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Tone settings on Analogue tape such as Nagra are very relative.
Nagra ATR's such as the 4.2L and 4STC have their recording bias
pre-set either at the factory or at the rental shop. Most sound
mixers do not adjust the bias themselves. The tone is pre-set
relative to the recording bias of the Nagra. Headroom on a Nagra is only about
Most often in post, Analogue tape with tone recorded at -8db should be set at
0 VU when played back. But, be careful. The tone on a Nagra can be
pre-set at any level regardless of the actual recording level of the
true sound. The tone could be misleading.
On DAT and other digital recording formats like D2 or Digi BC, the
recording headroom is up to 20db over 0 VU. DAT with a -8db tone
should be set at -8VU when played back. This is one of many reasons
we prefer production sound on DAT over Nagra.