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I'm going to a new studio to do some recording in a week, and they have Fostex G16 that hasn't been aligned in a YEAR! I've been doing all digital recording for the past three years, and haven't had to calibrate a tape machine in as much time.

If you put me in front of a Studer, I can calibrate it no problem. However, I've never touched a Fostex G16 1" machine, and need to know if there are any differences? Is the alignment basically the same? Anybody have anything to look out for? What are you all biasing these machines at?


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Guest Fri, 06/13/2003 - 13:35

Are you saying that this machine is different from say an Otari 5050 when aligning it? I'm not sure I understand why this would be any different than any other tape machine I've worked on? Does it not have input electronics with adjustable pots? Even for playback, there's no adjustments that can be made? I've calibrated a ton of tape machines and never run into that before??

I know this machine is out of alignment big time. I just spoke with the studio owner, and he said it's between +6dB and +10dB out of alignment at 10kHz. That's totally unacceptable to me. Is there nothing I can do? I'm not afraid to open it up and go to town!!

Correct me if I'm wrong, but shipping a machine out to have it calibrated is kind of bad news isn't it? After UPS gets it back to me, it'll be totally out of alignment again, won't it?

Sorry for my ignorance, I've never had to record anything on a Fostex machine before.

I guess I see what you're saying with the two head thing and the bias adjustment. What if I leave the bias adjustment alone and just focus on the input and playback cal?

PS, I know he's got a MRL too.

Guest Mon, 06/16/2003 - 14:47

Kurt, one more question. I just spoke with the owner of this studio one more time, and he has no VU meters, and I don't trust the meters on his 32x8 Mackie. Do you you know what the measurement should read on a volt meter coming out of an oscillator to equal O VU? I thought it was like 1.38 or something. Any ideas?



KurtFoster Mon, 06/16/2003 - 18:40

The G16 is a -10 machine.. I think 0dB is referenced to a .0775 volt signal..

Originally posted by Ciminosound in the “Tech forum”..

In professional recording studios, the true VU meter and it's associated resisor networks, when bridging a 600 ohm line having a +4dbm signal(4 dB above 1 mW), indicate 0VU or the 100 percent mark deflection. Zero VU equals +8 dBm for broadcast, and -10 dBV for consumer and semiprofessional usage."

From "The Handbook for Sound Engineers" Second Edition 1991

Zero level is a reference power level of 1 mW of power into a 600 ohm load. This is equivalent to a voltage of .0775V.