AES San Francisco 2012
Historical Event H5
Monday, October 29, 9:00 am — 10:30 am (Room 133)
H5 - The Replay of Historical Magnetic Tape—More than Pressing the Play ButtonPresenter:
Nadja Wallaszkovits, Phonogrammarchiv, Austrian Academy of Science - Vienna, Austria
This fascinating presentation discusses the various process challenges involved with the transfer of historical magnetic audio tapes. Focusing on the digitization of collections from the very early years of magnetic recording, for example the earliest tapes from Portugal and Norway, Nadja Wallaszkovits shows the various stages of preservation, handling, and reproduction of important original tapes from the early days of magnetic recording. Beginning with an overview of early magnetic tape developments, the original tape recorders and their specific parameters are introduced. Next, the practical handling of critical tapes is outlined. Based on an analysis of the physical and chemical preservation status of individual tapes, the choice and adjustment of the replay equipment and parameters are covered. The problems of tape carrier handling and physical as well as chemical restoration are outlined, along with discussions on optimizing head azimuth, tape-to-head contact, tape speed, and tension. All are important for optimum signal recovery.