I’m about to embark on a road trip back to Chattanooga for a three-day commercial shoot and a recording session with Spinster, and a possible 2nd 3-day commercial shoot with another production company. Can’t wait to work with my peeps again!
Also on my to-do list is to pick up my Otari MTR10 tape recorder and bring it back to Savannah. I’d loaned it to Brett Nolan at The Soundry. While I don’t really have room for it here, I’m anxious to get it back so I can master some projects. There’s no emulation that can match the sound of real analog tape, and this was among the best machines ever built. The downside is the size… about the same as a large dorm fridge, and it weighs about 150 lbs, so moving it is a bit of a thing.
So I’m here in Atlanta shooting DragonCon for Marvel, thanks to a referral from my good friend Grady Upchurch. Most all the costumes are over the top fantastic. We were down for a moment when he said, “that’s a pretty good Bootsy outfit… wait a minute, THAT’S HIM!” He was just walking the convention floor with all the other cosplayers, not attracting too much attention… he blended right in. A lot of the kids didn’t realize who he was… even our young PA Max said, “Who’s Bootsy Collins?”
Me and Bootsy Collins at DragonCon in Atlanta.
Which reminds me of a related story I overheard at the African American History Museum in Washington DC. On the top floor, they have a reproduction of the Mothership (the original was destroyed) built by the same folks who made the original. A woman behind us said “That was the first concert I ever went to. I begged my Mama to let me go… I was only 15. She finally gave me permission. Well, when we got there, the place went dark, and this thing started floating down from the ceiling… and then all this weed came out. Then they (Parlament Funkadelic) came out on stage and played this song called ‘Light It Up,’ so we did. When my Mama picked us up, I didn’t stop talking the entire trip home. Mama said, ‘Honey, I think you got a contact buzz at that concert.’ “Oh really, Mama, what’s that?’ ‘That’s when you’re around a bunch of people smoking marajuana.’ ‘Really, Mama? What do they call it when you actually smoke it?’ She said to go lay down, Honey, and you’ll feel better in the morning.
I mentioned that story to Bootsey. He said, “Well, it sounds like she was really there!”
I’ve been looking at the prices of a real tape delay for a long time now. At the top of my list has been the Roland 501, which had balanced inputs and outputs… pretty essential for low-noise interfacing into an analog system. Unfortunately, the prices for these rarely dip below $1,500 for anything other than a total basket case, which for my situation is completely impractical.
The other option is a plugin emulation of a tape echo. Universal Audio has a couple options… the Echoplex EP-34 and the Galaxy tape echo, which is an emulation of the Roland 201. A recent mix was screaming for a good delay unit, so I went ahead and ordered the Echoplex.
I know I’ve said it before, but I really like UA software products. They are not inexpensive, but every Universal Audio plugin that I’ve ever owned has survived three computer upgrades with no problems whatsoever.
Visually, the plugin looks just like an Echoplex, with a few additional controls- a panpot, and sync, tape tension, and wet toggles. A window that numerically displays the delay in ms was a luxury that engineers dreamed of back in the day, but nice addition for the software version.
I’d only used a real tape delay for a brief moment when I was much younger. I don’t remember much about it, except that it sounded REALLY cool. This plugin sounds about the same. I can’t speak to the accuracy of the emulation, but I can speak to the results. It’s a very nice addition for vocals if used sparingly. For mixing reggae, it’s essential… and should definitely be used un-sparingly.
I love it… a sample should be coming shortly.
Here’s a short web piece that I worked on with boom op Will Taylor and A2 Kyle Gilbert. It made it to the Top 4 spot in the WeLoveAd weekly most viewed list.
Congrats to to Dan Jacobs, David Littlejohn, and Tommy Wilson, and thanks for using BGilbertSound!
Here’s a track from a former client, Eddie Bush.
Like Houdini Did by Eddie Bush“>
Here’s a short film that I worked on for Delta/Smartypants: