Thank you all for the many helpful replies. Rather than reply to individual
posts, I'll reply here to several.

Sound Forge is a two track program. That is the beauty of it for archival
work. I don't pay for multitrack capability, midi, sequencers or other
features that I don't generally use. Until now anyway. Sound Forge did have
pretty decent technical support. It might still be good, but since they've
been purchased by Sony you have to pay for it. I

I will certainly look into the other programs such as Cool Edit, Pro Tools,
Samplitude and Graham's TripleDAT. ProTools is the only one of these I've
used before and it has always struck me as overkill for archival work, but
perhaps not. I've considered both Sonic Solutions and SADiE workstations,
but unless you are a well-heeled studio, they've never struck me as very
good value. I recently was getting quotes on a SADiE system and the PC that
hosted it was pretty primitive without a lot of very expensive upgrades. It
struck me similar to buying a car. The car seems inexpensive until you add
the radio, the A/C, etc. Fortunately buying a car isn't really like this
anymore. For those of you that use SADIE or Sonic Solutions, what are the
advantages that make them worth the extra thousands of dollars? Obviously
the software-based processes. What else? I'm afraid of being locked into
one hardware/software combination, especially when I can't purchase an
entirely new setup every couple of years like a for-profit studio can.

And for Alyssa's comments about sound engineers. I'd like to hire one, but
I think that for many institutions it is a stretch just to hire somebody at
the curatorial level with expertise in audio media let alone an audio
engineer. We do have an audio engineer in the library that I consult with
regularly, but she works for another branch. In my experience, training as
a sound engineer does not qualify one to do archival work, though audio
people are not nearly as ignorant of archival issues as the video people
are. (Why aren't you burning everything to DVD? I get that at least once a
month.) The audio training is great for pulling cable and getting rid of
ground loops all sorts of other important things that many archivists are
terrible at, but an archival sound technician/engineer needs two kinds of
training to do their job right.


David Seubert, Curator
Performing Arts Collection
Davidson Library Special Collections
University of California
Santa Barbara, CA  93106
(805) 893-5444 Fax (805) 893-5749
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