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Can anyone field some questions about reel to reel tapes / recorders? Recording audio from reel to reel?


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Hi!  I hope this is the right forum for this.  Moving our in-laws out of their house, we found some reel to reel tapes from 1960's - 1970's.  My wife remembers having a reel to reel recorder as a kid.

 

I found someone that lent me a reel to reel recorder from 1960 to play the tapes and transfer them to computer. (both my wife's and this loaner are bigger machines that can hold tapes up to 8" in diameter?  And I had a little battery powered unit also as a kid that might have held reels up to 3", so I've dealt with reel to reels a little.

 

a) On my little toy recorder, I vaguely remember being able to flip the small reels over and record on 'the other side' of the reels?  I tried that on this machine with my wife's tapes and we just hear things backwards.  Would you think that's because mine was likely a 1 track / mono recorder and my wife's and this machine recorded in stereo / used both tracks in the same direction?

 

b) are tape heads on these old machines pretty impervious?  ie can I harm the head(s?) on this loaner by playing 50 - 60 year old tapes on it?  (yeah, the recorder is also the same age as the tapes!)  The tapes were stored in a house, not exposed to wide temp swings but ARE old : ) 

 

c) I am feeding the external speaker output of the tape recorder into the mic in jack on my PC. and then using "Apower Streaming Audio Recorder' to record the audio.  For spoken word / kids playing around, is that a good arrangement (not expecting dolby quality!).

 

d) Most of the audio is clear.  But being a kid, my wife recorded a fair amount of audio that is overmodulated / too loud to make out at times (close talking the mic?).  We lower the record volume in windows settings and that helps, but that portion is then not at the same level as other clearer parts.  Any advice / Is there any software to deal with that? 

 

THANKS!!!!

 

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On 10/21/2020 at 10:56 AM, MrShnatter said:

c) I am feeding the external speaker output of the tape recorder into the mic in jack on my PC. and then using "Apower Streaming Audio Recorder' to record the audio.  For spoken word / kids playing around, is that a good arrangement (not expecting dolby quality!).

 

Normally, there's a big difference between microphone-in (pink jack) and line-in (blue jack) inputs.  What you want is a line-in input on the PC, if you have it.

mQa is dead!

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On 10/21/2020 at 10:56 PM, MrShnatter said:

Hi!  I hope this is the right forum for this.  Moving our in-laws out of their house, we found some reel to reel tapes from 1960's - 1970's.  My wife remembers having a reel to reel recorder as a kid.

 

I found someone that lent me a reel to reel recorder from 1960 to play the tapes and transfer them to computer. (both my wife's and this loaner are bigger machines that can hold tapes up to 8" in diameter?  And I had a little battery powered unit also as a kid that might have held reels up to 3", so I've dealt with reel to reels a little.

 

a) On my little toy recorder, I vaguely remember being able to flip the small reels over and record on 'the other side' of the reels?  I tried that on this machine with my wife's tapes and we just hear things backwards.  Would you think that's because mine was likely a 1 track / mono recorder and my wife's and this machine recorded in stereo / used both tracks in the same direction?

 

b) are tape heads on these old machines pretty impervious?  ie can I harm the head(s?) on this loaner by playing 50 - 60 year old tapes on it?  (yeah, the recorder is also the same age as the tapes!)  The tapes were stored in a house, not exposed to wide temp swings but ARE old : ) 

 

c) I am feeding the external speaker output of the tape recorder into the mic in jack on my PC. and then using "Apower Streaming Audio Recorder' to record the audio.  For spoken word / kids playing around, is that a good arrangement (not expecting dolby quality!).

 

d) Most of the audio is clear.  But being a kid, my wife recorded a fair amount of audio that is overmodulated / too loud to make out at times (close talking the mic?).  We lower the record volume in windows settings and that helps, but that portion is then not at the same level as other clearer parts.  Any advice / Is there any software to deal with that? 

 

THANKS!!!!

 

Try going into Microphone Properties/Levels and lowering Microphone Boost. 

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