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I am in the process of converting old reel-to-reel and cassette tape recordings to digital. One reel-to-recording from the early 70’s of my first band is real weak. When I amplify the sound the tape rumble is also amplified. I’ve tried EQing out the lows & highs and compressing. But, the rumble is still overwhelming and must be sharing the mid range of the vocals. A faint guitar is present and maybe a bass but I can’t hear it. I do not remember what recorder was used for the original mono recording but I am playing it back on Akai GX-747 without Dolby NR and sending it to Sonar 7 thru a Sonar V-Studio 100. I have not tried cleaning it up in Sonar 7 yet because I am still trying to improve the input signal first. What would you do to rescue this important memory?

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Since you mention it was recorded on a different recorder, could this be a head alignment issue? –  Friend Of George Jul 2 '12 at 19:59
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I think Friend has the right diagnosis - the symptoms you describe could easily fit with a head alignment issue. –  Rory Alsop Jul 3 '12 at 7:57
    
@FriendOfGeorge How would one go about confirming that it is in fact a head alignment issue? –  BenV Jul 4 '12 at 2:59
    
Ask a tape tech to look at the alignment of your reel-to-real unit. –  ObscureRobot Jul 7 '12 at 2:10
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It's also possible that the number of tracks on the recording doesn't match the number of tracks on your Akai-GX747. Remember that both 2-track 2-channel stereo and 4-track 20-channel stereo recorders were common in the 1970's.

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