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Old July 31st, 2014, 09:16 AM   #16
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Re: Monitoring Audio?

I may be wrong, but in my fuzzy memory I think Scully might have called it "Sel-sync." Seems to me they might have needed an additional audio transformer in the chain because the record head impedance was much different from the playback head. There may also have been a LPF in the chain to eliminate bias crosstalk within the record head, which could have been pretty strong.

I will have to dig out my old Scully 280 electronics and read the labels on the switches, but that won't be right away.
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Old July 31st, 2014, 10:06 AM   #17
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Re: Monitoring Audio?

'Sel-Sync' was an Ampex term and was kind of synonymous monitoring off the record head.
FYI, Polsfuss (aka, Rubarb Red) was also involved with Ampex along with Bing Crosby.
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Old July 31st, 2014, 10:17 AM   #18
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Re: Monitoring Audio?

Yes, I recall that Bing Crosby was one of the original backers of Ampex. He wanted the networks to switch from Acetate disc recordings, to magnetic tape recordings, for the delayed west coast broadcasts, because tape had much better audio quality -- and also could be easily edited.

Man, when I recall how bad the continental land lines sounded back in the '60s, with all the various frequency shifts in the carrier circuits ... you'd open a network key and hear all sorts of birdies before the program began. Must have been even worse in the '40s and '50s when Crosby was starting out. We have come a long way.
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Old July 31st, 2014, 11:42 AM   #19
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Re: Monitoring Audio?

By design, record heads had a wider gap to allow more power/deeper penetration (i.e. to completely magnetize the microscopic dipoles). Playback heads had a narrower gap to allow better high-frequency response (directly limited by the gap distance, and the tape speed). For that reason playback from the record head was never as good as from the playback head. But since it was only for sync/cueing purposes, full-fidelity was not a primary factor.
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Old July 31st, 2014, 07:11 PM   #20
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Re: Monitoring Audio?

And yes, as I recall both Les Paul, and later Frank Zappa, both were early pioneers of multi-tracking and other tape related effects (especially tape echo by Les Paul IIRC). I think both of them modified stock recorders, or perhaps even built their own, to get the effects they wanted.

And somehow the innovation seemed to make audio more interesting then than it is today, with everything now being straight out of the [digital] box.
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Old August 1st, 2014, 07:56 AM   #21
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Re: Monitoring Audio?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Miller View Post
And somehow the innovation seemed to make audio more interesting then than it is today, with everything now being straight out of the [digital] box.
Wait. Graphical multi-point parametric EQ on a touch screen isn't an innovation? And it's not interesting? Yet, I don't see how you could do that by any manipulation of audio tape, or indeed analog electronics. ;)
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Old August 1st, 2014, 12:08 PM   #22
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Re: Monitoring Audio?

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Originally Posted by Bruce Watson View Post
Wait. Graphical multi-point parametric EQ on a touch screen isn't an innovation? And it's not interesting? Yet, I don't see how you could do that by any manipulation of audio tape, or indeed analog electronics. ;)
Parametric EQ started off as an outboard analog effects device, and many analog mixing boards still have sweepable mid eqs, some with wide/narrow switches.

Another analog-pioneered effect!

I guess the interesting part is that parametric eq is now commonly available in most any NLE/DAW, even many sub-$100 softwares.

Which is really reflective of the larger movements of mass access to video and recording technologies.

I've got this analog-domain 4 channel noise gate by symmetrix, it was once de rigeur for drum micing - I can't give it away on craigslist. Yet you can buy a $200 "drum mic" package online. Is that an improvement? I think not, but today there're a lot more cheap drum mics in use than the quantity of noise gates ever manufactured.
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Old August 1st, 2014, 01:01 PM   #23
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Re: Monitoring Audio?

Bill made the most important comment in this tread:

“The best you can do is test your recording chain by recording a sample file and playing it back from the recording media listening for any anomalies. Then you just have to trust that if you keep your levels correct, the final recording will be clean.”

Recording and playing back an audio and video signal after all configurations are complete is mandatory in my book. And I do it every day before the show kicks off even if the configuration supposedly has not changed. It is a mandatory check in my opinion.

Jonathan, these guys are great. Some of the old school audio stuff they are talking about applied to video recording too. On tape based video cameras and decks it was the operators responsibility to know if the video signal he was looking at was pre or post recording head. Most broadcast decks were post but not all. It was possible to set up a multi camera shoot, have great looking monitor pictures all over the place, and NOTHING being recorded by the heads! Hence the need for playback. And it still applies today even though I often record to hard drives. How do I know the hard drives are working if I do not look at a test record?

Laziness is a killer. Why do we harp on guys here about monitoring at all times? Because I could write a list of things that I have seen that made a good audio or video signal go south after the record button was pushed. A lot of them have to do with something going on in the building you don’t even know is going to happen. Like commercial washers or compressors being turned on and causing “dirty power”. If you’re not listening you don’t know you’re going down in flames. Signals change!

You asked good questions and these guys gave you good info as they always do.

Steve
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Old August 8th, 2014, 12:51 PM   #24
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Re: Monitoring Audio?

Thank everyone!

Upon a little further investigating, I found that the term RT is the same thing as MON. (correct?)

So the RT on a SD 552 or the 633, which I is my new lust-have, would be cabled to the headphone out from camera.

I've got to say, you guys must go nuts. It's really confusing when something is called one thing and then on the other thing it is called something else! Sheeesh!

I've been reading and re-reading Jay Rose's Fantastic book "Producing Great Sound For Film and Video".

Audio is definately 1/2 art and 1/2 science!
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Old August 8th, 2014, 01:06 PM   #25
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Re: Monitoring Audio?

RTN is the '[/i]Return[/i]'.. from a HP jack or other audio line output.
Alternately, it can also be assigned as an additional unbalanced line input feed-thru... don't know if that applies to the 663 though.

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Old August 8th, 2014, 01:16 PM   #26
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Re: Monitoring Audio?

Thanks Rick.

I'm at a point now where along with a question, I would also ask "And in what situation would I do this....."

Again, coming from a mostly photo/video background, some of the equipment I'm eyeball has features that I may seldom, if ever use in my day to day work. But I believe in buying once, and if something is wrong, I'll know it's me ;-}
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Old August 8th, 2014, 07:15 PM   #27
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Re: Monitoring Audio?

"And in what situation would I do this....."
Not exactly sure what you mean but, the 'return' mode is usually used so the sound mixer can monitor directly off the camera, recorder or other destination device to confirm audio 'is getting there'. Most pro mixers have a multi-cable, commonly referred to as an ENG break-a-way snake as a fast & easy interconnect.

Last edited by Rick Reineke; August 8th, 2014 at 08:06 PM.
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