Ok, this is what I meant when I was questioning whether a de-echo plug-in would work:
"The delay between original and print changes as tape pack diameter changes.  "

John said it better than I.

De-echo software that can "chase" echo of varying delay times would have to be quite sophisticated, 
unless it's just an automated noise gate (ie it looks for spikes below a certain level and kills 
them). Again, I haven't tried this software and I'm not a code-writer, so I have no idea if it would 
do the job on print-through.

Richard Hess asked for a sample of bad print-through. I don't have any on my hard drive and don't 
have time to hunt for and transfer a bad-example tape. Anyone who has old 2-track duped tapes on 
1-mil stock probably has a candidate for experimentation. Richard, what about your old RCA 2-track 
tape, or that Mercury 2-track I gave you a few years back? I'm sorry but I don't have studio time 
for experimentation right now, maybe a little bit of time next month. Another good candidate would 
be any 1/4-track early 60's acetate 1-mil duped tape in your shelves. The smaller tracks and usual 
lower level may or may not make the print-through a worse problem (maybe less dynamic range between 
original signal and echo, but also maybe lower level echo of lower-level signal, I'm no expert).

-- Tom Fine

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "John Chester" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Friday, October 25, 2013 12:40 AM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Advice needed on removing / minimizing tape bleed-through

> At 10:51 PM 10/24/2013, Malcolm Rockwell wrote:
>>There may not be a major problem here. What has printed through is the audio from the next layer 
>>of tape, correct? With digital manipulation being what it is today it should be simple enough to 
>>grab the full volume layer of audio, attenuate it, flip the waveform and apply it "over" the 
>>printed through signal. There will probably be artifacts but if you fiddle with various parameters 
>>for a while, such as EQ, you will probably be able to find an acceptable solution to your problem. 
>>I'd apply this to softer passages and leave louder material well enough alone, though.
>>It's worth a try.
> There are a number of problems to consider.
> First, the printed recording is not the same length as the original.  The delay between original 
> and print changes as tape pack diameter changes.  Seems to me that for a tape which has been 
> stored tails out, the print is longer than the original.  (Delay from original to print increases 
> as tape pack diameter on the take up reel increases.)  The original recording can be 
> speed-shifted, but you need to figure out how much to shift it.
> Second, the frequency response of the printing process is not flat.  According to
> "The worst print-through occurs at a wavelength equal to 27 * C. C is the total tape caliper in 
> mils. For a typical 2
> mil mastering tape, the worst wavelength for print-through would be about 12.6 mils. When running 
> at 15 ips, this
> would be a frequency of about 1200 Hz."
> Note:  there's an error in their formula, as printed in the on-line document.  It should read 2 * 
> Pi * C.  But they're correct that it's worst at about 1200 Hz.  This is confirmed by the October 
> 1980 JAES article "The Print-Through Phenomenon" by Bertram, Stafford and Mills.  It includes a 
> graph of print-through vs. frequency.
> BTW, this article also states that "print-through ... can be reduced if [the tape] is repeatedly 
> rewound.  The amount of print reduction ...can reach as much as 7 dB."  In their tests, this 
> required 6 rewindings.  "The rewindings should be consecutive with an optimum storage time between 
> rewindings to achieve maximum reduction.  The optimum storage time may depend upon the individual 
> tape."
> Third, is the printing process linear or non-linear?  The 3M document cited above says it's 
> linear.  Camras, in the 1988 edition of "Magnetic Recording Handbook", says it's not, and that the 
> ratio of the original to printed signal varies with the level of the original signal.  I think 
> Bertram et al.  are saying it is linear, but I must admit that I have not yet entirely digested 
> this long, complex article.  Hopefully it is linear, because modelling a non-linear transfer 
> function will not be much fun.
> So....  If the printing process is linear, the other problems seem manageable.  But it will no 
> doubt require a fair bit of fiddling to get the cancellation signal lined up in time and amplitude 
> with each objectionable echo.
> -- John Chester