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Thread: Ignorant Question: Is this Tape wound backward?

  1. #1
    Brother Rob is offline Newbie
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    Ignorant Question: Is this Tape wound backward?

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    Still very much a Newbie, but this seems wrong to me. I have been setting up my MSR-16 and 2516 Mixer for the first time. Been really taking my time and reading manuals and other documentation and trying to understand. instead of just going thru the steps.

    The gear came with one reel of tape. It says it is "3M 996 Audio Mastering Tape"

    The tape is wound with the "shiny" side facing in, and the dull oxidized side facing out. If I were to mount this tape, the shiny side of the tape would be facing up towards the heads.

    It is wound on the reel so that if the 3M sticker on the face of the reel is mounted facing out, the tape spools clock-wise to the right rather than over the top to the left counter clock-wise.

    I would need to mount the reel with the sticker on the inside facing the machine for it to spool correctly

    This is backwards, correct? I assume I need to somehow rewind the tape onto an empty reel with the shiny side facing out.

    God, I really HATE being this ignorant.

    Thanks in advance for your patient attention.

    Edited to Add: There is another empty box of Quantegy 456, so theoretically this could be that tape on a different (3M) reel.

  2. #2
    briank's Avatar
    briank is offline analog for the people!
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    The shiny, lighter brown side of the tape is the side that gets recorded and should be facing against the heads. The duller, darker side should be facing out.

    If I'm reading your post correctly, it sounds like the previous owner spooled the tape "tails out" which is a good idea as it helps mitigate the effect of print-through. If this is the case, you would mount your takeup reel on the left spindle and rewind your tape onto it so that you begin your recording with the "heads" spooling off the takeup reel and the tape ends up tails-out on its own reel when you're finished recording. This is a typical analog recording method.

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    miroslav's Avatar
    miroslav is offline Cosmic Cowboy
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    Also...keep in mind that not everyone always wound their tapes tails-out....so if the full reel of tape needs to go on the supply side (left reel)....it's not wound tails out.

    New tape is always intended to go like that...to go on the supply/left side...though you can just flip the whole reel around, but if there are specific labels on the reel, and you want them facing out then:

    Take that 3M tape and place it on the supply/left side. If you have a specific empty take-up reel that you always use...place it on the right side. Wind the tape onto it, then remove that full reel from the right side, flip the whole reel upside down and move it to the supply/left side...and put the other (now empty 3M) reel on the right side, with lable facing up.
    Wind the tape back onto the 3M reel.
    Now when you record/play the tape...it ends up on the right-side, on the 3M reel, lable side up, and it will be stored tails-out...and your take up reel is on the left side (you can then flip it back around too now any way you like, once it is empty).

    I do this with all new tapes or used tapes that I want to prepare for tracking when/if they are no tails-out.
    That way, when I grab a reel of tape, it's always tails-out. With new reels that have no "front/back" lables...it matters not, just flip the whole reel and put it on the right side....and it's automatically tails-out.

    But like Brian said...shinny side most always goes against the heads. Someone would have to really do some crazy flips to get the backing facing the heads....but it's not impossible, I guess.

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    Brother Rob is offline Newbie
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    Really appreciate your patience with answering what must seem like very basic questions.

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    lonewhitefly is offline Force of Nature
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    IF the tape is indeed 3M 996, then the shiny side touches the heads.

    IF it's another variety of non-backcoated tape (such as Scotch 202), the dull side touches the heads in most cases.

    No way to know for sure without attempting to record on it. You won't get much signal to tape on the 'wrong' side.

    Not a dumb question -- I've certainly been there !

  6. #6
    Beck's Avatar
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    I think you're asking if the tape is somehow turned inside out on the reel. As stated the dark flat-black side is the backcoating and should be facing away. On most backcoated tapes it is black, but on others more or a dark brown. The glossy side should touch the heads. It will be the same for all backcoated tape. It can be harder to tell with some non backcoated tapes, but you shouldn't be using those with a multitrack deck anyway.
    "If you canít make a hit record with a Tascam or a Fostex,
    then youíre not going to able to do it with a Studer or Otari!"
    -David Mellor

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