I've done #1 many times and it works as long as the tracks can be adjusted into azimuth with each
other (not always the case if the half track head was way off-azimuth in a manner that the azimuth
"bows outward" toward the edges). Keep in mind that with high-quality music recording, you can hear
a different between a track that was actually played front-to-back and one that was played in
reverse and then digitally made front-to-back. Richard Hess will hopefully explain why, it has to do
with how tape machines deal with attacks and wave fronts. The difference shouldn't be drastic, but I
find it audible. With lower-quality content, it doesn't matter, to my ears.
I don't recommend #2. Get a full-track head, although that too presents problems with warped or
badly slit or shrunken tapes. With tapes that don't ride well in the transport, I've had good luck
using a Tascam 4-track quarter-inch machine and using either the least-noisy track or, more
commonly, the two center tracks, providing I can get them to maintain good azimuth.
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "Gregorio Garcia Karman" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thursday, January 05, 2012 9:53 PM
Subject: [ARSCLIST] transferring open reel tapes - track formats
considering the possibility of the following compromising solutions in the digital transfer of open
1. playing a mono half-track open reel tape on a stereo machine and reversing the channel playing in
the wrong direction digitally.
2. playing a full-track mono tape on a stereo machine.
...what are the considerations that speak against those?
Thanks for your advice