FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Tape Baking and other issues:
Around 1975, tapes changed formula and often require baking in a hot-air oven; about one day for 1/4” reels and 2-3 days for 2” reels. Once a tape is baked, it's usually ok to play for many days afterward.
Smaller plastic reels of tape are tricky; the heat needed to properly bake them can also warp the reels; usually these are baked slower at low temperature.
We've not had ADAT or DAT tapes require baking (although they can have their own problems)
There are various other issues beside baking that can come up (splices breaking, leader tape sticking to the reel). Most of these we can handle, but sometimes tapes simply will not play or transfer cleanly.
* We store and play tapes carefully, but there is no way to “value” tapes or the music they contain: therefore we cannot insure or guarantee your tapes for any loss or damage! We will do our best to maintain and keep the tapes safe, as we have done for thousands of original master tapes over the years. There is always some risk involved with tape handling, but we have an excellent reputation and history.
We feel that 96kHz/24bit is ideal for typical audio use and storage. Yes, higher resolution is possible - but not recommended. We would also use lower rates for really dirty-sounding demos or voice recording, standard 16bit/44.1k is enough for these.
Anything digital (DAT/ADAT/DA88) needs no conversion, so is copied directly at the original rate, unless you'd like it run through some older gear to “warm it up” and also get a higher resolution output for 'Apple release reasons'... sneaky, but true.
We will give a simple pass/transfer of any tape; sometimes there may be a glitch or dropout from the tape itself. It's usually not possible for us to hear all small issues as they go by. If you spot a problem later, we can check to make sure it is from the source tape, if not, the transfer can be redone at no charge.
$10 per item for processing and handling. This covers our time for any file naming/management, rewinding/fast-forwarding, archival photos, etc.
Transfer prices are:
2" tapes (24 and 16 track) are $75/reel.
All other tape transfers are billed at $80/hour work.
If baking is needed, billed at $5/item - or 2" tapes are $15 each, as they require 3 days baking.
It can get expensive to transfer a lot of tapes. Before doing the work, we cannot make an estimate as any tape could be blank - or filled with the maximum amount of audio – a difference of zero to 100%. Tapes sometimes take great effort to get playing well, while others are nearly flawless. So an estimate is not possible in advance: Your tapes will take just as much time as they require. (If you think you can remember what's on the tapes, you could roughly estimate for yourself and we will try to guess, but it can be inaccurate.)
Please be careful what you're paying to dub; if one of your 100 tapes was a long radio interview, you might be paying $50-75 just to have that interview in digital format. We will work with you to try to prevent copying of unneeded material, but we cannot always know for sure.
If you'd like, we can often clean-up artifacts like noise and hiss after your transfer. It is often fairly quick to do, and for only a small charge. We can sometimes do wonders for crackling vinyl or hums and buzzes.