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Hello Ed,

One subtle but important tip regarding 1/4-track stereo reel-to-reel 
recordings is that they need to be played back on a 2-track machine if 
your target audience is blind listeners.

It is tempting to use 4-track heads because you can digitize both the
A and B sides in a single pass, reducing your digitizing effort/time
and hence cost by nearly 50%.

However, blind people tend to have very acute hearing.  If you digitize
a 1/4-track tape with a 4-track head, there will be too much cross-talk
on the adjacent tracks (ie. you can hear the B-side (playing backwards)
at a very low level in the background of the A-side).  The cross-talk 
is annoying to sighted listeners, but can be intolerable to blind 
listeners.

Hopefully this and other tips from ARSC list members will help you get 
your project done correctly from the start.

Best of luck on your project,

Eric Jacobs

The Audio Archive, Inc.
tel: 408.221.2128
fax: 408.549.9867
mailto:[log in to unmask]
http://www.TheAudioArchive.com
Disc and Tape Audio Transfer Services and Preservation Consulting


On Monday, January 05, 2009 1:26 PM, Ed Mormon wrote:

> Our collections extend back to the 1950s and include reel-to-reel 
> and cassette masters, as well as digital audio tape and other 
> digitized recordings on CDs.  Much of the digitization of the
> older material was done haphazardly.
>
> As you can imagine, the sound archives are quite important to an
> organization of blind people.  We would like retrospectively to 
> insure that all our recordings are digitized professionally and 
> stored in a little space as possible given concerns for preservation.
>
> We recently joined ARSC, and I signed up for this listserv in 
> order to learn from folks in the sound preservation enterprise.
>
> Any advice you can provide will be much appreciated!