The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #57471   Message #907928
Posted By: johnross
11-Mar-03 - 11:52 PM
Thread Name: Sound archives decaying
Subject: RE: Sound archives decaying
That long GUEST posting was from me. I've been cleaning cookies and must have lost my Mudcat login in the process.

In general, I agree with johninkansas about not adding processing to the archival copies. However, I am willing to apply some gentle noise filtering to hissy tapes during the transfer from analog to digital. The emphasis is on gentle. Proper application of a professional-quality analog or digital noise reduction system (such as the Dynafex) is pretty good at removing noise without degrading content.

I should add that our own archiving plan is to make hig-definition digital copies (as WAV files) on duplicate hard drives, and a third set of audio CDs for listening. We'll probably use two different brands of hard drives, as further protection against mechanical failure.

As for Bob's Beta/PCM tapes, you might want to join the ARSC (Association for Recorded Sound Collections) mailing list and ask if anybody there has the requisite equipment. For information, see

If you do plan to conserve a collection of tapes, please spend some time learning what other people are doing before you start. The Library of Congress, ARSC and many other archives around the world are already working on these projects, and it's been my experience that most of the technical experts are happy to offer advice.Learning from somebody else's mistakes is a lot cheaper than repeating them.