Saturday, April 14, 2007

Archiving the Past


I found a box of reel-to-reel tapes in the garage - seems to be from 1956 through about 1959. I'm not sure who all is on it - mostly my grandfather and his children it appears, along with some mixed musical selections. It's all 1/4" two-track mono stuff; not the easiest to recover. I got a quote from a local recording studio of $1.00 per minute (!) to copy it over to CD. I thought I may be able to do a bit better job myself; or at least a *cheaper* job anyway.

I got to reading up on reel to reel formats and tapes and more; didn't seem like it would be too impossible. I found several very nice rigs on eBay - for $500 or more! Then I ran across this little consumer grade Sony rig for $70.00 shipped. Not bad - and it even works! Here's the first track I've snarffed off a tape. I think it's RKD Sr. speaking of one of his kids going on to first grade.


So, here's the setup for now - Mac laptop, Grado cans, Sony RTR, and a stack of odd tapes to clear out . . .



(Some people spend their Saturday nights going out to the bar; some going on a date; me? I copy tapes. AV Geek.)


Side note: It's interesting that I can play back 50 year old recordings without too much hassle, but I have video tapes from just ten years ago that are no longer supported - the players are no longer made! Technological innovation keeps on going, I guess . . .

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I remember the old recorder: it was an Ampex. I built a cabinet for it in 9th grade shop class.

The transfer worked well. Be interested to see what is on some of the other tapes . . . if it is not too much of a hassle. I think mom did some recording. Thanks for taking the time, WIlliam. Kelly.

Mom said...

I second Kelly. Thanks William. It sounds to my deaf ears as if both Dad and Mark's voices are too high or on too fast a speed. Not anything you need to fix. It could also be my Mac settings. Just an observation. It is so very cool that you are doing this! That's amazing that 10-year old video won't play. Love you, Mom.