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Somebody's got some 'splainin' to do...

Discussion in 'Sidewinders Bar & Grille' started by rolandson, Jun 26, 2019.

  1. circles

    circles Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I'm pretty sure the lawyers will find a price lol!

    Yes originals are best indeed. But are not all works of art sandcastles on the beach?

    NGC_4414_(NASA-med).jpg
     
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  2. fezz parka

    fezz parka Making a record.... Strat-Talk Supporter

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    You could say that about everything. Nothing lasts forever. But some shizz lasts longer than others. Some sandcastles could withstand the tide longer with a little mortar mixed in.
     
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  3. Bob Spumoni

    Bob Spumoni Strat-Talker

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    Much or most of the work of great writers and thinkers is lost as cultures decline, the circumstance in which we find ourselves. Much of Aristotle is lost, all we have of early Christianity is a collection of weird contradictory fragments, we have Heraclitus only in shards, most of the pre-Socratics and so on. Famous cathedrals burn to mere wreckage. Study the witless faces of today's young people and ask, "What sort of stewardship can we expect from such weaklings?" Such events are sad, even tragic, but they are the norm through history.
     
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  4. JB74

    JB74 Senior Stratmaster

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    This one is going to snowball. momentum and public opinion is a groundswell.

    Only a matter of time and Universal is going to fold or get a government bailout.
     
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  5. rocknrollrich

    rocknrollrich Senior Stratmaster

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    What a terrible loss.
    Especially concerning the unreleased material and outtakes.

    I remember hearing stories about how they used to re use tape. It was expensive, so when a song was mixed, the original tracks were erased and the tape was used again.

    I might not have that exactly right, but that's what I heard.
     
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  6. fezz parka

    fezz parka Making a record.... Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Not on any major label release. BITD...tape was cheap. For mixdown they had two machines going: the "A" machine and "B" machine. Then there were two more when they mastered for the record lathe. Makes for a nice story but real? Not in my experience.

    Les Paul still had the stacks of mono Ampex 1" from all of his sound-on-sound stuff. I know a guy in L.A. who has all of the legacy formats. Makes a fortune on rentals and in-house transfers.

    Tape is still the most stable long lasting format available. And even the tapes from the mid 70's through 80's that need baking ( Scotch 226, Ampex 406 and 456, Agfa 468 ) are playable.

    Digital media promises a lot...and delivers less. ;)
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2019
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  7. Tone Deaf

    Tone Deaf Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

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    Meet the new boss
    Same as the old boss
     
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  8. JamesE

    JamesE Strat-Talker

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    I don't know about audio tapes in the '60s, but video tape wasn't cheap - at least that's the reason always brought out for why programmes such as Dr Who have early episodes missing. After all, once transmitted, there was no reason to keep the tape. TV was never repeated - at that time. Some episodes only exist because copies were made on 16mm to send to Australia. Wasn't there a big problem about 1990 when a particular well-known brand of tape started falling apart? I remember the name Elton John as one of the artists whose masters were deteriorating. BTW, I still think tapes are good - I put my performances on cassette!
     
  9. rocknrollrich

    rocknrollrich Senior Stratmaster

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    I will try and find out where I heard this from exactly. I can't remember at the moment. But i think it was from a band interview. Again, I'm not claiming accuracy on this.
     
  10. rocknrollrich

    rocknrollrich Senior Stratmaster

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    I have heard many times about baking the tapes. What exactly does that do?
    If you don't mind sharing.
     
  11. fezz parka

    fezz parka Making a record.... Strat-Talk Supporter

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    No 1" video tape wasn't. As Spicoli would say buku-dinero.

    Audio tape was cheap and available from many different manufacturers with Scotch and Ampex being the top dogs in the US.
     
  12. fezz parka

    fezz parka Making a record.... Strat-Talk Supporter

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    In the late 60s / early70's maufacturers started making tape with a backing to help prevent print through. The adhesives were made with a special organic ingredient that would soon be banned: whale oil. Those tapes are playable to this day. The reformulated adhesive after 10 years or so breaks down into a sticky goo that eventually dries up.

    Baking can solve this...sometimes you have to humidify them first. I gave @simoncroft a tutorial on it a while back when he was doing some transfers.

    140 degrees in a convection oven for a few hours does the trick. But they gum up the pinch rollers, capstan and heads something awful. One pass...clean the machine. But they're playable and you can bake them multiple times. I had to do this with the Rocky masters from 75-76. 2"Ampex 406 . 15 reels. Two weeks work. Lol
     
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  13. Tone Deaf

    Tone Deaf Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

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    Spiral Galaxy NGC 4414 ( new general catalog )
    10th magnitude in Constellation 'Coma Berenices"
    54 million light-years away
    Half the size of our Milky Way
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2019
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  14. fezz parka

    fezz parka Making a record.... Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Best not to repeat it...because its BS. ;)
     
  15. rolandson

    rolandson Still Breathing Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Remember the panacea surrounding ADAT? People were falling all over themselves to switch over to the "new gold standard".

    A friend picked up two 2 inch 24 track machines for effectively the cost of hiring a crew to move them... the studio he bought them from gave him a pallet of 2 inch reels just to be rid of them.

    One was an Otari and the other, either a Fostex or Struder...I'm not sure. I helped with translating the Otari manual for him...

    Well, I should say my help was convincing spouse to translate while I looked at the pictures and made weird animal noises.

    I don't read Japanese for shiz.

    Anyway, a few years in the studio got in touch with him and offered to buy them back.

    He declined. Still has em.
     
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  16. fezz parka

    fezz parka Making a record.... Strat-Talk Supporter

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    And its big brother the 1630.

    ADAT was 1/2 inch just like VHS.
    1630 was 3/4. Just like U-Matic.

    That way they could use the same shells.

    DAT was so thin that you could stretch the tape just by packing and unpacking it. Then your digital errors would show up. I had ten different machines in my edit bay that I'd have to "audition" DATs on to find out which one would play them. Crap format.
     
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  17. simoncroft

    simoncroft Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    It worked a treat! :thumb::thumb::thumb: I suspect that temperature is in Farenheit. I baked at more like 55°C, using a standard domestic oven. However, I cleaned it very thoroughly first. A fine layer of grease isn't going to help.

    Although I baked for an hour or so, with good results, I later discovered that Abbey Road Studios bakes for more like 24 hours. Either way, the benefit is relatively short-lived, so best to transfer as soon as the tape is back to room temperature. Expect vast amounts of oxide shed, so you'll need a big bottle of isopropyl alcohol and vast numbers of cotton buds.

    Once your tapes are digitized, best to store in multiple locations. :)
     
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  18. rocknrollrich

    rocknrollrich Senior Stratmaster

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    So the baking dries the goo, but the goo comes off on the heads and capstan/rollers ?
    Doesn't that affect the sound?
    And if the oxide layer comes off, isn't that the actual "medium" the sound is recorded on?
    That must degrade the quality, is that right?

    Just one more question if you don't mind.
    So all of (or a good percentage of) the master tapes lost in the universal fire, would have needed to be baked to play them?
     
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  19. rocknrollrich

    rocknrollrich Senior Stratmaster

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    The tape is essentially polyester with oxide and then the backing you mentioned, correct?
    Doest the heat warp or melt the polyester in any significant way?

    I guess it doesn't, since that's how it's done, but it is a little strange for me to imagine.
    My guess would be, if you had to do that in a production studio, you would want to transfer the content to something else (more stable, or at least a fresh tape).
    Is that what you did when you baked the tapes you were working with?
    Or did you just bake them, do whatever it was you had to do, and then put them back until next time?

    Just curious. I find this stuff really interesting.
     
  20. simoncroft

    simoncroft Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I'll give your questions my best shot. If any of my answers are subsequently contradicted by @fezz parka, please assume his is the correct answer!

    It's mostly the oxide that comes off, along with sticky residue. As a resul, the entire tape path needs cleaning thoroughly, a minimum of once per reel and probably a lot more.

    Yes, indeed that oxide is where the analog of the original sound is stored, which is why it's best if you can achieve a clean transfer first pass. :D Of course, there will be progressive detoerioration in the sound quality, but fortunately, it's not too severe in the early stages. Apparently, some of Queen's multitracks were so worn by the end of the tracking and mixing processes, you could see light through them – and that's before they had been stored for years!

    It's possible, but it's worth bearing in mind that they would have been stored at carefully controlled temperature and humidy (until the fire, anyway...) so many could still have been perfectly playable. It's a matter of fine judgement, because playing a tape that is starting to bind in a "it should be OK" mindset risks stretching the tape, and fixing the results of that is not a trivial task.

    Believe me, I was scared witless the first time I did this. I digitized everything to hard drive ASAP. The original tapes are now ornaments, as far as I'm concerned.
     
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