Head is the generic term for the sound recording and sound reproduction serving speaking, listening and combined heads of tape recorders, video recorders and film projectors. A tape device typically has two or three magnetic heads, rarely more:
- An erase head ( LK) for demagnetization ( deletion ) of the band with high frequency ( rare dc field );
- The so-called pick-up head or hands head ( SK) for the actual recording;
- The playback head or Hörkopf ( HK) for playback or tape monitoring (control of recording ).
Listening and speaking head can be replaced by a combi-head; the control option while recording is then omitted.
Also, VCR and movie projectors for films with magnetic sound heads have: In the VCR, the audio is at the edge of the strip next to the diagonally adjacent video tracks, which are scanned with the head on the head drum. An analog audio must therefore be read or written with a separate head, the data of digital soundtracks other hand, are often recorded as part of the video - helical track. With film, the soundtrack is arranged next to the pictures, either as Magnetic or optical sound. For scanning the film about a capstan must be conducted that produces a smooth movement of the film in contrast to the jerky movement of the image reproduction.