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Author Topic: Speed up tape dubbing  (Read 571 times)
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dreadfulmirror
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« on: September 08, 2020, 02:04:09 PM »

As I only have the possibility to dub tapes live 1:1, I would like to ask if someone could give any advise to speed up the process?
Any chance to dub tapes faster or more tapes at the same time?

There are several tape decks for five or six tapes, but as far as I know they can also only copy tapes one by one.
And old duplicators also don't seem to be an appropriate solution ...
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WCN
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« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2020, 02:15:06 PM »

Dub in real time from a digital source to tape decks via the RCA outs/ins. You can chain several decks together by going from the Play Out RCA of one into the Rec In of the next one, though I wouldn't recommend more than 3 decks in a row or you will color the sound too much. This means 3 tapes at once with standard decks, which is pretty good. If you can score decks that record in both wells (Certain reasonably priced Tascam, Teac, Technics decks for example) you can do 6 at once, which is really quite speedy once you get going.

Just say NO to tape duplicators.
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Duncan
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« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2020, 11:55:02 PM »

If you can score decks that record in both wells (Certain reasonably priced Tascam, Teac, Technics decks for example) you can do 6 at once, which is really quite speedy once you get going.

The Teac I have gives noticeably duller and more muffled results in the 2nd well as opposed to the primary one when dubbing in tandem. Could be an issue with my machine of course but as far as I'm aware most players like this don't capture the same signal being fed into the recording inputs but rather the 2nd well records from the 1st. It's not without its uses but I'd advise against this method unless you're ok with a percentage of your batch being a different quality to the rest. I could be wrong though and would love if anyone has any further info on this.
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Theodore
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« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2020, 04:49:25 AM »

The only double deck i had was on an Aiwa hi-fi stereo system, so i have no experience. But i think that to be possible the 2nd to be fed by the 1st, then the 1st has to be 3-head, which i doubt ! Otherwise how ? If first has just a playback / recording head, then it is used just for recording, unable to 'read' and fed the second on the same time.

If it is to chain several decks, and any or all are 3-head, check you have the monitor output switch to source/input, not to tape. To avoid feeding one from other's tape.

I guess the best method is digital signal to mixer then from its outputs to several decks [?] . I have no idea about mixers. Anyone can recommend me a decent one with up to 4x2 RCA outputs able to route the input to them without signal / power loss / reduction ?

-

Better dont compromise quality to save time. Better you spend a couple months more to produce your product and be as it should be, or at least the best you could do. Than release it sooner and know it could be better, much better. Noone rush you.
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JLIAT
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« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2020, 01:14:10 PM »

A cassette deck with separate record / playback heads allows you to hear the recorded track, i.e. monitor the actual recording as you make it. I have a Sony (with dolby B / C /S - can be switched off). If you record from the playback monitor that will degrade the original- you get the noise produced by the tape etc. but you can monitor from the original signal which should be OK. As most decks have their own record levels you might just use a y splitter to feed a couple of decks...

I notice there are High Speed dubbing decks on ebay, twin cassette machines so maybe try out these...on ebay in the UK these are around 40 UKP...
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WCN
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« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2020, 01:24:17 PM »

as far as I'm aware most players like this don't capture the same signal being fed into the recording inputs but rather the 2nd well records from the 1st.

Very interesting. Never have considered this or noticed a such a correlation on the Tascam or Technics decks I've used. It would surprise me if it were the case to be honest, but I'll check closely soon, and try to find the block diagrams which might indicate signal routing within.

That said, in general when dubbing from multiple [used] tape decks in tandem, some variance in timbre between decks and their position in the chain is inherent. The goal is to keep it to a minimum of course, and using all the same models is the first place to start.
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FreakAnimalFinland
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« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2020, 08:11:36 AM »

I do not think it works like this - at least in most decks. If I understood correctly.
If meaning that in chain of decks tape 1 would have the original input signal, but instead of that same signal going thought output to 2nd deck, you'd get actually signal of the recorded tape itself? I doubt it.
It seems that it is actually pretty rare function to begin with, that one has option to even select tape recording level monitor display recorded signal level, instead of input signal level. I have had such decks only couple of times. That is very good function, though. To be able to monitor how loud signal actually gets dubbed to tape, instead of just monitoring input signal volume. How loud material ends up on tape, depends vastly on quality of tape.

Anyways, I have had up to 6 decks in chain. Including both, double decks that record both tapes same time and single decks. I have nowadays 3 deck chain. Modest differences on timbre appears never to be related on what number in the link they are, but only the quality of deck itself. Like now, One signal in, decks 1 and 3 gives pretty much perfect sound, deck 2, in middle of them, has notch darker sound. Not bad, not defect, but just all the crispiest high frequencies are not as sharp. It is loud and strong nevertheless. This quality of 2nd deck has no effect on signal going to 3rd deck. Of course, it is not straight line, but signal goes through something in deck I guess. But no audible difference where it could be noticed from dubbed tape. You'll rather notice quality of tapeheads and tape itself, than is there any difference in input signal.

There are available also signal splitter boxes. I used to have this for VHS purposes, but I recall it also had audio functions. It was box of 1-signal in, 7 cables out to recorders. So this is way to avoid chaining from deck to another, if you just have the booster&splitter professionally made for this exact purpose.

All one has to do, is tweak the input volumes to result same volume for each deck and I tend to proof check every tape I dub. Quick listen on both sides that sound quality and volume seems consistent. This way also any emerging problem will be noticed before it results defect dubs...

My experience shows that no matter how nice looking, brand new factory rack model stuff would be stuff like Tascam decks, they are shit. For dubbing purposes. Pretty much and 90's 2nd hand consumer level deck provides better sound than those new Tascam "studio decks".
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WhiteWarlock
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« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2020, 06:55:51 PM »


You can search & invest in used pro cassette duplicator...
Make sure you look for Stereo instead of any old Mono units...
Unless you don't really care & can get it super cheap from ebay...
3x60 minute tapes in 60 seconds or less...
« Last Edit: October 07, 2020, 07:00:00 PM by WhiteWarlock » Logged

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