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Thread: Acouple questions about tape

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    Acouple questions about tape

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    When you buy a reel does the tape come ready to be played or recorded on? Or do you have to transfer it to another reel in order to string the machine up properly? ie. brown face out
    Also what do these numbers mean? ie 226, 456, 476, 499
    And one more thing what were all the standard track counts per width of tape?

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    When you buy a reel does the tape come ready to be played or recorded on? Or do you have to transfer it to another reel in order to string the machine up properly? ie. brown face out
    Well, this is why they call it Reel to ....Reel. The tape flows off of the supply reel that you just purchased or, are about to purchase, goes over and under a series of guides and heads and then is neatly collected by the Take Up Reel , just like you may have seen in all those pictures and Hollywood movies.

    The dark brown side is usually the oxide side and faced toward the heads and the opposite, lighter side is the outside and should never face the heads.

    what do these numbers mean? ie 226, 456, 476, 499
    Those are either the power-ball numbers from last Wednesday's draw or, they are representing the different tape formulation products from Quantigy.

    456 is the most popular one and most machines are set up to work with this formulation from the factory or when they are calibrated by a qualified technician to work on your machine.

    what were all the standard track counts per width of tape?
    The standard NAB track widths, which were established shortly after world war II were 1/4 inch tape used the entire width of the tape for one mono channel of sound with the tape moving at 15 ips, which stands for Inches Per Second. NAB stands for National Association of Broadcasters. Latter on, when stereo came in, in the late 50's they divided the track width in half and allowed for every track to occupy 1/8 of an inch.

    NAB standards after that point don't apply and then different standards were adapted by different governing, technical bodies around the world which allowed for tighter spacing and more tracks to be used in the same amount of tape width so long as the tape was electrically treated differently by the tape recorder to record a softer signal onto each section so that it would not spill over onto its neighboring track an overload from distortion.

    These looser standards were largely adapted for consumer equipment where you would have 4 channels of sound on a 1/4 inch tape with a running speed of 7.5 ips or 3, 3/4 ips.

    Many of the popular TASCAM and Otari reel to reel machines used this standard to allow you to fit 4 tracks on 1/4 inch tape, 8 tracks on half inch tape and 16 tracks on one inch tape with the speed running at the NAB spec of 15 ips but with the IEC spec of track width and consumer bias calibration. This lower quality standard gives you better tape economy but at a performance price of higher cross talk and less headroom before gross distortion on the tape.

    Cheers!

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    Originally posted by The Ghost of FM
    The dark brown side is usually the oxide side and faced toward the heads and the opposite, lighter side is the outside and should never face the heads.
    Except when that side actually is a darker brown.

    Don't worry, the tape is wound correctly. You will not have to twist it.
    Random Pavarotti Disease Victim.

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    For the sake of info on reel tape in general...

    I guess one thing to add here (MAYBE) is that some tape (I think)can still be purchased slightly cheaper "Pancaked" (I believe the term is) which is without a reel at all.



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    Well, they have a reel, but it's just a center, there are no flanges. You have to attach at least one flange before playing. It's basically only interesting if you have a LOT of tape that you want to store and don't want to pay for the flanges, or if you have come up on a huge storage of empty reels.

    Unless of course, it doesn't have a center reel either, like this one:
    http://www.richardhess.com/tape/

    Random Pavarotti Disease Victim.

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    The dark brown side is usually the oxide side and faced toward the heads and the opposite, lighter side is the outside and should never face the heads.
    Correction!

    The outside color of 456 is usually Darker brown or Black.

    Sorry, it was the middle of the night when I wrote that and was partially doing that post in my sleep!

    Cheers!

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    Cool.

    Thanks Regebro.

    I didn't realize they came with a "Core", but now I know.
    (I myself have ten reels begging for dumping.)



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    Thanks guys. So lets see if I understand this right...
    When you purchase the reels of tape new they come ready to be recorded on, right? So you don't have to transfer them to the other reel ( empty one ) because they are inside out so to speak?

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    The last time I worked with tape was in a film class threading up a steinbeck machine and the teacher confused the heck out of us because the tape ( mag stock ) came back spooled the wrong way from the lab.

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    Yes, the tape comes ready to record on. You will need a take up, (empty) reel to collect the tape that has passed through the transport's heads and guides. Just like a film projector, there is the roll that starts off full called the supply reel on the left side and the take up reel that collects the output tape on the right side.

    Cheers!

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