Backing up Richard's point -- it's just not that expensive to transfer and store in VERY high
quality. You can get set up and work in all 96K/24-bit for LESS money than it used to cost for a
noticeably inferior DAT or CD-grade system (44.1 or 48/16 bit). The A-D chips are better and cheaper
than ever. The D-A chips likewise. I'm a big advocate for spending a little extra for good analog
stages on both ends, but none of that needs to be ridicu-cost unless you WANT to pay a huge premium
to have a cult brand in your studio.
Regarding 30-year-old stuck like glue analog tapes. We need to be sane here and cut losses. If they
can be baked to playability, play them into a good digital converter and move on. Do not waste money
trying to keep around decades old and clearly chemically shot tapes. And certainly don't waste money
on the cult-cure-of-the-hour because NONE of them have worked over time and most of them are
promoted by half-sane charlitans (like much audio gear, especially in the high-end hifi arena).
Spend your money on a great managed digital storage system. Your grandkids will thank you.
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "Richard L. Hess" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Monday, May 14, 2007 5:13 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] 'New' solution for sticky shed
> Hello, Konrad,
> I understand your point, but when someone is ready they will come over here from TapeOp and
> 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.