#NerdingOut is where we uncover the “tools of the pros” — the sacred plugins, gear and instruments that are essential to the process of award-winning producers, mixers and engineers.
Learn how acclaimed Producer and Recording Engineer Matt Genovese found and recapped an original 1960s Scully 280 tape machine.
This famously versatile piece of hardware has been used on records like ‘Led Zeppelin II’ and ‘III’ and Jimi Hendrix’s ‘Little Wing’.
Matt utilizes it in various ways, including printing on individual tracks to mixing with it.
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Clients are always impressed about, you know, just seeing a tape machine in the room is cool, but when you record a song onto it, it’s a pretty big difference.
Most of the records that I love were all done on tape machines. A few months ago, I found a Scully 280 machine, which is from the sixties.
It was the same machine that they had in, uh, Stax Records and Motown. Records like Led Zeppelin two and three were done on it, Jimmy Hendrix’s Little Wing was done on it.
So it’s a very famous machine. I found it. I recapped it and got it working a hundred percent.
Again, I print individual tracks to it. Sometimes if I want that sound on a whole recording.
I’ll just send something to a compressor, I can insert the tape machine as a hardware insert, and then I also mix to it. So I mix with it in input record.
So I’m monitoring it through the electronics as I mix, and then when I’m done, I flip it to playback and I record it to tape, and so it runs straight outta my console, straight into the tape machine and outta the tape machine back into my computer where I print the final mix.
When you ab it with and without the tape, specifically with the Scully 280, it’s a big difference.