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Posted on Monday, July 22, 2002 - 10:16 pm:   

I am a music lover and dj from vienna (austria). after going trough an initial phase of jungle and triphop i am getting more and more fascinated with Dub music.
I allready learnt from the Dub Scrolls which equipment is needed for dubbing.
To actually find these "antiques" it would be helpful to have a list of typical brands/models. I am specifically interrested in effects and tape machines.

Greetings & Respect from Vienna

[this post is the translation of a german e-mail I got yesterday - The Interruptor]

Posted on Monday, July 22, 2002 - 10:46 pm:   

Some of the machines which were used to achieve the typical Dub sound of the seventies are:

Tape delay: Roland Space Echo (re-201) There was a whole line of roland tape delays (re-201, re-301, re-501..)

Phaser: Mutron Bi-Phase link1,link2

Reverb: Fisher K-10 Spacexpander (spring reverb)
Hard to find outside of the USA. Only works on 110V (get a step down converter to use on 220V)

Can't help you with infos on tape machines. (I'm using hard-disk recording only)

Allways keep in mind however that it's really your musical skills and inspiration that will let you create something new and not the machines alone..

Mike Zee
Posted on Tuesday, July 23, 2002 - 03:36 am:   

If really wish to use analog-tape multi-track recorder and all the tricks and techniques which "comes with it", then check trough Tascam/Teac machines. Otari also are good machines, but harder to find and usually more expansive. Fostex used to make pretty good ones, but I personally do not have any experience/nor info.
So, to be 'safe' you can go for Tascam reel-to-reel 4 or better 8 tracks, well there are 16 track models. Go fo 1/2 inch tape!
Here's example:
Tascam TSR-8
Tascam TSR-8

You can find similar machines on ebay.com, well you'll have to take a risk buying something which is used and you do not have a chance to actually check out. So, of course it's better if you find somebody locally selling the machine, so you can come, see and pick it up, also saving a few bucks on shipping cost, which may turn out like $50-100 or soo with heavy gear like this, plus you may have to pay insurance...

As I can see, more and more dub producers switching to using digital multitrack recording (stand alone HD-Recording systems or computer-based HD-recording, and having multi-analog-output sound-card setup) instead of analog tape multi-track recorders. Well, some of them will never give analog up :)

/Mike Zee

Posted on Tuesday, July 23, 2002 - 05:01 am:   

The way I've heard it described, as far as analog decks go, Otari's machines overlap with the higher end of Teac/TASCAM's line. Fostex is thought to meet or even be sub-par to the low-end TASCAM gear.

I myself have a very analog studio setup, with my computer being the only digital component. I mix to my computer so that I can process the final mixes with soundforge and burn them to cdr.

I would say that the name brands dont matter as much as the capabilities of your particular gear. Do through research and you can find something to suit your needs.


Mike Zee
Posted on Tuesday, July 23, 2002 - 07:26 pm:   

Otari MX-5050 (there are few models/mk(s)),
or shall I say 'there were' few models :(

sort of dabster's dream, well, it depends nowdays...


/Mike Zee

Posted on Thursday, October 09, 2003 - 09:14 pm:   

I am an electronic musician who composes very organic tracks, dubbish ambient organic stuff using an ESI 4000 sampler, 2 keyboards, a multivoxx multiecho (a tape echo much like roland's space echo), also an ibanez analog effects processor which has delay, parametric eq, compressor, and chorus, and on the way in the mail now is an otari mx5050 2 track reel to reel tape machine. i do my composing on computer and keyboard, record everything in, do some mastering and layering digitally, ect, soon i will be dumping my master mixes to my otari mx5050 just to get that tape commpression sound that is unmistakable. the tape echo and the ibanez UE 405 make a huge difference in the tone quality of my keyboards. its also very important to write over the sounds that come preset on your keyboard, read the manual and learn how to adjust, tweak, and rewrite the sounds on your keyboard. if ever possible, record some real drum sounds onto a reel to reel tape machine and then sample them into your software, the loud recording onto tape creates a unique gritty fat drum sound that sounds like a true "break", something like the drums from james brown or king tubby.
a) analog effects and external gear(prefferably analog or virtual analog at least)
b) recording raw hand played tracks, including drum tracks....unquantized. the real dub lag in the drums usually does not fall on the quantized bars, so play tracks in via midi or w an external device (ie mpc2000)
c) remember more is NOT better, learn to work subtractively and know when to leave parts out of a mix...w new software its easy to just keep adding and adding till you have a big mess.
d) be very choosy with your sounds, if you don't have a real tape echo or any analog effects, you're not screwed, its also important to take the digital hiss out of your sounds w eq and or filter, to craft your sounds to sound warm and full instead of thin and synthy. some tricks: run sounds through distortion, but with only about a 5-10 percent wet mix, so just a little distortion bleeds through. compress it too to sound extra fat. sometimes recording one track of notes/tones can be duplicated to another track of the same midi notes that can be assigned to a different patch, making the 2 sounds combine to form a new sound...adjust volumes and be careful with eqing remember not to fill up your mix.

i am the deep sea dub smuggler.
reach me at deepsearesearch@hotmail.com if you are an experienced dub engineer/producer who is down w hip hhop, trip hop, dub, fuunk, afrobeat, ambient, idm ,ect. all these are influences to me.

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