Tape Machine Issue

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Al_Huero
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Tape Machine Issue

Post by Al_Huero » Wed Apr 05, 2006 9:41 pm

I'm a new owner and complete noob with a 1/4-in 2-tr machine (Otari MTR-10). I've gone through an initial alignment and calibration best I could. Things sound fine and I'm not planning on sending anything out of the studio on tape--just dumping a digital mix into it and taking it right back in at this point.

The one issue I was having tonight was a loss of level/volume coming back off the tape intermittently. At first I thought maybe it was the tape as I'd used the same one a couple of times through; but even with a new reel I had a noticeable drop in level in one part of the song I was bouncing down; for like 2 - 3 seconds; and then it came back up. Any ideas on what could be causing this? The only part of the calibration that got kind of sketchy was in the biasing; I can find the specifics in the manual if it would help--but it had to do with feeding in a square wave at 10 kHz and getting one back out at multiple speeds. It looked ok at 7.5 ips; but 15 ips was way out and 30 ips, while better, didn't look at all square. I aligned the heads using an MRL tape (I'm running GP9 tape) and they looked fine there.

Any input would be appreciated.

eh91311
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GP9 issues

Post by eh91311 » Thu Apr 06, 2006 7:08 am

Check here to read about other tapeoppers' problems with GP9
http://messageboard.tapeop.com/viewtopic.php?t=31028

....and here with 456
http://messageboard.tapeop.com/viewtopic.php?t=33323

Al_Huero
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Post by Al_Huero » Thu Apr 06, 2006 10:10 am

Yeah, could be a tape issue. I'm curious if there's something in the way the machine is setup/aligned that could cause the problem as well. I'd like to figure out if it's a tape or mechanical issue.

honkyjonk
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Post by honkyjonk » Thu Apr 06, 2006 12:28 pm

I've never tried GP9 on my MTR-12, but I've had problems with every reel of 499 I've tried. I just gave up and switched to 456, and havn't had any problems since.

The width of the tape w/ 499 was the problem with my tapedeck. It was actually wider than my guides, which would cause crazy shedding and dropouts like you're describing.

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the velour fog
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Post by the velour fog » Thu Apr 06, 2006 12:32 pm

the problem could be as simple as giving the machine a good cleaning and demagnetizing. i had similar problems with volume levels until i really took the time to clean and demagnetize the heads.
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Al_Huero
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Post by Al_Huero » Thu Apr 06, 2006 1:34 pm

I do notice some shedding on the guides as you describe--could be an issue.

I've cleaned and demagnetized things a couple of times--not sure how often you're really supposed to do this; but I've only run the machine for an hour or so total.

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Post by penelec » Fri Apr 07, 2006 2:56 pm

honkyjonk wrote:... I just gave up and switched to 456, and havn't had any problems since...
Same here, but with 1/2". I never tried GP9 on my own machine, but had bad shedding issues with another band's Otari. On my TSR I have had issues with strange volume fluxuations using 499 -- especially when flipping to record backwards. Strangely, with 456, I've never had any issues. You are certainly demagging and cleaning enough -- I only demag after about 10-15 hours of real record time, but I clean after each session.

When you check the square wave at 15 ips, what are you seeing?

Al_Huero
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Post by Al_Huero » Fri Apr 07, 2006 7:09 pm

Nothing at all square--basically weird lumps of varying magnitude. It's strange cause at 7.5 ips it's pretty close and then up at 30 it's rounded off but all the same amplitude and frequency.

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Post by ladewd » Sat Apr 08, 2006 8:23 am

You may also be suffering from an intermittent tension problem. When the tape tension drops, the tape to head contact is comprimised and will cause varying levels. This could also be caused by bad slitting on the tape which will affect the tape to head contact as well. If you're shedding excessively, your tape path may need adjusting. Just some thoughts.

CA

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Post by Al_Huero » Sat Apr 08, 2006 8:57 am

Cool; I did notice some gunk building up on the erase head. I'll try cleaning that off each time and see if it helps.

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