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ARSCLIST  December 2009

ARSCLIST December 2009

Subject:

Re: Tape Squeal

From:

Corey Bailey <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

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

Date:

Thu, 17 Dec 2009 01:23:58 -0800

Content-Type:

text/plain

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Hi Richard,

I would be interested in exploring our different experiences with LAST
lubricants. Perhaps we should compare findings off list. 
Starting in the early 90ís, I experimented with a number of lubricants and
application methods until I discovered the Last Factory. Some of those
lubricants did work well but the resulting mess and possible harm to the
equipment seemed to be not worth the results. Consequently, I never published
my findings. I would agree that the majority of squeal problems occur on tapes
recorded at slower speeds however I have also encountered the problem on music
masters recorded at higher speeds. Perhaps I should have noted in my post that
the example on your website did not utilize a standard audio tape deck and the
speed was quadrupled. Iíve always admired your work because you think outside
the box but with a scientific approach. My concern was the possible oversight
of the details regarding your particular procedure and some would think it just
fine to try a 3-3/4ips tape run at (for example) 15ips and I wanted to point
out the possible pitfalls. 

Anymore, Iíve pretty much come to the conclusion: ďIf it ainít Scotch 206, Bake
it!í Of course, that excludes acetate but I have found that stabilizing the
oxide solves a number of problems right off and polyester doesnít seem to be
bothered by the process.

Cheers!

Corey Bailey 
Corey Bailey Audio Engineering


Quoting "Richard L. Hess" <[log in to unmask]>:

> At 10:00 PM 2009-12-16, Corey Bailey wrote:
> >Having dealt with squealing tapes at virtually all recorded speeds and
> (most)
> >widths, the simplest and most effective solution I've found is to lubricate
> >them. That said, the most effective lubricant I've used so far is from Last
> >Factory.
> 
> Hi, Corey,
> 
> I have had pretty much the opposite results with The Last Factory products.
> 
> >1) Unless you have modified your play electronics, playing, for example, a
> >7.5ips tape at 15ips will invoke a different EQ alignment curve which will
> >result in inaccuracies when pitching the file back down in the digital
> domain.
> >(Something I don't like to do in the first place for a number of reasons)
> 
> There are many ways to handle this and most of the times I record an 
> MRL test tape to make sure it's all fine at the end.
> 
> In my experience, this is a problem that is mostly limited to 
> personal and oral history tapes as they are the ones usually recorded 
> at slow speeds. I've had little or no issues with master tapes, 
> especially on the single-head reproducers.
> 
> >2) Having tried this and observed the signal with calibrated test equipment
> >showed that the squeal is, more often than not, still there and 
> >although it may
> >not be (as) audible, it is having an effect on the audio in other ways such
> as
> >increased harmonic distortion, induced wow and flutter, etc.
> 
> That certainly may be true in some instances, but in others, there is 
> a threshold where the squeal stops. It was actually Jay McKnight of 
> MRL who suggested the higher playing speed (I think I mention that in 
> my blog post) and this was based in part on the analysis he did of 
> the mechanical properties of tape for Ampex.
> 
> Cheers,
> 
> Richard
> 
> Richard L. Hess                   email: [log in to unmask]
> Aurora, Ontario, Canada       (905) 713 6733     1-877-TAPE-FIX
> Detailed contact information: http://www.richardhess.com/tape/contact.htm
> Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes. 
> 

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