Equipment

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The webmaster has the following equipment at his disposal to digitize, transfer, and capture several different media formats. All recordings are mastered while listening to Audio-Technica ATH-M50S Professional Studio Monitor Headphones. Scans of tape inlays, photographs, info sheets, etc are done using a Canon CanoScan LiDE 60.

Magnetic media

Audio cassette tapes

N/A for now

Output stage
  • Blue Jeans Cable LC-1 Low Capacitance 8-foot RCA cable -> Creative Sound Blaster ZxR sound card (RCA Line In) with 123dB input signal-to-noise ratio (captured at 32-bit depth and 88.2khz sample rate) -> Adobe Audition CC 2015 recording at 32-bit depth 88.2khz sample rate using Windows Audio Session API (WASAPI).
    • Each tape is fully wound (fast forwarded) and then rewound to help minimize tape skew by repacking the tape spools. Output level on deck is always at maximum, unless digital clipping occurs, then the volume is reduced as necessary. Line-in input volume is always at maximum on the computer.
    • Furthermore, the tape is fast-forwarded to a point on the tape containing a lot of high-energy treble content (if such treble present on the tape recording to begin with - some tapes are just dreadfully muffled sounding) and then played for NAAC to lock on to the best azimuth, then the tape is rewound and playback restarted again to have the optimal playback azimuth set from the beginning. This avoids NAAC adjusting for several seconds once the music begins; the azimuth adjustment is sometimes audible on the recording when this occurs.[1]
Final delivery format
  • The audio will be encoded as FLAC (level 8 [maximum] compression) using FLAC 1.3.2 64-bit, to 16-bit depth (dithering enabled) and 44.1kHz sample rate using foobar2000 v1.3.15 and its Resampler (SoX) component set at best quality. If the audio has significant frequencies above 22kHz, a high-resolution 24/88.2 version may also be provided. The audio is initially captured at the odd 88.2kHz sample rate because it likely resamples better to the CD-audio 44.1kHz standard as it is a 2:1 ratio, versus 96kHz which is a 2.177:1 ratio.
References

Digital Audio Tape (DAT)

Sony SDT-9000 SCSI DAT drive

  • Flashed with firmware that is able to read audio DATs
  • Most direct option to rip audio DATs to WAV format in their native sample rate (i.e. 16-bit 32khz / 44.1khz / 48khz)
  • Allows error correction which no standalone DAT deck / recorder can perform, to my knowledge; please correct me if I am wrong
  • Regularly cleaned according to manufacturer recommendations using "new old stock" Seagate DAT head cleaning tapes
  • DATs ripped using dat2wav software on a dedicated Windows XP Service Pack 3 computer (detailed further below)

Video formats

I am currently able to capture the following video media using the following equipment:

  • PAL (S)VHS: Philips VR1000 (JVC rebadge) with built-in line time base corrector, S-Video output
  • NTSC (S)VHS: JVC HR-S7600U with built-in line time base corrector, S-Video output
  • NTSC 8mm Video8 and Hi8: Sony CCD-TRV99 Hi8 camcorder with built-in time base corrector, digital noise reduction, S-Video and stereo RCA output

The video is sent via high-quality S-Video cables through a DataVideo TBC-1000 full-frame time base corrector to stabilize the video signal for capture to help ensure no frames are dropped. Video is captured via an ATI All-In-Wonder 9600XT AGP video card using the lossless Huffyuv AVI codec, captured using VirtualDubMod. Audio is captured at PCM 16-bit 48khz using a Monoprice Premium 6 foot RCA to 3.5mm 22AWG gold plated cable connected to a Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeMusic sound card.

Optical Media

Compact Discs / CD-R

DVD

BD

  • Not applicable at this time due to no Blu-Ray bootlegs existing that need to be ripped; as far as I know, only one or two BD recordings have been torrented on DIME

MiniDisc

Sony MDS-S707 MiniDisc deck

Vinyl / LP

Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB Direct-Drive Professional Turntable + Shure M97xE Cartridge