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agarrison

Seeking Cassette Tape Resolver

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Hi, all--I am looking for a resolver for a modified Sony TC-D5M cassette recorder.  I'm resurrecting a film project of mine from 1984 that included recording some sync sound on this device. It recorded 60Hz tone on the right channel and mic in on the left. I still have the recorder but lost the resolver.  I wonder if any old timers (such as myself) happen to have one of these resolvers from back in the day, and would loan, rent, or sell me a unit?  Alos posting in WTB/WTS. Thanks.

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Does it have to be that gear? Can you access the speed control on the modded TCD? Can you play on any other cassette deck with a varispeed hack -- or dub to 1/4" to play on a deck with varispeed? Then you can resolve with a scope and a wall transformer.

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It would be pretty tedious to do a manual resolve with a cassette transport--you'd need a very fine level of control to have any hope of staying in sync....   That said I can't think that that resolver was very complex--the mini connector they put on the D5 is probably motor current.  If you could reverse engineer what range is needed....

Anymore, many "resolves" of older analog recordings have been done by digitising the audio on the most stable deck available, then doing the work of resolving in a DAW.  Since you have a 60Hz guide track then I think you could probably find a way to varispeed the daw to keep that track on 60, then do a bounce of the file (or a simple playout-rerecord to another recorder).   If the audio is going to be edited then you can easily do pullups and eye sync per shot anyhow.

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We have a lot of old gear in my radio station in Sweden, no help to you obviously, but in thinking maybe radio stations in the US also keep old stuff? Just a top of mind late night thought 

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On 1/14/2017 at 3:01 PM, Philip Perkins said:

It would be pretty tedious to do a manual resolve with a cassette transport--you'd need a very fine level of control to have any hope of staying in sync....   That said I can't think that that resolver was very complex--the mini connector they put on the D5 is probably motor current.  If you could reverse engineer what range is needed....

Anymore, many "resolves" of older analog recordings have been done by digitising the audio on the most stable deck available, then doing the work of resolving in a DAW.  Since you have a 60Hz guide track then I think you could probably find a way to varispeed the daw to keep that track on 60, then do a bounce of the file (or a simple playout-rerecord to another recorder).   If the audio is going to be edited then you can easily do pullups and eye sync per shot anyhow.

Thanks, Jay and Phil--I was thinking about this way and I reached out to Frank Cook, who teaches Pro Tools courses for Digidesign.  I thought maybe bringing the audio and the tone track in together as a stereo track, then manipulating the track with Elastic Audio in Pro Tools so that the waveform of the 60 cycles matched a a grid.  He said there is no automatic way to do that, but suggested using Elastic Audio to stretch or compress as needed, for lip syncing.

Jeff Kreines suggested re-recording the material to a Nagra, plugging the 60Hz tone into the Pilot In, then playing back from the new 1/4" dub and letting the Nagra's internal resolver do the work. Sounds like a good idea.

There is one other option, besides manual syncing it all.  The Film Group still manufactures hand-made resolving boxes and modifies cassettes players.  So if I want to spend a little money, they could mod  the cassette player so their resolver would control the playback motor.

 

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The TCD5 version with pilotone and the resolver was made for indie movie production, so it's unlikely any radio (or TV) folks ever bought one.  Even at the peak of interest in this device (in the early '80s) I have trouble believing there were ever more than a few hundred in circulation.   If you really have to have one of these I'd check in with the older East Coast audio places, although they probably would have house-cleaned this stuff long ago.

2 minutes ago, agarrison said:

Thanks, Jay and Phil--I was thinking about this way and I reached out to Frank Cook, who teaches Pro Tools courses for Digidesign.  I thought maybe bringing the audio and the tone track in together as a stereo track, then manipulating the track with Elastic Audio in Pro Tools so that the waveform of the 60 cycles matched a a grid.  He said there is no automatic way to do that, but suggested using Elastic Audio to stretch or compress as needed for lip syncing.

It could be as simple as doing a playback of each clip with an output from the 60 Hz channel feeding a freq counter, which you observe while trying different varispeed settings, then copying off the "speed tuned" clip when you get the 60 Hz tracks to read 60.  Hopefully your deck was in good shape and running in a stable manner when you recorded the originals!

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4 minutes ago, Philip Perkins said:

The TCD5 version with pilotone and the resolver was made for indie movie production, so it's unlikely any radio (or TV) folks ever bought one.  Even at the peak of interest in this device (in the early '80s) I have trouble believing there were ever more than a few hundred in circulation.   If you really have to have one of these I'd check in with the older East Coast audio places, although they probably would have house-cleaned this stuff long ago.

It could be as simple as doing a playback of each clip with an output from the 60 Hz channel feeding a freq counter, which you observe while trying different varispeed settings, then copying off the "speed tuned" clip when you get the 60 Hz tracks to read 60.  Hopefully your deck was in good shape and running in a stable manner when you recorded the originals!

Also a nice idea!  Thanks.  

You are right about the customers for this.  Low budget indie makers.

I was using it because I was trying to operate as a one-man band--shooting film and recording sync sound, and could not afford a Nagra SN.  I needed something smaller than my Nagra 4.2 to lug around on the shoulder opposite the camera.

On 1/14/2017 at 3:37 PM, JonG said:

I have a working Kudelski SLP. Don't know if that helps. 

Thanks, Jon G.  I had to look up the SLP.  I only knew the SLO. I have borrowed a 4.2 from a freind that has the internal circuit, so I'm good on resolving from a Nagra.

P.S.  Much as I love the machines, I am glad we are now in digital audio world. And glad not to have to carry a Nagra 4.2 anymore.

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It's a nice offer but an SLP won't help you--it only worked with Nagra IIIs (and nothing later).  I had one for my Nagra III and it worked pretty well, but not as well as the SLO did on my 4.2.  I was very chagrined to find that I could not use the SLP with my IV and 4. type Nagras...

SynchronizerSLP,KudelskiSA.jpg

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Aloha, the Film Group actually made a resolver for your Sony TC-D5M and they called it Sony TC-D5M/Pro11. They modified a standard TC-D5m recorder to accept and include a sync resolver system. You may want to go on line and look up The Film Group. They have published all there products including the resolver. Cheers 

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The resolver I had didn't look anything like what The Film Group shows, but worth a call to see if theirs would work with your Sony, if they actually have any--maybe they still have rental units.   It would be a little surprising if any of that gear was still available for sale in 2017, but back in the day they were The Dudes re sync sound on super 8.

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totally of topic:

I have a case of brand new sealed TDK superior d90 normal bias tapes that are free to a good home.

Also Olympus mini cassette recorder with bunch of sony mini tapes.

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I designed and built 50Hz xtal units for TC5D machines on the basis that recording the audio and pilot track

onto a Nagra 4.2 would provide a sync but albeit a second generation copy.

mike

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Tried dubbing the cassette to 1/4" on the Nagra while sending the cassette 60Hz tone out to Pilot In on the Nagra--at the crystal plug on the right side. It did not cause the little Pilot indicator on the right front to show black and white on playback.  I tried sending the signal through a mixer to boost the gain.  I could hear it bleeding through on playback, but still did not cause the Pilot indicator to lock onto it and show white.  Any thoughts?  

If I can't get pilot read on playback, I will just have to import the cassettes directly into Pro Tools with a simple .1% pulldown and sync by eye after.

 

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How many hours of audio do you have? I ask because for me, as someone who has done a fair amount of dialogue editing, I'd look at the cost/time to find a resolver vs. just dumping the audio into pro tools and manually cutting. If you have hundreds of hours, then obviously that's a pain, but if it's just tens of hours, it can be done if the sync isn't too bad. 

What can happen...and it's kind of black magic...is that you end up finding a time stretch/compression setting that magically makes it all work, and you can just process the files that way, especially if you have something like sound forge where you can batch process everything real fast, but that's more luck than anything else. When I've had to do stuff like this I've usually figured out a way to do it quickly once I get into it...most of the time. 

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