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Author Topic: Splicing Tape  (Read 7732 times)

Offline astrotoy

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Splicing Tape
« on: January 27, 2009, 02:27:31 PM »
I am about to start making copies of some of my LP's on my about to receive ATR-700. They will be at 15ips and 2 track. I am planning to use 3600' tape. Here is the question. Many of the records are 35 to 40 minutes long. The 3600' tape is 48 minutes long. So Ihave an extra 10 minutes or so that is not being used. If I splice together 4 sections of the extra tape, I would have enough for a 40-45 minute record. There would be three splices max. Also for records that are slightly longer than 48 minutes, I could splice a couple of minutes onto the reel and it should still fit. I currently have a pretty primitive splicing set up. A wooden block, razor blade and splicing tape that I bought from Teresa who is on the Tape Trails discussion on Audio Asylum. Any suggestions or advice on splicing or upgrading to a better splicing kit.  BTW, I notice that quite a few of the TP tapes have a lot of unused tape between the end of the music and the white leader. I would think that could also be used to create a recording tape of SM468. There would be more splices to make up a 30 min tape, since the uused tape is not extremely long. Thanks, Larry
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Offline ironbut

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Re: Splicing Tape
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2009, 03:09:04 PM »
Looks like you made up your mind ( I just replied to your other post ha-ha). There's no reason you couldn't do that. You might just get yourself some 7" reels and a couple of 10.5", put the extra on the 7 inchers until you have enough to do a whole tape, then record each tape without splices and trim the excess and splice it together between cuts. You can make some very quiet splices (using the slanted cutting slot) and try it that way, but theres no splice that's as quiet as no splice. With the thinner tape, I'd give yourself plenty of leader (to head off any stretching that could occur during threading>start/stop ) and just do it like Paul and Michael do with our TP tapes. ( Sometimes I wonder if someone just googling tapes came across one of our threads if they might mistake a sentence like that last bit and think, "Hmm, I didn't know they made tape out of toilet paper?") That would put any extra tape you have to good use.
Getting really quiet splices takes practice and I don't honestly think that the splicing block quality has a whole lot to do with it. As long as it holds the tape securely it's doing it's job. Technique and a sharp razor is more important than anything else.
I've been meaning to ask about why there's so much extra tape on the last TP issues. Until we get an answer, I wouldn't bother using it for something else.
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Offline docb

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Re: Splicing Tape
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2009, 03:55:33 PM »
A certain amount is left at the end of the tape to create a pad, as you suggest, to keep from stretching any program material when rewinding to play the tape. I'm not at the studio these days, but I do know that for a while the guys were cutting a LOT of tape off of some of the shorter albums, and we were ending up with a huge surplus of pieces of tape that were too short for albums. It may be that they have decided to leave the tape alone on some of the longer albums.

Speaking of that excess tape, we were discussing selling it to subscribers who wouldn't mind a 2500' or so pancake with maybe two or three splices. Would there be any interest?
Dan "Doc B." Schmalle
President for Life, Bottlehead Corp.
Managing Director - retired, The Tape Project

Offline jcmusic

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Re: Splicing Tape
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2009, 04:08:02 PM »
I have a question while we are on this subject. I noticed on my (Robert Cray) tape that after I rewind it back to the white leader, and push play the music begins right then and there. What's the deal? Did someone goof!!! There should have been lots more tape between the leader and when the music starts.
After the music is finished I bet there is 10 min. of blank tape!!! Doc what do you think?

Jay
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Offline Ben

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Re: Splicing Tape
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2009, 04:44:34 PM »
If we send in the extra tape, can we get a free cut put on it?
I like the long leader for rewinds ... rewind until I see white, then
hit stop. My only problem with the TP tapes is I keep forgetting to change
the heads from 4 to 2 track.
 
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Offline astrotoy

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Re: Splicing Tape
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2009, 05:31:02 PM »
Doc, I'd be interested in getting 2500' reels with two or three splices. I have several albums that I want to tape that are around 30 min and buying new tape with reels is on the order of $40 per reel for 2500' 1.5mil. Thanks, Larry
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Offline astrotoy

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Re: Splicing Tape
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2009, 05:33:56 PM »
Steve, thanks for the ideas. I'll try to improve my splicing techniques. Practice, practice. I also have an old bulk eraser that I could use after doing the splices. That may also help quiet the splices. Right?  Larry
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Offline ironbut

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Re: Splicing Tape
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2009, 06:32:55 PM »
I don't know about the bulk eraser since your machine will run the erase head before anything else happens on the tape. It will come in handy if you want to re-record over what was on the tape the first time.
Getting practice splicing tape is what it takes alright. When I worked at a college radio station for a little while (graveyard shift,.. talk about boring!) I used to cross paths with the guy that edited the promo spots on tape. You couldn't find his splices if you knew right where they were but outside of that, I wouldn't have trusted him to use a wheelbarrow.
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Offline High and Outside

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Re: Splicing Tape
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2009, 11:06:23 AM »
I have a question while we are on this subject. I noticed on my (Robert Cray) tape that after I rewind it back to the white leader, and push play the music begins right then and there. What's the deal? Did someone goof!!! There should have been lots more tape between the leader and when the music starts.
After the music is finished I bet there is 10 min. of blank tape!!! Doc what do you think?

Jay

Jay,
You've now posted twice on this, and I am still mystified as to why you think it's a problem. What's wrong with having the music start right after the leader? That's what's supposed to happen.

In case anyone isn't clear on this, here's how we approach leadering your tapes: We give you a head leader so you can locate the beginning of program, and we put a pad of blank tape before the head leader, like Doc said above. That's so that if you overshoot the leader when winding back to the front it won't come off the machine and you won't have to rethread it. It's just a courtesy, given our assumption that you will always be storing your tapes tails out and rewinding before play. (You will, wont you? And storing them flatwound, too?)

We leader at the end so you know program is over, then we put a pad of blank after that just for a little extra protection. If something slips when you've just loaded the machine and started to fast wind back, the worst that can happen is stretching a little of the blank pad; your recorded portion is safe.

Our normal procedures would leave between a second and four seconds between the leaders and program material.
Paul Stubblebine
Managing Director, The TapeProject

Offline jcmusic

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Re: Splicing Tape
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2009, 11:38:53 AM »
I have a question while we are on this subject. I noticed on my (Robert Cray) tape that after I rewind it back to the white leader, and push play the music begins right then and there. What's the deal? Did someone goof!!! There should have been lots more tape between the leader and when the music starts.
After the music is finished I bet there is 10 min. of blank tape!!! Doc what do you think?

Jay

Jay,
You've now posted twice on this, and I am still mystified as to why you think it's a problem. What's wrong with having the music start right after the leader? That's what's supposed to happen.

In case anyone isn't clear on this, here's how we approach leadering your tapes: We give you a head leader so you can locate the beginning of program, and we put a pad of blank tape before the head leader, like Doc said above. That's so that if you overshoot the leader when winding back to the front it won't come off the machine and you won't have to rethread it. It's just a courtesy, given our assumption that you will always be storing your tapes tails out and rewinding before play. (You will, wont you? And storing them flatwound, too?)

We leader at the end so you know program is over, then we put a pad of blank after that just for a little extra protection. If something slips when you've just loaded the machine and started to fast wind back, the worst that can happen is stretching a little of the blank pad; your recorded portion is safe.

Our normal procedures would leave between a second and four seconds between the leaders and program material.
Paul,
I didn't mean it to sound like there is something terrible going on here, sorry if that is the impression I left. I just noticed that about this tape, my other two tapes are not like that. There is alot more tape between the leader and where the music begins. You answered my other concern with the music portion of my tape will be safe from stretching, that was the real worry I had. Yes I do store my tapes tails out and rewind before each play, I am not sure what you mean by flatwound however. Can you explain?

Jay
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Offline docb

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Re: Splicing Tape
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2009, 12:47:12 PM »
Storing tape flatwound means that the tape was wound with a flat pack, that is, the sides of the tape pack are very flat and level. The best way to achieve this is to always play the off at slow speed onto the reel rather than fast winding.

I find that I prefer the music to start right after the leader rather than several seconds in. It makes for less jogging to get the tape cued, which is probably going to reduce wear and tear on both the tape and the machine in the long run. For occasional play I suppose it doesn't really matter how much blank tape is ahead of the first note, but for a high use tape like our demo reels it really helps to make a demo predictable if the start of program material is easy to cue.
Dan "Doc B." Schmalle
President for Life, Bottlehead Corp.
Managing Director - retired, The Tape Project

Offline jcmusic

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Re: Splicing Tape
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2009, 01:27:55 PM »
Ok Doc thanks for the explaination, I always play my tapes all the way through. I never use Rewind or FF.  Sorry for the misunderstanding.

Jay
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Offline Kenkirk

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Re: Splicing Tape
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2009, 02:26:16 PM »

[/quote]


In case anyone isn't clear on this, here's how we approach leadering your tapes: We give you a head leader so you can locate the beginning of program, and we put a pad of blank tape before the head leader, like Doc said above. That's so that if you overshoot the leader when winding back to the front it won't come off the machine and you won't have to rethread it. It's just a courtesy, given our assumption that you will always be storing your tapes tails out and rewinding before play. (You will, wont you? And storing them flatwound, too?)

We leader at the end so you know program is over, then we put a pad of blank after that just for a little extra protection. If something slips when you've just loaded the machine and started to fast wind back, the worst that can happen is stretching a little of the blank pad; your recorded portion is safe.

Our normal procedures would leave between a second and four seconds between the leaders and program material.
[/quote]

And I appreciate the hell out of this effort! When I received my first tape I was puzzled by this technique. Then after rewinding a few times and learning to watch for the leader, then hit stop, I realized the genius of leaving the nice pad of tape at the beginning. First class effort.... Many thanks!

Ken
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Offline astrotoy

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Re: Splicing Tape
« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2009, 03:14:36 PM »
I echo Ken's comments. Great customer oriented design. As long as I push the stop button when I see the white leader tape, it always stops before I have to rethread. The only time I have problems is after a glass of cognac when I am rewinding to start side B. I'm not quite so quick on the stop button. And then rethreading is also more of a challenge. :-)  Larry
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Offline ironbut

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Re: Splicing Tape
« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2009, 03:16:57 PM »
I'm with you on that one Ken. The older I get, the more I appreciate stuff like that. (I keep wondering when they're going to enlarge street signs to accommodate us aging boomers!) To add a little practical fact, I keep meaning to do just that with my old tapes (splicing in a "warning track" of leader, then a nice amount of regular tape) but I'm just too lazy and just add 2-3 turns of leader. I have the extra tape laying so and it only means a couple of extra splices but it is a little extra work so it's not like it isn't extra trouble to do it this way.
 Paul and Romo,..thanks for taking that extra effort. I know all these little things really add up after a while (especially when you're talking hundreds of tapes per issue, I think we're talking about 600 extra splices or so), and if you've ever wondered if the subscribers take this sort of thing for granted, I don't!
steve koto
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