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Re: [ARSCLIST] PreRecorded Tape Duplicators

Early on in the 2-track days, there was a brief format war between Magnecord's staggered tracks and Ampex's stacked tracks. Ampex used its market-share muscle to quickly kill the staggered format, and Ampex personnel argued vehemently for a standard format in several industry publications and meetings of the time. I have a few staggered-format tapes. As long as the tape itself isn't too warped/shrunken, I've had good success fixing the staggering in Soundforge, and ending up with a properly-phased stereo image. In some cases, adjustment was required every 10 minutes or so, but that was with somewhat warped tapes.
-- Tom Fine

carlstephen koto wrote:

I do have a few staggered heads, 1/2 tracks (The Atlantic) and I'll do as you suggested and transfer them in my editing software.

Steve Koto

If you have an Otari it is easier than that. On probably all but the later Mark IV versions (but maybe even on them) the record and play heads are the proper distance apart (I think it is 1 1/8 inch.) So all you have to do is put the back track in Sel-Rep and the other track in Repro and the tracks are in sync. Of course if the tape has stretched or shrunk it will need further adjustment. That is the reason why the staggered-head system was rejected by most in the first place!

In the US, I think Ampex owned the "plug and play" duplication market into the 60's.

Actually the proper phrase from the pre-computer day is "Turn-key". All the client has to do is turn the key to open his door and all the equipment has been installed ready to use.

It should also be added to this history that there were some monaural pre-recorded tapes sold going back to 1951 and possibly even earlier. RCA Victor had a series of mono pre-recorded tapes that pre-date and continued to run parallel to their stereo tapes. (I have their first mono tape and it has a printed leader.) They did not fall into the trap of making the same recording available in both mono and stereo tape. If it had been mastered in mono, it was sold in mono. If it had been mastered in stereo, it was sold in stereo. And there are several things that were on stereo tape that never made it to stereo LP.

Mike Biel mbiel@xxxxxxxxx

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