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No offence taken, Mike.  However, I still believe in doing the job right in
the first place, as you are leaving a 'fingerprint' for the next archivist
who steps into your shoes in the years to come.  I like working to a
standard. 

I am fortunate enough to be working with audio owned by this University.
Some of the audio I have preserved, since coming from a Broadcasting Archive
in NZ, has been recorded in an amateur fashion, to say the least, with poor
training in mic placement, asking relevant questions, actually listening to
the guest, etc.  Not to mention, in the other 2 institutions I have worked
in here since I have been here, spliced reels of tape that go from 15/16th
to 1 7/8ths & 3 3/4ips and then back to 15/16ths all on the same reel.  This
would present a huge problem, unless done in real-time.

If I was forced to use these other methods, and owned my own studio, I would
document it fully, as to what I have done exactly, and would explain this to
the client before even going embarking on the job. 

Cheers

Marie O'Connell
Sound Archivist/Audio Engineer
The Center For Oral History & Cultural Heritage
The University Of Southern Mississippi
118 College Drive #5175
Hattiesburg, MS, 39401-406
Ph: 601-266-6514
Fax: 601-266-6217

-----Original Message-----
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Mike Richter
Sent: Monday, February 13, 2006 1:03 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] 1/4" audio tape digitizing

Marie O'Connell wrote:
> I work with spoken word/oral histories all the time, and it is my
> recommendation that to make a digitized preservation copy/master, that it
is
> done in real-time.  I work with both reel-to-reel and cassettes, with
speeds
> ranging from 15/16ths to 15ips.  
> 
> I believe there is a requirement to get the best quality from spoken word
> recordings.  In fact, in terms of preservation work, real-time is the only
> way to go.  I'm sorry, it may take longer, but it is worth it.

I fully understand where you are coming from and I mean to give no 
offense, but circumstances alter cases and such a blanket treatment is 
not sufficient.

For example, suppose you have only limited time to do the job: the 
waters are rising or the loan arrangements by which you have the 
material at all are terminating. An even more common case is one where 
there is simply not enough schedule or budget to do the job as you will. 
Would you really say: If I cannot do this right, I'll not do it at all?

Perhaps it is extreme and foolish, but if the circumstances dictated it 
and I were faced with a time limit on two-track 3-3/4 ips tape, I'd 
happily play back at 15 ips and record "stereo" directly to standalone 
CD. Both channels would be quad-speed chipmunks and one would be in 
reverse, but the capture would be in hand and particularly for spoken 
word what is essential can be retrieved later. Given ten times the 
resources (particularly time), I would prefer to work in real time, each 
channel in the right direction and processed to higher quality.

Mike
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