If you're commenting on the variations in program names (and there are several), ask more specific questions and you'll likely get an answer. I once had an email exchange with Michael where we discussed questions I had about various program names that weren't obvious to me.
Some of them are not, that's correct (and why I sent an email inquiring about some of the programs). But the vast majority of the programs are somewhat obvious; so if you inquire about the ones that are confusing (as in, ask specific questions) I'm sure you'll get answers.
Since the program names are indeed kind of messy, I'm working on a chart right now which will contain all the program names and what machine, tape, speed, and level correspond. Hang tight, I should be able to post shortly.
One thing I'm not finding in either the manual or my notes: The WOLFullBand programs; what tape is that? For some reason I thought they were 456 but I'm not finding anything that backs up that assertion. Anyone know?
Okay, try this spreadsheet. It's still incomplete on a couple items, if anyone knows the missing data and posts it here I'll add it to the spreadsheet: -Levels on the Sony, Akai, Wol, Laf, Teac machines -Tape used on WOL FullBand programs
I think that's it.
Here are a couple other notes from my correspondence that might be of interest regarding R2R:
The "A" and "B" versions inside R2R represent two gain ranges from the same successful sampling. "A" is the lower amount of harmonic distortion, and "B" is slightly higher.
All of the programs, especially the "A" programs, have some additional room left over for adding a few dB at input gain (which you can reduce at output to adjust for your rms or peak choice, and a few dB of boost from drive without adjusting level where desired.
Regarding the Studer A800 Programs:
The Studer is numbered slightly different because it was the trickiest to calibrate. The machine and tape were calibrated for +6dB tape, which is its best sounding calibration.
The number does represent the sampled volume in dB followed by the tape speed. But, in this case, it is designating the DAC input volume, where unity is treated as +6dB for best level above noise and below distortion. So, a Neb R2R program marked -10 for instance, was sent a test tone with max peak of -10dB, fed to the Studer at +6dB, for overall recorded peak of -4dB. -40dB was the quietest level measurable where harmonic content remained true to the machine without reading the noise floor, and this represents -34dB. There is 0dB, which represents the +6dB level.
These are just several passes. Because there is such a great non-linearity, every subtle change gave slightly different character. Some have slightly different tube harmonics and some have slightly smoother upper and lower spectrum.