Tape deck woes, distortion goes
Really a mixed up pact session this time, as I focussed on items from my Trello to-do list. The first was to check out my cassette deck, a Sansui SC-3110.
I even took a nice picture of it for you, but alas this cassette deck will not be the one to dub Prism Exhilarated. As an auction find there was an inherent risk in purchasing this machine; in the end it indeed required new belts (which I could still get hold of, amazingly), but it still didn't play tapes cleanly after those were fitted.
Today I tried cleaning the heads, but no dice: this cassette deck requires more TLC than I can give it. So I hopped on eBay and purchased a new recent Technics model; hopefully, that will set me right.
So, after that setback it was nice to continue on and fix a different problem I had encountered during this pact. Back when running through the unique process render workflow I encountered significant problems with audio distortion when normalising the backing file for 'Xplorer'. It had me stumped.
Well, now I have unearthed the problem: the summing mixer in my studio was adding the distortion when I put the components through too hot – there was no problem with Studio One or Logic, and I could have performed the gain boosts I needed to and the track would've sounded fine.
The realisation came to me when I was working through my to-do list for the album's first track, 'Hxxr', which suffered the same problem. But when I tried monitoring straight through the computer output, thus bypassing the summing mixer, everything was fine.
That's great, because it means I don't have to spend ages re-levelling everything in the tracks' Maschine files. And now I feel more confident about getting on with the audio tasks still left to do.