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  #1  
Old 09-19-2010, 05:29 AM
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Tails in or out?

I just know I will wish I didn't ask this but can anyone explain what this procedure is all about and how its done please.

Go feel free to kick me lol
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Old 09-19-2010, 06:11 AM
Bob Boyer Bob Boyer is offline
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Tails out just refers to storing the tape on the take-up reel after it has been played. Hence, when it's time to play the tape the tail is out, not the head.

To play the tape, you put it on the right side of the deck and rewind it onto the takeup reel, then play it through and store it. The benefits are double: first, the tape is stored with a smooth pack and edges are protected and second, rewinding it before playing helps relax it, especially if it has been stored for a significant length of time.

The newest tapes like RMGI's stuff are better at packing well under fast wind conditions but the older tapes will wander from side to side like drunken sailors during a FF or RW.
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Old 09-19-2010, 06:54 AM
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Tails out

When I worked for a radio station that used the Schaefer Automation Machinery (SAM), all our tapes came in and were stored "tails out".

As BB said, the tapes are stored with a smooth pack as well as being somewhat loosened up when rewound onto the supply reel. The other advantage was that as soon as a tape was "played out", you just took it off the machine and put it back into the box.

Our SAM allowed you to put the fresh reel on the takeup side as BB mentioned and then rewind it onto the supply reel. You would then bring the tape through the head assembly and thread onto the takeup reel, then hit the "cue" button on the deck. The machine would "play" the tape until it heard the proper cue tone and then stop. At this point it was cued up and ready to be called by the sequencer.

I have a good collection of Century 21 programming tapes and they all came "tails out".
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Old 09-19-2010, 07:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Boyer View Post
older tapes will wander from side to side like drunken sailors during a FF or RW.
Thanks for clearing that up, I feel a bit silly now

Re tapes wandering on ff / rw, I was thinking it was because my machines were old and slightly out of whack. I did notice though on a couple of brand new tape I got hold of this didnt happen to the same extent. All makes sense now many thanks and for not raggin me
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Old 09-19-2010, 07:48 AM
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I have always found it interesting that while everyone says that I need to store reel tapes tails out (since all my tape decks record both sides of a tape, they are always tails out), but rewind VHS tapes after playing/recording.
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Old 09-19-2010, 08:03 AM
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i always leave hthe tape on the take up reel when i am done, it is good for old scotch tapes.
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Old 09-19-2010, 02:54 PM
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I should also point out that this terminology is only applicable to tapes that get played in one direction-such as 4 channel stereo, half track stereo, and full track mono.

The concept of "heads or tails" is irrelevant with your garden variety quarter track stereo tapes (i.e. has a Side A and Side B) that you might make on an RT-909, GX-646, or X-1000R. The "tail" end of Side A is the "head" end of Side B and vice versa.

Storing ALL tapes in a "played" condition IS good advice though.
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Old 09-19-2010, 04:01 PM
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Glad someone asked this question (and others answered!). Both of my machines -- A-6300 and X-1000R -- play in both directions, so I'm always "tails out" no matter what I do. Good. One less thing to think about...
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Old 09-20-2010, 07:02 AM
Bob Boyer Bob Boyer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crome View Post
Thanks for clearing that up, I feel a bit silly now

Re tapes wandering on ff / rw, I was thinking it was because my machines were old and slightly out of whack. I did notice though on a couple of brand new tape I got hold of this didnt happen to the same extent.
Nah. I've got a couple of really old Maxell UD somethin' or others I got at a thrift store a while back that don't even pack well while playing.

The edges aren't too out of whack, but boy, can you shift a chunk of the pack from side to side on the reel, it's so loose.
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  #10  
Old 09-20-2010, 04:18 PM
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Storing 2 track ( or mono, or any ONE directional ) tapes tails out is done to minimize print-through of the audio from one layer to the next. Otherwise you may hear a very slight sound just before the actual sound begins.

Like a reverse echo.

On 1/4 track tapes this impossible to do, so it's irrelevant.

Marc
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Old 09-21-2010, 07:02 AM
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Print-through will happen no matter how the tape is stored. (Tight tensions and high temperatures increase the amount of print.) Storing a 2-track or monaural tape tails out actually does not minimize print--it occurs just the same. But since the greatest amount of print occurs within a few hours, rewinding the tape to tail in for playback starts the print process in reverse and erases the original print signals so that the print effect from storage is reduced dramatically. That is the second main reason for storing tape tail out (the other being even tension throughout the wind after playing a tape from beginning to end.)

It is the paramagnetic particles and broken crystals that are responsible for taking a print signal. They are easily inluenced magnetically, but just as easily reversed once a tape is rewound.
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Old 09-21-2010, 11:36 AM
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Print through

Hey all. Haven't posted here in some time. Always stored my tapes after being rewound and always hear print through. Some tapes are worse than others. If you turn up the volume on a rewound tape you will hear the recording before it's supposed to start. This is print through, tapes will create print through regardless how you store them you just can't hear it if it's stored played (tail out). The magnetic pattern from the recording goes right through the backcoating and creates a replica of itself on the next layer of tape on the spool.
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Old 09-22-2010, 10:17 AM
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You CAN hear it if it's stored tail out. There is pre-echo and post-echo, and if a loud signal is recorded on a layer that lies close to a quiet passage, that signal will also transfer itself also. The point of storing tails out is that the print reverses itself rather quickly, and rewinding a tape for playback reduces the print produced in storage conditions because the printed signals are in different places on the tape after rewinding. The magentic patterns of print work differently on upper and lower layers due to the change in flux patterns.
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Old 09-22-2010, 10:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilhelm View Post
You CAN hear it if it's stored tail out. There is pre-echo and post-echo, and if a loud signal is recorded on a layer that lies close to a quiet passage, that signal will also transfer itself also. The point of storing tails out is that the print reverses itself rather quickly, and rewinding a tape for playback reduces the print produced in storage conditions because the printed signals are in different places on the tape after rewinding. The magentic patterns of print work differently on upper and lower layers due to the change in flux patterns.
Wilhelm,
I thank you for the knowledge you bring to the forum. I'm still a bit confused, though, about whether it would be helpful to store 4-track, bi-directional tapes tails-out. Will rewinding before playing also help eliminate print-through on these?
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Old 09-22-2010, 11:59 AM
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Yes. It would help for two reasons: 1) uniform tension through the tape wind (as long as the tape was played from end to end); and 2) a reduction of the effects of print-through when the tape is rewound for playback.

You cannot eliminate print, but you can reduce its effects by rewinding tape so that the print starts again in reverse, effectively erasing what was printed before. Print is caused by magnetic particles that are easily "coerced" (the root of "coercivity") to switch their magnetic orientation. Their susceptibility to low flux levels is due to a number of factors, most commonly lack of anisotropy (a fancy word for being "stumpy" so that their magnetic domains are not separated as in a long, thin bar) from processing, milling damage, or fracturing during production. It is easy to make them take up a signal from a magnetized tape layer above or below the one in which they are frozen in the binder. In a few hours they take a mirror image of the neighboring signals; and after a short time after rewinding, they lose their print signal to replace it with a new print signal from different neighboring layers. It is during the switchover that you get the lowest pre-echo or post-echo from print-through.
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Old 09-22-2010, 01:14 PM
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Can anyone tell me how to make the print-trough happen? Because I have never heard it on a tape with music, I want to try making it, though preferably without waiting 20 years after recording the tape.

I once tried to do this with a Maxell UR120 cassette, I recorded a 1kHz tone with record level set to maximum (so probably higher than +8dB), then rewound the tape and tried to play it before the sound was recorded. I managed to get something around -40dB, but that would not be enough to hear it if I recorded music on the tape (since I record music at 0dB).

So, how do I make worst case scenario for print trough? Also, which type of tape would be better - Maxell UR, TDK SA or a metal tape. Reel tapes are thicker so they probably have less print-trough, but I also have some triple play reel tape I can try this on.

I have heard pre-echo on a few records.
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Old 09-22-2010, 02:09 PM
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1) Use an early chrome tape or a TDK SA-X.
2) Record at a relatively high level, not necessarily into distortion.
3) Record a program that has a sudden, loud introduction that jolts an audience into attention.
4) Wait four or five hours. Keep the tape in a warm place to induce the magnetic transfer.
5) Listen to the pre-echo before the music is supposed to start.

Metal tape provides the greatest resistance to print. On vinyl the pre-echo is mechanical deformation of the groove walls that are supposed to be free of modulation but pick up a modulation pattern from the large excursions of later grooves due to heat transfer during the molding/pressing process. It is analogous to magnetic transfer on tape (another analogue medium).
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Old 09-22-2010, 02:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilhelm View Post
1) Use an early chrome tape or a TDK SA-X.
2) Record at a relatively high level, not necessarily into distortion.
3) Record a program that has a sudden, loud introduction that jolts an audience into attention.
4) Wait four or five hours. Keep the tape in a warm place to induce the magnetic transfer.
5) Listen to the pre-echo before the music is supposed to start.

Metal tape provides the greatest resistance to print. On vinyl the pre-echo is mechanical deformation of the groove walls that are supposed to be free of modulation but pick up a modulation pattern from the large excursions of later grooves due to heat transfer during the molding/pressing process. It is analogous to magnetic transfer on tape (another analogue medium).
Where do you guys get this technical know how from? The more I learn the less i realise I know
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Old 09-22-2010, 02:52 PM
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I dont suppose it helps while reading these posts at the same time as supping 15 year old scotch malt. Note to self: Do one or the other but not both as one gets confused lol
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Old 09-23-2010, 09:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilhelm View Post
Yes. It would help for two reasons: 1) uniform tension through the tape wind (as long as the tape was played from end to end); and 2) a reduction of the effects of print-through when the tape is rewound for playback.
I see a practical problem, though, with such quarter track stereo tapes that are recorded in both directions:

Let's say the tape is stored with side B leader out (i.e. side A "tail" out). When I want to play it, I rewind it so I can play side A first. This starts the "anti-print through" process as I play side A. OK.

Now I reverse the tape, playing side B. I'm done playing the tape but now side B's "tail" is out! Since I want to store the tape with a nice pack and with uniform wrap, I *don't* want to use rewind to get side A's "tail" is out again. I'd have to play side A a second time to accomplish this before putting the tape away! Extra unnecessary wear on the head and tape...

I admit I'm sometimes blind as a bat when I'm shopping at the store (what I'm looking for would bite me if it was a snake...) Am I missing something here??
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