Monday, June 27, 2016

Audio Recovery


Tape recorders have been part of my life since I was a toddler. When I was 3 years old I had a phillips reel to reel that I used to record records on to and in my early teens I was doing sound on sound recordings with a pair of my dads Pioneer RT-707 machines.


Technology has moved on a lot in the last 30 years but nothing preserves the past more than tape
.
Over the years I have been hunting around Car boot sales, recycling centres and the internet looking for old tapes that might have something of interest.
Mostly what I am looking out for is old TV and Radio programmes that were recorded at home. So much stuff was never recorded or kept by the broadcasters that domestic recordings were the only way things were preserved.
Some of the most famous home recordings are things like John Peel sessions from the 1960s and 70s as well as off air recordings of Doctor Who and Hancocks half hour.

Myself I have located a number of missing audio recordings over the years. The Beatles on the Mike and Bernie winters Big Night Out show in 1964, 3 missing episodes of Peter Cook and Dudley Moore’s ‘Not Only But Also’ are probably my most significant finds. Though 2 audio recordings of missing Top of the Pops episodes and a 1967 interview with The Monkees from Radio London.

I have several good quality machines of various formats that I use for transfer.



Pioneer RT-707 – Quarter track Hifi machine up to 7” Spools. This is one of the best Hifi recorders ever made. And with modern tape stock such as Pyral LRP35 can create some stunning recordings. I have 2 of these (as mentioned above inherited from my dad) and I use one on my regular Hifi and the other for dubs.

Revox A77 – I have two of these a MK2 and a MK4 both run at the standard speeds of 3.75 and 7.5 ips. The MK2 is quarter track and the MK4 is half track.

Revox PR99 – I also have two of these both are high speed machines of 7.5 and 15 ips. One is a MK 1 and the other a MK2 and both are ex BBC.  Being professional machines they are half track.

If tapes are at the slower speeds then this can be done by slowing down in software. I always record at 96k 24 bit when doing this. I have baked tapes that have sticky shred syndrome. There is an art to this, and you must use decent spools else some may melt!!!!

I have been asked if its possible to transfer digital recordings to tape and play them back again to add some tape sound to recordings. Yes I can do this. Any audio format pretty much using either and Tascam or M Audio interface up to 192/24. The best machines for this would be the PR99 at 15ips or the A77 at 7.5 depending on the sound you want.

If you have any old tapes that you think may have something interesting on them please get in touch.


I can also do Cassettes with either a Sony or Nakamichi deck. Always looking for old off air recordings of TOP 40 radio shows too (Esp 1980 to 1984 to re live my youth!).