Ha! I missed Steve's comment, thanks for repeating it. Steve, that "job" is the ultimate audio-kafka
Gregorio, the only thing I'd add to Richard's excellent post is that I like to wear archivist gloves
when doing the unpleasant job of cleaning up a tape catastrophe. You don't get finger oils on the
tape and I find the tape is easier handled when it just glides along the smooth gloves. I've also
found it much easier to work with a reel actually on the tape machine and slowly spool on the tape
from the mess on the floor or in a clean bucket or box. Once in a while, the tangling will get to be
so you need to take the reel off the machine and turn it around and around to relieve some of the
tangle. If you can confine the tape to a skinny round bucket, you can just spin the bucket too.
Overall it's an unpleasant undertaking.
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "Gregorio Garcia Karman" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Monday, January 23, 2012 4:55 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Disentangling a pancake
Huge thanks. Loved your comments :-)
> Doing speech jobs from unknown languages
> often requires a collaborator. The worst is higly alliterative poetry.
> Steve Smolian
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Richard L. Hess
> Sent: Monday, January 23, 2012 10:02 AM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Disentangling a pancake
> It all depends what you are left with. Keep the Excedrin handy.
> Do you have Medusa's hair (or scouring pad) or is there still a "big donut"
> with the centre dropped out? If the latter, you can use a very slightly
> conical pair of flanges to centre and wind off the tape. If the former, you
> need a great dose of patience. I wonder, would listening to the Gilbert and
> Sullivan operetta "Patience" help?
> I once was given a 1200-foot reel's worth of tape in a shoebox. It was in
> several pieces. It took about half a day to deal with it.
> I have someone who had wrapped the tape up on toilet paper rolls, and when I
> suggested it would take me 2-3 hours to get the tape back right, they asked
> me to send them a reel so they could put it on...the lady and her husband
> would work at it together as they didn't want to generate that type of
> billing from me. I'll be sending them the reel this week.
> It's only an 8-track cartridge with what 300 feet?
> After digitizing some of the oldest tapes in the U.S., I wrote an article
> about the experience for the Journal of the Audio Engineering Society. It is
> available on their website:
> In this article there is a photo of Jim Wheeler holding a paper bag.
> Neither of us WANTED to do this in addition to the 51 reels, so it went toe
> Stanford as is. The follow-on story is Stanford archivists re-spooled all
> the pieces and I got to digitize them a few years ago.
> They were snippets of a Philco Radio Time with Bing Crosby show. After the
> paper bag treatment, we were happy it was 30 in/s full-track. Higher areal
> density will make the creases and twists more audible.
> On 2012-01-23 4:59 AM, Gregorio Garcia Karman wrote:
>> Dear list,
>> a good friend has just written asking what to do in case of a open reel
> "pancake" comes apart. I have not had the experience, but always feared
> something like that could happen. Are there any standard procedures of how
> to proceed with the resulting mess?
>> Many thanks
>> Gregorio Garcia Karman
>> [log in to unmask]
> Richard L. Hess email: [log in to unmask]
> Aurora, Ontario, Canada (905) 713 6733 1-877-TAPE-FIX
> Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes.