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Hi, Sam, and Tom, and the original poster,

I will admit to being a happy Magix/Samplitude user for ten years 
now. I think there are several packages in this line that offer 
substantial value.

(1) Magix Audio Cleaning Lab - definitely an amateur product, but it 
has some cut-down versions of the high-end stuff and is available for 
download for $35 and a free trial is available. May be limited to CD-rate only.
http://www.magix.com/us/audio-cleaning-lab/

(2) For INGEST only (won't burn CDs, but will make WAV files, very 
limited processing compared to (1) and (3) but is a peek into the 
beginning of the "real deal" Samplitude -- version 9 SE
http://www.samplitude.com/eng/sam/se.html  $50 Euros for download

(3) A very competent mastering (stereo) solution with the restoration 
tools built in. Samplitude V10 Master, 
http://www.samplitude.com/eng/sam/master.html for 249 Euros, but may 
still be available for $299 US (see OrangeHill link, below).
There is a generic version (w/o restoration tools) for 30-day free 
trial available here:
http://www.samplitude.com/eng/seq/shop.html

The Samplitude US pricing is available here from OrangeHill Audio:
  http://www.orangehillaudio.com/pricelist.html

I am currently using Samplitude version 10.1 PRO and the restoration 
suite which is included in MASTER but an option in PRO plus the 
Algorithmix Noise Free Pro plug-in. At MAP on the OrangeHill site, 
that's $2599 worth of software if you bought it today.
Version differences are here:
http://www.samplitude.com/eng/seq/vers_unt.html

However, I think that a reasonable suite could be made from:
   Samplitude 9 SE for ingest (four stereo programs at a time)
   Samplitude 10 master for cleanup (one at a time)
The ideal arrangement, as I see it, would be an ingest PC running SE 
and four playback decks, recording to its hard drive. An auto-run 
ViceVersa Pro instance pushing those ingests to a server system (or 
at least a pair of NAS boxes) and then the cleanup workstation(s) 
work directly off the server/NAS over Gigabit Ethernet. I'm doing 
something somewhat similar in my workflow and it works. That's less 
than $400 worth of software and it's very competent. With competent 
used Dell Optiplexes available in this neck of the woods for ~$500 
tricked out as you'd need for audio (3 GHz processor, 1 GB of RAM, 
250 GB D: drive for data) you can set up a useable "factory" for 
$1400 plus your monitor speakers (another $1400 or so - Mackie HR824s 
are a good choice and if  you can get the original version used, that 
would be great) and then a good audio interface (I like the RME 
Multiface II a lot - it has switchable gain so it can work with IHF 
levels directly). That's another $1000 or so. This means a very 
competent setup for multi-ingest and single-processing (in parallel) 
could be set up for approximately $4000 which, while not peanuts, is 
far less than the cost of another person and would allow substantial 
throughput -- perhaps as much as four people doing single-element transfers.

The multiple ingest model only works if you scan all of the files for 
defects during a post session. This model permits that, but you can 
do that quickly and then render the MP3 access file and move on.

I use an earlier version of Samplitude SE to do 8-channel ingest in 
parallel with the 16-channel ingest I can do with my setup under 
Samplitude PRO. These run on two workstations as I have an 8-channel 
interface on my aux workstation and a 16-channel interface on my main 
one...but I don't have any 24-track playback capabilities (i.e. from one tape).

I will be the first to admit that the learning curve of Samplitude is 
steep, but no steeper than Audacity--at least for me. There are 
videos on their website that might help. However, if you could get an 
hour on the phone with someone after you've run through the tutorials 
it would help.

So, here's the software I'm currently using on a regular day in/day out basis:
   Samplitude 10.1 Pro
   Samplitude Restoration Plug-ins (most notably the de-clicker/de-crackler
      and not just on grooved-media-derived files (which I don't 
officially do))
   Algorithmix Noise-Free Pro
   RME Total Mix
   RME DigiCheck analyzer and stereo scope display
   FastSum MD5 generator
Here's the software I use perhaps once every month or two:
   WaveLab
   GoldWave
Here's the software loaded on my machine that I don't think I've used 
for six months or more:
   Diamond Cut (DC6--I didn't bother to upgrade to 7)
   Audacity

Sorry this got long, but I wanted to provide specific models.

Please don't cheap out, even on oral histories -- if your oral 
histories are anything like the ones I'm doing, they need all the 
help they can get.

Cheers,

Richard

At 09:32 AM 2008-08-15, Sam Brylawski wrote:
>Sorry for the mistyping on Soundforge, Tom . I didn't mean to imply
>that I thought that Audacity was in a league with Soundforge and any
>other professional applications.

Richard L. Hess                   email: [log in to unmask]
Aurora, Ontario, Canada       (905) 713 6733     1-877-TAPE-FIX
Detailed contact information: http://www.richardhess.com/tape/contact.htm
Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes.