We perform digital transfer and transcription from both analog and digital tapes (Sony Dash, Prodigi, Adat) and we are able to transfer all the available formats up to 24 tracks on a 2 inches tape. We also restore and recover tapes that are damaged or that present the so called ‘sticky tape problem’ (for example Ampex 456) using a specific vented oven with steady and controlled temperature. We are in charge of the Sony Music archive, especially regarding the production of the "Legacy Master Tapes" collection. We are also responsible for the technical management of the “RAI teche” headquarters in Rome and Turin, where historic RAI archive tapes are being digitalized.

  

We also work with different mastering studios (Elettroformati, Energy Mastering, Antonio Baglio, etc) offering multiple options of audio finalization on digitalized files or on vinyl. In order to avoid unwanted audio alterations, in our digitalizing process we use Apogee Symphony converters and the tracks can be acquired in many different formats up to 192 kHz 24 bits. In order to guarantee the highest quality, all the recorders we use are periodically aligned and kept in a perfect mechanical and electronical shape. We put a lot of effort in maintaining the original sound we find on tapes, for this reason we only use the best converters available for analog tape transfer from 2 to 24 tracks. For digital tapes like Sony Dash and Prodigi we never use converters. In fact, we keep the audio stream we find on the tape in a digital form and then, after we convert it in MADI, we acquire it directly on the ProTools system, ensuring the complete fidelity to the original product. We have two Studer A820 24 tracks synchronized through TSL4000 system in order to transfer analog recordings up to 48 tracks on Master - Slave reels, ensuring perfect synchronization between all tracks. We can acquire from the following media:

  • Analog tapes - All formats and speeds, from full track mono to 24 tracks on tape 2" or 48 tracks master/slave. Noise reduction systems Dolby A, Dolby SR, Dbx, Telcom C4
  • Digital tapes - Sony Dash 24 and 48 tracks, Otari-Mitsubishi Prodigi 32 tracks
  • DAT - 44.1 e 48 Khz with or without Timecode
  • 16-bit DTRS HI-8 (TASCAM DA-88, DA-38, DA-98 and Sony PCM-800) and 24-bit (DA-98HR and DA-78HR)
  • Audio cassettes with Dolby B, C and S noise reduction systems
  • ADAT - Super VHS 16 and 20 bit, 44.1 Khz and 48 Khz up to 24 tracks in Sync and U-Matic
  • Vinyl recordings at 33, 45 and 78 rpm

We have made transfers of tapes from various artists such as: Vasco Rossi, Litfiba, Eugenio Finardi, Francesco Guccini, Franco Battiato, Nomadi, Lucio Battisti, Francesco De Greogori, Lucio Dalla, Area, Fabrizio De Andrè, Rino Gaetano, Banco del Mututo Soccorso, Elio e le Storie Tese, Pino Daniele, Alberto Fortis, Antonello Venditti, Carmen Consoli, PFM, Alice, Morgan, Edoardo Bennato, Eros Ramazzotti, Paolo Conte, DD Sound, La Bionda, Daryl Hall & John Oates, Ligabue, Raffaella Carrà, Alan Sorrenti, Righeira, Gianluca Grignani, Rockets, Drupi, Timoria, Toto Cutugno, Viola Valentino, Mina, Alberto Sordi, Claudio Villa, Nino D'Angelo, Jimmy Fontana, Etta James, Enrico Musiani, Luciano Tajoli, Terence Trent D'Arby, Claudio Baglioni, Prozac, Mino Reitano, Punkreas and many more.

  

 

The stages of the transfer process

 

1 - Reception and analysis

At Analogplanet we have all the tools to carry out the perfect transfer of your tapes. Just send us the tape and we'll take care of the rest. The supports will first of all be analyzed and you will be notified of their state of conservation before carrying out any restoration or transfer. Alternatively, if you prefer, you can come directly to the laboratory for the delivery of your material.

2 - Restoration and heat treatment

In most cases, when the tape cleaning and heat treatment process is performed correctly, the tape will be temporarily playable again without any noticeable deterioration of the recording sound. However, if done incorrectly or with 'do-it-yourself' methods, perhaps using kitchen appliances, the 'baking' process of the tapes ends up irreparably damaging the support. To ensure maximum safety and the best possible result we use a Gallenkamp oven designed for use in research laboratories which can maintain the temperature within 1/10 of a degree Celsius. In some cases the tapes can be attacked by mold spores which require deep cleaning and special treatment to restore the tape to safe playable condition. We have a machine with transport specially designed for cleaning and a series of devices to ensure the full restoration of this type of particularly problematic tapes. Our process has successfully saved tapes that have been stored in cellars for years, in flooded rooms or areas with extreme humidity and even some tapes that had been buried!

3 - Digital acquisition

When we transfer the tapes to the digital domain, a mirror image of what's on the tape is produced. We create a 24-bit Broadcast WAV file for each track at the chosen sample rate (44.1 - 192 kHz). All popular digital audio editing software products are 100% compatible with this format. In case of multi-track tapes all the tracks are synchronized so it is sufficient to import them into the DAW to start the editing and remixing process.

4 - Delivery

We can deliver the files via a password protected download link, or on your preferred media when the tapes are returned but if you prefer an alternative delivery method we can make arrangements to do so. If you have a lot of tapes to transfer, it may be convenient to provide an external HD drive that will be sent back to you with the material when finished. In all cases, we always guarantee the complete confidentiality of the digital audio material that we have transferred and that will be kept in our possession only until the confirmation of receipt of the files by you and subsequently eliminated from our archives.

 

FAQ

 

  • Are you able to transfer my tapes?

In a word, YES! Any tape size, any speed, any track format, any noise reduction system. That's all. If it is an analog tape on reel up to 24 tracks we can transfer it and in the highest quality! If you have tapes originally synchronized with other tapes via timecode, you can also perform synchronized transfers. At Analogplanet we have all the tools to carry out the perfect transfer of your tapes.

  • I'm not sure how many tracks there are on my tape, at what speed it was recorded or what noise reduction system was used, if any. Tracklists are missing and there is nothing useful written on the box. Can you help me?

Absolutely! Here at Analogplanet we have the experience and knowledge to properly evaluate recordings that have no documentation to ensure correct playback during transfers.

  • I've heard that tapes sometimes get sticky, lose oxide and can't play properly. How do I know if my tapes have that problem?

The specific term for this condition is 'Sticky Shed Syndrome' and in our daily experience, if the tapes were recorded long after 1970, they probably have it. It is best to let us determine if this problem exists on your tapes. Neither the evaluation nor the heat treatment process will cost you more. We have the equipment and experience to safely check the condition of the tapes. If you have no experience with 'Sticky Shed Syndrome' and try to play these tapes, you could damage them irreparably.

  • I have really taken care of my tapes and have always stored them in a cool and dry place. My tapes won't need baking, right?

'Sticky Shed Syndrome' is the result of a flaw in the formulation of the tapes. Good storage conditions do not prevent this, but they still reduce the extent of the problem. If you have been storing the tapes correctly it is likely that you have decreased the severity of the condition and extended the overall life of the tapes.

  • "Baking" can damage tapes?

If done correctly the answer is no. On the other hand, trying to transfer 'Sticky Shed Syndrome' tapes without first correcting the problem could damage them very easily. Correctly treated tapes will last long enough for us to transfer them but after a while the problem will recur. If you need to transfer the tapes again, you can repeat the process. However, it is advisable to limit the number of times the tapes are subjected to the heat treatment process.

  • What sample rate and bit depth should I choose to transfer my tapes?

When it comes to multi-track, 96 kHz / 24 bit tapes it is currently the standard for audio transfer and storage. However, if the final destination is an audio CD there is some controversy as to whether it sounds better to acquire and process at a high sample rate (like 96/24 or 88.1 / 24) and then downsample to 44.1 later rather than acquire and process to 44.1 / 24 and not having to perform any subsequent downsampling. In this case we could always transfer your masters to more than one sample rate / bit depth to avoid downsampling altogether.

  • How long do you need to transfer my tapes?

It depends on how much material is already being processed, how many tapes are sent to us and in how many formats are required. Delivery times usually range from 1 to 2 weeks. In any case, if you have particularly urgent needs, we are available to find a solution in a short time.

  • What happens when the transfer process is complete?

When the transfers are complete, an invoice will be sent to you with payment methods that include Wire Transfer, Paypal and other payment options available on request. Once payment is received, the files will be sent to you with the most chosen method previously which can include download, DVDROM or Hard Disk. Unless otherwise agreed, we will keep your tapes here until you have a chance to review and approve your transfers. This way, if we need to access your material for any reason, you won't have to send it back. Once the transfers have been approved, the tapes will be returned to you by insured express courier. We usually use GLS but if you prefer a different courier please let us know and we will be happy to accommodate you. When we return the tapes we remove the related digital files from our servers.

 

Prices

 

We calculate our prices in the simplest and most predictable way possible. So, for the most part, our rates are "per roll". This means that our prices include everything needed to achieve the best possible transfer, including heat treatment, standard cleaning, assembly, any reasonable facility repairs, etc. We operate this way for a number of reasons:

- You will always know, before shipping or delivering your tapes, what the cost will be. No surprises

- We don't want our customers or our technicians to care how long the work is taking. In this way the staff who take care of the transfer will have all the time necessary to carry out it in the best possible way.

- The physical execution time of the transfer is only a part of the total time required, and often the most limited. To carry out the work it is necessary to inventory, label, evaluate and document the types and conditions of the belts, if the tapes need restoration work (such as cooking or cleaning) will be carried out, we configure the recorder machines, A2D converters, the software, etc. for each track and the required noise reduction format. We also calibrate the machines before reading each batch of tapes and check the A2D converters before each transfer. Then we read the tape and transfer the tracks. After the transfers we upload your files and send them via a password protected download link. So the actual duration of a tape is typically not a way to determine how much time and effort it will take to transfer it.

       
  Standard tapes price for transfer     
       
  1/4" to a 2" regardless of the number of tracks present  100 Euro  
  Audiocassettes  80 Euro  
  Adat 80 Euro  
       
  Special cases    
       
  Double-sided tapes  120 Euro  
  Tapes with speed change or noise reduction system between songs  120 Euro  

 

The prices indicated are for a single tape, we are available to make discounts for quantities based on the number of pieces per lot, formats etc. Contact us for a personalized quote based on your needs.

If a tape is 'blank', therefore without any audio signal, no amount will be charged for that medium. We believe it is not fair to charge a customer unless we provide something of value in return. The cost for returning the material is 35 Euros for shipments in Italy (up to 30kg) while for international shipments please contact us for a detailed quote.

 

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Contacts

Headquarter and Laboratory : P.zza Patrioti 7, 27021 Bereguardo (PV) - ITALY

Phone : + 39 0382 477958 - Mobile : + 39 335 5349263

Email : info@analogplanet.it

 

Analogplanet S.r.l. - P.IVA 02596570180

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