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Question for celemony capstan users

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Question for celemony capstan users

PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2020 9:17 am
by MadManDan
Hi friends.

I did a 2" recording in school in 1987, which of course shedded badly.

I transferred it to pro tools in 2003, without baking. As expected, the shedding oxide brought the tape to many screeching halts. I would then clean the heads, back up a little, and keep going.

Now in 2020 I still have the pro tools files. Years ago when celemony's "Capstan" came out, I thought, great, I can piece this together.

Problem is, a five-day rental is $200 and I have a lot on my plate. The idea of getting it together, learning/using it in five days... may not be a reality.

Does anybody out there know capstan and can just do the session for me? Or is it easier than I'm making it out to be?

What helps this whole process is the fact that there is a Roland sync tone on 24. Once THAT gets its pitch straightened out, I want to use that model to fix the other 23 tracks.

Re: Question for celemony capstan users

PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2020 10:18 am
by Tim Gillett
If you still have the tape and it wasnt overly damaged when played without baking, why not bake it as recommended and re transfer? It could save you a lot of extra problems and cost.

Re: Question for celemony capstan users

PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2020 10:45 am
by ken long
Tim Gillett wrote:If you still have the tape and it wasnt overly damaged when played without baking, why not bake it as recommended and re transfer? It could save you a lot of extra problems and cost.

A 2" transfer (+ prep baking) will be much more than $200.

Re: Question for celemony capstan users

PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2020 11:01 am
by Tim Gillett
ken long wrote:
Tim Gillett wrote:If you still have the tape and it wasnt overly damaged when played without baking, why not bake it as recommended and re transfer? It could save you a lot of extra problems and cost.

A 2" transfer (+ prep baking) will be much more than $200.


Perhaps so but it's not clear how otherwise intact are the transferred sections. If sections were sticky enough to actually slow the tape down while playing, other issues in the transfer such as spacing losses (loss of highs) and stick/slip modulating the audio may have occurred as well. And Capstan doesnt work on all material. A representative audio file sample might help clarify things. Capstan can be free downloaded on trial with limitations of course.

Re: Question for celemony capstan users

PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2020 3:26 pm
by James Perrett
ken long wrote:A 2" transfer (+ prep baking) will be much more than $200.

Hmm - maybe that explains why I seem to be getting quite a bit of 2" transfer work at the moment ;) . I've also seen a couple of other places advertise similar prices to what I charge which would be within budget here. I must admit I only resurrected the MTR-90 after someone mentioned a cost of around £300 per reel to transfer some tapes that one of my regular clients needed transferring.

Attempting this sort of transfer without baking (assuming we're talking Ampex tape) is madness. Whenever I've done it (because the tape didn't seem too bad when testing a short section), I've always regretted it and ended up baking anyway.

Re: Question for celemony capstan users

PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2020 8:48 pm
by Tim Gillett
James Perrett wrote:
...Attempting this sort of transfer without baking (assuming we're talking Ampex tape) is madness. Whenever I've done it (because the tape didn't seem too bad when testing a short section), I've always regretted it and ended up baking anyway.

Yes a risky business. Baking affected tapes as recommended is not ideal but it's far safer than not baking and attempting a play.

Re: Question for celemony capstan users

PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2020 8:38 am
by MadManDan
Tim Gillett wrote:If you still have the tape and it wasnt overly damaged when played without baking, why not bake it as recommended and re transfer? It could save you a lot of extra problems and cost.
ay, tape is long gone

Re: Question for celemony capstan users

PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2020 8:49 am
by MadManDan
Tim Gillett wrote:... If sections were sticky enough to actually slow the tape down while playing, other issues in the transfer such as spacing losses (loss of highs) and stick/slip modulating the audio may have occurred as well.
Oh, I know. The murk of oxide plus the extreme speeding up of the sticky parts won't sound great. But, at least at the right pitch. This is for memory lane
Tim Gillett wrote: And Capstan doesn't work on all material
Here's what I get from reading the manual: Capstan works best with complex material. It looks for patterns of pitch deviation at all frequencies, to distinguish wow and flutter from say, a vibrato. What I'm trying to do is feed it my roland sync tone. I'm pretty sure that's a piece of cake to flatten. THEN, I can apply the corrective moves of the sync tone repair, to all the audio. I'm not going to even try to analyze them.

Re: Question for celemony capstan users

PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2020 2:14 pm
by Tim Gillett
MadManDan wrote:...Here's what I get from reading the manual: Capstan works best with complex material. It looks for patterns of pitch deviation at all frequencies, to distinguish wow and flutter from say, a vibrato. What I'm trying to do is feed it my roland sync tone. I'm pretty sure that's a piece of cake to flatten. THEN, I can apply the corrective moves of the sync tone repair, to all the audio. I'm not going to even try to analyze them.

I have only limited experience with Celemony Capstan demo version and with the new RX8 Capstan tool as I've had almost no recordings where wow and flutter was a serious issue. The tapes I did try were probably a poor candidate for either tool because they had serious speed deviations but were greatly lacking in the "polyphony" which the tool uses as a reference, so mixed success with them.

Your idea of using the tone as a reference seems good and I agree it shouldnt be that hard for the right software to make the correction (up to the natural limits possible), but I'm not sure whether Capstan can do it as it works on the deviations of multiple related tones or harmonics which is different from correcting one tone to a standard nominated pitch.

It might be worthwhile seeking the advice of the product manager at Celemony or from Izotope. A fellow named Jamie Howarth has a lot of experience in correcting tape speed issues especially using bias signals on high speed pro reel tapes. Maybe he would know of the best tool and how to apply it to your situation.

If it's only for memory lane isnt there even a cassette copy somewhere of a mixdown of the 24 track?

Re: Question for celemony capstan users

PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2020 8:47 pm
by MadManDan
Tim Gillett wrote:I have only limited experience with Celemony Capstan demo version and with the new RX8 Capstan tool as I've had almost no recordings where wow and flutter was a serious issue. The tapes I did try were probably a poor candidate for either tool because they had serious speed deviations but were greatly lacking in the "polyphony" which the tool uses as a reference, so mixed success with them.

Your idea of using the tone as a reference seems good and I agree it shouldnt be that hard for the right software to make the correction (up to the natural limits possible), but I'm not sure whether Capstan can do it as it works on the deviations of multiple related tones or harmonics which is different from correcting one tone to a standard nominated pitch.

My understanding is that Capstan has the ability to normalize to one pitch by first dividing into musical half steps, then flattening to one spot within that pitch. The user then edits the interpretation of the intended note only, and its pitch will then be straight.

My plan is to ONLY analyze the sync tone, then use its correction to modify the OTHERS.

Let's assume that the roland sync tone is A440. (I know it's not. This is just to wrap heads around it.).

OK First the 2" plays and all is fine. For all intents and purposes, let's assume capstan sees this as our standard.

Now... tape slows down. Wobbles first into "A flat". territory. Capstan straightens the speed, artifact-free like a piece of tape, so that it has a constant pitch of 415.3 hz, a constant "a flat"

Tape is slowing down more, and capstan will straighten everything to 392 hz, "G"

You get the idea. Once analysis is done, the user, me, drags the "a flat" and the "G" to "a".

Now the SYNC TONE is fixed.

With me? Ok. Now, capstan can TAKE THAT repair, and apply it to my bass, drums, keys etc. Which will straighten them.

Tim Gillett wrote:It might be worthwhile seeking the advice of the product manager at Celemony or from Izotope. A fellow named Jamie Howarth has a lot of experience in correcting tape speed issues especially using bias signals on high speed pro reel tapes. Maybe he would know of the best tool and how to apply it to your situation.

If it's only for memory lane isnt there even a cassette copy somewhere of a mixdown of the 24 track?
no ruffs anymore. magnetic heavan :beamup: And thanks for the contact.,