I don't see any problem in storing the master in the two separate reels.
What you have is the form that original motion picture edit masters are
routinely created in: "A-B Rolls." This is how motion pictures have
always been created. The first scene is on the A roll, and then the
printer does the designated transition to the next section from the B
roll, such as a dissolve, fade, cut, wipe, iris, etc., then back to the
next scene on the A roll, etc. This is also routinely done in audio
masters, especially in the pre-multrack days, where a segment to be
over-dubbed during mastering is on a separate reel. The train bells in
the Original Cast of The Music Man is an example (they are timed
differently on different masters of this record), and Stan Freberg's
imitation of Kay Kyser's introductions for the Capital LP Kay Kyser's
Greatest Hits. Of course you run the risk of losing one of the reels,
such as Capitol either losing or forgetting the Freberg announcements
when they did the CD of the album!!! But in your case, the metadata
notation of "A-B roll" should inform future archivists of the storage
Mike Biel [log in to unmask]
From: George Brock-Nannestad <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Thu, June 11, 2009 11:55 am
To: [log in to unmask]
From: Patent Tactics, George Brock-Nannestad
Eric Jacobs wrote:
> I have Scotch 201 (acetate base) and Scotch 206 (polyester base,
> back coated) in two dozen alternating segments. The Scotch 206
> is very sticky.
> I was able to separate the 201 and 206 so that the 206 could be
> baked apart from the 201 (not to be baked). The STUDER A820 has
> only rolling contact when spooling, and I set the tensions very
> low and the library winding speed at 3 meters/sec. This allowed
> spooling of the sticky segments, which had to be done prior to
> baking in order to separate the polyester from the acetate.
----- lovely to hear about good equipment for the purpose
> So here are my thoughts and questions:
> 1. For future playback, would it be better to splice all the
> polyester together, each segment separated by leader, and the
> leaders annotated as to the order of the segments? Ditto
> for the acetate. Pros: Future baking becomes vastly simpler.
> Downside: the non-sequential segment order needs to be
> documented in the metadata, in the filenames of the preservation
> masters, and possibly annotated on the tape itself (on the
> segment separation leaders).
----- I would definitely recommend this option. The only way that you
a preservation master is by performing the separation that you described
above, so you have the option between no preservation master and a re-
assembled one. The original tape only serves to authenticate, and it is
vastly more accessible. Obviously this generates metadata. The
the tape itself (the leaders) will be an interesting exercise, because
need arrows to point to which part you mean. You would not want to
piece of tape in the process.
> 2. Or would it be better to re-assemble the reel in its
> original segment order (alternating polyester/acetate)?
> Pros: we preserve the original order of the tape. Cons:
> someone in the future may have to repeat the exercise of
> separating the segments yet again for baking?
----- the only problem lies in the authentication: the tape as found
undoubtedly uses the pieces in the order originally planned, if the
hold up. However, irrespective of whether you use (1) or (2) the pieces
been separated in the process, and we only have your assurance that the
pieces are now in the same order according to (2). If we trust this
reassembly we could just as well trust that you have brought the two
tape in the order that you yourself describe in the metadata relating to
But there is no doubt that some authenticity, some indubitable
has been lost in the process. But this way, the surviving tape obtains
than mere symbolic value: we get access to the content.
> 3. I prefer to insert leader between the segments when there is
> azimuth variation between the segments, as it allows for
> easier identification of each segment and cueing each
> segment for individual azimuth adjustment (thank goodness
> for calibrated azimuth adjusters). Cons: you double the
> amount of splices in the tape pack.
----- I really enjoyed reading this: this means that you would do it,
the two types of tape did not need different baking and separation per
Splices at an angle serve as a primitive sort of very quick cross-fade -
do you deal with this? And the preservation copy you provide would be a-
historical as reproduction goes, because now we have a maximum of high
frequencies that we did not have ever before. But that is no different
extracting sound that was not reproducible on early mechanical
from early mechanical recordings.
> To date, I generally perform (2) above - especially if the polyester
> segments do not require baking. I often get Scotch 201 and Scotch
> 176 in combination, and this is usually in good shape (ie. no baking
> required). I perform (3) if there is variation in the azimuth between
> polyester and acetate segments.
> Just today I was wondering if (1) above would be a better approach
> when dealing with sticky shed in a mixed polyester/acetate reel?
> Odds are, anyone who will attempt to play such a sticky tape
> in the future will have to go through the exact same exercise of
> separating and baking. So why not leave things in a better state
> for the next audio preservation engineer?
----- I think that your reasoning is sound! I vote for (1). And I would
to see convincing arguments in support of (2). And, furthermore, it is
view that only if the tape in question features in a multi-million court
will it ever be played again.