Your tracks on this tape machine, for €7.50 a minute

A mastering house in Krefeld, Germany, has a very good quality Studer two-track ½inch tape recorder. For €7.50 a minute (or €12.50 for the first minute), they'll take your digital file, record it on the machine, play it back, re-digitise it, and send it back to you. Product page (via GearSlutz)

They can't be serious, can they? What could you possibly gain that would make up for going back and forth through multiple A/D conversions?

Here's my new business plan, patent pending:

Step 1: Find pics of vintage gear on ebay
Step 2: Run customers' tracks through crummy "vintage compressor" plugin
Step 3: Profit!!
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Ha Ha, I don't even own a very good quality Studer two-track ½inch tape recorder!!
Well, it would be a shame to just let it sit until they get a "real" mastering clinet. Dosen't hurt to see if there is a market for something like this but just putting it out there.
On a related note, I am accepting orders to 'humanize' your sequences for a small fee. Just FTP upload it to me and and i will "regroove" your tracks using proven hit-maker templates.

i can also smooth-out your stair-steppy digital waveforms for an additional fee.
Part of the fun of mastering to tape is pushing the level a little to see if some tape compression sound good. 7.5/15/30 ips makes a difference too.
There is not just one tape sound...

They might get it right, they might not. I'd have to hear it and fiddle with the settings myself to be happy.
my school has that same tape machine.

plus another 24 track one.
i forgot to say, that the best part is i get to use it a hell of alot.
so if we send you a file can you tape it and send it back?
Maybe I'm just stupid, but wouldn't a high end tape recorder have less range limitations, making this a very light compression?? I mean, the reason people got these was to preserve as much as possible, not savor the compression ceiling...

I'm just thinking a service that offered to record your track on an old crappy black Radio Shack thing would actually be more useful... "Get that real "Bedroom demo" sound you've been looking for! $2 a minute to run it through the line-in, $4 a minute to play it too loud in a room using the on-board condenser mic. Make new "must have" bonus demos to put on your greatest hits album or reissue!"

Again, maybe I missed the point, but this machine is designed to reproduce as faithfully as possible whatever sound is fed to it... So, what... You get compression up around the 16Khz band... Ehhh, with a low noise floor. I guess I see it... I guess this would be pretty useless if you sent the a 16Khz .wav file.

So, if you send them a 24Khz file, you'll get very low noise tape compression that even survives the A/D - D/A conversion.

Maybe if the had a flash presentatin with rough birds in bondage gear with guitars I'd think about it.
This is real kewl kit.. can one cook and make music out of it?


Music, The Flower of Culture
actually playing it out to tape and back can make a big difference soundwise.
Perhaps my file sent in for mastering could include various bursts of white noise, and then recycle that noise and the result into an impulse reader, and then make a program that does the same thing, and then sell _that_ back to them at an inflated price!
Loscha, your idea would work fine if a tape recorder were a simple linear system.

However, the whole reason why people still use tape decks for mastering is that it is a complicated, non-linear system that is very hard to model in software, especially not by its impulse response alone.
You can capture and then simulate non-linear systems with dynamic convolution, assuming the system has no 'memory effect'.

Takes a *lot* of impulses/sweeps and some fairly hefty dsp though.
how do you even know the machine has been calibrated properly or the tape heads are clean, or that the engineer knows how to drive it enough to get pleasant tape compression as opposed to horrible clipped distortion?

looks like another scam to make money off of idiots... and there are plenty of those around already
Yeah, not sure why anyone would want to do that. But if you guys want to upload your mp3 library and be able to play those mp3's anywhere, visit
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