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ARSCLIST  June 2014

ARSCLIST June 2014

Subject:

Re: Odd warble

From:

"Richard L. Hess" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 3 Jun 2014 11:31:45 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (99 lines)

Hello, Randy,

This is a very interesting sample, especially based on Tom Fine's 
comments--thanks, Tom, for reminding me of the "nip and tuck" tape method.

An aside--I obtained several Studer A807s from someone who _SAID_ they 
came from the Church of Scientology. There were two odd things about 
them that relate to this: (1) Each had a nicely machined aluminum 
splicing block (albeit with just a rectangular groove, not dovetail 
groove) that included a modified version of commonly available "Pinking 
Shears" that are used to cut fabric so it will not unravel (supposedly). 
(2) There were lots of little "chevrons" scattered about inside the 
machine, about 3/16 of an inch long and looked something like >>. Now, 
the cool thing was that the pitch of the saw teeth on the pinking shears 
was just about 1/4 inch peak-to-peak. There was a set screw so the phase 
of the pinking shear's sawteeth could be adjusted so that one valley was 
centered on the width of the tape. I recall manually doing these 
"chevron" or "dovetail" or "swallowtail" splices, hand-drawing the "<" 
with the razor blade. I still have the Editall block with lines cut into 
its bottom--this was from the 1970s when I was editing classical music.

Well, I mention this because it looks to me that (a) the tape transfers 
were done full-track mono and the nip-and-tuck was done in that domain. 
(b) The playback for the CD was done using a two-track stereo machine 
and the two CD channels are separate! (c) the above-described 
"Scientology" or my manual "swallowtail" approach to editing was NOT 
used -- it appears the edits were done on the tape using a standard 
Editall splicing block on a diagonal.

The warble at 0:35:450 (minutes:seconds:milliseconds) into the provided 
clip is most informative. I originally found it by ear, hearing the 
warble come out of the right speaker more than the left.

Please look at
http://www.richardhess.net/arsc/Randy_Riddle_Warble_0-35_screenshot.png

The highlighted section shows the point where the two channels are 
substantially different. The negative going spike at about 0:35:453 is 
the warble which sounds more like a thump to me. This is a case where 
something was cut poorly.

Now, notice that the highlighting is about 16 ms long. Interestingly, 16 
ms represents 0.24 inches at 15 in/s. That's pretty close to what a 
45-degree cut would take on a 1/4-inch tape! (I did the calc AFTER I 
highlighted the area looking at the obvious differences--I love it when 
the math works out this close!)

So, clearly, the "Scientology" or "swallowtail" editing approach was not 
used. I was pretty impressed when I saw these editing blocks because it 
was a shorter, but more repeatable version of my "swallowtail" manual 
approach. There must have been a pretty good machinist/audio engineer 
there who put pinking shears and scratch removal together.

Using two-track playback of a full-track tape is also something that 
frustrates me...I receive very favourable comments from clients when I 
use a full-track head (especially on an A80) for such transfers. I would 
like to thank Don Ososke for pushing me in that direction more than a 
decade ago. It really works. More people should do this!

Yes, the warbles/thumps are annoying in this segment. I do not know if 
they were exacerbated by digital processing, but I think that 1984 would 
be early for the type of digital processing that we're talking about, 
certainly the PC-based options we have now. I do not recall when Cedar 
started selling their stand-alone boxes, or perhaps it is an analog 
device (there are several, LIKE the Packburn, that I have no real 
knowledge of what they do).

For this particular warble/thump, using the left channel only might be 
advisable.

Cheers,

Richard



On 2014-06-03 6:26 AM, Randy A. Riddle wrote:
> Here's a sample that includes some "warbles".  It's a 14 mb .wav file that
> was ripped directly from the cd "Pop Singers on the Air!".
>
> The cd was issued in 1984, so this would have been some kind of technology
> available during that time.  My guess is that it was some kind of hardware
> box that did click removal that was adjustable - in the sample, you hear
> the "warble" in addition to some broader surface noise on the original
> transcription.  Again, you can hear the same "warbles" on both the lp and
> cd versions of some of the Radiola releases, so it's in the master tape and
> not an artifact of the media.
>
> https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/54210054/warble-sample-radiola.wav
>
> Randy
>

-- 
Richard L. Hess                   email: [log in to unmask]
Aurora, Ontario, Canada                             647 479 2800
http://www.richardhess.com/tape/contact.htm
Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes.

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