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  #16  
Old 2008-12-17, 06:57 PM
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Re: tape transferring

okay first off, soundcard is very important... what are you using (also what kind of connnectors?)
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  #17  
Old 2008-12-17, 07:00 PM
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Re: tape transferring

also, clean the tapedeck... rubbing alcohol for all the parts the tape touches, including posts except the roller, which needs to be cleaned with 'rubber cleaner' or a tiny bit of lukewarm water (not as good). if you use alcohol on rubber it ages it prematurely (bad). alcohol is good for cleaing all the plastic & metal parts (incl. heads). this is also important, and not too hard (you might have to remove the door... use qtips).
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  #18  
Old 2008-12-17, 08:21 PM
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Re: tape transferring

Quote:
Originally Posted by desiderus View Post
Thanks for posting that information jamroom!

I picked my Sony TC-K470 up today. The tape deck is still in a very good shape and it even has little manufactured holes spared out for azimuth adjusting. Iíll get my sound card in on Saturday, still looking for a good cable though, but Iíll be able to find something good I guess.

Still have a few questions before get things started:
1) Do I need to use an amplifier while transferring?
2) What sort of settings are preferable on the cassette deck for transferring?
Just keep in mind that if you are working on a multi-generation tape that most
of the damage is already done. The misalignment on each machine has been
recorded into the next generation and cannot be undone.

Don't expect miracles.
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  #19  
Old 2008-12-17, 09:03 PM
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Audio - Audience Re: tape transferring

Quote:
Originally Posted by desiderus View Post
Still have a few questions before get things started:
1) Do I need to use an amplifier while transferring?
2) What sort of settings are preferable on the cassette deck for transferring?
1) Only for listening to the signal after coming back out of the computer. Go direct line out of the deck to line in on the soundcard. Test first before recording. Open your audio controls for play and record, and set levels in the computer. Capture with some headroom (don't overload recording levels, but don't have super quiet). You can get close but count on probably bumping them up a bit later with an audio editor. Don't go above 0dB! peaks should maybe be -3dB or so. Count on something going louder than you expect.

2) Play tapes on normal bias setting if switchable, Dolby OFF. Playing dolby on will only dull the sound, as will high bias CrO2 or metal. If there's no switch, cover the holes on the top of the tape shell with scotch tape or something. Don't record over your tapes!

Are these your masters, or are they copies? If they're tape to tapes, unless someone like me copied them, previous azimuth probably wasn't adjusted all that well, and like said, some "damage" might have been done already. If they're masters, unless you've got crappy mics, you should be able to "focus" the sound pretty good! Miracles, maybe not. Decent sound that rivals all the digital stuff - Maybe!

Good luck and keep us posted!
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  #20  
Old 2008-12-17, 10:13 PM
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Re: tape transferring

Quote:
Originally Posted by Audioarchivist View Post
If there's no switch, cover the holes on the top of the tape shell with scotch tape or something. Don't record over your tapes!
Do not use tape. Tape is just used to sub for the tabs. If the tabs are still there, break them.

Putting tape on will allow them to be recorded on, not protect them.
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  #21  
Old 2008-12-18, 06:10 AM
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Icon4 Re: tape transferring

Quote:
Originally Posted by rspencer View Post
Do not use tape. Tape is just used to sub for the tabs. If the tabs are still there, break them.

Putting tape on will allow them to be recorded on, not protect them.
I was referring to covering the other holes to get better frequency response, and warning not to record by accident. Let me explain further...

If there's no switch on the front of the deck to select tape type, there's a sensor looking for these other holes. Cover them to playback as normal tape. Playing back as normal bias gives a better high frequency response. Brighter and fuller.
Some decks use the other holes on top of CrO2 or metal tapes :
1) normal bias tapes have only a small hole (well, one for each side of tape) with tabs that you should pop out to prevent accidental recording. They are closest to the outer edges of the top of a tape. Don't cover them unless you want to accidentally erase your tape.
2) CrO2 tapes have an "extended" hole beside the record tab. Again, pop the tabs, but cover the second section of these holes towards the inside of the tape.
3) Metal type tapes have the extended hole beside the record tabs, and also another set of holes towards the center of the top of the tape. Again, if there's no switch for selecting bias for playback, cover the center holes and the inner portion hole next to the record tabs.

I would suggest this method for 99% of tapes, unless there's a huge high frequency response to some tinny sounding master that's too bright. Even then, there's still not much reason to dull down the tape response with these bias settings.

I hope I've cleared up my original meaning. If there's no bias switch, its got sensors looking for those holes. Cover them for better high end response. Don't playback with Dolby. Adjust the azimuth properly. Clean the heads and tape path. Clean the pinch roller rubber assembly with the right stuff. Try and find a tape head demagnetizer - eventually you might need to demagnetize the heads if you playback lots of tape.

Jeez, all this talk about holes, and no girlfriend for me right now. Sad state of affairs...haha
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  #22  
Old 2008-12-18, 08:41 AM
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Re: tape transferring

Quote:
Originally Posted by Audioarchivist View Post
1) Only for listening to the signal after coming back out of the computer. Go direct line out of the deck to line in on the soundcard. Test first before recording. Open your audio controls for play and record, and set levels in the computer. Capture with some headroom (don't overload recording levels, but don't have super quiet). You can get close but count on probably bumping them up a bit later with an audio editor. Don't go above 0dB! peaks should maybe be -3dB or so. Count on something going louder than you expect.
That is good advice, also. You do not need an amp, the output is at the correct level already. With the record at a little low tip. you can boost the signal after you get the music on your computer. I think it's audacity, that works well for that.
Thanks Mike
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  #23  
Old 2008-12-18, 12:20 PM
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Re: tape transferring

Quote:
Originally Posted by Audioarchivist View Post
Jeez, all this talk about holes, and no girlfriend for me right now. Sad state of affairs...haha


I strongly disagree about playing back chrome tapes in normal mode. it is well worth trying both ways, but in 90% of the cases I prefer the sound of chrome tapes played back in chrome mode. It might be different for you, but be positive to listen to it both ways
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  #24  
Old 2008-12-18, 01:05 PM
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Re: tape transferring

I would advise against playing back all tapes at normal as well. I do a lot of transfers and have yet to get better result playing back the tape on a different type than what it is.

basically, your transfers are only going to be as good as the weakest link in yor chain.

right now I use a nakamichi cr-5a but I'm looking to upgrade to a cr-7a soon. Your azimuth should be adjsuted for every tape, on every tape side. Listen to the cymbals and bring it in and out until you hear the highest clarity in the ring.

I tried sony decks and the ones I played with had a lot of wow/flutter issues. May just have been the ones I used, but I'm a hard and true nakamichi guy now that I own a few and I don't think I could ever go with another tape deck.

Sound cards are extremely important as this is where your a/d conversion is going to happen. Getting a low cost card will give you a very noisy a/d conversion and if the internal card sucks, you'll get digi pops ect. You really can hear the difference between a cheap card and a quality card. I don';t know if your transferring masters or multi gens or how serious you are at getting the most out of your tapes, but I wouldn't skimp for a PC based card if you want to get the absolute most from your tapes.

I don't use a PC based card for my transfers anymore. Right now we use a TASCAM HD-P2 Portable High-Definition Stereo Audio Recorder which works WONDERFuly, but it is pretty pricey. The bonus with this over a soundcard is you have your PC free and you can hook some mics up and use it as a field recorder. If you use a pC based card, get as much ram as you can, and don't run or open any applications while your transferring or you end up with artifacts in your end wave. I'm actually contemplating going from the tascam to a Korg MR-1 which lets me transfer to 1 buit DSD for archiving. These also can be used for field recording too and are considerable cheaper than the tascam.

Thats my two cents for what it's worth. it all really depends on what you want to invest, and what you expect back out.
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  #25  
Old 2008-12-18, 06:09 PM
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Re: tape transferring

Quote:
Originally Posted by Five View Post

I strongly disagree about playing back chrome tapes in normal mode. it is well worth trying both ways, but in 90% of the cases I prefer the sound of chrome tapes played back in chrome mode. It might be different for you, but be positive to listen to it both ways
I agree - most people like listening to chrome tapes played back in normal mode because they sound brighter, but setting the right mode will produce a more accurate result.

Dolby B (and C) tend to be a real mess, if you have anything other than a master odds are it's been screwed up along the line.
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  #26  
Old 2008-12-18, 07:22 PM
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Re: tape transferring

that's another good one--dolby b, c, or off?

I've tried b & c and hate them both. I heard that sr is good ($$$!)


I guess you could try dolby on/off if you get a master from parts unknown... even then there's the little dolby on/off checkbox in the j-card too. generally tho I'd say stay away, I can hear that shit work its not good (if there's any analog tapers still out there! ).
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  #27  
Old 2008-12-18, 08:55 PM
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Audio - Audience Re: tape transferring

Playback Dolby OFF.

Dolby basically boosts high signals when recording and cuts them when playing back, the idea being that it raises highs above the tape noise floor when recording and cuts them back when playing back, cutting back tape noise as well when playing back. The problem is it's not very accurate. Better to leave it off at least for playback.

I recorded my masters with dolby on to saturate the tape masters with highs so they would last through time better. Dull lifeless masters suck. Mine sparkle from the high boost during recording. Then again, I'm not a purist and I'm not scared of tweaking my masters when playing into digital, and didn't always use the best mics when recording - call it high boost when taping with less than stellar equipment...

The best thing is to use your ears and your own judgement on bias playback settings. I think that if used correctly, lightly and SPARINGLY used post-production eq and, yes, even digital noise reduction (perish the thought!) is far more accurate than the average tape deck Dolby and bias settings. My philosophy is to catch as much info from the tape as possible (dolby off bias normal) as full and bright as I can, and then filter it out lightly in the computer if needed.

It helps that I've been at this for 20 years and seem to have the touch needed to not ham-fist it with hammers and chisels. Less is more.

I'm not saying its a quick and easy process, and noise reduction isn't something I use much if at all. It should be avoided. Fine bias adjustment on concert master recordings is just bull IMHO, unless you're masters are from a Nakamichi or something super audiophile. My philosophy is to draw out all the hidden information on an analog tape that could be ignored by blindly filtering highs with those ham fisted bias switches. Every deck is different in those settings, and concert masters aren't usually that high fidelity to rely on the rules of audiophile reproduction.

This advice is not for the average user just starting out. I've only come to these conclusions after thousands of hours of trying and hundreds of hours failing, too. Not to be used by amateurs or the faint of heart! Your results may vary from mine, and it all depends on whether you plan on properly mastering your recordings with some of the digital tools we've been given, or if you're just gonna do a straight transfer as-is, un-mastered.

Don't flame me, please! haha
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  #28  
Old 2008-12-18, 09:22 PM
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Re: tape transferring

personally, I think that when a dolby source is played back without dolby, it sounds very brittle. The dolby encoded does sound a bit dull to me but when weighed with the brittle sound and the hiss factor, I think it's less destructive to playback witht dolby on and edit to fix the problem, provided the deck is properly calibrated. I could bore you with the history of dolby, why it was used so predominetly back when, and how it works, but more than likely boredom would sink in and you would lose interest quicker than, well, you probably just lost interest by reading this far

just as an fyi, here is a great deal on a tascam hd-p2. I don't know the seller, I just found it on a craigslist search. If your serious about transferring, this is a good option. they sell new for 800 +

http://newyork.craigslist.org/mnh/ele/962868696.html

edit,

thank you audioarchivist for all your efforts in taping/transferring/sharing for 20+ years. Thats huge man. Many thanks.
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  #29  
Old 2008-12-18, 11:41 PM
dude87 dude87 is offline
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Re: tape transferring

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeek View Post
personally, I think that when a dolby source is played back without dolby, it sounds very brittle. The dolby encoded does sound a bit dull to me but when weighed with the brittle sound and the hiss factor, I think it's less destructive to playback witht dolby on and edit to fix the problem, provided the deck is properly calibrated. I could bore you with the history of dolby, why it was used so predominetly back when, and how it works, but more than likely boredom would sink in and you would lose interest quicker than, well, you probably just lost interest by reading this far
I agree on the Dolby issue as well, although (as I said above) most people screw with the Dolby settings through multiple generations so it probably doesn't hurt to compare with and without Dolby. When I did analog recording we used dbx units and calibrated record and playback levels.
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  #30  
Old 2008-12-19, 01:13 PM
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Re: tape transferring

yeah I agree if you know for a fact it was recorded with b or c or dbx or whatever it will sound best played back in the correct mode... at first more highs sound better, but they're "brittle", as you say.
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