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Hi George:

I've done #1 many times and it works as long as the tracks can be adjusted into azimuth with each 
other (not always the case if  the half track head was way off-azimuth in a manner that the azimuth 
"bows outward" toward the edges). Keep in mind that with high-quality music recording, you can hear 
a different between a track that was actually played front-to-back and one that was played in 
reverse and then digitally made front-to-back. Richard Hess will hopefully explain why, it has to do 
with how tape machines deal with attacks and wave fronts. The difference shouldn't be drastic, but I 
find it audible. With lower-quality content, it doesn't matter, to my ears.

I don't recommend #2. Get a full-track head, although that too presents problems with warped or 
badly slit or shrunken tapes. With tapes that don't ride well in the transport, I've had good luck 
using a Tascam 4-track quarter-inch machine and using either the least-noisy track or, more 
commonly, the two center tracks, providing I can get them to maintain good azimuth.

-- Tom Fine

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Gregorio Garcia Karman" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thursday, January 05, 2012 9:53 PM
Subject: [ARSCLIST] transferring open reel tapes - track formats


Dear list,

considering the possibility of the following compromising solutions in the digital transfer of open 
reel tapes...

1. playing a mono half-track open reel tape on a stereo machine and reversing the channel playing in 
the wrong direction digitally.

2. playing a full-track mono tape on a stereo machine.

...what are the considerations that speak against those?

Thanks for your advice
Gregorio