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Best resource for recording to tape.
Old 3 weeks ago
Here for the gear

Best resource for recording to tape.

Not a recording noob but very much a tape noob
Question is, what is the best resource for learning about professional tape recording from: flux, bias, calibration etc etc etc

Any books or online courses that come highly recommended?

Have had experience using record to a revox b77 as an 'effect' when one was provided by a record label for a record I made with a band but little experience using tape as the main recording medium and am lucky enough to be working in a studio with tape machines by studer, brenell, otari and more which it seems a shame wearing out their heads until I have a decent technical understanding of what I should be doing

Old 3 weeks ago
Lives for gear

Lots of info at the Tape Project forum, with may knowledgeable active users.

Also the MRL site.

Old 3 weeks ago
Gear Maniac
ventil's Avatar
Originally Posted by j.a.h. View Post
Question is, what is the best resource for learning about professional tape recording from: flux, bias, calibration etc etc etc
Universal Audio has a good, brief history of tape recording that has an apt comparison:
These days, owning an analog tape machine is somewhat akin to driving a classic car, with ongoing maintenance, scarcity of parts, and exotic fuel (analog tape) that's expensive and hard to find.
For the theory of magnetic tape recording, you might be able to find a copy of The Complete Handbook of Magnetic Recording by Finn Jorgensen, long out of print.

Here is a good page about alignment procedures. While it is written with multitracks in mind, the procedures are the same for 2 track machines.

However, I do disagree with one part of their procedure for bias adjustment. Instead of adjusting bias while recording the HF tone at 0 VU, I have always used -20 VU. The reason for this is that, while peaking the bias, it is easy to saturate the tape at the HF frequency, which would give you an erroneous reading. Of course, you would need to patch the output of the tape recorder into your console, reading on the console's meters, while adding 20 dB of gain with the fader(s). This is so you can actually see the effects of the adjustments you are making. But otherwise, this page seems like a comprehensive and good explanation.

Note that to align a tape recorder, you need a standard reference tape in the proper width, speed and EQ standard for your machine. (See the MRL site referenced in Bill Way's reply, above.) You will also need a good head demagnetizer and appropriate chemicals for cleaning head, tape path and rubber parts.

Finally, you can probably glean good information from your recorder's owner's manual and the spec sheet of the tape you are using. Yes, be sure and read those.

Hope this is helpful
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