Radio 3: pre-echo on Liszt loud piano parts

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Re: Radio 3: pre-echo on Liszt loud piano parts

Post by Tim Gillett »

A good way to deal with print through was to anticipate it at the record stage. The thickest open reel tape (Standard Play) and somewhat dynamically compressed signal helped. So Dolby A, DBX or a decent soft knee compressor/ limiter helped the recorded signal itself, even studio or venue ambience, to mask print through. Cassettes with their often Quadruple Play tape stock were also very vulnerable to later print through. In our audio book productions we had massive print through problems even with recordings only a year old. Because our recordings were very long we had to use the thinner Long Play tapes with greater print through. It's worst on very dynamic programme including unaccompanied voice. Print through only got worse with time and heat so minimizing the likelihood it would be heard many years later was really a long term strategy.
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Re: Radio 3: pre-echo on Liszt loud piano parts

Post by ken long »

Hugh Robjohns wrote: Sat Jul 17, 2021 1:02 pm
The AES tech bulletin gives chapter and verse, but storing tail out means the tape must be rewound before playing, and the act of rewinding actually helps to diminish the print through by 3dB or so. Weird but true!

On top of all the reasons already given, it's also good practice to have the original spool be the take up so that you get a tighter and even pack at the end of playback.
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Re: Radio 3: pre-echo on Liszt loud piano parts

Post by Exalted Wombat »

Pre-echo can happen on vinyl too, when the grooves are cut too close. (Of course, an LP may also inherit print-through from a preceding tape generation.)

The compulsion to worship vinyl can spawn comments like "I find this to be a charming artifact of lp playback." :lol:

https://forums.stevehoffman.tv/threads/ ... lp.229120/
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Re: Radio 3: pre-echo on Liszt loud piano parts

Post by BJG145 »

Liszt's wrists were exceedingly supple
Especially after he'd had a couple

- ECB
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Re: Radio 3: pre-echo on Liszt loud piano parts

Post by Tim Gillett »

Exalted Wombat wrote: Tue Jul 20, 2021 3:49 pm Pre-echo can happen on vinyl too, when the grooves are cut too close. (Of course, an LP may also inherit print-through from a preceding tape generation.)

Yes and common practice with disc cutting tape masters was to splice plastic leader tape hard up against the start of the programme, meaning any echo pre that splice point had to originate from the cut disc.
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Re: Radio 3: pre-echo on Liszt loud piano parts

Post by James Perrett »

Tim Gillett wrote: Thu Jul 22, 2021 2:39 pm Yes and common practice with disc cutting tape masters was to splice plastic leader tape hard up against the start of the programme, meaning any echo pre that splice point had to originate from the cut disc.

That practice is now causing real problems if stripy leader tape was used. The stripes attach themselves to the magnetic coating and peel it off the backing - no matter how carefully you try to pull the layers apart.
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Re: Radio 3: pre-echo on Liszt loud piano parts

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

I didn't know that!

I've always used solid colour and clear leaders, but more through luck and availability than anything else.

The Beeb standard was yellow between items on a tape (eg, separate inserts on a news programme reel), red at the end, and often blue at the front of stereo programmes, and green for mono. I can't remember what we used white for... but most edit rooms only had yellow and red in stock anyway, so it was yellow at the front and between items, and red at the end.

Not all leader tapes were made equal -- they often had radically different coefficients of friction compared to the recording tape itself (usually much higher!), and that sometimes caused problems with the machine's speed changing slightly as the leader ran through, resulting in a slur to the start or end of a recorded piece!

I also remember scraping off the red and yellow colour on leaders sometimes to leave a transparent section about two-inches long to trigger the optical end-of-tape sensor and activate the stop button -- an important function in a busy self-op news programme to prevent the tape running on into the next item!

In the commercial world various manufacturers used different colours to differentiate tape types. One standard was white for standard-play, green for long-play and blue for double-play. Again, red always signified the end.
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Re: Radio 3: pre-echo on Liszt loud piano parts

Post by forumuser840717 »

That's been a problem for years. It's particularly annoying when the stripy leader is used between tracks!

Some tapes and some leader tapes are more prone to it than others and it's really important to check for stripy leaders before baking tapes as that can make adhesion considerably worse (though, in very rare cases, it can also cause it to release).

Similarly, some will release with various solvents ranging from water to different strengths of alcohols or even acetone, while some tapes are destroyed by the solvents so experimentation and note keeping are important.
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Re: Radio 3: pre-echo on Liszt loud piano parts

Post by Tim Gillett »

James Perrett wrote: Thu Jul 22, 2021 2:49 pm
Tim Gillett wrote: Thu Jul 22, 2021 2:39 pm Yes and common practice with disc cutting tape masters was to splice plastic leader tape hard up against the start of the programme, meaning any echo pre that splice point had to originate from the cut disc.

That practice is now causing real problems if stripy leader tape was used. The stripes attach themselves to the magnetic coating and peel it off the backing - no matter how carefully you try to pull the layers apart.

In my experience and reading of the relevent digitisation manuals and guides I've not come across this. Does it occur independently of the tape type and condition of the binder layer?
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Re: Radio 3: pre-echo on Liszt loud piano parts

Post by James Perrett »

Tim Gillett wrote: Fri Jul 23, 2021 9:32 am In my experience and reading of the relevent digitisation manuals and guides I've not come across this. Does it occur independently of the tape type and condition of the binder layer?

I first encountered it with old Ampex tapes but have also had problems with 3M 256 and also BASF which were in otherwise good condition and not baked. It sounds like Forumuser 840717 has more experience than I do - I've never tried using any solvents to reduce the adhesion to the ink in the leader.
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Re: Radio 3: pre-echo on Liszt loud piano parts

Post by Tim Gillett »

Thanks and yes good to hear more details from 840717. Tim.
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Re: Radio 3: pre-echo on Liszt loud piano parts

Post by James Perrett »

Just had another delivery of tapes to transfer - and all the quarter inch tapes have stripy leader everywhere! I think they're all 3M 256 although some of them are in Ampex boxes (but look too dark for Ampex).
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