The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #57471   Message #904338
Posted By: robomatic
05-Mar-03 - 07:42 PM
Thread Name: Sound archives decaying
Subject: RE: Sound archives decaying
Guest vectis:
Bob Bolton said it for me, although I can tell you exactly what I've done. My family used to buy reel to reel pre-recorded classics and broadway show tunes. Our family reel to reel tape recorder died ages ago, and when I tried to fix it I put the lid on its coffin. So I called the local radio stations, which often have some old reel-to-reels lying around and acquired one, and play it directly into the line-in of my computer, using a program called 'Cool Edit' which is well worth the money. I use Cool Edit Light, one of the most intuitive programs around. My tape recorder has a minimum feed rate of 3-3/4 ips, but as Bob Bolton says, go ahead and digitize it at twice the normal sample rate and you should be able to adapt the data stream to the proper playback rate. I haven't had to actually do this but it should be pretty easy.

As for storage, I've found that my family's reel to reel tapes, at 7-1/2 ips, mostly produced in the US by Columbia, are in first rate condition, and superior to LPs of the time in having no clicks. We also have some Gilbert & Sullivan on the London label (made in US), and there has been some degradation of the tape, mainly brittleness.
This was ameliorated by baking the tapes in the oven for several hours at about 100 deg. Fahrenheit 40 deg Centigrade.

Steve Parkes, I'm very interested in the laster disk player, presumably a laser LP (vinyl) player. I'd heard about these, but didn't know any were on the market. I heard that in theory they can sample the vinyl at levels within the groove un-eroded by needles, so that they could make an old clicky burned out record sound like new. Any truth to that?