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Re: [midatlanticretro] Re: Semi-OT: Preserve old cassette tape?

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  • Dave Wade
    ... He is going to get it done elsewhere... ... I have had virtually no success in getting any thing that s even half listen-able too off cassette tapes, even
    Message 1 of 25 , Feb 25, 2013
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      On 25/02/2013 11:58, Brian Schenkenberger, VAXman- wrote:
      > Matt Patoray <mspproductions@...> writes:
      >
      >> Direct to digital with a high quality cassette deck is best. Using an
      >> external ADC is also a good idea as most sound cards and mother board
      >> sound chips have a lot of noise.
      > Like my Apogee Duet or Symphony?
      >
      >
      >
      >> Is there any indication if the tape was recorded with Dolby NR?=20
      >>
      >> What brand is the tape? Any markings like "Normal" "Chrome", "Type I"
      >> "Type II" or "Type III"?
      > I asked previously and I don't believe there was an answer.
      He is going to get it done elsewhere...

      > Being a tape
      > lecture, I'd wager it was recorded on a low-quality Fe2O3 tape. There's
      > likely to be print-through, dropout (from both print-through and adhesion
      > losses) and curl.
      >

      I have had virtually no success in getting any thing that's even half
      listen-able too off cassette tapes, even pro Dolby tapes. I have tried
      reasonable quality tape players (there is a Sharp RT-100 connected into
      this computer at the moment) and also dedicated external USB connected
      dedicated archival devices. Frankly the quality I difference is so
      dependant on the original material I don't think you could tell the
      difference between my best efforts and for mono at least, playing the
      sound back and recording into the Microphone built into my old M700
      laptop. The degradation is minimal compared to the garbage that comes
      off the tape. In fact the more you try and enhance them, often the worse
      they sound. In this modern age of loss-less, noise free digital copying
      we have forgotten how utterly appalling the quality of the "Compact
      Cassette" was...

      >
      >> A cassette to cassette copy would lower the S/N by at least 3 dB and
      >> add wow and flutter to the copy.
      > At least!


      --
      Dave Wade G4UGM
      Illegitimi Non Carborundum
    • Ray Sills
      ... In almost all cases, it s best to be able to digitize the original tape, not an analog dub. No dub is an exact clone in the analog world, so there will be
      Message 2 of 25 , Feb 25, 2013
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        On Feb 24, 2013, at 7:19 PM, PhillipP wrote:

        > I don't consider myself an expert by any means on this topic, but
        > assuming that the tape is playable, wouldn't it be smarter to make a
        > tape-to-tape copy to allow for more precise digitization of that copy?
        >
        > -Phillip
        >

        In almost all cases, it's best to be able to digitize the original
        tape, not an analog dub. No dub is an exact clone in the analog
        world, so there will be some form of degradation with the dubbed
        copy. High quality copying equipment can minimize the problems, but
        the copy -will- be not as good as the original, other than being
        recorded on new tape stock. Sometimes, that trade-off is the better
        choice, but usually not. If the original is able to be played to make
        an analog copy, then it can be played to make a digitized copy.

        In the digital world, there are processes that can be used to improve
        a not-so-good recording, like noise removal, and even peak distortion.

        73 de Ray
      • Mr Ian Primus
        ... You must be doing something wrong. I mean, sure, I ve run across a few bad recordings and damaged tapes, but by and large, cassettes sound quite good. I
        Message 3 of 25 , Feb 25, 2013
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          --- On Mon, 2/25/13, Dave Wade <dave.g4ugm@...> wrote:

          > I have had virtually no success in getting any thing that's
          > even half
          > listen-able too off cassette tapes, even pro Dolby tapes.

          You must be doing something wrong. I mean, sure, I've run across a few bad recordings and damaged tapes, but by and large, cassettes sound quite good. I use them regularly. A good recording on good tape can really sound fantastic. Are you sure your cassette player is aligned properly? Do you live near a massive power transformer or other source of magnetic interference? Indian burial ground?

          > In this modern age of loss-less, noise free
          > digital copying
          > we have forgotten how utterly appalling the quality of the
          > "Compact
          > Cassette" was...

          Some low grade tape is truly bad. But, again, cassettes can sound very, very good - don't dismiss the format entirely. It's not digital, no, but it's not 8-track either.

          -Ian
        • Dave
          ... Nope the nearest thing is the local trams which are about 300yds (two blocks) away. http://www.altrincham.org.uk/PublicTransport.asp I have tried a
          Message 4 of 25 , Feb 25, 2013
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            On 25/02/2013 15:16, Mr Ian Primus wrote:
            > --- On Mon, 2/25/13, Dave Wade <dave.g4ugm@...> wrote:
            >
            >> I have had virtually no success in getting any thing that's
            >> even half
            >> listen-able too off cassette tapes, even pro Dolby tapes.
            > You must be doing something wrong. I mean, sure, I've run across a few bad recordings and damaged tapes, but by and large, cassettes sound quite good. I use them regularly. A good recording on good tape can really sound fantastic. Are you sure your cassette player is aligned properly? Do you live near a massive power transformer or other source of magnetic interference? Indian burial ground?
            Nope the nearest thing is the local trams which are about 300yds (two
            blocks) away.

            http://www.altrincham.org.uk/PublicTransport.asp

            I have tried a selection of cassette players, a selection of sound
            cards, and it always sounds naff when I play back the resulting audio,
            be it in the car, on a computer or via my Android phone....
            >> In this modern age of loss-less, noise free
            >> digital copying
            >> we have forgotten how utterly appalling the quality of the
            >> "Compact
            >> Cassette" was...
            > Some low grade tape is truly bad. But, again, cassettes can sound very, very good - don't dismiss the format entirely. It's not digital, no, but it's not 8-track either.

            No but compare to any reel to reel how can 1/16" tracks on 1/4" wide
            tape at 1.75ips ever sound "good". There were some less worse devices
            that worked at double speed, but I still don't think they are/were
            brilliant.

            >
            > -Ian
            >
            >
            > ttp://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
            >
            Dave
            G4UGM
          • William Donzelli
            ... OK, Mr. Albini. -- Will
            Message 5 of 25 , Feb 25, 2013
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              > Some low grade tape is truly bad. But, again, cassettes can sound very,
              > very good - don't dismiss the format entirely.

              OK, Mr. Albini.

              --
              Will
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