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ARSCLIST  October 2017

ARSCLIST October 2017

Subject:

Re: Problematic reel (bleedthrough, shedding, mold) - basic advice?

From:

Corey Bailey <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

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

Date:

Tue, 3 Oct 2017 11:44:35 -0700

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (218 lines)

Hi Eli,

My apologies if what I have outlined as "My" procedures seem confusing. 
I'll try to be more concise in the future but remember: Dealing with SSS 
or other audio tape anomalies can often be a unique situation requiring 
experimentation because the accepted science doesn't apply to every 
situation. So, those of us in the trenches who deal with the situation 
at hand often have to think out of the box and if the results are 
positive, we will often share them. Each person with their accumulated 
experience has their own refined procedures. Marie O'Connell, Richard 
Hess and I (I'm putting myself in with some very esteemed individuals), 
each have our own way of dealing with the same problem. In the end, we 
hope to wind up with a good result: An audio tape that plays and the 
information contained is recovered. It is up to the student to take 
advantage of the knowledge that best suits their needs. If you are 
standing at the crossroads, unsure of which way to go, I would fall back 
to the published, peer reviewed science, then see what the others are up to.

Cheers!

Corey

Corey Bailey Audio Engineering
www.baileyzone.net

On 10/3/2017 10:50 AM, Eli Bildirici wrote:
> Hmm, thanks. Can anybody else chime in about this magical 'Tape Last' material?
> Also, it appears I'm getting conflicting advice again. You say to try a Tape Last coat, and if that doesn't work to bake, and before having baked to make sure that the leaders have to be replaced with plastic ones. Richard was pretty vehement about not attempting to unspool before having baked. Also I'm still not sure how to modify the tray :/ I don't mean to whine, I'm just unsure how to proceed (though in any case won't do anything before my colleagues return)
>
> October 2 2017 1:41 AM, "Corey Bailey" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> Hi Eli,
>>
>> To address your question: The tape would be baked when dry. All contaminants (Mold, moisture, etc.)
>> will have been removed and any leaders replaced that need it. For me, baking an analog (or digital)
>> tape is the last resort. Baking has consequences and not enough research (IMHO) has been done as to
>> what those consequences are. In 2015, Goran Finnberg posted to the ARSC list that he had measured
>> an increase in AM distortion with the first baking of audio tape and the AM distortion increased
>> with subsequent baking. This would possibly explain the changes in overall fidelity that I and
>> others have noticed as the result of baking. However, there has been no follow-up by Groan so, at
>> this point, I would have to consider his comments as anecdotal. What I do for PVC based tapes, that
>> exhibit SSS, is to generously apply Tape Last from The Last Factory. I have found Tape Last to be
>> about 95% effective when it comes to making problem tapes playable. If, after treatment, the tape
>> is still cranky and won't behave, it gets baked. I have been assured by The Last Factory that
>> baking a tape which has been treated will have no consequences and my experience supports that
>> claim. Last Factory has also said that treating an analog tape with Tape Last will enhance the
>> shelf life but I personally have no evidence to support their claim. Tape Last is expensive and the
>> process is time consuming so institutions with large holdings will bake first and ask questions
>> later. It's simply a matter of economics.
>>
>> Disclaimer:
>>
>> I have no connection with The Last Factory and receive no compensation, in any form, from them.
>>
>> Cheers!
>>
>> Corey
>>
>> Corey Bailey Audio Engineering
>> www.baileyzone.net
>>
>> On 10/1/2017 11:40 AM, Eli Bildirici wrote:
>>
>>> <SNIP>
>>> Also - to clarify, should I soak, wait for it to dry a bit, and then attempt to bake? I'm also not
>>> quite sure I understood re how 'removing the grille' helps. Isn't the issue that the central hole
>>> is to wide? It looks like we'd have to somehow modify one of the trays in order to get a 7"er on
>>> there, right?
>>>
>>> September 28 2017 11:34 AM, "Richard L. Hess" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>>> When I do moldy tapes, I use a NIOSH dual-cartridge respirator.
>>>>
>>>> Don't risk your health.
>>>>
>>>> On 2017-09-27 11:29 PM, Corey Bailey wrote:
>>> Hi Eli,
>>> Sorry, I didn't see your question about the "Soaking". I had a tape > similar to your problem tape
>>> and here's what I did: I used a round film > can and (literally) submerged the 7" reel of tape in
>>> medical alcoholfor > about an hour. You can submerge the tape for longer if you think it > needs it
>>> because (IMHO) pure alcohol does not harm PVC base audio tape. > Others may differ. After the
>>> "Soaking", I unwound the tape, slowly, by > hand, while wiping with pellon. Much the same as you
>>> describe except I > use a modified 8MM film editor for this task. I had to replace every > leader
>>> on this particular tape and there were lots of them. Mold is > serious business. Much of it is
>>> microscopic and the spores get > everywhere. If you are indoors, you need a "clean room" that is
>>> isolated > from everything else. I set up outside, away from anything that may be > subject to mold
>>> contamination. Only after I was confident that I had > conquered the mold contamination, did I
>>> consider baking the tape. In > this case, the tape did not need to be baked. The tape (Again, IMHO)
>>> was > Scotch 206 and played fine after restoration*. * Restoration included > lubricating the
>>> entire tape...Another topic for another time.
>>> Corey
>>> Corey Bailey Audio Engineering
>>> www.baileyzone.net
>>> On 9/27/2017 1:27 PM, Eli Bildirici wrote:
>>> Shai wrote:
>>>
>>> "The bleed through could also be print through. It actually doesn't >> look as
>>> bad as I thought. I would start with a low temp bake (about 40 >> Celsius) for
>>> 24-48 hours.Next I would try to unspool and clean a short length of >> tape to
>>> see if any flaking occurs. If not I would clean the rest of the tape and
>>> try to play. If it still give trouble I would rebake for antoher 24 hours
>>> at 55 Celsius."
>>>
>>> Thanks. What we've had to do however, as nearly all of our content >> left to digitize and
>>> catalogue
>>> are on 7" reels, is first transfer them onto a 10" one, as that's what >> fits in our dehydrator:
>>>
>>> https://imgur.com/sCyrUqK
>>>
>>> I'm realizing based on these comments though that this is far from >> ideal (and follows logically,
>>> at that), so if anybody has advice as to >> particular models of dehydrators that can accommodate
>>> reels of this >> size, I'm all ears.
>>>
>>> Corey - can you elaborate on the 'soaking' process? What we've been >> doing until now is using a
>>> dedicated R2R solely for cleaning, playing >> through a tape while holding a bit of Pellon with
>>> some 99% isopropyl >> alcohol against it as it spools. Soaking it without unspooling is of >>
>>> course very different - how long do you think? How deep? Should it go >> straight from having been
>>> soaked (ideally) into the dehydrator?
>>>
>>> Would you guys propose checking the tape whilst it's being baked every >> 24 hours?
>>>
>>> Increasingly, many of our reels left to process appear to have a bunch >> of different, unrelated
>>> segments strewn together, sometimes in the >> wrong direction and rarely with any kind of
>>> indication as to what's on >> there. Often if not always, if leader is used to separate the
>>> segments >> at all, it is paper. In case there is no mold, but the tapes are >> shedding, should
>>>
>>> I looked at Richard Hess's site yesterday and found this reference: >>
>>> http://richardhess.com/notes/formats/magnetic-media/magnetic-tapes/analog-audio/degrading-tapes >>
>>> I don't think there's a way to identify tape stock by sight though, so >> it looks like this
>>> doesn't help me much. I've been going through the >> Specs site, meanwhile. Among the more
>>> interesting things is the >> implication that this white residue I'm seeing...isn't actually mold?
>>> But instead may "indicate breakdown of various chemical components":
>>> http://www.specsbros.com/white-paper-basic-inspection-techniques-to-sample-the-condition-of-magnetic
>>> tape.html >>
>>>
>>> I'm not sure what, if any, ramifications this could have.
>>>
>>> E
>>>
>>> September 27 2017 2:53 PM, "Corey Bailey" <[log in to unmask]> >> wrote:
>>> Hi Eli,
>>>
>>> You have a host of problems with this reel of tape (preaching to the >>> choir here): Mold,
>>> Shedding
>>> which may require some baking, and segments separated by paper >>> leader. Paper leader is not bad
>>> by
>>> itself but, in this case, it's adding to the problem because of mold >>> and moisture absorption.
>>>
>>> 1) Address the mold. Baking a moldy tape will contaminate your oven. >>> Avoid (if you can) any
>>> water
>>> based mold killing products. Pure alcohol work well as a first or >>> second application. Soaking
>>> the
>>> tape with alcohol may reduce the sticky layer problem to the point >>> that it can be carefully
>>> unwound
>>> to move on to step 2.
>>>
>>> 2) Replace the paper leader with plastic leader. I've also used blank >>> Polyester tape (reversed)
>>> as
>>> leader. Then, continue with mold removal because you want to remove >>> ALL of the mold.
>>>
>>> 3) Bake the tape if you think it is safe to do so. Bake looow (Temp) >>> and sloow: Less than 49C
>>> (120F) for as long as it takes. 24 to 48 hours would not be uncommon. >>> I would suggest using a
>>> dehydrator for this particular application or, any unit that you can >>> safely dispose of because
>>> contamination may be unavoidable, rendering the baking device >>> unusable for anything else.
>>>
>>> Check with Peter Brothers to see if Specs Bros. may have some advice: >>> http://www.specsbros.com
>>>
>>> You may have to decide which is more important: Saving the tape or >>> saving the equipment.
>>> Corporate
>>> America, in my experience, would decide that the process is too >>> expensive and chuck the tape.
>>>
>>> Advise is free so, contact me off-list if you like.
>>>
>>> Sorry,
>>>
>>> Corey
>>>
>>> Corey Bailey Audio Engineering
>>> www.baileyzone.net
>>>
>>> On 9/26/2017 1:56 PM, Eli Bildirici wrote:
>>>
>>> We all just double-checked and it looks like polyester rather than >>>> acetate. My guess is the
>>> angle
>>> of my phone and the way the sunlight was hitting the tape made it >>>> look wrong. Do you have any
>>> advice re baking?
>>>
>>> September 26 2017 4:27 PM, "John Chester" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>> On 9/26/17 4:10 PM, Ted Kendall wrote:
>>> If you are getting what I think you mean by bleedthrough, bits of > >>>> oxide have already lifted
>>> and
>>> stuck to the back of adjacent turns. If > you have played it, it's >>>> probably too late to do
>>> much,
>>> but you could > start by baking and see what can be salvaged.
>>> The loose end of the tape which I see in the photos is red oxide with >>> no backcoating. Tapes
>>> without backcoating rarely need to be baked. If any of the tape on >>> this reel is acetate base,
>>> it
>>> should absolutely not be baked. To check for acetate base, hold the >>> reel up to a light -- if
>>> you
>>> can see light through the tape pack, it's acetate.
>>>
>>> The nightmare scenario is a mixed reel that's got sticky-shed tape on >>> the outside, and acetate
>>> tape
>>> further into the reel. In that case, you pretty much have to decide >>> which you will save,
>>> because
>>> you probably can't save both. Baking will ruin the acetate, and >>> unspooling the sticky-shed tape
>>> without baking may leave large chunks of oxide stuck to the backcoating.
>>>
>>> -- John Chester
>>> Eli Bildirici
>>> (347) 837-8337
>>> -- 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.
>>> Eli Bildirici
>>> (347) 837-8337
> Eli Bildirici
> (347) 837-8337

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