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Reel to Reel How To?
Posted by: chopper
Date: September 11, 2014 03:39PM
I found and old audio reel to reel tape that I would like to export to digital.

I also have an old reel to reel which I am told works.

I have no idea how to do this. Any help here?

I moved the reel to reel from the closet, it is a total tank and must weigh 65 pounds or more.





Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/11/2014 03:39PM by chopper.
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Re: Reel to Reel How To?
Posted by: clay
Date: September 11, 2014 03:44PM
1/4" plug from headphone out on reel to reel to mixer, and from mixer into computer.
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Re: Reel to Reel How To?
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: September 11, 2014 03:49PM
Oh.. My... God .... (panting)..... Reel to Reel... oooh.... (swoons).

Ok, I'm better now.

What clay said. You'll have to adjust the mixer levels to get a good line in signal into your computer and avoid clipping. watch your VU meters...

The A-D quality may not be the best in a vanilla 'sound card'. There are much better technologies out there, but at least you can give it a shot with the technology you have.
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Re: Reel to Reel How To?
Posted by: Buck
Date: September 11, 2014 03:54PM
Wow. It looks like the one I used to have.
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Re: Reel to Reel How To?
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: September 11, 2014 03:55PM
And if you don't have the mixer, just playing into a microphone. It will be in mono and not high quality, but works.



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Re: Reel to Reel How To?
Posted by: colonel panic
Date: September 11, 2014 04:01PM
Should be either 1/4" or XLR outputs on the back of the tape machine. Take those outputs into the mixer, then mixer main outputs into your computer. Ideally you should use an USB or FireWire audio interface to go into the computer, but you could also go from the mixer to the mini audio input on your mac. Clean the heads on the tape machine before you start with some 99% pure isopropyl alcohol and qtips. Be careful with the tape as it is probably old and fragile.



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Re: Reel to Reel How To?
Posted by: davester
Date: September 11, 2014 04:10PM
I'd try using the line outs (probably on the back or side) into an A/D converter like the Griffin iMic rather than using the headphone jack. That way you have one less source of distortion (the probably low-specced headphone amp) to pass the sound through. The VU meters on the deck are irrelevant since you're playing, not recording.



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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/11/2014 04:11PM by davester.
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Re: Reel to Reel How To?
Posted by: Catzilla
Date: September 11, 2014 04:13PM
You might want to turn that reel around...
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Re: Reel to Reel How To?
Posted by: deckeda
Date: September 11, 2014 04:43PM
and watch a video or two on YouTube for the X 360D

"works" -- turns on

That external mixer isn't needed. Line out RCA jacks to computer's stereo 1/8" mic/line input. Or the headphone jack if the line out's no good. The X 360D also has DIN for the line-level but you'd need to get a different adapter.

Don't worry about using a better ADC from what an audio interface can offer until you determine how well it plays back the tape (assuming the tape is decent to begin with.)
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Re: Reel to Reel How To?
Posted by: WHiiP
Date: September 11, 2014 05:28PM
If the Reel really isn't working it is probably because the rubber belts that make everything turn are "dead."

Google for the belts and buy new ones. Simple to figure out once the insides are exposed, but you can probably find a diagram on google too.



Bill
Flagler Beach, FL 32136

Carpe Vino!

Fermentation may have been a greater discovery than fire.
— David Rains Wallace
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Re: Reel to Reel How To?
Posted by: chopper
Date: September 11, 2014 05:48PM
Hi

Thanks. I'll look at YT. I have never in my life used a reel to reel and have no idea what goes where in terms of the tape. It has sides?

I assume the tape goes on the left and feeds through to the other side?
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Re: Reel to Reel How To?
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: September 11, 2014 06:18PM
There are no XLR jacks on that machine.

Yes, left to right.

Put the machine in play and the take reel will spin without any tape; you'll just have to lift the the tape end arm on the right.

If the belts haven't disintegrated by now, they'll certainly have taken a set and affect wow/flutter.

Or, they could have been replaced already.

I think all the I/O stuff is on the left side?






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Re: Reel to Reel How To?
Posted by: artie67
Date: September 11, 2014 07:45PM
chopper,
I think that model has three motors and not belts. I have a GX220D that is older and has three motors. I would pop the back off and gently vac out the cobwebs and try not to touch any wiring.
You can usually find the info on your machine on the web.
As for software, old Toast versions 6-9 with spin doctor are simple and work well.
Take a que tips and rubbing alcohol and clean all the "pathway" that the tape will go. Including the heads. The head cover will lift off, look for screws.
Add some headphones and play a tape.
Note: the counter will have a rubber belt and will not work. It's not really need with modern software.
Keep us posted on the results.
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Re: Reel to Reel How To?
Posted by: JoeM
Date: September 11, 2014 08:22PM
How old is the tape? You may need to bake it first to prevent large amounts of shedding and oxide caking up on your heads, capstan, pinch roller and guides. The tape should have been stored tails out. If it hasn't and you find you can play it you may find it has print through. If you don't bake it and decide you want to gamble and try to play it, see if it has a slow rewind or packing speed. If so, first put the tape on the right take up reel, thread properly ( flip it over from what it is now) and rewind very slowly. If you see a lot of oxide on guides, heads and rollers stop. If it sticks or snaps stop (obviously) clean all parts that contact the tape with 99% isopropyl alcohol except the rubber on the capstan and pinch roller which should be cleaned with a proper rubber cleaner. ( you can use alcohol in a pinch but it will ruin the rubber if done continually).

There's plenty of info on the web that you can google for what I mentioned. Good luck!



JoeM
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Re: Reel to Reel How To?
Posted by: deckeda
Date: September 11, 2014 08:57PM
Quote
chopper
Hi

Thanks. I'll look at YT. I have never in my life used a reel to reel and have no idea what goes where in terms of the tape. It has sides?

I assume the tape goes on the left and feeds through to the other side?

Yes and yes.

The tape was surely loaded onto its reel correctly ... there's a shiny side (facing down) and the oxidized side (facing up toward the heads). If from that photo you just flip the reel such that the supply reel (left) has the tape "under" the reel when fed through ... eh just watch YouTube!
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Re: Reel to Reel How To?
Posted by: deckeda
Date: September 11, 2014 08:59PM
I have a 7 1/2ips stereo machine and a 3 3/4ips / 7 1/2ips mono machine here if you get desperate for the transfer.
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Re: Reel to Reel How To?
Posted by: August West
Date: September 11, 2014 09:52PM
JoeM is the reel deal.



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Re: Reel to Reel How To?
Posted by: Joey Cupcakes
Date: September 11, 2014 10:23PM
Forget the headphone jack advice (no disrespect intended but it's just wrong, it may "work" but not the best quality this machine is.)

There will be RCA line outputs on the back of this machine. Either adapt those to your computer's mic/line 1/8" input jack (a standard iPod-to-home stereo receiver will do fine) and adjust the input volume on your computer's sound control panel, or-

Send the outputs to 2 channels of that mixer in the picture (be sure to adjust the pan pots full left and right) and send THAT output into your computer (this will get you a finer degree of control over the input level)

and record in whatever audio program you've got on your computer.
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Re: Reel to Reel How To?
Posted by: tenders
Date: September 11, 2014 11:02PM
Quote
deckeda
I have a 7 1/2ips stereo machine and a 3 3/4ips / 7 1/2ips mono machine here if you get desperate for the transfer.

I have a stereo machine too, did this a couple of years ago, happy to do again (Westchester, NY).
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Re: Reel to Reel How To?
Posted by: WHiiP
Date: September 12, 2014 05:26AM
Audacity is a free Audio program, if you need one.



Bill
Flagler Beach, FL 32136

Carpe Vino!

Fermentation may have been a greater discovery than fire.
— David Rains Wallace
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Re: Reel to Reel How To?
Posted by: mrlynn
Date: September 12, 2014 06:46AM
Re JoeM and baking the tape: As I recall, needed for Ampex tape from the '80s, where the binder turns gooey; not needed for other tape. But there you need to worry about oxide flaking off and tape breaking, especially fast-forwarding/rewinding.

Best to have someone look at the playback heads, which could be worn to the point where they don't contact the tape properly.

/Mr Lynn



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Re: Reel to Reel How To?
Posted by: decay
Date: September 12, 2014 09:42AM
I have a long, interesting R2R story missing some details, but I'll try to summarize it.

An older friend of mine is from the NY area. When the Beatles were popular, he was playing in a band that covered their songs.

A friend of HIS worked in a studio or pressing plant - not sure which.

He borrowed a test pressing or acetate and they dumped it to R2R tape. It was a Beatles album.

We talked about it a couple years ago. He still has the tape and R2R machine. He loaned both to me and I captured the tape for him and burned a CDR.

It's one of the Glyn Johns Get Back sessions.
[www.beatlesource.com]

smiling smiley



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Re: Reel to Reel How To?
Posted by: JoeM
Date: September 12, 2014 02:14PM
Quote
mrlynn
Re JoeM and baking the tape: As I recall, needed for Ampex tape from the '80s, where the binder turns gooey; not needed for other tape. /Mr Lynn

Actually no. While most pro tapes affected with sticky-shed syndrome come from the 70's and 80's and are Ampex, other manufacturers tapes such as 3M, Sony and Agfa experienced the problem as well. I had a 7 1/2" reel of 1/4 inch consumer tape from 1957 that exhibited the gooey shedding. Also there are various opinions regarding "baking' vs. changing the environment to lower the humidity.

Here's some info: [en.wikipedia.org]

Again, there's plenty of info on the topic on the interwebs. And while some problems appear similar, sticky-shed syndrome is only one of the problems reel to reel tape might exhibit.



JoeM
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Re: Reel to Reel How To?
Posted by: decay
Date: September 12, 2014 02:39PM
[www.hi-fiworld.co.uk]

In most cases the original tapes were used but 'Please Please Me' was starting to shed oxide so a new analogue ‘transfer master’ had to be made for safety’s sake. A new tape was also made to compile the two 'Magical Mystery Tour' EPs and Mono Masters, because no LP masters for these titles existed. Magical Mystery Tour has only appeared on CD as an album in 2009, and Mono Masters was also created in 2009 for the mono CD box set; neither has been on vinyl before in this format.

From these tapes and the originals, audio from the A80 was run through the mixing desk you can see in our studio shots. Equalisation was applied in real-time as the tapes ran, as done in the past. The signal was then cut to an acetate; Sean said they had not heard a metal master that sounded as natural as an acetate and, in any case, a DMM would destroy the authenticity of this release.



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