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Re: [ARSCLIST] cassette crackle

Mr Biel,

I believe you have hit the nail on the head. I've looked back at all the recordings with constant crackle, they are all mono recordings, the clicking is always in the right channel. I have no information as to the equipment used to make the recordings, but everything you suggest matches so closely with what I'm experiencing, that I am confident that you are right.

Thanks also to Richard for his helpful suggestions for using declicking filters and to David Lennick for suggesting that I use only the Left channel.

The single channel seems like the easiest option, certainly in this instance it is the best option to take. (I've already made the transfers and returned the tapes.)

In future, is there anything that I can do at playback, to reduce or eliminate the problem - maybe a playback deck with a narrower head, or some other solution?

Michael Biel wrote:
David Lennick wrote:
Dumb question (for various reasons, I can't listen to the file at the moment). Were these cassettes all recorded on small mono portable machines? Tapes made on these almost always have a crackly or noisy right channel when played back on good decks and in stereo. The solution here is simply to play only the left channel.

Mike Hirst wrote:
I have no information as to what equipment was used. However, it is my suspicion that small mono machines were used.

Maybe this proves that there is no such thing as a dumb question. When we read that you were playing back the tapes on a stereo machine everyone seems to have assumed that the recordings were stereo. Now that we know they are not, what you are hearing is what is on the guard band between the two mono tracks. Remember that the right channel is the one closer to the center. The left is at the edge. There is a possibility that the mono track record head is slightly narrower than the width used by the split-track stereo head you are playing the tape on. If the mono recorder the tape was made on was using either DC erase or just a magnet to erase the tape -- two techniques often used on cheap portables -- there WILL be crackle on parts of the tape that passed the erase head but did not pass the record head. Often the erase head track is slightly wider than the record head width, or else the record head height was slightly off and it was recording slightly beyond the edge of the tape and not close enough to the center.
Mike Biel mbiel@xxxxxxxxx

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