What a great discussion. I, however must say that I would think twice
about trusting my collection with someone who might have the motivation
but lacks the experience. These past two weeks I have been benching all
my cassette decks for major overhaul. What inspired me to do this was
the crappy job my engineers did. The details are not important and are
quite boring, but it's enough to say that they are to young to know when
it's time to shut down and do what needs to be done. So two weeks later,
with new pinch rollers, belts, heads where needed, deep cleaning and
lubrication, I can say that cassettes now sound as they should. Mind you
all these are oral history. True, every word was distinguishable but the
swooshing of tape traveling on the pinch rollers, the muddiness of dirty
and misaligned heads, etc.... well, it was a huge delete and an even
bigger yelling. And those are engineers that have worked with me before,
and know audio.
If you want it done right then you know what needs to be done. I must
say, finding the parts was not as easy as last time (two years ago), and
I may even part with my Tascam decks. You need an engineer that knows
these media and knows what to do when something goes wrong. If you have
old cassettes then you would probably run into cassette that do not play
right because of various mechanical failures and it's not knowledge that
can be passed on over the INTERNET or taught in an hours. It's stuff
that you learn over the years. Yes, some things can be done with less
experienced hands, but that would not be old cassettes.
For those in Sandy's path, read the nice jokes about her on the web, and
בתאריך 29/10/12 10:03 PM, ציטוט Dennis Rooney:
> Dear Richard,
> In a case where a motivated archivist can be guided by an experienced
> professional, who is able to calculate the archivist's learning ability, I
> agree that certain kinds of material can be dealt with as you suggest.
> However, stringent adherence to good practice seems a sound way to proceed
> regardless of original recording equipment, however inferior. The job is,
> after all, to play back that bad recording as perfectly as possible so that
> once it reaches the digital domain further work to improve it can be
> performed successfully. Azimuth and other mechanical adjustments are best
> learned through demonstration and, when the basic steps are understood can
> be performed by non-professionals with occasional communication for special
> cases. Assuming, of course, that the non-professional can hear and know
> what he is listening for. Which is why the initial tutorial is critical.
> On Mon, Oct 29, 2012 at 2:57 PM, Richard L. Hess
> <[log in to unmask]>wrote:
>> Hi, Dennis,
>> 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.
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