In the dozen or so years that I have been active in audio archiving (as
opposed to the previous 40+ years where I was active in audio recording
and system/facility design) I have seen a tendency to not touch a
recording until it can be transferred with the utmost quality. I am NOT
pointing to anyone in particular here, but rather a mindset that may be
diminishing. I recall in the past "what is the best A-D converter"
questions when, for many applications, the answer is "many will work".
One of the questions that haunt people responsible for overall
conservation is "how do we empower local archives to undertake these
preservation projects when the alternative is letting the material rot
into oblivion?" There will never be enough grant funding to pay for all
the culturally worthy projects. Some of the most culturally important
artifacts rest with people currently unequipped to preserve it. Much of
this type of work has been done on artifacts documenting First Nations
people, sometimes funded by outsiders with an interest in maintaining
the history of a rapidly vanishing culture. More than once, the
preservation work has been funded by the original reporter/producer who
commissioned/made the recordings decades earlier. These recordings are
the ones that most often are burned into optical media if there is no
large-scale sponsor/host for the finished material.
These recordings were often made under adverse circumstances on
inexpensive equipment. It was a joy to transfer a full-track mono 7.5
in/s recording last night for a university client. I had forgotten what
good S/N was on a spoken word tape. Alas, this had two whines (very
stable) at about 1500 and 1800 Hz that can be easily removed via the
Sampltude FFT filter.
I did receive permission to post a tape clip that a client was very
pleased with the cleanup. I will let the list know when it is posted as
it may be a useful frame of reference for the type of tapes Tom and I
are discussing here.
On 2012-10-30 9:51 AM, Tom Fine wrote:
> I TOTALLY agree with Richard! You don't need a Nak Dragon and years of
> experience tweaking parameters to successfully transfer a pile of oral
> history interviews and get audible results (assuming the original
> recordings were done with enough competence to produce audibiliy,
> which is not always the case), for instance. A pile of recital
> recordings at a music school may be a different animal. My advice
> would be, following a quicky in-house transfer of the lower-grade
> audio material, store the cassettes in a dry, reasonably cool
> environment and if there are a couple of tapes that need extra
> treatment, they are there to send to a professional.
> -- Tom Fine
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.