I transfer/convert reel to reel magnetic audio tapes and phonograph records to digital files and CD.
Audio forensics / legal tape, audio clip enhancement. Clients include record companies, music publishing companies, film companies, artist's catalogs, songwriters and private individuals. Services include analog audio recording, digital audio recording, editing, mixing, transferring, restoration, mastering, remastering. Dehydrating or baking tapes is performed should a tape require it. There is a flat fee of $10/reel for the service. I also prepare CD masters that are error checked and ready for CD replication.
This “side business” started many years ago after a close songwriter friend asked me if I could take some old reel-to-reel tapes and transfer them to CDs. I told him I could and would. I have been using analog tape machines since my early recording days and fortunately, I still have my first ones. It made sense to add analog to digital transferring as a studio service. Transferring is performed on days when the studio is not booked.
There comes a time when a magnetic audio tape recording will be rendered un-playable. The key is to get the information transferred from the media as soon as possible before any further deterioration can occur. Playing an old tape will most likely cause more damage and high frequency loss, so it is very important for the client not to play the tape prior to transferring it. Like restoring paintings or any other type of old art, retrieving audio from reel-to-reel tape or records can be quite challenging. Some tapes and records arrive in bad condition. Care must be taken in their handling. Special equipment which requires maintenance and calibration is needed to complete the process. I receive many reels of ¼" and ½" tape from the 1950's and 60's that have paper leader at the beginning and the end of the reel and at numerous places along the reel. These splices dry out and let loose when the tape plays or is fast-wound through. These edits always require being redone with fresh splices and new leader-timing tape before the tape can even be played for transfer. I have never received a magnetic tape that I could not transfer successfully. That includes having 100% success transferring paper based magnetic tapes from the 1940's.
* Transfer to CD price estimates: Price depends on the length of the recording (running time or playing time) and condition of the media supplied. If you would like a rough estimate of transfer cost, please supply the following information in your email. Tape brand and number (i.e., Scotch #111, Ampex #406). Reel size in inches. Tape width (i.e., ¼", ½"). Tape length (i.e., 1200', 1800'). Tape speed. Usually hand written as a note (i.e., 3¾, 7½, 15 IPS). Indicate If the tape is recorded in one or two directions (sometimes, this is not known until the tape is played). I do not have a flat-rate transfer price beacuse every tape has a different running time. I do not charge for blank portions of tape. I personally do all the work myself.
Do you have some digital mixes that need some analog warmth? Get your mixes passed through either my Ampex ATR-102 or Ampex 350 tube machine and back to digital files. Tranfers made from these machines are absoutely stunning. Email me for more information.
Analog magnetic audio tape formats I accept for transfer, conversion, restoration and archiving to digital files and CD:
• ½" 8-track reel to reel 7½, 15 I.P.S.
• ½” 4-track and 2-track reel to reel 7½, 15, 30 I.P.S.
• ¼” 2-track, half-track, full-track reel to reel 3¾, 7½, 15, 30 I.P.S.
• ¼” 4-track, quarter-track reel to reel 3¾, 7½, 15 I.P.S.
• ¼” 8-track, eigth-track reel to reel 15 I.P.S.
Other formats accepted for transferring and archive:
• Tascam DA-88
• Audio Cassette
• Phonograph Records, 16, 33, 33-1/3, 45, 78 RPM
Tape machines used for tape to digital or CD transfer:
• Ampex ATR-102 ¼” 2-track reel to reel 3¾, 7½, 15, 30 I.P.S.
• Ampex AG-440C ½” 2-track, 4-track or ¼” 4-track reel to reel 3¾, 7½, 15 I.P.S. (also variable speed)
• Ampex AG-440B ¼” 4-track reel to reel 7½, 15 I.P.S.
• Ampex 350-2 ¼” 2-track reel to reel 7½, 15 I.P.S.
• Ampex 300-4 ½” 4-track reel to reel 7½, 15, 30 I.P.S.
• Fostex 80-8 ¼” 8-track reel to reel 15 I.P.S.
• Teac 4330-S ¼” 4-track reel to reel 7½, 15 I.P.S.
• Tascam 80-8 ½" 8-track reel to reel 15 I.P.S.
• Tascam TSR-8 ½" 8-track reel to reel 7½", 15 I.P.S.
Noise reduction units available for transfer:
• dbx 155 type I, 8 channels
• Dolby SR, 2 channels