The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
baking ADAT/DAT tape-is is necessary Studio Headphones
Old 16th July 2012
  #1
Gear Nut
 

baking ADAT/DAT tape-is is necessary

What is the professional concensus regarding the need to bake DAT and ADAT tapes for archival purposes, and how does that relate to the age of the tape, if indeed it is deemed necessary at all?
Many thanks,
Rob
Old 16th July 2012
  #2
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rob morsberger View Post
What is the professional concensus regarding the need to bake DAT and ADAT tapes for archival purposes, and how does that relate to the age of the tape, if indeed it is deemed necessary at all?
Many thanks,
Rob
I've never heard of this before. Baked a lot of analog tape from the 1980s.

If you DO need to bake tapes, only do this when you are going to transfer them. This is not something that can be done in advance.
Old 16th July 2012
  #3
Gear Nut
 

Thanks Bill. Would be very happy to learn this is not necessary. Any other thoughts from the experts?
Old 16th July 2012
  #4
Baking plastic cartridges (that will melt) with magnetic tape containing 1s and 0s (that will achieve nothing to do with the oxide and sound interaction on it) ? ? ?

OK, I thought I had hear it all. Until now...
Old 16th July 2012
  #5
Gear Nut
 

There are other opinions floating around the web that contradict what you are saying Ward. Which is why I came here to ask.
Old 16th July 2012
  #6
Lives for gear
 
Plush's Avatar
Absolutely not! You don't bake video tape which is what dat tape and ADAT tape are. Besides, the plastic would warp.

The reason you bake analog tape is to make binders and lubricants soluble again. Video tape is not the same formulation.

Analog tape became less stable when manufacturers were forced to remove whale oil from the formulation.
Old 16th July 2012
  #7
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rob morsberger View Post
Thanks Bill. Would be very happy to learn this is not necessary. Any other thoughts from the experts?
Again, not something I've heard of before. But IF you should need to do something like this, the 'baking' process is a little delicate. Frank Wells, when he was still at Masterfonics, came up with a mod to a $65 convection oven. You might be able to source this mod and the process if you look around.

What makes you think that you have a sticky-shed problem with your digital tape? There were only a few manufacturers who had a shedding problem.

Also, I suggest that you copy any digital tape as soon as you can. The shelf-life was only recommended at 5 years. I warned all of my clients back then to bring their tapes back to have them transferred to another medium. Some did, some didn't. Of those who did not, some have returned for various reasons and brought the old tapes. It seems to be a 50/50 proposition, some playing back flawlessly, some not playing at all, and some with some errors on some tracks. (I do not archive media for clients. Too much liability.)
Old 16th July 2012
  #8
Gear Nut
 

Plush, that sounds definitive to me. Thanks so much for your help.
Old 16th July 2012
  #9
Gear Nut
 

Bill, thanks again for your time and thoughtful reply. A client has some old projects on ADAT tape he wants to transfer. So just needing an education on this issue. Much appreciated.
Old 16th July 2012
  #10
Gear Maniac
 
toine6's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
\...Analog tape became less stable when manufacturers were forced to remove whale oil from the formulation.


Now we know where the terms "fat" and "warm" came from.
Old 16th July 2012
  #11
Gear Addict
 
brethes's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by rob morsberger View Post
What is the professional concensus regarding the need to bake DAT and ADAT tapes for archival purposes, and how does that relate to the age of the tape, if indeed it is deemed necessary at all?
Many thanks,
Rob
Absolutely not! (coming from someone who does a lot of tape baking in-house for various archiving or re-mastering jobs)

With Dats & ADATs, the best bet is to have a range of different machines for playback as some tapes will drop out in one machine but play fine (with a combination of different head alignment & error correction calibration) in an other machine. Here we keep 8 Adats and 3 Dat machines for this reason...
Old 16th July 2012
  #12
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by brethes View Post
... some tapes will drop out in one machine but play fine (with a combination of different head alignment & error correction calibration) in an other machine....
and sometimes just exercising the tape will clear up the problem.
Old 16th July 2012
  #13
Lives for gear
 
jmikeperkins's Avatar
I have a large number of ADAT tapes from the 1990's and I have never heard of anyone baking them to get them to play (but anything is possible). My experience with them has largely depended on the brand of tape I used back then. I have had EXCELLENT results with Maxell SVHS tape and I don't think I have ever had one go bad on me. The ADAT Maxell SVHS tapes recorded in 1991 sound and play as good today as the day the were recorded. The Ampex SVHS tapes were pretty good but I have had at least 1-2 of those go bad on me. TDK was not bad, but again I have had a few go bad on me. My results with Sony and Fuji SVHS tapes are not as good. The main danger is excessive drop outs which can clog the video heads and make transferring difficult as you have to stop the machine, clean the heads, and then play the tape some more hoping you can get a complete song before the heads clog up again. Also, a lot of it has to do with how the tapes were stored. They do pretty well in an air conditioned environment and not so well if stored in a hot humid garage.

If you have problems with the tape there are several things you can do. The first is to unpack the tape by fast forwarding and rewinding it and you can use any old VHS machine for that. If the machine is having problems with the tape tension you can wind the tape manually to see if you fix the problem. If that does not work, and the issue is tape tension or a problem with the cassette itself, then you can (carefully) take the SVHS tape cartridge apart and transfer the tape reels to a new cartridge that you know is good. You have to be careful when you do that, but that will often solve the problem. As a last resort you can try "cleaning" the tape, trying to remove the loose drop outs so they don't clog the heads. You need a VHS machine where you can open the cover and get to the tape in the transport. You then take a chamois (which has had most of the oil removed from it, like a chamois you would use to clean a video head), put some denatured alcohol on the chamois and hold it against the tape while it is playing (or fast forwarding or rewinding) in the VHS machine. Hopefully this will pick up some of the drop outs without damaging the tape. Obviously these techniques work on ADAT SVHS tapes. DAT tapes are so tiny, I don't think this work on them.
Old 17th July 2012
  #14
Lives for gear
 

I never had an issue with my DAT tapes that even caused me to think about baking them. I also believe it would cause a cassette warping problem and who knows what the escalated temperatures might do to the tape itself.

Dennis
Old 17th July 2012
  #15
PDC
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rob morsberger View Post
There are other opinions floating around the web that contradict what you are saying Ward. Which is why I came here to ask.
Well, those are ******** opinions. You can't bake those tapes. All of the plastic will warp and or melt at 130 to 140 degrees. Ever leave one in the car by accident? You bake that thin, flimsy stuff and you are throwing it away for sure.

ADAT uses S-HVS tape and transports. The problems you have with those tapes playing now are no different than the problems we had when all of that crap was new. It was never meant for high-duty cycle use and the heads rubbed the thinner, less robust tapes raw. That was the downside to the format.
Old 18th July 2012
  #16
Lives for gear
 
MickeyMassacre's Avatar
No. The case will melt just as a plastic 1/4" reel does.

Just make sure the exercise the tape before playing it. FF to the end and rewind before playback if it has been some time since the last use.
Old 18th July 2012
  #17
Lives for gear
 
CompEq's Avatar
 

Baking takes too long. Just microwave it.
Old 5th March 2016
  #18
mpr
Lives for gear
 

Can you bake old digital 3324 tape?
Top Mentioned Products
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
redbrick / Gearslutz Secondhand Gear Classifieds
4
thenewyear / So Much Gear, So Little Time
5
finetuner / Mastering Forum
14
kellyr52 / High End
8

Forum Jump
Forum Jump