Tape was once the sole medium for the recording industry, and its sonic aesthetics still remain highly desirable in the modern age. These attributions can create rich, warm tones and build character and substance in drum tracks, with the medium also providing vast opportunities for audio effects and creative processing. Processing drum tracks through tape and tape machines can be executed in different ways depending on the desired processing affect or intent, and the capabilities of the machine.
Tape is the backbone technology of the electronic age, facilitating numerous audio and recording technology evolutions since its inception whilst paving the way of the music industry. Tape was once a workhorse for any form of audio, and vast majority of classic audio masterpieces were made using it. Tape’s sonic attributions can create rich tones, increase body and substance and also provide opportunities for audio effects and creative processing. The most common uses for tape are for natural compression, tape saturation, re-amping, effects and improving stereo image.
Using tape for drum tracks is a sure-fire way build substance, ‘punch’ and increase organic qualities in the sonic profile. Drum tracks can benefit being processed with tape if you’re looking to increase depth, width, warmth, volume and tone character. Overall – this can help breathe more body, life and musicality into your snare track.
Depending on the capacity of the tape machine and the objectives of the project, drum tracks can be processed as stems (grouped) or as individual mono/stereo files. These files will usually be sent back to a recording console or converted into a digital audio file via AD/DA conversion which can then be incorporated into a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) recording session. Files will usually be summed to stereo or multiple channels for surround sound, depending on the capacity of the machine and desired format.