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Baking an alignment tape?

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Anonymous
June 13, 2005 12:19:09 PM

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

OK I need to get some last trasfers of masters from 1 in. to a digital
format. My alignment tape has sticky shed. I need one last alignment to
do the transfers. Then I'm selling the machine. Investing $300 for a
new tape is just not worth it.

If I bake the tape:

What's the best way to do it in a regular gas range?
How long will the fix last?
Will the test tape be accurate enough to do a playback alignment?

More about : baking alignment tape

Anonymous
June 13, 2005 1:05:40 PM

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

Thanks Scott. I knew it coudn't be that easy.

>1. You can ship the masters off to a company that specializes in
> this sort of work. Steve Puntolillo does a lot of this.

I have everything else I need for the transfer so for what this would
likely cost I'd buy an alignment tape and use it once.

> 2. You can rent an alignment tape. I don't know about 1" tapes, but I
> know there are still 2" tapes in rental stock in some places.

1 " sure is harder to find. Any suggestions? Someone in the D.C. metro
area, or someone who will ship a rental.

> 3. You can hire a tech with his own tape.

All really I need is the dang tape but if you could recommend someone
in D.C. ?
Anonymous
June 13, 2005 1:22:32 PM

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

>If you can't do the alignment, you don't know if you have everything else
>you need. Maybe you need new pinch rollers. Maybe you need a new bearing
>somewhere. Maybe you have bad caps. Until you actually do the machine
>alignment you don't know if you have some other problem somewhere.

True, still It hasn't been all that long since I used the machine with
no problems.

>I don't know offhand, but Inner Ear studios has a 1" 8-track machine
>and probably has a tape for it. You can always try Greg Lukens who
>might know where else to go in town.

Oh yeah, maybe I'll give Don a call. I worked with him on a project a
few years back. Greg usually has the answers around here too.

tnx
Related resources
Anonymous
June 13, 2005 3:26:43 PM

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

<tymish@hotmail.com> wrote:
>OK I need to get some last trasfers of masters from 1 in. to a digital
>format. My alignment tape has sticky shed. I need one last alignment to
>do the transfers. Then I'm selling the machine. Investing $300 for a
>new tape is just not worth it.

1. You can ship the masters off to a company that specializes in
this sort of work. Steve Puntolillo does a lot of this.

2. You can rent an alignment tape. I don't know about 1" tapes, but I
know there are still 2" tapes in rental stock in some places.

3. You can hire a tech with his own tape.

>If I bake the tape:
>
>What's the best way to do it in a regular gas range?

You cannot. But you can do it in a $50 food dehydrator, and there
are details on www.tangible-tech.com I think.

>How long will the fix last?

Two or three days.

>Will the test tape be accurate enough to do a playback alignment?

No. If the tape is old enough to have sticky shed, it's old enough to
no longer be accurate even if it DIDN'T have sticky shed.
--scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
June 13, 2005 4:14:56 PM

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

<tymish@hotmail.com> wrote:
>Thanks Scott. I knew it coudn't be that easy.
>
>>1. You can ship the masters off to a company that specializes in
>> this sort of work. Steve Puntolillo does a lot of this.
>
>I have everything else I need for the transfer so for what this would
>likely cost I'd buy an alignment tape and use it once.

If you can't do the alignment, you don't know if you have everything else
you need. Maybe you need new pinch rollers. Maybe you need a new bearing
somewhere. Maybe you have bad caps. Until you actually do the machine
alignment you don't know if you have some other problem somewhere.

>> 2. You can rent an alignment tape. I don't know about 1" tapes, but I
>> know there are still 2" tapes in rental stock in some places.
>
>1 " sure is harder to find. Any suggestions? Someone in the D.C. metro
>area, or someone who will ship a rental.
>
>> 3. You can hire a tech with his own tape.
>
>All really I need is the dang tape but if you could recommend someone
>in D.C. ?

I don't know offhand, but Inner Ear studios has a 1" 8-track machine
and probably has a tape for it. You can always try Greg Lukens who
might know where else to go in town.
--scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
June 13, 2005 4:48:37 PM

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

<tymish@hotmail.com> wrote:
>>If you can't do the alignment, you don't know if you have everything else
>>you need. Maybe you need new pinch rollers. Maybe you need a new bearing
>>somewhere. Maybe you have bad caps. Until you actually do the machine
>>alignment you don't know if you have some other problem somewhere.
>
>True, still It hasn't been all that long since I used the machine with
>no problems.
>
>>I don't know offhand, but Inner Ear studios has a 1" 8-track machine
>>and probably has a tape for it. You can always try Greg Lukens who
>>might know where else to go in town.
>
>Oh yeah, maybe I'll give Don a call. I worked with him on a project a
>few years back. Greg usually has the answers around here too.

If you get -really- desperate, I drive through DC on a regular basis
and I have a 1" CCIR tape.
--scott

--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
June 13, 2005 5:41:01 PM

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

>> Will the test tape be accurate enough to do a playback alignment?


>Sticky shed and baking doesn't affect the accuracy enough to worry
>about. If it was good enough before it got sticky and you didn't rub
>too much oxide off it discovering that it was sticky, it will be fine.

Thanks for the advice and the offer MIke. Seems that your opinion and
Scott's diverge in this case. I'm all conflicted........
Anonymous
June 13, 2005 6:17:53 PM

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

tymish wrote ...
> Thanks for the advice and the offer MIke. Seems that your opinion
> and Scott's diverge in this case. I'm all conflicted........

I don't think they are in conflict. Mr. Dorsey was asuming that if the
tape is old enough to be suffering from sticky-shed, it is likely also
old enough to have its integrity as a reference in question. (From
other causes apart from sticky-shed.)

Mr. Rivers used a couple of *very important* "if statements" which
amount to the same thing Mr. Dorsey said.
Go back and read them more carefully.
Anonymous
June 13, 2005 7:23:32 PM

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

In article <1118675949.161389.237750@g44g2000cwa.googlegroups.com> tymish@hotmail.com writes:

> If I bake the tape:
> What's the best way to do it in a regular gas range?

If there's a pilot light in the oven, turn it off. If it has a
standard light bulb inside, replace it with a 100 watt bulb. Put a
small fan inside the oven (I use a computer fan connected to a 12V
power supply. Put the tape on the rack, start the fan, turn on the
light, and leave it overnight.

Or check your neighborhood yard sales or thrift shops for a food
dehydrator, or break down and buy a new one. American Harvest used to
be the common brand.

> How long will the fix last?

It depends on the tape. At least a couple of weeks, maybe a couple of
years.

> Will the test tape be accurate enough to do a playback alignment?

Sticky shed and baking doesn't affect the accuracy enough to worry
about. If it was good enough before it got sticky and you didn't rub
too much oxide off it discovering that it was sticky, it will be fine.


--
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
June 13, 2005 7:23:33 PM

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

In article <1118678740.690227.263070@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com> tymish@hotmail.com writes:

> All really I need is the dang tape but if you could recommend someone
> in D.C. ?

I'm in the DC area and I'll lend you a food dehydrator.

--
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
June 13, 2005 8:39:26 PM

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

tymish@hotmail.com wrote:
> OK I need to get some last trasfers of masters from 1 in. to a digital
> format. My alignment tape has sticky shed. I need one last alignment to
> do the transfers. Then I'm selling the machine. Investing $300 for a
> new tape is just not worth it.
>
> If I bake the tape:
>
> What's the best way to do it in a regular gas range?
> How long will the fix last?
> Will the test tape be accurate enough to do a playback alignment?

If you don't have tones on the tape masters you have no real way of
knowing how
your tapes relate to the test tape. A shedding test tape is only good
for glogging
up your tape heads. A baked test tape no longer qualifies as a test
tape.
It may be that the best you can do is clean and demag the machine.
Playback azimuth can only be aligned with the tapes you are
transferring.
This can be done without tones by summing the tracks and adjusting
for a peak at the top. If you are playing back on the originating
machine
azimuth is probably OK.
That is one of the reasons why pro's put tones on the working tape
masters.
Were the tapes recorded on that machine? Are they encoded for noise
reduction?
How do they sound as is?

Steve Lane
Anonymous
June 13, 2005 9:19:51 PM

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

<tymish@hotmail.com> wrote:
>>> Will the test tape be accurate enough to do a playback alignment?
>
>>Sticky shed and baking doesn't affect the accuracy enough to worry
>>about. If it was good enough before it got sticky and you didn't rub
>>too much oxide off it discovering that it was sticky, it will be fine.
>
>Thanks for the advice and the offer MIke. Seems that your opinion and
>Scott's diverge in this case. I'm all conflicted........

Well, I agree with Mike that if it was good enough before it got sticky,
it'll still be okay. But it probably wasn't. When the tapes get old,
all sorts of other things happen besides the sticky shed problem. You
really can only expect a five or ten year lifetime out of an alignment
tape.
--scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
June 14, 2005 2:55:19 AM

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

"Steve" <sstevelp@aol.com> wrote in message
news:1118705965.979205.173850@g43g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
>
>
> tymish@hotmail.com wrote:
>> OK I need to get some last trasfers of masters from 1 in. to a digital
>> format. My alignment tape has sticky shed. I need one last alignment to
>> do the transfers. Then I'm selling the machine. Investing $300 for a
>> new tape is just not worth it.

SNIP

> Playback azimuth can only be aligned with the tapes you are
> transferring.
> This can be done without tones by summing the tracks and adjusting
> for a peak at the top. If you are playing back on the originating
> machine
> azimuth is probably OK.

Unlikely. The OP says he's playing back on a 1" deck. The likelihood that
the playback alignment is accurate for his (old) tape with sticky shed is a
pretty iffy proposition. As you suggest, playback heads are often aligned
for each tape played. We can assume that might have been done many times
since the "old" tape was recorded.

Steve King


> That is one of the reasons why pro's put tones on the working tape
> masters.
> Were the tapes recorded on that machine? Are they encoded for noise
> reduction?
> How do they sound as is?
>
> Steve Lane
>
June 14, 2005 3:21:34 AM

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

On 13 Jun 2005 13:41:01 -0700, tymish@hotmail.com wrote:

>Thanks for the advice and the offer MIke. Seems that your opinion and
>Scott's diverge in this case. I'm all conflicted........

Age will mostly effect the high frequency playback. If you are
willing to accept you might be off 1 - 3 dB @ 15 kHz, your old test
tape is probably good enough.

I baked tapes in my girlfriend's dehydrator once. It worked great.
The really cool thing is it was circular with a hole up the middle,
and 10-1/2" tapes fit perfectly in it. There are dozen web sites that
tell you how. The main thing is not to get it too hot. It's better
to go a little less hot if you are not sure, but longer in time. I
also just happened to have a Fluke temperature probe for my DVM, which
was extremely accurate, so I was very sure what temperature I was at,
and re-inserted it in several places to make sure it was evenly
heated. I had no problems. I'd suspect just being careful to keep
the heat down on the dehydrator, you'll be OK without a temperature
probe.

Julian
Anonymous
June 14, 2005 10:06:55 AM

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

In article <1118695261.572023.77120@g43g2000cwa.googlegroups.com> tymish@hotmail.com writes:

> Thanks for the advice and the offer MIke. Seems that your opinion and
> Scott's diverge in this case. I'm all conflicted........

In that case, bake the tape, check the head alignment, run the tones,
and if the deck isn't too far off, leave it alone.



--
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
June 14, 2005 12:09:08 PM

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

>Were the tapes recorded on that machine? Are they encoded for noise
>reduction?
>How do they sound as is?

>Steve Lane

A bit of history.

Tascam MS-16 1" 16 track. 15ips, no NR, Quantegy 456

Purchased from an auction in 1998. I recieved shipment, it was aligned
before shipping. Went to align the deck with the included test tape and
it had sticky shed. So I ran REC/Playback tone sweeps and other tests
on the tracks and response looked good. I decided to go ahead and
record on the deck since I would only use the same deck for playback
and was pressed for time. Recordings made in 1998 - 1999. The machine
has since been moved to a new location. I want to dump the tracks to
WAV files and sell the machine sice I have no room for it anymore. No
it hasn't been aligned again in all that time. Unfortunatly no tones on
the tape, I didn't have a generator at the time. I was using it for my
own projects not in a for hire capacity.
Anonymous
June 14, 2005 2:03:24 PM

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

Steve King <steve@TakeThisOutToReplysteveking.net> wrote:
>"Steve" <sstevelp@aol.com> wrote in message
>
>> Playback azimuth can only be aligned with the tapes you are
>> transferring.
>> This can be done without tones by summing the tracks and adjusting
>> for a peak at the top. If you are playing back on the originating
>> machine
>> azimuth is probably OK.
>
>Unlikely. The OP says he's playing back on a 1" deck. The likelihood that
>the playback alignment is accurate for his (old) tape with sticky shed is a
>pretty iffy proposition. As you suggest, playback heads are often aligned
>for each tape played. We can assume that might have been done many times
>since the "old" tape was recorded.

Well, it's true that once you do the full alignment with the test tape,
you then need to align the machine to the tone ladder on the tape you
are playing back.

BUT... what if you skip the full alignment and just align to the tape
tones... and you see a problem on the azimuth alignment? Is it the
record or playback machine? What if you have a sharp low end loss on
the playback machine due to a bad cap and you use the 100 Hz tone on
the tape you're playing back to set the low end de-emphasis...and
suddenly find you have boosted the lower midrange a whole lot.

You need to do the full alignment with a complete tone ladder or a
sweep just to check the machine over and make sure everything is okay,
before you set up with the tones on the tape you are playing back.
Because for one thing, the tape you're playing back will only have a
couple tones for azimuth, level, and maybe two EQ points rather than
a complete sweep. Hell, for years we just put 1K at 0 dB on tapes
and nothing else.
--scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
June 14, 2005 2:21:15 PM

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

tymish@hotmail.com wrote:
> >Were the tapes recorded on that machine? Are they encoded for noise
> >reduction?
> >How do they sound as is?
>
> >Steve Lane
>
> A bit of history.
>
> Tascam MS-16 1" 16 track. 15ips, no NR, Quantegy 456
>
> Purchased from an auction in 1998. I recieved shipment, it was aligned
> before shipping. Went to align the deck with the included test tape and
> it had sticky shed. So I ran REC/Playback tone sweeps and other tests
> on the tracks and response looked good. I decided to go ahead and
> record on the deck since I would only use the same deck for playback
> and was pressed for time. Recordings made in 1998 - 1999. The machine
> has since been moved to a new location. I want to dump the tracks to
> WAV files and sell the machine sice I have no room for it anymore. No
> it hasn't been aligned again in all that time. Unfortunatly no tones on
> the tape, I didn't have a generator at the time. I was using it for my
> own projects not in a for hire capacity.

As you have no NR line up is not so critical.
Using a test tape to realign the machine now may not make the machine
correspond to your tapes. Moving the machine could upset the azimuth a
small amount but I doubt it. In this case azimuth can only be corrected
with the working tapes you have recorded on as you have no other
reference. Much depends on the hf correlation between different tracks.
If the azimuth is out it will affect the hf playback and the stereo
correlation. In practice these things can be sorted in the mix to some
extent although correcting for hf loss will boost hf noise a bit. My
previous comment about summing the tracks will only work on stereo
tracks or tracks with identical material.
You are probably be better off leaving it as is.
In your position I would record some tones and see if the result is in
the ball park. Any EQ correction would be easy to do on your DAW.
Demagging would be a very good idea as magged up heads will result in
higher playback noise. It is very likely that moving the machine will
cause the heads to become slightly magnetised.

Steve
Anonymous
June 14, 2005 8:18:24 PM

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

In article <d8mo3c$gtm$1@panix2.panix.com> kludge@panix.com writes:

> Well, it's true that once you do the full alignment with the test tape,
> you then need to align the machine to the tone ladder on the tape you
> are playing back.
>
> BUT... what if you skip the full alignment and just align to the tape
> tones... and you see a problem on the azimuth alignment? Is it the
> record or playback machine?

If the goal is to play an existing tape, and it has tones on it,
including a suitably high frequency for azimuth alignment (we don't
know that), you'll align the head to what's on the tape you're trying
to play. Nothing you can do about a misaligned recorder, so this the
best you can do. But without a standard reference tape, you don't want
to then use the "just aligned" recorder to record something else on
another reel of tape.

> What if you have a sharp low end loss on
> the playback machine due to a bad cap and you use the 100 Hz tone on
> the tape you're playing back to set the low end de-emphasis...and
> suddenly find you have boosted the lower midrange a whole lot.

Well, if the machine is broken, it's broken. If you had a reference
tape, you could check tones over the low frequency end to see if it's
broken. When you have to make do, you make do.

> Hell, for years we just put 1K at 0 dB on tapes
> and nothing else.

Did that. Then I started wondering about what those tapes were
recorded on, and mended my ways.

--
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
June 14, 2005 8:28:00 PM

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

In article <znr1118767493k@trad>, Mike Rivers <mrivers@d-and-d.com> wrote:
>In article <d8mo3c$gtm$1@panix2.panix.com> kludge@panix.com writes:
>
>> Well, it's true that once you do the full alignment with the test tape,
>> you then need to align the machine to the tone ladder on the tape you
>> are playing back.
>>
>> BUT... what if you skip the full alignment and just align to the tape
>> tones... and you see a problem on the azimuth alignment? Is it the
>> record or playback machine?
>
>If the goal is to play an existing tape, and it has tones on it,
>including a suitably high frequency for azimuth alignment (we don't
>know that), you'll align the head to what's on the tape you're trying
>to play. Nothing you can do about a misaligned recorder, so this the
>best you can do. But without a standard reference tape, you don't want
>to then use the "just aligned" recorder to record something else on
>another reel of tape.

Right. My worry is what if you have something else wrong with the
machine that alignment can't fix? You don't know until you have
tried to do the alignment.

>> What if you have a sharp low end loss on
>> the playback machine due to a bad cap and you use the 100 Hz tone on
>> the tape you're playing back to set the low end de-emphasis...and
>> suddenly find you have boosted the lower midrange a whole lot.
>
>Well, if the machine is broken, it's broken. If you had a reference
>tape, you could check tones over the low frequency end to see if it's
>broken. When you have to make do, you make do.

Nobody has a full tone ladder.

>> Hell, for years we just put 1K at 0 dB on tapes
>> and nothing else.
>
>Did that. Then I started wondering about what those tapes were
>recorded on, and mended my ways.

Right, but you still have to deal with these tapes, and others like them.
--scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
!