Analoge Multitrack Alignment

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by Moi, Apr 8, 2006.

  1. Moi

    Moi Guest

    Hi there!
    I recently found some precise info about the most secret Multitrack Alignment. Still I 'm not sure exactly where to ajust.
    Anybody can help me with some pictures?
    I'm working with a Master recorder - Studer B 67
    Thanks a lot from Amsterdam!
  2. Moi

    Moi Guest

    Well the topic seems to be even more mysterious than I allready thought!!
    Or am I being unclear?
    For now any reaction is welcome,
    Thanks colleages!
  3. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    Jun 22, 2004
    Philadelphia, PA/ Greenville, DE
    Home Page:
    Keep digging around on the web. I"m sure the info is out there.

    The Studer B6 shouldn't be all that tough to find out about. You should be able to find a service manual online somewhere.... Doubtful it will be a PDF, but someone, somewhere might have info for sale - photocopied tech manual, etc.

    You ARE fighting against time, however, as these machines slowly drop out of use world-wise and it goes from being vintage to collectable to fringe-group status.

    I can't tell you which control is where, but just in case you're still putting the basics together, here's a quick refresher course:

    1. Clean and demagnetize all items in the tape path (Anything that touches the tape.) Make sure you have all magnetic media far away from the demagnetizer when you use it. (Hopefully you have a demagger and have learned to use it by now?) Use denatured alcohol with cotton swabbs to clean the tape path, but don't use it on the pinch roller. (Use a rubber cleaner/restorer for that, separately.)

    2. After a thorough cleaning and demagging, get out your o'scope and begin to look at the output for Azimuth on both repro and record heads. Keep it around to check as you go. ( Be gentle with the adjustment, it's easy to overshoot the az adjustment, esp with the high freqs.)

    3. Set nomimal playback levels first (usually 1k), with an alignment tape from STL (Standard Tape Laboratories) or something similar that you can trust. Use a volt-ohmeter on the outputs FIRST, then make sure your meteres are telling the same story. Adjust PB and PB eq levels ONLY after you've checked true levels with the volt-ohmeter and have verified that your deck's meters are telling you the truth. (Never hurts to just use both for a reality check as you go.)

    As soon as you're satisifired with PB levels, store this tape away carefully, make sure you don't ever store it near strong magnetic fields, etc. This is your bible, your source for PB level every time you come back to tweak the machine.

    4. Now you're on to the really important part: Record levels. This includes bias adjustments and rec/repro levels. (I could write a small book at this point.) It's a tricky process that you'll want to do as much research as you can about it (or call in a professional?). A lot of it will depend on your choice of tape. I'm not sure what's even still out there (Ampex 456? 457?, make that Quantegy, I guess.) Different tape manufacturers have different specs for overbias and the like. You're going to have to crack a book on this one, or do some serious googling.

    Hope that gets you started - or convinces you that you may be better off having someone do it for you. It's a rewarding and exciting process. I used to do it every day for about 15 years.....gad, it gives me flashbacks just thinking about it! Hahahaha....

    Remember, this is only a rough online, as you get skilled at this, you'll find your own fine points and more detailed procedures as well.

    There's a bit more on tape machines and alignment in general here: (The online info is free; other questions and manuals may cost you some $$$.)

    Good luck

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