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Topic: Giving sound that old compact casette sound (Read 5445 times) previous topic - next topic

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Giving sound that old compact casette sound
Hi,

I'm trying to edit a recording so that it sounds as if it has been on a well used casette tape for a while. i'm not exactly sure where to start as i'm quite new to audio editing. if you could give me some advice on what to tweak and how i would appreciate it.

i've been lurking here ffor a while and it seems a nicer place than i tried last time where i got flamed by audiophiles asking how i could destroy the sound like that.

  • M
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Giving sound that old compact casette sound
Reply #1
So are you trying to pass something off as a lost demo, or attempting to degrade the sound of an actual rarity so that you can hoard the original while still using the "cassette" version as trade fodder? 

Simplest (and most natural-sounding) method would simply be to use a few cassette decks, and bounce the recording back and forth until it is sufficiently worn.

    - M.

Giving sound that old compact casette sound
Reply #2
So are you trying to pass something off as a lost demo, or attempting to degrade the sound of an actual rarity so that you can hoard the original while still using the "cassette" version as trade fodder? 


its actually for a game. its not even music.

Quote
Simplest (and most natural-sounding) method would simply be to use a few cassette decks, and bounce the recording back and forth until it is sufficiently worn.

    - M.


yes that would be easiest but unfortunately i do not even own one and i'm not going to buy one just for a couple of minutes of audio effects.

is there maybe a filter for audacity or something that i can run it through a few times?

  • kiit
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Giving sound that old compact casette sound
Reply #3
Cassette tape generally has high frequency hiss and rolls off higher frequencies.

Gently roll off the volume of all the high frequency information in your sample starting around 12.5k.
To simulate hiss you might try adding low volume white noise around 14k or 16k and up.

(Numbers are approximate, its been a long time since I played with tape.)

Hmm, to simulate an older tape which has stretched out you might try slowing the playback rate a small amount.

  • Curtor
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Giving sound that old compact casette sound
Reply #4
CoolEdit/Audition (and I imagine most all other audio editors) have a wealth of filters that could be used.  I just glanced at the CoolEdit list and found "Cassette deck frequency response" as well as "Old time radio" and "add noise" options that could easily be adapted to create the effects you desire.

Giving sound that old compact casette sound
Reply #5
I just glanced at the CoolEdit list and found "Cassette deck frequency response"...
I hope that's flat within 3dB from 20Hz to 20kHz with a signal-to-noise ratio of at least 75dB. My last three cassette decks all have been. I can understand the claim of high frequency roll-off with some cassette decks, but it's a very wide-sweeping statement and certainly can't be applied globally.

Cheers, Slipstreem. 
  • Last Edit: 16 August, 2008, 03:52:55 PM by Slipstreem

Giving sound that old compact casette sound
Reply #6
]I hope that's flat within 3dB from 20Hz to 20kHz with a signal-to-noise ratio of at least 75dB. My last three cassette decks all have been. I can understand the claim of high frequency roll-off with some cassette decks, but it's a very wide-sweeping statement and certainly can't be applied globally.

Cheers, Slipstreem. 


the general point is that i am aiming for poor quality not a high quality deck.

is there any of those filters available for audacity? that is the editor i am most familiar with and it runs on linux which is what i have.

  • gaekwad2
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Giving sound that old compact casette sound
Reply #7
I just glanced at the CoolEdit list and found "Cassette deck frequency response"...
I hope that's flat within 3dB from 20Hz to 20kHz with a signal-to-noise ratio of at least 75dB. My last three cassette decks all have been. I can understand the claim of high frequency roll-off with some cassette decks, but it's a very wide-sweeping statement and certainly can't be applied globally.

Cheers, Slipstreem. 

Flat within 3dB from 20Hz to 20kHz at -20dB, certainly not near 0dB.
That may be a problem, at least is you want to recreate it accurately: the roll-off depends on signal volume.
Though that much accuracy probably won't be necessary just to make it sound like tape.

Giving sound that old compact casette sound
Reply #8
It's debatable as to whether that makes any difference in the real-world though. Good cassette decks always did come very close to perceptual transparency with a Metal tape at a normal recording level with typical music signals.

Apologies if I appear to be being overly pedantic, but I hate to see sweeping statements made relating to a medium that was perfectly capable of reproducing the entire audio spectrum when implemented properly.

Cheers, Slipstreem. 

  • Cygnus X1
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Giving sound that old compact casette sound
Reply #9
Converting the audio to 8 bits with no dither will also lead to a hissy sound. Then, you could apply low-pass filtering as you see fit. Too bad there's not a filter to add artificial wow and flutter, too!

  • Curtor
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Giving sound that old compact casette sound
Reply #10
Returning the thread to OP's actual question since nobody gives a crap about arguing the merits and supposed abilities of a dead medium...

If you are on linux, first realize that linux doesn't have the wealth of tools for any real audio work compared to Win and Mac.  Great system... but not great at that.  Since you have Audacity and want to stick with that, then just access FFT filters in the effects menu and play around until you have something approximating the distortion you want.  Most likely, you'll want to drop the frequencies off low and high.  Quickly for the low and more gently for the high.  You will probably also want a pronounced and narrow dramatic peak around 8kHz to give it that war-time-germany AM radio broadcast feel.  If you wanted something a bit more authentic, record some tape hiss and dry mix it into the original wavefile.  Adjust the frequencies and you're good to go.

If you have access to a Windows system or someone who will give you access, then iZotope makes a free plugin called Vinyl that is meant to simulate (of course) the sound of vinyl.  You can adjust the settings to lower the quality of the audio but eliminate the dust and scratch effects to make it sound like cassette very easily and it's a brilliant piece for work for the effect you're after:

iZotope Vinyl
  • Last Edit: 16 August, 2008, 06:06:59 PM by Curtor

  • carpman
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Giving sound that old compact casette sound
Reply #11
If you have a VST host try: JB Ferox (VST vintage tape modeller plugin for Windows)

JB Ferox is a free tape saturation modeller VST plugin. It has separate controls for saturation and hysteresis effects. Feedback with variable tape speed is provided to simulate vintage tape echos.

Screenshot: http://www.jeroenbreebaart.com/downloads/ferox/ferox.jpg
Link to download: http://www.jeroenbreebaart.com/audio_vst.htm

There's a number of other useful plugins on that page.

C.

EDIT: Just realised OP is on Linux. So this won't be very helpful.
  • Last Edit: 16 August, 2008, 07:01:35 PM by carpman
PC = TAK + LossyWAV  ::  Portable = Opus (130)

Giving sound that old compact casette sound
Reply #12
Returning the thread to OP's actual question since nobody gives a crap about arguing the merits and supposed abilities of a dead medium...
I wasn't arguing the merits. I was arguing the misconceptions. I thought that was the underlying ethos of this forum. Apologies if the truth offends.

Cheers, Slipstreem. 

  • MichaelW
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Giving sound that old compact casette sound
Reply #13
Notwithstanding the potentials of actual cassette decks, if you want it to *sound like* a cassette tape, you will need to have a pretty exaggerated effect (you don't want it to seem like the sound quality just dropped a bit).

What would say "cassette" to me would be loss of high frequencies, and hiss. When rolling the highs off, you wouldn't want to be subtle; best to start too low and work up, so maybe even 7KHz? I assume some of your audience may have already wrecked their hearing with too-loud music.

Giving sound that old compact casette sound
Reply #14
As the others suggested, first start with filtering... use a bandbass filter to cut the highs and lows (experiment to archive the desired effect). Also use a bitcrusher, or a distortion/tube emulation plugin...

I remember Nuendo/Cubase having a special Grungelizer plugin, that can modell old gramophones...

If you want to go to extremes, Voxengo has some nice analog emulation plugins, incl. the Analogflux suite wich has "creative" effects...

Or try a convolution plugin, and search for a file of an old gear... this way you get the same effect as recording through a real deck...

Giving sound that old compact casette sound
Reply #15
okay, i think i have the noise i'm looking for, applied a bandpass filter and added in a bit of noise and slowed it down a little.

i found a plugin that varied the speed it was playing at rythmically which made it sound as if it was being played on some old busted up decks and put in some crackles and gaps which seemed to give it a good worn out feel.

i'm still messing around with it to see what i can get though, but overall i'm happy and thanks for your help.

a little side question, how do you reduce the bit depth on audacity? and can it be reduced to an arbitrary number(integer obviously).