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'Sticky' tape

PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2005 9:20 am
by harmony head
Hey gang

Welcome to the new Turtlerock forum. Let the games begin.. or at least continue..

OK.. here's a question for you. I have a 1/2 inch 16 track.. Fostex E16 that was my first 'real' multitrack. It was a great machine for me.. set up to run at 30ips.. very reliable and i made a lot of very good sounding records on it in the first 8 years of my career.

Every once in a while i need to load up an old tape, but my machine has trouble rewinding and fast forwarding the reels. Now tape for me has gone the way of the dodo, unfortunately.. i'm a Pro Tools boy now, and have been for a few years, so you experienced guys be gentle on me. Is the problem with the tape reels 'tightening up', or is my machine, which gets turned on about twice a year, just not able to cope? Is there a solution? Is this common? Generally i was using Ampex 456 tape.

When i do get the tapes to play without negative speed artifacts, it sounds fantastic still too..



PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2005 10:35 am
by Henry
Your older Reels are shedding, ie getting sticky and causing drag. I suggest you transfer it all pronto.

Try a new reel and if there are no problems then you know its the old reels for sure. I have the exact same same problem!

PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2005 4:41 pm
by adamcal
Bake them, there is plenty of info out there on how to do it.

PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2005 4:42 pm
by mfdu
harmony head

dont say you're not going to use the deck anymore!!!! thats too sad.

i just got my first 1/2" machine (well - it's still in ZM electronics being serviced - sigh) and and and - you gotta promise me you'll still whip out the old girl when you get a chance, huh?

i mean, i'm protools too (take it easy, fellas) and gee, i'm telling you there's nothing like the smell of a fresh reel of tape. fine it costs that bit more, but mmmmmmm you know?
sorry not trying to teach you to suck eggs. i'm just excited, huh? i got a friends funk band coming in to christen the deck here at rancho mfdu. a dose of space-sex-funk-opera should open everything up nicely!

try a fresh reel, and see if you fall in love with her again.


PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2005 4:52 pm
by harmony head
I love using it... every once in a while i fly something over to it and it sounds great... and i'll defend the merits of 1/2 inch 16 track at 30ips.. it DOES sound great.

It's just that every one's getting lazier these days, and some of the young kids don't care about analogue that much, and time is always tight so the idea of flying things across doesn't fly anymore as there's never enough time to do a project anyway... etc etc

But, this thread has prompted me to start archiving stuff... i'll start this week..

Also, where would i get something like this serviced in sydney? A guy named Garry Mills used to service it, but i think he gave all his alignment tapes to marshall at Damien Gerards...


PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2005 7:18 pm
by rick
sticky tapes, ampex 456 ....?
yeah the reality is your going to have to bake them
with quantegy shut down my contact numbers are gone
does anybody know who the bakers are ?

PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2005 1:21 pm
by Adam Dempsey
here's a thing: in 10 yrs here, never baked a tape. Not one.
of course it can work (it destroys the tape and often any chance of a proper alignment, even to set azimuth). But using machines with modded tension, bypassing tape guides, using only roller guides, cleaning gauze on the back of the tape, regular (yet painstaking) cleaning, it works..

Some use dehydrators rather than ovens - many methods on the 'net admittedly I've not tried.

Luckily all the AGFA stuff archived or stored from the studio here is still in A1 condition!

PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2005 2:06 pm
by ottowr
[quote="rick"]sticky tapes, ampex 456 ....?
yeah the reality is your going to have to bake them
with quantegy shut down my contact numbers are gone
does anybody know who the bakers are ?[/quote]

Sony Mastering at Huntingwood can do baking.