SH Spotlight How do I fix a damaged analog master tape without digital step? Jethro Tull Aqualung example

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Steve Hoffman, Jul 21, 2022.

  1. jfeldt

    jfeldt Forum Resident

    SF, CA, USA
    Thanks for sharing this story Steve! I would be super scared of making the cut myself. Then I imagine you with a four second piece of tape on your hands, 60 inches if it was 15 IPS, and imagining that tape wanting to curl and bend around like a snake. Steve Hoffman - The Tape Charmer
    WhatDoIKnow and 2.1Channels like this.
  2. President_dudley

    President_dudley Forum Resident

    thank you, mr hoffman, for this insightful glimpse behind the curtain

    now, if i may ask: how do you mend a broken heart?
    FlorentinePogen likes this.
  3. mertoo

    mertoo Forum Resident

  4. djwkyoto

    djwkyoto Forum Resident

    Now this here is a little different in that multitrack tape is being edited - as opposed to the 2-track-mixmasters in Steve Hoffman's example - but anybody who wants to watch how analog tape is being cut and spliced together to combine two different takes of one song into one "master take", I can highly recommend watching Steve Albini do it during a recording session:

    @Steve Hoffman, I would think the technique you use is roughly the same? Find the right spots in the tape by slowly moving it across the playback head, mark it, then cut and splice back together? Or is it different? Thanks for these insights. :)
  5. segue

    segue Señor Member

    Thanks so much for this thread! Still one of my favorite albums of all time and the Live tour was just phenomenal Performance wise and sound quality.
  6. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    Ian didn't give a darn, the tapes weren't going back to him, they went to the label. The last person who used them, back in the day, before Ian stored them in his garage for 10 years, wasn't gentle.
  7. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    It's not roughly the same, it's exactly the same, except harder!
  8. Joe Stark

    Joe Stark "Sad wanker" - Michael Fremer

    Salt Lake City
    Thanks for doing these, really interesting
    longdist01 likes this.
  9. Olias of Sunhill

    Olias of Sunhill Forum Resident

    Jim Creek, CO, USA
    Fascinating. Would say that attitude was typical of artists and labels at that time? Treating them like holy grails seems like a somewhat recent thing.
  10. paulisme

    paulisme I’m being sarcastic

    Charleston SC
    As a software engineer who relies heavily on Ctrl-Z, the thought of cutting a 50-year-old tape makes me feel nauseous :)
  11. TheRunoutMatrix

    TheRunoutMatrix ∴Sleep like a pillow∴

    I care greatly. Reading anything like this is pure gold to me. Being able to read the occasional post you make about anything related to recording/mastering/cutting is truly great, and having the ability to ask follow-up questions, if need be, is almost over-the-top fantastic. Thanks again for taking the time.
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2022
  12. SkeletonPete

    SkeletonPete Forum Resident

    Thanks for this post Steve. It's this kind of information that consistently brings me back to the discussion board.
  13. cs2003

    cs2003 Forum Resident

    This is absolutely alarming to read !
    You would hope that master tapes and original mix tapes would be properly looked after but I've read so many stories over the years of session tapes being rescued from skips and dumpsters.
  14. PooreBoy

    PooreBoy Forum Resident

    Lake City, TN
    This post is one of the reasons I return almost daily to this forum.
    Steve, you should start a series titled “Adventures In Audio Mastering/Remastering”.
  15. 420JJJazz666

    420JJJazz666 People Funny Boy

    Steve, these posts are really intriguing and informative.
    Almost like an interactive Tape Op article!!
    longdist01 likes this.
  16. MrEWhite

    MrEWhite Forum Resident

    United States
    I hear it too, oh no, gotta throw it out now! :D
  17. hvbias

    hvbias Midrange magic

    NorCal CanJam! (Headfest :))

  18. Paul Gase

    Paul Gase Everything is cheaper than it looks.

    Thanks for sharing! Preservation of both art and craft on display.
    longdist01 likes this.
  19. BuyMeVinyl

    BuyMeVinyl Forum Resident

    London, UK
    Super interesting stuff. Thanks for sharing it
    longdist01 likes this.
  20. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    That’s not creepy.
  21. tootull

    tootull too many too

    Ian Anderson thinking ??? Where is Aqualung? Mailed that.
  22. GerryO

    GerryO Forum Resident

    Bodega Bay, CA
    I love digital editing, with the combined abilities to see, hear and repair defects, though physical tape damage is obvious too, but so impossible to fix, substitute sources aside...

    Whatever sounds best and cannot be heard!?!
  23. Keith V

    Keith V Forum Resident

    Secaucus, NJ
    Not me. I love this stuff. I meant the “thank you”.
    abzach and Bern like this.
  24. mBen989

    mBen989 Forum Resident

    Scranton, PA
    Mr. Hoffman, didn't you have any issue with "Locomotive Breath" as well?
  25. TonyCzar

    TonyCzar Forum Resident

    PhIladelphia, PA
    Audio nerd campfire stories.
    action pact and SkeletonPete like this.

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