I ran into a similar situation with a number of tapes that were part of
a broadcast collection. It was common back in the day to re-use tapes
for field reporting, and sometimes a reporter would take a tape from one
station, record over it with a machine using a different track format,
and use it for editing or broadcast at another facility.
Makes for some interesting headaches trying to sort it out.
Scott D. Smith
Chicago Audio Works, Inc.
On 2/27/2012 1:57 PM, Mark Donahue wrote:
> This may be a strange question, but could this be a case of recycled tape
> used on a machine with a different track format? I've run into this before
> that a 1/4 track tape was re-recorded on a 1/2 track NAB format machine or
> vice versa. These turn out to be some of the most confusing transfers
> imaginable because things show up on weird tracks in strange directions.
> All the best,
> On Mon, Feb 27, 2012 at 9:19 AM, Richard L. Hess
> <[log in to unmask]>wrote:
>> This is why I'm such a fanatic about developing tapes and looking at them.
>> The fact that track 3 has B NOT backwards confuses me.
>> Also, I'm surprised you are writing 1/3/2/4 because visually on the tape
>> you'd see 1/2/3/4 and that helps understanding.
>> You could use 1 + 4 to capture, but I'd rather fully understand why as the
>> narrow tracks, especially at the edge, are not the most desirable unless
>> that's all you have.
>> With track 3 B NOT backwards, I'm at a loss to explain.
>> Develop the tape and post a photo and link to it from the reply message to
>> the list.
>> Do not rule out misaligned heads. Also, some machines used 1/2 and 4/3 as
>> stereo recording and they might have been UK machines instead of the more
>> common US practice of 1/3 4/2 (in all instances L/R and SideA SideB).
>> On 2012-02-27 5:39 AM, Gregorio Garcia Karman wrote:
>>> Dear List,
>>> looking forward to the beginning of a new digitization week: everything
>>> is going well in Cambridge thanks in great extent to the support of the
>>> members of the list. Huge thanks!
>>> Now, I have a small group of 1/4 inch tapes in the collection on which I
>>> am working (ca 1950s-70s, recorded mainly on Ferrographs) which seems to
>>> have a track format, which I haven't met before. On those tapes standard
>>> half-track and half-track butterfly Studer blocks consistently produce a
>>> dual mono signal with unacceptable crosstalk on both channels (bleeding of
>>> about -20 dB referring to the signal on the other channel).
>>> On the other hand, the output of a quarter-track headblock is as follows:
>>> track 1: Signal A
>>> track 3: Signal A + B
>>> track 2: Signal A + B backwards
>>> track 4: Signal B backwards
>>> It would seem that this very small group of tapes would have been
>>> recorded on a machine with a very narrow guard-band in comparison to the
>>> rest of the tapes I have. What is your opinion about transferring those
>>> tapes on a quarter track headblock and keeping tracks 1 and 4?
>>> I would also be curious about which machine could have had a track format
>>> that would agree with the former observations.
>>> Thanks for your comments!
>>> 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.