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Right, that design is like many later (1980's to 90's?) shoebox cassette 
recorders which - for cost savings I guess - dispensed with the usual 
electrical erase head and used a permanent magnet swung against the tape in 
record mode.  Noisier than usual recordings with the characteristic random 
bass heavy  "bump" sounds, similar sounding to a magnetised tape path. I 
came across such recordings when transferring many Oral History cassettes 
some years ago. Even the first small Philips cassette recorders in the 60's 
(battery powered) used a proper electrical erase head powered by a 
supersonic sine wave, one of the reasons they could sound quite reasonable, 
apart from the tape hiss.

I found this photo and description of the Thermionic Products Soundmirror 
recorder head block. They wrongly describe what looks like the swinging 
erase head as a "record head". 
https://sounds.bl.uk/Sound-recording-history/Equipment/029M-45XBIRSXXXXX-0003V0

Rgds,
Tim


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Douglas Pomeroy" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thursday, November 01, 2018 12:39 AM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] ARSCLIST Digest - 29 Oct 2018 to 30 Oct 2018 
(#2018-246)


I regret to say I don't remember. (I had a Webcor tape recorder which used 
permanent magnet,
which was physically moved into the tape path only when recording was 
engaged. But, unfortunately,
during play is was still close enough to the tape touch to touch it 
sometimes, when switching from
play to stop.)

Date: Wed, 31 Oct 2018 08:41:37 +0800
From: Tim Gillett <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: ARSCLIST Digest - 28 Oct 2018 to 29 Oct 2018 (#2018-245)

Hello Douglas,

Did the Soundmirror have a special facility to optionally pull the permanent
magnet erase head from the tape (as in playback) when it was recorded to
virgin/bulk erased tape? If not, wouldnt the increased noise be there
regardless of whether it was a first time recording or overwriting previous
material?

Rgds,
Tim.
 Douglas Pomeroy
Audio Restoration and Mastering Services
193 Baltic St
Brooklyn, NY 11201-6173
(718) 855-2650
[log in to unmask]
Music Over Business

-----Original Message-----
From: ARSCLIST automatic digest system <[log in to unmask]>
To: ARSCLIST <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Wed, Oct 31, 2018 12:01 am
Subject: ARSCLIST Digest - 29 Oct 2018 to 30 Oct 2018 (#2018-246)

There are 10 messages totaling 649 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

1. Soundmirror tapes
2. ARSCLIST Digest - 28 Oct 2018 to 29 Oct 2018 (#2018-245) (3)
3. New Grants from the National Recording Preservation Foundation
4. Pitch plug-in (5)

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Date: Tue, 30 Oct 2018 09:53:03 +0000
From: ROBINSON Stuart <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: Soundmirror tapes

I have also experienced sticking winds on SoundMirror tape, the one I had 
only seemed to show it on the first few winds, unwinding led to slight oxide 
loss, the later turns were fine.

 The pack was quite loose but that is quite a common feature of cheap 
machines.

 As I recall the noise floor was fairly high, but I attributed that to the 
record electronics which were likely not quite up to Nagra standards!

 The tapes were off air recordings of News reports about Sputnik and the 
moon landing and were quite exciting to hear for someone who wasn't there at 
the time.


Best, Stuart.
Archival AV Technician,
School of Scottish Studies Archives.


-- 
The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
Scotland, with registration number SC005336.


-----Original Message-----
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List 
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Tim Gillett
Sent: 29 October 2018 14:27
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Soundmirror tapes

Thanks Douglas,

It seems then that so far, the sticking winds is an isolated case.

I mentioned earlier that the very high noise floor seems confined to the 
actual recording. I suspect the machine used initially (early 1950's) was a
Soundmirror which apparently used a permanent magnet erase head. When I
made a new recording on an unused piece of the paper tape, on a modern era 
machine (Nagra 4.2), the noise was much lower than on the original 
recording.

Tim Gillett



----- Original Message -----
From: "Douglas Pomeroy" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Monday, October 29, 2018 12:14 AM
Subject: [ARSCLIST] Soundmirror tapes


Tim,

i have several of those paper-backed tapes, stored unprofessionally in
Californian and New York
since they were recorded in January 1948. None of them have the problem you
describe, and they
all play well, and I wouldn't call them unusually noisy either.


Date: Tue, 16 Oct 2018 20:32:39 +0800
From: Tim Gillett <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Soundmirror paper 1/4" tape

Hello,

I'm having problems with some very early Soundmirror tapes using a paper
backing, circa late 40's early fifties I guess. I suspect they havent been
wound or played for many decades. They contain live recordings of mainly
classical oratorio concerts.

The tape wind is semi sticking to the next wind in varying degrees depending
on the tape in question. With a couple I've been able to slowly wind them
off without tape breakage or loss of oxide. Once they have been unstuck and
spooled onto the take up reel they remain unstuck and play well. I've been
able to repair old splices and clean off old spreading adhesive.

But this one is more sticky and further into the reel I go it has started to
really stick to the next wind and rip off small pieces of oxide (I guess
more tension from being under a constant torque wind for many years has made
the inner layers stick more to each other).

Any hints on treating the tape to help it wind off without damage, or with
less damage? Heat, humidity etc?

Thanks,

Tim Gillett
Perth,
Western Australia

Douglas Pomeroy
Audio Restoration and Mastering Services
193 Baltic St
Brooklyn, NY 11201-6173
(718) 855-2650
[log in to unmask]
Music Over Business


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------------------------------

Date: Tue, 30 Oct 2018 14:33:14 +0000
From: Douglas Pomeroy <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: ARSCLIST Digest - 28 Oct 2018 to 29 Oct 2018 (#2018-245)

Tim,
The recorder was my father's, and I don't think he recorded over previous 
recordings.
But, yes, the erase head was a permanent magnet. The noise level was no 
doubt due
to the electronics and would certainly be higher than with a more modern 
recorder.


Date: Mon, 29 Oct 2018 22:26:55 +0800
From: Tim Gillett <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: Soundmirror tapes

Thanks Douglas,

It seems then that so far, the sticking winds is an isolated case.

I mentioned earlier that the very high noise floor seems confined to the
actual recording. I suspect the machine used initially (early 1950's) was a
Soundmirror which apparently used a permanent magnet erase head. When I
made a new recording on an unused piece of the paper tape, on a modern era
machine (Nagra 4.2), the noise was much lower than on the original
recording.

Tim Gillett
 Douglas Pomeroy
Audio Restoration and Mastering Services
193 Baltic St
Brooklyn, NY 11201-6173
(718) 855-2650
[log in to unmask]
Music Over Business

------------------------------

Date: Tue, 30 Oct 2018 11:51:00 -0400
From: Gerald Seligman <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: New Grants from the National Recording Preservation Foundation

---

Cellphone: 347-504-5311

F

------------------------------

Date: Tue, 30 Oct 2018 18:14:04 -0400
From: Aaron Coe <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: Pitch plug-in

Hi Steve,

iZotope RX has an excellent pitch contour plugin that I use for the same 
purpose and it works wonderfully. The cheapest version of RX (Standard) is 
$299, but it is worth every penny!

https://www.izotope.com/en/products/repair-and-edit/rx/features-and-comparison/variable-pitch.html

-Aaron
_____________________
http://cuttingcorporation.com



> On Oct 24, 2018, at 2:00 PM, Steven Smolian <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
> I'm looking for a pitch bending plug-in where I can adjust places on the
> duration line by cents, not semi-tones. I use a PC and want it to work at
> 96/24.
>
>
>
> I'm working with 78s and need to adjust pitch drift.
>
>
>
> Steve Smolian

------------------------------

Date: Tue, 30 Oct 2018 18:31:03 -0400
From: Steven Smolian <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: Pitch plug-in

It reads in semi-tones, at least in RX6 advanced. I need to adjust in
cents. Their image is too small, at least on my computer, to make close
adjustment between the grid lines..

Steve

-----Original Message-----
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Aaron Coe
Sent: Tuesday, October 30, 2018 6:14 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Pitch plug-in

Hi Steve,

iZotope RX has an excellent pitch contour plugin that I use for the same
purpose and it works wonderfully. The cheapest version of RX (Standard) is
$299, but it is worth every penny!

https://www.izotope.com/en/products/repair-and-edit/rx/features-and-comparis
on/variable-pitch.html

-Aaron
_____________________
http://cuttingcorporation.com



> On Oct 24, 2018, at 2:00 PM, Steven Smolian <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
> I'm looking for a pitch bending plug-in where I can adjust places on the
> duration line by cents, not semi-tones. I use a PC and want it to work
at
> 96/24.
>
>
>
> I'm working with 78s and need to adjust pitch drift.
>
>
>
> Steve Smolian

------------------------------

Date: Tue, 30 Oct 2018 19:06:04 -0400
From: Dennis Rooney <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: ARSCLIST Digest - 28 Oct 2018 to 29 Oct 2018 (#2018-245)

Dear Tim,

My experience wirh the Soundmirror that I owned in the sixties was
that the electronics were rather primitive and very noisy, which I
believe explains more than a permanent magnet head. Much the same
experience was had with the Webster-Chicago (Webcor) wire recorders
from about the same time.

DDR
On Tue, Oct 30, 2018 at 10:34 AM Douglas Pomeroy <[log in to unmask]> 
wrote:
>
> Tim,
> The recorder was my father's, and I don't think he recorded over previous 
> recordings.
> But, yes, the erase head was a permanent magnet. The noise level was no 
> doubt due
> to the electronics and would certainly be higher than with a more modern 
> recorder.
>
>
> Date: Mon, 29 Oct 2018 22:26:55 +0800
> From: Tim Gillett <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: Soundmirror tapes
>
> Thanks Douglas,
>
> It seems then that so far, the sticking winds is an isolated case.
>
> I mentioned earlier that the very high noise floor seems confined to the
> actual recording. I suspect the machine used initially (early 1950's) was 
> a
> Soundmirror which apparently used a permanent magnet erase head. When I
> made a new recording on an unused piece of the paper tape, on a modern era
> machine (Nagra 4.2), the noise was much lower than on the original
> recording.
>
> Tim Gillett
> Douglas Pomeroy
> Audio Restoration and Mastering Services
> 193 Baltic St
> Brooklyn, NY 11201-6173
> (718) 855-2650
> [log in to unmask]
> Music Over Business



-- 
1006 Langer Way
Delray Beach, FL 33483
561.265.2976

------------------------------

Date: Wed, 31 Oct 2018 08:41:37 +0800
From: Tim Gillett <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: ARSCLIST Digest - 28 Oct 2018 to 29 Oct 2018 (#2018-245)

Hello Douglas,

Did the Soundmirror have a special facility to optionally pull the permanent
magnet erase head from the tape (as in playback) when it was recorded to
virgin/bulk erased tape? If not, wouldnt the increased noise be there
regardless of whether it was a first time recording or overwriting previous
material?

Rgds,
Tim.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Douglas Pomeroy" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, October 30, 2018 10:33 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] ARSCLIST Digest - 28 Oct 2018 to 29 Oct 2018
(#2018-245)


Tim,
The recorder was my father's, and I don't think he recorded over previous
recordings.
But, yes, the erase head was a permanent magnet. The noise level was no
doubt due
to the electronics and would certainly be higher than with a more modern
recorder.


Date: Mon, 29 Oct 2018 22:26:55 +0800
From: Tim Gillett <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: Soundmirror tapes

Thanks Douglas,

It seems then that so far, the sticking winds is an isolated case.

I mentioned earlier that the very high noise floor seems confined to the
actual recording. I suspect the machine used initially (early 1950's) was a
Soundmirror which apparently used a permanent magnet erase head. When I
made a new recording on an unused piece of the paper tape, on a modern era
machine (Nagra 4.2), the noise was much lower than on the original
recording.

Tim Gillett
 Douglas Pomeroy
Audio Restoration and Mastering Services
193 Baltic St
Brooklyn, NY 11201-6173
(718) 855-2650
[log in to unmask]
Music Over Business


---
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https://www.avast.com/antivirus

------------------------------

Date: Tue, 30 Oct 2018 21:15:16 -0400
From: Jamie Howarth <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: Pitch plug-in

Be careful with Capstan. If there’s much vibrato in the original it will dry 
it up. Also insists on latching the music to a Western chromatic scale. And 
the algorithm is cranky sounding.

It superficially sounds ok at first blush but if you have a clean original 
to compare the results with you’ll hear it instantly. And watching what it 
thinks it should do to a an all digital source with zero wow is pretty 
alarming. It’s a great jitter-making plug-in.

If all you need to correct is a pitch drift Capstan is hitting it with a 
hammer.

If I can help let me know, there’s some clean ways to do this.

Please pardon the mispellings and occassional insane word substitution I'm 
on an iPhone

> On Oct 24, 2018, at 20:39, Ellis Burman <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
> Capstan is perfect for that, though quite expensive, though you can also
> rent it for much less.
>
> You can also use a pitch plug-in, even the one that comes with ProTools,
> and adjust the fine pitch graph in the automation lane in ProTools.
>
> Ellis
>
>> On Wed, Oct 24, 2018 at 11:00 AM, Steven Smolian <[log in to unmask]> 
>> wrote:
>>
>> I'm looking for a pitch bending plug-in where I can adjust places on the
>> duration line by cents, not semi-tones. I use a PC and want it to work at
>> 96/24.
>>
>>
>>
>> I'm working with 78s and need to adjust pitch drift.
>>
>>
>>
>> Steve Smolian
>>
>
>
>
> -- 
> Ellis
> [log in to unmask]
> 818-846-5525

------------------------------

Date: Tue, 30 Oct 2018 23:21:08 -0400
From: Steve Smolian <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: Pitch plug-in

I had it years ago. It worked ok on piano but otherwise tended to rewrite 
the soundfile rather than adjust it.

I've just bought their Melodyne 4 essential, $ 100 boxed, $ 50 downloaded. I 
installed it tonight and left work as it was loading a soundfile for me to 
test. I looked at the videos and suspect that I can get what I want from it.

I'm working with a group of acoustical 78s, mono, of course, which seem 
irregularly pitched from one side to the next and sometimes within the side. 
From Melodyne's description and my preliminary look, it may well allow me to 
make corrections my way- establishing the pitch of an early sustained 
non-vocal note by cents, allowing me to move it to A at 440, reading a 
similar note at the side's end, and, if necessary, others along the way, 
and, should it differ more than a few cents from that at the start, 
resetting pitch by cents as the side progresses through the program.

I found a chart on line that gives the pitch in cents for the 12 note scale, 
note by note, for the entire rage of the piano. Once I can establishes a 
pitch on the record and compare it with that that it should be, according to 
the chart, arithmetic becomes my friend. When a solid 440-based pitch is 
established for the soundfile throughout, moving it by half-steps will 
disclose, to the trained but perfect-pitch challenged ear, the proper speed, 
especially if it is informed by a knowledge of the history of the period of 
recording of the company that made the master. I know about other tunings, 
other cultures and all that, but this is a reasonable and inexpensive way to 
address this issue.

It seems to me that this could be created as a plug-in dedicated to this one 
task.

Steve Smolian


-----Original Message-----
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List 
<[log in to unmask]> On Behalf Of Jamie Howarth
Sent: Tuesday, October 30, 2018 9:15 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Pitch plug-in

Be careful with Capstan. If there’s much vibrato in the original it will dry 
it up. Also insists on latching the music to a Western chromatic scale. And 
the algorithm is cranky sounding.

It superficially sounds ok at first blush but if you have a clean original 
to compare the results with you’ll hear it instantly. And watching what it 
thinks it should do to a an all digital source with zero wow is pretty 
alarming. It’s a great jitter-making plug-in.

If all you need to correct is a pitch drift Capstan is hitting it with a 
hammer.

If I can help let me know, there’s some clean ways to do this.

Please pardon the mispellings and occassional insane word substitution I'm 
on an iPhone

> On Oct 24, 2018, at 20:39, Ellis Burman <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
> Capstan is perfect for that, though quite expensive, though you can
> also rent it for much less.
>
> You can also use a pitch plug-in, even the one that comes with
> ProTools, and adjust the fine pitch graph in the automation lane in 
> ProTools.
>
> Ellis
>
>> On Wed, Oct 24, 2018 at 11:00 AM, Steven Smolian <[log in to unmask]> 
>> wrote:
>>
>> I'm looking for a pitch bending plug-in where I can adjust places on the
>> duration line by cents, not semi-tones. I use a PC and want it to work at
>> 96/24.
>>
>>
>>
>> I'm working with 78s and need to adjust pitch drift.
>>
>>
>>
>> Steve Smolian
>>
>
>
>
> --
> Ellis
> [log in to unmask]
> 818-846-5525

------------------------------

Date: Tue, 30 Oct 2018 23:26:13 -0400
From: Jamie Howarth <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: Pitch plug-in

What you might try
 bury a 30kHz low level sine in it before you make the Melodyne 
adjustments... that will yield a stepped frequency file that with some 
smoothing could be a tracking signal... Or at least aid with your 
arithemetic.

> On Oct 30, 2018, at 11:21 PM, Steve Smolian <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
> I had it years ago. It worked ok on piano but otherwise tended to rewrite 
> the soundfile rather than adjust it.
>
> I've just bought their Melodyne 4 essential, $ 100 boxed, $ 50 downloaded. 
> I installed it tonight and left work as it was loading a soundfile for me 
> to test. I looked at the videos and suspect that I can get what I want 
> from it.
>
> I'm working with a group of acoustical 78s, mono, of course, which seem 
> irregularly pitched from one side to the next and sometimes within the 
> side. From Melodyne's description and my preliminary look, it may well 
> allow me to make corrections my way- establishing the pitch of an early 
> sustained non-vocal note by cents, allowing me to move it to A at 440, 
> reading a similar note at the side's end, and, if necessary, others along 
> the way, and, should it differ more than a few cents from that at the 
> start, resetting pitch by cents as the side progresses through the 
> program.
>
> I found a chart on line that gives the pitch in cents for the 12 note 
> scale, note by note, for the entire rage of the piano. Once I can 
> establishes a pitch on the record and compare it with that that it should 
> be, according to the chart, arithmetic becomes my friend. When a solid 
> 440-based pitch is established for the soundfile throughout, moving it by 
> half-steps will disclose, to the trained but perfect-pitch challenged ear, 
> the proper speed, especially if it is informed by a knowledge of the 
> history of the period of recording of the company that made the master. I 
> know about other tunings, other cultures and all that, but this is a 
> reasonable and inexpensive way to address this issue.
>
> It seems to me that this could be created as a plug-in dedicated to this 
> one task.
>
> Steve Smolian
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List 
> <[log in to unmask]> On Behalf Of Jamie Howarth
> Sent: Tuesday, October 30, 2018 9:15 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Pitch plug-in
>
> Be careful with Capstan. If there’s much vibrato in the original it will 
> dry it up. Also insists on latching the music to a Western chromatic 
> scale. And the algorithm is cranky sounding.
>
> It superficially sounds ok at first blush but if you have a clean original 
> to compare the results with you’ll hear it instantly. And watching what it 
> thinks it should do to a an all digital source with zero wow is pretty 
> alarming. It’s a great jitter-making plug-in.
>
> If all you need to correct is a pitch drift Capstan is hitting it with a 
> hammer.
>
> If I can help let me know, there’s some clean ways to do this.
>
> Please pardon the mispellings and occassional insane word substitution I'm 
> on an iPhone
>
>> On Oct 24, 2018, at 20:39, Ellis Burman <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>
>> Capstan is perfect for that, though quite expensive, though you can
>> also rent it for much less.
>>
>> You can also use a pitch plug-in, even the one that comes with
>> ProTools, and adjust the fine pitch graph in the automation lane in 
>> ProTools.
>>
>> Ellis
>>
>>> On Wed, Oct 24, 2018 at 11:00 AM, Steven Smolian <[log in to unmask]> 
>>> wrote:
>>>
>>> I'm looking for a pitch bending plug-in where I can adjust places on the
>>> duration line by cents, not semi-tones. I use a PC and want it to work 
>>> at
>>> 96/24.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> I'm working with 78s and need to adjust pitch drift.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> Steve Smolian
>>>
>>
>>
>>
>> --
>> Ellis
>> [log in to unmask]
>> 818-846-5525

------------------------------

End of ARSCLIST Digest - 29 Oct 2018 to 30 Oct 2018 (#2018-246)
***************************************************************