Dynamic range and volume loss when recoding to tape

Is this an issue with anybody else ? I was performing live so I set up a sequencer , turned on Hold , and then went to tape window and recoded it. Undid hold and the recording was left which was significantly different. Quieter …dull…

Any way to fix this ???

I was sequencing an internal drum kit by the way.the tape recording of it had lost the drums dynamics and robbed it of a little volume.

is your orange knob recording level turned down on the tape maybe?
and/or what about your tape track levels?
r u using one of the other more lofi tape modes?

Al levels are good. Studio tape. Tried many drum kits. A/B them back and forth for over an hour .

Dynamic range and volume suffer when recorded to tape
Versus the pattern sequencer playing whichever drum kit.

Check the input mode before recording. If you have it set to ‘ear’ by accident (it should be ‘X’) then you will get some weirdness, somewhat like you describe. Worth checking anyhow.

As already mentioned above, the tape modes have their own audio signature, the porta cassette in particular has an impact that loses dynamics and increases saturation.

So, you don’t have this issue with your unit ???

This is exactly what I do:

  1. set up a drum pattern on “pattern” sequencer and turn Hold on

  2. record a couple bars to tape

  3. listen to tape for couple bars

  4. at the same time press stop and turn on Hold so I can A/B sound difference.

The recorded version loses volume and dynamics. I can’t play this thing live like this, it’ll be noticeable on stage.

And yes. It set to X not eat or any other input.

I will check later, this sounds very strange. I haven’t noticed anything, but that doesn’t mean it’s not happening.

I’ve had this issue a few times and have just replicated it and fixed it. I think it depends on which track you are on in the tape. If the volume is down then it will record quieter than what you hear in the sequencer (as that’s linked to the volume of the gain bar on the right of the tape screen). It’s definitely a weird way of working as there’s essentially 2 sets of volume to take into consideration. But once you get your head around what track you’re previewing the sequencer playback on Vs. the track you record the sequenced sounds on to then it’s a bit more easy to mitigate. Also check that you’ve not got a master effect turned on too. I really love the Field but come on! There’s plenty of screen left to add a few little icons on all views just showing what’s on/off etc :roll_eyes:

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I just recorded to every single track to make sure. Problem is still there.

Hilarious and a I’m-gonna-smash-this-motherfucker-across-my-own-face kind of way.
I tried vintage 4 track and kept volume exactly. BUUUUUT… as soon as you press record, you hear a difference in noise in the background. Again, unusable for me for live performance.

Okay. Something interesting just happened….

I raised the volume ALL the way up on incoming signal meter to the right of tape recording screen. As high as it would go. And that WORKED.

But fuck… what a hassle. Should’ve just dupicatwd same volume you’re hearing it in-no??

Either way, this Isn’t a real solution. Because I’m gonna have to blast the volume just to do this. >:/. What a drag.

It’s this

A push 3 ( push 2 is boring as fuck )

Octa and maybe 0 coast with it

Or make noise black and gold plus

Did like the limitation on Op1. But this is ridiculous. The idea of doing a noisy /film score set with just an op1 field was seeexy.

Any advice ?

Pressing record previews the ‘after tape’ sound, so, this does seem to be what you are hearing.

I don’t get it. Are you saying that’s just the way it’s gonna be or am I really dumb and not getting your meaning ?

I don’t speak for Teenage Engineering and haven’t heard the exact issue you are experiencing, so I’m only guessing. What I do know is that tapes have an audio character that is applied when recording.

Only other thought is check the tape mixer section and see if you have any effects applied, or if the drive is set low.

Go easy on me, I’m trying to help.

Oh, sorry if it seemed like I was being rude-I wasn’t.

Hard to convey tone through words.

I do appreciate any thoughts. :love_you_gesture:t3:

Yesterday I was playing with recording to my OG-1 at a slower tape speed and noticed it records considerably quieter. I immediately thought of your post - any chance your tape is set to play/record slower than 100%?


No, it’s at normal speed. But… when I play the tape slower the volume doesn’t change for me.

That’s odd. Hmmm

Not sure if this will be helpful but there was a similar issues in the past they addressed with a firmware update. Updating to the latest firmware might help solve the problem.

The issue they fixed was if you were in synth or drum mode thebinstumen playback level did not respect the record level set in tape mode (tape mode red dial / red record level bar). Before the firm ware updat in synth or drum mode you would hear the equivalent of 100% level but when you switched back to tape mode it would switch to what ever the record level and track level was set to. This sounds the most like the issue you are having from what I have experienced. Since the firmware was updated for this I haven noticed this issue any more.

Not that there aren’t still some level and audio quirks that could make a live performance challenging. I love my OP-1s (og and field) but they have never felt ideal for live performances. My biggest two issues for using the op-1s live are:

  1. the small densely packed keys which make it so feature rich and compact but also super easy to hit the wrong thing. Using a midi keyboard helps but also has its own set of issues.
  2. Audio dropout when changing tracks in tape playback mode. I think there was a firmware update to address this but I still find that in playback hitting 1-4 still causes a momentary audio drop out that always trips me up even though I know about it.

I told my gal to return it. I wanted the op1 Filed to be my only piece of gear. And maybe a tx-6. But the issues are too many:

The said issue about tracks not recording at exact volume.

Noticeable Hiccups in volume when switching between tracks ( they didn’t do it if I barely tapped track number for switch), it was interruptingly obvious when you switch to a track that was muted.

A function should exist to allow you to press an encoder and turn to switch between fx without hearing them. If they start with all parameters at zero, it wouldn’t be an issue.

Recording drones I’d create with whatever synth would just have a thump at the end of recorded loop. Defeating the purpose of recording the drone to begin with.

And on and on and on…

I come from the Eurorack world. Owned tons of shit : octatrack, soma stuff, etc. so I know a little about gear. I wasn’t unreasonable about most things in op1 F . I could’ve asked for another fx per synth/drum, no distortion fx?!…., ETC. But-like I said/-not unreasonable. Just fix the shit that would make more sense for a 2k device.

I think it’s a mistake to seek the One Piece Of Gear. That’s a DAW. Outside of a DAW, we choose constraints and limitations and working methods devised by someone for their own reasons that you can fit into, or work around.