The Restoration Center is a suite of services to assist cultural heritage institutions and record labels to digitize analog audio archives and make them accessible electronically.
Digitization services, available in Boulder and Takoma Park, include real-time transfer from cassette, 33-, 45-, and 78-rpm disc, open-reel tape, and PCM and DAT digital sources and creation of preservation master files and access derivative files, including 16/44 and compressed MP3 formats.
After digital conversion, files can be post-processed for access copies to enhance listenability for scholars, or to a commercial standard for use in exhibits or for commercial release. Technical metadata is typically furnished to the client as XLS or CSV, and is mappable to XML.
All Airshow-transferred recordings are subject to rigorous quality control practices, to assure that all files furnished to clients are complete and accurate. Separately, quality check services are available to insure the accuracy and completeness of files digitized elsewhere.
Clients of the Restoration Center
Members of Lyrasis, the national academic library consortium, are eligible for preferred pricing for selected services in the Restoration Center.
Getting Started with Your Project
To establish the most effective workflow and accurate budget for a large-scale digitization project, we strongly recommend a pilot end-to-end effort involving a small selection of tapes, or a sonic examination of a sample of the recordings.
Institutions contemplating the acquisition of a collection benefit from a fixed price “discovery day,” where Airshow engineers examine and play back “mystery media.” We furnish basic technical data including tape track format, speed and length, and sonic and physical condition – the information needed to plan and budget for digitization.
Archivists are welcome to send or bring a box of media and participate in the discovery. Prospective Restoration Center clients are welcome to contact Ann Blonston in Boulder to discuss their project: 303-247-9035.
Restoration Center Audio Resources and Features
Our studios feature modern office climate control, shipping and receiving directly into office space, fire suppression, fire and security monitoring, and standard electrical power. Specialized infrastructure includes locking storage and studio spaces, balanced power supply and premium oxygen-free copper cable in all production rooms, sonic neutrality in all production rooms, UPS in the secure server area, and 20/40 broadband service.
Several studios can be similarly configured for large-scale transfer projects. This is the signal chain for the Restoration Center studio in Boulder.
Analog Signal Chain
ATR 100, 104 or Studer A820 reel to reel tape recorder, for the following formats: ¼” Full Track, Half Track, Quarter Track, Two Track (NAB and DIN); ½” 2 Track, 3 Track and 4 Track; 1” 2 Track; and tape speeds from 1.875 in/sec to 30 in/sec.
Lavry Engineering db4496 24/96 A/D and D/A converter
Noise reduction decoding: Dolby SR and A; dbx Type I and Type II
Nakamichi MR-1 and Tascam 122 MK III cassette players
Sony PCM-2700 DAT recorder (one of several available to play back this problematic format)
Technics SP15 audiophile turntable, for the following formats 33-1/3 rpm, 45 rpm and 78 rpm vinyl platters, 78 rpm shellac platters, including pitch correction for 78 rpm discs
NHT M-20 monitors and Grado headphones
SonicStudio HD with full NoNoise
Wavelab on PC
Soundblade on Mac
Related Information on the Airshow Blog