Radio 3: pre-echo on Liszt loud piano parts

All about the tools and techniques involved in capturing sound, in the studio or on location.

Moderator: Moderators

Radio 3: pre-echo on Liszt loud piano parts

Post by hooty2 »

Writing as it happens:)... Radio 3 building a library/Liszt piano sonata in b minor.
The reviewer commented on a recording from the 70's.. the unfortunate hiss but ..."the annoying pre-echo as the loudest parts are played"

anyone know what this about?
hooty2
Regular
Posts: 267 Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2016 12:00 am

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

Post by The Elf »

It's another of those vagaries of tape. When tape was wound on a spool the very loud parts of a recording would bleed onto the tape it was wound against - and often to the layer of tape underneath that too. You can hear the effect of this as the loudest sounds often being faintly heard just before they should arrive.

You can hear this effect on many old recordings. The one I recall most is on Genesis's 'Chamber of 32 Doors', where you can hear the song start twice before it actually comes in!

Tape - I'll dance on its grave... :headbang:
User avatar
The Elf
Jedi Poster
Posts: 17282 Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2001 12:00 am Location: Sheffield, UK
An Eagle for an Emperor, A Kestrel for a Knave.

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

Post by ef37a »

I am sure The Doc will give us the precise SP but I understand this is why it was BBC practice to store tapes 'tail out'. This meant they had to be rewound before playback and that reduced print through.

Terrible stuff tape, almost as bad as those flat, black things!

Dave.
ef37a
Jedi Poster
Posts: 13272 Joined: Mon May 29, 2006 12:00 am Location: northampton uk

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

Post by hooty2 »

cheers folks... :clap: education education education
hooty2
Regular
Posts: 267 Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2016 12:00 am

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

Post by Sam Spoons »

I assume the print through would be onto the tape either side of the loud signal not just the wrap underneath? If so you would get both a pre and post echo. Storing tail out would not have solved the issue as the 'sandwich' of plastic film base and oxide means that the oxide layer in a wound tape is separated by a base layer on both sides.
User avatar
Sam Spoons
Jedi Poster
Posts: 16157 Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2003 12:00 am Location: Manchester UK
Your karma has run over my dogma

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

Post by Wonks »

Sam Spoons wrote: Sat Jul 17, 2021 10:13 am I assume the print through would be onto the tape either side of the loud signal not just the wrap underneath? If so you would get both a pre and post echo. Storing tail out would not have solved the issue as the 'sandwich' of plastic film base and oxide means that the oxide layer in a wound tape is separated by a base layer on both sides.

There are two types of print-through, one is heat-induced and one magnetic.

If the spool is kept wound in the same position as heat print-through occurs, then the print-through remains. Keeping it stored in a different orientation e.g. fully wound, then the print-through areas no longer correspond, and over time the thermal print-through is supposed to fade.

Won’t do anything for magnetic print-through though.
User avatar
Wonks
Jedi Poster
Posts: 12096 Joined: Thu May 29, 2003 12:00 am Location: Reading, UK
Reliably fallible.

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

Post by forumuser840717 »

Apart from other benefits of winding though the tape before playing, storing tail out means that the heaviest print though occurs as post-echo rather than pre-echo so it's masked by the programme.

For geeky interest, there's a bit of info about it in this AES Tech Bulletin

I once came across a Studer A80 which had been modified to run leader tape along with the recording tape, in an attempt to reduce print through by adding a 'spacer layer' to the tape pack. It did work and reduced the print through but wasn't the most practical idea. Not least because the double thickness tape made for odd handling characteristics which used to freak out the transport on many other machines it was put on and the advantages of the lower print through paled into insignificance as someone had to hand re-spool the tape from the floor after the transport on other machines dumped it all when the tension sensors went nuts in fast wind. Assuming they didn't just shred the tape.
forumuser840717
Regular
Posts: 347 Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2016 5:20 pm

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

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

Sam Spoons wrote: Sat Jul 17, 2021 10:13 amStoring tail out would not have solved the issue as the 'sandwich' of plastic film base and oxide means that the oxide layer in a wound tape is separated by a base layer on both sides.

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!
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 32413 Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound...
(But generally posting my own personal views and not necessarily those of SOS, the company or the magazine!)
In my world, things get less strange when I read the manual... 

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

Post by Wonks »

Possibly some static electricity effect, or magnetic separation effect, generated by the much higher tape layer parting speed when running in rewind as opposed to normal forward play speed?
User avatar
Wonks
Jedi Poster
Posts: 12096 Joined: Thu May 29, 2003 12:00 am Location: Reading, UK
Reliably fallible.

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

Post by MOF »

Possibly some static electricity effect, or magnetic separation effect, generated by the much higher tape layer parting speed when running in rewind as opposed to normal forward play speed?

??????? The previous replies are correct Wonks. Apart from ‘static electricity’ nothing else makes sense.
You’re in danger of creating mistakes on the internet.
MOF
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1760 Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2003 12:00 am Location: United Kingdom

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

Post by Wonks »

I see what you did there.
User avatar
Wonks
Jedi Poster
Posts: 12096 Joined: Thu May 29, 2003 12:00 am Location: Reading, UK
Reliably fallible.

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

Post by MOF »

I see what you did there

;)
MOF
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1760 Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2003 12:00 am Location: United Kingdom
Post Reply