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Baking tape in New York
Old 26th January 2009 | Show parent
  #31
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MAzevedo's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkRB ➑️
Is this true, what damage could be done by baking a tape that isn't suffering SSD?

Anyone have any examples?
Baking acetate tape will completely destroy the tape. Baking is only for plastic-backed tape where the binder has become gummy from moisture absorption.
Old 26th January 2009 | Show parent
  #32
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by MAzevedo ➑️
Baking acetate tape will completely destroy the tape. Baking is only for plastic-backed tape where the binder has become gummy from moisture absorption.
Ah OK, cheers Maz.

What brands/formulations/eras of tape would be acetate?

Edit: just done a search. God bless the internet eh?

50's to early 60's it seems. Who were the major manufacturers around that time?
Old 26th January 2009 | Show parent
  #33
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Easiest way to check for acetate is to hold it up to a bright light, acetate is translucent and modern plastic tape is opaque.
Old 27th January 2009 | Show parent
  #34
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Nice info.

Thanks. I only ask as I restore/bake/transfer tape a fair bit.

I've never come across any acetate tape. Paper backed tape quite a bit, but no acetate as yet. But I'm sure it will happen the deeper into the archives we go.

It's a shame we have to put a tape on a machine to figure out if it is suffering from SSD. Those little flecks of white on the tape are often a giveaway, but we could really do with one of those police "sniffer" devices to detect the chemical decomposition.
Old 27th January 2009
  #35
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
I know nothing on the subject but congrats on scoring this project! that's awesome!
Old 27th January 2009 | Show parent
  #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkRB ➑️
Nice info.

Thanks. I only ask as I restore/bake/transfer tape a fair bit.

I've never come across any acetate tape. Paper backed tape quite a bit, but no acetate as yet. But I'm sure it will happen the deeper into the archives we go.

It's a shame we have to put a tape on a machine to figure out if it is suffering from SSD. Those little flecks of white on the tape are often a giveaway, but we could really do with one of those police "sniffer" devices to detect the chemical decomposition.
There are a few tricks to check before the tape goes on a machine.

The first thing I do is smell the tape. If the oxide is coming off the backing, there will be a very strong 'rusty' smell.

The second thing I do is hold the tape up and let it unwind. If the tape doesn't drop right off, it probably needs baking.

The third thing I do is put it on a machine with an all-roller path and listen to it as it slow winds across the rollers. Sticky tape will make a tearing noise as it comes unstuck on the supply reel.

If a tape seriously fails those checks, I will generally bake it without playing it at all. A tape that can get through the above generally can survive 30s or so of playback to see if it has any shed.

Another thing to beware of is plastic leader tape. Many plastic leaders can't handle the heat of the oven and will melt into the tape if you bake it. The worst leader is this one brand that has red stripes inked on the backing, I've seen a lot of tapes from Masterdisk from the 70s with it. In many cases, the ink has become stickier as the backing has broken down, and unspooling the tape means tearing an inch of oxide off the tape every few inches at each stripe. You must not bake that leader, the best results I've gotten with in have been from taking off the flanges and very, very, very slowly peeling the leader off by hand.
Old 27th January 2009 | Show parent
  #37
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by MAzevedo ➑️
There are a few tricks to check before the tape goes on a machine.

The first thing I do is smell the tape. If the oxide is coming off the backing, there will be a very strong 'rusty' smell.

The second thing I do is hold the tape up and let it unwind. If the tape doesn't drop right off, it probably needs baking.

The third thing I do is put it on a machine with an all-roller path and listen to it as it slow winds across the rollers. Sticky tape will make a tearing noise as it comes unstuck on the supply reel.

If a tape seriously fails those checks, I will generally bake it without playing it at all. A tape that can get through the above generally can survive 30s or so of playback to see if it has any shed.

Another thing to beware of is plastic leader tape. Many plastic leaders can't handle the heat of the oven and will melt into the tape if you bake it. The worst leader is this one brand that has red stripes inked on the backing, I've seen a lot of tapes from Masterdisk from the 70s with it. In many cases, the ink has become stickier as the backing has broken down, and unspooling the tape means tearing an inch of oxide off the tape every few inches at each stripe. You must not bake that leader, the best results I've gotten with in have been from taking off the flanges and very, very, very slowly peeling the leader off by hand.
Good stuff. Especially the "tearing" sound tip.
Agreed on all points. Although I never play a tape I think needs baking, I'd sooner run it over my lifters than my heads. Ten seconds worth of wind (counter, not realtime) both ways will show it on them. If it's really bad it stalls and gives a little squeal of distress

Yep, that barber shop leader is the worst.
I've seen reels with it between tracks, not just FL/EL (and suffered because of this).
How do you (would you) deal with a reel that has it embedded in the bands?

I guess this is what you mean by an all-roller path. No friction etc.. What machines are "all roller"?
Old 27th January 2009 | Show parent
  #38
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Studer A-80 is all roller, it's amazing how gentle that transport is on tape.

For reels with in between bands, the same thing. Library wind to near the tape, take of the flange, hand wind it through the leader. Even then, there is usually still some shedding but if you take it very, very slow you can get it near-perfect.
Old 27th January 2009 | Show parent
  #39
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by MAzevedo ➑️
Studer A-80 is all roller, it's amazing how gentle that transport is on tape.

For reels with in between bands, the same thing. Library wind to near the tape, take of the flange, hand wind it through the leader. Even then, there is usually still some shedding but if you take it very, very slow you can get it near-perfect.
Cheers, I appreciate the info. I hope no-one minds my minor hijack.

So even the tape lifters on an A-80 are rollers rather than static then?
Old 27th January 2009 | Show parent
  #40
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MAzevedo's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkRB ➑️
Cheers, I appreciate the info. I hope no-one minds my minor hijack.

So even the tape lifters on an A-80 are rollers rather than static then?
The only thing on an A-80 than is static are the heads. It's a really beautiful machine, I love mine to death.
Old 28th January 2009 | Show parent
  #41
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by MAzevedo ➑️
Baking is only for plastic-backed tape where the binder has become gummy from moisture absorption.
Thanks for your contributions to this thread Mr. Azevedo.

Quote:
Originally Posted by luiztornaghi ➑️
YOU CAN RUIN A TAPE IF YOU ARE NOT EXPIRIENCED!
Let the guys at Sonicraft (you may want to bring a top AD converter) or someone that has a lot of expirience handle the tape!!!!
Ehm, excuse me Luiz, but you got this one wrong, I never said that I was going to bake ANY tape myself. {read the title of this thread and 1st post, please}. But, now I can be at the facility {if that's possible 'course} and not look like I don't understand the process. Thanks anyway and yes, this should be a warning to other members not do this themselves {at least with valuable recordings} as in "do NOT try this at home".

Quote:
Originally Posted by cepia ➑️
Edward,
there is a ton of great info here from Eddie Ciletti:
Analog Tape Restoration: If I knew you were coming I'd Have Baked a Tape

I've baked years and years worth of tape at our local public radio station. Fun stuff.
Thanks for your post! .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Masterer ➑️
Good luck and God speed my man. Go easy on the God speed though.
Thansk for your speedy well wishes, Masterer. heh

@Mr. Katz, thanks again for making this a very informative thread. I am not sure if the other threads about baking tape mentioned anything about the w&f issues you wisely brought up, but if not, then very cool . BTW, I still haven't received the call from Ed. Beginning to wonder if there is a problem about doing this (you know what I mean}

Best regards and I'll keep all posted.
Old 20th February 2009 | Show parent
  #42
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🎧 10 years
Well, It's been almost a month now and I am happy to report that all the tapes have made it just fine after all these years










I must say though, the amount of material that remains is significant.



And to all Jimi Hendrix fans, the music that remains to be released is different than all of his well-known hits, but it's Hendrix man!

Best regards,
Old 21st February 2009 | Show parent
  #43
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward_Vinatea ➑️
Well, It's been almost a month now and I am happy to report that all the tapes have made it just fine after all these years

I must say though, the amount of material that remains is significant.


And to all Jimi Hendrix fans, the music that remains to be released is different than all of his well-known hits, but it's Hendrix man!

Best regards,
That's good to hear. Honestly, most of the tape from the 60's I've dealt with has been in really good shape. It's too bad the 70's happened, or we might not have had to have this discussion at all.
Old 21st February 2009 | Show parent
  #44
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Dale's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by MAzevedo ➑️
That's good to hear. Honestly, most of the tape from the 60's I've dealt with has been in really good shape. It's too bad the 70's happened, or we might not have had to have this discussion at all.
IIRC the change in tape formula was because of the international change in whale hunting, this resulted in the need for a replacement for whale oil in the binder chemistry.
Old 21st February 2009 | Show parent
  #45
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dale ➑️
IIRC the change in tape formula was because of the international change in whale hunting, this resulted in the need for a replacement for whale oil in the binder chemistry.
I know. Fricking whales. "Waa waa, I'm a whale, I'm going extinct, please stop hunting me." Bunch of babies. Don't they realize we need tape binder?????
Old 21st February 2009 | Show parent
  #46
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Out of curiosity, what format are the tapes?
Old 22nd February 2009 | Show parent
  #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wado1942 ➑️
Out of curiosity, what format are the tapes?
Mainly 16, 8 and 4 multi-track masters on 2, 1 and 1/2 inch. Also, 1/2" and 1/4" stereo mixes at 15 ips. In other words, a wide variety of tape reels.

Regards,
Old 23rd February 2009 | Show parent
  #48
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Ah, cool.
Old 26th February 2009 | Show parent
  #49
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Ok. so in the electric ladyland classic albums, I see alot of pics with jimmy in the record plant in front of what looks like scully six track machines.

I have tried many times to rationalize this and figure it out.

I was sure they were 8 track machines, but all i can count is six.

Any info of help???? what gives??
Old 26th February 2009 | Show parent
  #50
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by kungfuT ➑️
Ok. so in the electric ladyland classic albums, I see alot of pics with jimmy in the record plant in front of what looks like scully six track machines.

I have tried many times to rationalize this and figure it out.

I was sure they were 8 track machines, but all i can count is six.

Any info of help???? what gives??
I have no idea about that and I don't have access to the Electric Laydyland tapes either because they are not a PPX Int'l record production. The album was also not recorded at Dimensional but at then The Record Plant NYC, so your guess is as good as mine. I know there are some 10 track multi-track production master tapes which were recorded after modifying {I assume by adding 2 extra heads} an 8 track machine, but I will have to ask about for more details. Unfortunately, the person who knows about these technical details is in Europe and won't be back til the middle of March.

Regards,
Old 26th February 2009 | Show parent
  #51
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soundbarnfool's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Great thread! Glad it worked out for you. My only experience with a bad batch of tape that needed baking was w/ some 456. So, what tape formula(s) were used? And hooray for 8 track!

Inglewood SoundBarn
Old 26th February 2009 | Show parent
  #52
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by soundbarnfool ➑️
So, what tape formula(s) were used?
I am not an 'expert' on reel to reel tapes, but they are are mainly 3M and Ampex. I guess they are great to have hold these recordings for such a long time.

Regards,
Old 26th February 2009 | Show parent
  #53
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🎧 10 years
hopefully there is tone printed at 1K, 10K, 100Hz so you will have some idea of the operating level... maybe there are notes somewhere... good luck with this cool project!

Inglewood SoundBarn
Old 27th February 2009 | Show parent
  #54
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Adam Dempsey's Avatar
 
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward_Vinatea ➑️
I guess they are great to have hold these recordings for such a long time.
A lot of major film & sound archive facilities still specify archiving both to digital and 1/4" reel - I used to be involved in helping do this, with a modified Otari MX55 at 15ips, IEC EQ and Dolby HX pro, onto 911 tape from memory.
Tape (obviously with a well maintained machine) remains a totally valid, workable, medium-to-long term archive solution.
Old 4th September 2010 | Show parent
  #55
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🎧 10 years
acetate

I just received a sticky tape from '68. It's acetate so baking is out. It does not seem to shed and the stickiness must be from a spill (not uniform). What are my options?
Old 4th September 2010 | Show parent
  #56
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You may want to try hand cleaning it. Time consuming, but what else can you do?
Old 5th September 2010 | Show parent
  #57
bango9000
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stereophonic ➑️
I just received a sticky tape from '68. It's acetate so baking is out. It does not seem to shed and the stickiness must be from a spill (not uniform). What are my options?
I've heard of people rigging a contraption on a tape machine where there are a couple of pieces of gauze placed in the tape path, and soaked with the appropriate cleaning solution. Then just slowly / carefully run the tape through that.

I can't say I've ever tried it, but I've heard of people doing it, and it supposedly works.

Have fun!
Old 5th September 2010 | Show parent
  #58
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by wado1942 ➑️
You may want to try hand cleaning it. Time consuming, but what else can you do?
Quote:
Originally Posted by bango9000 ➑️
I've heard of people rigging a contraption on a tape machine where there are a couple of pieces of gauze placed in the tape path, and soaked with the appropriate cleaning solution. Then just slowly / carefully run the tape through that.
Thanks! What cleaning solution is safe to use and what is the best way to dry it?
Old 5th September 2010 | Show parent
  #59
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🎧 15 years
Dreamhire has an awesome transfer room, anything to anything and tape baking as needed. talk to Mark Berger. they're in L.I.C.

WELCOME TO DREAMHIRE PROFESSIONAL AUDIO RENTALS & SERVICES
Old 5th September 2010 | Show parent
  #60
bango9000
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stereophonic ➑️
Thanks! What cleaning solution is safe to use and what is the best way to dry it?

Like I say, I've never done it myself, so you should probably call one of the places that specializes and ask them.

But I guess you could start with distilled water and see if that works. Beyond that, I think I've heard the term "very mild detergent solution".

For drying it, I guess you could just run it back through the machine with dry pads, or maybe do it by hand. ?

Maybe someone who knows more will chime in here. Or just call a commercial place and get them to tell you.

Hope it works out.
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