This is an interesting discussion, specifically about backwards-copying (without decoding)
Dolby-encoded tapes. In theory, if the playback machine is going to be able to ramp up transients
more accurately (because it's going in reverse and thus having more time to ramp up to the peak for
most kinds of transients), and the recording machine can capture that, I would think, as long as
average level isn't messed up and care is taken to match the Dolby levels at the outset, the
playback from the copy tape would sound less "washed out" than has been my experience with Dolby
copies. There's inevitable "wash-out" from any tape copies because of another generation of
time-domain smears (wows and flutters), so if you can mitigate some of the rise-time washing-out,
that would seem to be a Good Thing, in theory.
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "Ted Kendall" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Monday, February 08, 2016 4:23 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Playing reels backwards - separating myth from fact
> 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.