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Half Inch 4 track

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Anonymous
June 25, 2005 7:29:27 PM

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

Can someone please explain what the SUBSTANTIAL difference would be
sonically between printing a stereo mix on all four tracks of a four
track half inch machine (left channel printed to tracks 1 and 2, right
channel to 3 and 4) versus printing to a half inch twp track machine?
With all other things equal, isn't track width the determining factor?
Other than the gap between 1/2 and 3/4, isn't the tape "real estate"
for each side of the mix more or less the same? I know there is some
basic thing that I'm missing, or everyone would be buying half inch
four tracks and printing to them this way.

As an aside, is printing a stereo mix to TWO tracks of the half inch
four track the same as printing normally to the same type of machine
set up as a quarter inch two track?

I'm thinking about buying a half inch four track to use as a multi
track for things that want to be printed to tape, and as a mixdown
deck, so that's the reason for all the questions.

Thanks,

Jim

More about : half inch track

Anonymous
June 26, 2005 2:08:10 AM

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

nag champa <jimklein@ptd.net> wrote:
>Can someone please explain what the SUBSTANTIAL difference would be
>sonically between printing a stereo mix on all four tracks of a four
>track half inch machine (left channel printed to tracks 1 and 2, right
>channel to 3 and 4) versus printing to a half inch twp track machine?

That depends a lot on how well the channels match. If you can align
tracks 1 and 2 so they are perfectly identical, the only big deal is
the guard band.

>With all other things equal, isn't track width the determining factor?
>Other than the gap between 1/2 and 3/4, isn't the tape "real estate"
>for each side of the mix more or less the same? I know there is some
>basic thing that I'm missing, or everyone would be buying half inch
>four tracks and printing to them this way.

The guard band is actually a big deal; the frequency response of the
track is not the same in the center of the track as on the edge,
which is called the "fringe effect." You wind up having trouble with
high frequency response staying flat if you make a recording on a
4-track machine and play it back on a 2-track 1/2" machine for that
reason.

You _could_ use a 4-track machine that way, but you'd lose compatibility
with the rest of the world. If you _were_ going to do it, you might be
able to parallel tracks 1 and 2 into one electronics unit with some
fiddling, and avoid the alignment issues.

>As an aside, is printing a stereo mix to TWO tracks of the half inch
>four track the same as printing normally to the same type of machine
>set up as a quarter inch two track?

No, because of the fringe effect. And on a 1/4" machine, the guard band
is even wider in comparison with the head. If you do this, you only get
a 2 dB improvement in S/N over a single track, rather than the 3 dB you
would expect in a perfect world. (Remember the noise is not correlated,
so it doesn't sum perfectly.)

>I'm thinking about buying a half inch four track to use as a multi
>track for things that want to be printed to tape, and as a mixdown
>deck, so that's the reason for all the questions.

Well, most machines with that head configuration can easily have the head
assemblies swapped out for 1/4" 2-track. That's a perfectly good-sounding
format that is compatible with the outside world.
--scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
June 26, 2005 11:07:54 AM

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

In article <1119738567.094058.130430@g47g2000cwa.googlegroups.com> jimklein@ptd.net writes:

> Can someone please explain what the SUBSTANTIAL difference would be
> sonically between printing a stereo mix on all four tracks of a four
> track half inch machine

I assume you're planning to parallel the tracks on playback so that
you get the equivalent of a wider track? When you do that, you're
subjecting yourself to azimuth inaccuracies. If playback head
alignment was a bit off from the record head alignment (and bear in
mind that the playback head might be on a different machine) the two
tracks that you sum will be slightly out of phase. You could get some
cancellation when summing the slighly out-of-phase tracks.

> As an aside, is printing a stereo mix to TWO tracks of the half inch
> four track the same as printing normally to the same type of machine
> set up as a quarter inch two track?

Yes, except that 1/2" tape might be better guided. Tape decks are as
mechanical as they are electrical and magnetic.

> I'm thinking about buying a half inch four track to use as a multi
> track for things that want to be printed to tape, and as a mixdown
> deck, so that's the reason for all the questions.

Do yourself a favor and invest in a set of 1/2" two-track heads and
use them when you want to use it as a mixdown recorder. But don't
bother unless you're getting a really nice machine to begin with.
Ampex ATR-104 good, TASCAM 70-4 bad.



--
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
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Anonymous
June 26, 2005 2:07:31 PM

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

"Mike Rivers" <mrivers@d-and-d.com> wrote in message
news:znr1119748565k@trad...
>
> In article <1119738567.094058.130430@g47g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>
> jimklein@ptd.net writes:
>
>> Can someone please explain what the SUBSTANTIAL difference would be
>> sonically between printing a stereo mix on all four tracks of a four
>> track half inch machine
>
> I assume you're planning to parallel the tracks on playback so that
> you get the equivalent of a wider track? When you do that, you're
> subjecting yourself to azimuth inaccuracies. If playback head
> alignment was a bit off from the record head alignment (and bear in
> mind that the playback head might be on a different machine) the two
> tracks that you sum will be slightly out of phase. You could get some
> cancellation when summing the slighly out-of-phase tracks.

Isn't that why we always recorded on master tapes 1 khz tone for level and
10khz for high-eq adjustment and 15 khz for azimuth tweaking? We assumed
that the master would --- always --- be played on a different machine on its
way to a release format, typically vinyl.

Steve King
Anonymous
June 26, 2005 9:09:38 PM

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

In article <rPGdnYdu3OUuWSPfRVn-3w@comcast.com> steve@TakeThisOutToReplysteveking.net writes:

> Isn't that why we always recorded on master tapes 1 khz tone for level and
> 10khz for high-eq adjustment and 15 khz for azimuth tweaking? We assumed
> that the master would --- always --- be played on a different machine on its
> way to a release format, typically vinyl.

Yes, but generally when adjusting azimuth you either adjust for a peak
if it's a full track tape or you pick two tracks and adjust the
azimuth so that they're in phase. But head gaps aren't perfectly in
line (there's a tolerance for "scatter") and if playing back a 4-track
tape on 2-track heads (or 4-track heads with pairs of tracks summed)
there's some room for the two tracks that are summed to be a bit out
of phase.

This isn't normally a problem with a multitrack recorder because
there's different material recorded on the tracks that are summed, but
when it's the same material, there's potential for cancellation.

I guess that if I had to work with a tape recorded like this, I'd keep
my mind open and opt for playing back two of the four tracks at a
slightly lower signal/noise ratio than put up with some phase
cancellation if it was present.


--
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 26, 2005 9:24:11 PM

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

Thanks for all the info, guys. So are there any opinions about an
Otari MTR-10 or 12? JRF sells a two track conversion kit for 1900
bucks, so if the machine was cheap enough and in decent shape, would
that be a good choice?

Thanks,

Jim
Anonymous
June 26, 2005 11:20:15 PM

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

"Mike Rivers" <mrivers@d-and-d.com> wrote in message
news:znr1119805508k@trad...
>
> In article <rPGdnYdu3OUuWSPfRVn-3w@comcast.com>
> steve@TakeThisOutToReplysteveking.net writes:
>
>> Isn't that why we always recorded on master tapes 1 khz tone for level
>> and
>> 10khz for high-eq adjustment and 15 khz for azimuth tweaking? We assumed
>> that the master would --- always --- be played on a different machine on
>> its
>> way to a release format, typically vinyl.
>
> Yes, but generally when adjusting azimuth you either adjust for a peak
> if it's a full track tape or you pick two tracks and adjust the
> azimuth so that they're in phase. But head gaps aren't perfectly in
> line (there's a tolerance for "scatter") and if playing back a 4-track
> tape on 2-track heads (or 4-track heads with pairs of tracks summed)
> there's some room for the two tracks that are summed to be a bit out
> of phase.

Makes sense. Isn't there another effect, when the material is recorded full
track, for instance, and played back on a two-track machine? Some effect on
low frequency response?

Steve King
Anonymous
June 27, 2005 10:41:22 AM

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

"nag champa" <jimklein@ptd.net> wrote in message
news:1119738567.094058.130430@g47g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> Can someone please explain what the SUBSTANTIAL difference would be
> sonically between printing a stereo mix on all four tracks of a four
> track half inch machine (left channel printed to tracks 1 and 2, right
> channel to 3 and 4) versus printing to a half inch twp track machine?
> With all other things equal, isn't track width the determining factor?
> Other than the gap between 1/2 and 3/4, isn't the tape "real estate"
> for each side of the mix more or less the same? I know there is some
> basic thing that I'm missing, or everyone would be buying half inch
> four tracks and printing to them this way.
>
> As an aside, is printing a stereo mix to TWO tracks of the half inch
> four track the same as printing normally to the same type of machine
> set up as a quarter inch two track?
>
> I'm thinking about buying a half inch four track to use as a multi
> track for things that want to be printed to tape, and as a mixdown
> deck, so that's the reason for all the questions.
>
> Thanks,
>
> Jim
>
There's really no appreciable reason to print stereo to four tracks on a
half inch. Now two tracks on a half inch is just plain beautiful, but
expensive. The technical side? No outer tracks (they both are outer
tracks), track width is the largest you can get unless ATR is now making a
1" two track for mastering. And the distance of the two tracks to the tape
edge is greater than using four tracks in the same tape width.
--
Roger W. Norman
SirMusic Studio
Anonymous
June 27, 2005 10:54:45 AM

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

"nag champa" <jimklein@ptd.net> wrote in message
news:1119831850.885980.33370@g47g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> Thanks for all the info, guys. So are there any opinions about an
> Otari MTR-10 or 12? JRF sells a two track conversion kit for 1900
> bucks, so if the machine was cheap enough and in decent shape, would
> that be a good choice?
>
> Thanks,
>
> Jim
>
Cheap enough and pay $1900 for a head conversion?

I'd pay serious attention to the mechanicals on a RTR before I'd put $1900
in for some heads, even if they are from JRF. Now if you go to Randy
Blevins and buy a well maintained or refurbished RTR, then I'd say putting
$1900 into heads would be worth it.

But, and this is just a plain good idea any time, if you are already aware
of JRF, then call them and ask some questions. They'll be glad to spend a
little time so that you can make the right decision. They might even have a
machine just to your liking. Buying from reputable dealers like Randy or
the guys at JRF Magnetics is probably worth every dime you pay, and you get
knowledgable people to talk with when you have problems. And who knows, you
may end up with more than your money's worth.

Also be aware of tape scarcity. The folks at JRF are supposedly coming out
with some tape and Quantigy is making limited runs for SPARS (406, 456, 499
and GP9), but as I understand it, you have to be a SPARS member and that has
some professional requirements. Again, a telephone call will get an answer
on that.
--

Roger W. Norman
SirMusic Studio
Anonymous
June 27, 2005 11:21:09 AM

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

In article <xLmdnbYRKKqi2yLfRVn-uQ@comcast.com> steve@TakeThisOutToReplysteveking.net writes:

> Makes sense. Isn't there another effect, when the material is recorded full
> track, for instance, and played back on a two-track machine? Some effect on
> low frequency response?

Yes. That's called fringing.

--
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 27, 2005 11:21:10 AM

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

In article <1119831850.885980.33370@g47g2000cwa.googlegroups.com> jimklein@ptd.net writes:

> So are there any opinions about an
> Otari MTR-10 or 12? JRF sells a two track conversion kit for 1900
> bucks, so if the machine was cheap enough and in decent shape, would
> that be a good choice?

Yes, those make fine 1/2" 2-track machines. A few years ago, 2-track
MTR-10s were going for as little as $500 so you'd have to think hard
about putting $1900 into a $500 recorder. But it goes down a little
better if you think of adding an essential $500 accessory to your
$1900 heads.

--
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 27, 2005 1:35:09 PM

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

nag champa <jimklein@ptd.net> wrote:
>Thanks for all the info, guys. So are there any opinions about an
>Otari MTR-10 or 12? JRF sells a two track conversion kit for 1900
>bucks, so if the machine was cheap enough and in decent shape, would
>that be a good choice?

That's half-inch 2-track for $1900. You'll find a 1/4" headstack for
the machine will be much cheaper, and 1/4" sounds pretty good.

I think I'd rather have a 1/4" ATR-100 than a 1/2" MTR-10. But that's
just me. Hell, I worked on a 440B for years and liked it.
--scott

--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
June 27, 2005 2:17:11 PM

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

Roger W. Norman <RNorman@starpower.net> wrote:
>
>Also be aware of tape scarcity. The folks at JRF are supposedly coming out
>with some tape and Quantigy is making limited runs for SPARS (406, 456, 499
>and GP9), but as I understand it, you have to be a SPARS member and that has
>some professional requirements. Again, a telephone call will get an answer
>on that.

Quantegy is now shipping to the general public. They have a serious
backorder, but stuff is going out the door.

There are three other companies that are either making tape in small
quantities or will soon be making tape in small quantities. Verdict on
them is still out but Quantegy definitely has some competition.
--scott


--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
June 27, 2005 3:25:54 PM

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

In article <GM6dneZ-lvPsRiLfRVn-qg@rcn.net> RNorman@starpower.net writes:

> Also be aware of tape scarcity. The folks at JRF are supposedly coming out
> with some tape

That's ATR, not JRF, though they're friends and there may very well be
some cooperation or co-investment.


--
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 27, 2005 7:23:04 PM

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

On 27/06/05 12:41, in article KvGdnetoCerTRSLfRVn-qQ@rcn.net, "Roger W.
Norman" <RNorman@starpower.net> wrote:

(...)
> There's really no appreciable reason to print stereo to four tracks on a
> half inch. Now two tracks on a half inch is just plain beautiful, but
> expensive. The technical side? No outer tracks (they both are outer
> tracks), track width is the largest you can get unless ATR is now making a
> 1" two track for mastering.

I've seen a Studer A80 1" modded from 8track to 2track on ebay the other
day. Didn't say who did the mod though...



--
Joe Kotroczo kotroczo@mac.com
!