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Difference between 1/4, 1/2 and 2 inches tape

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Difference between 1/4, 1/2 and 2 inches tape

Postby Liturgy on Thu Nov 14, 2013 10:22 am

I'm very ignorant about this and I hope someone here can help me out.

What is exactly the difference between 1/4, 1/2 and 2 inches tape? Besides the size of them, of course!

I'd like to know what are their characteristics and how do you decide on which one to record on.
Pro/cons all of that.

Thanks!
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Re: Difference between 1/4, 1/2 and 2 inches tape

Postby numberthirty on Thu Nov 14, 2013 7:17 pm

The difference tends to be the type of machine they are used on.

1/4" works(I believe) on stereo mixdown machines.

1/2" works on a Tascam eight track(MSR8).

2" works on some eight/sixteen/twenty four track multitrack machines.
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Re: Difference between 1/4, 1/2 and 2 inches tape

Postby greg on Sat Nov 16, 2013 4:13 pm

There's no difference technically. The track format and tape speed is where the qualitative differences are. The wider the track width, the higher quality (or at least the potential of...). The technical specifications (specifically noise/dynamic range) are better on a 1/2" 2-track than they are on a 1/4" 2-track for example.

1/4" and 1/2" are typically used for stereo master recording (final mix 2-track), and lo fi multi-tracking.

1" and 2" tapes are used for more professional, hi fi multi-tracking (8, 16, 24-track).
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Re: Difference between 1/4, 1/2 and 2 inches tape

Postby Liturgy on Wed Nov 20, 2013 1:23 am

Thanks for the reply, very informative.
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Re: Difference between 1/4, 1/2 and 2 inches tape

Postby estrangeddaughter on Thu Aug 14, 2014 6:32 am

Are there any machines you know of that offer 4 track on 1" or 2" tape?
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Re: Difference between 1/4, 1/2 and 2 inches tape

Postby choppy on Sat Aug 16, 2014 5:23 pm

estrangeddaughter wrote:Are there any machines you know of that offer 4 track on 1" or 2" tape?


http://www.robstevensmusic.com/2011/02/studer-j37-four-track-tape-recorder.html
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Re: Difference between 1/4, 1/2 and 2 inches tape

Postby estrangeddaughter on Sun Aug 17, 2014 6:25 am

Cool thanks, I wonder if there is a tascam or fostex or anything else more obtainable....I want to record on the widest tape possible, maybe i should just use a mastering unit and settle for 2 channels
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