February 25, 2011

Reel to Reel Tapes

Transferring Your Reel to Reel Tapes to Digital – Answers to Your Questions

1. Which types of reel to reel tapes do you transfer?
We can transfer and convert just about any 1/4″ width tape and any format recorded. We have a variety of machines optimized to play back tapes at different speeds and track formats – stereo, mono, 2 and 4 track. We can handle consumer tapes and those professionally recorded in a studio or for broadcasting. For those, we always supply high definition (24 bit / 96 kHz) files in addition to mp3s.

2. Can you repair damaged tapes or tapes that stick or squeal?
Yes, we often repair tapes that have been ripped or broken, and we can bake tapes that suffer from “sticky-shed” syndrome to make them playable again. We are normally able to make just about any tape play – most reel to reel tapes sound as good as the day they were recorded. Tapes that squeal have their own challenges, but we can transfer them.

3. I’m not sure what’s on the tapes as I can’t play them. Can I specify what material I want transferred? Will I be charged if there is nothing on my tapes, or for material I don’t want?
Send us your tapes and we’ll review them before the transfer begins. Let us know what you are looking for – normally our customers are only looking for personal material. Sometimes they are tapes found long after their owners have passed away. We’ll be glad to review them and give you an estimate of what the transfer will cost – of course we won’t charge for reels that are not transferred.
If you want, we can also make a short sound sample in mp3 of each tape and e-mail it to you if you want to review the content beforehand.

4. How much material can fit on a CD?
Some of you might still want CDs, and yes, we still make them. Each CD can fit a maximum of 80 minutes. Reel to Reel tapes come in a variety of lengths and reel sizes, and adding to the complication is that the tapes may be recorded at different speeds. Reel to reel tapes are often recorded at 7.5 or 3.75 ips which means they normally are in 30-, 45, 60, 90 minute increments. Typically we like to make sure that the CDs are broken up into segments like the tapes so that they make sense for the person cataloging and listening to them. We can also supply the sound files in a computer format (wav, wma or mp3) on CD or DVD so that you can edit them later yourself. We also can supply them in DVD audio at 24bit, 96 kHz. If you have master recordings to transfer, we recommend using this rate as you can tell the difference in sound quality.

5. How do you make tracks on the CD?
We try to make the tracks as intuitive as possible. For music, we look for obvious breaks in the recording. For spoken word, we typically make a new track every 5 minutes.

6. Do you print anything on the CD?
We typically leave the CDs blank to enable our customer to mark them as they wish. For larger projects we number each reel and number the CD accordingly. We supply the CDs in a sleeve and normally place it with the tape. If you would like us to label the CDS, we can do this also.

7. What is the best way to package and ship the tapes to you?
Package the tapes as you would your valuable treasures – put them in a large box and protect with ample bubble wrap. Ship them with a service the provides tracking – either USPS Priority Mail, UPS or Fed-Ex. For critical applications, the service with the lowest percentage of lost packages is Fed-Ex. Avoid Media Mail, Parcel Post and UPS Ground (unless they are well packed and not critical).

8. I don’t trust shipping them. Can I drop the tapes off?
Call us at 1-973-236-1793 to arrange a time to drop them off. We understand how important your recordings are and will take great care in handling them.

9. Do you offer a bulk discount?
Yes, 10% after 10 tapes. For larger quantities, we’ll provide a written quotation.

10. How long does it take you to finish the transfer?
We turn around projects within 1-2 weeks (under 10 reels). Larger projects take more time. Let us know your deadline and we’ll meet it!

11. How long have you been in business?
We have been transferring reel to reel tapes since 1999. The owner has been a reel to reel fanatic since he was four – for almost 40 years!

12. How much does it cost?

We charge $42 per reel to reel tape, cassette or record, regardless of length. Many of our clients just want the MP3 or Audio wav files, and we provide then in advance via Dropbox. If you prefer CDs, prices include 1 full CD of material. $5 for each additional CDs required to complete the transfer if there is more material on the tape or record.

Price includes tape repair, baking, cleaning or lubrication if necessary to get your tape to play properly.

If you have larger projects (10+ reels) or are a reseller, please contact us for volume pricing.

Call us at 1-973-236-1793 or email us at projects @ oldmediatransfer.com is you have any questions!