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Re: [ARSCLIST] cassette crackle
It seems to be an artifact of the record or dub process, does it not?
The tape does not display this crackle when it has NOT been recorded, or
to state better, if it has been recorded on one side but not the other,
the crackle is not present on the un-recorded portion.
If the problem was a result of poor storage it would manifest in playing
back both recorded and unrecorded portions of the tape, yes?
David Weiner wrote:
If the tapes were stored in the same place, it could be that they were near
a magnetic source that imprinted the crackle on all of them - I had some
cassettes stored for years near a power source and they all eventually had
the same "bup" sound intermittently as they unspooled.
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
[mailto:ARSCLIST@xxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Mike Hirst
Sent: Thursday, September 18, 2008 10:17 AM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] cassette crackle
The tapes have been recorded by many different people at different
locations using different equipment. The crackle seems to follow no set
pattern, other than if it is evident on one side of the tape it'll
usually be found on the other. Although if the tape has been recorded
one side only, there is no crackle on the unrecorded section of tape.
I know that some of the tapes I am working with have been copied from
other sources, both open reel and cassette and at least one of the
machines used to copy the tapes has a problem which results in
intermittent drop out on the rh channel. This could be a loose cable,
faulty mic, or an open reel tape recorded using a four track stereo
recorder, but played back using a two track mono deck. I have no way of
I suspect that the crackle is the result of either poor quality
recording or poor quality tape to tape transfer. The crackle looks the
same on the spectral frequency display. I can't rule out the possibility
that there could be some common factor in the equipment used to record
or copy the tapes. (They are all currently held as part of the same
Tom Fine wrote:
Were these tapes all recorded by the same person on the same system? If
so, it's probably something intermitent (sp?) in the original recording
chain -- a dirty connector or the like. If they are off-air recordings
from the radio, any number of atmospheric and in-house electrical things
can cause crackles. If they are, for instance, Grateful Dead concert
recordings made off a common buss from the mixing console or even from a
shared mic array, anything from connector-itis to electrical spikes to
things happening on-stage can cause crackles. And of course, if they are
from LPs or other grooved disks, that could just be surface problems.
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message ----- From: "Mike Hirst"
Sent: Thursday, September 18, 2008 8:53 AM
Subject: [ARSCLIST] cassette crackle
Here's a thing that's been confusing me for some time. I have spent
the past six months working my way through a large number of cassette
tapes mostly recorded between 1985 and 1995. every now and again I
notice light, but significant crackling. This is often more noticeable
in the right channel, but not exclusively so. On some recordings this
is louder, on most recordings this is not evident at all. This is not
restricted to any one brand of cassette, nor is it associated with any
one playback machine and/or soundcard. Can anyone explain this for me?
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