|Audio Tape Digitisation Workflow
A tape replayed with a head with less replay width than the actual recorded track width will exhibit an altered low frequency response (i.e., the fringe effect) and show poorer signal to noise than optimum. A tape replayed with a head with a wider replay width than the actual recorded track width will exhibit noticeably worse signal to noise and may pick up unwanted hiss or signal from adjacent tracks.
Select the correct tape head format, e.g., same track width and position that were used when the recording was made. Check that the general alignment of the tape head is in accordance with the position of the tracks because wrong alignment may lead to lower signal to noise -ratio or even crosstalk. Note the great variety of different formats, and that head dimensions are specified in different ways in the European and US standards.
Track widths can easily made visible by using a "magnetoscope" or simply by applying iron powder of adequate particle size. Ideally, the particle size should be smaller than 3µm.
IASA-TC04, pp. 25—28.
Handbook for Acoustic Ecology: Magnetic Tape
Engel, Friedrich: Schallspeichherung auf Magnetband. Agfa-Gevaert, Leverkusen 1975.