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Tape Generations?
Old 10th September 2011
  #1
Lives for gear
 

Tape Generations?

Wondering how important using fresh tape is. I bought 2 new reels of 465 1/2" and have recorded a bunch on the first 10 minutes of tape to experiment...prob about 4-5 times on top of whatever I laid down previously. Once I go to do an official recording, should I start 10 min in so the tape is fresh and just leave the beginning aside for more experimenting?

In addition, I plan on recording some scratch guitars on one track; this same track will be erased once I record the bass on that track. Will that first generation of scratch guitars affect the sound of the bass negatively at all?
Old 10th September 2011
  #2
Gear Addict
 
Capstan Cappy's Avatar
 

no , dont matter, go to the start of the tape
Old 11th September 2011
  #3
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikoo69 View Post
Wondering how important using fresh tape is. I bought 2 new reels of 465 1/2" and have recorded a bunch on the first 10 minutes of tape to experiment...prob about 4-5 times on top of whatever I laid down previously. Once I go to do an official recording, should I start 10 min in so the tape is fresh and just leave the beginning aside for more experimenting?

In addition, I plan on recording some scratch guitars on one track; this same track will be erased once I record the bass on that track. Will that first generation of scratch guitars affect the sound of the bass negatively at all?
Back in the day, yeah, we would have started a money session clean. That said, even back then, some bands would 'rent' a tape to track on that would be bulk-erased between clients. It was not recommended but it happened.

Tape wears, there is no question. And the older and less out of physical alignment a deck is, generally speaking, the more potential for wear.

That said, you've hopefully got lots of passes before you start getting significant/noticeable wear. And that wear comes whether you're recording or playing back, of course, although it can be argued that each time you record, you are potentially affecting adjacent tracks to some (hopefully infinitesimal) degree. If your erase head functions properly, it should clean up the rerecorded track well and not affect adjacent tracks unduly.

Honestly, it's a judgment call. If I had a critical job, I start with fresh tape if at all possible. Otherwise...
Old 11th September 2011
  #4
Lives for gear
 

As long as their are magnetic particles on the tape...and its in good condition with no sticky shed...then its fine... it takes lots and lots of passes for the magnetic particles to not be there any longer...yeah a fresh role is best like anything else, but who can afford that these days.... good used low pass tape is fine.
Old 11th September 2011
  #5
Registered User
 
Rick Sutton's Avatar
 

the hundreds, if not thousands, of times I would overdub a musician 20/30/50 times over the same spot to get the magic part and the last take probably sounded just as bad as the first take! And remember, all the other tracks were run that many extra times in that area while the guitarist (generally) created his masterpiece solo. I never remember playing the multitrack later and hearing the basic tracks sound degraded during specific punch-in areas. Maybe others have seen it...I haven't.
Well, I think you get my drift. Good tape on a good machine can take a lot of abuse before the sound becomes audibly compromised.
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