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  1. #1
    Member GRAYWOLF's Avatar
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    Old School Mastering

    Was mastering done on 8-track reels back in the day?

    Will these only play on 8-track players, or will 4-track players work?

  2. #2
    Senior Member SC358's Avatar
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    You might be able to play an 8 track tape on a 4 track player - but how would you know if there was something else on the other track that you can't play or what if the track your on has nothing but only on the other tracks?

    I know they went as far as 16 & 24 tracks on a 2 inch wide tape.

    Am I telling my age again ?
    SC358
    Relationships are based on compromises - behavior accepted is behavior repeated.

  3. #3
    Member GRAYWOLF's Avatar
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    Are you saying that the tapes are all the same format (or whatever the correct term is) but you can only hear the maximum # of tracks the player will play? like a 16 track player will play 2, 4, 8 and 16 track tapes and even 24 track but you will only hear 16.

    Really what I am trying to do is take some old masters and record them to CD (I know someone that owns the original masters). I do not know the standard for the old masters that were used to make commercial LPs, 8-track cassettes and cassette tapes.

  4. #4
    Senior Member SC358's Avatar
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    Quote
    Quote: GRAYWOLF
    Are you saying that the tapes are all the same format (or whatever the correct term is) but you can only hear the maximum # of tracks the player will play? like a 16 track player will play 2, 4, 8 and 16 track tapes and even 24 track but you will only hear 16.
    I've worked with 35mm & 16mm magnetic tracks for films. I never really worked directly sound/audio suites but was aware of their equipment. In regards to your question, yes whatever the player is, it will playback only those tracks that they are aligned to. There is no way to physically switch the playback head on track 2 to move to track 5 on a tape.

    My guess is that only top end equipment could swap out record head stack for another, (i.e. 8 tracks and 24 tracks) for a particular session, naturally this is costly. With fixed heads - it is what it is .

    Hope this helps...
    SC358
    Relationships are based on compromises - behavior accepted is behavior repeated.

  5. #5
    You can play back any tape on any machine as long as two things are the same. 1) The playback machine must run at the same speed as the original used to make the recordings. 2) The playback machine must except the same reel (same hub and same tape width). I just tried with an old master recorded on a 15ips 1/2" Fostex E16 playing back on a a TEAC 88 (also 15ips 1/2"). All the tracks are heard, but the adjacent tracks have no sonic separation (L/R), nor can they be remixed. In a sense they are now joined at the hip.
    What 's happening is that the space of 2 tracks on the original 16-track master occupies the space of only one track on an 8-track (1/32"). Tracks 1 and 2 of the original 16 now appear on my board as track one, already mixed together by the playback head. The 8-track, in other words divides the 1/2" tape into 8 strips 1/16" inch wide. The 16 track divides the same tape into 16 strips 1/32" wide, but both read the whole tape at once. Otari, Sony, and a few others all made 48-track decks, and even 64-trackers. The OTR-48 was prettymuch the run-of-the-mill industry standard. I still have one in the basement somewhere making the house tilt to one side. I could balance it out by putting a large car engine on the other side, I guess.
    Mastering was done sometimes with a multitrack deck as an intermediary to (debatably) add warmth, but I think it just added noise. They would record the left channel mix on all of tracks 1-12 of a 24- track, and the right channel mix on all 13-24. Then mix that whole thing down with various eq changes to the half-track mastering deck. That gave them 12 spaciously eq'ed lefts and 12 rights.
    Last edited by penniesfromheaven; 13th Jul 2006 at 19:09.
    'I think my intimate relationship with electronics started as a child when I was playing with a screwdriver and a wall plug, Doc, and...'

  6. #6

    16 track and 24 track

    I have heard of engineers actually mixing a 16 track 2 inch tape on a 24 track 2 inch machine. There are so few 16 tracks out there. Do you know the breakdown of how the tracks would line up and which ones are joined?

  7. #7
    Track 1 L/R becomes tracks 1 (L) and 2 (R), track 2 becomes 3 and 4, track 3 becomes tracks 5 and 6, etc.
    'I think my intimate relationship with electronics started as a child when I was playing with a screwdriver and a wall plug, Doc, and...'

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