A comprehensive overview of recent advancements in magnetic tape playback, focusing on the minimization of time domain errors ranging from drift, wow and flutter to phase response. Discussion of standards and measurements, and the use of record bias to provide a time reference for time base correction and for precise azimuth adjustment. The advantages of more accurate digital de-emphasis and the implementation of phase equalizers compensate for such errors in the recording process, including modeling in DSP the frequency response and phase characteristics of well-known recorders. We conclude by considering the ethics of preserving artifacts on the recording which can be of service to future restorations. Examples of antique and recent wire, film, and tape recordings will be presented.
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