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Tracking Error

From Chace Audio

A tracking error is a mismatch between the information recorded onto a tape and the machine or head that is trying to read that information. Whether analog or digital, audio or video, the information recorded onto a tape must conform to a very tight tolerance of physical alignment. This standard ensures compatibility between different tapes and machines of the same format. If the physical placement or alignment of the playback heads of a machine do not conform to the alignment of the tape it is trying to play, tracking errors will result. Tracking errors can cause diminished audio fidelity or, in the case of digital recordings, complete mutes in the soundtrack.