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Author Topic: Your preferences when receiving tape for mastering?  (Read 1584 times)

Bernardo

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Your preferences when receiving tape for mastering?
« on: April 08, 2006, 07:04:10 pm »

We'll be sending a number of 1/4" reels to mastering soon, how do you guys like to get your tapes, in terms of which tones should be printed, how much of each and in which order, documentation, etc? What bits of important information are usually left out by newbies like me?
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dcollins

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Re: Your preferences when receiving tape for mastering?
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2006, 07:09:17 pm »

Bernardo wrote on Sat, 08 April 2006 16:04

We'll be sending a number of 1/4" reels to mastering soon, how do you guys like to get your tapes, in terms of which tones should be printed, how much of each and in which order, documentation, etc? What bits of important information are usually left out by newbies like me?


1k, 10k, 100Hz, 50Hz is the minimum.  In that order. You can also add 15k, and a channel check where the 1k starts in the left channel only.

Notate anything you think is relevant.  The record level should always be stated, although it's has nothing to do with mastering,

Leader between the tones (at tail, please)and the songs if you can.

DC

Bernardo

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Re: Your preferences when receiving tape for mastering?
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2006, 08:18:00 pm »

Thanks a bunch, dc! Looks like I've got the tones right, though at head.

I'm curious about a couple of things. It's not that I'm skeptical, I just like to understand how things work whenever possible:

How do you use the 15khz tone? Is a part of the tape machine playback calibration, or is it used in a different part of the chain?

After reading a lot of stuff, I still couldn't find out if I should align LF repro with 100hz, 50 hz, or both. We're recording at 15 ips, IEC1, 355 nWb/m, btw. I ended up doing it with the 100hz tone. I guess I should include that in the documentation, right?

What are the advantages of tones on tail and on head (for those who chose the latter)?

Other than the documentation, most of the work on these tapes has already been done, but I hope to get it better next time around. I'm curious about everyone else's preferences as well, btw, no such thing as too many points of view.

I'm thinking of doing a topic with thousands of little questions about tape in general, from the point of view of the recording / mixing engineer, would the John Klett forum be more appropriate for that?
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dcollins

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Re: Your preferences when receiving tape for mastering?
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2006, 08:32:14 pm »

Bernardo wrote on Sat, 08 April 2006 17:18


How do you use the 15khz tone?


The 15k is used for fine azimuth adjustment and potentially to set the head loading for flat response at 10k and 15k


Quote:


After reading a lot of stuff, I still couldn't find out if I should align LF repro with 100hz, 50 hz, or both. We're recording at 15 ips, IEC1, 355 nWb/m, btw. I ended up doing it with the 100hz tone. I guess I should include that in the documentation, right?



Not really needed as I'm going to adjust for flattest response from 50 to 100.

Quote:


What are the advantages of tones on tail and on head (for those who chose the latter)?


The advantage for playback is that I don't have to rewind all the way to the top.  For record it prevents you from erasing the first song!

DC

Bernardo

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Re: Your preferences when receiving tape for mastering?
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2006, 09:44:20 pm »

dcollins wrote on Sat, 08 April 2006 20:32

For record it prevents you from erasing the first song!


That's a big one!

Thanks for the answers, that's very helpful.
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Thomas W. Bethel

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Re: Your preferences when receiving tape for mastering?
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2006, 04:06:14 pm »

The more information you can supply about the recording and the tape the better it is for all concerned.

Things such as:

Speed, Noise Reduction and type, track width (1/4 track, 1/2 track,  European 1/2 track (wider with less guard bands), Reference level of the tape deck that recorded it, Type of tape, phone number and email of the recording/mix engineer, number of tracks and any notes on them such as "this track was recorded at a lower level than all the rest" and whether it is tails out or tails in and where the tones are. This is ALL helpful information and prevents problems down the road.

You would be surprised at the tapes we get in for restoration or for mastering that are a guessing game. Luckily we have almost every format from 1/4" Mono to 1/2" 4 track and if need be can obtain almost any other track configuration without much delay. We also can accommodate any speed from 1 7/8 ips to 30 ips. It helps but not having good information sometimes means we have to  guess which is NEVER a good idea.
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-TOM-

Thomas W. Bethel
Managing Director
Acoustik Musik, Ltd.
Room With a View Productions
http://www.acoustikmusik.com/

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Adam Dempsey

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Re: Your preferences when receiving tape for mastering?
« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2006, 08:43:02 pm »

Format and speed (eg 1/2-track 15ips, Tail out)
Tones 1k, 15k (azimuth), 10k, 100Hz, 40Hz.
OVU Ref level.
NAB or IEC/CCIR EQ used.
NR type used, if any (We have it all from Dolby A, B, C, SR, DBX 1 & 2, Telcom C4 & HiCom).
Dolby tones if applicable!
Machine type and date.
Track listing.
Engineer's contact details.
Any mastering notes.

Fully concur with Thomas re the guessing game of formats which may put tapes for restoration through avoidable plays. (Modified Otari for this, 1/4 & 1/2 track head blocks, 1 7/8, 3 3/4 & 7.5 ips, fully variable tension).
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Adam Dempsey
Jack the Bear's Deluxe Mastering
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