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Do others on this forum run into these kinds of problems???
Old 16th January 2019
  #1
Do others on this forum run into these kinds of problems???

Been getting in a lot of transfer/restoration work. People bring in 4 to 13 reel to reel tapes and want an estimate of how much the transfer/restoration is going to cost. I ask them what speed and track configurations are and they shrug their shoulders and say "I don't know" I look at the boxes and the tapes and see they are so many feet but without knowing the speed and the track configuration it is impossible to "estimate" their length. Recently I got in some tapes that were recorded at 7.5. 3.75 and 15 ips all on the same tape. The track configurations were mono full track, 1/4 track stereo recorded in two directions and 1/2 track mono also recorded in two directions again on the same tape. It was a 10.5 in reel and the tape formulations were all over the place from Scotch 111 to what I assume was Ampex or Scotch back coated tapes. It seems that some one just spliced random tapes together to make a big reel. What do others do it this type of situation? Thanks in advance!
Old 17th January 2019
  #2
Mastering Moderator
 
Riccardo's Avatar
For me it depends on the type of customer. Those mixed up formats, rarely in one reel moe common in mixed batches of reels are from label doing reissues of out of rint titles or neverbefore released material, mostly on vinyl, sometimes with a "digital release option" on top of it. In this case I factor the "surprises" or potential time consuming challenges in the bulk price.

If it is a single non returnong customr it is difficult to give an estimate of costs. Possibly charge the double of what it would cost if it were a single speed, single eq single format tape?
Old 17th January 2019
  #3
Lives for gear
I've been doing much more of this type of work recently. I have two approaches. If someone calls me about a studio tape but otherwise knowing very little about the tape I'll quote my maximum price but explain that I would reduce the price if the tape turns out to be short and simple to transfer.

My other approach that I often take with domestic tapes is to charge per hour of material. For these tapes I don't try to adjust the eq to match each section of tape so the customer gets a straight translation of the whole tape.

Canny customers will be able to furnish me with more info - often sending detailed pictures of the boxes which means that I can give them a more accurate quote.
Old 4 days ago
  #4
Lives for gear
 

For a "random box of tapes" I do a first couple hours consultation, which gets added into the price at the end.

Scares off the timewasters... I've had a few.

One once said "now I'm here can't you just do it". Cheeky bugger!
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