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lo-fi tape recorder for wobble?
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Production Techniques Goto page 1, 2, 3  Next [all]
Author lo-fi tape recorder for wobble?
intellijel
I really like the technique that BoC have experimented with using crappy old tape decks to record onto in order to create really lo-fi warbled sound.

I have tried this before with various tape decks but most of the ones I have had access to were still too hi-fidelity or simple added hiss but not much interesting. (I even tried various micro cassette recorders)

I know that BoC specifically used a Grundik TK1 or TK5 tape recorder.

I was wondering if anyone could recommend small-ish old tape decks they have encountered that totally destroy audio?
dougcl
Does Canada have Goodwill?
rezzn8r
this thing has that sound in spades
http://zvex.com/junky.html
my buddy has one and every sample sounds like BoC
decaying.sine
+1 on the lo fi loop junky
XXXEsq
Thanks!!!!!
I was going to toss my old Dokorder 8140
Maybe not...
Babaluma
any modular delay with a cv input should allow wobbly delays. i use blacet time machines with a cgs psycho lfo for exactly this. it gives you the wobbly effect, but not really the "tape sound".
intellijel
Babaluma wrote:
any modular delay with a cv input should allow wobbly delays. i use blacet time machines with a cgs psycho lfo for exactly this. it gives you the wobbly effect, but not really the "tape sound".


"wobble" is really just one of the adjectives I would you use. In general I want it to be naturally random, warm, hissy and partially degraded.


Lo-fi loop junky thing looks interesting but I bet it costs a lot compared to an old tape recorder.[/i]


UPDATE: Ouch $370??? That is about $350 more than a tape recorder that would do close to the same thing for my purposes.
felix
FWIW, I would spend a little more than a cheap recorder and pickup a used Tascam 38 or some 4 to 8 track recorder. You can use it for your wobbling purposes (just vary slight pressure to the edge of the feed reel) *and* you can print stereo stems to it from a DAW to get some nice "tapeiness" to the sound.

If you're not so worried about fidelity, there's no need to keep buying more tape either, which is probably the only downside to tape machines these days.
Roycie Roller
Have a look on ebay for an old reel to reel 2 track (stereo), the cheapest types. You can make your own loops by sticking a length of tape together to form a continuous piece- make ones with LONG bits of tape that run around a pole outside the tape deck & you can touch it, stretch it, wobble it, etc. They often sell with old tapes included, & you can degrade the tape by lots of overdubbing or scratching & splicing.
I've seen them on ebay for $50 or less.
DGTom
Reel to Reel is gonna make it easier, the trick is to manipulate the tape during playback & record, not just hit record, rewind, play, that won't do much as you've found.

Record & leave your tapes in the sun for abit.

Playback & Record with a fast fan blowing on the tape, this is better if you can rig up a longer, windy path for the tape to take, use a few mic stands & helping hands to send the tape on a mission!

I used to use a pair of SONY Tapecorders (sic) these were cool tabletop type units; speakers in front, & you could lay them back to front & send tape from one source reel, in record, around to the other machines take up reel via the playback head, could also do loops this way... I busted my back in artschool doing a few installations with them.

Paid $5 for one from a junk shop, got the 2nd for free from a friends old school... had some killer tapes with it as well of old choir practices... proper scary pitched down.

Also, don't believe what artists say as being the full story, judcious use of tremlo & vibrato guitar pedals during this process will most likely help alot thumbs up
Cat-A-Tonic
I love my Sony Cassette-corder TCM-400.
It has a switch and a knob for changing the speed of tape feed while recording and playing back.
They only cost about $40 new.
rezzn8r
DGTom wrote:

Manipulate the tape during record

Record & leave your tapes in the sun for abit.

Playback & Record with a fast fan blowing on the tape

rig up a longer, windy path for the tape to take

judcious use of tremlo & vibrato guitar pedals


most excellent suggestions. it's all about finding ways to change the dynamic between tape and head.
BugBrand
Perhaps even one of those mini-tape dictaphones -- I think that you can shake them to get them to wobble? Always meant to get one myself but never got around to it. They're also fun with fast-forwarding and maybe sometimes have speed-switches. Oh, and one thing people do is hold the speaker over a guiatar pickup - that's always an interesting tone control method.
futuresoundsystems
You might want to check some of the tape loops here out. They were made using conventional tape cassettes and cheap tape recorders.
drewtoothpaste
You might also try recording sound to cassette tape and then crinkling, stretching, or lightly sandpapering the tape itself- this'll actually degrade the sound and not just change the playback speed. Never did this with reel tape, but it works well on cassette.

I did this a lot on an album I put out in 2001 - didn't have much gear then and used the tape thing along with distortion/filter boxes made from salvaged gear to destroy drums/pads. You can hear it best in "furchtrommel", not that you can hear anything particularly clearly as the album was recorded to 4-track cassette tape... http://www.amazon.com/World-Domination/dp/B0016XFBJ0/
intellijel
dougcl wrote:
Does Canada have Goodwill?


yup and equivalents... I should start frequenting these and garage sales. Probably better luck there than pawn shops.
deastman
You can also just try bouncing back and forth between multiple tape decks a few times, for more extreme degradation. I'm pretty sure BoC does this.
science
I discovered a new method of messed up tape recording as a result of the currently painful temperatures in Chicago.

Put an old cassette recorder out in the cold (ideally, < 15F) for a while. Once it's frozen all the way through, start recording MY ASS IS BLEEDING
Lyonel
science wrote:
Put an old cassette recorder out in the cold (ideally, < 15F) for a while. Once it's frozen all the way through, start recording MY ASS IS BLEEDING

lol
nsputnik
You should be able to get this effect with a vibrato pedal. Boss made a good one called the VB-2 but only for a couple years in the 80's. There are mods you can do to current Boss pedals like the CE-5 or PS-5. Or you can make a VB-2 clone with this kit. http://www.buildyourownclone.com/vibrato.html
wetterberg
I use a plugin... sounds bloody awesome.(hides)
Babaluma
yeah the freeware "classic delay" sounds very similar to my old re-201 if you put it in "tape" mode and turn the "quality" down really low. have used it on whole mixes before for an analogue old school wobbly vibe.

http://www.kjaerhusaudio.com/classic-delay.php
wetterberg
the one I use is so awesome... you'll want quite subtle settings though, I find the human ear to be extremely susceptible to wow and flutter. Speaking of which, here it is:
http://www.interruptor.ch/vst_overview.shtml
- it's called... Wow and Flutter smile
Lyonel
This seems to be a nuanced Plug ! Too bad, it's only PC/VST.
On the Mac side, with Soundtoys (Tremolator/Echoboy) i think you may be well armed for this kind of things.
wetterberg
Lyonel wrote:
This seems to be a nuanced Plug ! Too bad, it's only PC/VST.
On the Mac side, with Soundtoys (Tremolator/Echoboy) i think you may be well armed for this kind of things.
I don't think either of those does vibrato...?

This one is for mac:
http://www.kvraudio.com/get/3538.html

- combine that with a little bit of saturation and high cut and you're good to go.
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