AV Workshop Preserves 1500 Audio Recordings for Local Educational Institute
1500 Audio Cassettes Converted / Enhanced to Digital WAVE Files for Big Sur Esalen Institute
Our friends at Esalen Institute called and asked if we could help them digitize and preserve their collection of audio recordings which document guest speakers throughout the last 50 years. Esalen wanted to preserve these precious recordings from further degradation and protect them from Fire / Natural Disasters. Furthermore, they wanted to make these recordings accessible and editable for current and future projects. AV Workshop’s audio cassette to uncompressed WAVE file with level optimization and noise reduction was the perfect solution.
Converting Audio Cassette Tapes to Digital:
1) Pro Equipment / Capture
AV Workshop uses high quality professional grade Sony audio cassette decks as the playback source. The audio is run through high quality stereo cables into a pro audio workstation running Sony Sound Forge. Each tape was carefully handled and used one time only as a playback source. Tapes that needed repairs were handled separately where we meticulously replace felts and made tape splices where needed on an audio splicing block. AV also makes sure to routinely maintenance and clean the heads of the cassette decks to ensure the audio is clear and not muddy.
2) Level Optimization and Noise Reduction
Once the audio was captured at approx -6 db, AV Workshop applied level optimization to properly balance the levels at approx -6 db (the equivalent to 0 db analog). We then trimmed the beginning and end of every audio file to get rid of any extra static that occurs before and after the audio recording as well as dead-air.
AV Workshop can also apply noise reduction. While Esalen did not request noise reduction, for they are going to do post processing on their end, we recommend it for all orders. Digital Noise Reduction is a manual filtration process we apply custom to each recording to remove unwanted hiss and humm that analog recordings are known for.
AV Workshop output the audio recordings as uncompressed WAVE files at 44 kHz / 16 bit – the industry standard for professional grade audio from analog sources. Since WAVE files are an uncompressed format, the audio file data is stored in its full original format – meaning there is no loss in quality. Thus, the final product is the highest quality possible! WAVE files are also great for editing as they are the most compatible uncompressed file type.
4) Labeling / Organization / USB Device
AV Workshop created a separate WAVE file for each cassette and labeled each file by number. Each tape is always labeled as well, thus the file numbers correspond to the number each tape is labeled as. This allows you to easily identify which recording is from which tape. AV then dragged the files onto 1 USB Hard Drive. The USB Hard Drive can be plugged into pretty much anything that has a USB port and a screen including a Smart TV, MAC or Windows Computer. The audio files can now be easily played, shared or edited!
As a result, Esalen Institute received back their original tapes as well as their new hard drive with the enhanced digital files that sounded better than ever!
Don’t wait too long to transfer your audio cassettes!
Cassette tapes typically have a lifespan of 20 years before they begin to deteriorate past the point of no return. A few factors that can cause degradation in older tapes include the use of a less stable chromium dioxide coating and breakdown of the felt pressure pads on lower quality tapes. Tapes with recordings on both sides can also be prone to deterioration as there is a risk of the magnetic fields bleeding through to each other! Don’t risk your tapes deteriorating and have AV Transfer them today!
Do you have Audio Cassette Tapes you would like Converted to Digital Files?
Check out our Audio to Digital Transfer page for options and pricing.
Audio Video Workshop
703 Woodside Road, #8
Redwood City, CA 94061