James Hardiman Leave a Comment

From: Chris Sansom
Subject: Re: archiving
My comments are:
Hi. I was wondering if you could help us with a little advice. We are about to copy a large amount of analogue masters (1/4 and 1/2 inch) as their quality is deteriorating. What do you recommend to transfer onto? We are considering making DAT (for day to day reference) and Genex MO (24bit/192kHz)- for archive copies at the same time. Another possibility is making 24bit wav or aiff-files and archiving on DVD-R. Would making 1/2″ analogue copies be a good move?

Dear Chris:

Your choices are very delicate and many people face them every day. The bottom line at this time is: Any digital medium you choose to copy to will have to be recopied at periodic (recommended every 10 years) intervals! In that respect, the Genex MO is about as good as any medium.

The quality of the analog tape reproducer is EXTREMELY critical. If you are looking for audiophile quality, then you need an extraordinary analog tape reproducer as well as an extraordinary A/D converter. Do not skimp on either of those choices. As well asthe expertise to align and set up for the transfer. The transfer is the key.

24/192 is an option nowadays, since the costs of storage media and converters have come down.

If the recordings are 2 track, DVD-R is as good a choice in my opinion as the Genex MO, and less proprietary, more likelihood of being playable in 10 years! And easier to copy.

As for analog copies, 1/2″ 30 IPS analog copies are an excellent move if these tapes are extremely precious to you.

Another consideration is sampling rate. Would it be best to use a multiple or of 44.1-48kHz? Would making 24/96k archive copys produce a problem when converting to 16/44.1.

Don’t worry about the multiples of the sample rate. Today’s very best sample rate converters can do an equal job from integer or non-integer multiples of 44.1 or 48k. I would recommend 96K over 88.2 marginally at this point if you are thinking of making a DVD. If the DVD-A gets off the ground, then 88.2 will be supported. Another possibility is DSD or SACD. But you will not go wrong at 96/24.

Best wishes,
Bob Katz

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