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Tape Heads theory

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(@forrok_star)
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Joined: 21 years ago
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"What does the Tape Heads do to the audio signal"

You also need to take into consideration Tape Passage, Tape Tension, Tape Path, Tape Abrasiveness, Environmental Conditions, Variation or change in performance caused by wear, transport alignment compensation right down to the tape passing over the heads with sufficient wrap and tension to insure intimate stable contact is essential in preserving optimum performance.

Here's a page that will put in better words and answer most questions. Tape Head Action

Joe


   
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(@noteboat)
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Joined: 21 years ago
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It's a transducer, converting the electrical signal in your chain - the signal that the micropone or pickup converted into an electrical signal - into a magnetic one that's recorded on the tape.

They're build sort of like inductors, but the core is a permanent magnet with a gap. As the electrical signal varies in the wire, the magnetic field at the gap fluctuates with the signal, imprinting a magnetic field pattern on the tape.

On playback, a different head is used, and the process basically works in reverse.

Most tape machines have three heads - the third one is an erase head that scrubs the track when it's recording... that minimizes, but doesn't completley eliminate, the magnetic pattern from previously recorded sound.. which makes the job easier for the record head. In playback mode, the erase head gets pulled out of the way.

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 Val
(@val)
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Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 106
 

walters' next questions:

so a 8 track read/write head has 8 tiny eletromagnet in the head?
Is there 8 transducers in the head?

:roll:


   
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(@noteboat)
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For analog tape, it's actually got 24 tiny magnets - 8 for erasing, 8 for writing, and 8 for playback. 16 of those are transducers - the erase head just has to be an electromagnet.

If you look at the head mechanisms on older equipment (I'm fondly remembering a 1960s 4-track Akai deck here), you could see the individual heads.

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(@forrok_star)
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Topic starter  

The erase head erases signal on the tape.

The sync head records and plays back signal, and this is the one you will use during tracking and overdubbing.

The repro head plays back the recorded signals at a higher fidelity than the sync head, and is the one you should use when mixing down your music.

This will give you lots of information on Tape heads

Joe


   
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 Val
(@val)
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Noteboat, forrok_star - Hello :!:


   
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(@forrok_star)
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Joined: 21 years ago
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Hell-O

Joe


   
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(@noteboat)
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The erase head just has to be a magnet... if it's an electromagnet (and most are) they have coils. The difference is that the erase head doesn't need to be a transducer - it doesn't need to convert electrical energy into magnetic energy while preserving the information. So while the record and playback heads need to vary the magnetic field, the erase head can simply be 'on' or 'off'. It can have the same design as a transducer, with a gap to increase the intensity of the magnetic field, but the current won't vary - its only job is to magnetically scrub the tape so the record head has an easier time of things.

Synch heads are also transducers - that's how they write information to tape.

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