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Re: Tape looping/sequencing

whhuuffff.... ok, here goes. 

you need an edit block, splicing tape, a wax marker  
(sometimes referred to as a "china marker", preferably white,)
and a shitload of razorblades. some empty reels
will also come in handy in certain situations.

the edit block is a heavy rectangular piece of steel
that's grooved in the EXACT width of the tape you're using.
so if you're on a 1/2 inch machine (like me), your block
has a channel running along it 1/2" wide. a 4 or 5 inch segment
of your tape sits in there so it won't wiggle while you
slice. cut into the block perpendicular to the guide channel
are 2 slits, one at 90 degrees and one on an angular bias.
those are the guides you run the razor blade thru so IT
won't wiggle when you cut. the block will also help
you line up your segments-to-be-joined.

now, dunno my akais, i'm assuming that's an open-reel deck...
but it needs to be able to allow you to cue, that is to
scrub the reels by hand over the heads. some decks, when
in "pause" keep the tape off the heads and won't let it
down. some decks won't allow you to move the reels in pause.
you need to be able to do both.

so here's how it goes - 

stop the tape right near the place you want to edit.
in cue, (tape on heads, reels not turning) scrub the
tape to locate the exact moment you need. it's a lot
like cueing up a record, if you've ever done
any dj'ing.

when you locate your spot, make a china marker mark
on the BACK of the tape (the side of the tape not
in contact with the heads) on the part of the
tape that's right on the playback head (if you're
in "play") or the sync head (if you're in "sync")
but not over the rec head.

and of course, don't get any marker grease on the
head, or anywhere but the backcoat of the tape.

then roll the tape back and play it a couple of times
watching carefully for that marker mark to make sure that
you put it in the right spot. the marker mark might
zip by kinda quick, so you gotta keep an eye right on it.
stop the deck. if it's in the place you want fine,. if not,
re-cue and re-mark.

pull the pertinant section of tape away from the machine,
slide it into the guide on the block with the back sdie
of the tape up (or you won't see the mark, natch)
line the marker mark up with one of the razor guides. 

run the razor thru the 
slot and you'll get a neatly cut piece of tape.

then you'll need to repeat the operation with the 
tape you're linking up to, whether that's tape
from another reel, leader, or the ass end of the
segment you've got (in the case of a loop).

once that's done, put both trimmed ends in the
block butting up against one another. the block
really helps you line the 2 ends of tape up precisely.

cut a piece of splicing tape an inch or 2 long,
lay it carefully over the backs of both segments
with the middle of the splice tape over the place
where your 2 tape ends meet.

lay the splicing tape down very, very carefully so that it
is straight and even over both segments.

burnish it down (as in, "rub") and i now
pronouce you man and splice.

if you're doing lots of these, change blades
frequently. and you should do lots
of these to really get the hang of it.

now, to address the question of "why would you"...

well, it's like wanting to work with wood, or
old carburators, or molten gold leaf....
yeah, there's lots more modern ways to do it,
that are (arguably) vastly more modern, efficient,
and precise! you just gotta..... sorta... like it,
like working with tape and blades and china markers.

hey, i'm already pushing a mouse around all day at
work... it's nice to get home to a completely unrelated
technology now and then! also - if you (like me) like
the way analog sounds, then you're either spending a bit
over a hundred on all the tools to cut tape or a LOT
more on a computer system to dump yr analog sounds into
so you can then manipulate them.

using a computer is definately a lot more efficient
than open reel tape, no doubt about it, and the availble
utilities are mind boggling. it just so happens
that i don't own any of that stuff... so deal!

i don't have time to proof this very well, so
sorry if i've omitted or mistyped anything.

all right!


On Thu, 7 Dec 2000 Bowerbird@webtv.net wrote:

> I'm interested in constructing closed tape loops, ol'-skool
> sequencing/editing/sampling. I'm not really interested in real-time
> looping.  Right now I have an Akai 1700. I bought it a few months back,
> not knowing how downright impossible it would be to get any information
> whatsoever on the basic techniques of tape editing.... what basic
> materials do I need?, -what type of adhesive do I use to splice? What's
> an "editing block"? Please excuse the dumb questions- I really am this
> clueless about it.