I need to remind everyone that I never made a backwards copy of an
encoded (stretched) tape, regardless of the noise reduction employed. I
was there when the "to decode or not decode" controversy was at it's
height. My position was (and still is) to decode the original and
re-encode the copy. Reason: If you make a copy of an encoded tape
without decoding it, the copy will have baked in tape hiss that will
ultimately not be affected by the noise reduction when applied for final
playback. Thus, the copy will be nosier than if you decoded and
re-encoded the copy.
Corey Bailey Audio Engineering
On 2/8/2016 9:19 PM, Jeff Willens wrote:
> Actually, that was the one thing I always heard you could NEVER do with
> Dolby encoded tapes -- dub them without decoding them.
> I'm going back 15 years or so to remember this, but it is possible I did not
> decode the Dolby on some of the analog copies I made, probably for test
> purposes. As I said, decoding backwards was not my preferred method, but no
> one seemed bothered by my concerns. I did the dubs per the request of the
> reissue producer. If there were residual decoding artifacts, I never heard
> them or heard about them from the others involved.
> On Mon, 8 Feb 2016 21:23:34 -0000, Ted Kendall
> <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> This runs counter to my own experience. Firstly, one great benefit of Dolby
>> A was that straight copies of encoded tapes could be made without decoding,
>> provided that the reference tones were retained on the copy, so there was no
>> need to decode as part of the dubbing process. Secondly, to decode a Dolby A
>> tape on reverse play is just plain wrong - the attack and decay
>> chracteristics of the system are asymmetrical, so the decoding will be
>> wrong, no matter how much you have finessed the other parameters.
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: "Jeff Willens"<[log in to unmask]>
>> To:<[log in to unmask]>
>> Sent: Monday, February 08, 2016 1:22 PM
>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Playing reels backwards - separating myth from fact
>> I should think the net gain depends on the type of music involved. Back at
>> Universal, I was asked by a producer to make 1:1 analog copies of album
>> masters played in reverse to be sent out for mastering. The thinking was
>> exactly as you describe: sharper transients, better bass response and
>> definition,etc. Since these were all reggae albums from the 70s and 80s,
>> they felt it was worth the effort.
>> In my own crude testing, I found that, aside from making sure the channels
>> were consistent (something one can easily overlook), I also found azimuh to
>> be the crucial factor in achieving any success, Many masters were Dolby
>> encoded, which gave me much pause, but no one else was concerned about it (I
>> figured decoding between the two tape machines was the least of all evils).
>> Was there a difference? Hard to say. I believe there was a slightly better
>> result from reverse transfer, but nothing drastic. And definitely nothing
>> that couldn't be got with skillful use of modern compression and EQ.