Factors in the formulation and manufacture of magnetic tape which contribute to the problem of modulation noise have been defined. The effects of formulation variables (oxide, binder and additive types and proportions) are relatively small. The effects of manufacturing variables, particularly calendering, are very large. Improvements in modulation noise of 12 dB were found when the calendering process was optimized. The best calendering process requires the use of homogeneous compliant rolls instead of the composite type previously used. Infrared transmission microscopy was developed as a useful technique for identifying and controlling the calendering-related modulation noise.
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