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Azimuth
Azimuth Errors

Azimuth Errors

From Chace Audio

Azimuth is the vertical alignment in the plane of the tape path along the record and playback heads of a tape machine or mag dubber. Azimuth issues are timing issues due to the alignment of the tape against the head. Before recording or playing back tape or film, azimuth adjustment is applied to the head (with any number of tracks) to ensure that the tape or film is in alignment; bad alignment causes errors that are problematic in multi-track recordings.

For the purposes of this discussion we will refer to a two-track recording. Optimum azimuth adjustment places a single audio event at the same physical plane on both tracks of the tape or film. As the azimuth gets out of optimum alignment, that single audio event gets placed physically farther apart on the two tracks in relation to the head. When the azimuth adjustment of a playback head is different from the azimuth of the recorded material, there will be a timing delay between the two tracks of audio.