Difference between revisions of "Archival 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 [http://www.amazon.com/Audio-Technica-ATH-M50-Professional-Monitor-Headphones/dp/B000ULAP4U Audio-Technica ATH-M50S Professional Studio Monitor Headphones.] Scans of tape inlays, photographs, info sheets, etc are done using a [https://www.usa.canon.com/internet/portal/us/home/support/details/scanners/support-scanners-canoscan-series/canoscan-lide-60 Canon CanoScan LiDE 60.]
+
DM Live has the following equipment at his disposal to digitize, transfer, and capture several different media formats. All recordings are mastered while listening to [http://www.amazon.com/Audio-Technica-ATH-M50-Professional-Monitor-Headphones/dp/B000ULAP4U Audio-Technica ATH-M50S Professional Studio Monitor Headphones.] Scans of tape inlays, photographs, info sheets, etc are done using a [https://www.usa.canon.com/internet/portal/us/home/support/details/scanners/support-scanners-canoscan-series/canoscan-lide-60 Canon CanoScan LiDE 60.]
  
 
== Magnetic media ==
 
== Magnetic media ==
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=== For audio cassette tapes ===
 
=== For audio cassette tapes ===
  
==== [https://vintagecassette.com/nakamichi/cassette_deck_1 Nakamichi Cassette Deck 1] ====
+
==== [https://www.vintagecassette.com/nakamichi/bx-300 Nakamichi BX-300] ====
 
[[File:Azimuth-alignment.jpg|300px|thumb|An example of azimuth misalignment. Source: [http://www.endino.com/archive/cassettes.html Jack Endino's Cassette Transfer Tips]]]
 
[[File:Azimuth-alignment.jpg|300px|thumb|An example of azimuth misalignment. Source: [http://www.endino.com/archive/cassettes.html Jack Endino's Cassette Transfer Tips]]]
DM Live offers audio digitization services using a professionally-serviced top-of-the-line [https://vintagecassette.com/nakamichi/cassette_deck_1 Nakamichi Cassette Deck 1] to extract every sonic detail from any audio cassette. Nakamichi cassette decks boast a superior frequency response to other decks, and this particular model features adjustable playback azimuth and playback speed parameters for superior results other decks are incapable of matching. This allows for optimal reproduction quality and playback speed accuracy that is faithful to the music.
+
DM Live offers audio cassette digitization services using a high-end [https://www.vintagecassette.com/nakamichi/bx-300 Nakamichi BX-300] to yield the best reproduction quality from any given tape. Nakamichi cassette decks boast a superior frequency response to other decks. Playback azimuth is manually adjusted to match each tape, and pitch control is used when necessary to adjust playback speed to be accurate.
  
 
===== General specifications =====
 
===== General specifications =====
  
 
*Discrete three head, asymmetrical dual capstan tape transport with pressure pad lifter for optimal playback response capability and stable tape travel.
 
*Discrete three head, asymmetrical dual capstan tape transport with pressure pad lifter for optimal playback response capability and stable tape travel.
**Three tape heads allows for the playback head and recording head to be best optimized for their respective functions, and discrete head mounting allows for more precise alignment compared to a typical “sandwich” head where both heads are contained in the same housing with less capability to individually adjust each head.
+
**Three tape heads allows for the playback head and recording head to be best optimized for their respective functions, and discrete head mounting allows for more precise alignment compared to a typical “sandwich” head, in which both heads are contained in the same housing with less capability to individually adjust each head.
 
**Dual capstan transport ensures consistent tape tension over the heads and allows the pressure pad lifter to function.
 
**Dual capstan transport ensures consistent tape tension over the heads and allows the pressure pad lifter to function.
 
***The pressure pad lifter, unique to dual-capstan Nakamichi decks, eliminates the influence of the cassette’s pressure pad from the tape travel and prevents scrape flutter<ref>Wikipedia: [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wow_and_flutter_measurement#Scrape_flutter Wow & flutter measurement | Scrape flutter]</ref> which negatively affects audio quality. The pressure pad lifter also significantly reduces head wear as less pressure is exerted on the heads.
 
***The pressure pad lifter, unique to dual-capstan Nakamichi decks, eliminates the influence of the cassette’s pressure pad from the tape travel and prevents scrape flutter<ref>Wikipedia: [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wow_and_flutter_measurement#Scrape_flutter Wow & flutter measurement | Scrape flutter]</ref> which negatively affects audio quality. The pressure pad lifter also significantly reduces head wear as less pressure is exerted on the heads.
*Unique manual playback head azimuth adjustment knob allows the best possible frequency response from a tape that was recorded on any other cassette recorder. This is accomplished by adjusting the playback head's azimuth to match the original recorder’s record head azimuth more closely; see diagram to the right.
+
*Playback head azimuth is manually adjusted to yield the best frequency response from each tape. The diagram to the right depicts why aligning azimuth is important.
*Frequency response of 20 Hz - 21,000 Hz for all three tape types.
+
*Frequency response of 20 Hz - 20,000 Hz for all three tape types.<ref>[https://www.manualslib.com/manual/652447/Nakamichi-Bx-300.html?page=8#manual Nakamichi BX-300 Owner's Manual, Page 8: Specifications]</ref>
 
+
*This BX-300 was constructed in the first quarter of 1986, serial number 36160.
===== Upgrades =====
 
 
 
*Higher grade Nakamichi 680ZX FG servo capstan motor with pitch control to allow adjustment of tape’s playback speed so a recording does not sound fast or slow, without needing to correct the speed digitally.
 
*All electrolytic capacitors in the power supply section and on the playback amplifier board replaced with Nichicon 105-degrees-Celcius rated capacitors and Nichicon audio-grade unpolarized capacitors, respectively. Transistors on playback amplifier board were also replaced.
 
**Original 220μF rated capacitors on playback amplifier board replaced with 470μF rated capacitors to flatten low-end bass response.<ref>Source: [https://www.tapeheads.net/showthread.php?p=337121#post337121 Tapeheads.net: '''perry''' Re: DR-1, 2, Cassette Deck 1,2 lost channel fix.]</ref>
 
*[http://www.uxcell.com/iec-320-c14-male-socket-panel-mount-power-line-emi-filter-cw1d10at-p-340776.html Medical-grade, grounded IEC power socket] installed to filter potential EMI/RFI interference and provide additional grounding of the chassis. The deck is connected to a [https://www.tripplite.com/smartpro-lcd-120v-1500va-900w-line-interactive-ups-avr-tower-lcd-usb-10-outlets~SMART1500LCDT line-interactive Tripp-Lite uninterruptible power supply] using a shielded heavy-duty 8-foot 14AWG power cable.
 
  
 
===== Mechanics and calibration =====
 
===== Mechanics and calibration =====
  
*Tape transport disassembled, cleaned, and lubricated in June 2019.
+
*Belts were replaced with a [http://www.marrscommunications.com/ Marrs Communications] factory-quality belt kit in 2018.
**Donor 680ZX capstan motor disassembled, cleaned, lubricated, and capacitor replaced.
 
**Failure-prone reel and cam motors replaced with brand new motors.
 
*Default tape speed, default playback azimuth & height, record head azimuth & height, playback level, and overall frequency response calibrated to factory specifications.
 
 
**Performance checked against alignment tapes<ref>U04103-70A and T10 tapes from [http://ant-audio.co.uk/index.php?cat=post&qry=alignment_tapes A.N.T. Audio.]</ref> about every six months.
 
**Performance checked against alignment tapes<ref>U04103-70A and T10 tapes from [http://ant-audio.co.uk/index.php?cat=post&qry=alignment_tapes A.N.T. Audio.]</ref> about every six months.
*Wow & flutter measurements verified to meet factory specifications.
+
*Wow & flutter measurements verified to meet factory specifications (less than ±0.048% WTD Peak, and less than 0.027% WTD RMS).
 +
**Measurement as of November 2019 was approximately 0.0233% RMS.
 
*Tape transport thoroughly cleaned after each cassette transfer and demagnetized according to owner's manual recommendations, approximately 50 hours between demagnetizations using a wand-type demagnetizer.
 
*Tape transport thoroughly cleaned after each cassette transfer and demagnetized according to owner's manual recommendations, approximately 50 hours between demagnetizations using a wand-type demagnetizer.
  
 
===== Output stage =====
 
===== Output stage =====
  
*[https://www.bluejeanscable.com/store/audio/index.htm Blue Jeans Cable LC-1 Low Capacitance] 8-foot RCA cable -> [https://us.creative.com/p/sound-cards/sound-blaster-zxr 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) -> [https://creative.adobe.com/products/audition Adobe Audition CC 2015] recording at 32-bit depth 88.2khz sample rate using Windows Audio Session API (WASAPI).
+
*[https://www.bluejeanscable.com/store/audio/index.htm Blue Jeans Cable LC-1 Low Capacitance] 8-foot RCA cable -> [https://us.creative.com/p/sound-cards/sound-blaster-zxr 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) -> [https://www.audacityteam.org/ Audacity] recording at 32-bit depth 88.2khz sample rate.
 
**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.
 
**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), played back, and playback azimuth is adjusted, then the tape is rewound and playback restarted again to have the optimal playback azimuth set from the beginning.
 
**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), played back, and playback azimuth is adjusted, then the tape is rewound and playback restarted again to have the optimal playback azimuth set from the beginning.
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===== Final delivery format =====
 
===== 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 v1.4.6 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.
+
*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 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 makes more sense to resample exactly in half to the CD-audio 44.1kHz standard as it is a 2:1 ratio, versus resampling from 96kHz which is a 2.177:1 ratio.
  
 
===== References =====
 
===== References =====
  
 
<references />
 
<references />
 +
 +
=== Reel tapes ===
 +
 +
Reel tapes containing live recordings of Depeche Mode are exceptionally rare. For reel preservation and digitization, [https://www.sonicraft.com/ Sonicraft A2DX Lab] is the preferred choice of DM Live. If a reel is provided for archival, DM Live will cover the cost of digitization at Sonicraft as well as any associated costs, such as shipping.
  
 
=== For Digital Audio Tape (DAT) ===
 
=== For Digital Audio Tape (DAT) ===
 +
 +
DM Live is able to transfer DATs using a computer DAT drive, but this does not always work with every DAT. If this does not work, our friends at [http://ninlive.com NINLive] have several Tascam DAT decks which can be used to digitally capture DAT tapes. Eventually a Tascam DAT deck will be obtained for use by DM Live as well.
  
 
==== [http://sony.storagesupport.com/product/17 Sony SDT-9000 SCSI DAT drive] ====
 
==== [http://sony.storagesupport.com/product/17 Sony SDT-9000 SCSI DAT drive] ====
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=== For video formats ===
 
=== For video formats ===
  
I am currently able to capture the following video media using the following equipment:
+
DM Live is currently able to capture the following video media using the following equipment:
  
 
*'''PAL (S)VHS''': [http://www.manualslib.com/manual/129365/Philips-Vr1000.html?page=2#manual Philips VR1000] (JVC rebadge) with built-in line time base corrector, S-Video output
 
*'''PAL (S)VHS''': [http://www.manualslib.com/manual/129365/Philips-Vr1000.html?page=2#manual Philips VR1000] (JVC rebadge) with built-in line time base corrector, S-Video output
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*[http://www.imgburn.com/ ImgBurn] to make ISOs
 
*[http://www.imgburn.com/ ImgBurn] to make ISOs
*[http://www.videohelp.com/tools/PgcDemux PgcDemux] or [http://www.dvdae.com/ DVD Audio Extractor] (if PgcDemux doesn't work) to demux audio soundtracks directly to the original format present on the DVD
+
*[https://www.videohelp.com/software/PgcDemux PgcDemux] or [http://www.dvdae.com/ DVD Audio Extractor] (if PgcDemux doesn't work) to demux audio soundtracks directly to the original format present on the DVD
  
 
=== BD ===
 
=== BD ===
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==== [http://www.minidisc.org/part_Sony_MDS-S707.html Sony MDS-S707 MiniDisc deck] ====
 
==== [http://www.minidisc.org/part_Sony_MDS-S707.html Sony MDS-S707 MiniDisc deck] ====
 
*Optical output is used for digitally bit-perfect captures of non-MDLP MiniDiscs
 
*Optical output is used for digitally bit-perfect captures of non-MDLP MiniDiscs
*Digitally captured using the optical input of [http://www.soundblaster.com/products/sound-blaster-zxr.aspx/ Creative Sound Blaster ZxR sound card], recorded using [https://creative.adobe.com/products/audition Adobe Audition CC 2015] at 16-bit depth and 44.1khz sample rate using Creative ASIO
+
*Digitally captured using the optical input of [https://us.creative.com/p/sound-cards/sound-blaster-zxr Creative Sound Blaster ZxR sound card], recorded using [https://www.audacityteam.org/ Audacity] at 16-bit depth and 44.1khz sample rate
*Many thanks to [https://twitter.com/ryanjonik Ryan Jonik] for his generous contribution of the MD deck
+
*Many thanks to [http://ninlive.com NINLive] for their generous contribution of this MiniDisc deck
 
 
== Vinyl / LP ==
 
 
 
=== [http://www.amazon.com/Audio-Technica-AT-LP120-USB-Direct-Drive-Professional-Turntable/dp/B002S1CJ2Q Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB Direct-Drive Professional Turntable] + [http://www.shure.com/americas/products/phono/m97xe-audiophile-phono-cartridge Shure M97xE Cartridge] ===
 
*Output stage:
 
**[https://www.bluejeanscable.com/store/audio/index.htm Blue Jeans Cable LC-1 Low Capacitance] 8-foot RCA cable -> [http://www.soundblaster.com/products/sound-blaster-zxr.aspx/ Creative Sound Blaster ZxR sound card] (RCA Line In) with 123dB input signal-to-noise ratio (captured at 32-bit depth and 96khz sample rate) -> [https://creative.adobe.com/products/audition Adobe Audition CC 2015] (recording at 32/96)
 

Revision as of 11:57, 9 November 2019

DM Live 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

For audio cassette tapes

Nakamichi BX-300

An example of azimuth misalignment. Source: Jack Endino's Cassette Transfer Tips

DM Live offers audio cassette digitization services using a high-end Nakamichi BX-300 to yield the best reproduction quality from any given tape. Nakamichi cassette decks boast a superior frequency response to other decks. Playback azimuth is manually adjusted to match each tape, and pitch control is used when necessary to adjust playback speed to be accurate.

General specifications
  • Discrete three head, asymmetrical dual capstan tape transport with pressure pad lifter for optimal playback response capability and stable tape travel.
    • Three tape heads allows for the playback head and recording head to be best optimized for their respective functions, and discrete head mounting allows for more precise alignment compared to a typical “sandwich” head, in which both heads are contained in the same housing with less capability to individually adjust each head.
    • Dual capstan transport ensures consistent tape tension over the heads and allows the pressure pad lifter to function.
      • The pressure pad lifter, unique to dual-capstan Nakamichi decks, eliminates the influence of the cassette’s pressure pad from the tape travel and prevents scrape flutter[1] which negatively affects audio quality. The pressure pad lifter also significantly reduces head wear as less pressure is exerted on the heads.
  • Playback head azimuth is manually adjusted to yield the best frequency response from each tape. The diagram to the right depicts why aligning azimuth is important.
  • Frequency response of 20 Hz - 20,000 Hz for all three tape types.[2]
  • This BX-300 was constructed in the first quarter of 1986, serial number 36160.
Mechanics and calibration
  • Belts were replaced with a Marrs Communications factory-quality belt kit in 2018.
    • Performance checked against alignment tapes[3] about every six months.
  • Wow & flutter measurements verified to meet factory specifications (less than ±0.048% WTD Peak, and less than 0.027% WTD RMS).
    • Measurement as of November 2019 was approximately 0.0233% RMS.
  • Tape transport thoroughly cleaned after each cassette transfer and demagnetized according to owner's manual recommendations, approximately 50 hours between demagnetizations using a wand-type demagnetizer.
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) -> Audacity recording at 32-bit depth 88.2khz sample rate.
    • 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), played back, and playback azimuth is adjusted, then the tape is rewound and playback restarted again to have the optimal playback azimuth set from the beginning.
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 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 makes more sense to resample exactly in half to the CD-audio 44.1kHz standard as it is a 2:1 ratio, versus resampling from 96kHz which is a 2.177:1 ratio.
References

Reel tapes

Reel tapes containing live recordings of Depeche Mode are exceptionally rare. For reel preservation and digitization, Sonicraft A2DX Lab is the preferred choice of DM Live. If a reel is provided for archival, DM Live will cover the cost of digitization at Sonicraft as well as any associated costs, such as shipping.

For Digital Audio Tape (DAT)

DM Live is able to transfer DATs using a computer DAT drive, but this does not always work with every DAT. If this does not work, our friends at NINLive have several Tascam DAT decks which can be used to digitally capture DAT tapes. Eventually a Tascam DAT deck will be obtained for use by DM Live as well.

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)

For video formats

DM Live is 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

  • Optical output is used for digitally bit-perfect captures of non-MDLP MiniDiscs
  • Digitally captured using the optical input of Creative Sound Blaster ZxR sound card, recorded using Audacity at 16-bit depth and 44.1khz sample rate
  • Many thanks to NINLive for their generous contribution of this MiniDisc deck