need advice on where to start

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by fearfactor, Mar 31, 2005.

  1. fearfactor

    fearfactor Guest

    My father produced a few records in the 50's and 60's. I would like to re-issue them in CD form. The master tapes are very old and I have no way of playing them to see what is useable. I also have LP's and 45's, new to fair condition, maybe a master LP or two as well. The formats are Latin, Jazz, and Doo-Wop for the music; what type of mixing/remastering should I be considering? Where is a good place to start this project? I live in NYC, so my options are many. I'm not sure I need the finest quality job, but I would like to preserve the richness of the music where possible. Any advice you can offer would be greatly appreciated, as I have no experience in this area, and only a fair ear for quality so I wouldn't like to tackle the job myself.
  2. Costy

    Costy Guest

    Look for a studio which has resonable (for you) rate. Bring there
    all your tapes and LPs. The engineer will do the job and you can
    "tackle" with your fair ear. Studio time estimates can be very
    different in this case... from a day per record to much more...
    depending on how far you'd like to go with RE-issue.
  3. o2x

    o2x Active Member

    Mar 17, 2005
    You might consider a professional restoration service. The tapes themselves might have degraded through age. Restorers 'cook' tapes in special ovens at low temperature before use to ensure the magnetic coating on the tape itself has not broken down in any way.

    It depends then, whether you want a straight transfer to a Digital medium such as CD or whether there will be re-mastering involved. This could range from simple eq'ing to full blown re-mastering through CEDAR and lots of High end Kit before it's released on CD.

    I'm sure the mastering pro's on here will be able to suitably advise you.

    Someone in your area who might be able to advise you is
  4. Chance

    Chance Guest

    Absolutely don't try to play the tape. You said they were recorded in the 50's & 60's. That could be 1/4 full, half, or quarter track. 1/2" full or half track, or 1". I reciently went thru this process with some pre Chicago,CTA,Big Bang, Cal David & Exception, Rovin Kind tapes that I recorded in 1960. The equipment they use is really a glorified de-hydrator. The vintage tapes I have were Irish ( an offshoot of what became Quantegy ) 1/4" half track. After the process, I still had to clean the heads, guides, and capstan, after every pass of a song. On every pass I made a digital one to one copy to have it worked on in the digital domain. I will locate the people I used, and they are very reasonable. As for the quality of their work, = very good they do a lot of legal tape clean-up for the dept of justice. I'll post later
  5. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Distinguished Member

    Sep 12, 2002
    NYC New York
    Home Page:
    Depends on the type of tape. If it's scotch, it'll probably play fine right out of the box. i work with a lot of tapes from the 50's and 60's and scotch is great. If the tapes weren't kept well then they may need some baking but you should have someone do it that knows what they're doing. you have about 4 weeks after a bake to transfer the tapes before they start to get gooey again and then they go downhill fairly fast. If the tapes are too bad, then the LP's can be worked with. Either way, you should be able to get a good clean job for not much money.

Share This Page