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RE: reproducing fripp/riley tape delay

Title: RE: reproducing fripp/riley tape delay

>>I have in the past used 2 revox(es) to achieve frippertronic/terry riley type improvisations. I'm tempted to go for the DL-4, (sounds good from what I've seen written about it)<<

I've used the two-tape-deck system on & off since 1978.... I didn't even know who fripp was then, & copied the idea from a picture I saw of the bbc radiophonics workshop.

what I was actually trying to do was get a better echo effect, by running the tape at a high speed for the fidelity, but using the second deck's replay system to extend the delay time /as a simple musical effect/.

I didn't realise then (too impatient to do the sums, I expect) that what I would end up with was a very long delay indeed, even with the machines side-by-side & running at 7.5ips.

& so I got quite a surprise when I ran the whole thing up.

I say again, I had not yet heard music made with this technique. by the time I discovered "no pussyfooting", I regarded the technique as a studio-staple; "surely everyone is aware of this trick", like ADT or flanging with two decks.

I started out with two ferrographs.... but I've also used pairs of revox a77's & pairs of uher portables to achieve the same thing.

what's special about the use of tape decks is (or can be, anyway) the quality of the recording itself. you will gradually accumulate all sorts of multi-generational tape artefacts, such as hiss, rumble ("rock noise"), 2nd & 3rd order distortion, dropout, wow, flutter..... & the fun to be had increases if you have easy access to the biasing of the first deck, &/or any of the eq adjustments. then there's flicking the tape as it traverses the void between record & play. moving the decks further apart or closer together. pinching the tape to make it squeal. lifting the tape off of the erase head to let random old noises through into the piece. varying the azimuth on the play-deck on a sustained note to create a phasing effect...

the nearest approximation I've heard of these qualities has been the tape-delay emulation on the dl4. it doesn't go quite slow/long enough for the two-deck sound, but I suspect the rack-version does. I should get one really, but hooking up the two tape machines is still a lot of fun, & you get to keep the recording afterwards too. :-)



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