At 01:27 PM 4/13/2004 -0400, Joel Bresler wrote:
>Dear friends:
>A sound library I am collaborating with has a collection of what I believe
>to be home-recorded 4-track tapes. Played back on a conventional machine,
>it sounds as if there are two different selections playing at once. These
>tapes were made in California, and so I am wondering if they could be the
>4-track system mentioned in the various articles below, one of which
>mentions California as one of the few locales that used the system broadly.

Home recording was almost certainly open-reel. Muntz (I knew him well,
though I never had one of his cars) promoted only cartridges.

When you say a "conventional machine", you have many opportunities for
error. The logical ones are that you're using two-track heads (unlikely) or
that you're playing four-track monaural as though stereo (very probable).
The first step (excuse me if it sounds simple-minded) is simply to pull out
each connector in turn and see if the other channel makes sense. If so, you
have four-track mono and playback (and recording) is straightforward. The
cheap way is to pick up a Y cable at Radio Shack and use it to connect one
channel of output to both channels of input. I use an 'elaborate' scheme: I
bought a three-to-one switch box, opened it and rewired it to feed left,
right and stereo from a single input to a single output.

I am in Southern California and while I'm not prepared to deal with any
substantial collection, give me a call at 310-477-7969 and we'll see if I
can at least check out the format for you.

(And if you are at LoC, please give my regards to Charles Sens. I owe him
at least an e-mail and am embarassed by my tardiness.)

[log in to unmask]