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When you mention the hammer hitting the strings it reminds me that digital has often 'missed' some of the earliest parts as well as the tail off of the notes,with resulting slight emphasis on the 'center body' of the note--which obviously some listeners enjoy (and may make the ultimate appreciation of a phase reverse switch somewhat less appreciated than with a revealing analog setup?). Connective tissue,sound board detail,flow,rythmic pulse,breath. I believe a lot of analog guys will relate strongly; I do. (I don't know if any analog tape that old won't suffer some bleed)
"I can also hear that the analogue tape was stored improperly- occasionally i can hear the bleed through of the next musical passage"
This phenomenon is a quite common artifact of many vinyl pressings. I’ve never heard any explanation that would associate that with bad or good tape storage. If you are sure of this, please teach me how a tape is stored "badly" and how that translates into bleed through heard on LPs. What is a "safety tape"? Not a commonly used phrase. Cheers,
Tapes are stored "tails in" or "tails out." One (the former, I think) means the tape is rewound so that it is as it was when new and unused--i.e., the tail of the tape is in the original plastic reel with the rest of the tape wound around it, ready to play from the beginning. If the tape is played or fast-forwarded to the end then the tail is out and the tape is wound around what had been the take-up reel on the right. "Tails out" is preferable for long-term storage, as I recall. The particular advantages I do not recall.
I think a safety tape is simply a backup copy made as insurance in case of the demise or loss of the original.
"Improper storage" of master tapes refers to (at least) two different things:
1- The temperature and humidity of the room the tape is stored in. Major tape vaults (Capitol Records in Los Angeles for one) are climate controlled, being not too hot or cold, and with humidity not too high or low.
2- The tape is stored after being fast-forwarded or fast-rewinded, rather than at playing speed. The high speed forwarding and rewinding brings each layer of the tape into closer proximity to the next (because the tape is wound tighter), causing the magnetic signal to "bleed" from one layer to the next. If you hear a recording with pre or post "ghost-echoes" (I have), that is probably the cause. A tape that is in it’s middle at the end of a session is allowed to run at normal running speed (15 or 30 ips) to it’s end, the tape then being "tail out", and stored that way. That is why tapes are usually stored tail out, not for any other reason. The next time the tape is used for new recording it is rewound back to the beginning of it’s unrecorded portion.