how we and it roll

the only computer at base 2 studios is my iphone

We’ve been spending some time working with my good friend Ed again lately on his music which is always fun and a good challenge, partly because we record straight to tape. When people compare recording things digitally to recording in an analogue tape fashion, they talk a lot about some pretty nebulous stuff like the amount of “depth” the tape provides to the tracks, and the warmth it gives the music. I agree for sure, but the biggest difference is to me is how you have to actually play a complete take of a song. What I mean is with digital capabilities nowadays anyone with a Mac can fire up garage band, spend 2 hours recording 30 different guitar parts to their song, stitch them together and voila, it’s a 3 and a half minute song. To do that in tape format is pretty darn near impossible, unless you have a near microscopic eye and the cutting ability of a neurosurgeon.

Like Vegas, what goes on the tape stays on the tape whether you like it or not. If my time is off a little bit in the chorus of a song, but the rest of the band played an amazing performance, chances are I’m getting overruled and it stays how it is. Although really frustrating sometimes, tape recording puts a little of the magic and the craft back into recording a song, because you actually record a song, not a part or a bar at a time. The jury is still out for me on whether it sounds “better” per se, but to me it’s a whole lot more musical. That added bit of pressure steps everyone’s game and concentration level up a notch and makes for some real magic moments.

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