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.

And Mark Dean testing that it works - he can see it vibrating on the thing!

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 . . .