Tape transfer speed change plug in

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Tape transfer speed change plug in

Postby traylestrat on Mon Apr 20, 2009 5:52 pm

Hey folks, I just got into something I've not had to do before. I have a cassette tape that was recorded at some fast speed on a machine decades ago. Obviously, transferring it into Pro Tools renders the play back slow, sounding like that familiar cave man music. Anyone know of a plug in or process that I can deal with restoring this to normal speed? It's a bit of a brain teaser as, quickly you realized what time-compression and pitch shifting can and can't do....I'm using Pro Tools LE, have Nuendo but yet to find anything there either. Thanks to you all in advance. \

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Re: Tape transfer speed change plug in

Postby RWood on Fri Nov 20, 2009 5:36 pm

This is an old thread; you may have resolved it by now.

In case you haven't, most cassette motors have a speed adjustment trimmer inside the body of the motor housing. There is an access hole in the back of the motor. Take a crosspoint jeweler screwdriver (with shrink wrap on the shaft) to adjust the playback speed, and retransfer the tape. Speed correction is one of the few things that can be addressed down the generation chain.

Warning - you'll need a way to get the motor back to normal pitch, if you plan on doing any future recording on that deck. If you do, record a test tone tape before you change the pitch, and then readjust the speed to that tone after your transfer is made.

There are probably some digital ways to do this, too, but I'll leave that for the 21st Century folks to discuss. Anyone who was heavily into tape trading in the 70s - 90s invariably received concerts that were transferred at the wrong speed. I blew up a few tape decks before I learned about the simple motor trick. And incidentally, the easiest way to quickly correct speed is by listening to a known speaking voice on that tape. You'd be amazed how well you can dial it in, if you've got a reasonably good ear.

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