All-in-all, mold is a headache, and I limit my mold processing to
1/4-inch tape as that is what I've seen most of and that is what I've
set up to do. I haven't seen enough of any other format that I
transfer to warrant setting up for it when I can refer the potential
client to Peter Brothers or Steve Putolillo.
I've been successful in cleaning moldy tapes but I insist that I do a
high-resolution (24/96) transfer of the tapes as I do not guarantee
that my procedures will not provide some long-term harm to the tapes.
I did a dozen or so reels for a Canadian broadcaster which had been
kept moist for a half a dozen years or so. This was probably the
worst mold job I've had -- there was thickness to the mold living in
the windows of the metal 10.5" reels. It took me a day in my garage
to do treat the group of reels, and another day baking. This was the
impetus to get a "moldy" baker (food dehydrator) that I only use on
moldy tapes (after cleaning, usually) and only out in the garage. I
figure if some mold escapes in the garage, it will enjoy meeting its
distant cousins who were already living there when I bought the house.
I keep one of my oldest Sony APR-5000s in the garage without heads as
the cleaning transport.
The only places I've accepted mold from have been Bermuda, Canada,
and the U.S.A. I have refused Central-American mold as I feel it's
irresponsible to knowingly bring an "exotic" species into the area,
and I cannot insure that I've 100% killed the mold.
The bulk of my moldy tapes have been from the mid-south (the
Carolinas seem to be especially hard-hit). Oddly, a client on Key
West doesn't have any mold per se, but she has ten cassette tapes
which are the hardest I've ever had to play. The only thing that's
worked on them so far is D5 siloxane (Decamethylcyclopentasiloxane)
and I really don't like using it.
Anyway, there are a few resources out there for transferring moldy
tapes. I think Steve Puntolillo at Sonicraft has done some as well--I
think he did some 2" from Jamaica that needed TLC.
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.