Quantcast
Baking tape in New York - Gearspace.com
The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
Baking tape in New York
Old 23rd January 2009
  #1
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Baking tape in New York

Hey Guys,

I have been contacted and being considered as one of the mixing and mastering engineers to work on previously unreleased Jimi Hendrix recordings. I've been told that these tapes are more than 40 years old. Apparently - I am the only one who has advised the executive producer of this project - to bake these tapes first. I am assuming that they are not in good shape because of the way they have been stored at different times. That said, I don't know how to bake tape . But, I want to be ready for the job {if I am chosen of course} and supervise the process myself. Does anyone know a place in Manhattan {NYC} where I can have these tapes baked? Any info/leads would be sooo appreciated.

Thanks in advance!
Old 23rd January 2009
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Cellotron's Avatar
 
Verified Member
3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Sonicraft in New Jersey are specialists in this type of thing - Ultimate Multitrack Analog to Digital Transfers - Sonicraft A2DX Lab

As far as baking - if these tapes are from the 60's sometimes you don't need to bake them - shedding problems primarily occurs in tape from the late 70's up to the 90's. Also make sure the tapes aren't acetate - acetate tapes get damaged from baking.

Great gig to have - best of luck with it!

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Old 23rd January 2009 | Show parent
  #3
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cellotron ➑️
Sonicraft in New Jersey are specialists in this type of thing - Ultimate Multitrack Analog to Digital Transfers - Sonicraft A2DX Lab

As far as baking - if these tapes are from the 60's sometimes you don't need to bake them - shedding problems primarily occurs in tape from the late 70's up to the 90's. Also make sure the tapes aren't acetate - acetate tapes get damaged from baking.

Great gig to have - best of luck with it!

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Thanks very much for that info. This could explain why the previous engineer {who BTW, past away} never mentioned any baking. Anybody else know one place in NYC though? If not, I'll take Cellotron's tip and give those guys in NJ a call.

Thanks again
Old 23rd January 2009
  #4
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward_Vinatea ➑️
Hey Guys,

I've been told that these tapes are more than 40 years old. Apparently - I am the only one who has advised the executive producer of this project - to bake these tapes first.
And I hope he takes someone else's advice. Tapes from that era do not require baking (though all the splices will probably fall apart).
Old 23rd January 2009 | Show parent
  #5
Mastering
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward_Vinatea ➑️
Thanks very much for that info. This could explain why the previous engineer {who BTW, past away} never mentioned any baking. Anybody else know one place in NYC though? If not, I'll take Cellotron's tip and give those guys In NJ a call.

Thanks again
You really need an expert. As Steve Berson said, go with the one who's most experienced: Steve at Sonicraft. Read this: Richard L. Hess's Tape Restoration History Page

See Richard Hess's research article on tape degradation factors. The ONLY time to bake is with specific tape types that you have verified have undergone sss (sticky shed syndrome). You can ruin a tape by baking the wrong tape.
Old 23rd January 2009 | Show parent
  #6
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by glassmaster ➑️
And I hope he takes someone else's advice. Tapes from that era do not require baking (though all the splices will probably fall apart).
Well, there are some multi-track masters and some 1/2"and 1/4" stereo reels/mixes. Some need mixing, some need mastering. Bottom line, it's a lot of material to work on. So, it's not clear if they are all acetates. I don't knoe much about tape relics. Also, I didn't say that this step needs to be done to the producer. But, I told the producer's assistant that "maybe" baking the tapes before transferring to digital would be required and that it depends on a quick inspection. Naturally, I wouldn't send something that appears to be in good working condition for baking and I sincerely doubt that the professionals in NJ would accept the job knowing that it would ruin the tapes. I just wanted to be ready and have the answers should that be the case.

Thanks for the enlightenment.
Old 23rd January 2009 | Show parent
  #7
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by bob katz ➑️
You really need an expert. As Steve Berson said, go with the one who's most experienced: Steve at Sonicraft. Read this: Richard L. Hess's Tape Restoration History Page

See Richard Hess's research article on tape degradation factors. The ONLY time to bake is with specific tape types that you have verified have undergone sss (sticky shed syndrome). You can ruin a tape by baking the wrong tape.

Thanks Mr. Katz, I shall do my homework!

EDIT: OTHO, what would be the tell tale signs that the tapes need baking? Excessive tape residue at the edges? When you stretch the tape shows cracks, wrinkles? I am assuming that a clean and shiny surface means that tape is in good condition.
Old 23rd January 2009 | Show parent
  #8
arf
Gear Addict
 
arf's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward_Vinatea ➑️
Thanks Mr. Katz, I shall do my homework!
If it is determined that baking is actually needed, we have a large laboratory grade convection oven that is being used for archival audio and video restoration on a regular basis. We're in Manhattan on W55th. As others have pointed out, sticky shed syndrome didn't rear its ugly head on tape stock made before the early 80s. PM me off list.
Old 23rd January 2009 | Show parent
  #9
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by arf ➑️
If it is determined that baking is actually needed, we have a large laboratory grade convection oven that is being used for archival audio and video restoration on a regular basis. We're in Manhattan on W55th. As others have pointed out, sticky shed syndrome didn't rear its ugly head on tape stock made before the early 80s. PM me off list.
Oh good. Thanks Alan i didn't know you did this. I will be hearing from the executive producer in a week or so. I'll let you know.

Best,
Old 23rd January 2009 | Show parent
  #10
Mastering
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward_Vinatea ➑️
Thanks Mr. Katz, I shall do my homework!

EDIT: OTHO, what would be the tell tale signs that the tapes need baking? Excessive tape residue at the edges? When you stretch the tape shows cracks, wrinkles? I am assuming that a clean and shiny surface means that tape is in good condition.
The Hess article covers this very well. First determine the kind of tape. If it's not back-coated, it's likely NOT a candidate for backing. If it's NOT 206, 208, 456 and a few other candidates from circa 1975-1985, then it's probably not a candidate. Regardless, as the article indicates, you first put the tape on a machine that does NOT have roller guides and on a non-critical part of the tape you hit play, listen for squeal. You rock it, you fast forward and rewind that section of the tape, listen for squeal, look for deposits, etc. Then if it falls into the S.S.S. category you bake it. If it's not been flat wound it's best to flat wind it at moderate tension on a machine with ALL roller guides or one that's been specially modified for such. Metal REELS, not plastic!!! before baking. Then after baking the transfer should be done within 24-48 hours, azimuth and eq carefully adjusted, broken splices fixed, etc.

Since these are very historic tapes you should consider transferring at 192 kHz so as to catch the bias frequency so that Jamie Howarth's company can have a fix of the wow and flutter.
BK
Old 23rd January 2009 | Show parent
  #11
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Thanks so much for taking the time to write all these instructions, Mr Katz. I really appreciate it. thumbsup

Best regards,
Old 23rd January 2009 | Show parent
  #12
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by bob katz ➑️
Regardless, as the article indicates, you first put the tape on a machine that does NOT have roller guides and on a non-critical part of the tape you hit play, listen for squeal. You rock it, you fast forward and rewind that section of the tape, listen for squeal, look for deposits, etc.
Why no roller guides Mr K? Presumably to avoid stripping off the backing?
Old 23rd January 2009 | Show parent
  #13
Mastering
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkRB ➑️
Why no roller guides Mr K? Presumably to avoid stripping off the backing?
No roller guides so as to test if the tape is in trouble. Obviously every good tape machine has some roller guides, but I meant "some fixed guides" where you'll see the deposits, and if the lubrication is gone the tape will squeal. Roller guides will postpone the obvious and you may not see any deposits except on the head.

BK
Old 23rd January 2009 | Show parent
  #14
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Gotcha.
I try to avoid running a tape over the heads, for obvious reasons. The lifters will tell you pretty quickly if it's gone but you have to be very careful. If you have a comp reel there may not be any "non-critical" tape on the reel.
I only asked about the rollers having seen the rubber/plastic rollers on an Otari strip the backing off a tape. Pretty scary stuff.
Old 23rd January 2009 | Show parent
  #15
Mastering
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkRB ➑️
Gotcha.
I try to avoid running a tape over the heads, for obvious reasons. The lifters will tell you pretty quickly if it's gone but you have to be very careful. If you have a comp reel there may not be any "non-critical" tape on the reel.
I only asked about the rollers having seen the rubber/plastic rollers on an Otari strip the backing off a tape. Pretty scary stuff.

After a certain age, the composition of old Otari (especially their 8 track models) pinch rollers totally decays, it turns into a sticky mush.... it's scary to see, it can happen in a 24 hour period, the roller can be soft, pliable and non-sticky and the next day it's a horror monster and has to be replaced.

BK
Old 24th January 2009 | Show parent
  #16
Gear Addict
 
16/44.1's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by bob katz ➑️
Since these are very historic tapes you should consider transferring at 192 kHz so as to catch the bias frequency so that Jamie Howarth's company can have a fix of the wow and flutter.
BK
This is new for me.
Is that also possible for lets say 44.1/48kHz?
Old 24th January 2009 | Show parent
  #17
Lives for gear
 
finetuner's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by bob katz ➑️
... Then after baking the transfer should be done within 24-48 hours...
But not sooner than 8 hrs (or approximately the same period as bake duration) to let the tape cool down sufficiently and let the glue/binder rest.
Warm tape may stretch more easily on start-stop and wind actions.

Obviously this doesn't count for acetates, but they shouldn't be baked in the first place.
Old 24th January 2009 | Show parent
  #18
Lives for gear
 
Adam Dempsey's Avatar
 
Verified Member
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by bob katz ➑️
If it's not been flat wound it's best to flat wind it at moderate tension on a machine with ALL roller guides or one that's been specially modified for such. Metal REELS, not plastic!!! before baking. Then after baking the transfer should be done within 24-48 hours, azimuth and eq carefully adjusted, broken splices fixed, etc.
That's the thing right there - after baking you really only get one pass to get the playback right. Especially difficult if there are no alignment tones.

Generally, slow winding first will benefit playback of any tape stored long term, including VHS, Beta and DAT, especially if the tape wasn't stored fully wound or hasn't been periodically wound.
Old 24th January 2009 | Show parent
  #19
Lives for gear
 
Adam Dempsey's Avatar
 
Verified Member
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by finetuner ➑️
But not sooner than 8 hrs (or approximately the same period as bake duration) to let the tape cool down sufficiently and let the glue/binder rest.
Warm tape may stretch more easily on start-stop and wind actions.

Obviously this doesn't count for acetates, but they shouldn't be baked in the first place.
^Important point.
(Many an hour spent dealing with shockingly shedding Ampex tapes on an MCI, then a Studer modified for tension, roller guides and quarter track / half track head blocks).
Old 24th January 2009 | Show parent
  #20
Lives for gear
 
MAzevedo's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by 16/44.1 ➑️
This is new for me.
Is that also possible for lets say 44.1/48kHz?
The bias tone is at 40kHz or higher, depending on the machine, so at 44k you're going to be well short of having the frequency response to capture bias tone.
Old 24th January 2009 | Show parent
  #21
Mastering
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by 16/44.1 ➑️
This is new for me.
Is that also possible for lets say 44.1/48kHz?
Jamie's process (Plangent Processes, look them up) uses a signature frequency from the source tape to remove the wow and flutter from the last generation. It's quite remarkable. Even when there is no obvious wow and flutter, the entire sound still clears up, the depth increases. It's like having a window open up on the original recording. Transferring the tapes at 192 kHz increases the chance that the bias frequency remnants can be captured. And since there are many tapes involved, there will be different bias frequencies. It's not worth taking a chance, 192K ensures you'll have something. 96K sometimes works, for those machines with lower bias frequencies, but if the original bias was 80 kHz, 96K sample rate will not work. With 44/48 chances are slimmer, as he has to try to clue into a hum frequency on the original recording. He has some other proprietary methods of cluing in on a steady frequency, but regardless, 192 K is the way to go.
Old 24th January 2009 | Show parent
  #22
Lives for gear
 
hmiller's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
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.
Old 24th January 2009 | Show parent
  #23
Lives for gear
 
dcollins's Avatar
 
Verified Member
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by bob katz ➑️
Jamie's process (Plangent Processes, look them up) uses a signature frequency from the source tape to remove the wow and flutter from the last generation. It's quite remarkable. Even when there is no obvious wow and flutter, the entire sound still clears up, the depth increases. It's like having a window open up on the original recording. Transferring the tapes at 192 kHz increases the chance that the bias frequency remnants can be captured. And since there are many tapes involved, there will be different bias frequencies. It's not worth taking a chance, 192K ensures you'll have something. 96K sometimes works, for those machines with lower bias frequencies, but if the original bias was 80 kHz, 96K sample rate will not work. With 44/48 chances are slimmer, as he has to try to clue into a hum frequency on the original recording. He has some other proprietary methods of cluing in on a steady frequency, but regardless, 192 K is the way to go.
Except he uses a custom head and high bandwidth electronics to capture the bias signal completely unrelated to the actual audio path, and sampling frequency.

Normal tape machine heads and electronics would not pass the >80 kHz bias signal to a useful degree so it must be treated separately, then processed digitally against the audio portion.

The real message, however, is if people have any questions about analog tape restoration it is vital they find help before even putting the tape on a transport, as you will never get the oxide back on.......................


DC
Old 25th January 2009 | Show parent
  #24
Mastering
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by dcollins ➑️
Except he uses a custom head and high bandwidth electronics to capture the bias signal completely unrelated to the actual audio path, and sampling frequency.
In the beginning Jamie insisted on making all his own transfers with his custom head.

I've worked with Jamie and he's quite willing to let the mastering engineer make his own transfer and send it to him. He'd go out of business if he insisted on doing it all himself. I've seen the bias frequency on the spectrum analyzer from my MR70 electronics so an "ordinary" playback head can do the job. That's all he asks nowadays, check your transfer and if you can see the bias frequency on your spectrum analyzer, then your heads and electronics were good enough to make the transfer for him, and his detection equipment is good enough to do the job from your digital files.

Quote:

The real message, however, is if people have any questions about analog tape restoration it is vital they find help before even putting the tape on a transport, as you will never get the oxide back on.......................

DC
There's no better message than that. Which is why I recommend Edward find an expert for transfer, especially of his multitracks. I'm well equipped to transfer the 2 tracks, 1/2" and 1/4" but I send clients with multitracks to Soniccraft.

BK
Old 25th January 2009 | Show parent
  #25
Lives for gear
 
Ben B's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by bob katz ➑️

Since these are very historic tapes you should consider transferring at 192 kHz so as to catch the bias frequency so that Jamie Howarth's company can have a fix of the wow and flutter.
BK
What a fascinating suggestion. I never thought of that. Are people using some kind of resolver these days that can read the bias signal and adjust motor speeds? It's like a high frequency pilot tone.

-Ben B
Old 25th January 2009 | Show parent
  #26
Mastering
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben B ➑️
What a fascinating suggestion. I never thought of that. Are people using some kind of resolver these days that can read the bias signal and adjust motor speeds? It's like a high frequency pilot tone.

-Ben B
One person in the world has a patent (I believe) on this technique and he had to mortgage his home to get it developed. Visit Plangent Processes Plangent Processes to learn more.

Instead of adjusting motor speeds he's using a highly efficient ASRC-type of technique to get rid of the wow and flutter. I don't think it's possible to adjust motor speeds in reel time (!) sufficiently to cancel w&f.

BK
Old 25th January 2009 | Show parent
  #27
Mastering
 
🎧 15 years
From the Plangent FAQ:

How do I buy it?

You can’t. What happens is that you send us your analog tape or a removable hard drive containing a digitized version of the program material (you can use the converter of your choice, but please contact us beforehand for information on technical specifications) and we do all the work, then send you back the corrected data in your choice of format. (We require a minimum two-day turnaround for an hour of stereo material.) You pay us by the minute, or by the cut. Contact Plangent Processes for details.

----

Even if you can see the bias frequency in your spectrum analyzer, to be safe I'd send a sample of your digitized transfer to Jamie for him to verify he can read the bias frequency from it. But he is currently equipped to read the high frequency bias tone from an "ordinary head" as you can see from his statement at the Plangent website.
Old 25th January 2009 | Show parent
  #28
Lives for gear
 
Masterer's Avatar
 
Verified Member
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by dcollins ➑️
The real message, however, is if people have any questions about analog tape restoration it is vital they find help before even putting the tape on a transport, as you will never get the oxide back on.......................


DC
Please do not touch these tapes until you have ALL of the necessary info and help. Baking can help you get a couple of plays with less shedding at most. Baking the wrong type of tape can destroy it. There is no going back. Also you should avail yourself of any and all info or help you with the proper techniques for fixing splices as they come unglued. Be careful about the oil on your hands and ALWAYS wind in the slowest library mode possible.

Good luck and God speed my man. Go easy on the God speed though.
Old 26th January 2009 | Show parent
  #29
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Masterer ➑️
Baking the wrong type of tape can destroy it.
Is this true, what damage could be done by baking a tape that isn't suffering SSD?

Anyone have any examples?
Old 26th January 2009 | Show parent
  #30
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
good thread. I'v remastered many old tapes and agree with most of what has been said here.
Yet.
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!!!!

There are lots of unexplainable tricks handling old splices etc.
It's a critical delicate art.
πŸ“ Reply

Similar Threads

Thread / Thread Starter Replies / Views Last Post
replies: 1975 views: 296195
Avatar for heyman
heyman 3 weeks ago
replies: 55 views: 9615
Avatar for PastToFuture
PastToFuture 19th May 2020
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearspace Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…

Forum Jump
Forum Jump