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Thread: Tape Machine Calibration Questions

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    Tape Machine Calibration Questions

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    Hi, i have a couple quick questions about calibrating/aligning a tape machine (in my case a Revox B77 mk2):

    - i know i need some kind of tone generator to feed into the tape machine. if i use my computer, do i still need another seperate device to confirm that the tone is being sent at the proper level? or is there some trickery around this that would allow me not to buy another piece of testing gear?

    - how does my choice of tape affect how i calibrate the machine? is it only a matter of changing the bias, or are other parts of the calibration affected by the type of tape?

    thanks very much for any help!

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    You'll need an MRL test tape.

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    i know. but don't i also need a way to feed tones to the machine from an external source?

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    Yes. Do you have the manual for your deck?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Talldog View Post
    Yes. Do you have the manual for your deck?
    If not:

    ftp://ftp.studer.ch/Public/Products/Revox/Revox_B77/

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Castore View Post
    i know. but don't i also need a way to feed tones to the machine from an external source?
    You must calibrate the playback side before doing the record side. To do this you need:

    1. a proper test tape
    2. a metering device that is accurate throughout the frequency range
    3. an oscilloscope set for "x/y" display
    Add tone generator to the above only when calibrating the record electronics.
    Rick Ruskin
    Lion Dog Music - Seattle WA
    http://liondogmusic.com

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    i do have the service manual for the deck.

    i will be calibrating both the playback and record electronics, so i DO need either a stand alone tone generator, or an accurate meter put between my computer (being used as a tone generator) and the tape machine to confirm the tones are at a proper level?

    where would i get such a meter?

    also, in an older thread someone recommended using a program called WinScope (i think) instead of buying an actual oscilloscope. anything to watch our for when doing this?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Castore View Post
    i do have the service manual for the deck.

    i will be calibrating both the playback and record electronics, so i DO need either a stand alone tone generator, or an accurate meter put between my computer (being used as a tone generator) and the tape machine to confirm the tones are at a proper level?

    where would i get such a meter?
    You need the meter either way. The meter is put on the output of the deck so you can make certain the "O" is accurate @ all frequencies. Many machine meters are notoriously inaccurate in this regard. TASCAM meters are particularly useless.

    I use a TEAC/TASCAM MB-20 meter unit which is accurate throughout the spectrum @ 0.


    also, in an older thread someone recommended using a program called WinScope (i think) instead of buying an actual oscilloscope. anything to watch our for when doing this?
    Anything that will do an x/y display will work. You need that to set azimuth on the play & record heads.
    Rick Ruskin
    Lion Dog Music - Seattle WA
    http://liondogmusic.com

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    would it work to run the tones through the meter bridge on my Mackie 8 bus? or are those meters not accurate enough?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Castore View Post
    would it work to run the tones through the meter bridge on my Mackie 8 bus? or are those meters not accurate enough?
    I don't know.
    Rick Ruskin
    Lion Dog Music - Seattle WA
    http://liondogmusic.com

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