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 Post subject: Reel to reel tape
PostPosted: Feb Fri 08, 2019 2:43 am 
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A few years ago the tape I have of the Impressions album People Get ready broke near the end of the first side so I set out to look for a CD.

Found one that has People Get Ready and Keep On Pushing.

I just copied it to my computer.

My plan is to get some tape and proper leader then proceed to re-record People Get Ready so I can have it on the reel to reel tape again.

In a way that break was a blessing in disguise because the original tape had noticeable hiss and also a few songs were distorted. The new recording will have as little hiss as whatever tape I use and my GX-255 has.

I used Wavepad masters edition to normalize the tracks to 100% volume and I also put all the tracks that are on one side together so that it is only one file and won't have to worry about any delays between switching tracks.

When I saved the individual tracks I chose auto which preserves the original format and that is PCM (uncompressed) 44100Hz 16 bits stereo. I could have saved it in a much higher Wav format, but I didn't see any pointy to going to a higher bit rate than the original.

Anything I should do before recording to my reel to reel in order to get the best recording?

Side A is 16:15
Side B is 15:19

So I'm thinking of running enough tape on the reel to equal 16:20 at 7 1/2 IPS.

Whatever tape I use I will put a leader at the beginning and I will start it running slightly past where the leader ends and use a stopwatch to determine when I am at 16:20.

I will also add a piece of foil tape at the end of side A so it can auto reverse.

Will that be long enough?

Also how long should the leader be?


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 Post subject: Re: Reel to reel tape
PostPosted: Feb Mon 11, 2019 6:53 pm 
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Location: Gold Country, (Stanislaus National Forest) California 95235
Foil:

Make sure your foil is on the correct side and long enough to actuate the solenoid.
Some read the foil from the oxide side and some read from the base side.
Some have the proximity detector and the ground RIGHT next to each other, others have them some distance away so you may or may not be able to get away with just using half-inch foil laid at a 45 degree angle. you may have to use a length of 7/32 foil otherwise.

The foil should obviously go between the end of the album and the beginning of the leader - either used as a second splice to back up the splice to the leader - or if you need a longer piece - use the beginning of the leader and center the foil for an inch or two down the center.

Leader

There are two schools of thought for leader - to match the paint side with the oxide side or vice versa.

Matching the paint side to the oxide side ensures that under normal circumstances, the paint does not cling to the oxide in subsequent revolutions. However when using timing tape it makes the demarcations harder to see. If you are using full-paint leader this is not an issue.

For 4-track tape the color leader code is green for the head and yellow or orange for the tail although some people use red for the tail.

For 2-track tape it's red for the head and blue for the tail since they are stored tails-out.

Amount should equal 2-3 turns around the edge of the full reel - meaning the ``threading'' part is going to seem longer on the takeup reel than it will on the album reel.


DO NOT USE CELLO TAPE TO SPLICE WITH. It gets oozy and brittle and will cling to your subsequent revolutions. Only use genuine (usually blue) splicing tape from whatever they call Ampex/Quantegy/BASF/Pyral anymore.

Another good practice is to get the same kind of 4-inch hub NAB 7-inch reel as the original album came on (if you are not discarding the original tape and winding your re-creation onto the old reel - and if you are just indicate that it was re-taped from CD somewhere on the box).

Timing

I would even it out to the next minute i.e. run 17:00 of tape onto the reel.
Most pre-recorded 4-track albums that have a Side One longer than a Side Two run about 45-seconds or a minute into the first side before the recording begins, and leave several seconds at the end, maybe up to 15 or 30.

The idea is to have the beginning of Side Two drop in at pretty close to the same point that Side One drops out - and then have your 15 or 30 seconds leftover for threading and possible future breakage where you won't lose part of the album.

As Side One is longer than Side Two you should be fine starting 45 seconds or so into the tape for recording the first side.

Although when I do that I take my old Teac 3340 leftover from the college band room they threw out years ago and dub both sides at once.

Take the Side One file and lay it into a multi-track file like B-Wav and then take the Side Two track, flip it digitally to play in reverse to where the beginning of Side Two reversed is in the same place as the end of Side One forwards.

For tapes that have a longer Side Two - being you need an unrecorded length of tape at the beginning of Side One - this process must be reversed.

Play the 4-channel B-Wav through a 4-channel sound-card or interface - connect up your 4-channel reel to reel and go to town.

You may also want to upgrade the tape onto which you are recording, choosing a higher-bias formula even tho the recorder may not support it since recording an e.g. 35uS EQ hi-bias tape at the normal 50 will boost the high end - effectively giving you homespun Dolby NR since you can decrease the treble upon playback and eliminate a great deal of hiss.

It won't look correct sitting on the reel or going through the player but sometimes licenses are taken to improve the sound.

_________________
2 kinds of men/tape. Low Noise/Wide Range.
LN=kind. WR=abrasive. Engineers=same thing.


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 Post subject: Re: Reel to reel tape
PostPosted: Feb Mon 11, 2019 8:17 pm 
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I plan on using the original reel the album came on.

Not sure why the original tape sounded a bit distorted on some songs and had a good bit of hiss given it was a commercially released album.

Perhaps it's like what happens with record stampers which wear out after a certain amount of pressings and maybe the tape used as the master for the duplication was wore out or perhaps the duplicators were not adjusted properly or worn out.

Thanks for the info about the foil and leader and time.

I'll not try to recreate the reversing tone (used for Ampex style reversing circuitry) that is on the original tape as I have never had any reel to reel which used that specific reversing circuitry.

Think I may check this site for what I need far as dealing with tape.

http://www.splicit.com/

Had any experience with this tape or know if it is any good based on the specs?

http://www.splicit.com/Capture-914-Reco ... cap914.htm

If so I could buy a reel and use what I need from that tape then I'd have tape left over for recording or using to re-make other tapes should I get any I like and are not usable as is.

I also have a tape of the album Wings Over America which also had a break in it, but also didn't have the last few songs due to not enough tape. May re-do that one some time in the future as well.

Also this splicing kit looks to have everything I need to properly add the foil and leader.

http://www.splicit.com/Deluxe-1-4-Audio ... /sk25d.htm

Now can the same foil tape be used for 8 track cartridges?


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 Post subject: Re: Reel to reel tape
PostPosted: Feb Mon 11, 2019 9:31 pm 
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Posts: 2590
Location: Gold Country, (Stanislaus National Forest) California 95235
Remember the bin-loop master that ran off onto the commercially-released dubs is at LEAST 4 maybe even 5 or 6 generations down from the stereo mixdown master that cut the LP not to mention they were doing 16:1 and even 32:1 dubdowns by then.

The reverse-o-matic tone is the same 25Hz that the bin-loop dubbers use to be able to tell where to cut between copies of the same album - since they are not individually wound right after duplication the way a cassette would be.

Splicit is the new name for Joel Tall Industries which invented the first EdiTall block back in the early 50s. They acquired their one and only serious competitor Xedit some years later, and then the whole thing was bought by Splicit.

As far as the Capture tape -

https://audioimpressions.wordpress.com/ ... -the-block

never used any myself but heard about the slit being closer to .250 than the .246-.248 it's supposed to be (Pyral, RMG, whatever remains of Zonal Magnetics etc) which means edge shavings are forever piling up on the guides.

Personally I wd order a promo sample and see if it's got the same problems or not - I mean it's been three years since this review so hopefully they got all the kinks worked out.

As far as sound quality - it's supposed to be a hybrid of ZonalHD and Ampex 456 which means it doesn't have the headroom of a 499 or the noise floor of a 911/996 but it IS supposed to give one of the better combinations of low noise and wide range around.

As far as a splicing kit - yes kids just learning and other semi-pro's have been buying various versions of that kit for 60 years - but in the advent of eBay and Amazon - I'd see about getting a used one and buying the splicing tape and leader tape along with the alcohol tapper and swabbies and packs of single edged razor blades and a box cutter and etc. all independently.

One reason is - apart from the fact that it's very tough to mess up an aluminum splicing block - the amount of leader and splicing tape and foil and etc they give you is miniscule compared to what you will need going forward.

Foil for example comes in 1000' foot rolls similar to masking tape both in half-inch versions as well as 7/32 - both of which can be had considerably cheaper from e.g. the window-security people, the sun-block window coating people or the film-preservation supply houses.

The same foil can indeed be used for 8-track cartridges and films and anything else that uses a proximity detector. Although you shouldn't need the 7/32 width foil for 8-tracks - using the standard half-inch laid diagonally across and shaved inside the channel the same as splicing tape should serve you fine.

One thing you might do though that they never did is apply real splicing tape on the opposite face of the tape from where you have your foil - and that holds doubly true for reel-to-reel unless you are as I said using 7/32 lengthwise on your leader right after the splice from the album. But then you have to worry about using too long or too short of a piece and wasting it.

Leader is the same - comes on 2500-foot cores (reels cost extra) on pancakes by the 10-pack - AND you can mix and match your colors as you see fit.

Splicing tape also comes in a large desktop-style tape dispenser roll several hundred feet on a 3-inch spool to the point where you can mount both your splicing tape and your sensing foil on independent cores in the same tape dispenser and use what you need when you need it.

Razor blades come in thousand-packs by the brick for a lot cheaper than you can get them through the tape supply companies.

And for all of these - if you find yourself having too much around - you can always spool off little bitty $1.98 snippets and sell `em online for $14.99 a spool the same as everybody else.

As far as re-dubbing old reels off of CD you might want to be a little bit selective.

As far as WOA - that tape - which is a double-album - is not that hard to come by. But being A 4-track stereo and B dubbed off in the 70s in the era of voice-grade mil-thick tape being ran off at 3-3/4 IPS for music - I can see why you'd want to do that one over again.

I'd say don't do it for a few reasons

1. Dubbing off a 16-bit 44.1 CD is going to lose a LOT of definition. I mean yeah sure you can do it til you get a better real copy and offload the leftovers like that in the swapmeet to some unsuspecting junior reel aficionado or other - but eventually your ears - and certainly those of the shmo to whom you offloaded it - are going to develop to the point where it will sound like nails on the blackboard.

Well maybe not but you get the idea.

I was doing that in college in the 80s and 90s but I was so glad I kept the originals on different (smaller 5-inch) reels so that when I got a better one later I could spool the better dub onto the better reel and put it in the better box and etc and then all the ``blank tape'' I offloaded - all these kids got all kinds of nice little surprises.

Since they were all 3-3/4 and I had a boatload of empty blank 1958 Quick Load Cartridges (see other thread abt that) - I wound `em all into different carts and wrote what it was in grease pencil just like the dubbing houses back then would do before attaching the labels and boxing them up to ship out.

2. Now you can do a lot better with a SACD or DTS or 24/96 DVD-A or some such and that will be better - but eventually you'll still be able to tell even the hi-res as having been bounced to digital and back.

3. Best to befriend a reviewer for all the new 15 IPS 2-track 10-1/2 inch stereo generation-and-a-half dubdowns that have been coming out for awhile now direct from the stereo session mix and do your 4-track stereo dubs from there.

They take the quarter inch session master, fly it over to a custom one-inch 2-track from JRF - make the half-inch 2-track bin-loop masters from that and so your release dub picks up a couple half-generations - one from being flown over to the one-inch and the other one from being flown back to a half-inch 2-track.

If you want to be picky - the guys that fly `em over to 30 IPS in the case of the 1-inch the half-inch or both - picks up maybe another quarter-generation since there's no EQ to worry about at 30 IPS

Me - in the case of the WOA or any other 3-3/4 album from the 70's - or 7-1/2 record club edition - I would just wait for a better one to show up - especially from Japan where a surprising number of U.S. titles from the post-Vietnam era were dubbed onto 7-1/2 instead of 3-3/4 the way they were in the States.

Since they used genuine Sony, 3M and other major brands instead of the generic or ``white-box'' tape they were using here by then - and since they were still doing 1:1 and 2:1 dubbing over there until almost the end of the Reel Era - even if it IS 3-3/4 - it's bound to sound better than a domestic release all other things being equal.

So welcome to the world of the reel to reel. Although it's just as expensive by percentage now as it was in the 50's, 60's and 70's if not more-so - you will find as your ears develop that it is well worth the effort.

_________________
2 kinds of men/tape. Low Noise/Wide Range.
LN=kind. WR=abrasive. Engineers=same thing.


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 Post subject: Re: Reel to reel tape
PostPosted: Feb Mon 11, 2019 10:52 pm 
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That WOA tape was something someone copied at 7 1/2 IPS from the record album.

I do have the CD version of it and at least to me it sounds good enough.

Now if I were to hear a studio grade copy of it I might change my mind and ditch the CD.

There any new tape brands you would recommend?


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 Post subject: Re: Reel to reel tape
PostPosted: Feb Tue 12, 2019 1:53 am 
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Joined: Feb Mon 06, 2012 7:24 pm
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Location: Gold Country, (Stanislaus National Forest) California 95235
As far as an LP transfer to a reel tape from 40 years ago (RASPBERRY) thanks for playing. Even at 15 IPS on Chrome tape and 2-track 10-1/2 inch reel and 2-mil tape to boot - still - pass. That kind of thing is for garage listening while you work in my opinion.

Even if it was a Mobile Fidelity or Nautilus or whatever transferred with a nude square shank hyper elliptical stylus on a $3495 purple amaranth-wood moving coil cartridge piped thru Monster Cables and a pre-amp and amp with....... - I still say Pass on the LP transfers.

As far as types of tape - the usual suspects of high grade tape are all pretty similar in their genres of voice-grade, mid-grade, music-grade and high-performance.

Most have been picked up by RTM and ATR which at the moment is pretty much the two remaining lines of tape - one that used to be Pyral (France) and one that used to be BASF (Germany) also Agfa Emtec Ampex/Quantegy etc etc etc got merged into the former, and most of the U.S. and Japanese formulations from 3M, Teac and the like all went under the ATR umbrella.

Me, if the takes and the dates are the same, I would see if the DVD and/or Blu-Ray sound any better - and then if the Blu-Ray has 5.1 sound - I would rip that off the disc - mix the center channel equally into the left front and right front and then lay THAT back onto a half-inch 15 IPS 4-track - or 7-1/2 IPS quarter-inch 4-track on one of the High-Performance tapes and see what you get.

A lot of the newer higher-performance formulations are EE equivalent and a few are even improvements thereon - so if you have an old 4-channel EE deck like a Teac 3340 -especially if you don't have a spare 30 grand laying around for a new one

https://thevinylfactory.com/news/ballfi ... StmCaBbt0b

then the original purpose of EE - to get 7-1/2 IPS fidelity at 3-3/4 (used for background and foreground music in the 80s as well as radio station library music from which on-air carts were prepared) - works equally well to get near-15 IPS fidelity at 7-1/2. We used to do it at church all the time for the choir and other high-energy and wide-range recordings.

Dubbers rarely re-used their bin-loop masters - and for a long time in the 80s and early 90s they were giving away their BASF half-inch chrome 921 masters after like maybe a week of being ran off for cassette duplication.

That wasn't enough to cause serious major wear on the tapes bec of such high maint standards - but if you tried that at a normal res/ferric oxide, you'd get runs in the tape and crinkles and such bec of the horribly low maint standards by comparison (which are still stratospheres above what a consumer wd do to his home deck).

So we would blank them out on the videotape eraser built for 2-inch quadruplex and set them on our Tascam half-inch 8-track at 7-/12 without even changing the bias (at first - til we were sure that's all we were going to get).

And we mixed down to the equally discarded various LPR-CR formulations also at 7-1/2 and cut all kinds of church records/chrome cassettes right off the mixdown master. They all sounded fabulous - even to seasoned studio engineers that came by on occasion.

So before running off and spending all kinds of money on what you may or may not even like - I would start off going on eBay or Amazon or somewhere even check your local pro-stereo shop that's been around forever and see if they have any NOS BASF LPR-(blank)-CR or some Maxell UDXLII or one of those and see what you think with that.

Then if you like that and you can hear where you need a higher performance THEN go and order your brand-new $98.95 a reel High-Performance tapes. Otherwise til your ear develops you can get by with this $10-$20 a reel NOS we just talked about.

_________________
2 kinds of men/tape. Low Noise/Wide Range.
LN=kind. WR=abrasive. Engineers=same thing.


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 Post subject: Re: Reel to reel tape
PostPosted: Feb Tue 12, 2019 5:06 am 
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Location: Warner Robins, GA
I don't ever expect to get a master quality recording as I neither have the necessary equipment or money to buy said equipment.

So I make do with what I have.

I do have a couple two track stereo reels of some violin music recorded at 7 1/2 IPS, but nothing yet to play them on to hear the quality difference.


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