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vcr hifi

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October 7, 2004 8:59:18 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

i would like to try 2 track recording to hifi vcr

can someone recommend a brand or machine that is suited for this purpose

i heard that the newer machines all have automatic compression. i would like
to find one with defeatable compression and possibly balanced inputs. and if
there are any with better sounding electronics it would be good to know what
models or brands are best

i like tape over digital, and will never be swayed

More about : vcr hifi

Anonymous
October 7, 2004 10:35:11 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

<< i would like to try 2 track recording to hifi vcr >>



These things pump & breathe like mad. If you really don't like digital, look
into real analog instead of the VHS junk.

Scott Fraser
October 7, 2004 10:50:31 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

seems to be a controversial subject

i have a 440 which i love

for remote recording it's masterlink or cassette

i recently did an experiment and recorded to a good cassette machine with a
nice mirophone. while noisier by a longshot than the masterlink, it still
sounded better. noise doesn't bother me as much as some people. pumping on
the other hand is a problem

i have a feeling that the pumping might have to do with the particular
machine that is being used.
Related resources
Anonymous
October 7, 2004 10:50:32 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

anon <anonymousm@nyc.rr.com> wrote:
>seems to be a controversial subject

No, not at all. VHS Hi-Fi just sounds bad. In the eighties it was a good
bargain-basement alternative recording format, for folks who would otherwise
have only cassette at the price. But it's not 1980 any more.

>i have a 440 which i love
>
>for remote recording it's masterlink or cassette

So, buy a Nagra IV. Nice remote machine, and doesn't cost very much.

>i recently did an experiment and recorded to a good cassette machine with a
>nice mirophone. while noisier by a longshot than the masterlink, it still
>sounded better. noise doesn't bother me as much as some people. pumping on
>the other hand is a problem

Cassette flutter drives me up the wall.

>i have a feeling that the pumping might have to do with the particular
>machine that is being used.

I've never heard one that didn't have serious problems, although personally
the head-switching noise and the distortion due to poor FM tracking bothers
me a lot more. Remember, this isn't a conventional recording format or
anything even approaching it. There is a massive amount of processing stuff
going on here.
---scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
October 8, 2004 12:17:53 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

>
> I've never heard one that didn't have serious problems, although personally
> the head-switching noise and the distortion due to poor FM tracking bothers
> me a lot more. Remember, this isn't a conventional recording format or
> anything even approaching it. There is a massive amount of processing stuff
> going on here.
> ---scott

Isn't the beta the basic grandfather of DAT and current Digital video?
They all use helical scan tape based systems
why would vhs hifi be any worse that DAT
it there a tape speed or size diffrence ?
or are the prosumer DAt just built more for function than hitting a
price point the way many vhs hifi were
I did my first long recording to a Toshiba Beta hifi
this must have been 84
I did my first recording to a Craig T-bar RtR with a carbon mic held up
to a TV speaker to record the Beatle on Ed Sullivan
I may have still been in "footy" pajamas at the time
George
Anonymous
October 8, 2004 12:17:54 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

George <g.p.gleason@worldnet.att.net> wrote:
>
>> I've never heard one that didn't have serious problems, although personally
>> the head-switching noise and the distortion due to poor FM tracking bothers
>> me a lot more. Remember, this isn't a conventional recording format or
>> anything even approaching it. There is a massive amount of processing stuff
>> going on here.
>
>Isn't the beta the basic grandfather of DAT and current Digital video?
>They all use helical scan tape based systems

No, helical scan systems actually date back to Ampex video recorders of
the 1960s. The original 2" Quad machines used transverse scanning, but
by the late sixties Ampex was building machines that used 1" tape with
a helical scanning drum for longer running time (though you could not
razor blade edit like you could with Quad videotape).

>why would vhs hifi be any worse that DAT

Because DAT is a PCM digital format. What you put in is what you get
out. VHS Hi-Fi is not digital at all, it's a low-grade FM subcarrier
put on top of the video signal. Much, much less bandwidth... most systems
were okay from around 100 Hz to 12 KHz, and bass would screw the FM
discriminator up a lot, which is where a lot of the pumping issues come
from. But, because the video carrier drops out when the heads switch over
(which is fine for video since it's during the vertical interval), there is
an audio dropout with each video field. This is painfully audible... if
the machine is adjusted perfectly it's not so bad but it severely limits
interchange of tapes.

>it there a tape speed or size diffrence ?
>or are the prosumer DAt just built more for function than hitting a
>price point the way many vhs hifi were

Well, the prosumer DAT machines were digital.

>I did my first long recording to a Toshiba Beta hifi
>this must have been 84
>I did my first recording to a Craig T-bar RtR with a carbon mic held up
>to a TV speaker to record the Beatle on Ed Sullivan
>I may have still been in "footy" pajamas at the time

Scary, isn't it? I think my first was a half-track Aiwa.
--scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
October 8, 2004 12:43:04 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"George wrote:
> Isn't the beta the basic grandfather of DAT and current Digital video?

You're thinking of the Sony PCM-D1 which used Beta as storage. IIRC, it was
12 bit. It didn't really sound very good.

> They all use helical scan tape based systems
> why would vhs hifi be any worse that DAT
> it there a tape speed or size diffrence ?

VHS Hifi isn't digital, for one, so it's apples/oranges. It does have pretty
good s/n and low wow and flutter compared to, say, a regular audio cassette.

-jw
Anonymous
October 8, 2004 12:43:05 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

John Washburn <johnwashburn99@nyc.rr.com> wrote:
>"George wrote:
>> Isn't the beta the basic grandfather of DAT and current Digital video?
>
>You're thinking of the Sony PCM-D1 which used Beta as storage. IIRC, it was
>12 bit. It didn't really sound very good.

You sure you don't mean the PCM F-1? That was a gadget that gave you
14-bit and then later 16 bit digital audio on a video carrier that you
could use any VTR to record.

It was the introduction to digital for a generation and it was pretty
amazing when it came out. It sounded really awful in some ways, but
it was a revelation in others.
--scott


--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
October 8, 2004 1:30:36 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Scott Dorsey" wrote:
> John Washburn wrote:
> >"George wrote:
> >> Isn't the beta the basic grandfather of DAT and current Digital
video?
> >
> >You're thinking of the Sony PCM-D1 which used Beta as storage. IIRC, it
was
> >12 bit. It didn't really sound very good.
>
> You sure you don't mean the PCM F-1? That was a gadget that gave you
> 14-bit and then later 16 bit digital audio on a video carrier that you
> could use any VTR to record.

That's the one.

>
> It was the introduction to digital for a generation and it was pretty
> amazing when it came out. It sounded really awful in some ways, but
> it was a revelation in others.

I'm a little too young to remember when it came out, but I have had to use
it a couple times. It was so frustrating, because it almost sounded like
something real and seemed like a cunning idea, but was really grainy and
veiled. Of course, it had no tape hiss, and at the time that seemed
important.

-jw
Anonymous
October 8, 2004 1:30:37 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

John Washburn <johnwashburn99@nyc.rr.com> wrote:
>"Scott Dorsey" wrote:
>>
>> It was the introduction to digital for a generation and it was pretty
>> amazing when it came out. It sounded really awful in some ways, but
>> it was a revelation in others.
>
>I'm a little too young to remember when it came out, but I have had to use
>it a couple times. It was so frustrating, because it almost sounded like
>something real and seemed like a cunning idea, but was really grainy and
>veiled. Of course, it had no tape hiss, and at the time that seemed
>important.

It had just phenomenal dynamic range. You can't imagine what 14 bits
of dynamic range was like... it was so wonderful people hardly even
noticed the major linearity problems. The top end was just horrible
and grainy... but the bottom end was amazing. It was the first time
I ever heard bass that sounded the same on playback. And, well, it
wasn't any _worse_ than the Scully 280s....
--scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
October 8, 2004 11:28:53 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"George" <g.p.gleason@worldnet.att.net> wrote in message
news:g.p.gleason-5520B3.16175107102004@netnews.worldnet.att.net...
>
> >
> > I've never heard one that didn't have serious problems, although
personally
> > the head-switching noise and the distortion due to poor FM tracking
bothers
> > me a lot more. Remember, this isn't a conventional recording format or
> > anything even approaching it. There is a massive amount of processing
stuff
> > going on here.
> > ---scott
>
> Isn't the beta the basic grandfather of DAT and current Digital video?
> They all use helical scan tape based systems
> why would vhs hifi be any worse that DAT

Apples and oranges. Or rather, oranges and rotten apples.

VHS Hifi is a jury-rigged analog format. Basically they frequency-modulate a
high-frequency carrier, record it on tape, then demodulate the audio after
retrieval. Unfortunately, as the heads rotate, the machine has to switch
from head to head, and that creates noise. So VHS Hifi (and Beta Hifi) use
companding, rather like dbx: heavily compress the signal going to tape, then
expand the signal coming from tape. Typically it adds tons and tons of
artifacts to the sound, and head-switching noise is audible anyway.

DAT, although it uses a helical scan system like Beta or VHS, is a digital
system. Theoretically, at least, the recording medium won't matter at all.

Peace,
Paul
Anonymous
October 8, 2004 11:28:54 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

> VHS Hifi is a jury-rigged analog format. Basically they frequency-modulate
> a high-frequency carrier, record it on tape, then demodulate the audio after
> retrieval. Unfortunately, as the heads rotate, the machine has to switch
> from head to head, and that creates noise. So VHS Hifi (and Beta Hifi) use
> companding, rather like dbx: heavily compress the signal going to tape,
> then expand the signal coming from tape. Typically it adds tons and tons
> of artifacts to the sound, and head-switching noise is audible anyway.

Not so. I tested a Beta Hi-Fi VCR for Stereophile many years ago. I recorded a
direct-disk LP at 20dB below peak, then turned up the volume to "normal" level
on playback. To my surprise, there was no pumping or switching noise.

Unfortunately...

The recording itself didn't sound very good. It was as if all the color and life
had been drained from it.

VCR HiFi is good for such things as recording 5 or 6 hours of radio programs
that you're going to listen to once then discard, but it's not suitable for
critical live recording.
Anonymous
October 8, 2004 11:32:20 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Scott Dorsey" <kludge@panix.com> wrote in message
news:ck4hhh$pfa$1@panix2.panix.com...

> It had just phenomenal dynamic range. You can't imagine what 14 bits
> of dynamic range was like... it was so wonderful people hardly even
> noticed the major linearity problems.

Actually, you had your choice of 14 or 16 bits. The catch was that with 16
bits, you had less robust error correction. I still always recorded at 16
when I used the thing...liked to live dangerously, I suppose. Never used the
recordings anyway; they were backups.

> The top end was just horrible
> and grainy... but the bottom end was amazing. It was the first time
> I ever heard bass that sounded the same on playback. And, well, it
> wasn't any _worse_ than the Scully 280s....

Yes it was. I didn't hear a Sony digital machine I could stand until they
started using 1-bit converters in about 1991.

Peace,
Paul
Anonymous
October 8, 2004 11:35:02 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Scott Dorsey" <kludge@panix.com> wrote in message
news:ck4bkf$aep$1@panix2.panix.com...

> >I did my first recording to a Craig T-bar RtR with a carbon mic held up
> >to a TV speaker to record the Beatle on Ed Sullivan
> >I may have still been in "footy" pajamas at the time
>
> Scary, isn't it? I think my first was a half-track Aiwa.

My first real recording was to a half-track Wollensak from the school's AV
department. But I'd been messing around recording to my dad's dictating
machine for a while before that. He had one that recorded on floppy plastic
discs.

Peace,
Paul
Anonymous
October 8, 2004 11:41:09 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Paul Stamler wrote:
> "Scott Dorsey" <kludge@panix.com> wrote in message
> news:ck4bkf$aep$1@panix2.panix.com...
>
>>>I did my first recording to a Craig T-bar RtR with a carbon mic held up
>>>to a TV speaker to record the Beatle on Ed Sullivan
>>>I may have still been in "footy" pajamas at the time
>>
>>Scary, isn't it? I think my first was a half-track Aiwa.
>
> My first real recording was to a half-track Wollensak from the school's AV
> department. But I'd been messing around recording to my dad's dictating
> machine for a while before that. He had one that recorded on floppy plastic
> discs.

These are great stories. The telling thing isn't so much the stories
themselves, but the fact that we remember them so clearly and see such
significance in them.

Like Scott, my first recording was made via a mic held up to a TV
speaker. Simon and Garfunkel were performing. I was so unhappy with
the result that I went up to my local radio parts store and asked the
clerk how to make a direct connection. He showed me how to build a
connection with some alligator clips and some resistors that would let
me connect the TV speaker directly into the mic input on my little
portable reel-to-reel. I was on my way.

Later that year, my father bought me a Roberts quarter-track 7-inch reel
machine. I was in heaven!

My first live concert recording was via that same early portable
reel-to-reel smuggled into a 1968 Jefferson Airplane concert. The
result was absolutely unlistenable, unrecognizable even. But it gave me
plenty of room to improve. <g>
Anonymous
October 8, 2004 11:54:13 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <Gqr9d.508333$OB3.275251@bgtnsc05-news.ops.worldnet.att.net>,
"Paul Stamler" <pstamlerhell@pobox.com> wrote:

> "Scott Dorsey" <kludge@panix.com> wrote in message
> news:ck4bkf$aep$1@panix2.panix.com...
>
> > >I did my first recording to a Craig T-bar RtR with a carbon mic held up
> > >to a TV speaker to record the Beatle on Ed Sullivan
> > >I may have still been in "footy" pajamas at the time
> >
> > Scary, isn't it? I think my first was a half-track Aiwa.
>
> My first real recording was to a half-track Wollensak from the school's AV
> department. But I'd been messing around recording to my dad's dictating
> machine for a while before that. He had one that recorded on floppy plastic
> discs.
>
> Peace,
> Paul
>
>

Mine was a full-track Revere. I've been trying to find some info on the web
about that particular model, but no luck so far. It had a crystal mic that came
with it but I mostly just plugged my guitar in direct. It had a gas discharge
tube (or something like that) for levels if I remember right. It was quite a
while ago...

I really got going when my Dad bought a Sony TC-355 that did sound on sound. I
still have it.

-Jay
--
x------- Jay Kadis ------- x---- Jay's Attic Studio ------x
x Lecturer, Audio Engineer x Dexter Records x
x CCRMA, Stanford University x http://www.offbeats.com/ x
x---------- http://ccrma.stanford.edu/~jay/ ------------x
Anonymous
October 8, 2004 12:34:16 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <GBe9d.64507$Ot3.34048@twister.nyc.rr.com> anonymousm@nyc.rr.com writes:

> i would like to try 2 track recording to hifi vcr
> i like tape over digital, and will never be swayed

> can someone recommend a brand or machine that is suited for this purpose

A HiFi VCR does a very good job of isolating the sound of the tape
from the sound of what comes out of it. What you like about tape,
unless it's that you can wrap your Christmas presents with it, won't
be evident with a HiFi VCR.

Get an Ampex AG-440.

--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
October 8, 2004 12:34:17 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <g.p.gleason-5520B3.16175107102004@netnews.worldnet.att.net> g.p.gleason@worldnet.att.net writes:

> Isn't the beta the basic grandfather of DAT and current Digital video?
> They all use helical scan tape based systems
> why would vhs hifi be any worse that DAT

There's nothing digital about the recording process on a HiFi VCR.
It's a frequency-modulated high frequency carrier. The helical
rotating head (which went back to the professional VCRs of the '60s)
allowed recording of frequencies of a few megahertz (the video and
audio carrier) with a low linear speed.

There was a PCM adapter, the Sony F1, which converted audio to a PCM
data stream which was then converted to a video format so it could be
recorded on a VCR. After the concept (whose most significant features
were a wide dynamic range and flat frequency response) caught on,
people started designing more linear converters and eventually
developed a dedicated tape format and transport.


--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
October 8, 2004 12:36:56 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Paul Stamler <pstamlerhell@pobox.com> wrote:
>"Scott Dorsey" <kludge@panix.com> wrote in message
>
>> It had just phenomenal dynamic range. You can't imagine what 14 bits
>> of dynamic range was like... it was so wonderful people hardly even
>> noticed the major linearity problems.
>
>Actually, you had your choice of 14 or 16 bits. The catch was that with 16
>bits, you had less robust error correction. I still always recorded at 16
>when I used the thing...liked to live dangerously, I suppose. Never used the
>recordings anyway; they were backups.

Okay, I remember that some machines had only 14 and some had the switch for
either 16 or 14... and we had a 14/16 but NPR wanted tapes in 14 bit format
or something like that? And there were competing boxes from Technics and
Nak and someone else?

>> The top end was just horrible
>> and grainy... but the bottom end was amazing. It was the first time
>> I ever heard bass that sounded the same on playback. And, well, it
>> wasn't any _worse_ than the Scully 280s....
>
>Yes it was. I didn't hear a Sony digital machine I could stand until they
>started using 1-bit converters in about 1991.

You should have heard our Scully 280s.
--scott

--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
October 8, 2004 1:08:54 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Scott Dorsey" <kludge@panix.com> wrote in message
news:ck4bud$eb1$1@panix2.panix.com
> John Washburn <johnwashburn99@nyc.rr.com> wrote:
>> "George wrote:
>>> Isn't the beta the basic grandfather of DAT and current Digital
>>> video?
>>
>> You're thinking of the Sony PCM-D1 which used Beta as storage. IIRC,
>> it was 12 bit. It didn't really sound very good.
>
> You sure you don't mean the PCM F-1? That was a gadget that gave you
> 14-bit and then later 16 bit digital audio on a video carrier that you
> could use any VTR to record.
>
> It was the introduction to digital for a generation and it was pretty
> amazing when it came out. It sounded really awful in some ways, but
> it was a revelation in others.

I still remember the first time the guy who handled the FM broadcasts of a
local symphony brought his PCM-F1 and some air check tapes over to a
friend's house. Said friend had a full-tilt multi-amped Magnpan Tympani
system going at the time - very clean and smooth but not exactly the widest
dynamic range.

At any rate, it was the absence of audible jitter, namely analog tape/LP
induced flutter and wow that struck me first. Even on the somewhat-limited
Tympani system, the dyanmic range benefits over analog tape and vinyl were
also very clear. Basically ther was only hall noise - no audible tape hiss
or snap/crackle/pop/rumble-rumble that is characteristic of vinyl. BTW the
house LP system was a LP-12, 3009 arm and whatever V-15 was current at the
moment.

I guess the PCM-F1 system had some audible faults, but I didn't notice them
even after a few hours of critical listening.
Anonymous
October 8, 2004 1:08:55 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

> I guess the PCM-F1 system had some audible faults, but I didn't
> notice them even after a few hours of critical listening.

I had been making live recordings on semi-pro equipment (ie, Otari 5050) before
reviewing the PCM-F1. There was no question that what came out of the latter
sounded more like what I heard in front of the mics; I later bought a Nakamichi
DMP-100. There was also little question that the dbx 900 single-bit encoder was
cleaner at the top end.
Anonymous
October 8, 2004 1:21:08 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"anon" <anonymousm@nyc.rr.com> wrote in message
news:GBe9d.64507$Ot3.34048@twister.nyc.rr.com

> i would like to try 2 track recording to hifi vcr

> can someone recommend a brand or machine that is suited for this
> purpose

> i heard that the newer machines all have automatic compression. i
> would like to find one with defeatable compression and possibly
> balanced inputs.

Rotsa ruck!

Be advised that even the $69.95 VHS deck they sell at Walgreen's drug store
from time to time is probably VHS-HiFi. And as VHS HiFi goes, its probably a
fair representation of the capabilities of the format.

AFAIK, the basic VHS HiFi system is based on symmetric companding because of
the relatively poor dynamic range of the underlying FM-based record/play
technology. IOW, if you have a VHS-HiFi system without automatic
compression, it's non-standard.

About the only thing that can be said in favor of VHS HiFi is that it can
be a dramatic improvement over the basic narrow-track, ultra-low-speed basic
VHS analog sound track.

> and if there are any with better sounding
> electronics it would be good to know what models or brands are best

Just a friendly reminder that VHS HiFi has almost nothing sonically in
common with analog tape as we production people usually know it. VHS HiFi
doesn't have the nice overload characteristics, it doesn't have the euphonic
frequency-dependent compression, etc.

> I like tape over digital, and will never be swayed

Given that VHS HiFi has almost nothing in common with regular analog tape,
your comment seems very strange. Just 'cause its tape doesn't mean that it
is good.

More friendly advice - check a calendar, we're now in the 21st century. If
you don't like digital, you're permanently screwed.
Anonymous
October 8, 2004 2:36:04 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"William Sommerwerck" <williams@nwlink.com> wrote in message
news:10md6fg7m55at84@corp.supernews.com
>> I guess the PCM-F1 system had some audible faults, but I didn't
>> notice them even after a few hours of critical listening.
>
> I had been making live recordings on semi-pro equipment (ie, Otari
> 5050)

The 5050 was not a nasty piece of hardware, note.

>before reviewing the PCM-F1. There was no question that what
> came out of the latter sounded more like what I heard in front of the
> mics;

Facsimile reproduction something that good digital recording can do, and
analog tape can only approach.

>I later bought a Nakamichi DMP-100. There was also little
> question that the dbx 900 single-bit encoder was cleaner at the top end.

I'd like to do some PCABX-type tests of a F1.
Anonymous
October 8, 2004 2:36:05 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

> I'd like to do some PCABX-type tests of a[n] F1.

I own both a Sony 601 (which I'll never let out of my sight) and a Nakamichi
DMP-100. The latter is a PCM-F1 with film caps (supposedly) replacing
electrolytics at a couple of points. Mine has also been customized with Apogee
anti-aliasing filters stuffed into the battery compartment.

If you'd like to test the unit, Arnie, I'd be more than happy to ship it to you.
Please contact me directly at williams@nwlink.com.
Anonymous
October 8, 2004 3:24:30 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Jim Gilliland" <usemylastname@cheerful.com> wrote in message
news:bY-dnSylBpVA4fvcRVn-jA@adelphia.com...
> Paul Stamler wrote:
>> "Scott Dorsey" <kludge@panix.com> wrote in message
>> news:ck4bkf$aep$1@panix2.panix.com...
>>
>>>>I did my first recording to a Craig T-bar RtR with a carbon mic held up
>>>>to a TV speaker to record the Beatle on Ed Sullivan
>>>>I may have still been in "footy" pajamas at the time
>>>
>>>Scary, isn't it? I think my first was a half-track Aiwa.
>>
>> My first real recording was to a half-track Wollensak from the school's
>> AV
>> department. But I'd been messing around recording to my dad's dictating
>> machine for a while before that. He had one that recorded on floppy
>> plastic
>> discs.
>
> These are great stories. The telling thing isn't so much the stories
> themselves, but the fact that we remember them so clearly and see such
> significance in them.
>
> Like Scott, my first recording was made via a mic held up to a TV speaker.
> Simon and Garfunkel were performing. I was so unhappy with the result
> that I went up to my local radio parts store and asked the clerk how to
> make a direct connection. He showed me how to build a connection with
> some alligator clips and some resistors that would let me connect the TV
> speaker directly into the mic input on my little portable reel-to-reel. I
> was on my way.
>
> Later that year, my father bought me a Roberts quarter-track 7-inch reel
> machine. I was in heaven!
>
> My first live concert recording was via that same early portable
> reel-to-reel smuggled into a 1968 Jefferson Airplane concert. The result
> was absolutely unlistenable, unrecognizable even. But it gave me plenty
> of room to improve. <g>

My first tape machine was a Pentron that I bought back in 1952 while I was
in the Navy aboard ship. It was mono but didn't sound too bad. Up in the
radio shack we used a Shure 55 Unidyne to record voice anouncements on it
that we would play back over the ship's music and entertainment system. I
also used to record the teletype converter signals to make copies of
massages that I would play back to the converter to print the copies.

Geoley
Anonymous
October 8, 2004 3:57:42 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Jay Kadis" <jay@ccrma.stanford.edu> wrote in message
news:jay-33A0F3.07541308102004@news.stanford.edu
> In article
> <Gqr9d.508333$OB3.275251@bgtnsc05-news.ops.worldnet.att.net>, "Paul
> Stamler" <pstamlerhell@pobox.com> wrote:

>> My first real recording was to a half-track Wollensak from the
>> school's AV department. But I'd been messing around recording to my
>> dad's dictating machine for a while before that. He had one that
>> recorded on floppy plastic discs.

I think that I started out with tape by dubbing 45s with the school's Rever,
but then that slick looking shiny silver Wollensak showed up.

> Mine was a full-track Revere. I've been trying to find some info on
> the web about that particular model, but no luck so far. It had a
> crystal mic that came with it but I mostly just plugged my guitar in
> direct. It had a gas discharge tube (or something like that) for
> levels if I remember right. It was quite a while ago...
>
> I really got going when my Dad bought a Sony TC-355 that did sound on
> sound. I still have it.

Been there, done that. The TC 355 was a classic. Amazing value. You say the
idler wheels and/or belts haven't hardened up on you yet?
Anonymous
October 8, 2004 3:57:43 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <Gtidnd-CpJAWJfvcRVn-tA@comcast.com>,
"Arny Krueger" <arnyk@hotpop.com> wrote:
[snip]

>
> Been there, done that. The TC 355 was a classic. Amazing value. You say the
> idler wheels and/or belts haven't hardened up on you yet?
>

I used it recently to dub some old 3 3/4 ips 1/4" tapes and it worked fine,
considering the original value of "fine".

-Jay
--
x------- Jay Kadis ------- x---- Jay's Attic Studio ------x
x Lecturer, Audio Engineer x Dexter Records x
x CCRMA, Stanford University x http://www.offbeats.com/ x
x---------- http://ccrma.stanford.edu/~jay/ ------------x
Anonymous
October 8, 2004 4:46:05 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Compand: Compression and expansion (COMpress and exPAND) following a
predescribed encoding algorithm, which is usually not the same as simple
compression across the board. Dolby NR and DBX encoding on audio
cassette tapes are examples of companding.

Companding is also used in areas such as wireless mics, vhs hi-fi, and
other audio/video equipment that might modulate baseband audio (usually
to FM) for the purpose of recording or transmission. It can effectively
control the total dynamic range of the encoded audio to meet the
constraints of the transmission or recording media.

Opinions as to which algorithm is best are subjective since all systems
have pros and cons.

"Automatic compression" observation: That comment might be a reference
to the fact that most consumer vhs hi-fi decks use ALC, automatic level
control, which is more of a limiter than a compressor, and is
functionally separate from the companding algorithm used in the
recording process.

Arny Krueger wrote:
....
>>** The original post:
>>
>>" would like to try 2 track recording to hifi vcr
>>i heard that the newer machines all have automatic compression. i
>>would like to find one with defeatable compression ...... "
>>
>>
>>
>>>>>AFAIK, the basic VHS HiFi system is based on symmetric companding
>>>>>because of the relatively poor dynamic range of the underlying
>>>>>FM-based record/play technology. IOW, if you have a VHS-HiFi
>>>>>system without automatic compression, it's non-standard.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>... "compression"
>>>>has not the same meaning as "companding".
>>>>
>>>> VHS hi-fi has no inherent compression.
>
>
>>>Phil I've heard it said that *compand* is actually a contraction of
>>>two other well-known words. Do you know what they are, and can you
>>>properly post them here?
Anonymous
October 8, 2004 5:31:12 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

For some video work where I was feeding a stereo line from the console, I
went with professional JVC broadcast units. Adjustable audio input and they
work fine. However, understand that VHS in itself isn't the most stabile of
transports. No worse than cassette, as far as transport, and usually
better.

--


Roger W. Norman
SirMusic Studio

"anon" <anonymousm@nyc.rr.com> wrote in message
news:GBe9d.64507$Ot3.34048@twister.nyc.rr.com...
> i would like to try 2 track recording to hifi vcr
>
> can someone recommend a brand or machine that is suited for this purpose
>
> i heard that the newer machines all have automatic compression. i would
like
> to find one with defeatable compression and possibly balanced inputs. and
if
> there are any with better sounding electronics it would be good to know
what
> models or brands are best
>
> i like tape over digital, and will never be swayed
>
>
>
>
Anonymous
October 8, 2004 5:31:13 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

> For some video work where I was feeding a stereo line from the console,
> I went with professional JVC broadcast units. Adjustable audio input and
> they work fine. However, understand that VHS in itself isn't the most-
> stable of transports. No worse than cassette, as far as transport, and
> usually better.

Until just a few years ago, VHS transports suffered from severe jitter. Beta was
better in this regard, because the tape path was longer, with superior
"support," and greater isolation from the shell.

With an FM signal, the jitter (if random) appears as noise in the demodulated
signal.

While we're on jitter... I was working in a high-end store when Nakamichi
introduced their "asymmetrical diffused resonance" transports ca. 1979. (They
didn't invent the system. It was actually developed by Eumig.) Although the
decks showed no particular improvement in static S/N ratio, they were audibly
quieter than the preceding decks -- even on existing recordings -- because the
transport introduced less "sideband noise." (Or more precisely, because the
sideband energy was spread over a wider range of frequencies.)
Anonymous
October 8, 2004 5:48:37 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

The language lab in my high school. They had these odd magnetic disk
turntables
that recorded to 7" naked floppy disks with raised grooves on them and
a tonearm with
a flat element protruding that acted like a recording head. The
disks were there for you
to record your responses to the tape being played to you with the
lesson on it. My friends and I were constantly getting kicked out of
the lab for not repeating the lesson playback and making noises to
record on the disks instead, to see how they'd sound
when we playe them back. We would sneak in there at lunch with
someone's guitar
and make recordings that sounded like bad phone-tap tapes. We had no
mic stands,
so one guy would play, one guy would hold the mic, one guy would work
the recorder
and one guy would watch to warn us if the French teacher was coming.

Philip Perkins
Anonymous
October 8, 2004 7:56:37 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Scott Dorsey" <kludge@panix.com> wrote in message
news:ck61l8$ce1$1@panix2.panix.com...

> Okay, I remember that some machines had only 14 and some had the switch
for
> either 16 or 14... and we had a 14/16 but NPR wanted tapes in 14 bit
format
> or something like that? And there were competing boxes from Technics and
> Nak and someone else?

The Nak was a Sony with a few parts substitutions and perhaps more careful
alignment. The other competitor was dbx, who made a box that used adaptive
delta modulation rather than straight PCM, but also recorded to videotape.
Listeners at the time liked it a whole lot better than the Sony.

> >Yes it was. I didn't hear a Sony digital machine I could stand until they
> >started using 1-bit converters in about 1991.
>
> You should have heard our Scully 280s.

Wow -- musta been pretty ghastly. I've heard a few 280s sound okay.

Peace,
Paul
Anonymous
October 8, 2004 7:56:38 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

> The Nak was a Sony with a few parts substitutions and perhaps
> more careful alignment. The other competitor was dbx, who made
> a box that used adaptive delta modulation rather than straight PCM,
> but also recorded to videotape. Listeners at the time liked it a whole
> lot better than the Sony.

Yes. I don't know if my review was published, but I made a parallel recording
with the same mics feeding the DMP-100 and the dbx 900. I preferred the dbx.

My preference lead to a prejudice that remains -- "crude" ways of doing things
can be superior to "sophisticated" ways. For this reason, I have a knee-jerk
bias (possibly undeserved) towards SACD.

Several reviewers (myself included) were promised a dbx 700 to keep as a
reference. The 700 was not much of a success (it was bulky and the ribbon cable
kept popping lose), so that fell through.
Anonymous
October 8, 2004 7:57:14 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

>
> Thanks Phil for showing that you not only lack the guts to post in RAO, you
> lack the guts to answer a simple question about the meaning of the word
> "compand".
>
> Classic bully-boy behavior. Sad.
>
>

I think he and george were separated at birth.

Ty



-- Ty Ford's equipment reviews, audio samples, rates and other audiocentric
stuff are at www.tyford.com
Anonymous
October 8, 2004 9:25:38 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Arny Krueger" <arnyk@hotpop.com> wrote in message
news:Gtidnd-CpJAWJfvcRVn-tA@comcast.com...

> Been there, done that. The TC 355 was a classic. Amazing value. You say
the
> idler wheels and/or belts haven't hardened up on you yet?

I had a 355 too. Wonderful machine -- as long as you kept it lying on its
back. On mine, if you stood it up, the motor would slow down; after a couple
of weeks it was a good 10% off speed. Had to send it back to Sony to get
fixed. Weird, weird problem.

Peace,
Paul
Anonymous
October 8, 2004 9:28:23 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"William Sommerwerck" <williams@nwlink.com> wrote in message
news:10mdg6u6mju6v82@corp.supernews.com...
> > The Nak was a Sony with a few parts substitutions and perhaps
> > more careful alignment. The other competitor was dbx, who made
> > a box that used adaptive delta modulation rather than straight PCM,
> > but also recorded to videotape. Listeners at the time liked it a whole
> > lot better than the Sony.
>
> Yes. I don't know if my review was published, but I made a parallel
recording
> with the same mics feeding the DMP-100 and the dbx 900. I preferred the
dbx.

It was. I read it.

Peace,
Paul
Anonymous
October 8, 2004 10:46:57 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Scott Dorsey" <kludge@panix.com> wrote in message
news:ck46q7$7b$1@panix2.panix.com...
> So, buy a Nagra IV. Nice remote machine, and doesn't cost very much.

Compared to what ???????????????

What about tape costs too? I don't like VHS HiFi either, but the tapes are
cheap at least.

TonyP.
Anonymous
October 8, 2004 10:46:58 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

It's all relative.

I think the current price for quantegy 456 is quite reasonable.

You can alos buy tape in bulk and make your own reel from a fixed set of
pancakes if money's a problem.

I have a real personal problem with digital audio VHS systems...

JP

"TonyP" <TonyP@optus.net.com.au> a écrit dans le message de
news:4166542f$0$20126$afc38c87@news.optusnet.com.au...
>
> "Scott Dorsey" <kludge@panix.com> wrote in message
> news:ck46q7$7b$1@panix2.panix.com...
> > So, buy a Nagra IV. Nice remote machine, and doesn't cost very much.
>
> Compared to what ???????????????
>
> What about tape costs too? I don't like VHS HiFi either, but the tapes are
> cheap at least.
>
> TonyP.
>
>
Anonymous
October 8, 2004 10:46:58 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

TonyP <TonyP@optus.net.com.au> wrote:
>"Scott Dorsey" <kludge@panix.com> wrote in message
>> So, buy a Nagra IV. Nice remote machine, and doesn't cost very much.
>
>Compared to what ???????????????

Compared to nearly everything. I'm seeing them selling in the sub-$1000
range these days. Hell, I just saw a 4.2 with timecode selling for under
a thousand bucks. It's really scary.

>What about tape costs too? I don't like VHS HiFi either, but the tapes are
>cheap at least.

The advantage of VHS HiFi is that the tapes are cheap and if you don't care
about dropouts, you can get nine hour running time with extended-length tapes
in SLP mode. This is great for things like logging recorders. And while
it sounds awful, it still sounds better than typical low-speed logging
machines.

1/4" is not as cheap as DAT or VHS tape, but it's not an outrageous investment
and you can rerecord over bad takes too.
--scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
October 8, 2004 11:20:54 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"JP Gerard" <jpgerard@skynet.be> wrote in message
news:416656ad$0$24610$ba620e4c@news.skynet.be...
> "TonyP" <TonyP@optus.net.com.au> a écrit dans le message de
> > "Scott Dorsey" <kludge@panix.com> wrote in message
> > > So, buy a Nagra IV. Nice remote machine, and doesn't cost very much.
> > Compared to what ???????????????

> It's all relative.

Exactly, what are you comparing to?

>> What about tape costs too? I don't like VHS HiFi either, but the tapes
are
>> cheap at least.
> I think the current price for quantegy 456 is quite reasonable.

As you say, it's all relative. The relative price is at least 10 to 1, even
using best quality VHS tapes.
Personally I wouldn't bother with either any more.

> You can alos buy tape in bulk and make your own reel from a fixed set of
> pancakes if money's a problem.

If money is a problem, forget about analog tape.

> I have a real personal problem with digital audio VHS systems...

Analog audio VHS Hi Fi too.

TonyP.
Anonymous
October 8, 2004 11:20:55 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

> > It's all relative.
>
> Exactly, what are you comparing to?

Talking about tape cost.

> >> What about tape costs too? I don't like VHS HiFi either, but the tapes
> are
> >> cheap at least.
> > I think the current price for quantegy 456 is quite reasonable.
>
> As you say, it's all relative. The relative price is at least 10 to 1,
even
> using best quality VHS tapes.
> Personally I wouldn't bother with either any more.

Well, if you don't like tape, don't buy tape! I like tape.
Tape makes sense to me: I like the sound, I like the fact that I can take a
reel off and put a fresh one on and keep working, I like not having to
backup my "data", ane I like the fact that 20 years from now I'll be able to
take a reel recorded in 2004 and play it back. Well, assuming I still have a
tape deck... and I should...
But I hear ya, media costs money, has to be carried around, takes space etc
etc...

> > You can alos buy tape in bulk and make your own reel from a fixed set of
> > pancakes if money's a problem.
>
> If money is a problem, forget about analog tape.

Got a point there... OK.

> > I have a real personal problem with digital audio VHS systems...
>
> Analog audio VHS Hi Fi too.
>
> TonyP.

Haven't played with that enough to have a solid opinion.

But for me, anything VHS doesn't inspire confidence...

JP
Anonymous
October 8, 2004 11:22:12 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Paul Stamler"
>
> VHS Hifi is a jury-rigged analog format. Basically they frequency-modulate
> a
> high-frequency carrier, record it on tape, then demodulate the audio after
> retrieval. Unfortunately, as the heads rotate, the machine has to switch
> from head to head, and that creates noise.


** No sign of such noise on a correctly functioning VHS hi-fi machine -
not even visible in the THD residual.


> So VHS Hifi (and Beta Hifi) use
> companding, rather like dbx: heavily compress the signal going to tape,
> then
> expand the signal coming from tape.


** The FM modulation system effectively *eliminates* the most serious
problems inherent in normal of tape recording including non linear
distortion, amplitude drop outs, modulation noise and response deviations in
ONE GO.

The inherent signal to noise ratio after FM de-modulation is circa 60 dB,
depending on tape quality.


> Typically it adds tons and tons of artefacts to the sound, and
> head-switching noise is audible anyway.


** The above is simply total fabrication - no such thing is part of VHS
hi-fi. Companding is done at the 1.5:1 ratio making a 60 dB dynamic range
into 90 dB.

Unfortunately not all hi-fi machines are equal with some having the
implementation of the companding done poorly - a
technical product review should this or else do a bench test with sig gen
and scope to make sure there is no compression of recorded levels on
playback.

NOTE: In order to hate VHS hi-fi as much as Dorsey and Stamler do you
have to LOVE all the distortions that normal tape recording creates with a
**passion** and be deaf to tape hiss.





................. Phil
Anonymous
October 9, 2004 12:46:47 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"JP Gerard" <jpgerard@skynet.be> wrote in message
news:41665eec$0$8999$ba620e4c@news.skynet.be...
> > > It's all relative.
> > Exactly, what are you comparing to?
> Talking about tape cost.

No, the first part referred to the cost of a Nagra IV.

> Well, if you don't like tape, don't buy tape!

I don't any more.

> Tape makes sense to me: I like the sound,

I prefer accuracy.

>I like the fact that I can take a
> reel off and put a fresh one on and keep working,

I like working for many hours without changing tapes.

>I like not having to
> backup my "data",

I like being able to do identical backups.

> ane I like the fact that 20 years from now I'll be able to
> take a reel recorded in 2004 and play it back. Well, assuming I still have
a
> tape deck... and I should...

I will bet money I have a CD player then too. I still have the one I bought
20 years ago (don't use it though :-)

TonyP.
Anonymous
October 9, 2004 12:46:48 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

> No, the first part referred to the cost of a Nagra IV.

Yes, sorry, I missed that.

> I prefer accuracy.

In my limited experience with digital systems, "accuracy" was never
obvious... but I have never played with high end digital. What bugs me most
is the lack of depth. But... lower noise floor, sure, lower distortion,
sure...

> >I like the fact that I can take a
> > reel off and put a fresh one on and keep working,
>
> I like working for many hours without changing tapes.

Ahhh, that's one thing I wouldn't mind either... but I can live with 33
minutes or recording time/reel.

> >I like not having to
> > backup my "data",
>
> I like being able to do identical backups.

I don't miss doing that. But then I usually "mix and forget"...

> > ane I like the fact that 20 years from now I'll be able to
> > take a reel recorded in 2004 and play it back. Well, assuming I still
have
> a
> > tape deck... and I should...
>
> I will bet money I have a CD player then too. I still have the one I
bought
> 20 years ago (don't use it though :-)
>
> TonyP.

I see folks pulling their hair because they have old DATs that can't be read
anywhere anymore. Or CDs. Or ADATs.
But I guess that when you work with sound files, you can always do some sort
of transfer later on though... and save the data, and use it.
Tape OTOH, just need a properly calibrated deck with the correct head
config. Usually no prob.

JP
Anonymous
October 9, 2004 2:10:55 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"JP Gerard" <jpgerard@skynet.be> wrote in message
news:41667b1a$0$10408$ba620e4c@news.skynet.be...
> I see folks pulling their hair because they have old DATs that can't be
read
> anywhere anymore. Or CDs. Or ADATs.-

But at least these could have all been backed up losslessly, unlike analog.

> But I guess that when you work with sound files, you can always do some
sort
> of transfer later on though... and save the data, and use it.
> Tape OTOH, just need a properly calibrated deck with the correct head
> config. Usually no prob.

Usually no problem with anything if you still have both the media and a
player in usable condition. I will put my money on a CD being more likely to
be usable in 20 years than analog tape. Your choice is up to you.

TonyP.
Anonymous
October 9, 2004 2:29:51 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Paul Stamler wrote:
>
> My first real recording was to a half-track Wollensak from the school's AV
> department. But I'd been messing around recording to my dad's dictating
> machine for a while before that. He had one that recorded on floppy plastic
> discs.

Change 'floppy plastic discs' to 'a magnetic dictation belt' and you've described mine.
Anonymous
October 9, 2004 2:35:39 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

>
> Bullying anyone who dares to show the "emperor" has no knowledge.
>
>
>
>
>.......... Phil


" Man, Man, Man,
I'm The Man......"


====================
Tracy Wintermute
arrgh@greenapple.com
Rushcreek Ranch
====================
Anonymous
October 9, 2004 3:41:28 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Greg Taylor"

> "Automatic compression" observation: That comment might be a reference to
> the fact that most consumer vhs hi-fi decks use ALC, automatic level
> control, which is more of a limiter than a compressor, and is functionally
> separate from the companding algorithm used in the recording process.


** Correct.





.............. Phil
Anonymous
October 9, 2004 3:45:00 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"William Sommerwerck"
>
> Until just a few years ago, VHS transports suffered from severe jitter.


** Strange how you get nice stable pics on a TV screen.


>
> With an FM signal, the jitter (if random) appears as noise in the
> demodulated
> signal.
>


** Maybe so - but it is then at sub sonic frequencies and easily removed
by filtering.




.............. Phil
Anonymous
October 9, 2004 3:45:01 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

>> Until just a few years ago, VHS transports suffered from severe jitter.

> Strange how you get nice stable pics on a TV screen.

You weren't looking at them closely enough. Older VHS transports suffer from
severe line jitter.


>> With an FM signal, the jitter (if random) appears as noise in the
>> demodulated signal.

> Maybe so - but it is then at sub sonic frequencies and easily removed
> by filtering.

Jitter can be at any frequency and include components in the "audible" spectrum.
!