Thanks for the concern over my time...I do have other things to do, but,
for now, I seem to be the only one doing this.
In fact, I just updated this page based on Dennis's comment and wove it
in with a larger analysis of the 3M spreadsheet of tape types. The
3M175+ and 3M 176+ sections under Soft Binder Syndrome have been
updated, Note that 201+ also appears in the light edge shedding section.
There was a good deal of energy generated for just such a database
following the AES Archiving conference at the Library of Congress in
Culpeper, VA, in 2018.
Following that, some people who said they'd share datasets did not do so
with no explanation.
Also, Dr. Federica Bressan and I spent hours discussing this issue and
have come to the conclusion that not enough accurate raw data are
available at this point to legitimately construct such a database.
We have ample anecdotal evidence of significant batch variations in many
manufacturers' tapes. Since the vast majority of recordings do not have
the tape batch number recorded with it, many do not have traceable
documentation of the published tape type, the tape type may have changed
over time,(one U-Matic tape type had four different FTIR signatures over
time and there we're pretty certain that the type number is on the
cassette (Benoit Thiebaut, Prestospace Project c. 2006)), and there is
usually little to no record of the storage conditions for the tape.
So, it is very difficult, if not impossible, to make an accurate
database that goes beyond the type of general narrative that I've been
providing. While I think we'd all love to have a database that says,
"Use this technique to remediate tape type X."
Rather than a documentation approach, I have been pushing for a
"pool-test-kit" type of system where applying drops of something or
other to a small sample of the tape would suggest what to do.
Andrew Davis of the Library of Congress has suggested a water droplet
test which I have tried and found cumbersome, slow, and subject to
interpretation...and this was only to say, "does the tape need baking."
It seemed promising until I tried it, but maybe he's onto something.
I would be curious if anyone has any further ideas on this, I don't want
to throw a bucket of ice water on the idea, but it is fraught with
On 2020-11-23 1:06 p.m., Corey Bailey wrote:
> As Dennis Rooney pointed out: "3M 176 and 177 both can squeal."
> Shai's post points out the need for a centralized database because this
> list is sprinkled with a wealth of valuable information on many subjects.
> Richard Hess maintains a page on audio tape known to have problems but
> he should not have to keep up a centralized database (He has other
> things to do, I'm sure).
> Anyone know of some good email mining software?
> My $0.02,
Richard L. Hess email: [log in to unmask]
Aurora, Ontario, Canada 647 479 2800
Track Format - Speed - Equalization - Azimuth - Noise Reduction
Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes.