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
----- Original Message -----
From: "Richard L. Hess" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Monday, October 29, 2012 2:57 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] compact audio cassette questions
> 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.