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Nagra
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Author Nagra
beenjammin
I'm looking at getting a Nagra reel to reel for field recording. I'm fine with mono, especially if it saves me some money.

Basically, I've never worked with reel to reel and and don't know much about Nagras. Any advice on what to look for? What to avoid?

From what I gather from the bit of research I've done, the IV is a good option.
doombient.music
I would go for the IV. There were different versions, some designed for on-site film recording and built-in sync track, this kind of stuff. I´d go for the stereo version and I´m sure it will be a wonderful tool (when in good shape).

I´d also love to have one, not for practical reasons but just because they are one amazing piece of engineering.

Stephen
anthonybisset
I use Nagra 4.2's as tape loop machines live and have a long history with them. When I first started doing the performance modular thing I would only record to tape and the nagra made perfect sense being banana and portable.

I'd probably go for a 4.2 over a IV or maybe one of those measurement models "SJ".

I have schematics and documentation if anyone needs anything.

I can also mod them for looping.

Ja
A
kites
Does anyone have any Nagra videos with synths/eurorack uploaded? Only seen a handful up on the tube.

Just got a Nagra III and I'm excited to see what tricks I can do.
dkcg
kites wrote:
Does anyone have any Nagra videos with synths/eurorack uploaded? Only seen a handful up on the tube.

Just got a Nagra III and I'm excited to see what tricks I can do.


I assume you saw the Buchla/Nagra video by one of our members? That's the only one I can think of.
subbasshead
If you've never used a Nagra, before to committing to it for field recording I suggest you try one out. I own a Nagra 4.2 mono & love it, but it weighs a ton and uses 12xD cell batteries... my point being if you are going to trek into the mountains you better be fit & prepared to suffer a little!

It depends what you want to record but from what I know, the 4.2 mono is better for transients & saturation, which makes sense since it is using 1/4" tape for one channel, whereas the IV stereo is fitting two on to the same 1/4" tape... But also apparently the stereo model is noisier than the mono - not sure if thats preamps or what....

Being old analogue machines you will want to find someone pref local to you who can do alignment etc... and that may be a good way of finding a good machine to buy - you could easily spend a lot of money having a worn out machine brought up to spec, so tread carefully
calaveras
Unless you are committed to open reel, or to the design esthetic of Swiss engineering, maybe look into a Sony or Marantz field cassette deck.
There was a point in time when so many companies were beating their brains out to make Cassette decks better. You really can get some decent fidelity with a good cassette field recorder and decent high bias tape.
The Nagra open reel decks however are just amazingly gadgety and built very well
I'd love to have one or three myself.
They just evoke "The Conversation" and a bunch of other movies and TV shows about surveillance. Wasn't their one in the Wire?
kites
dkcg wrote:
kites wrote:
Does anyone have any Nagra videos with synths/eurorack uploaded? Only seen a handful up on the tube.

Just got a Nagra III and I'm excited to see what tricks I can do.


I assume you saw the Buchla/Nagra video by one of our members? That's the only one I can think of.


I haven't, please link!
kites
subbasshead


Before I popped on my Nagra III, I was quite weary of it functioning due to it's age and what seemed to be lack of maintenance with the particular eBay listing. So I haggled with the seller and got it down to $250 USD.

So damn happy I gambled and bit the bullet! The seller didn't know how to operate the Nagra and claimed it didn't fast forward, but after a quick read of the manual - it definitely does. The same day it arrived I cleaned it up a bit, slapped on a fresh RMG reel from Amazon and pumped my little OP-1 into it. Shit works! The saturation is phenomenal.

calaveras My only experience with tape was when I was a kid in the 90s with a Talk Boy (Home Alone 2), and recently when I bought a little Fostex X-18H cassette multitrack. I also din't even know much about Nagra and it's engineering triumphs, but I fell into the hype and less than 2 weeks bought myself a Nagra.

Honestly didn't think it would be much different compared to my Fostex, but it blows it away. Now, I'm intrigued how well the later Nagras are.
dkcg
kites wrote:
I haven't, please link!


Hainbach
I have a Nagra III and its one of the best pieces of equipment I know.

This is from today: Proteus 1 XR Cembalo played at double speed and recorded at 15ips, slowed down to 7.5. Damn me if it does not make shit sound real:
https://www.instagram.com/p/BIPByogBNM1/?taken-by=hainbach101
PrimateSynthesis
calaveras wrote:

They just evoke "The Conversation" and a bunch of other movies and TV shows about surveillance. Wasn't their one in the Wire?


I have no idea. But I think it was a IV-L in Diva.

Anyway, if you just want a reel-to-reel and aren't concerned about aesthetics, portability, or a certain brand, but if you want to save some money. There are plenty of other brands out there.

For example, I think Diva also had a Revox Miley Cyrus
kites
Hainbach
I asked you a few questions on your Nagra thread you made years back. How is yours holding up? Is it a lot of maintenance?
JohnLRice
I saw this today on MATRIXSYNTH and thought of this thread.

kites
JohnLRice

Ya I saw that great vid the other day! We even have the same model (practially). I'll definitely be making my first tape loops soon.

Now..how can I can control this all through CV?
Hainbach
kites wrote:
Hainbach
I asked you a few questions on your Nagra thread you made years back. How is yours holding up? Is it a lot of maintenance?


Still working! Battery only though, power supply smoked it and I stopped looking for a technician.

Truly a wonderful machine, especially the three with its very cinematic and saturated sound.
kites
Hainbach

Nice! Glad to hear it. Mine is so greasy and grimey inside and I did a bit of light cleaning but I'm afraid I'll ruin something. Do you clean yours?

My motor is really noisy too...
supersuper
I find it staggering how many people opt for tape now when the digital hand held recorders are so immediate and can always be in your bag.

I know there is a sound aesthetic but definitely not a sound quality improvement; Go get speakerphone, Uhe Satin etc . . and then see if you really need tape based recording.
salocinnomis
This should interest you all, Michel Chion's own techniques explained : http://designingsound.org/2016/07/michel-chions-analog-tape-techniques  /
Hainbach
kites wrote:
Hainbach

Nice! Glad to hear it. Mine is so greasy and grimey inside and I did a bit of light cleaning but I'm afraid I'll ruin something. Do you clean yours?

My motor is really noisy too...


Motor is quiet and its clean. If your motor is noisey that is probably a bad sign. Maybe try to find a tech?
Hainbach
salocinnomis wrote:
This should interest you all, Michel Chion's own techniques explained : http://designingsound.org/2016/07/michel-chions-analog-tape-techniques  /


Thanks for posting, very good article!
dlozanothornton
i'd prefer to get a stellavox than a nagra...
solaris
dlozanothornton wrote:
i'd prefer to get a stellavox than a nagra...


and why?
construct09
Anyone have any experiences with aftermarket power supplies for a Nagra IV?
mousegarden
You might find this guy interesting !

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