transfer/convert reel to reel magnetic audio tapes and phonograph
records to digital files and CD. I perform audio forensics /
legal tape, audio
clip enhancement. Clients include record companies, music
companies, film companies, recording artist's catalogs, songwriters and
individuals. Services include analog audio recording, digital
recording, editing, mixing, transferring, restoration, mastering,
and remastering. Dehydrating or baking tapes is performed should
require it and there is a flat fee of $10/reel for the service. I
prepare DDP and/or CD masters that are error checked and ready for CD
This “side business” of tape transferring
started in 1983 after a songwriter friend asked me if I
could take some old reel-to-reel tapes and transfer them to CDs.
him I could and would. I have been using analog tape machines
early recording days and fortunately, I still have my first ones. It
made sense to add analog to digital transferring as a studio
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. If you must play your tape to know what's on it, make sure your machine is in good condition and won't damage the tape. 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 1/4" and 1/2" 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. Wherever possible, tapes will be transferred with every effort made to match the integrity of the original tape, recording and/or mixes. All transfers will be made in their original state. Most other transfer companies transfer at "high speed" which means they run your tape at 2 or 3 times it's recorded speed, then they re-sample or convert the transferred file at 1/2 or 1/3 to save time. Don't be fooled, as you end up with a transfer that is of lesser quality than one that is tranferred in "real time". I can't compete with their price, but they can't compete with my quality. All of my transferring is done in real time to assure the best possible transfer. If required or requested, noise reduction and/or equalization may be used to enhance the reproduction of the recording.
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.
I have been getting quite a few 1/2" 8-track
tape projects come in for transfer. The tapes (transferring some
are 40 years old) are holding up well and transfers sound fabulous!
Analog magnetic audio tape formats I accept for transfer, conversion, restoration and archiving to digital files and CD:
• 1/2" 8-track reel to reel 7-1/2, 15 I.P.S.
• 1/2" 4-track and 2-track reel to reel 7-1/2, 15, 30 I.P.S.
• 1/4" 2-track, half-track, full-track reel to reel 3-3/4, 7-1/2, 15, 30 I.P.S.
• 1/4" 4-track, quarter-track reel to reel 3-3/4, 7-1/2, 15 I.P.S.
• 1/4" 8-track, eigth-track reel to reel 15 I.P.S.
Other formats accepted for transferring and archive:
• Tascam DA-88
• Alesis ADAT
• Audio Cassette
• Phonograph Records, 16, 33, 33-1/3, 45, 78 RPM
• Wire Recordings
Tape machines used for tape to digital or CD transfer:
• Ampex ATR-102 1/4" 2-track reel to reel
3-3/4, 7-1/2, 15, 30 I.P.S.
• Ampex AG-440C 1/2" 2-track, 4-track or 1/4" 4-track reel to reel 3-3/4, 7-1/2, 15 I.P.S. (also variable speed)
• Ampex AG-440B 1/4" 4-track reel to reel 7-1/2, 15 I.P.S.
• Ampex 350-2 1/4" 2-track reel to reel 7-1/2, 15 I.P.S.
• Ampex 300-4 1/2" 4-track reel to reel 7-1/2, 15, 30 I.P.S.
• Fostex 80-8 1/4" 8-track reel to reel 15 I.P.S.
• Teac 3340-S 1/4" 4-track reel to reel 7-1/2, 15 I.P.S.
• Tascam 80-8 1/2" 8-track reel to reel 15 I.P.S.
• Otari MX5050 MK III 1/2" 8-track reel to reel 7-1/2, 15 I.P.S.
Noise reduction units available for transfer:
• dbx 155
type I, 8 channels
Before the client brought the above tape to me, he had taken it to someone else who was not aware that the tape needed to be baked. He made a digital transfer for the client. This is a sample of that transfer. The sound of “shed squeal” is obvious in this sample. Luckily, the tape was not ruined and I was able to make a successful transfer.
Buellton, CA • 93427 • USA
Voice: (805) 688-1136
e-mail: Click here to email with any questions