 IPS reel tapes to CD I do it at 3.75 IPS and then use audacity to convert them to the correct speed... I do this out of pure necessity as the 7.5 function on my deck keeps malfunctioning.
Well this is not really the same thing. At 3.75 ips the response of most recorders is sub par. OTOH when a record is cut at half speed, the master is usually 30 ips or 15 ips and cutting that speed in half still allows a lot of high frequecny material to transfer.
Another issue is that the eq setup will be different when you cut the speed. In a professional mastering situation, the machine is alligned prior to playback to insure everything is right.
I'm a pretty big fan of 1/2 speed mastering, mainly because I feel it can make a significantly better transfer in regards to transient response and a few other factors. I know Steve is on record as not liking the process due to the change in tonality that he has discovered comparing the master tape to the 1/2 speed cut disc.
Is tonality purity more significant than the other benefits associated with 1/2 speed cutting? I guess that's an individual choice, but most don't have the ability to compare the cut to the master tape.
MFSL still cuts LPs at half speed.
They are still being produced!
Not only Stan Ricker, but a couple of others do it now and then. I believe Pure Pleasure has done some as well , one or 2 other companies do them now and then.
IIRC, Friday Music also masters at half speed.
So, in Other Words, I should get the 7.5 on my R2R tape deck fixed so that I can do transfers at the correct speed?
I'd say, if you want the best results.
I've done weird things before, but that was before technology gave me many options.
As an example, back in the mid 70's, Ralph Humphries (who played drums with Zappa) asked me if I could help him with some tapes he had from Frank's recent (at that time) Australian tour. These were sound board mixes and IIRC the engineer was Steve Despar.
The problems with the tapes was that they were the wrong speed. I had to copy these cassettes to 1/4" then use the vari-speed on one of my Revoxes and make a copy onto another Revox.
By the time I was done with this, I was able to correct the speed, but IMO the tapes didn't sound that great. For one, the eq was not right. Secondly they were very noisy.
Of course this would have been much easier to do today with modern digital editiing software. At least I could have saved the generational losses.
Also consider that many times in the studio engineers used VSO to change the tape speed to accomodate the range of a singer. Even when the speed was returned to normal the vocal almost always had a different sound.
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