Otari MX5050 alignment (input level question)

Recording Techniques, People Skills, Gear, Recording Spaces, Computers, and DIY

Moderators: drumsound, tomb

Post Reply
honkyjonk
dead but not forgotten
Posts: 2182
Joined: Wed May 07, 2003 10:50 pm
Location: Portland

Otari MX5050 alignment (input level question)

Post by honkyjonk » Thu May 01, 2014 11:55 am

Hey folks,

If anybody is familiar with the MX5050 BII alignment procedure, it is directing me to calibrate the input level after the bias adjustment. Basically along with the final record level and eq adjustments. I know the Ampex 440B also directs one to adjust the input level at the end of the process. But I'm wondering if it matters.

What if I did it at the beginning of the process instead? It seems like having the deck set to input is independent of the repro and record electronics? (at least it is on my Tascam machine) The reason I want to do this is I can be sure +4 is coming in and going out of the machine, and then I can calibrate the meters and use those to do the whole process. I like doing this a LOT better than trying to take voltage readings with a DMM which is what Otari has you doing at every step of the process.
Stilgar, we've got wormsign the likes of which God has never seen!

honkyjonk
dead but not forgotten
Posts: 2182
Joined: Wed May 07, 2003 10:50 pm
Location: Portland

Post by honkyjonk » Thu May 01, 2014 4:04 pm

Fuck it, I'm just gonna try it. I can't believe how confusing the MX5050 manuals are. For anybody just beginning to align tape machines, it's gotta sound like Martian.

From my Tascam I've learned this, in very simple abbreviated steps.

1. Input level
2. Vu meter level matched to input level, so you can use them onward
3. Repro azimuth
4. Repro level
5. Repro eq
6 Record/Sync Head Azimuth
7. Sync level and eq (these on the tascam are different than record level and eq. They're adjustments for monitoring off the record/sync head)
8. Bias
9. Record Level
10. Record eq
11. Low frequency comp
12. Beer

On the Otari it goes like this (according to the manual)

1. Repro azimuth
2. Repro level
3. Repro eq
4. Bias (WHA? Isn't the following record/sync head azimuth adjustment gonna render this moot?)
5. Record/sync head azimuth
6. Input level
7. Record level
8. Record eq
9. Low frequency comp
10. Oscillator level. Oops. Would have been nice to have that oscillator calibrated at the BEGINNING if I actually wanted to use it.
11. Beer

No mention anywhere in the manual I have of VU adjustments either, though I see the trimmer on the board.

Anyway, what I'm trying to do is simply put the "Input level" step at the beginning of the process, so I can use the VU's, which will be calibrated to that.
Are all you Otari people actually following the manual? (Please don't tell me you degauss the heads at every step like they tell you to)
Stilgar, we've got wormsign the likes of which God has never seen!

themagicmanmdt
george martin
Posts: 1347
Joined: Mon Nov 13, 2006 8:47 pm
Location: home on the range

Post by themagicmanmdt » Mon May 05, 2014 11:11 pm

tascam procedure better
get beer before starting
we are the village green
preservation society
god bless +6 tape
valves and serviceability

*chief tech and R&D shaman at shadow hills industries*

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 55 guests