Back in my mis-spent youth, I made mix tapes for the 4-Track cart deck in my 
Studebaker.  Don't snicker, the best is yet to come.  I recorded the lubed 
tape on full track recorders  (Maggies) at the radio station where I worked 
...access to  lots of records.  Then, I brought the tape home and recorded 
over that full track tape, on my home stereo r/r recorder.  Tracks 1&3 
stereo, the remaining tracks 2&4 in mono. Then I wound the tape on to the 
endless loop reel, spliced it together and had the most unique music to be 
heard on 4 track in a Studebaker Lark.  If you stumble on one of those old 
Muntz Carts, that's the format.  Let the snickering begin!

Lou Houck
Rollin' Recording
Boerne, TX

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Mark Donahue
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Monday, February 27, 2012 1:57 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Unidentified track format

This may be a strange question, but could this be a case of recycled tape
used on a machine with a different track format? I've run into this before
that a 1/4 track tape was re-recorded on a 1/2 track NAB format machine or
vice versa. These turn out to be some of the most confusing transfers
imaginable because things show up on weird tracks in strange directions.

All the best,

On Mon, Feb 27, 2012 at 9:19 AM, Richard L. Hess
<[log in to unmask]>wrote:

> Gregorio,
> This is why I'm such a fanatic about developing tapes and looking at them.
> The fact that track 3 has B NOT backwards confuses me.
> Also, I'm surprised you are writing 1/3/2/4 because visually on the tape
> you'd see 1/2/3/4 and that helps understanding.
> You could use 1 + 4 to capture, but I'd rather fully understand why as the
> narrow tracks, especially at the edge, are not the most desirable unless
> that's all you have.
> With track 3 B NOT backwards, I'm at a loss to explain.
> Develop the tape and post a photo and link to it from the reply message to
> the list.
> Do not rule out misaligned heads. Also, some machines used 1/2 and 4/3 as
> stereo recording and they might have been UK machines instead of the more
> common US practice of 1/3  4/2 (in all instances L/R and SideA SideB).
> Cheers,
> Richard
> On 2012-02-27 5:39 AM, Gregorio Garcia Karman wrote:
>> Dear List,
>> looking forward to the beginning of a new digitization week: everything
>> is going well in Cambridge thanks in great extent to the support of the
>> members of the list. Huge thanks!
>> Now, I have a small group of 1/4 inch tapes in the collection on which I
>> am working (ca 1950s-70s, recorded mainly on Ferrographs) which seems to
>> have a track format, which I haven't met before. On those tapes standard
>> half-track and half-track butterfly Studer blocks consistently produce a
>> dual mono signal with unacceptable crosstalk on both channels (bleeding 
>> of
>> about -20 dB referring to the signal on the other channel).
>> On the other hand, the output of a quarter-track headblock is as follows:
>> track 1: Signal A
>> track 3: Signal A + B
>> track 2: Signal A + B backwards
>> track 4: Signal B backwards
>> It would seem that this very small group of tapes would have been
>> recorded on a machine with a very narrow guard-band in comparison to the
>> rest of the tapes I have. What is your opinion about transferring those
>> tapes on a quarter track headblock and keeping tracks 1 and 4?
>> I would also be curious about which machine could have had a track format
>> that would agree with the former observations.
>> Thanks for your comments!
>> Gregorio Garcia Karman
>> [log in to unmask]
> --
> Richard L. Hess                   email: [log in to unmask]
> Aurora, Ontario, Canada           (905) 713 6733     1-877-TAPE-FIX
> Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes.

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