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Audio Transfer, Restoration, Archive : introductions thread Recorders, Players & Tape Machines
Old 14th November 2017
  #1
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Thread Starter
Audio Transfer, Restoration, Archive : introductions thread

Perhaps it would be useful to kick this off with an introduction thread? say hi, share what you can/do work on and get some serious networking going?

I'm sure there are going to be times where us knowing about each other, especially internationally, will help our clients out!





My name is Joe Caithness, I run a company/facility in Nottingham, UK called Subsequent Mastering.

Since I got the new room I've been learning and setting up/maintaining/restoring some analogue and digital formats outside the current standards.

I often work alongside a retired engineer who I used to share my room with called Dallas Simpson of dallas MASTERS and we help each other out and occasionally work together on an ad hoc basis if the project requires it. Dallas has a wealth of knowledge about formats dating back to early reel to reel home recorders and also happens to have some serious background in chemical biology, which is very useful!

I have stereo 1/4" tape (with baking for 3 or 4 tapes a go on site) via Studer a810 (just re factory specced and aligned) and Tascam BR20 (with pitch control etc). A few more decks we've worked on/or plan to in the medium term also.

I have on site a Goldring deck with a few different heads for 18-80 RPM discs (including Shellac/Acetate).

Vinyl test pressings and transfers are done via a Pro-Ject deck with an upgraded Ortofon. I'm learning a bunch at the moment about maintaining vinyl discs and players for when a mint copy isn't available..

I am trying to fix up a Mitsubishi Prodigi digital reel to reel right now, but not much luck, managed to get about half way to refurb and got stuck. Would love a SONY PCM DASH deck to play with also. Keeping an eye out.

Also on the digital side I have Sony PCM F1 Betamax and Umatic nailed, VHS is being slightly more tricky due to all the extra information later machines seem to add to the signal.

I can transfer CDR, Minidisc, DAT, DDC (Digital Compact Cassette) as well as audio compact cassette (normal tape) in various formulations and formats. We have a Genex (MODISK) 8 track unit here for transferring live/location recordings in high quality via AES.

Furthermore Dallas and I put together all the old digital storage formats he had used and we have his old Sadie rig set up for capturing DDP from Exabyte. A bunch more bits and bobs in this style I still need to test out, gimme a shout if you have something backed up on an obscure disc drive and I'll see if it works!

As far as getting it in goes I have a couple of different ADs from Prism, Lucid and RME depending on taste.

In the box I have the full Izotope RX bundle and some Sonnox tools in Wavelab as well as all my super transparent mastering plugins from DMG, TDL, Sonnox etc.

I'm currently learning more about repair of discs and other formats, I have a pretty serious tape editing/splicing rig set up ready to go, but would love to know more about vinyl physical restoration. I haven't dared to try fix a DAT or Cassette but I know it can be done..


Anyway that's more than enough about me.. what about y'all?
Old 16th November 2017
  #2
Hi Joe,

Good on ya for getting this new sub-forum!

In addition to being a mastering engineer for the last 20+ years, I am the acting Audio Preservation Manager/Engineer at New York Public Library, which has one of the largest collections of audio in the US (outside of the Library of Congress). We have material dating back to the earliest sound recordings pre-1900, on through today.

Hope to see lots of people here!
Old 16th November 2017
  #3
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Congrats on getting a dedicated forum thread !

After 35+ years Audio Engineering, I've moved into the realm of Mastering.

Restoration/Mastering has been my gateway. Look forward to the interactions here.

Thanks
Old 2nd December 2017
  #4
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Thomas W. Bethe's Avatar
My studio is Acoustik Musik, Ltd. and we are located in Oberlin, OH (35 miles Southwest of Cleveland). We specialize in mastering acoustic music and do a lot of transfer and restoration work for clients world wide. Most of my work is from reel to reel tape, vinyl, 78s and cassettes. We have all the popular analog formats and also DAT and Minidisc players. I have been doing transfer and restoration work for over 40 years. Having an acoustically well designed studio is very helpful when it comes to listening to and working on restoration projects. Our studios were professionally designed by Don Mitchel of DSM and Associates in Brunswick, Ohio. I have three interns working here who are learning the craft of restoration and transfer. We subscribe to the code of ethics of the Association for Recorded Sound Collections and we pledge to never do harm to any materials we are restoring or transferring.

We use both external processors as well as software for our restoration work. Much of the work we do is done using RX from Izotope and Diamond Cut Productions Forensics 10 Audio Forensics Software from Tracertek. Our turntable and all our analog tape decks are checked before every use and we use professional calibration tapes from MRL for checking out our reel to reel tape decks. Every project is special to us and we do the best we know how to do with every project. We recently worked on some Edison cylinders from a local historical society and some early 1930's 78 rpm disks from a local collector.

The work is fun and challenging and I always look forward to working with a new restoration client.
Old 3rd December 2017
  #5
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe View Post
My studio is Acoustik Musik, Ltd. and we are located in Oberlin, OH (35 miles Southwest of Cleveland). We specialize in mastering acoustic music and do a lot of transfer and restoration work for clients world wide. Most of my work is from reel to reel tape, vinyl, 78s and cassettes. We have all the popular analog formats and also DAT and Minidisc players. I have been doing transfer and restoration work for over 40 years. Having an acoustically well designed studio is very helpful when it comes to listening to and working on restoration projects. Our studios were professionally designed by Don Mitchel of DSM and Associates in Brunswick, Ohio. I have three interns working here who are learning the craft of restoration and transfer. We subscribe to the code of ethics of the Association for Recorded Sound Collections and we pledge to never do harm to any materials we are restoring or transferring.

We use both external processors as well as software for our restoration work. Much of the work we do is done using RX from Izotope and Diamond Cut Productions Forensics 10 Audio Forensics Software from Tracertek. Our turntable and all our analog tape decks are checked before every use and we use professional calibration tapes from MRL for checking out our reel to reel tape decks. Every project is special to us and we do the best we know how to do with every project. We recently worked on some Edison cylinders from a local historical society and some early 1930's 78 rpm disks from a local collector.

The work is fun and challenging and I always look forward to working with a new restoration client.

good to see you here Thomas and hope it is useful
Old 3rd December 2017
  #6
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Thomas W. Bethe's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe_caithness View Post
good to see you here Thomas and hope it is useful
Thanks and thanks for getting this forum started. It is nice to share information with others who have the same passions.
Old 4th December 2017
  #7
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OK ... from a thought/question started in another thread ... I thought better to come to the Restoration, fixer-upper forum.

The issue: ROOM TONE.

First ... this is NOT talking about typical 'Noise Reduction' [hiss, fan noises, hums, etc].

I want to focus on the inherent 'TONE' of a room that a audio recording emanates within ... and look to strategies to minimize or remove said 'tone'.

Thinking out loud on this. It has been suggested that an IMPULSE of the 'silent' section could be made, then re-applied with Reverse Polarity, to
the track as a form of 'acoustical cancellation'. Others have commented to shoot this idea down. ok.

Personally, I use iZotope Rx for many 'fix' options. Works good. Like it.

My internal questioning ... is there a better way? a different concept?

The goal: To achieve a 'digital black' sonic background. Absolute Silence, from a pre-recorded track.

Lets avoid the, 'should of cleaned it up before' comments. The recording IS what it is. The mission. Make it better.

Conversation, Ideas, Concepts, Strategies .... Tools ? This is the Restoration Forum. We all know the challenges we could face.

Thanks for sharing insights.
Old 5th December 2017
  #8
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Thomas W. Bethe's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by RJHollins View Post
OK ... from a thought/question started in another thread ... I thought better to come to the Restoration, fixer-upper forum.

The issue: ROOM TONE.

First ... this is NOT talking about typical 'Noise Reduction' [hiss, fan noises, hums, etc].

I want to focus on the inherent 'TONE' of a room that a audio recording emanates within ... and look to strategies to minimize or remove said 'tone'.

Thinking out loud on this. It has been suggested that an IMPULSE of the 'silent' section could be made, then re-applied with Reverse Polarity, to
the track as a form of 'acoustical cancellation'. Others have commented to shoot this idea down. ok.

Personally, I use iZotope Rx for many 'fix' options. Works good. Like it.

My internal questioning ... is there a better way? a different concept?

The goal: To achieve a 'digital black' sonic background. Absolute Silence, from a pre-recorded track.

Lets avoid the, 'should of cleaned it up before' comments. The recording IS what it is. The mission. Make it better.

Conversation, Ideas, Concepts, Strategies .... Tools ? This is the Restoration Forum. We all know the challenges we could face.

Thanks for sharing insights.
I am not sure that is needed. There are always environmental sounds and to take them all away would make the recording, IMHO, sound "strange" and "unnatural". FWIW
Old 5th December 2017
  #9
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"strange" and "unnatural" might be a concern, and might not be usable in all cases.

Curiosity would still like to hear the process.

About the closest is heavy use of Noise Reduction [over-looking the sonic artifacts].

Another might be the 'frierium EQ [spelling?] that alters the room to source balance.

Well, it is one of the late-nite thoughts that cross the remaining brain cell ... just looking for ideas/technique to experiment from.
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