In late 2008 I was called out by a friend to repair a Studer tape deck; an A827, which I had never used before. While I was very fortunate that the studio owned both the original alignment tape and tentelometer, the original (rather aged and unused) tape shed like crazy because of its storage conditions, and our inability to bake the tape before use.
Baking has gotten myself and many a colleague out of a sticky (ha ha) situation. However, I’ve run across my fair share of engineers who either don’t know what baking is, or who don’t have a tried and true method. So, I thought I’d pass along this great article by Eddie Ciletti, If I Knew You Were Coming I’d Have Baked A Tape! It’s a remarkably thorough read, and full of information about tape baking for both novices and pro’s. It has been cited as the definitive source of information in all manner of post across the TapeOp Message Board (TOMB), GearSlutz, and even an Electronic Musician feature. While you’re there, check out some of his other articles on tape machine maintenance, which have all appeared in print, and include some great advice. All in all, what a great resource!
What do you think about tape baking? Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned pro, share you thoughts or experiences in the comments below!