Audio Tape Restoration

I often hear from people who have tapes they’d like to play, but aren’t sure if they can. As discussed in my post on Sticky Shed Syndrome, some tapes (many really) from the 1980s and 1990s, absorb moisture while in storage and, if not properly treated, shed oxide at a mad pace during any use. These tapes must be baked, really dehydrated, before they touch a tape deck to have any hope of getting the content safely off the tape.

In the Seattle area, a number of studios are equipped to deal with this and one that has a wide range of tape and noise reduction equipment is Zak Dewey.

Outside of Seattle, I am happy to post a link to the Audio Preservation and Restoration Directory. As noted in the linked directory, “This directory includes Association for Recorded Sound Collections (ARSC) members who offer services for audio preservation and restoration, as well as ARSC members and non-members who offer equipment and supplies for audio preservation and restoration. Each entry includes headings from the following list to indicate the goods and services offered. An index of all entries by location and goods and services is included at the end of the document. Contact information for the editor is posted at the end of the document.

Preservation Transfer – migration of audio recordings without improvement to sonic contents Restoration – migration of audio recordings with improvement to sonic contents

Disaster Recovery – preservation of damaged or degraded audio recordings Equipment & Supplies – goods related to audio preservation and restoration

Consulting & Training – consulting and instructional services relating to preservation and restoration

Storage Services – storage services for sound recordings.”

This is a group of professionals who are dedicated to preserving the history of recorded material.