Richard L. Hess

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Richard L. Hess
Contact Information—How to get your tape restored

We provide high-quality transfers/copies
even from hard-to-play tapes.

Tape navigation: Home | Tips & Notes | History | Formats & Resources | Projects | Facility | Contact

This Site Map explains the organization of the materials concerning tape and media engineering at

The key to navigating this site is that all pages have the lilac-coloured menu bars that access the top level sections. This map begins with an explanation of that menu bar.

Tape Home
Tips & Notes   Formats & Resources
Site Map
This is the site home page and lists our basic capabilites.

The top of this page contains links to news items, new capabilities, and new or updated site resources.
The two different links provide two entry points into this sub-site. A common search engine will search all of this information.

This is our blog, with guest articles.

The formats portion of the sub-site provides a hierarchical list of media formats.

There are several pages of general media resources plus a number of pages of resource information under the Analog Audio page.

There are a number of internal navigation tools in the sidebar.
This page lists some of our completed projects and includes client comments. This page shows pictures of our facility and lists the equipment we use.

The equipment list is a useful place to start when asking, “What should I use?”
This page. How to
—contact us
—ship to us
—pay us

On some pages there is a second line in the menu bar. That line contains links to subsections with that one page.

Following is a listing of the other media-related pages within our site, including:
  • Our tape pages ( )
  • Our broadcasting and engineering pages ( )
  • Our photo pages ( )
  • Our index page at
  • Our main page at
Most of these are linked from various places within the site, but they are all presented here for convenience.

ship_01.htm This Web form is our Shipping Advice form. It should be filled out when tapes are shipped to us.
timing.htm This is a tape timing chart which helps convert tape speed and tape length to program time.
general.htm This page discusses our policy on general audio and recording questions.
ame_equalizer_20040412.pdf This is the application note that I wrote for the Ampex Master Equalization circuit which I made a few years ago. It updates the information at Jay McKnight's Magnetic Reference Lab Web site.
seminar200605.pdf The description of the tape restoration seminar of May 2006.
rfq.htm A short-form request for quotation form. This is an optional form to help us look at the tapes need of restoration.
rfq_long.htm A long-form request for quotation form. This is a more-detailed optional form to help us look at the tapes in need of restoration.
/be/index.htm This is the top page of the Broadcasting and Engineering pages. While most of the separate pages are listed below, it may be worth a quick visit to see if anything there is of use to you.
/be/aes-80.htm This is the 1980 paper I presented at the fall AES conference in New York discussing the transition from power matched audio distribution to "voltage matched" audio distribution.
/be/test_eq.htm This is an expanded discussion of (mostly) audio test equipment.
/be/wire.htm This page is an aging discussion of what to put in a new or renovated home as far as signal cable is concerned.
/be/flashlights.htm When LED flashlights were first being introduced, I became addicted to them. Here are my thoughts on useful and wonderful LED flashlights. Hold on to your wallets!
/photo/index.htm This is the main page for my photography pages. In addition to the pages listed here there are two older gallery pages that are accessible from the main page.
/photo/18no.htm After wondering why 18% gray cards didn't really provide accurate exposure, I reviewed the ANSI standard for photo meters and realized that the meters were being set to about 12-13% as the average scene reflectance, not 18%. This looks at the issue with a little math from the standard.
/photo/camsup.htm This is an aging look at selecting tripods. I haven't updated this for a while, but hopefully some of the basic premises still hold true. This is the link to my main online photo gallery. It's hosted by Since Vignettes Media refers to my tape restoration business and my record label, entering via provides a choice of directions. We prefer using for the tape restoration work. We have an auxiliary site,, which is used for a variety of purposes:
  • It provides client interaction (uploading and downloading files)
  • It hosts files to support discussions on various mailing lists
  • It hosts files to support the Restoration Notes and Tips blog
There is no directly accessible public content at this site.

The following pages are key pages within the Tips & Notes / Formats & Resources sub-site:

Hierarchical listing of media formats
        A base film primer
             Cassettes using 0.15-inch wide tape (standard cassettes and some obscure formats)
             Cartridges using 0.25-inch wide tape (8-tracks and additional less-well-known formats)
             Reel-to-reel tape formats using tape 0.25-inch wide
             Reel-to-reel tape formats using tape 0.5-inch wide
             Reel-to-reel tape formats using tape 1-inch wide
             Reel-to-reel tape formats using tape 2-inches wide
             Tape equalization standards (analog)
             Noise reduction for analog channels (Dolby, dbx, Telcom, etc.)
             Tape reels and hubs
             Analog audio tape speeds
             Tape synchronization: SMPTE Time Code and about nine different PILOT-tone systems
             Tape Timing Chart—converting length and speed to running time
             Notes about audio tape winding
        Analog audio recorded on a VCR's HiFi audio tracks
        Data tapes
        Dedicated digital audio formats (including those using video tapes in dedicated machines)
        Digital audio formats using an adapter to record digital audio on video tapes using a VCR
        Instrumentation tape formats
        Logging tape formats
        Video tape formats (an overview with where to find the information)

Resource Pages
Sources of information, supplies, and support

Article Top-Level Categories
Archive operations
Computer and data articles
Archive and studio infrastructure articles
Articles about parts
Articles about tools and their application
Video articles

The following is a list of obsolete pages that remain on the site as they may be linked in a few places. They are no longer being updated.

/tape/disaster.htm This has been replaced by the disaster recovery page in the Tips & Notes area.
/tape/equipment.htm This has been replaced by the facility page.
/tape/resources.htm This has been replaced by the Formats & Resources mini-site.
/tape/tips.htm This has been replaced by the Tips & Notes blog.

Tape navigation: Home | Tips & Notes | History | Formats & Resources | Projects | Facility | Contact
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