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Retro Reel Tape Effect

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I freaked out when I heard that Helix 3.10 had a tape saturation effect with Retro Reel.  Doing a lot of home studio recording, more often than not I would add a tape saturation plugin to guitar tracks.  Tape plugins bring a nice "3D" quality to digital tracks.   I've been wanting an effect like that in the Helix for sometime now. To the point I was considering buying a JHS Color Box to put in the chain somehow. 

 

The Retro Reel is an exciting development.   

 

In my findings briefly testing it out, if you use the Saturation subtly it pronouncedly raises the mids. I'm not one for super scooped mids, but additional controls in the effect for that frequency would be nice.  I like that includes selectable tape speeds 7.5,15, and 30 IPS. That shows Line 6 was interested in the nuances of tape effects. I'll have to do more experimenting with the relation of saturation and textures levels to each other, and see if I can find a magical combination.

 

 

With it being listed as a modulation effect, I don't know if Line 6 made it for the exact purpose I use tape plugins, but I'm excited to experiment and see if I could make it a nice "Pixy dust" finisher at the end of the chain. 

 

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I played with this briefly this morning.  I created a new preset to jam on some Night Ranger, and through a TS808 in front of the 2204 Mod with dual 25/v30 cab, and the Retro Reel....had to add the Horizon Gate to tame hiss like crazy.  

 

 

Does the Retro Reel seem hissy or noisy?  

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1 hour ago, themetallikid said:

I played with this briefly this morning.  I created a new preset to jam on some Night Ranger, and through a TS808 in front of the 2204 Mod with dual 25/v30 cab, and the Retro Reel....had to add the Horizon Gate to tame hiss like crazy.  

 

 

Does the Retro Reel seem hissy or noisy?  

 

I wonder, since it's supposed to simulate a tape recording if that's just the way it is. Maybe adds to the sound without perceiving/hearing it? kind of like how 60 cycle hum is supposed to add to some amps sound.

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59 minutes ago, themetallikid said:

Does the Retro Reel seem hissy or noisy?  

 

You are probably young. :) that hiss it's the fingerprint of a magnetic tape, and mostly caused by the layer of magnetic particles, that are the active part on a tape surface.

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1 hour ago, themetallikid said:

Does the Retro Reel seem hissy or noisy?  

 

Not if you have ever used a 1'' Reel to Reel machine. That's what tape sounds like.

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Any volunteers to create a demo of  crackling, dusty vinyl? ;)

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Wait, you can do tape and vinyl? OK ... I want to model an album left out in the sun, and you have to tape a quarter over your stylus to play it. And the spindle hole was punched off center.

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I'm not that young, 43, probably just less experienced in true 'studio' magic and tricks of the trade.  That thought did cross my mind that it would just be the general sort of tape hiss/white noise sorta sound.  I didnt really spend a tone of time with it, just something I noticed while dialing in a quick preset waiting for my daughter to get ready for school.  

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3 hours ago, cruisinon2 said:

Any volunteers to create a demo of  crackling, dusty vinyl? ;)

 

No crackling vinyl yet on Helix... I'm using Time Machine to do that stuff.. :P

 

03-DF93-AF-ACF6-483-C-904-F-8-B3-D8-F982

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40 minutes ago, soundog said:

I want to model an album left out in the sun, and you have to tape a quarter over your stylus to play it. And the spindle hole was punched off center.


Plus, as an option, a badly stored reel of tape that has “print-through” when played back.  ;-)

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Ha. All of my old 1/4" 8-track (for Fostek deck) and 4-track (Sony deck) are starting to flake. I've gotta digitize them before its too late! I'm not a fan of hiss, but I do like the saturation, compression, and eq of tape. Some of the DAW plug-in tape emulations are quite good, so I'm interested in hearing how the Helix Reel-to-Reel sounds.

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2 hours ago, soundog said:

Wait, you can do tape and vinyl? OK ... I want to model an album left out in the sun, and you have to tape a quarter over your stylus to play it. And the spindle hole was punched off center.

 

As long as we're hitching a ride on the Wayback Machine then let's go full vintage and add a wire recording effect.  Seriously though the Retro Reel is a great addition.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wire_recording

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3 hours ago, themetallikid said:

I'm not that young, 43, probably just less experienced in true 'studio' magic and tricks of the trade.  That thought did cross my mind that it would just be the general sort of tape hiss/white noise sorta sound.  I didnt really spend a tone of time with it, just something I noticed while dialing in a quick preset waiting for my daughter to get ready for school.  

Were you cranking the saturation when hearing that hiss?

 

Past a certain point, the Saturation will turn "fizzy"

 

I'm using the effect very subtly.

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2 hours ago, soundog said:

All of my old 1/4" 8-track (for Fostek deck) and 4-track (Sony deck) are starting to flake. I've gotta digitize them before its too late!


A few years ago, a friend and I were asked to transfer a bunch of rather old multi-track reels into the digital realm. Needless to say, they were in such a bad state that we needed to “bake” them before we could use them - tricky and not for the faint hearted. Don’t want to try that again.
 

I also found large aluminium flightcase containing about 50 cassette 4 track tapes, probably around 30 years old. Strangely enough getting the audio off those wasn’t too bad - it involved a lot of head cleaning and de-magnetising, but it worked. Sadly, neither adventure revealed any world shaking recordings - just something to embarrass a few folks who thought they could be the next big thing.

 

C’est la vie.

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2 hours ago, HonestOpinion said:

 

As long as we're hitching a ride on the Wayback Machine then let's go full vintage and add a wire recording effect.  Seriously though the Retro Reel is a great addition.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wire_recording

 

I have an old Webster-Chicago wire recorder that I refurbished. It still works, and seems like black magic. When I bought it, it came with a bunch of wire reels and there were recordings of a preacher's sermons on them. Kinda spooky....

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26 minutes ago, datacommando said:


A few years ago, a friend and I were asked to transfer a bunch of rather old multi-track reels into the digital realm. Needless to say, they were in such a bad state that we needed to “bake” them before we could use them - tricky and not for the faint hearted. Don’t want to try that again.
 

I also found large aluminium flightcase containing about 50 cassette 4 track tapes, probably around 30 years old. Strangely enough getting the audio off those wasn’t too bad - it involved a lot of head cleaning and de-magnetising, but it worked. Sadly, neither adventure revealed any world shaking recordings - just something to embarrass a few folks who thought they could be the next big thing.

 

C’est la vie.

 

Too bad those tapes didn't have some early tune scratchings of Neil Young or Elliot Smith or ??. Or communications with the spirit world.

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