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tape allignment online course with tips and tricks
Old 26th December 2002
  #1
Lives for gear
 
C.Lambrechts's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
tape allignment online course with tips and tricks

So we bought this MCI 16 track 2 inch tape machine. It dates from the dark ages of tape heh ... but is in perfect condition and shape.


I'm a digital guy ... ProTools is the love of my life ... but that doesn't mean that I don't wan't to use as much of the best of both worlds as possible in certain situations ... and I'm certainly open to experiments in that field. But I have a problem :

I'm a tape moron ... probably don't have a clue of what I'm doing.
I've been fiddling around with it and I'm starting to get some nice results with it. but I feel like there has to be more .... a lot more ... teach me, show me the light, links ... reading material ... tips and tricks .... allignment ... what brands sound how and why .... I wanna plunge myself in the world of tape ... well .. a little bit anyhow.

I know ... experience etc etc ... but you have to start somewhere right ?
Old 26th December 2002
  #2
Han
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
http://www.bilver.com/tape.html

Anytime Chris (great machine )
Old 26th December 2002
  #3
Lives for gear
 
C.Lambrechts's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Thanks Han, great article ... going to print it and have it as go to sleep reading material next to my bed.
Old 26th December 2002
  #4
Lives for gear
 
Knox's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Re: tape allignment online course with tips and tricks

Quote:
Originally posted by C.Lambrechts
I'm a digital guy ... ProTools is the love of my life ...

**** (reply) geez Chris . . . are you saying, that if Natalie Imbruglia were standing in front of you with no clothes on, you would tell her that "Pro Tools is the love of your life"?

I'm a moron ... probably don't have a clue of what I'm doing.

**** (reply) After that last comment . . . I believe you.

I've been fiddling around with it and I'm starting to get some nice results

**** (reply) Look, I don't want to hear about your sexual problems! Anyone that is in love with Pro Tools is going to have some "issues" and I , for one . . .could care less about what happens when you "fiddle with it" . . .that's disgusting!!

... teach me, show... reading material ... tips and tricks. I wanna plunge mysel

**** (reply) teach your damn self! . . . . go to the magazine store, pick up Playboy or the like . . . . anyone "in love with Pro Tools" needs a life. You probably buy Digidigest or some disgusting rag like that each month and "fiddle" about looking at Pro Tools rigs. I find it DISGUSTING!

**** (reply) And as far as you wanting to "plunge yourself" . . . all I can say is . . . . . . . THAT"S REALLY SICK AND YOU OBVIOUSLY ARE AT THE WRONG FORUM for that kind of talk! Though I must say . . . with you Pro Tools sickos, anything is possible!

**** (reply) From a tape guy and proud of it! Personally, I would know what to do with Natalie Imbruglia if she were standing naked in front of me. THAT is the main difference in you computer dorks and us tape guys. We don't fall in love with our computers. SHEESH!
Old 26th December 2002
  #5
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C.Lambrechts's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years




heh
Old 26th December 2002
  #6
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Knox's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by C.Lambrechts
Sorry Natalie . . I'm in love with Pro Tools!
Attached Thumbnails
tape allignment online course with tips and tricks-ni61.jpg  
Old 27th December 2002
  #7
Gear Nut
 
plexi's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Shoot some questions at Fletcher, he has really helped me out with my MCI JH24....

He gave me a lot of info in alignment, levels tapes , ect.....


Amund
Old 27th December 2002
  #8
Lives for gear
 
Knox's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
btw Chris . . . I was pretty hard on you (screwing around w/ you . . you know that) but I meant to follow it up with some sites to help you out. I forgot until I saw this new post. I will see what I have book marked to give you a hand. Didn't mean to "shut you down". (You did set yourself up for that one though!) *smile*

You and your Pro Tools rig been on holiday?
Old 28th December 2002
  #9
jon
Capitol Studios Paris
 
jon's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Hi Chris,

One of the more informative and complete docs I've run across comes with the purchase of an MRL alignment tape. If you haven't done so yet, you need to fork out the bucks and get an alignment tape, along with a Han-di-Mag (not sure about spelling)...the big black-and-red demag which is the only thing you should be using for that task.

The manual for your JH24 is another thing to order if you don't have a complete one.

Tweak with azimuth and bias a little so you know what it sounds like when the azimuth's off or you're under/over-biased.

Send off your head stack to John French for an optical re-alignment and, if needed, a head relap job.

Good luck,

Jon
Old 28th December 2002
  #10
Lives for gear
 
C.Lambrechts's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Knox
btw Chris . . . I was pretty hard on you (screwing around w/ you . . you know that)
that's ok ... 2 three hour sessions on the couch talking about it yesterday and today made me feel a little bit better and even gave me back some confidence .... mind if I send you the bill ...


Quote:
Originally posted by Knox

but I meant to follow it up with some sites to help you out.
I forgot until I saw this new post. I will see what I have book marked to give you a hand. Didn't mean to "shut you down". (You did set yourself up for that one though!) *smile*
cool .... let's have them.





Quote:
Originally posted by Knox

You and your Pro Tools rig been on holiday?

nope .... too much work ...
Old 28th December 2002
  #11
Lives for gear
 
C.Lambrechts's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by jon
Hi Chris,

One of the more informative and complete docs I've run across comes with the purchase of an MRL alignment tape. If you haven't done so yet, you need to fork out the bucks and get an alignment tape, along with a Han-di-Mag (not sure about spelling)...the big black-and-red demag which is the only thing you should be using for that task.

The manual for your JH24 is another thing to order if you don't have a complete one.

Tweak with azimuth and bias a little so you know what it sounds like when the azimuth's off or you're under/over-biased.

Send off your head stack to John French for an optical re-alignment and, if needed, a head relap job.

Good luck,

Jon
Thanks Jon, .... just ran MRL allignment tape through google ... found their homepage ( http://www.flash.net/~mrltapes/ ) and looked at the international dealers list. Belgium doesn't have one but there's one in Paris called Synchro ... you know them ?? ... think I'll give them a call after the hollidays.

(that site seems to have quite an expanded technical library btw ... didn't go through it yet but it looks good)

We do have a complete manual for the JH-16 ... at least I think it is complete by the looks of it.


Handi-Mag ... someone over here was mentioning those too ....
Old 28th December 2002
  #12
jon
Capitol Studios Paris
 
jon's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Chris, I bought my MRL tape by mail from JRF Magnetics (John French). He will probably be cheaper than Synchro. His people did a great job relapping my MCI heads a couple years ago, too.
Old 29th December 2002
  #13
Lives for gear
 
Knox's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Chris . .see if some of this helps.
http://www.digitalprosound.com/Htm/T...AnalogTape.htm
http://www.digitalprosound.com/Htm/T...nalogPt2-1.htm
http://www.digitalprosound.com/Htm/T...log101P3_1.htm

I have more I am looking for to help you out . . but honestly, I feel so inferior after you posted that picture of your new expresso machine . . that at this point . . all I want to do is go get in bed for a couple of days. Maybe there IS something to that Pro Tools crap after all.
Old 29th December 2002
  #14
Lives for gear
 
C.Lambrechts's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Thanks a million ... print out and bedtime reading material.


Old 30th December 2002
  #15
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
So ya bought an MCI huh? I love mine. I guess it bit me on the ass though, I've owned it for a year and I didn't put a dime into it and then I had three session ending problems in four weeks. Thankfully almost everything is fine now, though for some reason I'm having problems locating. Probably an IC or something, gotta call around tomorrow. Start with the MRL and a few reels of blank tape. What's the plan for the deck? Are you tracking on 2" and dumping to PT for mixes and overdubs or sticking with 2" the whole time?
Old 30th December 2002
  #16
Lives for gear
 
malice's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Hi chriss

This is a great piece of gear

We have a common relation (marc Morgan, probably others)

nice to meet you

a bientot

malice
Old 30th December 2002
  #17
Lives for gear
 
Ol' Betsey's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Hi Jon.

Can you guys tell me what you paid for your test tape?

We need another alignment tape (24 trk) and seem to be hitting up around Β£800.00.

Is this pretty average or should I be calling around some more? Maybe your guy John French could help. Is he located in Paris?

Cheers,

R.
Old 30th December 2002
  #18
jon
Capitol Studios Paris
 
jon's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Hi OB,

GBP 800 seems pretty high. Last time I checked the prices ranged from about $400 for a basic short 5 minute tape with 4 tones (100, 1k, 10k, 16k at both 15 and 30 ips) up to $700 for a 16-minute tape with many tones. (FWIW I bought the former.)

I think MRL alignment tapes are a little bit cheaper than Emtec ones.

John French (JRF Magnetics) is in the United States. He does mail order. A search on the internet should get you his website.
Old 31st December 2002
  #19
Lives for gear
 
C.Lambrechts's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
http://www.jrfmagnetics.com/


bookmarked it the other day
Old 31st December 2002
  #20
Lives for gear
 
C.Lambrechts's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Jay Kahrs
So ya bought an MCI huh? I love mine. I guess it bit me on the ass though, I've owned it for a year and I didn't put a dime into it and then I had three session ending problems in four weeks. Thankfully almost everything is fine now, though for some reason I'm having problems locating. Probably an IC or something, gotta call around tomorrow. Start with the MRL and a few reels of blank tape. What's the plan for the deck? Are you tracking on 2" and dumping to PT for mixes and overdubs or sticking with 2" the whole time?
actually got the MCI somewhere last summer ... installed it september. I've only had the time to play with it a couple of times ... Marc (my partner has fooled around with it some more). No 'real life / real project' recordings done on it yet. I definately want to know what I'm doing before going that way. We got it for a realy good deal (part of a trade in deal in a ProTools system). If it ends up meeting our expectations, we'll keep it ... if not , we might look for another one (studer maybe) ....

I'm not in a real hurry to start using it. I honestly have to convince myself of the benefits of it first. If I end up finding that for certain things the benefits would be there I'll definately use it whenever needed.

Not even considering leaving the tracks on there right now. PT is our mixing environment ... hell we don't even have a console anymore .... (well there is a 32 ch D&R standing around somewhere with a dust cover on it). For now the tracks will go into PT after tracking.

As for the benefets or expectations I have for it ... drums and bass primarely ... live ones I mean.
Old 31st December 2002
  #21
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Well, the JH-16 is a great rock & roll deck. It's loaded with input and output transformers and sounds thick and meaty. You do mostly rock and stuff right? Try running that at 15ips. Man, actually if the tranny's are still in there (some decks have had them pulled) it might be too thick but it's totally anti-digital. For tape you might be best using SM911 rather then GP9 or SM900. The later two are thicker and the transport "might" have problems pulling them. If your at 30ips 456 is a great sounding tape, the standard tape sound. Really tough to beat for rock stuff.

I'm sure that the MCI will meet your expectations of sound quality. Hell, Slipperman owns a few and his place don't suck. The Studer might be a bit more reliable then an MCI but overall they can be pretty solid. I got my ass kicked though, I owned my deck for just over a year without having to put a dime into it. Then a few weeks ago it said "**** you buddy" and crashed a few times so I've learned a bit about maintaining one. There's a difference between using a tape deck and owning one and doing all the PM stuff which I wasn't doing. Mostly because nobody ever told me what to do. The only thing I'd ever replace my MCI with is a Studer A800 or better.

If you don't have the MRL you need that. You'll also need a scope so you can check and set the azimuth and do general maintaince on the deck. I don't own one yet, I usually borrow one but it's on the short list. You'll also need a spring scale (fish scale works) to set the tension on the puck, aka pinch roller. Also, if you don't own a volt meter go out and buy one because you'll need it for lots of things.

BTW, have you aligned the analog tourqe board since you got the deck and moved it into your studio? It should be done 2-3 times a year or after it moves any further then down the hall.

I'm sure that once you get into using it you'll love it. Drums, bass, guitars and the like all sound more real going to tape. There's a depth and thing you get from it that I just haven't found in digital yet.
Old 31st December 2002
  #22
Lives for gear
 
C.Lambrechts's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
A friend studio owner who works but with tape and is known in the area for his technical capabilities came in and alligned it when we first installed it. He brought all his stuff to do it like test tape etc etc.... He actually said that if I ever wanted to let it go to make sure to call him first... which makes me quite confident that it is in very usable shape.

I'm going to buy a test tape and then probably borrow some tools left and right and just start doing it myself.


Thanks for the tips Jay.
Old 1st January 2003
  #23
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Oh, and you'll want to get a can or two of both Deoxit and Preserv It. Most problems with MCI decks can be traced to the Molex connectors which need to be cleaned every so often. Maybe once or twice a year. Don't forget to get a splicing block, extra take up reels, 99% Isopropal alcohol & Q-tips for cleaning the heads and rollers. Don't use alcohol on the puck or the capstan. I use Windex on those. Spray it onto a paper towel and apply it by hand. If the Windex runs down the capstan shaft into the motor it'll wreck the bearings. Not too fun. If I can think of anything else I'll post it, and if ya got any questions drop me a line by email or phone.

Happy NY.
Old 1st January 2003
  #24
jon
Capitol Studios Paris
 
jon's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I like to use chamois cloth rather than Q-tips, which can leave bits of cotton fiber about.
Old 1st January 2003
  #25
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
The two biggest recurring problems with MCIs are cold solder joints on the Molex connecters and the fact that the power supply fans suck dirt into the power supplies. If you clean out both supplies once a month and periodically resolder the Molex connecters, they become pretty reliable. They also use very few exotic, really hard to find parts.
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