thread: Future of Tape
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Old 20th November 2005
Gear Head

George as usual is the truth. Digital is way truer, at least now that converters do a decent job of capturing a fine-grained representation of reality.

In order to build our thing we had to analyze tape record and repro like it never was, due to lack of affordable tools back in the heyday, and some ways to look at signal that didn't exist back then. It is truly amazing how many "artifacts" there are. Apart from Dale Manquen and a few others in the early 80s nobody really saw what the spectrum analysis of the speed fluctuations were, and the amount of intermodulation distortion they produced. We'd never accept specs like that from a piece of electronics in a million years. It's a mechanical system, at root. As for why some artifacts are attractive, or at least familiar to the point of being linguistic, is that even as flux levels got higher and higher with 996 et al. users still apply drive levels such that the transient output at 10K is 3-5db lower than the transient at 1K. That to me implies that what's attractive is the de-essing, and maybe something cute about the phase shift.

Interesting also that ribbons and rf condensors became the rage again as analog waned.. no need for the characteristic U87 ringing in the 15K region to reinforce the diminished top end.

(OH is that why I never liked U87's? It was THE BELLS! - Jules "Quasimodo" Standen) heh