We disagree on this one a bit. I'd say "macro" or "gross" pitch adjustments should be done in the
analog domain but micro-tuning is usually done better digitally. Not always the case, some playback
machines can be hype-minute adjusted, but it's still a mechanical process in the end (pulling tape
over rollers and/or static guides in front of static heads). Heck, in some cases you might be able
to run the signal through the kind of auto-tuner that pop vocalists used and not suffer too many
sonic consequences. Obviously not the case for high-quality full-range high-fidelity recordings, but
those are the ones that don't usually have the off-speed tapes (not always the case, but mostly so).
Sonically, at least to my ears, it's not a "brutal" process to do it digitally. Again, where this
has been needed in my studio, the sources have not been high-quality professional music masters.
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "Richard L. Hess" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Friday, January 28, 2011 10:12 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Test tones circa 1978
> Hi, Tom,
> Azimuth, speed, and EQ need to be adjusted for each tape, if possible.
> Good resampling algorithms are fairly transparent, but if you don't have to do a brutal digital
> process, why do it? It all depends. One of my clients likes it that we can pitch the tapes for him
> in the analog domain.
> On 2011-01-28 8:30 PM, Tom Fine wrote:
>> Here's another question -- why does hyper-accuracy matter in the age of digital pitch correction?
>> Wow and flutter still matter, but if a tape transfers a few cents slow or fast, why not just
>> correct it in the digital realm? You'll probably do better there than relying on a mechanical
>> transport pulling tape to make a small speed adjustment.
>> Also, older tapes won't be hyper speed-accurate anyway. Old machines were more loosey-goosey even
>> when new and I'm sure every old-school person on this list has power-line-frequency horror
>> stories from back in the day.
>> To me, this is another one of those things where measurement and scientific processes only go so
>> far in regards to music, versus using trained ears (or a tuning fork) to make sure something
>> sounds in tune. And, knowing whether your machine is running exactly to speed is only so useful,
>> since you're at the mercy of the original recorder's speed accuracy when you're doing playback
>> for a transfer or dub.
> Richard L. Hess email: [log in to unmask]
> Aurora, Ontario, Canada (905) 713 6733 1-877-TAPE-FIX
> Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes.