Tape hiss

Noise that is caused by minute imperfections in the surface of a recording medium.
Tape hiss

Tape hiss is the high frequency noise present on analogue magnetic tape recordings caused by the size of the magnetic particles used to make the tape. Effectively it is the noise floor of the recording medium. It can be reduced by the use of finer magnetic particles or by increasing the amount of tape used per second to record a signal. It can also be reduced by increasing the track width of the recording. A 3 dB reduction in hiss occurs for every doubling of the track width.

A number of noise reduction techniques can be used to reduce the impact of tape hiss, including Dolby NR and DBX, or, in case of video recording, frequency modulation of either the composite video signal, or the luma component.

Key Terms

analogue magnetic tape recordings
high frequency
magnetic particles
noise floor
recording medium
tape hiss
track width
use finer magnetic particles


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Tape hiss
Asperity Noise


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Sources & Credits

Last modified on July 8 2019
Content adapted from Wikipedia
No credits found. is service provided by Codecide, a company located in Chicago, IL USA.
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