Marie, do you know where the tapes were sourced from? I'm wondering if they are European origin and
thus likely BASF and/or AGFA stock. My experience with BASF tape in general is that it's
rock-steady. I've transferred 100+ BASF reels for a private client, plus a couple dozen BASF
cassettes over the years. AGFA seems more of a mixed bag. I speculated that the mass-duper tapes
I've had to bake are somewhat likely to be AGFA, because AGFA had a large footprint in the USA
duplication market. But they could well be 3M, too, because 3M also had a large footprint with
cassette dupers. I've had AGFA PEM468 1/2" tapes that were sticky-shed, but my understanding is
that's not typical of that tape type. So maybe an inordinate percentage of bad AGFA tape ended up
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "Marie O'Connell" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Friday, January 22, 2016 5:55 AM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Cassttes - Re: [ARSCLIST] One more sticky-shed data point - Richardson
I've been doing mass digitisation of cassette recordings in our collections
from the 1980's and 1990's since 2014. The tape stock is unknown as the
paperwork from the originator is not available/gone. The casings have not
identifying markings unfortunately.
These cassettes are proving to be perfect for this and I have already done
over 7,000 cassettes which are either C60 or C90.
So far I have had a handful of tapes which I have had to re-house in new
shells; several hubs which have splintered due to earthquake impact and
rendered the cassette to not turn, but in the main they are perfect
contenders for this type of work with little human interaction apart from
turning the tape over and inputting relevant metadata.
This is easily done as background work with spreadsheets and preserved in
real time. I run two Tascam workhorses in the background each day and can
get through about 60 odd x C60 cassettes each week.
Just another interesting experience...
On Fri, Jan 22, 2016 at 1:41 PM, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> YES! I forgot to mention Ampex Grandmaster cassettes circa late 1970s. I
> had some in my collection and they ended up being the first cassettes I
> baked, because they squeeled and ground to a halt, having gummed up the
> static parts of the tape path.
> -- Tom Fine
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Richard L. Hess" <
> [log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Thursday, January 21, 2016 3:44 PM
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Cassttes - Re: [ARSCLIST] One more sticky-shed
> data point - Richardson treated tape
> Yes and the Zoom recorders -- even the H1 -- are very usable.
>> As to your other question, I think some Ampex cassettes come to mind for
>> baking. Why am I not surprised.
>> I suspect that the relative lack of process control has as much to do
>> with binder breakdown susceptibility as basic formulation.
>> On 1/21/2016 2:41 PM, Lou Judson wrote:
>>> Indeed it would! I was once hired to record oral histories of SF Port
>>> people before they passed on. We had four couples around a table in the
>>> Ferry Building, responding to questions and conversing. Each had a lavalier
>>> mic and we used a Dugan System auto mixer into Pro Tools. Two sessions like
>>> that before they ran out of funding. ’Twas fun while it lasted and sounded
>>> darn good!
>>> I had a few dozen cassettes of a famus psychologist to transfer from
>>> classes at a college back East. I noticed that the last few words were
>>> repeated on the other side, and sure enough later on they got the original
>>> reels, and I got to do it all again but better. Been there, done that! :-)
>>> Good move to make them more affordable - ethics trump (Ooo, hard to use
>>> that word any more!) profits.
>>> It has amazed me how good a recording can be made with an iPhone laying
>>> on a table - they are so thin, it is like a PZM, and can be enhanced for
>>> pretty good clarity!
>>> (I recommend Retro Recorder for this - been using it for meeting records
>>> and darn good for that!)
>>> <http://mcdsp.com/2013/08/06/retro-recorder/> and they got the visual
>>> design just right:
>>> <http://www.macobserver.com/tmo/review/retro_recorder_1.1.1> More than
>>> a toy!)
>>> Lou Judson
>>> Intuitive Audio
>>> On Jan 21, 2016, at 11:14 AM, Richard L. Hess <[log in to unmask]>
>>> On 1/20/2016 8:49 PM, Lou Judson wrote:
>>>>> I wish people would hire engineers to record oral histories!
>>>> Wouldn't that be Nirvana?
>>>> I recall that there was one client who had a mix of reels and cassettes
>>>> of oral histories. They started out with reels. Someone made cassette
>>>> copies of the reels so the client wanted me to digitize the cassette
>>>> copies, but she didn't want to pay the extra cost of digitizing from the
>>>> reels (the reels needed baking). I dropped my price on the reels as I
>>>> refused to do it from the cassettes when the reels were still transferrable.
>>>> The reels were good--even the 1.88 in/s ones, though the odd 7.5 in/s
>>>> one was spectacular. Anyway, I convinced myself that the reels were
>>>> recorded by someone who knew what they were doing with a good external mic
>>>> (like usually came with a Uher).
>>>> So then they got to the cassettes...yup, $29.95 drugstore cassette
>>>> recorders with built-in mics sitting just far enough off tables...
>> Richard L. Hess email: [log in to unmask]
>> Aurora, Ontario, Canada 647 479 2800
>> Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes.