restoring my old tapes

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by calidus, Jan 1, 2004.

  1. calidus

    calidus Guest

    Hi there

    this is my first post, hence I have been lurking for a while and enjoyed the significant knowledge shared on this forum.

    Now to my question. I'd like to transfer some old tape recordings (my own songs, arranged with a synth workstation and sung through a SM58) to the digital domain (I have a little project studio now). Though we used Dolby B on most of the recordings there is of course much noise, and the dynamics are bad too. I don't expect super results, I'd just love to enhance a bit the sound
    quality, as well as having those early musical attempts on cd.

    I do have a 24/96 soundcard, cubase SX, wavelab 4 and some hardware outboard (an SPX990 multifx and a cheap compressor).

    Have any of you been there, doing this? I really don't have a clue, so suggestions are really welcome, even a link or referring to a book would be appreciated.

    Thanks in advance
  2. I did some restorations for a client a while back - the only source available was a third-generation 8-track (yes, the big-ass cassettes) copy of a consumer-grade (Teac) 4-track reel recording.

    Waves X-Noise saved the day. Between that, an expander set to just above the remaining ambient noise level, and some smart EQ, I brought the material to a very respectable sound quality, and made a permanent client in the process.
  3. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Well-Known Member

    Dec 12, 2001
    Oberlin, OH
    Home Page:
    There is so much on this subject on the web. Have you looked there?

    Basically you have all the tools you will need. All you really need is the time to do the transfers and the experience to make them sound good.

    Watch your levels and don't peak over about -6dBFS. (you need some room to work and you don't want to distort the recording on load in) Denoise and do all your editing before you do any eq or add reverb.

    Use the best speakers you have and play some material you are familiar with on them before you try and do any eqing.

    Use WL's montage feature to go between various songs and to put in track markers before you burn the CD

    Take your time and use the best equipment you can and you will be able to do a good job on this project.
  4. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Distinguished Member

    Sep 12, 2002
    NYC New York
    Home Page:
    getting the best playback machine you can get your hands on and properly set it up. this will get the most off the tape.

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