The magnetic characteristics of recording tapes are described in terms of a 3-dimensional distribution function based on the characteristics of the individual particles comprising the recording medium. The distribution function also includes the effects of particle interaction. Measured distribution functions for two quite different recording tapes are shown. They demonstrate that particle interaction is highly significant. It is shown that the usual audio practice of recording with superimposed signal and high-frequency bias fields is completely dependent on particle interaction for its operation. Measured distribution functions are used to compute the recording repsonse for the two tapes. The computed curves are in agreement with recording experience in showing an increasing loss of high-frequency signal as the bias level is increased. This phenomenon as well as differences in response determined by the different composition of the two recording tapes may be understood in terms of the distribution function. The distribution function method offers a new approach to the analysis of the recording process, and suggests that magnetic material of the recording medium may be used more effectively than is the case at present.
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