VHS Experimentation
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Old 22-12-2012, 07:26 AM   #1
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VHS Experimentation

Becoming obsessed with the tape sound, with guys like boc/comtruise/lone creating such a nostalgic feel to their music i was wondering if anyone had tried manipulating vhs tape and i was curious if there is a certain way to get the result im looking for. ive been trying to physical warp the tape which has given me some cool effects just looking for anyone with more experience to point me in the right direction thanks!
The sounds in this song are of a particular interest to me... /watch?v=KmUBkuzTZ8Q its airliner-illuminism

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Old 24-12-2012, 09:13 PM   #2
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Re: VHS Experimentation

Haven't tried it because I don't have the hardware but I'm looking to create synths that sound like the song you posted. I love SynethesiaFilms lol

You should checkout "Daylight Rain"

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Old 24-12-2012, 09:19 PM   #3
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Re: VHS Experimentation

i dont have the hardware , but i usually use bit reduction , lowpassing , and white noise on top

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Old 24-12-2012, 09:28 PM   #4
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Re: VHS Experimentation

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Originally Posted by essenthy View Post
i dont have the hardware , but i usually use bit reduction , lowpassing , and white noise on top
you forgot about pitch flutter/wow/jitter!

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Old 24-12-2012, 09:31 PM   #5
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Re: VHS Experimentation

I'm not saying it sounds like real (or reel) tape...but you can get some wounderful sounds with the right EQ, filtering, saturation, distortion, bitcrushing, wow/flutter etc, modeled old compressors...etc. BE SUBTLE above all.

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Old 25-12-2012, 02:29 AM   #6
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Re: VHS Experimentation

Yeah I have a VCR and have done some stuff like that before, all my tapes are pretty old at this point though, need to snag some more (if they even sell them in dept stores anymore..may have to go to radio shack or something. I do like how it makes it have that BoC like detune effect.
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Old 25-12-2012, 04:19 AM   #7
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Re: VHS Experimentation

You could try using old tapes. I've done some stuffs with cassettes and the old tapes definitely warp the sound/detune more.
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Old 02-01-2013, 12:56 PM   #8
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Re: VHS Experimentation

i tried recording some synths on VHS and then bouncing it back. It was great!! It works wonder especially if the cassette is pretty ruined; this provides some happy accidents! Anyway if you're looking for that sound you should go also for some digital processing like fluttering, saturation, compression, bandpassing.

I use this plugin [Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]

It costs only 50$ and it's very flexible and effective.

If you're a reaktor user there're some intresting free ensambles in the comunity library for that BoC sound

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Old 02-01-2013, 07:27 PM   #9
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Re: VHS Experimentation

you can do all of that out of the box processing if you like, and I thing the approach is cool, but by automating a delay plugin that "repitches" while you affect the delay time you will be all set for "wow and flutter"


automate the delay time from 0 to about 12-15ms over a long time and back, like a slow LFO. Introduce some automation that breaks up the monotony of the slow LFO so it sounds less "automated"... you know, introduce a little bit of "chaos".

You'll want no feedback and you'll want it set 100% wet.

if its not an "analog" delay plugin, you may want to follow it with a LPF or eq to roll off the highs a bit, and a subtle saturator.

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Old 02-01-2013, 07:36 PM   #10
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Re: VHS Experimentation

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Originally Posted by chasedestroy View Post
you can do all of that out of the box processing if you like, and I thing the approach is cool, but by automating a delay plugin that "repitches" while you affect the delay time you will be all set for "wow and flutter"


automate the delay time from 0 to about 12-15ms over a long time and back, like a slow LFO. Introduce some automation that breaks up the monotony of the slow LFO so it sounds less "automated"... you know, introduce a little bit of "chaos".

You'll want no feedback and you'll want it set 100% wet.

if its not an "analog" delay plugin, you may want to follow it with a LPF or eq to roll off the highs a bit, and a subtle saturator.
This is then bounce to VHS

I'm actually going to give this a go on my percussion stems next time around.

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Old 02-01-2013, 10:42 PM   #11
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Re: VHS Experimentation

I will tell you that I have an old tascam 4 track cassette recorder and I once made a quick little techno beat and then recorded it out of ableton onto cassette and it sounded allot better except for the tape hiss. Something happens and the sound is compressed together nicely and it almost has a vinyl like feel.
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Old 05-01-2013, 12:07 PM   #12
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Re: VHS Experimentation

I used to work a lot with tapes, back in the early 90's... You can definitely get a lot of analog warmth and gain by recording digital stuff onto a tape desk. The result is probably more lo-fi with and unpredictable with a VHS, tho.

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Old 06-01-2013, 08:57 PM   #13
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Re: VHS Experimentation

I've been thinking about this thread, so i opted to pull out my old cassette 4 track to try processing some beats.

I'm not sure its doing a whole lot for me TBH.

I can hear some compression happening, and I can definitely hit the tape hard enough to break it up and cause distortion...

I think I'll keep processing in the box... or maybe I need to find some shittier tapes.

bear in mind, this is cassette i'm talking about, I've rarely had the chance to record to proper tape, actually I've only done so once, and this was in the late 90's before I knew what to be listening for.

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Old 06-01-2013, 09:04 PM   #14
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Re: VHS Experimentation

Quote:
Originally Posted by chasedestroy View Post
I've been thinking about this thread, so i opted to pull out my old cassette 4 track to try processing some beats.

I'm not sure its doing a whole lot for me TBH.

I can hear some compression happening, and I can definitely hit the tape hard enough to break it up and cause distortion...

I think I'll keep processing in the box... or maybe I need to find some shittier tapes.

bear in mind, this is cassette i'm talking about, I've rarely had the chance to record to proper tape, actually I've only done so once, and this was in the late 90's before I knew what to be listening for.
If I use cassette I always use old ones and it's for lo-fi FX. The tape just isn't wide enough (?) to get that compression. VHS is though and there is something about the angle at which the music is recorded that does some voodoo as well???

I've read everything I can find about this stuff as I don't really want to buy and maintain a RTR or the tape itself for that matter.

The bitch is years ago a my dad (who does live audio as a side gig) asked if I wanted an old reel to reel and a HUGE box of tape for it. Not knowing enough about production at the time I helped him toss it all in the dumpster

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Old 06-01-2013, 09:12 PM   #15
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Re: VHS Experimentation

I just got back to work a strange device from the early eighties I "borrowed" to my father : a tape-deck/portable amp combo - you can play a cassette, record what you input with a mic (or a line input, but it's a DIN socket, shit), and balance the volume between inputs and tape. Nothing exceptional, this kind of gear was mainly used in schools, I guess ; but on this one there's a variable tape speed control allowing some madness while recording or playing ; and the amp part is killer, sounds alot like one of those little Novanex guitar amps, I mean, when you turn the volume up, FUUUUUUUUUUUUZZ

I gotta admit all this isn't very Hi-Tech.

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Old 06-01-2013, 09:16 PM   #16
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Re: VHS Experimentation

Quote:
Originally Posted by vx cheerleader View Post
I just got back to work a strange device from the early eighties I "borrowed" to my father : a tape-deck/portable amp combo - you can play a cassette, record what you input with a mic (or a line input, but it's a DIN socket, shit), and balance the volume between inputs and tape. Nothing exceptional, this kind of gear was mainly used in schools, I guess ; but on this one there's a variable tape speed control allowing some madness while recording or playing ; and the amp part is killer, sounds alot like one of those little Novanex guitar amps, I mean, when you turn the volume up, FUUUUUUUUUUUUZZ

I gotta admit all this isn't very Hi-Tech.
That sounds fucking cool man. Depending on the sound you are going for if you could get a mic hooked up just record shit straight off your monitors (room ambiance bonus).

I love bizarre audio gadgets

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Old 10-01-2013, 10:45 PM   #17
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Re: VHS Experimentation

I've always wanted to try to make a tape delay using VHS players rather than cassette players. Unfortunately messing with VHS seems much more complicated and dangerous than messing with cassette, but i'll probably try it out eventually!

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Old 11-01-2013, 12:36 PM   #18
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Re: VHS Experimentation

Record something. Splice the tape into bits. Tape it back together randomly. Profit???

It worked for the Beatles.

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Old 11-01-2013, 08:34 PM   #19
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Re: VHS Experimentation

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Record something. Splice the tape into bits. Tape it back together randomly. Profit???

It worked for the Beatles.
Ha, or you could export something to tape, re-import into your DAW and then drop the sample into a granular synthesizer or chop it up yourself and get the same effect with half the work!

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Old 11-01-2013, 09:23 PM   #20
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Re: VHS Experimentation

Makeup and Vanity Set released the soundtrack he did for 88:88 on VHS. I don't know if it's still available but you could look into it. I have a copy of it and it sounds pretty damn cool.

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