The multi-track platforms available at yellow DOG are Pro Tools with 32 channels of input and output, Analog tape with 24 channels of input and output and a hybrid of the two called CLASP with 24 channels of input and 32 channels of output.
The 101 on CLASP
In 2010 we integrated and began using a new system called CLASP, designed and manufactured by Endless Analog. The CLASP acronym stands for Closed Loop Analog Signal Processor. In basic engineering speak, it simply is turning an analog tape machine into a front end signal processor. Monitoring is through the input, the same as when recording with an analog machine, and the software automatically handles the offset between the repro and record head. The really cool part is that a session is not fixed to a particular tape speed or tape stock. Both can be changed from take to take, layer to layer.
For non-audio engineers, here’s the scoop on CLASP in musicians terms:
First of all, if you’ve never recorded to tape, it sounds significantly different than a purely digital recording. For myself and Adam, the sound of tape is the sound of rock n’ roll, both classic and modern. Tape extends the low end sonics of drums and bass, makes electric guitars punchier and makes vocals smooth like melted butter.
With the CLASP, instruments go through the console, hit the tape machine and then are dumped straight into Pro Tools. So you are recording the sound of the tape into Pro Tools, but eliminate most the hassles and expense associated with recording straight to tape and have the workflow of a typical Pro Tools session. Also, tape can be run at different speeds to produce different effects on the recorded audio. In a traditional analog session, you must decide the speed at which you wish to record an entire performance... but with CLASP you can vary the speed of the machine from take to take within a performance. As an example, you might want to record the drums and bass at 15 IPS (inches per second) and the guitars and vocals at 30 IPS. Or maybe not to use tape at all on some layers of the recording. It gives an experienced recording engineer a huge pallet of options for extending tone.
For many artists, the biggest downside of recording to tape is the expense. A spool of 2” tape costs over $350 and holds either 15 minutes or 30 minutes of audio depending on the speed at which you decide to record. And recording analog isn't as fast and forgiving as working with a DAW like Pro Tools, resulting in higher studio and engineering costs. When using CLASP, we use tape from our large inventory of tape stock and our clients never pay for tape.
Feel free to email me should you have questions. firstname.lastname@example.org.
David Percefull - owner / producer / engineer / composer