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Salvage and Remastering Work

Damaged Recording The recording in the photograph above was an 8-track master made at an outdoor music festival in 1971. It was then stored in a basement where it lay submerged for some years. Upon testing, insects were found to have been living between the layers of the tape, there was extensive curling of the base, and the oxide was badly flaking off due to failure of the hygroscopic binder in the extreme humidity. After cleaning and proper playback, it was mixed down and reissued by a major label in 1994. Although the sound quality of the recording is not as good as one might wish, enough was recovered from the damaged master for release.

While we do not specialize in remastering and salvaging of existing recordings, we do have facilities available for dealing with such materials. These include tape baking facilities, playback decks specifically modified to play back damaged tapes, and various mechanical tape treatments.

Limited facilities to handle acetates are available, with Thorens and Fairchild transcription turntables set up. There is a conventional Nitty Gritty record cleaning machine, as well as a specialized cleaning machine for handling sixteen-inch transcription discs and a small ultrasonic cleaner for very badly damaged materials.

We do not have any noise reduction facilities available, but can recommend several mastering houses which do. Noise reduction should not be part of the transfer, but should be handled in the mastering process where it is more easily undone. Noise reduction, however, will not be effective unless a clean and accurate transfer is made.

Last updated 30 Mar. 2019
Scott Dorsey (kludge @ panix.com)