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Reel tape recording Speeding up.

Discussion in 'Vintage Analog Gear' started by Viceroy is a cat, Aug 29, 2013.

  1. Viceroy is a cat

    Viceroy is a cat Active Member


    I've just got my first tape machine, the Tascam TSR-8 and I'm trying to record one very long song in one take. The problem is, when I play it back, it starts out in-time, but then gets faster and faster so that toward the end of the tape it sounds like a chipmunk. Is this a problem with the machine or me, it's operator? is this something that would get fixed through a synchroniser like the Cooper PPS-2 or the Unitor 8? Any help appreciated.

    Thanks in advance

  2. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    It's significant that you say you just got the machine. Was it second-hand and had not been used for some time?

    My guess is that the tape slowed when recording rather than sped up during playback. You would not notice this when monitoring off-tape. The slowing down could be due to a number of things, but the most likely is that the feed spool tensioner is sticky and was braking the feed spool too much. This problem may reduce with use, and may indeed be already better, but I would try more short test recordings near the beginning and near the end of a reel. Use a constant tone if you can (e.g. 1KHz), as it makes it much easier to detect and measure any speed change. You could also try manually "helping" the feed spool during a test to see if you notice any difference in the pitch of the tone.

    The other thing you should check is the tape you are using. I have known reels that have stood unused for years stretch alarmingly when subjected to a new pass through a machine. I usually do a dummy replay on a whole reel in advance of recording on to it in order to even out tension and bring out any stretch in the tape.
  3. Viceroy is a cat

    Viceroy is a cat Active Member

    Thank you Boswell,

    Ahhh! what you're saying makes sense. I did have sticky tape build up at the end of the take which is probably because i was using an old 406 reel, ive just bought some new tape (rmg and atr). I will send a signal through when the new tape arrives. I will also do a dummy play through as well from now on.... Seems like good a habit.

    Thanks for your help.

  4. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Clean the guide path and heads before you put a new reel through!
  5. Space

    Space Well-Known Member

    Q-tips and Alcohol:

    tascam tsr 8 how to clean

    If you have the manual it may explain better with pictures.

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