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ARSCLIST  September 2008

ARSCLIST September 2008

Subject:

Re: cassette crackle

From:

Michael Biel <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 18 Sep 2008 13:45:44 -0400

Content-Type:

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> David Lennick wrote:
>> Dumb question (for various reasons, I can't listen to the file at the 
>> moment). Were these cassettes all recorded on small mono portable 
>> machines? Tapes made on these almost always have a crackly or noisy 
>> right channel when played back on good decks and in stereo. The 
>> solution here is simply to play only the left channel.
>>
>> dl
Mike Hirst wrote:
> I have no information as to what equipment was used. However, it is my 
> suspicion that small mono machines were used.

Maybe this proves that there is no such thing as a dumb question.  When 
we read that you were playing back the tapes on a stereo machine 
everyone seems to have assumed that the recordings were stereo.  Now 
that we know they are not, what you are hearing is what is on the guard 
band between the two mono tracks.  Remember that the right channel is 
the one closer to the center.  The left is at the edge.  There is a 
possibility that the mono track record head is slightly narrower than 
the width used by the split-track stereo head you are playing the tape 
on.  If the mono recorder the tape was made on was using either DC erase 
or just a magnet to erase the tape -- two techniques often used on cheap 
portables -- there WILL be crackle on parts of the tape that passed the 
erase head but did not pass the record head.  Often the erase head track 
is slightly wider than the record head width, or else the record head 
height was slightly off and it was recording slightly beyond the edge of 
the tape and not close enough to the center. 

Mike Biel  [log in to unmask]

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