On Monday, January 05, 2009 4:18 PM, Eric Jacobs wrote:
> One subtle but important tip regarding 1/4-track stereo reel-to-reel
> recordings is that they need to be played back on a 2-track machine if
> your target audience is blind listeners.
> It is tempting to use 4-track heads because you can digitize both the
> A and B sides in a single pass, reducing your digitizing effort/time
> and hence cost by nearly 50%.
Realizing that the above could be confusing, let me try to be
more clear. It is possible to play 1/4-track stereo reel-to-reel
tapes with either
a) 1/4-track stereo heads (play Side A, flip the tape, then
play Side B)
b) 4-track heads (play Side A and Side B at the same time, then
reverse Side B in your DAW)
> However, blind people tend to have very acute hearing. If you digitize
> a 1/4-track tape with a 4-track head, there will be too much cross-talk
> on the adjacent tracks (ie. you can hear the B-side (playing backwards)
> at a very low level in the background of the A-side). The cross-talk
> is annoying to sighted listeners, but can be intolerable to blind
The main point is that the use of cost-saving measures such as 4-track
playback of 1/4-track stereo tapes should be considered very carefully
for content destined for blind listeners. I would generally caution
against 4-track playback of 1/4-track stereo tapes. If you do consider
4-track playback, first run several test cases with a test audience to
ensure that cross-talk is in fact not a problem for your listeners.
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