I think if you can make 16 kHz flat within 1 dB off a test tape (with
few major bumps below that) at 3.75 in/s and still have respectable 20
kHz response (say within 2 or 3 dB) we've got a good-enough head. Few
recorders back in the day were able to do that. that demonstrates the
wavelength response. Maybe some 1.88 in/s tapes can benefit from going
the extra mile with ultra narrow-gap heads, but it's a budget thing,
too. I've used some 50 µin heads and don't see a whole lot more coming
off the tapes than with 100 µin heads.
Studer produced heads with gap lengths of 79 µin (ReVox A77/B77) to
about 146 µin (A80). The A810/A807 repro heads were about 118 µin and
the special 3.75 in/s head for the A80 RC was about 98 µin.
Resonating the head was common practice to increase its high-frequency
response and Jay McKnight has a calculator on the MRL website to help
The target audience of your message should be the interviewers and the
researchers who use(d) the $19.95 drugstore cassette (or reel!) no-name
recorders and the equally no-name Bargin-o-rama tapes to record
With something like the Zoom H1/H2n now there is just no excuse (and
thankfully (in the long run) no backlog of work being created for the
likes of me) to have anything but good-quality interviews ... well
unless they put the unit across the room and under a pillow. With the
H2(n) I urge people to use the four-channel mode for most oral histories
and I've had people use two of them to record 10-16 person panel
discussions where everything had to be intelligible.
Oh, and if you're interviewing in a house on a busy truck route, try to
keep the windows shut and put the dog out as well (even in the country).
On 2012-04-16 11:11 AM, Michael Biel wrote:
> From: Nigel Champion<[log in to unmask]>
>> The drawbacks with this method are:
>> 1. It's only suitable for low-bandwidth material (ie speech and not music)
> Is there SOME way to rid the audio and video world of this concept that
> speech does not need wide-band recording and reproduction??? The human
> speaking voice has the widest frequency range of just about any musical
> instrument and do not assume that the only reason to record someone
> speaking is intelligibility of the words. I grew up reading all the
> tape recorder ads that said use 3 3/4 for voice and 7 1/2 for music.
> Enough already. That concept should have been ignored in the 1950s and
> should be ignored now.
> IF the speech recording you are working with does happen to be low
> bandwidth, that is one thing. But don't make it low bandwidth by bad
> reproduction techinques because "what the hell, it's only speech". Some
> 3 3/4 speech recordings DO have wide bandwidth.
> Mike Biel [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.