A little of my background before I get the question:
I have recently started work as managing archivist for an oral history
collection. As part of my work, I have stepped into a major project
digitizing (note: digitizing in our case means 2 things - 1. making
digital copies & files of analog materials & creating duplicates & files
of born digital materials) and duplicating interviews to be put into an
online database. I am not totally new when it comes to grappling with
issues of audio reproduction & digitization of analog materials, but I
would definitely consider myself no more than an advanced novice on the
technical side of things. In my former work at a music archive, I had
the support of 2 sound engineers on campus and a reputable local company
to help us make decisions about equipment/set-up/standards/etc. In my
new job & my new city, I have not found those resources yet.
At the moment, I am accessing the workflow process that has been in
place for a few years & am concerned that we are missing some key
equipment and, also, that the process we are following has too many
steps (not to mention the potential for low quality files).
Currently the process of duplication & digitization of audio materials
1st making an analog cassette copy of the original interview (to be used
(original materials may be Mini-Discs, analog cassettes, mini
cassette, reel to reel tapes, or DATs)
2nd making a separate CD "archival" copy on Mitsui Gold CDs
3rd creating a .wav file from the CD copy (which will eventually be
converted to an MP3 file for web access)
Currently we are using Cool Edit software to create .wav files & MP3s
but one of our major stakeholders wants us to switch to using the
In terms of current equipment, our computers are woefully outdated (and
I am not sure of what sound cards are being used) but we have put in for
newer ones. We do have 1 Mac G4, although to date it has not been used
for audio production (it appears to have been used for video - but no
one on staff is sure).
What I would like to do is connect our equipment so that we are
producing a duplicate cassette and .wav file at the same time, a CD
copy could then be made at 4x from the file and could have track marks,
if we choose. I envision a system that connects the original material
player into both the cassette machine and the G4 - obviously we would
need a configuration that accounted for the variety of original material
and we'd also need an ADC (maybe 2?).
My question is twofold - does anyone have a production system set up
that accomplished multiple tasks at the same time? Can anyone suggest
equipment/connections that would make such a set-up possible?
Ours is the usual story - minimal funding, not a lot of support and a
lot of pressure to keep producing. In my previous work, we used ProTools
& Digi002 and had a Lucid ADC. I am doubtful I could pull the funding
together in the short term for such software & equipment but am
concerned that continuation of our current methods will only create low
quality sound files and mean more work in both the short and long term.
Sorry for the long post. I appreciate advice and/or suggested resources
that people can give.
Reference Archivist and
Coordinator for the Oral History Program
Special Collections - J. Murrey Atkins Library
9201 University City Blvd
Charlotte, NC 28223-0001
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