15 or 30 ips on 2" analog?



I´d like to know you opinions on this subject. I am about to make some rock records on tape, and i have to make the decision on what speed to track. Tape costs are prohibitive here in Argentina, so 15 ips is a lot more affordable to us. I made some comparisons, and I didn´t seem to hear any improvement on the bass response on 15, as i expected. I also noticed that kick drums sounded fuller and more open in general at 30. So, is 15 ips a good choice, sound wise ?. I don´t care much about noise, for it is rock with loud guitars. Also I´d apreciate your inputs on how to make 15 sound better, if posible. I am always checking levels and sound with the repro head before the recording begins, so to have the best sound posible on tape. If a tape was used several time, is it posible to re-use it, or should i drop it?
thanks in advance!

Dave McNair

Well-Known Member
Mar 6, 2001
If tape cost is really a big deal than 15 ips is fine. If you can scrape up the extra money, 30 ips has some advantages. If you have to go 15, and noise is really not that big a deal, don't record super hot. I've done +9 @ 15, but I wouldn't recommend it unless you really have a lot of experience. Try setting up the machine for +6 over 185nwb/m. If you don't know what any of this means, go ask a local tech person.


Well-Known Member
Apr 22, 2001
15ips is fine, I haven't done a 30ips alignment in months. I think things sound a little fuller at 15 and more open at 30. I wouldn't worry about it. Used or old tape is ok I guess. Just check for bad splices and sticky shed.


Well-Known Member
Feb 10, 2001
If you can figure out a stable method to vary speed the machine, try 20ips. You'll get 80% of the noise benefits of running at 30, and 80% of the 'bottom/thickness' benefits of running at 15.

It'll also require less EQ to flatten out the response (internal deck alignment stuff)... the trick is making sure that the transport is rock solid from the head to the tail of the reel.

Best of luck.


Alighnment and over bias at 20ips... sounds like trouble.
The theory of 20 ips is good, but personally, I wouldn't do it, too many variables, incompatabilities with other studios... ect ect.
At 15 ips the repro head bump is 1 octave lower than at 30. I consider this an advantage.
At 15 ips the punch ins are sloppier with double the time between the erase head and record head. If you know you aren't going to be doing tight punch ins... your ok.
At 15 ips, the tape saturates much faster and at a lower level than 30. This is something to look out for and use to your advantage.
Gotta give credit to Fletcher for a unique compromise.
Good luck! and have fun