Richard's points on the track width and artifacts of DC erasure are well
taken. This is one situation where being able to re-position a head
anywhere across the tape would be a huge help.
FWIT; I used a Magnetophone M-15A with a 150 mil custom repro head for
most of the transfers we did, due to the fact that it has the largest
radius transport rollers of any machine I know, which helped to minimize
the possible separation of oxide from the binder due to tight radius of
the rollers on some machines. Your mileage may vary....
Scott D. Smith
Chicago Audio Works, Inc.
On 9/23/2012 4:19 PM, Richard L. Hess wrote:
> Hi, Karl,
> I have run a few dozen paper based tapes on the APR-5000 and a few on
> the A80 and have been lucky enough to do every one which has been
> presented over the years.
> The paper tape that I have seen (from both U.S. and Canadian sources,
> including Brush/Soundmirror boxed tape and Utah tape from Canada, as
> well as 3M and other unknown material) all seems to have held up
> reasonably well. I have not seen any that have been under water, but
> some were not particularly well-cared-for. The recordings generally
> are not great, especially the home-made ones.
> The tearing issue is worse than acetate tape. The track configuration
> has been odd. The level is usually low enough that I find it difficult
> to conjure up any sort of developed image of the tracks. I do have a
> 200-mil centre-track head for this purpose, but, on the other hand,
> I've also used 43-mil centre-track head (from a stereo NAB cartridge
> tape which is actually a 3-track head with the same track width as
> 1/4-track stereo).
> The 200 mil head seems a bit wide and the 43 mil head is a bit narrow.
> If I had a bunch where the utmost quality was needed, I'd try and
> mis-adjust the height of an NAB stereo head or maybe a DIN head to get
> the 82 or 100 mil track in the centre.
> Some of the noise problem (and what drove me to the 43 mil head) seems
> to come from DC erasure which, as you know, is very noisy. So, even
> with the 200 mil head (cutting 40 mils off the tape width, it sounded
> as if too much erased-but-not-re-recorded tape face was being
> reproduced. It was generally quieter in the "rocks" department from
> the 43 mil head than the 200 on the tapes I've done that with, but the
> tape hiss (general Gaussian noise) increased, although that was easier
> to remove with Algorithmix Noise-Free pro than the rocks were, so I
> opted to go that route.
> On a couple of odd tapes (and I now forget if they were paper or
> acetate or a mix), I ended up using a full-track head on a Studer A80
> because it seemed that odd parts of the tape were erased. Grabbing as
> much of the signal as possible seemed like a good idea at the time.
> The client was happy. I wasn't but they got to hear what was on the tape.
> As with any old and unknown-source/format tape, experimentation and
> your ears are your friends.
> On 2012-09-21 2:03 PM, Karl Miller wrote:
>> I wondered if anyone has had experience with paper based tapes and if
>> so, are
>> there any special problems associated with them.