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  #1  
Old 07-09-2011, 12:52 PM
mox40 mox40 is offline
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Frustrated Possible to fix slow-playback cassette?

Years ago I recorded myself as a guest at a morning radio show with a cassette tape that was somehow defective.

On playback of the cassette, the audio plays very slow, where the voices are super-deep/low pitched and in slow motion, while sometimes speeding up very fast and then slowing back down. The issue is with the cassette and I wanted to know if there's a way to fix it, whether than means taking apart the cassette, or just recording it on to the computer and then somehow speed it up and calibrate the recording that way so that it sounds normal with some kinds of software perhaps? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 07-09-2011, 12:58 PM
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vinyldavid vinyldavid is offline
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Find a cassette deck with a pitch control and hope for the best when you copy it.....

There's not a lot one can do to fix varying speed issues....if it was a single speed, there are machines that can probably play it back correctly or you could digitally pitch correct it, but varying....that's difficult.
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Old 07-09-2011, 01:39 PM
goldear goldear is offline
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Don't do digital pitch correction: IMO it sounds like s*** and the artifacts are clearly audible on any good system.

Get youself a Nak BX300, (which has a pitch control) and knock yourself out!
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Old 07-09-2011, 02:47 PM
mox40 mox40 is offline
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I'm able to make out what is being said on the tape, it just sounds like super slow-motion for the majority of the audio...during the last 30 seconds it speeds up before slowing down, but I'd be content with preserving just the first part that's in slow-motion if there's an easier fix for that...thanks for all the suggestions!
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Old 07-09-2011, 05:19 PM
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What make of tape is it?

I would take it out and put it in another shell and hope the fault was not with the original recorder .reelspin*
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Old 07-09-2011, 07:10 PM
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Yes, I'm more suspect of the deck it was recorded on, than the tape.
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Old 07-09-2011, 07:26 PM
mox40 mox40 is offline
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It was definitely the cassette tape because I used the same recorder with the same type of cassettes several times before and after this occurred. Strangely, the first half of the cassette recorded normally. About halfway through the tape, before the audio I want to hear begins, that's when the slow-motion effect begins...and when I attempt to manually turn the little cassette wheel to move it, it's more difficult to rotate than then usual cassette....so the issue is with the cassette.
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Old 07-10-2011, 08:03 AM
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[QUOTE=mox40;161049]It was definitely the cassette tape because I used the same recorder with the same type of cassettes several times before and after this occurred. Strangely, the first half of the cassette recorded normally. About halfway through the tape, before the audio I want to hear begins, that's when the slow-motion effect begins...and when I attempt to manually turn the little cassette wheel to move it, it's more difficult to rotate than then usual cassette....so the issue is with the cassette.[

Well put it in another shell then,I still woukld like to know the make of tape I suspect it's not from a major Japanese maker,Also have you been in touch with the radio station they may still have it in their achives and knock you a copy out..reelspin*
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Old 07-10-2011, 08:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goldear View Post
Don't do digital pitch correction: IMO it sounds like s*** and the artifacts are clearly audible on any good system.
What artifacts ? If you chose a great samplerate a don't compress it's ok
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Old 07-10-2011, 09:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mox40 View Post
Years ago I recorded myself as a guest at a morning radio show with a cassette tape that was somehow defective.

On playback of the cassette, the audio plays very slow, where the voices are super-deep/low pitched and in slow motion, while sometimes speeding up very fast and then slowing back down. The issue is with the cassette and I wanted to know if there's a way to fix it, whether than means taking apart the cassette, or just recording it on to the computer and then somehow speed it up and calibrate the recording that way so that it sounds normal with some kinds of software perhaps? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
It sounded like belt slippage or a problem engaging the roller that somehow didn't pull out the tape. I had this happen when Grandma made me an 8-track and played at seemingly double speed. Re-recording engaged the drive properly and the recording came out correctly.
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Old 07-11-2011, 01:17 AM
Avisio Avisio is offline
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This might be a bit far fetched, but historical recordings have been restored by finding a steady sound with a known frequency from the recording, and correcting the pitch according to that with computer programs.

The standards to look for could be some of the following:

1. 19KHz pilot tone (if recorded from a tuner with poor pilot filtering without dolby with a good deck)
2. 10KHz (or 9KHz) heterodyne whistle if recorded from an AM station
3. 50 or 60Hz hum from mains.

None of these are very likely however.

To find any of the above you need to transfer the recording to your computer, and play it back with sound editing software that has a good spectral analyzer. The steady tones (if they happen to be caught on tape are relatively easy to identify by looking at the spectrum.)
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