Sometimes you can get lucky with crosstalk on spoken word recordings if you experiment with the gate 
plug-in that's in most DAW software. It takes some experimenting, and I recommend you run your 
experiments by your client because gating of any kind is very annoying to some listeners. But, 
sometimes you can find the happy medium where the gating kills off a good bit of the crosstalk 
between words but the voice doesn't sound disjointed and annoying. Another place that this comes in 
handy is off-air recordings of spoken-word where there is radio interference in the background. You 
can do some cleanup of the interference with a properly applied gate, although again it's very much 
up to the preferences of the ultimate listener or client. And of course, especially with 
quarter-track reels, the first thing you should experiment with is head azimuth because that can 
help with crosstalk.

In general, with spoken word tapes, I find that prnt-through is a bigger problem than crosstalk, 
especially with older cassettes. There's not much you can do about this, in my experience. Sometimes 
gating/expander software can help a little bit to minimize the pre-signal from the print-through, 
which I find more annoying than the post-signal.

-- Tom Fine

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Eric Jacobs" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Friday, January 09, 2009 3:29 AM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] basic question from a newbie

> On Monday, January 05, 2009 4:18 PM, Eric Jacobs wrote:
>> If you digitize a 1/4-track tape with a 4-track head, there will
>> be too much cross-talk on the adjacent tracks (ie. you can hear
>> the B-side (playing backwards) at a very low level in the background
>> of the A-side).
> I just wanted to point out that the cross-talk is most apparent on
> spoken word recordings.  This is because of the silence between words
> where there's no signal to mask the cross-talk.
> So as tempting as it may be to digitize a large quantity of 1/4-track
> spoken word recordings with a 4-track playback head in order to save
> money, don't do this without testing to see if the level of cross-talk
> is acceptable.
> Eric Jacobs
> The Audio Archive, Inc.
> tel: 408.221.2128
> fax: 408.549.9867
> mailto:[log in to unmask]
> Disc and Tape Audio Transfer Services and Preservation Consulting