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Author Topic: Enthusiastic with tape alignment  (Read 14539 times)

scottoliphant

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Re: Enthusiastic with tape alignment
« Reply #15 on: November 12, 2006, 10:14:12 am »

great post josh
Quote:

Han, more difficult in my opinion is only you have to record and then playback to tweak with record levels and eq.
Nicky, make sure that you are doing your record calibration while actually monitoring the levels going to tape off the repro head (as oppsed to recording tones, then playing them back and adjusting record electronics). But, you may not have a repro head from the last post? do you have a manual? It would best describe how to set the machine up (as I've never used a 1/2 16 track). maybe this can help
http://mixonline.com/mag/audio_analog_tape_part/
(from the article)
Quote:

Narrow-format machines offer little in the way of Record EQ adjustment, and there is no low-frequency playback compensation for worn heads. One trick I’ve used is to note the level of the nastiest low-frequency head bump, then set the 10kHz Playback EQ (from the test tape) to that level. It is cheating, but only enough to minimize mistracking of the noise reduction system–dbx noise reduction multiplies low-frequency errors by 2, so a 1.5dB bump becomes a 3dB bump.

Back in the day when I aligned many a Fostex E-16, the extra work of adjusting the bias by the PAR method paid off because channel-to-channel frequency response and phase were more accurate. The difficulty with most Fostex machines is that the bias adjustment is a continuously variable cap. Without a 'scope or a meter, it is easy to misalign one of these machines. By being meticulous about the bias adjustment on all machines, you may discover track-to-track anomalies that could either be caused by aging components or a head near the end of its life. The last narrow-format tip concerns tape thickness. Many of these machines perform better with 1-mil tape rather than 1.5-il tape. Unfortunately, it's not so easy to find Ampex/Quantegy 457 or 3M 227 tapes these days; however, Quantegy 407 is still manufactured.

Han S.

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Re: Enthusiastic with tape alignment
« Reply #16 on: November 12, 2006, 12:14:58 pm »

Nicky, the best sounding narrow format machine is the Fostex G24S. This is as you may know a 1" machine which is electronically superior to the Tascam MSR24.

But otoh the Tascam is mechanically superior to the Fostex. I own a Fostex B16 that still works and a Tascam MSR24S. I've bought it new in 1992 and it still works like a charm, though I don't use it often since I have a two inch machine.

Anyway, if you want to record on location and per s
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Nick in 't Veld

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Re: Enthusiastic with tape alignment
« Reply #17 on: November 12, 2006, 03:50:32 pm »

Scott,

It indeed only have two heads, so got to do it in the way of first record then playback.

Yesterday I did some tests with recording different music to two tracks (Left and Right) and it sounds amazing, never sounded so good. When checking with a spectrum analyzer the original looks quite the same as the recorded one on tape, perfect. Only tape looks and sounds smoother Very Happy

Han,

I know the Fostex G24 indeed, but I realize now that it has more bandwidth per track because it uses 1" tape. Thanks, I will look for one.

Thank you all.
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oldgearguy

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Re: Enthusiastic with tape alignment
« Reply #18 on: November 14, 2006, 08:05:28 am »

just a quick azimuth note - for 2 track machines, using the scope in X-Y mode to set it is fine.  Due to gap scatter (ie - the head gaps are not perfectly in line vertically), using tracks 1/16 (or 1/24) with a scope is not always going to give you the best overall setting.  Using the maximum volume approach across all the channels will get you closer.  (see, I was paying attention during the seminar at ATR...)

Tom
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tbselden

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Re: Enthusiastic with tape alignment
« Reply #19 on: November 22, 2006, 11:03:51 am »

I need a manual for my "new" Fostex G16. Fostex stopped support so they are a dead end. I've searched the internet,
  Now I would like to offer some money to someone kind enough to print me a copy and send it either email or snail mail. I know that time is money so please reply knowing a reasonable offer will not be refused.
Tom
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tbselden

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Re: Enthusiastic with tape alignment
« Reply #20 on: November 22, 2006, 11:09:05 am »

Nicky in 't Veld wrote on Wed, 01 November 2006 08:48

It's is a Fostex G16, nice machine for a 16 track 1/2 inch.
Are there portable machines with more bandwidth, like 16 track 1 inch ? (I do almost all the time location work)

When checking levels I was setting the erase head Embarassed
That's why the levels didn't change very much Laughing

All is set now. But I was wondering when checking for Rep EQ setting, I saw that the company that serviced the machine a half year ago setted the levels at 12,5 Khz to 1 DB exactly.
Maybe they did this to achieve more high frequencies, is this good  ? The manual tells me it has to be set to 0db.

I need a manual for the G16. Willing to pay for your time
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tbselden

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Re: Enthusiastic with tape alignment
« Reply #21 on: November 22, 2006, 11:10:19 am »

tbselden@yahoo.com
I need a manual for the Fostex G16. Will pay, of course.
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Nick in 't Veld

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Re: Enthusiastic with tape alignment
« Reply #22 on: November 24, 2006, 01:58:40 pm »

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Brian Kehew

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Re: Enthusiastic with tape alignment
« Reply #23 on: December 05, 2006, 05:19:23 pm »

I'm glad you are "enthusiastic" about calibration! Then, consider this:

ALL calibrations are compromises and recommendations and personal taste for audio tape.

So - I would suggested TRYING different settings and seeing what output results you get. The sound can vary a LOT with a few simple changes. Try this:

When you "overbias", try different amounts. Like 2.5 on tracks 1/2, 2.0 on tracks 3/4, 1.0 on 5/6 and even 3.5 on 7/8. You have then done "stereo pairs" of different settings and you can print music, drums, vocals to them. Just hear what changes on the results - some will be bight and fizzy, some natural, some dark and punchy. It's all a compromise between high end and saturation levels.

You can do the same for Operating (Record) levels: how hot should YOU set your levels on tape - different calibration lets you test this.

EQ is not something you can tweak as much - if you want "flat" response they have probably set it as close as it should be. That being said, I usually have playback on my 24 tracks set with a little less bass, and a little more treble. It just makes the tracks sit better in a mix.
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Relax and float downstream...
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