YOUR TAPES ARE DISINTEGRATING!
Unlike digital audio and video formats analog tape deteriorates just sitting on your shelf. The sooner you get your tapes transferred the better chance you have of successfully saving your valuable media. And what good is just storing your tapes when you could enjoy listening to them or share them with fans, friends and family via social media. Several things are happening to all those recordings even as you read this. The physical material the tape made of (polyester or mylar) is becoming brittle and can become diffucult if not impossible to play without breaking. At the same time the magnetic properties of the tape which hold your content are losing strength - becoming demagnetized so when the tape is played it sounds muffled. Lastly, many tapes have a backcoating that over time can become gummy so when played on a tape machine it coats all the tape guides and heads making transferring almost impossible. The good news is we have solutions for these issues that allows us to save the majority of tapes.
We have been working with tape and tape machines for 5 decades and have the experience and equipment to successfully transfer just about any audio tape format, size or speed you might have. Our capability is from professional 24 track, to semi-pro, to consumer recordings all the way down to cassette. We own calibrated tape machines from Otari, Sony, Ampex, Teac, Tascam, Panasonic, Alesis and Pioneer. We also transfer DAT (Digital Audio Tape), ADAT 16-bit Multitrack (Alesis Digital Audio Tape), Sony Dash, phonograph records and even have a machine to play wire recordings.
Sonic Restoration PLUS!
The term restoration implies that we can make the sound from your tape sound like it did when it was originally recorded. Truth be told, we can potentially make it SOUND BETTER than it did originally. We have digital technology that enables us to reach inside a mixed recording and enhance specific elements of the recording . . like the vocals, bass or drums. We can remove noise and some types of distortion and bring your vintage recording sonically into a new decade.
In the above information regarding brittle tape, it often breaks while playing. We have been editing tape professionally for 5 decades so it's not a problem to put it right back together without you ever hearing it. Some tapes have been spliced and unfortunately over time many of those splices have turned to a sticky gummy mess and break. When they do, it's not a problem to fix them except often the old tape takes the magnetic oxide off with it. No oxide means no sound so you'll have a small silence in your recording. Often times this can be fixed with our digital editing services if desired.
So let's say you got the files back of a choral concert you were a part of and it was 2 hours long. You want to cut it down to an hour to give to the grand kids on a CD. We can do that. Or you wanted to remove a horrific chorus in the big closing number and replace it with the previous good one. We can do that too!
As mentioned above, sometimes tapes have backcoating that becomes gummy. Most of the time these are Ampex brand but do happen to others. To correct the problem for a limited period of time long enough to transfer the material we bake them in a constant low-temperature oven for a time and temperature specific to the tape. Although it allows the tape to be played it creates an amount of powder requiring the heads to be cleaned frequently while being transferred. The other consequence is if there are splices in the tape they will generally fail and need to be redone. Neither problem is a deal breaker to a successful transfer, it just takes more time resulting in additional cost.
Our engineer has been mixing multi-track audio for thousands of local, national and international projects for years. If you have some multi-track projects in need of a revitalization just ask!
Our typical analog transfers are digitized at 48K 24bit in either WAV or AIFF format. From there we can convert to any format you wish. The files will be uploaded to our servers for you to download. We will hold your tapes until you verify all your files downloaded and play properly. We can send your tapes back to you (at your expense) or dispose of them. If you would prefer we can copy your media to a thumb/USB drive or CD. If you want a CD we do have the ability to print directly on the disk for a professional looking package.