I understand your point, but when someone is ready they will come
over here from TapeOp and rec.audio.pro.
I just got asked if I was hallucinating on the Studer list for saying
something similar to what Jim said and was told that analog is alive
and well and being widely used--I think I might have finally gotten
my point across of "fine if you want to use analog, also make a
simultaneous digital copy, 'cause archiving analog today is an
unnecessary cost burden on the archive and on the future".
I will gladly share and accept knowledge with/from this group, but
there are other groups who "know it all" such as the reel-to-reel
group where the opinion is "two-track is junk, give me quarter
track". Life is too short to even attempt to educate some of these
groups. They live in their own parallel universe.
I have a client right now who is spending lots of his money with me
to take a 1/4-track and 1/2-track mixed 7.5 in/s analog master and
make a 15 in/s 2-track analog master to cut a disc from. He won't let
me do the cleanup and editing in the DAW as he doesn't want it
touched by digital--though I'm sending him a 96/24 ref copy to see if
he wants me to proceed with the expensive analog recording--expensive
as he has to bear the full cost of the record alignment of the
machine as there is no other client to amortize it over. I haven't
done an analog recording in three years.
I think we all need to take to heart what Jim said. In correspondence
with Ric Bradshaw, he wondered why archives did not get content off
failing carriers 20 years ago when it would have been easier. He
doesn't subscribe to "define a perfect storage environment and it
will last forever" either.
Thanks, Jim, for the detailed explanation and the market research. I,
too, in my small way, am working on cheap, easy, and effective ways
to play lots of tapes. I'm looking at "massively parallel" operations
(i.e. I need a justification for the 16 tracks of digitization that I
have <smile>) and I hope next week to be ingesting four reels and
four cassettes simultaneously--two channels each. I think the cold
playing is an easy solution to the squealing tape problem.
The other thing to consider is that some/much of the content while
interesting and important is not the pinnacle of quality. While
quality matters, the last dB or % of quality matters less for a large
segment of recordings. For example, in a lecture recording that is
already flawed by bad mic placement and lots of room rumble,
finessing fractions of a dB are far less important than making an
excellent (albeit not absolute perfection) copy and capturing the
thoughts represented in that lecture. In fact, the more I look at the
numbers, the less I am sure that you can get absolute perfection
because the recording process is less well defined than we would like to think.
I have asked the question in some of my presentations over the last
half dozen years: "Will our grandchildren be happier if we saved more
at slightly lower (but adequate) quality or less at an extreme
pinnacle of quality?" Somehow, I always think the answer is "more"
rather than "absolute highest quality"...but I could be wrong.
Richard L. Hess email: [log in to unmask]
Aurora, Ontario, Canada (905) 713 6733 1-877-TAPE-FIX
Detailed contact information: http://www.richardhess.com/tape/contact.htm
Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes.