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  #16  
Old 02-27-2020, 09:20 PM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is offline
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I grew up with a variety of tape machines and I've always thought they were so cool.

I still have my Tascam 8-track recording machine and a 2-track Tascam mastering machine. I have not used either of these for quite a while, maybe 10 years, maybe longer. The heads on my Tascam 8-track machine need to be replaced and I have never been able to face up to that when I have such good digital equipment at hand. I do still have some unopened packages of recording tape. I have not had the experience of working with the highest quality analog tape machines like Bob Womack has.

I do agree with some of the comments from Brent Hahn. Some of the very best recordings I have heard from analog machines seemed to be very easy on the ears and yet sounded incredibly good. I'm sure it's not just the tape machines but the quality of everything else in the recording chain, as well.

For myself, never having had this kind of quality at my fingertips, the digital workstation I currently have gives me probably better overall quality at way less cost and much greater convenience than I have had before this. But a good analog machine can be much more forgiving.

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Old 02-27-2020, 09:43 PM
RRuskin RRuskin is offline
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[QUOTE=Bob Womack;6303282]
...These days there are modern, high-tech studios and there are studios that have outfitted themselves with restored top-end gear from the golden age of studios. Interestingly, several consoles that I spent years on now live in studios like this. Some artists prefer legacy class-A recording consoles and analog tape...

Even though most of my new production is recorded to digital, I still have and prefer to use a console for tracking, monitoring, & mixing.
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Old 02-28-2020, 04:49 AM
hat hat is offline
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So Bob, tell me more about this 'Baking process' you referenced earlier. Do you just pop them in the oven at 425 for 15 min like a Papa Murphy's pizza?
I got a better look last night, and there are 24 boxes. All have been used.
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Old 02-28-2020, 05:26 AM
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Bob Womack Bob Womack is offline
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Originally Posted by hat View Post
So Bob, tell me more about this 'Baking process' you referenced earlier. Do you just pop them in the oven at 425 for 15 min like a Papa Murphy's pizza? I got a better look last night, and there are 24 boxes. All have been used.
First. remove the tape from box and bag. The recipe' from 3M for baking a 1/4"master tape is to heat it at 130' for six to eight hours. You can do it in a regular oven but the best method is in a food drier because the heat is more consistant. We've got a couple of those. When one of us did it in an over, he placed a sheet of cardboard on the rack and the reel on that. In both methods we finish the cycle and then let the reel cool to room temperature in the oven without moving it. This allows things to cool gradually without a shock. In cases where the tape is on a plastic reel it also allows the reel to cool and not warp.

After cooling, package up the tape in a plastic bag and seal it. Store it in a cool, dry place. You've got thirty days to use the tape before its hydroscopic character (absorbs moisture) renders it unusable again and you have to repeat the baking process.

To transfer the tape:

Clean the tape machine, the heads, guides, capstan, and pinch roller. If you get as much as a speck on the heads you'll have reduced fidelity. Specks on guides, capstan, and pinch roller can be transferred to the tape. One micron of space between the head and the tape causes high-end drop-off.

After that, I mount the tape on a clean machine and run the tape through in "pack mode," basically twice playback speed. If that isn't possible, play it through without reproducing. In either case, when you get to the other end, clean the machine again. Then turn the tape over and play it through without reproducing. Why? Tapes often end up poorly packed through shrinking and swelling over time, and also possibly from being dropped. You end up with a good, consistent pack on the reel before you play back if you use this method.

Finally, before playing back, clean the machine again. Now you are ready to transfer your tape. I won't get into EQ'ing the machine to the new tape as most people aren't used to the process.

There you go!

Bob
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Old 02-28-2020, 08:25 AM
jim1960 jim1960 is offline
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When I was a kid, getting "baked" had an entirely different connotation.
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  #21  
Old 02-28-2020, 08:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glennwillow View Post
I grew up with a variety of tape machines...
Well, my first recording was on a wire recorder. From there it was stereo tape, then 4-track cassette.... I jumped for joy when software came out turning your computer into a recording studio. But then, I was always mostly a player, not a sound tech.
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  #22  
Old 02-28-2020, 09:02 AM
RRuskin RRuskin is offline
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...I won't get into EQ'ing the machine to the new tape as most people aren't used to the process...
Bob
And don't you just love having to find azimuth and playback eq for a tape with no set up tones?
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  #23  
Old 02-28-2020, 09:07 AM
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Bob Womack Bob Womack is offline
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And don't you just love having to find azimuth and playback eq for a tape with no set up tones?
Add "stored heads out" and you've got the whole meal.


Bob
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  #24  
Old 02-28-2020, 09:20 AM
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Add "stored heads out" and you've got the whole meal.


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  #25  
Old 03-09-2020, 08:05 AM
hat hat is offline
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Well, I have a nice update - after going through more boxes, I found the recorder! A Sony TC765. Now to clean it up, and see if it wants to work.
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