The complexity of this is the level of the collection. Obviously, if you
have the RCA Living Stereo Collection, no you can't play catch-up and do
on-the-job-experimental learning. On the other hand, after a few
learning sessions, I think the motivated archivist with some audio
interest might successfully tackle what I see as a huge percentage of
the audio collections that are culturally important, but not sonically
important. While it may sound like a heresy, I think these can be
preserved without as much attention to the last tenth of a decibel (if
such a level of precision ever existed in professional magnetic recording).
Let's take for example a major student oral history project, recorded on
Wollensak T-1500 half-track machines with the provided Wollensak ceramic
microphone. Once you learn about azimuth and levels and cleaning the
tape deck and say you're using a Studer A807 to digitize the tapes,
there aren't too many things you can do on the ingest side that will
degrade the audio performance of the original tape. One archive I worked
with had interviews with people who knew Richard Nixon as a child. That
certainly is a culturally important artifact, but it was recorded on the
Wollensaks, as described. This was actually the content that used
volunteers under the direction of the careful and conscientious archivist.
On 2012-10-29 1:51 PM, Dennis Rooney wrote:
> Richard offered the only possible suggestion to anyone responsible for a
> collection of important recordings who is inexperienced with the medium.
> There are too many solutions to operational problems that only experience
> can provide. Don't even think about "catching up". You cannot.
Richard L. Hess email: [log in to unmask]
Aurora, Ontario, Canada (905) 713 6733 1-877-TAPE-FIX
Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes.