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How to remove tape hiss on 15 IPS reel to reel recordings?

Discussion in 'Tape' started by KaatheSnake, Aug 10, 2018.

  1. KaatheSnake

    KaatheSnake Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    595
    Location:
    Auburn, Alabama
    Hi everyone,
    I'm looking for the best method to remove tape hiss off my master tapes. I record a lot of my music on my TEAC A3340S 4 channel deck. I want to be able to remove the tape hiss off my recordings, so they can be digital sounding for CDs and digital downloads. I want the hiss on my vinyl, but not on digital downloads so I won't be screamed at for recording on analog.
    Thank you,
    Ryan
     

     

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  2. nbndtrain

    nbndtrain Active Member

    Messages:
    451
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Check out dbx Type II
     
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  3. KaatheSnake

    KaatheSnake Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    595
    Location:
    Auburn, Alabama
    I've had Dolby devices before, and I didn't care for them at all. Made my recordings sound lifeless and took out the great treble response reel to reel is known for.
     
  4. Audiotfoot

    Audiotfoot AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    125
    Location:
    Lewistown, Montana, USA
    One of the tapes that came from my father's collection had quite an annoying hum. I recorded it to my computer using GoldWave. Then used the noise reduction feature to record the hum from a section that had no music, copied that, the ran noise reduction using the clipboard option. Then recorded it back to tape just because.

    That should work for hiss as well. Annnnd - you'd have a digital copy without hiss to burn to CD.

    Or did I misunderstand what you wanted to do?
     
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  5. 4-2-7

    4-2-7 Smart Ass Sponsor Subscriber

    Messages:
    26,886
    Location:
    San Francisco Peninsula
    You transfer tape to digital, then you edit it and fix any sound issues at that point.
     
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  6. slow_jazz

    slow_jazz Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    13,679
    Location:
    SE Michigan, Downriver....
    At that speed you wouldn't think there would be much hiss.

    I used to record at 7-1/2 ips and I never noticed any.

    Maybe my ears are less sensitive.
     
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  7. KingBubba

    KingBubba "Too Much Stuff"

    Messages:
    9,540
    Location:
    Brooksville, Fl.
    The higher the speed the lower the hiss. Recording with Dolby, but not playing back with Dolby is an often forgotten thing to do. Flea Market and TS tapes may have been recorded on Dolby, but not written on the tape. You put it on play and it sound like shit. If you have Dolby, give a try and see if you can save the tape. I always played at 7 1/2 when I had a reel to reel because I was to cheep. RTR is too rich for my blood and that is why I let it go. I do have a great 3 head Pioneer CTF-950 recently rehabbed and I'll use that for my old fashioned tape urges.
     
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  8. I assume you are transferring original, unprocessed masters to tape? DBX and Dolby are two different animals. I agree with nbndtrain, try a dbx unit (like the 224x), just make sure you set it up properly and go lightly. You can easily eliminate hiss and achieve very wide dynamic range with these units.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2018
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  9. dhnash

    dhnash Active Member

    Messages:
    478
    Location:
    Wildwood, MO
    There seems to be some confusion about what you are trying to do. My understanding is that you already have tapes that have more hiss on them than you feel is acceptable for them to be converted as they are to digital format. The use of DBX or Dolby noise reduction devices will not help to reduce the amount of hiss on the original recordings. What was suggested by others in this thread will, that is to convert the original audio into digital format and then use audio editing tools to sample the hiss and remove it from the audio.
     
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  10. Chip Chester

    Chip Chester Super Member

    Messages:
    1,943
    Location:
    Central Ohio
    Take a careful look at your bias settings when you do your alignment. There's an inter-relationship between bias and HF EQ. Cranking HF EQ up to achieve spec can sometimes be noisy. Over-biasing may help, but it's been a few decades, though... Probably a researchable thing. This would be a path for newly-made recordings, not existing ones.

    As a post-recording process -- with the proper outboard analog gear, you could create a stereo-linked sidechain to drop HF EQ level on lack of significant HF content. But once you know what's going on, it's easy to spot and becomes a little intrusive. Sort of like a De-esser, but with slightly different triggers and inverted processing.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2018
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  11. ConradH

    ConradH Addicted Member

    Messages:
    7,765
    Location:
    Canandaigua, NY
    There are adaptive low pass filters that cut the highs more on quiet sections, where you can hear the hiss, and open up on the louder sections, where it's masked. They can do an excellent job under the right conditions, but are subject to "breathing" artifacts if not adjusted correctly. They exist in both hardware and software, though I don't know of specific examples, save for the one I built many years ago.
     
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  12. KaatheSnake

    KaatheSnake Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    595
    Location:
    Auburn, Alabama
    Yes, you are correct. Just the raw recordings off the tape. The hiss is prominent on 4 channel multitrack recordings. I'm thinking the dbx 224, as it gets rid of the problem quickly and doesn't harm the audio quality much at all.
     
  13. KaatheSnake

    KaatheSnake Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    595
    Location:
    Auburn, Alabama
    I could've recorded with low bias when the tape was high bias, and the EQ was at 15 IPS eq, so I need to research what bias tapes I'm using.
     
  14. KaatheSnake

    KaatheSnake Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    595
    Location:
    Auburn, Alabama
    Hi there! My main objective is to remove hiss off my noisy 4 channel multitrack recordings. The hiss is quite prominent, I have no clue why, but it's very prominent. As I said in the description above, I'm recording at 15 IPS (inches per second,) which is your standard professional recording speed. During the most dynamic parts of the music, I like to keep the VU meters right before the clipping mark, which I've read gets you a very warm analog tone and reduces hiss. I guess I could try digital noise reduction, but I've never used it before, but I could try, It could be because I put lots of tube compression on electric guitars while I'm recording, so it may be that.
    Kind regards,
    Ryan
     
  15. KaatheSnake

    KaatheSnake Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    595
    Location:
    Auburn, Alabama
    I know that principle. What Dolby does is accentuates the high frequencies during the recording process, then removes them during playback. Dolby does a great job of removing the tape hiss, but it makes the recordings sound lifeless and lack in treble severely IMO. The only reason I'm asking this is so I can get a noiseless recording I can sell to people. I don't mind the tape hiss at all, it doesn't pester me whatsoever.
     
  16. KaatheSnake

    KaatheSnake Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    595
    Location:
    Auburn, Alabama
    You're absolutely correct my friend. What do you think caused the hum on that tape? I've never had to deal with that. All I'm trying to do is get a noiseless recording that I can put on a CD and put it on CdBaby, etc. and not get yelled at for having a "bad quality recording," which that's the opposite of what it is, it's an amazing analog recording with tape hiss on it. I honestly don't mind the hiss on tape, I just don't care. I've also read playing back off your record head using Simul Sync on my TEAC A3340S can reduce hiss.
     

     

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  17. KaatheSnake

    KaatheSnake Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    595
    Location:
    Auburn, Alabama
    You're very correct. Usually high speed tapes, especially when ran at 7 1/2-15 IPS, have very low noise. I guess I put too much compression on my electric guitar, and that's where all my noise is coming from.
     
  18. KaatheSnake

    KaatheSnake Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    595
    Location:
    Auburn, Alabama
    Okay. I've tried Audacity, and it just did a horrible job on removing the hiss. I have Logic Pro X (My main studio DAW,) but it's mostly for tracking and mastering digital recordings, not removing hiss off analog tape recordings. I'll see if I can find a program that can do a good job removing the hiss off my master tapes. As I've said to many other people, I don't worry about the hiss, it doesn't bother me, but a lot of people on CdBaby scream at me for having a noisy low quality recording, when really it's a high quality professional 15 IPS reel to reel master recording with hiss on it.
     
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  19. KaatheSnake

    KaatheSnake Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    595
    Location:
    Auburn, Alabama
    I might try that. As I've said to many other people, I'm doing this for people on CdBaby, not myself. I don't mind the hiss, but apparently they do!
     
  20. HTHMAN

    HTHMAN Super Member

    Messages:
    3,410
    Location:
    St Louis, Missouri, USA
    I have not tried Audacity on tape hiss, but on vinyl, I reduce the blank space noise between tracks to zero and when that noise profile is applied to the entire recording it does a pretty good job. I may be wrong, but I would think tape hiss would be easier.
     
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