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 Vocal tracks, with the medium also providing vast opportunities for audio effects and creative processing. Processing Vocal 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 improve the stereo field of vocal tracks, 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. All of these are very beneficial if you’re looking to increase depth, width, warmth, volume and tone character in vocal tracks. Overall – this can help breathe more body, life and musicality into a vocal performance and allow it to sit better within the context of the mix.
Depending on the capacity of the tape machine and the objectives of the project, vocals can be processed as as individual mono or 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.