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tape head demagnetizer


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So, just got my first 4 track casette recorder about a month ago. Up until this point i'd been using a 16 channel mackie and 16 channel soundcraft going into a delta 1010 DA box and then into my computer... i felt like i should take a step back and do some stuff George Martin style for a while, in hopes of the limitations pushing my creativity a little more and making me do stuff more spontaneously. So far, so good. I'm having a blast.

Anywho, i figured as long as i'm doing it, i better do it right. Got some anhydrous isopropyl alcohol, some wooden-sticked swabs, and a used demagnetizer off of ebay. I know that the cleaner and the swabs are fully functional... thing is, i have no idea how to test out a degausser. I know i could use it and see if i could tell a difference, but i'm guessing there's a fairly decent chance that i wouldn't immediately be able to hear a real audible difference between stuff i'd recorded pre and post demagging... Is there another, more obvious way for me to see if this baby works?

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I too recently invested in a 4-track tape recorder, I hadn't even thaught about stuff like that, but now you mention it, stuff does sound clearer when I'm recording than when I listen back, but I just thaught that was the joy of using tape, second hand cassettes at that! :?

Or maybe I missed the point and you actually have a pro quality thing, not a tascam portable thing with no eq like mine.

mf-p01_v.jpg

That's mine

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Nah, i have a tascam thing WITH eq... 424 MKII. I love it! It's absolutely not pro quality at all, but it let me take a step back from the ridiculous flexibility of a computer with an unlimited number of tracks and more plugins than you can shake a stick at, while still having some decent control over the sound. The mic pres and EQs on the board certainly aren't beautiful, but they do the job.

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Ahh, cool, mine is a Tascam MF-P01 Portastudio. The way I work is running things through my Behringer Bass EQ before the multitrack, means I can't change the EQ once it's recorded but it makes the world of difference compared to not using it.

Haven't got as far as mixing anything down yet but I'll probably do that on my computer so I'll be able to tweek things then anyway.

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  • 2 months later...

A simple way to see if your head de-mag is working is to get it too near a recorded tape. It will stripe a hum bar across the spools at the nearest point.

You should de-mag your tape machine every time you use it. When demagging you should switch off the tape machine THEN switch on the demag well away from the tape machine. Slowly bring the demag tip towards the machine then sweep from left to right across the tape transport and heads, then slowly sweep the tip well away from the machine and switch off the demag. Don't let the tip touch the tape machine and keep it well away from your tapes.

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