Digitisation: Frequently Asked Questions

What is Digitisation?

Digitisation is the process of playing back an analogue source material, such as a tape or cassette, whilst capturing it as a .wav (or similar) digital file. The methods for digitising each of the analogue formats we work with are finely tuned, involving meticulous alignment of our playback machines, high quality analogue to digital convertors, and the highly refined skills of our digitisation engineers and technicians (as per the IASA TC 04 guidelines). As a result, this process is reliable and efficient in providing the highest quality digitisation possible.

What are digital transfers?

A Digital Transfer refers to the process of moving digitally recorded material from one format to another, usually without undergoing a digitisation process (because the material is already in a digital form). Now that digital recording methods have been in place for over 20 years, there are many older formats that are no longer practical to run, or on tape mediums that are deteriorating, so we undertake a Digital Transfer for both safekeeping and possible future use of the material.

What is our process?

In order to achieve the most successful results, we tailor our digitisation or transfer process to each project that we undertake. Considerations that are factored into the process planning include the age of the original material, file requirements, turnaround time, confidentiality and any special client requests.

The process usually includes:

  1. Materials logging and secure, climate controlled storage
  2. Assessment of material. Due to age or damage, the materials may require extra treatment or unusual transfer methods to ensure a safe and high quality capture.
  3. Precision playback of the material and capture to our DAW’s
  4. Editing
  5. File export
  6. Daily backup of all captured material

What is tape baking?

Many tapes suffer from “Sticky Shed Syndrome”, where a tape attracts moisture from the air and as a result starts to become sticky and fall apart – rendering the tape destroyed when played back on a tape machine. Tape baking draws out the moisture in the tape, allowing it to be safely played back. We have this process applied to most of the analogue audio tapes we digitise.
For all enquiries, please contact us.