your advice is, as ever, well informed sagely and intelligent. I suspect that I'm not going to
find a definitives answer here, but for your interest, and for anyone else who may be
interested, I've posted a 10sec (wav) clip of the kind of crackle I'm hearing. this sort of
thing will continue through the full length of the recording and can be heard when the tape is
played back using multiple recorders, all of which have been tested using other tapes, which
exhibit no such problems.
filesize= 1392640 byte(s)
riffsize= 1764036 byte(s)
format = Straight-PCM
channel = 2
depth = 16 bit(s)
blk.size= 4 byte(s)
smp.rate= 44100 Hz
samples = 441000
you will note from the clip that the crackle can only be heard in the rh channel. this is
typical of the phenomenon, but it can sometimes be heard in both channels (with a bias towards
the rh ch).
I have experimented with some of the de-crackle filters I use when working with disc transfers
and as Richard suggests, the crackle can be removed, I am however curious as to where the
crackle comes from.
Richard L. Hess wrote:
Tom Fine has already posted a number of good explanations.
There are, however, less-common explanations that you may wish to be aware of, just in case.
(1) If there is a mismatch between the record machine record and erase head track position,
perturbations in the record bias and/or erase MAY print to a tape like this. DC-(i.e.
permanent magnet) erase may also cause something like this, but it is usually more of a
"burbling" or what is sometimes called "rocks".
(2) Static electricity and PLAYBACK machine "glitches" CAN print to a tape without the
recorder being in record mode. It's uncommon (thankfully), but it can happen. Static can be
generated by fast winding in a very dry environment, and depends on cassette materials
including the shell and slip sheets. This is more prevalent with reels than cassettes.
This clicks can usually be removed (depending on their source) by a declick/decrackle plug-in
for your favourite DAW. The Magix restoration tools version of this is the best I've yet
owned, but I haven't owned either DC7 nor the high-end Algorithmix version.
At 08:53 AM 2008-09-18, Mike Hirst
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?
Richard L. Hess email: richard@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Aurora, Ontario, Canada (905) 713 6733 1-877-TAPE-FIX
Detailed contact information: http://www.richardhess.com/tape/contact.htm
Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes.