Step 1. The Grandmaster Disaster - Stop the Shed!
Analog audio tapes manufactured by Ampex, 3M and others in the '70s, 80's and '90s (until about 1995) if afflicted with SSS (and most are) cannot be played in their current state. If played without first treating the tape with the AMPEX recovery process, your precious recordings will be deposited on the recorders tape heads and the recordings will likely be irretrievably damaged. In 1993, Ampex, the company that manufactured much of the afflicted tape media filed a patent, "Restored Magnetic Recording Media" that explained the technical failure of the "Grandmaster", "456", brand and specified the procedures for reclaiming the shedding tape recordings. XFER's Analog Tape Transfer service performs this procedure for you and transfers your analog masters to digital media the right way. Per the Ampex patent, your tapes are baked at a low temperature in a temperature-stable, convection-type oven for a period of hours. This procedure, "Surprising" was how Ampex termed it, stabilizes the tape allowing it to be transferred. Without this stabilization process the tape coatings, your recordings, are "shed" onto the tape machines rollers and heads and the machine becomes so gummed up that it seizes, stretches the tape and the tape is permanently lost. But heat-treated and handled correctly, the recording is temporarily stabilized and can likely be safely and accurately transferred. Not all tapes can be rescued however and time is not your friend. Do it now!
Step 2. The Transfer to Digital Media
The integrity of the transfer is a source of pride at XFER. Our tape machines are high-end Otari's - well know to TV and Film audio professionals - well-maintained and carefully calibrated to your masters. On the digital side we use high-quality A/D converters to complete the transfer. We're well acquainted with television and film delivery formatting - e.g., splits, m&e's, etc. Our sister company, Mixers Post Sound Services is an Emmy Award-winning audio post house, so the formatting of the destination files are considered in the transfer. It's not enough to just transfer the media, the original sync relationships with the video/film masters are maintained through the transfer process. On TV and Film masters our tape machines are locked to a reference to maintain picture relationship across the transfer. All completed transfers are QC'd in Pro Tools and delivered in a Pro Tools sessions or digital files bwav files so you will be ready to go to market with your fresh masters.
Step 3. Re-Purpose, Reclaim, Versioning.
Should you need to go the next step with a TV or Film master our award-winning team at our sister company, Mixers Hollywood, can assist with the re-mixing your mono or stereo masters into today's surround formats and perform any editorial or re-mix necessary to monetize these analog masters.
Mixers Post Sound Services can:
Re-Mix Stereo Masters
Reconform to a new picture.
Update or augment fx or dialog editorial.
Replace un-cleared music from the Mixers Music library or other source.
Visit Mixers.TV for a complete picture of our post sound services. Prices start as low as 100$ per 10", 24 tr. reel. Call 323.799.4707 and ask for Lauren.