Archival and Restoration

Martin Patrych
Memorial Studios
full service recording, editing, mastering, and restoration

Archival and Restoration

Please see Audio Services and Rates page for rate information.

Archiving & digitizing are defined as the transfer of analog source material (discs, reel to reel tape, cassette tape, video, etc) to digital. Restoration is defined as processing of such digitized material (usually for commercial CD release).

When archiving, the goal is a flat (unprocessed) transfer of the original material into the digital domain in real time at the highest possible quality, taking into account considerations of playability and storage space for the client. As the recording is being transferred in real time and levels and tracking are somewhat unpredictable, the best one can hope for is an approximation on an archival CD or set of Wav files. In addition, problems with the original may necessitate stopping at points during the transfer to fix splices, clean machines due to excessive shedding, or other issues which may result in overlaps in the archival version or extra tracks or Wav files, which I will note. (I never erase even a partial transfer, as it may end up being the only acceptable pass). I will also report any unusual issues or unrepairable problems with the original media.

Restoration is the processing of historical material, which can involve removal of noise, clicks, crackle and other historical artifacts, as well as equalization and other digital processing (usually for commercial purposes). I have numerous options for highest-quality processing of such material, including CEDAR, Sonic No-Noise, the Weiss DNA-1 processor, and a number of software options. All finished CD Masters will have all the tracking and levels optimized and accurate.

Please note that any time spent in preparing analog source for transfer (splice repair, transfer to better reels, or other such preparation) is billed at the Analog Services rate. Baking of tapes is billed at $35/Tape.

Regarding billing, archiving and digitizing (as well as video transfer) is billed under the Analog Services rate, while Restoration is a standard studio service. I will estimate the total for the project, and 50% up front is required before I commence work,with the balance due prior to delivery. Note that Digital Transfers (1630, F1, DASH, Pro-Dig and any other digital source) are billed at the standard studio rate of $100/ Hr.

Note: The Analog Services rate represents working hour, NOT time of program material. The amount of time that is required to transfer analog material varies widely, and depends on condition of the original source material, repairs of splices or defects, cleaning of discs, and other restorative techniques. I subcontract 78 RPM disc and acetate transfers, and they are done under my supervision. As a rough guide for actual cost of restoration, the following may be helpful:

Reel to Reel Tapes - Generally 1.5 to 3 times the program length, mostly dependent on whether splice repair is needed.
Cassettes - Generally 1.5 to 2 times the program length
Shellac Discs - $25 to $50 per side (Primarily because of cleaning and tracking issues)
Acetate Discs - $50 to $75 per side (Primarily because of cleaning, centering and the need to frequently execute multiple plays to cover defects)
Videotapes - 1.25 to 1.5 the program length, unless the tape is defective

Note: Unless specified, I will transfer all the material on any source media. Please advise if you only want specific material transferred.

Do not hesitate to inquire further, as this is a complicated subject!


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