Tape hiss?

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Ikey ites
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Tape hiss?

Post by Ikey ites » Fri Jan 02, 2009 2:30 pm

I am wondering how important people consider the tape hiss to be on a record, do we think that the digital advances in dub have made for better music, or does a tape machine, give you things that digital technology cannot?

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Neil C
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Post by Neil C » Fri Jan 02, 2009 3:35 pm


I think when tape was the only option everyone dreamt about there being no hiss, it was a thing to combatted.
I don't think I'd ever add hiss to music, although a recent soundbed I did benefited from having something that sounded like hiss. The ear sometimes likes to have spaces filled and hiss can do that. But I think you are better focused on doing a good performance, arrangement and mix to please the ear for music. But if you think hiss sounds good then have some in if you like it. As for it being important as part of the classic sound, I would say no.
When there was a vogue for crackle tracks to emulate vinyl back in the 90's (Portishead, Dreadzone etc. here in UK) they added the crackle but not hiss.

There are other characteristics of tape that are prized and people are very eager for a good software tape emulation.

One of the implications of tape only is that players have to know how to play and know what they they are playing (especially in cases where there was a limited track count and several players had to record to the same track) - there is less scope for editing on tape, often to the betterence of the performance being committed to it. In a DAW you know you can redo little bits and cut and paste takes as much as you like and it can lead to more sloppy input.
Last edited by Neil C on Thu Feb 12, 2009 12:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re; Tape Hiss

Post by Steppa » Thu Feb 12, 2009 8:57 am

Thanks Neil

Couldn't be said better!

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Post by Alert » Tue Jan 06, 2015 5:28 am

Sampled tape hiss can add some nice audio texture to digital tracks, IMO.


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